House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was peterborough.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Peterborough (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Welsh Heritage June 16th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the St. David's Society of Peterborough recently hosted the Gymanfa of the Ontario Welsh Festival. A highlight of the event was a performance by the Cantorion Glan Alun from Mold, Wales. As a result of that choir's visit to Ottawa, I rediscovered two Welsh facts associated with Parliament Hill.

First, the inscription in the Peace Tower chapel, "All's well for over there, among his peers, a happy warrior sleeps", is from the poem "The Returning Man" by John Ceredigion Jones.Mr. Jones was a Montrealer who was born in Wales and died in Chapleau, Ontario in 1947. He wrote the poem in Calgary in 1921-22.

Second, the name of 24 Sussex Drive is Gorffwysfa which means place of rest in Welsh. The house was built in 1867 by John Currier. I am not sure why a Welsh name was chosen.

I refer members interested in Welsh heritage to the Ottawa Journal for Remembrance Day, 1948 and to Maureen McTeer's book, Residences-Homes of Canada's Leaders .

Petitions June 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have a second petition from 107 people in Peterborough riding. These people are concerned about the sale of the so-called killer cards.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to amend the laws of Canada to prohibit the importation, distribution, sale and manufacture of so-called killer cards in law and to advise producers of killer cards that their products if destined for Canada will be seized and destroyed.

I have signed both these petitions.

Petitions June 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from almost 300 people in the township of Smith and other parts of Peterborough county. It concerns the selection of waste disposal sites.

I will summarize this extremely well phrased petition. The petitioners feel that the problems of selecting waste disposal sites are not being properly addressed at present. They also believe that good agricultural land is not being protected.

The petitioners request that Parliament refer this matter to the ministers of environment and agriculture in the hope that discussions with the provinces will result in a national approach to waste management.

Credit Card Interest Calculation Act June 7th, 1994

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. If we proceed by unanimous consent, would members who are interested in speaking not only to the motion but the substance of it have an opportunity to speak?

Trent University June 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, to mark the 25th anniversary of native studies at Trent University, the oldest native studies program in Canada, three prominent aboriginal Canadians were awarded honorary degrees. One recipient was Mohawk elder Ernie Benedict, who helped found the North American Indian Travelling College which through teaching helped preserve cultural traditions of native peoples. The college is based on Cornwall Island, Ontario.

Douglas Cardinal, the architect for the Canadian Museum of Civilization and many other structures in Canada and abroad also received an honorary degree. He was born in Alberta and spent most of his life there before moving his business to Ottawa.

The third recipient was Rosemarie Kuptana, president of the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, the voice of Canadian Inuit. Miss Kuptana worked with the CBC in the north and with the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation. She is a major figure in national and international aboriginal affairs.

We congratulate these distinguished Canadians. We also congratulate the native studies department of Trent University on 25 years of academic leadership.

I congratulate the member for Winnipeg South and his wife on the birth of their son.

Supply June 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the member's remarks and toward the end when he was talking about D-Day he got to the matter of heritage and national pride. I think he and the members of his party know that in the end the successful nations of the world, however we define successful, have not been built on technicalities, on formulae, on a technocratic approach to nationhood but in fact have been based on emotion and feeling, common heritage.

Quite often the successful nations have developed technical ways of channelling the energies which have come forward as a result of this national pride.

The speaker looked forward into the 21st century but the way we look forward into the 21st century is by looking honestly and clearly at the nation as it exists now.

The key features of the nation which we have now, this wonderful nation of Canada, this remarkable confederal system, have to do with the makeup of the population. We have for example hundreds of First Nations, aboriginal peoples who speak several families of languages and many scores of actual languages.

We also have, whether the member likes it or not, in the modern nation two founding nations, two groups of people, that feel a special responsibility, have a special place in the modern nation of Canada; the people who use the French language and people who, as their maternal language, use English.

In addition, and I am looking now in the mirror at Canada, we have over 200 first generation Canadians. Those people likely speak between them perhaps 300 of the world's 6,000 languages. Those people, including the newest of them, have accepted, I believe, or are trying to accept a common heritage.

Would the member comment on his vision of the place of the aboriginal peoples and their languages in more detail, the historic place of the so-called founding nations, and where the 200 first generation nationalities that make up such an important part of the country sit in his vision of Canada?

Employment May 31st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, in October past Canadians elected this government with a mandate to create employment. Infrastructure announcements are now flowing steadily. This is helping create employment, a promise we made to Canadians.

I would like to thank the minister for his hard work in ensuring the success of this program.

There are, however, other indicators that we are on the road to recovery. A recent survey by an employment agency indicates that unemployed individuals have a better opportunity of finding employment this summer than they have had in the past four years. This agency also states that one-quarter of Canadian companies plan on increasing staff in the next three months.

I am very encouraged that this will not only help in large urban centres but will have a significant influence on employment in smaller cities such as Peterborough.

This is encouraging news for many Canadians who have been waiting desperately to rejoin the workforce and contribute their work skills to this great nation.

Infrastructure May 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Spring has now sprung across the country and many communities are anxiously awaiting word on their infrastructure projects. In my riding of Peterborough I have spoken to municipal officials who have submitted 40 or 50 projects to the federal-provincial body for review.

Can the minister assure the municipalities of Peterborough that decisions on infrastructure projects will be made soon.

Agriculture May 10th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the member from Chicoutimi in his remarks and until the last few minutes I was carried along by his enthusiasm for agriculture in the Chicoutimi area and with his vision of agriculture.

I enjoyed when he was discussing agriculture, talking about research, new technology and market developments and global competition, these things which I think in the stereotype of agriculture we do not hear enough about. Agriculture is a very diverse, very sophisticated part of the economy and the social structure of Canada. In listening to the debate today I think the diversity of agriculture across the country comes out.

In my riding of Peterborough there are 1,100 farms, about half of which are in beef. About a quarter are dairy farms. There are large poultry farms and hog farms. We have a fine buffalo farm which produces breeding stock of buffalo. We have sheep farms, goat farms, we produce bees, we have market gardens and whole variety of crops, soft fruits and things of that type.

I mentioned Peterborough in the same way the member mentioned Chicoutimi, to show that in my riding the diversity of agriculture is extraordinary.

One thing I think the government has to do is continually inform the people of Canada, particularly the people urban areas, of the true nature of agriculture as an industry in this country and as a way of life in this country. It is a diverse, progressive part of our society which, as the member for Chicoutimi mentioned, includes the family farm. It includes 4H and all of those things we associate with our rural communities.

The government has to help farmers reach out to the urban areas and get rid of this stereotype of agriculture which exists there and show them what a vital and interesting and diverse part of our country it is. It also has to reach out and tell Canadians that they receive cheap, high quality, healthy food from their farm sector. We spend 10 per cent or less of our disposable income on food and we get the very best food for that. I think the government should articulate. There are some developed country which spend almost 25 cents on the dollar they earn on food. In developed countries we spend less than 10 cents thanks to our farm communities.

Also the government has to tell Canadians, particularly urban Canadians, about the agri-food industry which the member for Chicoutimi mentioned and the huge trade surplus we have in that area.

Last, I urge the government to continue with its consultations with farmers and the agri-food industry in making all its decisions.

My question to the member for Chicoutimi is will he help us-I heard his criticisms-give urban folk in Canada an understanding of the true nature of the high quality of agriculture we have in this country?

Sahtu Dene And Metis Land Claim Settlement Act April 25th, 1994

Madam Speaker, unlike many members of the House I am not a lawyer. In using the word precedence as a more general term, this is a precedent. It is an indication of the fact that the government and the people of Canada want to move on many of these settlements.

With regard to precedence in the more technical sense, it relates to the question I answered of the member from the Bloc previously, that when such negotiations are made in provincial jurisdictions provincial governments will be fully involved. To that extent the precedent of involving the NWT government is a very good and a very healthy one. It is very proper to involve provincial governments in their areas of jurisdiction.