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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was province.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Avalon (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 58% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Natural Resources October 27th, 2004

Mr. Speaker--

Business of supply October 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, this is what disappoints me about using political rhetoric on an issue of major importance to Newfoundland and Labrador.

The hon. member did not mention that there are two options on the table. The first is the $1.4 billion over an eight year period. That is factual. However, the province does not have to accept that one. The province can accept the formula which the premier and the finance minister put on the table. If the price of oil goes up to $100 a barrel or $200 a barrel, or if more wells come on stream, or if more investment is made, revenues will climb and the equalization will climb up to the Ontario threshold level. That is very clear. There are two things on the table: the formula or the province can take the $1.4 billion now.

I find it strange that the premier, nor the finance minister, nor any member opposite has called me at any time over the last several months and asked for a meeting to discuss this important issue to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Business of supply October 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to speak on this very important issue of equalization and the development of offshore oil and gas off Newfoundland and Labrador. Allow me to begin this way for my colleague on the opposite benches.

This whole discussion started several months ago. This evening they are expressing their interest, but on not one occasion have the members for St. John's South or St. John's North asked a Newfoundland MP or the Newfoundland minister to meet with them to discuss this.

This is a big issue for Newfoundland and Labrador. Newfoundland and Labrador will be and is receiving 100% of the revenues. As we produce more oil, gas and wells and as there is more industry investment, there will be continual growth of revenues. I have confidence that this will happen and Newfoundland and Labrador will become a contributing province some time in the future. It will no longer be an equalization receiving province. We feel really confident about that and so does everybody in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Not once since last Thursday night has the premier or the member from Newfoundland called to express their concerns. There has been a lot of rhetoric and name calling coming from the politicians from Newfoundland and Labrador. I have not responded to it. I am waiting for a phone call to understand what they do not like about the deal. At least have a discussion about it. As the hon. member said, it does matter to all the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. He and I are citizens of that province, and we will remain citizens until the day we die. We do want the best benefit out of this deal for the province.

The premier and the Prime Minister discussed the 100%. They discussed a time line and the Ontario threshold. We will receive not only the revenues, but we also will receive the equalization up to those revenues over that eight year period, and there will be no clawback. Let there be no mistake in that. Even when we get to the Ontario threshold, there will be no clawback.

If and when we develop more resources and become an equalization non-receiving province, then it does not matter anyhow. Awhile ago, the Minister of Finance and premier also said that to me. However, while we are below that standard, the equalization will come in, as well as the revenues from the offshore development, and we are asking for that. However, the discussions between the premier and the Prime Minister put time lines and put the Ontario threshold as a cap.

Let it be clear. We have to get beyond the rhetoric. We have to sit down and talk about this and find out exactly where this went wrong. The deal is still on the table. I am interested in learning from the premier, personally, and from the Minister of Finance exactly what the issue is and where the deal fell apart.

Natural Resources October 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, Newfoundland and Labrador is receiving 100% of the revenues. Right now, the issue is equalization on top of the revenues. They keep referring to the revenues. The deal that was committed by the Prime Minister and the premier during the election is a deal that was negotiated.

Last Thursday evening, when they concluded negotiations between the finance minister of Newfoundland and the finance minister of Canada, the premier called me and said that it was going for sign-off and to make sure that sign-off was done.

I made sure the sign-off was done, not--

Natural Resources October 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, when I give my word, I give my word, unlike the hon. member.

Let me tell the hon. member this. The deal that was committed between the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Prime Minister during the election is the deal that is being given to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador today. It is no less and it is no more.

Natural Resources October 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely false. The Government of Canada does not intend to claw back revenues on the offshore oil in any other areas. Newfoundland and Labrador is receiving 100% of the revenues and it will receive 100% of the equalization, something that you would never commit to and something the former government took--

Natural Resources October 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. Unlike the former Tory government in Newfoundland and Labrador that wrote the Atlantic accord and put the offset mechanism in there where Newfoundland would only receive 30% with no clawback and equalization, this government is allowing 100% revenues and 100% equalization. That is true.

Gasoline Prices May 13th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I made a commitment to the House on three occasions in the past several days.

We are very concerned about the price of gas. We know it is an international problem. The price of oil per barrel has escalated to above $40 U.S. We know the companies are doing an excellent job out there. They are performing very well producing oil and gas all across this country. What we have said very clearly is if there are any problems, they will be reported to the Competition Bureau and we will check them out.

We are concerned and we are checking out every possibility to deal with the issue at hand.

Gasoline Prices May 12th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, what is it the hon. member does not understand about economics? It is supply and demand. When there is a greater demand, up goes the price. If he needs a course on it, I will give him a full explanation after question period.

Gasoline Prices May 12th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I said to all hon. members in this House last Friday that I will talk to the pricing commissioners in Newfoundland and Labrador, in P.E.I. and in Quebec. I will also talk to the industry stakeholders out in western Canada. The Competition Bureau is doing an investigation because of complaints from consumers, based on no facts, just based on complaints from consumers.

When all of that is done, I will report back to the House on my discussions with each one of those organizations.