Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was money.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Canadian Alliance MP for North Vancouver (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2004, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

House Of Commons Standing Orders February 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be rising in the House today to join in the debate on the motion before us.

The Reform Party grew from a desire of a founding group of people who, among other things, wanted to bring real accountability to the government. This government motion is another step toward that goal.

There should be opportunity for input by the people who elected us. I congratulate the government for its new approach of direct consultation. There should be the opportunity for freer votes and I congratulate the government for its promise to move forward on this proposal and introduce freer votes to the House.

There should be more opportunity for individual MPs to have an influence on legislation before the House at the committee stages of a bill. I congratulate the government for taking the initiative in this respect. I give credit to the government for taking these steps and introducing these changes and for talking about other steps and changes.

The Reform Party also deserves credit for the part that it has played in getting to this point. We helped create the political situation conducive to change and along with it, I hope, a willingness to turn the talk about turning change into reality.

It is very important that the parliamentary reforms we introduce be meaningful and sincere. They must be effective and not just window dressing. The voters of Canada want substantial, useful and worthwhile changes and they want to be able to see the proof that these changes are being implemented.

The voters of Canada want actually to see the consultative process turn into a course of action by the government as suggested by the majority. They want to witness free votes in this House and they want to see that individual MPs can have an influence on the new legislation as it is studied in committees.

Our view is that the government must be willing to accept changes to its legislation during the process and that it should not feel threatened by free votes or even the loss of a vote.

Greater flexibility in the process will mean better government for all of us and will help restore respect for Parliament from the people who elected us.

I am especially pleased that this motion includes provision for the procedure on House affairs committee to study and report on political reforms such as the introduction of recall.

Talking about recall usually causes an allergic reaction among politicians. I often see it on the other side of this House. The symptoms include chills of horror down the spine, uncontrollable nervous twitching, squirming in the seat, catcalls and the hurling of insults.

We should recognize this disease and name it recall phobia disease, meaning fear of recall. One cause of this disease is the widely held but totally incorrect belief that if a Liberal MP only got 40 per cent of the vote, the Reform supporters could get together with the NDP supporters and recall the Liberal MP simply because they held 60 per cent of the vote.

House Of Commons Standing Orders February 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I found the hon. member's speech very interesting, particularly in respect of the special interest groups and lobbies that we are all faced with from time to time.

It is very easy to react immediately and say that we should pass some sort of legislation to stop this, but I would just like to make the member aware of a process that some of us use in the Reform Party, that is having a special interest log book in the riding.

I would like to ask the member if perhaps he could take this approach as well. In my riding, whenever I tell special interest groups or write to tell them that I am making an entry into my special interest log book, the reaction is amazing. They become upset that they are going to be put in front of the people of my riding for scrutiny. It works very well for me. I wonder if the hon. member might consider that as an alternative to legislation that he can use immediately.

Social Security System February 3rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for an interesting speech.

The member shows great concern for people caught in the poverty trap and that is exactly what all of us have a concern for here. I would like to ask the member a question. I wonder if the member is familiar with a program that has been running in New York state which has saved the taxpayers about $21 million over the last few years while at the same time finding positions for people who have been on the welfare roles for a number of years.

The project involves a private company and it is involved in training with a different perspective. Instead of trying to teach new skills, and I do not deny there are times when these new skills are needed, what it does is search for and develop the skills that are already there, however basic they are.

Then it teaches how to search for a suitable job and it helps the person go to the interview and it does the follow up and eventually when the person is placed it does the follow up to make sure the person stays in the job.

After nine months of continuous employment the private company that did the training is paid about $5,000 for having placed the person.

As I said earlier that has saved about $21 million for the taxpayers over the last few years.

I would like to know if the member would agree that type of program could be useful in Canada, because about 85 per cent of the people placed are still in the same job after one year. It has a very high success rate.

This seems to be a way to save tax dollars while at the same time helping people get out of that welfare rut.

Health February 3rd, 1994

Yes, Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask the Minister of Finance if he feels he will be able to fairly consider the reintroduction of an export tax as the best way to discourage both smoking and smuggling.

Health February 3rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Minister of Finance.

In 1987 and 1988 the minister was on the board of directors of Imasco which owns Imperial Tobacco.

I would like to ask the minister if he could assure this House that his past association with Imasco-

Health February 3rd, 1994

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

The results of two studies released by the National Cancer Institute of the United States show that the incidence of colon and rectal cancer is higher among smokers than non-smokers. Also recent statistics show that lung cancer has now passed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women.

Does the Department of Finance officially recognize the role that cigarette smoking plays in the incidence of many cancers, heart and lung disease and that proposed reductions in the tax on cigarettes would increase both smoking and the incidence of these diseases?

Social Security System February 3rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for bringing up farming in relation to social support programs. As the member may know, I am originally from New Zealand where farmers were heavily subsidized to grow things like fat lambs and all sorts of products

that the world did not really need. Huge stocks of butter and lamb were put away in freezers for years and years.

As the member may also know, in New Zealand when there was a sudden debt crisis the subsidies ended rather abruptly, putting farmers on the same basis as other businesses. After all, farms are businesses.

I would like to give the member an example so that I can ask him a question. In New Zealand when the subsidies ended a lot of farmers initially went broke. It created a whole new climate for farming in which there had to be creativity and a look at where the market really should be.

All of the beans for beans and pork had been imported from the United States since the beginning of time. No one in New Zealand grew beans for baked beans. Today, because of the loss of subsidies and new creativity, New Zealand has become an exporting nation of beans to Australia and back to the United States.

There are more farmers in business today in New Zealand making more money than they ever did under the subsidy programs. I would like to ask the member if he agrees that there needs to be some responsibility taken by the farmers to look for new markets and new opportunities in new products instead of always relying on the government to bail them out.

Social Security System February 3rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to the speech given by the hon. member. I enjoyed it very much, although for a while I wondered if he was talking about buzzwords and Newfie jokes more than the problem at hand.

However, he did mention at one stage rationalization being a bad word that meant terrible things. He gave me credit for bringing in the term improvement.

Companies that have had to go through a rationalization program have ended up with a better structure, more efficiency and a profitable situation from perhaps one that would have meant disaster before.

He also mentioned the term reality. I wanted to bring some reality to the discussion here and ask him a specific question. A person who retired on CPP in the early 1980s will collect almost five times what they contributed to CPP in their lifetime.

However, a 20-year-old today contributing to CPP will end up collecting less than three-quarters of what that person contributed. A similar problem exists with UI when a person

using the system can collect up to 17 times as much as they pay into the system.

Does the hon. member agree that the CPP and UI systems should be modernized or rationalized so that they are much more like true insurance rather than a system of transferring benefits from one person to another?

Income Tax January 26th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I can understand the minister's reticence in approaching this matter.

Last year, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth began voluntarily paying income taxes. It does seem quite contradictory that the Queen is paying income taxes and her representative in Canada is not doing so.

Will the minister approach the Governor General with a view to his voluntarily paying income taxes?

Income Tax January 26th, 1994

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

It was reported in the Gazette on January 22, 1994 that a government member for Newfoundland had approached the minister to ask him to change the Income Tax Act in order to have the Governor General pay income tax.

I have received a number of angry phone calls in North Vancouver concerning this report, in particular one from Mrs. Elinor Ryan who was shocked that not only did the Governor General not pay income tax but he could possibly be eligible for a GST rebate cheque since he has no taxable income.

I would like to ask the minister what steps he is taking to encourage the Governor General to pay income tax?