Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was ensure.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Trinity—Spadina (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2006, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

National Youth Orchestra November 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the success story of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. This unique non-profit organization which is internationally recognized for the quality of its orchestral training is located in my riding of Trinity-Spadina.

Since 1960 the National Youth Orchestra has served as a training ground for young Canadian musicians in the areas of performance and musicianship.

Young musicians use this experience as a launching pad to careers with Canadian symphonies. The orchestra is composed of young Canadians from diverse backgrounds and geography coming together with a common purpose and a willingness to learn. By performing concerts across Canada these young musicians not only gain essential career training but they also gain greater insight into what Canada is all about.

The National Youth Orchestra of Canada is a microcosmic snapshot of what this country is. I would like to take this opportunity to salute the members of this important institution which helps Canadians appreciate each other by bringing us closer together.

Business Loans November 3rd, 1994

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

When the Prime Minister appeared on CBC's Prime Time News town hall meeting he said that some banks are doing a good job of supplying small and medium sized enterprises with financing, while others were not doing as well.

He also said there should be a ratio between lending money to big business and lending money to small business.

What is the minister doing to encourage the banks to meet a lending target whereby one-third of all business loans by the banks are allocated to small and medium sized businesses?

Social Work November 1st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, last week graduates from Canada and around the world met at Toronto to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the faculty of social work at the University of Toronto.

Social workers play a pivotal role in Canadian communities through the promotion of social justice and equity for all groups in society irrespective of class, gender or cultural heritage, and especially for the disadvantaged during financially tough times.

As the oldest faculty of social work in Canada and the third oldest of its kind in North America, the faculty has left a proud legacy of achievements. Research advances in child welfare, family care giving for Alzheimers disease victims and family mediation are only some of the areas in which the faculty has contributed to the betterment of Canadian society.

I would therefore like to take this opportunity to recognize the great work done by social workers and to congratulate the faculty of social work of the University of Toronto as it celebrates its 80th anniversary.

Fort York October 26th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The Toronto city council is considering a huge development that may not be sensitive to Toronto's Fort York which is of national historic importance. A 1909 agreement states that the fort must be preserved and maintained or the federal government could repossess both Fort York and the grounds of the CNE.

How is the government going to ensure that Fort York's historical integrity is maintained and that the site is accessible to Canadians as per the 1909 agreement?

Department Of Industry Act October 17th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak on Bill C-46, the Department of Industry Act.

Our nation faces many challenges. Canada can no longer rely solely on its natural resources. The demands of the future cannot be met by supplies of the past. We must develop in ourselves and in our industries the skills needed to challenge the conventional ways of competing at home and abroad.

The competition we face abroad requires us to create new skills among our workforce and a new vision in our industry. A country that solves its own problems and competes successfully with others stays strong and independent. We must begin competing as a team against our international competitors.

This bill will allow the formation of a framework with which we can begin to build Canada's industrial strategy.

The newly created Department of Industry will work with all sectors of the economy to facilitate partnerships between government, business, research centres and labour. An industrial strategy will enable us to better compete in the global marketplace.

We must also foster a climate to encourage Canadians to develop an entrepreneurial spirit that harnesses their skills and creativity. As we know, small and medium sized businesses are the engine of our economy and that is why they must be an integral part of a national industrial strategy.

The small and medium sized businesses of today with the right climate can become tomorrow's multinationals. In order for us to achieve economic growth we must use our limited resources more effectively to encourage entrepreneurs to create the wealth by becoming innovative and helping to expand our export economy.

Canada's exports account for about 40 per cent of the total output of the private sector. One in five Canadian jobs is directly dependent on exports. One billion dollars of exports translates into 15,000 new jobs. That is why the government is aggressively pursuing international trade opportunities.

The creation of this department will help set the framework of achieving the government's objectives, the creation of jobs and economic growth by encouraging businesses, labour and institutions to work together in setting goals and striving to achieve them.

This will enable us to achieve a stronger economy and a better standard of living for all Canadians. Canada already is home to companies that are at the leading edge in their field such as telecommunications, biotechnology, environment and health care, et cetera.

What we must do is facilitate the greater success of these industries in an ever competitive international climate by ensuring that the environment here at home is conducive to the continued achievement of excellence.

Through business networks our government has initiated the sharing of information among diverse sectors of the economy, enabling them to compete internationally, such as the business corporation network which enables Canadian firms to access thousands of partnering opportunities in 36 countries.

Another example is the advisory council made up of diverse business interests working together on the development of the information superhighway, not only for internal use but also for the export market.

We must also improve the efficiency of our industries by allowing them to compete more effectively within our borders. Canada is hampered by many internal trade barriers. The cost of these barriers to Canadians is as high as $6 billion annually.

The Minister of Industry, working in co-operation with his provincial counterparts, has already begun and continues to reduce these barriers to assist the free mobility of goods and services.

Without the innovations of basic research industry will stagnate. Countries such as Japan, Germany and the U.S. spend a far greater proportion of their GDP on research and development than does Canada. To compete internationally we must use our limited resources by working smarter in partnership with existing institutions in the private sector to find new technologies that can be applied and marketed both internally and abroad.

With this bill we will fulfil our responsibility as co-ordinators of the vital relationship between research and industry and promote the fullest use of science and technology from the conception of an idea to its fruition in the international marketplace.

In order for the government to continue to strengthen its support of basic research and its industrial applications we must be able to obtain royalties from research that succeed in being used in the industrial applications in order that these moneys can be reinvested in future research.

Small and medium sized enterprises must be in a position to obtain and capitalize on the innovations of Canadians as they develop these new technologies. Our government will continue to streamline programs to assist the small and medium sized enterprises to foster these new technologies.

In order for these small and medium sized enterprises to succeed access to capital is vital. Along with the reduction of red tape and the burden of the GST our government has already begun the process of streamlining programs and eliminating

some of these obstacles that impede the growth of small and medium sized enterprises.

We must encourage competition among financial institutions to ensure that we give our SMEs as much access to capital as possible. Along with these initiatives our government has increased funding to and the role of the FBDB which will play a more active role in aiding our small and medium sizes enterprises.

As a member of the industry committee I studied the issue most critical to the SMEs which is their inability to access capital. We will putting forward our recommendations tomorrow. Along with those recommendations that will be tabled tomorrow I will be making an additional recommendation to my caucus and colleagues which is to encourage the chartered banks to achieve a target of lending to small and medium sized enterprises of 33 per cent of the total corporate loans, a ratio of one to two; that is, for every two dollars lent to large businesses one dollar should be lent to small and medium sized enterprises.

If the banks comply with this recommendation the capital available to the small and medium sized enterprises will increase from $30 billion to $45 billion, an increase of 50 per cent. Two banks are already achieving this target on their own.

The industry act will help our business become more innovative, efficient and be armed with enough capital to compete internationally. We must take advantage also of our well established international reputation to take Canadian business to the world and also to bring the world to Canada.

Our tourist industry already accounts for more than 500,000 full time jobs and more than 60,000 enterprises. Last year visitors to Canada contributed $9 billion in foreign exchange to our economy and Canadians added a further $18 billion while travelling within the country.

A national tourism strategy will be undertaken with the public and private sectors to restructure and improve Canada's tourism. A comprehensive marketing program both domestically and abroad will help reduce the $8.2 billion travel account deficit as well as improve industry competitiveness.

My constituents of Trinity-Spadina are looking forward to this revitalization of tourism. We must market Canada to the people of the world with pride and invite them here so that they can share with us the beauty our country has to offer. I believe this bill will enhance the streamlining required to make Canada's industries competitive in the global marketplace.

The framework is set to establish a comprehensive industrial strategy which will allow our governments to be the catalysts in achieving our common goals. By helping to co-ordinate these partnerships we will stimulate economic growth and at the same time reduce the deficit and increase the standard of living for all Canadians.

Word On The Street October 4th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the organizers, participants and sponsors of the fifth annual Word on the Street book and magazine fair which was held on Sunday, September

24 in my riding. It is a celebration of our culture and excellence in Canadian writing. More important, it draws to our attention the importance of literacy.

This year a crowd of over 100,000 filled Queen Street West to browse the many exhibits by merchants, publishing houses and the numerous groups promoting literacy and learning.

As we all know, if Canada is to grow and prosper all Canadians must have the tools to reach their potential. The ability to read and write is fundamental to allow us as a nation to succeed and compete internationally.

Next year, thanks to funding from the federal government and our commitment to the national literacy program, Word on the Street will expand nationally to Vancouver and Halifax where parallel festivals will make this a truly national event.

Immigration September 29th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Some Canadians have the wrong impression that immigrants take jobs and abuse our social security system. I have serious concerns about the growing backlash against immigrants and refugees.

What is the minister doing to address these concerns and to inform the Canadian public about the real and positive contributions that immigrants do make to Canadian society?

Portugal Week June 8th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, this week across the country Canadians of Portuguese origin are hosting Portugal Week, a festival of celebration and good cheer. The highlight of this week is June 10, the Portuguese national day, a celebration of the many accomplishments of the Portuguese Canadian community. This day has historic significance as well for it is the anniversary of the death of the great poet, Luis Vaz de Camoes.

In my riding of Trinity-Spadina, the week's festivities are organized by the Alliance of Portuguese Clubs and Associations of Ontario. Among the events scheduled are a soccer tournament, art exhibits, a parade, as well as numerous concerts featuring internationally recognized Portuguese entertainers.

I would like to salute members of the Portuguese community in my riding for their contribution to the cultural life of Toronto and of Canada during this their week of celebration.

Royal Canadian Legion June 2nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the Royal Canadian Legion's decision to prohibit the wearing of religious headwear in Legion halls shows a lack of respect and understanding of Canada's new reality.

While I understand that the wearing of hats in Legion halls is seen as a lack of respect for those who died in battle, I in no way see religious head coverings as hats and therefore as disrespectful.

I believe this to be an issue about the definition of Canada. Our institutions have a responsibility, as is reflected here in this

House, to guarantee that all Canadians are treated equally and that no one is in any way discriminated against.

Science And Technology May 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development.

With a global technological revolution taking place Canada's future prosperity depends in large part on our ability to forge partnerships between research institutions and the private sector, thereby creating spinoffs which will ultimately create high quality jobs for the future.

In the budget the government promised increased emphasis on science and technology. Could the secretary of state please provide an update on the progress that is being made to ensure Canada's potential is realized?