Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was great.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Kitchener—Conestoga (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2006, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions January 31st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today and present a number of petitions signed by constituents in my riding regarding stem cell research.

Kyoto Protocol December 9th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, the government remains committed to doing what it can in this very important area. Transport Canada, for example, remains interested in the issue of viability of small airports.

Building on viability studies undertaken on behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, provincial ministers of transport and the Atlantic government caucus task force on Air Canada and air access in Atlantic Canada, the Minister of Transport, over the next 18 months, will also undertake an analysis and consultation with the rural secretariat of the viability of regional airports with a view to understanding the impact of federal government divestitures on the communities serviced by these airports. The minister will return to cabinet to report on the findings of this analysis.

This is an ongoing concern and one which we take very seriously.

Kyoto Protocol December 9th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to respond to the hon. member on this important point.

When Air Canada acquired Canadian Airlines in December 1999, there was concern that this transaction might have a negative impact on smaller airport communities within the country. To address these concerns, the Minister of Transport negotiated an agreement with Air Canada that it would continue to serve for a three year period the over 60 communities then served by Air Canada, Canadian Airlines or any one of the wholly owned affiliates.

Air Canada has honoured that commitment and only in September of this year did it give the required 120 days' notice of its intention to cease service to a few communities where low passenger traffic volumes no longer justify service after January 2003.

In Atlantic Canada there were only three points: Stephenville, Newfoundland, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and St-Léonard, New Brunswick.

With respect to Bathurst, I would note that it is not being dropped from the Air Canada network. Air Canada Jazz is reducing its daily service at Bathurst from three flights to two. This is strictly a cost saving move, one that reflects the seasonal decrease in passenger traffic demand, and the service can be reinstated if demand returns.

There has been much in the press recently concerning the drop in traffic on short haul routes because of the proliferation of fees, charges and taxes that passengers are asked to pay. People are choosing to drive their own cars or take the bus or train in lieu of higher cost air services.

The excise tax on fuel, the GST-HST and the air traveller's security charge are the only costs borne by passengers that are directly attributable to government. The security charge and excise tax are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, who is currently reviewing the security charge.

With respect to NavCanada fees, NavCanada is a not for profit company that charges airlines, not passengers, for air navigation services. These services were previously provided by the government and paid for in part by the former air transportation tax on passenger tickets. Airlines have been choosing to pass along their air navigation fees to consumers in the form of a surcharge. In addition, carriers collect airport improvement fees on behalf of many airports that use these funds for capital improvements.

Let me conclude by assuring the hon. member that we are continually monitoring this issue. The government is carefully reviewing it and monitoring the situation from the perspective of both the carriers and the airports. This will be an ongoing process.

Kyoto Protocol December 9th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, as I have noted, the RCMP works in the national capital region in a variety of roles and functions. One of the roles of course is traffic enforcement in the Gatineau Park, a National Capital Commission property.

As I indicated at the outset, the RCMP complies with appropriate legislation regarding the issuance of tickets in a manner consistent with the law. While the RCMP complies with provincial legislation in Quebec, it equally complies with applicable legislation in all other provinces across Canada.

As I have said before, I have been assured that bilingual guidance is provided on tickets issued in Quebec, and RCMP officers enforcing traffic laws within the national capital region can provide service in both of our official languages.

Kyoto Protocol December 9th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General, at the request of the member for Ottawa—Vanier, appeared before the Standing Committee on Official Languages just last week to address this very important issue, and he did so in great detail.

As the minister indicated to committee members, the RCMP operating in the national capital region is fully committed to official bilingualism and providing services to the public in both official languages. The RCMP works with the Commissioner of Official Languages and continually reviews programs and resources to ensure service delivery meets the requirements of the Official Languages Act.

The RCMP also ensures that bilingual staff are fully integrated into RCMP law enforcement where required, and this includes, obviously, the national capital region.

The RCMP complies with the appropriate provincial regime regarding the issuance of tickets. This compliance is not only applicable in Quebec but is equally carried out in all provinces across Canada. I have been assured that bilingual guidance is provided on tickets in Quebec and that RCMP officers enforcing traffic laws within the national capital region can provide full services as requested or needed in both official languages.

The government is committed to public safety and service delivery in both of our official languages and to this end, the RCMP, as our national police force, provides bilingual law enforcement while respecting the requirements of both federal and provincial laws.

Criminal Code December 4th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, as I said at the outset, CSC certainly does not condone harassment in the workplace. We will continue to ensure that we take those matters very seriously and ensure that procedures are in fact in place to reduce any of these problems and make sure that the workplace is free of harassment.

We take the results of the 1999 survey very seriously. We have taken a number of initiatives and we will continue to do so, CSC and others, to address this problem as it is encountered in the workplace. I want to repeat, because it is an important point, that CSC can investigate and process only official complaints filed in accordance with Treasury Board policy.

Criminal Code December 4th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak on this point raised in the House on October 24 by the hon. member for Terrebonne—Blainville.

My hon. colleague raised a point regarding harassment in the workplace. She also made reference to an in-house survey commissioned by Treasury Board which revealed that 20% of employees experience some kind of harassment without anything being done to remedy the situation.

Let me start by saying that I commend the staff of CSC for the professionalism shown in doing their daily work. They do a great service for all Canadians. As we know, working in the field of corrections is a difficult job and can be at times both dangerous and unpredictable. Like all government departments, CSC does not condone harassment in the workplace and takes the results of the 1999 survey, as well as official complaints, very, very seriously.

While 20% of all federal employees reported experiencing some kind of harassment in the workplace, it is important to note that the question posed did not ask responders to identify the source of harassment, whether it came from an offender, a co-worker or, for that matter, a supervisor.

In May 2001, CSC adopted Treasury Board's policy on the prevention and resolution of harassment in the workplace. I am pleased to say that all six unions support this policy. As a result, CSC follows the internal complaint resolution process established by this policy.

As well, a joint CSC management and union committee was created in January of this year. This committee serves to discuss ways of improving CSC's anti-harassment and dispute resolution program. This committee developed a guiding principles document, which provides guidance and clarification specific to CSC's own mandate.

Through various partnerships, CSC is currently developing anti-harassment training in addition to the formal training currently available. Furthermore, monitoring of the Treasury Board policy is being applied in CSC by regional anti-harassment coordinators.

As we can see, CSC has undertaken a number of initiatives to address harassment encountered in the workplace. However, I should note in closing that it is important to say that CSC can investigate only complaints filed in accordance with Treasury Board policy, but we continue to remain vigilant on this very important matter and we will continue to do.

International Day of Disabled Persons December 2nd, 2002

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is UN International Day of Disabled Persons. This year the United Nations selected a theme that was proposed by Canada's disability community.

To celebrate the success of “Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods”, the theme of this year's celebrations, the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres will host a breakfast in Ottawa tomorrow morning.

The morning's event will focus on the independent living movement and the need for Canadian business, and indeed all Canadians to tap into a tremendous human resource pool that is too often untapped, whose stories go untold, and yet whose potential is unlimited. The event will be attended by the Minister of Human Resources Development and the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, as well as business and community leaders.

I ask all hon. members to join me in congratulating Canada's disability community on its recent success at the United Nations.

Terrorism November 29th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, first of all let me thank the B'nai Brith for the very good work it does not only in Canada but throughout the world.

I want to point out that the government of course does not respond to opposition allegations or newspaper reports, or groups for that matter. Rather, we work diligently to ensure the safety and security of all Canadians.

The Solicitor General this past week announced the listing of six additional groups and of course that is an important step. It is a work in progress in all cases. The listing of entities is a work that is done with great deliberate and thorough care.

Correctional Service Canada November 29th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I think it is fair to say that we look into all matters in a thorough and deliberate fashion and this will be no different.