Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was horse.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2004, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Trade May 9th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, it is premature right now to speculate if the U.S. industry will petition for a trade remedy case against blueberries from Canada. Such investigations require formal petitions containing evidence if injury is due to dumping and/or subsidization. We are not aware of any such evidence so far.

National Volunteer Week April 29th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, April 27 to May 3 has been declared National Volunteer Week.

I rise today in order to recognize the many volunteers who serve in my riding of Dufferin--Peel--Wellington--Grey. Volunteers in my riding come from a variety of social, cultural, business, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Thanks to their commitment and involvement, volunteers have been able to provide the very best programs and efficient services throughout Dufferin--Peel--Wellington--Grey.

I would also like to congratulate those who helped organize special events to celebrate the achievements of the many volunteers in my riding, such as the region of Peel's volunteer recognition events.

Volunteers give of their time and of themselves to make their communities a better place in which to live. Their hard work and dedication serve as an inspiration to us all.

Kinsmen Club April 10th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the Kinsmen Club of Mount Forest in my riding of Dufferin--Peel--Wellington--Grey on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.

The Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of Canada represent the country's largest all-Canadian service organization, made up of Canadian men and women gathered together in clubs for the purpose of bettering their communities by performing hands-on service work, fundraising for important community projects, and having fun.

I myself have been a member of the Kinsmen Club of Mount Forest for over 25 years, and have seen firsthand the hard work and dedication this organization has provided in my community.

The association's mission statement is one that we could all stand to live by which is “Grow. Learn. Make friends. Have fun”. The Kinsmen Club of Mount Forest has been serving the community's greatest need now for 40 years and I wish to congratulate it.

Free Trade Agreements April 3rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, at the outset I would like to say right off the bat that the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Minister for International Trade do not support Motion No. 391.

One of the key objectives of the Government of Canada is the promotion of prosperity. From trade and foreign policy perspectives, there are two key elements required to meet this objective.

First, we need to foster the expansion of Canada's international and economic interests abroad. This is achieved by gaining and maintaining market access for Canadian goods and services and by supporting and protecting Canadian investment interests in foreign markets.

Second, the government policy needs to support a secure and predictable business environment. This is critical if we are to successfully attract foreign investment into Canada and create a competitive environment where the import of ideas, goods, services and capital can be combined with Canada's resources.

How can Canada benefit from investment flows? Capital flows worldwide have grown rapidly in recent years, far faster than trade over the past two decades, and have contributed to global economic integration. Canada is an active player in this global economy. For example, Canadian direct investment abroad more than quadrupled from $98 billion in 1990 to $432 billion in 2002. Over the same period, direct investment in Canada more than doubled, from $131 billion to $349 billion in 2002. It is interesting to note that since 1996 Canadian direct investment abroad has surpassed foreign direct investment in Canada.

These dramatic figures underline the fact that Canadian businesses know that if they are to prosper they must compete internationally. Many Canadian companies not only export their goods and services but have also established production facilities abroad through international investment or established a commercial presence in foreign markets in order to supply their services. Other companies have significant minority ownership in companies in foreign markets. International investment is thus becoming a central element for success in today's global economy. As such, the Canadian business community has established high standard and internationally agreed upon rules that ensure a level and transparent playing field and include recourse for impartial dispute settlements, which is critical for companies who invest abroad.

Outward investment plays an important role in promoting Canada's interests. Outward foreign direct investment creates jobs abroad and at home as it strengthens the commercial links between countries by establishing a presence in foreign markets and by sharing Canadian expertise. It also increases the export of our goods and services.

This positive link between outward investment and jobs at home was highlighted in a 1999 OECD study of 14 countries, which estimated that each dollar of outward investment generated $2 of additional exports. This is good for us as an exporting country.

On the flip side, foreign investment in Canada is a major source of economic growth and an important contributor to the creation of jobs here at home, often higher paying and more highly skilled ones. In addition, research shows that inward foreign investment spurs innovation by bringing new ideas and technologies to our companies, providing much needed additional capital, and contributing to exports. Such investment makes our country economically stronger and contributes to a higher quality of life for all Canadians.

Why does Canada need investment agreements? Given the important contribution made by international investment to the economy of all countries, it is not surprising that governments are increasingly establishing the frameworks necessary to create an attractive investment environment. For many countries, this has meant simplification or abolition of investment screening mechanisms, the easing of sectoral investment restrictions, and the opening of entire sectors to foreign investment.

Frequently, these domestic efforts to improve the investment climate have been augmented by the international agreements, which provide rules at the international level to promote and protect investments.

The desire of government to facilitate freer flows of international investment through international rule-making is reflected in the dramatic increase of the number of bilateral investment treaties, BITs, during the 1990s. These treaties were designed to provide predictability, protection and transparency, and access for investors in specific priority and emerging economies. There are now in the range of 2,000 BITs worldwide, compared to less than 400 at the beginning of the 1990s.

At the regional and multilateral level, groups of countries have begun to pursue investment rule-making. Arrangements as diverse as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, and the Southern Cone Common Market have all made commitments to the development of rules reflecting and liberalizing investment policies.

Typically, these agreements focus on improving the conditions under which investments are made and include key principles such as: transparency, by providing open reporting and publishing of national investment rules and relevancy regulation changes so that investors can have a clear understanding of the rules of the game; non-discrimination, by undertaking obligations not to discriminate against investors on the basis of their nationality; protection, by ensuring fair and equitable treatment in accordance with the customary international law standards for the treatment of aliens, compensation in the event of expropriation, and free cross-border transfer of funds; and finally, the impartial dispute settlement mechanism, which we have used many times, by providing binding dispute settlement procedures to settle disputes arising from alleged breaches of the obligations taken by the parties.

A medium-sized and open economy such as Canada has supported these principles in the international trade and investment area. This is what Canada has promoted in numerous international negotiations, including the NAFTA and our bilateral Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements, FIPAs. The rules within the NAFTA and the FIPAs provide a framework of disciplines to encourage efficient resolution of disputes and greater consistency in legal and policy regimes. These rules are often for a greater measure of security for Canadian investors through assurances that national policies would not be changed unduly or applied in a discriminatory manner.

Canada has numerous agreements which contain investment protection rules and provide recourse for impartial investment state dispute settlement. These rules ensure that business investors would be treated even-handedly and in accordance with international law by setting out dispute resolution procedures to resolve disputes between the investor and the host government.

I believe that Motion No. 391 is redundant because we already have the rules in place.

Export Development Canada March 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, our aerospace industry is now the third largest in the world. Our aerospace products are recognized internationally. They are renowned for their superior quality and cutting edge technology. In the past 10 years, Canada's aerospace sales have more than doubled. This is something that we are very proud of.

Industry March 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the government is studying this right now and, quite frankly, the issue of imports remains most critical. The key factor for the steel producers and users in Canada is ensuring the free flow of steel in North America, and we are watching that.

Supply February 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, to answer the hon. member's question as to whether criminals would register their firearms, the answer is no, of course not.

I have firearms in my home right now. Let us say that somebody breaks into my house, steals my shotgun and ends up in Manitoba. An RCMP officer pulls that person off to the side of the road, for whatever reason. The shotgun is properly stored in the thief's truck. The officer will ask one question: “Is that your shotgun?” The guy will say “yes”.

Under the new system, when it is fully implemented, the officer will ask that individual to see the licence and registration. It is a stolen shotgun. It is not registered. The RCMP would now have a criminal at the side of the road and the person would have to explain where he got the shotgun from. I would get my shotgun back.

Supply February 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am just trying to get my mind around the question as put forward. In essence what the member is asking is how much a life is worth. That is awful. That is absolutely awful. As far as I am concerned, what we have done with this registry is give the law enforcement people extra tools that they can work with. They have already thanked us, because this system is being accessed over 2,000 times a day. Quite frankly, when a statement like that is made, I just have to really wonder where the hon. member is coming from. I would like to talk to him about this after the debate here today, but as far as I am concerned, if this program saves even one life, it is worth the money.

Supply February 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, we have already heard the Minister of Justice put forward statistics on the murder rate within Canada, which is down, and on the crime rate in Canada, which is down.

I have heard the members across the way say, for instance, that criminals would not register their guns. This is absolutely true, but let me say that when RCMP officers happen to pull somebody off to the side of the road, we have given them an extra tool. They can now ask the individual for licence and registration, please, and if the gun is stolen it is obviously not registered. If is not registered, the RCMP has a criminal at the side of the road and is asking that individual where he or she obtained that firearm. They got the firearm through the black market, the underground. That is how we can, first, access the criminal activity of smuggling illegal firearms into Canada and, second, we can go after the people who are doing it. It is one more tool.

Supply February 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, in my position as parliamentary secretary for international trade I want to compliment the Minister for International Trade for the shrewd bargaining and negotiating that he is doing right now with the United States. He is just back from Tokyo on our agricultural issues and so on.

When the member across the way says these things about trade and everything else, yes, that has benefited Canada, but we have been in there renegotiating these deals to put it in the right perspective. In some of the cases that the member across the way mentioned, when the Conservatives made these deals, quite frankly in some of them they were signing a blank cheque. That has not been the direction of this government.

Finally I have to ask the member across the way, if the Conservatives are so fiscally prudent how many years would it have taken them? They were the ones who were overspending by $42.5 billion a year. How long would it have taken them to get the books back in order? Quite frankly, I think they would be very hard pressed to meet the standards we have set.