House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was bay.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for Thunder Bay—Rainy River (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 22% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Italian Society Principe di Piemonte October 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, this week in Thunder Bay is very significant as it commemorates the 95th anniversary of the Italian Society, Principe di Piemonte. This fraternal organization makes its home in the Da Vinci Centre.

The Principe di Piemonte is a well known and well appreciated organization for its outstanding contributions not only to Italian heritage but to the community of Thunder Bay and its neighbours.

The society has always been there to answer the call whenever there is a fundraising effort. Indeed, the events it hosts are renowned for combining the best of times for the worthiest of causes. Molto grazie Società Italiana Principe di Piemonte .

I ask members to join me in extending congratulations and best wishes for many more years of service.


International Interests in Mobile Equipment (aircraft equipment) Act October 18th, 2004

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Ancaster--Dundas--Flamborough--Westdale.

I am pleased to have this opportunity to discuss the consultation process surrounding the international interests in mobile equipment act. A crucial element in the development and adoption of any legislation in Canada is consultation with and the support of affected stakeholders and other relevant parties. Canada played a leadership role in the negotiation of the convention and protocol because various groups, including provinces, territories, airlines such as Air Canada, industry associations such as the Air Transport Association of Canada, and aircraft manufacturers such as Bombardier and Pratt & Whitney Canada, have supported the objectives of the convention and protocol.

On March 31, Canada signed the convention on international interests and mobile equipment and the protocol to the convention on international interests and mobile equipment on matters specific to aircraft equipment. Justice Canada officials regularly consulted with the provinces and territories throughout the negotiations leading to the adoption of the convention and protocol.

The provinces and territories continue to be consulted through the Uniform Law Conference of Canada and through the Department of Justice advisory group on private international law. They have consistently demonstrated their interest and support for these instruments.

Canadian airlines, aircraft manufacturers and financiers have also been consulted throughout the process. All have expressed strong support for the convention and protocol. They foresee that the implementation of the convention and the protocol will provide creditors with an increased certainty and improved ability to realize on their security, thus reducing their financial risk. Consultations have also indicated that the Canadian aviation finance bar and insolvency stakeholders support the implementation in Canada of the convention and protocol.

Ratification of the convention and protocol would be premised on implementation by a sufficient number of provinces and territories. A uniform act to implement the convention and protocol throughout Canada was developed by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada with the participation of provincial and territorial representatives.

Based on this uniform act, Ontario and Nova Scotia have already passed implementing legislation that would enter into force when the instruments take effect in Canada. It could also be expected that other provinces and territories will also pass implementing legislation, especially those provinces with significant aviation interests.

Adoption of this bill would encourage the remaining provinces and territories to pass their own legislation to implement the terms of the agreements that fall within their jurisdiction. This would facilitate Canada's eventual ratification of the convention and protocol. The Government of Canada has worked cooperatively with the provinces and territories throughout this initiative. This bill is an important step in this regard. Finally, early implementation of the convention and protocol in Canada would reaffirm Canada's leadership role in international civil aviation.

Canada Shipping Act October 15th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I will say that over my previous number of years as a mayor and a member of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence mayors' conference, one of the issues that we were mostly concerned with was of course the safety and integrity of the lakes and the efficiency of the transportation situation, so I am very cognizant of the member's question.

I know that it has been addressed not only municipally, provincially and federally, but by myself as the member for Thunder Bay--Rainy River. The port of Thunder Bay of course is at the western end of this great system that we have. This legislation, I believe, very strongly reflects many years of input from people who have been very concerned about the efficiency and protection of the Great Lakes. I truly believe they are on the right track. This is very sound legislation.

The member's question is well founded and I am pleased to say that those issues are being addressed.

Canada Shipping Act October 15th, 2004

Again, Mr. Speaker, my congratulations to you.

I am pleased to rise today to speak to the House about the importance of Bill C-3, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act and the Oceans Act, which has been introduced by the Minister of Transport.

As members know, the transportation industry as a whole is a vital component of our economy. When looking at the marine sector of this industry, we must keep in mind that it operates both domestically and internationally.

In recent years, a substantial amount of work has been done in an effort to modernize our national transportation system and prepare this sector to meet the needs of the coming century and the demands of the global marketplace.

To achieve these objectives, the government has taken a number of initiatives in all operational modes, and its efforts have mainly focused on simplifying acts and regulations. These initiatives are still within the overall federal framework relating to transportation, which promotes a national vision on security, safety, efficiency and environmental responsibility.

On December 12, 2003, the Prime Minister announced that the responsibility for marine safety and security would be consolidated under the Minister of Transport.

To effect this centralization, some parts of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have been transferred to the Department of Transport. Following these changes, Transport Canada now has all policy responsibilities and some operational responsibilities for pleasure craft security, marine navigation service, pollution prevention, environmental intervention and waterway protection. These are very important changes for the marine transportation industry and its stakeholders.

Canadians will now have a single point of contact for policy issues associated with marine safety and security. This consolidation of responsibilities is expected to improve efficiency in both marine policy and operations. As the content of this bill is considered to be policy neutral, these changes can only be looked upon as positive by the marine industry.

The intent of Bill C-3 is very clear to us today. Most important, it clarifies each department's responsibility as a result of the transfer of December 12, 2003. It consolidates policy responsibility for all aspects of marine safety in one federal department. It improves the responsiveness, coherence and consistency of the marine regulatory framework in Canada. It enhances service delivery on marine matters for all stakeholders.

It ensures that the roles and responsibilities of the government remain the same in whatever department they are found. It preserves the authorities of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to carry out the operational role assigned to it by the orders in council. It ensures that the powers, duties and functions transferred from the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans to the Ministry of Transport are unambiguous, in order to prevent litigation or any contentious issues. It preserves the logic and coherence of the affected statutes.

The changes introduced in the bill are changes that marine stakeholders have been suggesting for quite some time. In addition, these changes are welcomed by both the Department of Transport and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The enactment of this bill is a vital step to effecting the Prime Minister's announcement on December 12, 2003. At this time, I would like to reaffirm my support of Bill C-3 as tabled by my colleague today.

Canada Shipping Act October 15th, 2004

Mr. Speaker,—

Thunder Bay Television October 15th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, as the member for the riding of Thunder Bay—Rainy River, I am pleased to offer sincere congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Fraser Dougall on the 50th anniversary of their television station, CKPR.

For half a century the staff of CKPR have proudly served the communities I represent with timely, relevant and insightful news. In addition, CKPR is a strong supporter of community events and encourages volunteerism among its employees. It is also known as a very generous supporter of community events and for its corporate generosity.

As one of Canada's last remaining private and local television broadcasters, I commend everyone who has contributed to the achievements of this quality TV station. On behalf of the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North, félicitations à tous.

Municipalities October 12th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, following the welcomed announcement of the new deal for communities, it became quite apparent that the elimination of the GST saved municipalities across the country many millions of dollars this year alone.

The next phase of this is the proposed distribution of the gas tax which seems to have caused a rift between the bigger cities and the smaller communities.

Is the minister doing anything to alleviate the pressure between the big city mayors and the representatives of the smaller communities?