Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was place.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Sarnia—Lambton (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2006, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply March 22nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, on the day after the Academy Awards the remarks of the hon. member opposite are interesting in the sense that they were very flashy. It was a good performance.

I tried to follow his logic. I had problems listening to the litany of events historically and of statistics quoted by him in the early part of his speech which he attributes to the repercussions on job creation. Like most members of the party opposite he always refers to Canada and Quebec.

I have a question but I want to draw an analogy first. I live in a border riding not far from the city of Detroit. In the late 1960s we saw in Detroit the rise of the city state, a city at that time of some six million people, not unlike the province of Quebec in terms of population. In the late 1960s we saw the rise of a certain economic pride in the black community. We saw the rise of a saviour by the name of Mr. Coleman Young who became the mayor of Detroit. Mr. Young promised the people of Detroit that he would lead them out of the wilderness into some sort of economic nirvana.

In 1993 Mr. Coleman Young decided he would not run again; at 75 years of age he had had it. At the same time we find that the population of Detroit has declined. The economic base has declined and I ask the simple question why. It was the so-called city state, this type of nationalism that arose in that city that killed business. In fact development did occur in the state of Michigan. It did occur in the United States but it did not occur in Detroit because of the economic policies of that city.

Using the analogy that there is a certain element of nationalism, much like in the city state of Detroit in the late 1960s, will this have a repercussion on job creation, the 465,000 people he claims to be unemployed in the province of Quebec-I do not dispute that number-and are the policies of his party also not contributing to that uncertainty, the creation of the mentality that nobody wants to invest in the province of Quebec because of the policies put forward by his party?

Supply March 17th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I found the discourse by the member for Wild Rose extremely interesting.

In a sense I thought it was an overview given by Reader's Digest . It was very anecdotal. At one point he mentioned two examples, two anecdotes, one being the very tragic case of the lady who was raped. He made the observation and the conclusion that in most cases the rights of the accused are greater than those of the victim.

I would like to ask the member what empirical data he has for this. This is one example given. He jumps to a very broad conclusion.

He also made the observation of the very tragic case of the young girl who was murdered. He then made the conclusion that there is no one to act for the wife or the mother in this case. I want to ask him in a very open ended way, who does the crown act for if it does not act in this case for the mother of this child?

National Energy Board February 21st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

During January of this year the National Energy Board held lengthy meetings in southern Ontario as a result of an application made by Interprovincial Pipeline and Intercoastal Pipeline to extend a line from the U.S. to Canada.

Hundreds of landowners had legitimate concerns and wanted to intervene. The federal energy act has no provision for intervener funding. As a result of this line crossing the Canada-U.S. border the applicant corporations did not have to payintervener funding which amounted to millions of dollars. The farmers, school boards and other landowners were required to pay this out of their own pockets.

What will the minister do to persuade Interprovincial and Intercoastal Pipelines to pay reasonable costs of interveners? Does the minister have any plans to amend the legislation to ensure that this does not occur again?

Cruise Missile Testing January 26th, 1994

Madam Speaker, the hon. member raises an interesting point and makes an interesting quotation, that is that with respect to the Americans we must co-operate with them.

I do not know in terms of Canadian objectives that we must in all cases co-operate with the Americans. Certainly recent history has indicated to us that the Americans do not reciprocate with Canada. I can think of many examples the hon. member may not be aware of.

For example, about a year and a half ago the American border patrol at all crossing points decided that it would take direct action against Canadian trucking firms. The method of doing that was simply to check the record of every driver crossing the border. It happens that a number of Canadian truck drivers have rather insignificant criminal matters in their past, such as the smoking of cannabis, impaired driving, or minor theft and assault charges. In any event, under American law the American border patrol can prevent them from entering the United States. That is one very trite example of the Americans not co-operating with us.

We heard about numerous trade matters during the election, including the seven appeals regarding pork bellies made by the United States. There are many times when we do not agree with the Americans.

The suggestion that we must co-operate with the Americans on military matters is not necessarily correct. I also believe that recent history, recent in terms of world history, specifically World War II, would indicate that the Americans did not co-operate with us in the sense that they did not enter into the battle until well after Canada did. So I do not think we must follow blindly.

I suggest to the hon. member opposite that he should consider that there are times when we can and we ought to say no to the Americans and this is probably a time when it should be a very definite no.

Cruise Missile Testing January 26th, 1994

Madam Speaker, at the outset I believe we should acknowledge that this is a debate that has no right or wrong side or answer. Whether this government endorses or refuses to endorse the acceptance of cruise testing over Canadian territory is, whatever the outcome, neither right nor wrong.

We are discussing today on one level our national role in contributing to the aggregate military technological base of our American neighbours. These tests are part of their military research and development. On another level it affords Canada the opportunity to define these tests, having regard to our national values.

With the end of the cold war arguments either for or against cruise missile testing have quite simply lost much force. Hon. members here will recall the history of the modern day cruise, that it evolved from the buzzbombs of second world war Germany and that the Americans and Soviets engaged in a protracted period of technological one-up-manship which resulted in this low level flying missile.

From the development of the cruise has evolved a technology which has military and technological applications which are quite simply American based. To allow this testing to proceed will without doubt and I say this without putting forward a positive or a negative opinion, ensures that the United States continues in its position of pre-eminence in terms of being the number one military power.

From a perspective of fortress North America it could be suggested that the agreement with the United States in 1983 to allow cruise testing was correct. That agreement was renegotiated, as we heard, in 1993 for another 10-year period, putting us through to the year 2003.

The reason for choosing this Canadian corridor as a test site was quite simple. The terrain and weather conditions in the 2,200 kilometre long corridor is similar to that of the Soviet Union, as the speaker before me noted.

In 1983 NORAD was vitally concerned about the security of North American having regard to the then perceived Soviet arsenal. I would like to pose this open-ended question to members present here today: Are we as North Americans threatened by the former Soviet military?

To allow this test to proceed in my opinion is simply to confirm the political reality which existed in 1983 but has vanished in the intervening years.

From a military perspective what can be the logical explanation for this testing? There is the argument that other countries can and are developing cruise capability which then, by implication, requires the United States to continue to be technically superior. If we, and I say this as a Canadian and as a member of this House, want to allow this testing to proceed then I suggest we should also ask what is the perceived or real benefit to Canada. Is it to counter the former Soviet Union and maintain the security of North America? Alternatively, is it to facilitate the very specialized American-based industries which are dependent upon military programs for their very existence?

The global political reality of 1983 has substantially changed. Canadians must therefore acknowledge this in determining whether these tests should proceed.

These musings of mine reflect the politics of another era, a time when there was an arms race, a time when there was a perceived threat to our national security and a time when NORAD had some continental importance. These factors today have simply either vanished or diminished to the point where they are meaningless.

The other factor I would suggest requires consideration is quite simply this: As Canadians, is it beneficial in any way from a security or economic perspective to allow these tests? This is not a matter of abrogating a bilateral agreement, as has been suggested here today. The agreement dictates the technical and financial terms but states specifically that each test must be approved by the Government of Canada. I ask: "What is the perceived benefit to Canadians?" or more directly and simply, "What is in it for us?"

Yesterday in the House several speakers discussed the humanitarian aspect of peacekeeping, that is in certain circumstances Canadian military peacekeeping represents a positive influence in areas of the world. Many of the opinions put forward yesterday reflected a desire to improve the plight of many people in countries undergoing conflict. Those are very laudable and humanitarian objectives which we, as members of the United Nations, have collectively stated in a global perspective are in the best interests of all nations.

These peacekeeping roles mesh or coincide with the common values shared with other member states of that body. Yet as a Canadian I ask: Where does the testing of a cruise missile fit into the objectives of the Canadian government? Is there a national interest which is being served if these tests proceed?

American governments over a period of several administrations have quite overtly inserted a quid pro quo into their relationships with other national governments. Foreign aid, whether it be monetary or technical, is often tied to events occurring in the other state. For example, the extension of American aid to China was jeopardized by China after the Tiananmen Square incident. The interventions by American forces in Grenada and Panama in the late eighties are also examples of a more direct nature. These actions were simply as a result, in my opinion, of serving the national objectives of the United States.

I therefore ask members present today to reflect on the broader issue of our relationship with the United States and with the Americans. I have heard from many of my constituents on this issue and though I cannot say that I am a member of the third party, I can quite safely say that my opinion is here reflecting the greater consensus that I am hearing in my constituency that in our dealings with our American neighbours in the broadest and most general sense of the word and of the idea, that we must become more self-centred, even more specifically that we must ask "Is it in the Canadian interests"; in the most basic sense "What's in it for us?"

My riding is a narrow wedge of real estate on the Ontario-Michigan border. I would venture to say that 75 per cent of the people in my riding live about a three-minute car ride from the United States. I would also point out that in my riding anyone can purchase a Detroit News , a Detroit Free Press at any corner variety store just as easily as I could buy the Globe and Mail . My riding is the third busiest crossing along the Canada-U.S. border, in fact 15 per cent of all trade between Canada and the United States crosses the border in Sarnia or Point Edward in my riding. Yet despite this overwhelming presence, which we call the American influence, it is abundantly clear to me that we are not Americans. My constituents tell me that. We are not anti-American, we are simply not Americans.

Through a process of national evolution we have stated that our priorities are not always identical to their priorities. We have stated that our national values are not the same as their national values.

As a result, I am aware of Americans attempting to enter some of the health clinics offered by the local health unit in my riding in an attempt to take advantage of the health services and treatment programs offered anonymously to walk-in clients.

Obviously our priorities are not their priorities. I am aware of the significant collection of hand weapons seized daily by our customs officials from American vehicles entering Canada in my riding. Obviously our values are not their values. As a result I must ask once again: Where does the allowance of cruise missile testing over Canadian territory as an objective of American military policy coincide with Canadian priorities and values?

It has been stated that the role of the Canadian military-and I stress Canadian-must and will be reviewed during the course of this Parliament.

As an extension of this objective, I would state that the Canadian government must also examine our national objectives under the 1993 bilateral agreement with the United States relative to cruise testing. Notwithstanding that agreement, as stated previously, we reserve the right to say no.

In the 1992-93 fiscal year the Department of National Defence spent some $148 million in modernizing our air defence systems as well as an additional $175 million for low level air defence systems.

It is possible to conclude that by allowing these tests to proceed we will constantly find ourselves in need of more sophisticated air defence systems as a result of the technologies we are allowing to be tested by the Americans over Canadian territory.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Prime Minister for affording the members of this House the opportunity to speak on this important national issue, knowing that when a decision is made he will have heard a broad cross-section of views from all of Canada.

[Translation]

Investment Canada January 26th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry.

As the minister is no doubt aware many Canadians are employed by companies that are operating subject to undertakings given to Investment Canada.

The investment review division of Industry Canada is now responsible for ensuring adherence to all undertakings filed when Canadian companies are acquired.

What action will the government take to enforce compliance with written undertakings given to Investment Canada?

National Burn Awareness Week January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to urge all members of the House of Commons and indeed all Canadians to recognize and lend their support to National Burn Awareness Week from February 6 to February 12.

Burn injuries are a leading cause of accidental deaths in Canada with children, the elderly and disabled Canadians being at highest risk. Most burn injuries and deaths can be prevented by increased public awareness and education.

Burn prevention through education means greater use of smoke detectors, increased home escape planning and teaching children not to hide from fire. Prevention through education will result in many lives being saved and great reductions in suffering.

Finally I wish to thank the members of the Shrine of North America as well as the Canadian Fire Association for their hard work and dedication to supporting and promoting National Burn Awareness Week.