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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was money.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Conservative MP for Southern Interior (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act November 22nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I actually enjoyed the comments of my colleague from the NDP. There are a couple of points coming from his party that I am very interested in. I just wanted to clarify them and see if I have indeed heard right.

One was that he endorsed generally the Irish system, which gives free post-secondary education based on one's skills and ability to learn. It is not free for everyone. It is free for those who have the aptitude and the capacity to learn and the will to do that. If indeed that is what the NDP is supporting as opposed to free education for all, it would be a switch in its policy.

Second was that there would be free boarding and/or free food, or at least grants towards that, and it would be based essentially on a means test. It would not be free for everyone; it would be free for those who need it. Frankly, I am very much in agreement with that.

The third thing is the advocating of free post-secondary education. He went on quite eloquently about it, explaining how the community benefits when these people come back into the community and the benefits they would provide to their communities, their regions and indeed the country. However, the problem we would have with this is that we already find that we are pretty heavily hit by campaigners and recruiters from the United States industry. What would we do if we provided free education for our students and the benefits then indeed went down to the United States in answering one of these recruiters?

Could he clarify those first two things, that they are indeed what he and his party are supporting, and on the third one, how we would deal with Canada providing free education and the United States, among other countries, getting all the economic benefit from it?

Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act November 22nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the hon. member talking about how wonderful the student loan program is. I would like to inform him that as a fourth term member of Parliament I have run into a lot of problems that young constituents have had with that program, two that I would like to share with him and ask him for comments on.

One problem is students who find themselves coming out of our education system, expensive as it is, with tremendous debt and then finding it very difficult to get a job. Consequently they have great difficulty in making the payments. As soon as they miss a payment, they go into default and they start getting hounded for payments. It actually was so bad in the case of a mentally disturbed person in my riding who received funding that it ended up being a contributing factor in her suicide.

What we have suggested is that loans should be income contingent. In other words, they should be repaid according to the salary the students are making. If they get a high salary, they pay it a little faster. If they have a very low salary, they pay a lower amount that is affordable. If they find themselves out of work for a period of time, payments and the clock under the loan basically should be stopped.

The second problem is that we have many students who have difficulty getting the loans. One of the impediments in their way is the means test for the parents. If the parents make over a certain income, students cannot get a loan from this program even though the parents may have no ability or no intention to provide funding for their children. Why should the children be penalized because of that? We would like to see the program change so that it is not contingent on the parental income, that is, so that it is based on the student needs. I would be interested in hearing the comments of the hon. member on those two items.

Committees of the House November 3rd, 2004

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Transport.

Pursuant to an order of reference of the House of Tuesday, October 19 the committee considered Bill C-4, an act to implement the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment. The committee has decided to report the same back to the House without amendment.

I appreciate the cooperation of all members and staff of the committee for passing the bill quickly so we can focus on the more contentious issues of transport.

Criminal Code October 13th, 2004

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-205, an act to amend the Criminal Code (eliminating conditional sentencing for violent offenders).

Mr. Speaker, when former justice minister Allan Rock introduced conditional sentencing, judges started giving it to violent offenders such as people who had committed crimes like rape. The public was outraged andwe raised it in the House. The minister said that he never intended that it should apply to violent offenders, yet the government, after all these years, has still not made that correction. Schedule I and Schedule II offenders should not have access to conditional sentencing.

Surely the government will support this legislation. Its own minister who brought it in said that it was never intended to apply to violent offenders. This is the government's opportunity to correct that mistake.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Corrections and Conditional Release Act October 13th, 2004

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-204, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (elimination of statutory release) and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

Mr. Speaker, currently convicted criminals get out of jail automatically at two-thirds of their sentence, sometimes going from administrative segregation straight into the public sector. Even the Parole Board does not have the power to stop it.

Recently in Okanagan Valley we had yet another murder by one of these people who was released and who was known to have tendencies toward violence, but got out of jail automatically. Paroles should be earned, not given automatically. Then they would be taken more seriously.

This is long overdue and I hope the government will support the bill.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

VIA Rail Commercialization Act October 13th, 2004

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-203, an act respecting the commercialization of VIA Rail Canada Inc..

Mr. Speaker, there are only three viable reasons for rail: commuter rail wholly provided by the private sector far more cost effectively than VIA Rail; rail tourism provided without subsidy at all by the private sector; and in remote regions for transportation that can be provided far more effectively and studies have proved that.

My bill would move VIA Rail toward commercialization instead of continuing to get half a million dollars a day subsidy, which it has been getting ever since we came to this place in 1993.

If the government is serious about cutting wasteful programs, this would be a great place for it to start.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Democracy May 4th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, democracy is defined in part as a government that is periodically elected and thus controlled by the people who live under it and the ideals and principles of such a government, such as the rule of the majority. How does that square with the current Prime Minister?

He is the man who voted in favour of preserving the traditional definition of marriage before being elected leader, then reversed his position after being elected. When asked about a referendum to let the people decide, he said there was no doubt that Canadians would vote to uphold the traditional definition of marriage and he could not allow the majority to override the wishes of the minority.

He is also the man who claimed he wanted democratic reform in the House but refused to allow a free vote on the useless, money consuming firearms registry. In fact there has not been a free vote on any legislation since he became PM.

This lack of democracy even reaches the Senate where the PM's Liberal lackeys used closure to force through Bill C-250 which stifles freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression.

About the only chance for democracy is for the Canadian public to replace the Prime Minister with a leader who will follow the real concepts of a true democracy.

The Prime Minister April 2nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the coming election is all about trust. As finance minister, the Prime Minister cut health and social transfers by $25 billion. His cuts devastated the health care system, doubling wait times for Canadians. His social transfers also devastated education, doubling tuition costs for students. He reduced military funding and increased the gas tax, without providing increased funding for highway infrastructure. Now he wants us to believe that he is the person who will save us from his own actions.

How can Canadians trust their future to the man who caused all the problems in the first place?

Sponsorship Program April 2nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals claimed that the opposition tried to block the testimony of Chuck Guité but the exact opposite was true. We simply wanted the old staledated testimony to be released in conjunction with the new live testimony scheduled for April 22.

The Liberal members wanted the old testimony released before the parliamentary break to enable them to claim the public had a scapegoat and the Liberals could call an election. Devastating polls may now thwart the PM's plan.

Why were the Liberal members not prepared to wait two parliamentary sitting days before releasing two year old testimony?

Criminal Code March 12th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, in listening to my hon. colleague I could not help but note the irony that the government will not do anything about raising the age of consent for such an important life decision as that for a 14 year old, while at the same time it recognizes some inherent problems for young people. It tells them they cannot smoke a cigarette until they are 16, but it is okay to have sex when they are 14. They can drive a car when they are 16. They have to wait until then and even then, in some provinces there is a graduated system so that we still have some controls when they start to drive at age 16.

The government in its enlightenment says that someone is not capable, not mature enough to select the person who is going represent them in government. Given that the people who are old enough and supposedly mature enough have elected a Liberal government, maybe it suggests we should be opening it up to younger people to make those kinds of decisions.

The government is saying that people have to be 18 years old before they can make an informed decision on who is going to represent them in government. When we pass laws in this country, we make decisions that probably have far more impact on the young people coming up into adulthood than they do on us who make those decisions.

I wonder if the hon. member could comment on the fact that the government recognizes or at least claims that a child is not mature enough to vote for the person who is going to enact the laws that affect him or her until he or she is 18, yet that child can make such life changing decisions dealing with sexuality at age 14.