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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

Supply March 22nd, 1994

Madam Speaker, with regard to the debt and the infrastructure program, has the hon. member considered the whole concept of the amount of our debt and what we should do with regard to it?

Unemployment is a direct result of overtaxation. Canadian consumers have less disposable income and consequently companies have more expensive products with fewer people trying to buy them. The infrastructure program should be dealt with as an infrastructure program and nothing else. It does not create any permanent jobs. It increases government debt.

Supply March 22nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to express some gratitude on behalf of Tom Hanks who, had the Minister of Human Resources Development sought a different career, may not have won the award he received last night.

I would like to point out a couple of things. The minister talked about the apprenticeship programs, student loans, the youth service corps. He lumps them all together and says that we reject them. That is wrong. Certain programs have more merit than others.

For example, the apprenticeship program leads specifically to a direct career job and is something well worth pursuing. On the other hand to say that our poor youths after graduating from college can be helped by putting them in a make work community project which does nothing to enhance their career expectations may not be good value spent.

I would look to the unemployment insurance rebates. We often hear about smoke and mirrors. Let us look at that particular one. After we carry away the mirrors and disperse the smoke what we have is a raise in UI premiums by the government which, even before it implemented it, says: "We have created another job in small companies". I would suggest if that were true what the minister should have done was raise the rates by $3 instead of the 30 cents. Then the government could have knocked that entire $3 off and would have had 10 times as many jobs.

If the infrastructure program is needed, fine. Let us talk about the need for infrastructure repair. Let us not bring in the smoke and mirrors again and call it job creation because it does not create jobs. We have already discussed at length the fact that most of these jobs will be put to contract which will go to companies that have their crews and it will not create any new employment at all.

In creating the jobs we are talking about, the government will spend $70,000, according to studies, to create a $35,000 job which produces a $10,000 benefit to the government.

To create jobs for $1.6 million worth of people we would need $96 billion. Even if the roof of this building opened up and that money dropped in and it was spent without increasing the deficit, we would still have no jobs at the end of that year when that money was spent. The government's infrastructure program does not create employment. It simply addresses a different problem and the problem remains.

How is the government going to bring on long term jobs when it maintains the old Liberal strategy of tax and spend and not addressing the deficit?

Unemployment Insurance Commission March 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question on this matter for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

The assistant campaign manager of the unsuccessful Liberal candidate in my riding is stating that he is being appointed to the board of referees in that riding. Is this individual telling the truth?

Unemployment Insurance Commission March 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the board of referees of the Unemployment Insurance Commission in my riding has now ceased to function due to a shortage of members. For over two months my office has attempted contact with the office of the Minister of Human Resources Development regarding this matter but there has been no response.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resource Development. Will the he state when these important positions will be filled and what process will be used to ensure that the appointments will be based on merit and not on patronage?

Supply March 8th, 1994

Madam Speaker, the hon. member who just spoke has obviously spoken with a lot of personal passion as to her feelings on this matter.

Although there have been many inequities in the past and no doubt some forms of discrimination, one cannot make that right overnight. It has been suggested that 52 per cent of the constituents in this country are women. Why do they need special concessions in order to have the amount of elected representatives proportionate to the number of people who are out there if they have 52 per cent of the vote?

It seems that women get to make these choices as well. There should be no obstacles placed in front of a candidate seeking election, male or female. However, given that 52 per cent, the majority of all the voters, are women why then do we have to provide special incentives and special clauses for women in order that they get elected?

There were some suggestions made that I heard a number of times that one has to have more women as members of Parliament since one cannot have representation for women with men since men are not able to properly represent women's issues. Does that suggest that wherever we have a riding with a woman representative the men's issues are not looked after? I think not and I would not agree with that any more than I agree with the latter.

It was suggested that lobbying is a male occupation. Lobbying is also something that is kind of looked down upon now and we are trying to cut down on the number of people who are lobbyists. Why would women want to get into a profession that we have been trying to squeeze out and put down because it is simply not one that is appropriate for this day and age of Parliament?

I would suggest that the right way for us to go is to end inequities, to give the same opportunity for all people. By all means, women should have every right to reach whatever their potential is. There is absolutely nothing that says in a free society in which there is absolutely no discrimination that there will be equal numbers of men and women in every occupation. That is absolutely absurd.

There are things that women do better than men in some areas and there are things that men do better than women in other areas because of physical attributes or because of many other different things in their make-up. I would suggest that what we have to do is be equal, give them the same opportunities. Whatever is the

proper proportion will evolve. We cannot change the system overnight.

Cigarette Smuggling February 10th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, it seems that some customs houses are also not aware of the plans of the revenue minister. As I understand it, the American customs are not co-operating in this action plan and are closing at their regular hours.

Could the minister explain the rationale of how opening up the Canadian side of customs was supposed to end smuggling in the first place?

Cigarette Smuggling February 10th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Revenue.

Yesterday I learned that many customs ports with limited hours of operation will now be open 24 hours a day as part of the government's action plan on smuggling. An hour later I learned that this decision was largely reversed.

Could the minister explain to the House why such a massive program was instituted without first informing all MPs and why these ill-conceived plans were just as abruptly cancelled?

Government Appointments February 8th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, for nine years the Liberal Party complained, and rightly so, about patronage appointments of unqualified people by the Conservative government.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. What procedure has his department developed to ensure that all appointments in his department are based on merit, not patronage?

1996 British Columbia Summer Games February 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House to announce that the neighbouring cities of Trail and Castlegar in the riding of Kootenay West-Revelstoke have jointly been selected as the location for the 1996 British Columbia Summer Games.

Kootenay West-Revelstoke is made up of many small towns and communities, the largest having a population of about 10,000.

The games are traditionally held in large urban areas but nowhere will visitors find the hospitality and enthusiasm that will be present during the 1996 games. The two towns are representative of the spirit and hospitality which can be found throughout the riding.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all members of the House and all of their constituents to visit the most breathtaking area in western Canada and to enjoy the spirit of the games and the hospitality of my riding.

Unemployment Insurance February 2nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have been receiving a growing number of letters from constituents regarding unemployment insurance premiums and benefits, one of which reads as follows:

As an unemployed person who is required to pay unemployment insurance premiums, I am incensed at the recent government decision to increase premium rates instead of reducing program costs. My after tax dollars are scarce to begin with, I don't need them shrunken further!

Unemployment insurance should provide only benefits for people who find themselves unexpectedly out of work. I cannot afford all the other benefits the government seems to want to build into the system.

The letter lists seven items which the writer thinks should be cut. I will provide a copy of that to the appropriate minister.

The letter concludes:

As the Member of Parliament for my riding, I request your support in making the unemployment insurance system more effective and affordable.