House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was reform.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Kitchener—Waterloo (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Criminal Code September 20th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The previous speaker referred to the fact that if one had some experience in the criminal justice system. I wish to inform the hon. member that for 15 years I worked with victims and offenders in the criminal justice system.

Criminal Code September 20th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have a comment and a question for the member of the Reform Party.

It seems like every time we deal with the issue of crime and justice which is certainly a very difficult issue, I get the impression that they would have us be like the United States of

America with the death penalty and sentences that go into hundreds of years.

The member made a comment about not talking the talk but walking the walk. I wonder if the member is aware of a number of studies that have been done particularly the one by Dr. Anthony Doob, one of the foremost experts in the area of public perception of the judicial system. The points Dr. Doob made in his conclusions were based on the following.

He gave a group of people the transcripts of what actually went on in a court case. Covering the same court case, he had another group of people who got the reports from the printed media. The findings were that people who responded on the appropriateness of the sentences and who used the media as the source of their information in many cases had the same attitude espoused by members of the Reform Party such as the justice system is not working and that judges are being much too lenient.

The other group of people who had transcripts to refer to so they could decide if the sentencing judge had given an appropriate sentence concluded that the system was working quite well and that in some cases the judicial system was more harsh than it needed to be. The public even proposed that things like fine option programs and alternatives to incarceration should be tried.

The question I want to pose is this. Surely the members of the Reform Party recognize that we do not, in Canada, follow the model of the United States in terms of criminology. We happen to be a little bit more enlightened. Surely the member of the Reform Party recognizes that Canada is a much safer society than is the United States. If capital punishment and the kind of justice they are talking about were to work, the United States of America would be a safe place to live. It is not. Compared to it, we are doing very well.

I am really troubled with this pandering to the worst misconceptions that the member and his party seem to cater to.

Habitat For Humanity June 22nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to inform the House that Catherine and Ron Hewson are cycling across Canada and have a support team of Irene and Jake Pauls travelling with them. The cross-Canada cycling trip started on May 28 in St. John's, Newfoundland, and they will reach Victoria, British Columbia, on July 29.

These young Canadians are from my riding. They are giving of their time and energies to promote Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity Canada was established in 1985 and now has 22 established affiliates in six provinces. More than 29 new affiliates are also forming in other provinces.

Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian housing ministry seeking to eliminate poverty housing world-wide and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.

I am pleased the Canadian headquarters for this excellent organization is located in Waterloo under the able leadership of Wilmer Martin. It is examples like these that make Canada a great place to live.

Petitions June 21st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to rise and present to this House the message I have received loudly from the people of the Waterloo region. They have sent hundreds of postcards, attended large public meetings and today petition this House for a moratorium on passenger rail service cuts. These 4,228 people call upon this House to preserve this vital link in our national transportation network.

I will be presenting thousands and thousands more petitions to this House on this issue. The message is simple. We want VIA Rail service in our community enhanced, not eroded.

Supply June 7th, 1994

Madam Speaker, unfortunately the way the Reform Party would handle the Constitution is the same way it would handle crime, rather simplistically.

A point needs to be made to the Bloc which has been making a great day of this. The Meech Lake accord did not receive popular support, but it did receive the support of three Canadian Prime Ministers from the province of Quebec: Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Brian Mulroney and certainly the present Prime Minister. That is important. The Charlottetown accord unified this country. It was unified in turning it down.

Supply June 7th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I have heard many motions on opposition days and I can say that this one is flim-flam. It is phoney. It is political opportunism.

We have a six to seven-part motion. There is absolutely no way I would support the leader of the Reform Party when he spoke this morning of their vision of what a new Canada is. There is absolutely no way.

I am going to refer to what the leader of the Reform Party said on January 20. There are all sorts of other quotes in Hansard that we can go to. This is the leader of the Reform Party speaking:

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that he does not want to reopen constitutional issues at this time and that the priority of his government is jobs and economic growth. Yet yesterday he and other members were repeatedly drawn into heated exchanges with Bloc members on the constitutional future of Quebec.

There are millions of Canadians, including Quebecers, who want Parliament to focus on deficit reduction, jobs and preserving social services.

Is the Prime Minister abandoning his commitment to stay out of the constitutional swamp or is it still his resolve to stick to economic, fiscal and social priorities?

That is exactly what the Liberal Party is doing. We are trying to get the economy going and get the country back on track.

Madam Speaker, I can say to you, as a comment, that I have found their position on this issue to be divisive for the country and helpful to the Bloc. The only comparison I will make is that the Bloc is at least honest and forthright about it. I cannot say the same thing about the Reform Party in terms of what it is doing.

What it wants to do is divide the country and it is doing it for crass political purposes.

Voluntary Firefighters June 1st, 1994

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise on this motion and to commend my colleague from Haldimand-Norfolk in his initiative.

There is no question that increasing the deduction from$500 to $1,000 for volunteer firefighters is long overdue.

In my capacity as local councillor I have had exposure to both professional and volunteer firefighters. In my community the quality of life would not be the same if it did not have volunteer firefighters. In a rural community it would be impossible to have a professional firefighter force.

When we talk about volunteer firefighters we are talking about volunteerism at its best. There is a real melting pot, what the community is about, and there are people who respond at all hours of the night, leaving their jobs to do so. There is no question that their employers are to be commended as well. I

really hope that at some point we do something to recognize firefighters in general.

I have attended far too many funerals involving firefighters. I recall part of the firefighter's prayer: "God, if it is your will that in the line of duty to save a child or a life I give my life, then I ask that you take care of my children and my wife". That kind of selfless devotion to duty and devotion to our fellow human beings is to be commended and recognized. I believe that this issue should be redressed and redressed now.

National Research Council June 1st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House of the Prime Minister's appointment this morning of Dr. Art Carty as president of the National Research Council.

Dr. Carty is a highly appropriate choice for this position. He has nearly 30 years experience as a professor and researcher at the University of Waterloo since 1967. His experience and leadership in the domestic and international scientific community are a fitting match with Canada's foremost research facility, the National Research Council.

Dr. Carty has been a director on various boards and has been a consultant to companies. Dr. Carty is therefore a model of the type of co-operation between the private sector and academia the government wants to promote.

Dr. Carty's appointment demonstrates the government's commitment to applied research which serves as one of the pillars of Canada's economic strategy in the new economy.

Budget Implementation Act May 31st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that there is a historical role to official opposition parties and third parties and other oppositions that are not official.

What I saw when I walked into this House today is something we see every day. Canadians come from across this country. They take pictures and have great respect for this institution of ours. It amazes me that if I were to listen to the debate in this House long enough I would get the impression we were a third world country and we were going to be bankrupt next week and the whole country was going to fall to pieces. We know that is not the case. I was looking forward to a kinder and gentler House. We started off talking about that but somehow the rhetoric since the start of this 35th Parliament has not followed that up.

Certainly on the second point the member says she is glad I am aware of Reform policies. The point that needs to be made is that most members of the House are new. The class of '93 has a different perspective from that of previous Parliaments.

I dare say the thinking of most parliamentarians who returned and have been here for a number of years-some have been here for a number of decades-has changed in terms of current realities. I like to think of myself as a small r reformer. I have been one ever since I have been involved in municipal politics and in community activity preceding that. I will continue to be a reformer a long time after I am gone from this place. In terms of high tech hurting small business, I guess in the new, changing economy we as a country have to make sure we are playing a major role.

I refer to my experience in the federal riding of Waterloo. It is the home of the University of Waterloo, an excellent technical university. It also has a good arts program. Sir Wilfrid Laurier University is down the street and is very strong in business. In our community we are very much players in the new economy. We are seeing the creation of thousands and thousands of jobs. I can only say that it is working for us. We have the lowest unemployment figures in Canada at 7.1 per cent. Of course many of our firms are exporting. It is amazing how many of our export firms are bringing hundreds of millions of dollars into the Canadian economy.

Budget Implementation Act May 31st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, let me respond to that. I will expect Reform Party members to support us whenever we say we are going to have a reduction but the feeling I always get from them is that we have not cut enough. There is not that sense that we have a balance in how much we have cut. I listened to the hon. member and the only thing missing was his saying that if we were to cut more his party would have supported it more. I am calling on that recognition to find a balance.

In the debate on the infrastructure program Reform Party members opposed it in general, as a party and as individuals. I can only point out that is part of the balanced approach and investing in the infrastructure of this country will give us the opportunity to have growth. That is a role for government in the expenditure of public funds. Private enterprise is not in the business of building public facilities such as roads, sewage treatment plants, and what have you.

I remind Reform members to be a little more balanced in terms of the cuts and to recognize that cuts alone without control are not going to solve our economic woes. We have to have a much more constrained level of spending. We have to be much more fiscally prudent. At the same time we also have investments to make which we as a government believe we have to do.