Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was industry.

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

Lost his last election, in 2004, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions February 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions that ask Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Petitions February 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I too have several petitions today.

The first one requests that Parliament make the necessary changes to convert open net-cage salmon farms in order to make farm salmon a truly sustainable and healthy food choice.

Business of the House February 3rd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, as a western MP I am extremely disappointed with yesterday's throne speech.

There was nothing in it that addressed the absolutely critical softwood lumber issue in British Columbia and in fact all of Canada. The BSE issue which has devastated the beef producing industry was not mentioned. Fisheries issues on either coast, including the huge issue of straddling stocks off the east coast of Canada, were not addressed in any meaningful way whatsoever.

There are regulatory roadblocks to our resource industries, especially in British Columbia, where we are trying to get the economy back up and running. We cannot get on with the oil and gas issue. Mining companies are trying to go into production with new properties and are running into horrendous red tape and problems with DFO and various other environmental problems. There is nothing for rural Canada.

Why did the government choose to ignore rural Canada in this quasi throne speech election document?

Petitions February 3rd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to present a present a petition from several hundred members of my riding, specifically the Prince Rupert area, regarding salmon farming. In the petition, they ask that Parliament pass the necessary legislation to make farmed salmon a truly sustainable and healthy food choice.

Fisheries October 30th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from St. John's West for moving this important motion. It is extremely critical to the people of Newfoundland. Certainly it has repercussions right across Canada when we look at the west coast as well, where I am from. The motion is very timely and very appropriate.

The crux of the problem is that a coastal state like Canada does not have rights to the water column above the continental shelf where it extends beyond the exclusive economic zone. We have jurisdiction over sedentary species, but we do not have exclusive fishing rights for fin fish that swim over the continental shelf. Therein lies the problem with the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap.

Currently the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization has the mandate to control and manage that fishery. The mandate is the conservation and management of fish stocks within the area and outside the 200 mile limit of the coastal states which comprise Canada, the U.S.A., France for St. Pierre and Miquelon, and Denmark for Greenland. NAFO's objectives are to promote the optimal utilization, rational management and conservation of the fishery resources of the convention area. It is an admirable mandate, but certainly it has not met the expectations established at the beginning.

I would like to quote a few witnesses who gave evidence before the committee when it was on the east coast studying this issue some 18 months ago:

NAFO was an organization that failed desperately in controlling and managing the stocks on the edge of our continental shelf.

NAFO is really an extremely ineffective organization in terms of enforcing its members to be compliant with its own rules and regulations.

NAFO is clearly not working as it is presently structured.

NAFO is a useless organization because of the objection procedure.

I can tell you, NAFO is not working and NAFO will not work.

It goes on and on. Another witness stated:

The reason it is not working is because the enforcement is left to the member nations. Clearly, they feel that they can flagrantly violate the regulations and rules. They can go out and vote the quotas, and participate. The conservationists can be outnumbered by those with self-interest. It fails on two levels. It fails because the rule setting is not in compliance with scientific advice and secondly, because the enforcement is left to the nations who are violating it for their own benefit. They are not enforcing it. Clearly, if you can be as flagrant as they have been, if you can fail to file your reports and still go fishing out of these countries, then it is just not being taken seriously.

Really that is the problem. We believe there is a solution. The committee believes there is a solution. There was a unanimous report. I was a member of that committee. That solution is custodial management.

Under a custodial management regime, Canada would assume sole responsibility for the management and conservation of the areas of our continental shelf beyond the 200 mile limit, the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap. However, foreign fishing interests would not be removed. Instead, historic allocation and access would be respected.

In 1990 the Oceans Institute of Canada emphasized this issue:

In short, conservation of fish stocks on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks must not be perceived as a “grab for a bigger piece of the pie” by Canada.... Furthermore, Canada must make it clear that the purpose of such unilateral action would not be for Canada to claim a sole right to harvest straddling stocks on the high seas; rather, the purpose of such action is to preserve Canada's interests, and the interests of the international community, in the conservation of these stocks.

We are talking about straddling stocks. These are fish stocks that swim sometimes inside the 200 mile limit which we control, and sometimes outside. There is no fence there to stop them. We can manage that fishery resource within our limits but once they swim across that 200 mile line they are fair game for anybody and everybody. Therein lies the problem.

The essential purpose of custodial management would be to establish a resource management regime that would provide comparable standards of conservation and enforcement for all transboundary stocks inside and outside the 200 mile limit. A custodial management regime is a necessary and reasonable response to the failure of NAFO to rectify its current problems and to bring its members under control.

Recently the Senate issued a report on straddling fish stocks in the northwest Atlantic, and I would like to quote from page 61. It states:

The Committee recommends that, given the precarious state of the world’s fishery resource and the special interest that coastal states have in fish stocks adjacent to their 200-mile EEZs, the Government of Canada, in pursuing its foreign policy objectives in the area of sustainable development, forcefully begin to advance the notion in international forums that coastal states should be accorded a greater say in decision-making and an enhanced role in administering the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations to which they belong. Compatibility of management and conservation measures for straddling fish stocks, both inside and outside 200-mile EEZs should be the major objective sought by Canada.

That is the crux of the matter. The solution is custodial management. It can be done if the will to do it is there.

As recently as September 19, a news release was issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. It states:

Canada Cites Two EU Vessels for NAFO Violation

In the past week, Canadian NAFO inspectors have cited two European Union (EU) fishing vessels for serious violations of the NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures (NCEM) on the tail of the Grand Banks.

On September 13, Canadian NAFO inspectors from the patrol vessel Leonard J. Cowley boarded the Portuguese vessel Santa Mafalda in Division 3O. The inspectors estimate that 50% of the catch, approximately 50 tons, was American Plaice and other moratoria species.

On September 17, Canadian NAFO Inspectors operating from the HMCS Charlottetown boarded the Portuguese trawler Joanna Princesa in Division 3O. The inspectors estimate that 30% of the catch, approximately 30 tons, was American Plaice and other moratoria species.

That was 30 tonnes or 60,000 pounds of fish.

This problem is ongoing. Reports have come out over a number of years crying for action from the government to deal with this issue. The solution is very obvious. The solution is custodial management. It will work on either coast of Canada. We can see problems coming in the future on the west coast. Fisheries are in trouble on either coast. We are having difficulties. We have to deal with the issue in Newfoundland, and the member for St. John's West has the solution.

I urge the House to support Motion No. 136 to ensure that we can deal with this problem into the future.

Energy October 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the line is very questionable, but I will approach that later.

My supplementary question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

There is a huge potential in Canada for clean green power generation through the use of wind driven generators. Legislation to provide clear direction and guidelines to the industry is not readily available.

Why will the Minister of Natural Resources not recognize the clean power generating opportunities of this industry and put in place the needed guidelines instead of allowing his bureaucrats to create difficulties for the growth of this industry in Canada?

Taxation October 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, in May of this year I contacted the finance minister asking for an explanation as to why the northern resident tax benefit did not apply to such remote areas as Kitkahta in Skeena riding. To date I have not received a reply.

Why do many truly remote areas, such as Kitkahta and in fact the entire Queen Charlotte Islands as well, not qualify for this deduction? Believe me, they really deserve it.

2010 Winter Olympics October 20th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the quest for a 2010 Winter Olympics mascot is underway and I want to assist in that task. In the Skeena riding region of northwestern British Columbia, there exists a rare species of black bear called the kermode.

This bear, known as muks-kum-ol by the Tsimshian people, is not an albino but actually a genetic white colour phase of the black bear. Found only in northwestern B.C., this animal would make a perfect mascot for the Vancouver/Whistler winter games.

What better promotion for an area of B.C. that deserves recognition and what better worldwide recognition for the Olympics than an animal as a mascot that is totally unique to B.C.?

I would urge those involved in the decision to choose our white/black bear as a proud mascot for the world stage in the years culminating at Vancouver/Whistler in 2010.

Northwest Corridor Development October 10th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, next week the port city of Prince Rupert will host the annual meeting of the Northwest Corridor Development Corporation. This group has a mandate to promote east-west transportation routes along the rail, highway and pipeline systems from central North America to tidewater in Prince Rupert. This less utilized but extremely viable transportation option can and will over time alleviate pressure and congestion at major ports to the south.

In Prince Rupert, a new container facility is in the planning stages, along with required rail upgrades to handle double-stacked rail cars. The offshore oil and gas potential is very real. New pipeline projects to the coast are under discussion, and currently a cruise ship dock is under construction.

Despite current economic woes, the future of northwest British Columbia looks positive. Groups such as the Northwest Corridor Development Corporation assist greatly in bringing reality to this dream. I wish the group every success at its annual general meeting next week.

Supply October 2nd, 2003

Madam Speaker, my background is in municipal politics, relatively small community municipal politics so when the member opposite spoke about the problems with smaller municipalities and so on, it piqued my interested. However I suspect very strongly that his definition of a small municipality and my definition are somewhat different.

I come from a province that has a lot of very small communities where 8,000, 10,000 or 12,0000 people would be deemed to be a large community. I suspect the definitions are somewhat different.

Certainly I agree when the member opposite states that there is a fairly disproportionate amount of funding going to the larger communities. The problem I have as a member from a smaller rural area with small communities is that these funds, these gas taxes and certainly infrastructures funds as well, seem to be tailored around the demands and the requirements of the large municipalities with populations of 100,000 and up, of which there are not a lot in British Columbia. There is Kamloops, Prince George, Kelowna, a few on Vancouver Island, Victoria, and then of course Vancouver that probably fit the bill. However the smaller rural communities just do not fit.

In my estimation, most of these cost sharing programs fit the bill for the urban communities, not the rural communities. The little rural communities are left out. Yet the wealth of Canada comes from our small rural remote areas. Whether it is oil and gas, or minerals, gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper, most of it comes from more remote areas with small communities. Timber resources do not tend to be in downtown Vancouver. They logged that 120 years ago. The timber is in the north where the small communities are. Yet great amounts of money are generated, in terms of income tax, gas taxes and fuel taxes, that go to the federal government but very little of that comes back to these small communities.

That is a real travesty. It is something with which we need to deal. Small rural communities are definitely shortchanged. Quite often they cannot fit infrastructure programs, for instance, because they are cost sharing and they do not have the wherewithal to come up with their share. They have a very limited tax base and in some instances basically none because all the workers have moved out to bigger cities. It is just a huge problem for smaller communities.

Does the member have any suggestions as to how we could better assist, in a financial way, the small rural communities that are really truly the backbone of Canada.