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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was certainly.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Conservative MP for Westlock—St. Paul (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 67% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question No. 3 November 22nd, 2004

With regard to the position of “creative manager“ at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission: ( a ) what have the job descriptions been; ( b ) what advertisements have been used to solicit applications; ( c ) how was the interview process conducted for all previous incumbents; ( d ) who approved the hiring; ( e ) how many applicants were interviewed; ( f ) when was the position created; ( g ) what were the expenses of the individual(s) filling this position; and ( h ) what curricula vitae or resumes have been submitted by any “creative manager”?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2 November 22nd, 2004

What has the government paid out in the riding of Battle River in grants and contributions since fiscal year 1999-2000 broken down by recipient and, in each case, specifying: ( a ) the amount disbursed; ( b ) the government department involved; ( c ) the recipient organization or business; and (d) the location of the recipient organization or business?

(Return tabled)

Committees of the House November 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the first report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. In accordance with its order of reference of Friday, October 8, 2004, the committee has considered votes 40 and 45 under Justice of the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005, and reports the same.

The Senate November 17th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that western alienation is real and he would fix it. On Monday, Albertans are going back to the polls for the third time to elect their senators. The time has come for the Prime Minister to listen to Albertans. If he really wants to address western alienation, the time is now.

Will the Prime Minister commit to addressing western alienation by filling the three Senate vacancies from those elected by Albertans?

Income Tax Act November 5th, 2004

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-271, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (tuition credit and education credit).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to reintroduce a bill that I introduced in the previous Parliament. After consulting with the Alberta music teachers association and the Canadian music teachers association, it is an honour for me to re-introduce my private member's bill which seeks to amend the Income Tax Act by extending tuition credit and education credit to individuals who follow a formal course of instruction provided by a qualified music instructor.

At the present time, music instructors who do not teach in recognized institutions of higher learning are ineligible to provide their students with this benefit, despite the fact that their training could be the same or more advanced than an instructor in an institution. Certainly, the greater benefit to students is no less whether or not they are enrolled in a recognized institution.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Supreme Court Act November 5th, 2004

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-269, an act to amend the Supreme Court Act (constitutional validity of any Act).

Mr. Speaker, law-making is the role of Parliament. Unfortunately, since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was introduced, the courts, particularly the Supreme Court, have taken the role of Parliament in establishing law.

This act would amend the Supreme Court Act that whenever there is a question before the court that deals with constitutionality, the court would be required to take the debates and intent of Parliament into account. It would also amend the act so that unless a decision is unanimous, the constitutional decision would not be a precedent setting decision, and would only apply to the case before the court.

This process would ensure the intent of Parliament is not ignored and would not allow the courts to write their beliefs into law when there is a split decision on the court.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Government Contracts November 5th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works is misleading Canadians. The relocation contract for five years is over $770 million, not the $155 million which he indicated. If the minister is trying to hide the full amount of the contract, what else is he hiding from Parliament? I challenge the minister to prove that the process was open and transparent by tabling all the documents related to the selection process and contract.

Chinese Canadian Recognition and Restitution Act November 5th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations between all parties and I believe if you seek it you would find unanimous consent of the House to withdraw Bill C-333 from the order paper.

Supply November 4th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, it is a little more difficult for me to address some of the issues the member raised because they are Saskatchewan issues and I am not from Saskatchewan, but the point is well taken.

If this policy we are presenting were adopted, Saskatchewan, undoubtedly, would be a have province. If it were able to keep both the royalties and the equalization that would boost its economy to where it could to move forward and become a have province.

With regard to the other issues he raised, in my eleven and a half years in this place, the government has been famous for saying the things that need to be said but never delivering on them. That is not only promises at election time, that is throughout their tenure.

Today the current agriculture minister stood in his place and said the right things about the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in response, I believe, to a question from the member for Cypress Hills--Grasslands. The point he raised in his question was that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was blocking the development of producer owned packing plants to slaughter cull cows. The minister, instead of standing and saying that he would investigate the situation and that if it were happening he would put a stop to it, he stood and made this speech, this rhetoric.

We know full well that this government is not doing anything to stop the problems that the member described. The tile is the wrong colour in the food inspector's office or the wall needs to be moved a few feet or these kind of things. These things are happening. We have evidence. We know that it is happening and he stands there and says that those things are not happening and that we will not compromise food safety.

He should have made a commitment right then to talk to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to deal with the problem that is preventing these producer owned slaughter facilities to open, instead of this cheap rhetoric that is of no use and which does not move the issue forward.

Supply November 4th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I am splitting my time with the member for Edmonton—Spruce Grove.

I am pleased to join the debate on our supply day motion. I have some interest in the topic, having worked at some length to develop our position on non-renewable resources and equalization in Atlantic Canada leading up to the last election.

Even if I am patting myself on the back to some degree, I think we had a sound policy. We took that policy to Atlantic Canada and presented it to Atlantic Canadians. I believe it found considerable acceptance in Atlantic Canada and in Newfoundland and Labrador.

I would suggest that was one of the reasons that in the middle of a failing federal election campaign the Prime Minister went to Atlantic Canada and made the promise that he did to guarantee 100% of resource royalties to those provinces, without obviously a well thought out plan. If he had had the plan, he would have presented it to Atlantic Canadians at the time and this debate would have been taking place in the middle of an election, not after the election and after the seats had been decided.

That is what the supply day motion is about. I listened carefully to the presentation by the member from the Bloc. Indeed he was going down a slippery slope. If we get into the issue of equalization and whether or not it is fair, I think there are a number of fundamental problems with equalization. The clawback of resource royalties is only one of them. There are others, such as how equalization affects tax decisions in provinces. I think back to those problems.

I remember the huge ore deposit that was discovered in Labrador some years ago. Brian Tobin, a former fisheries minister was the Premier of Newfoundland. He decided to stop development of that ore body until Newfoundland and Labrador got the kind of deal it wanted out of the company proposing to develop it. I believe it was Inco.

The premier at the time knew full well what he was doing simply because there was no incentive to develop that ore body. Had he done that under the same problem that we are talking about here today, the clawback of royalties for oil and gas, the federal government would have clawed back the royalties on the development of that ore body.

This problem is wider than offshore oil. The whole issue goes back many years.

As my leader pointed out this morning, there was a time when Alberta was a have not province. The federal government at the time resisted with everything it had to allow Alberta to keep 100% of its resource wealth. Today Alberta has become one of the wealthiest provinces in Canada. Even after it had control of its natural resources and 100% of the royalties, we all remember the national energy program and the grab of resource revenue that was.

This issue goes away back, as does the issue that is fundamental to this, which is the practice during elections of people making promises which they have no intention to keep. That goes back forever. It has been a long Liberal practice in particular, I would suggest.

I remember the Joe Clark government being defeated over an excise tax on gasoline. Prime Minister Trudeau came in and put a heavier tax on gasoline than Joe Clark would have done, in spite of the fact that Trudeau won the election promising not to tax gasoline.

There is the example of wage and price controls. The Liberals promised that they would not implement them. They defeated the Tories on that basis and went ahead and implemented them anyway.

The one we all remember so well was the GST promise. The prime minister had no intention of ever getting rid of the GST and as a result, the deputy prime minister, who had promised her constituents that her government would get rid of the GST, had to resign to show good faith. Her resignation forced a byelection at some considerable expense because the government invested so heavily in her riding to make sure that she was re-elected. It really was a bit of a joke.

Getting back to the equalization formula, I think in response to some of the comments that I heard earlier, removing non-renewable natural resources from the formula does not affect Alberta one way or the other because Alberta does not receive equalization payments. However it would be fundamentally fair to Atlantic Canada to keep 100% of its resource royalties because that is fair.

It would also be fair, in my opinion, in response to the member from the Bloc Québécois who spoke, that renewable resource revenue that is sheltered in crown corporations should also be part of the formula to calculate equalization. Some provinces have a substantial revenue stream from renewable natural resources that in fact will last in perpetuity because they are renewable, whereas the provinces that are now using their non-renewable natural resource royalties in the formula are selling a capital asset that belongs to them in order to kick start their economies. However those natural resources are finite and they will run out one day.

Provinces have to think very carefully when they sell that capital asset and plan very carefully for the day that it is no longer there. I think that is where there is some fundamental unfairness in the formula that includes royalties from those capital assets that they choose to sell in the formula. Certainly by removing them from the formula would not make Alberta a have not province simply because Alberta's economy is doing so well based on the development of its natural resources and it creates great tax wealth for the federal government and for the province. It also stimulates the economy to the point where even if those royalties that are going directly to the province were not calculated into the equalization formula, Alberta would still be a have province.

However removing non-renewable natural resources from the formula would be of great help to other provinces, particularly Saskatchewan, which is one of Canada's have not provinces. I am surprised that in the current round of negotiations the Premier of Saskatchewan is not standing up beside the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador demanding the same thing. Saskatchewan has a fair amount of non-renewable natural resources. It is one of the calculations that would help it very much if those resource royalties were removed from the formula. Of course, there are some other provinces as well that would benefit, including British Columbia and Manitoba.

To get into whether equalization is fair or not fair is not the issue that we are debating today. The issue is very simple and very fundamental in that it is about the practice of making promises during an election campaign that one does not intend to keep. Just today in question period the Minister of National Defence got up and piously promised he would never make irresponsible promises.

I think he should talk to his Prime Minister and other members of his party when they develop these election platforms because a lot of promises were made in the last election and many elections leading up to the last election that were clearly made to attract votes and get elected, but the intention was never there to fulfil those promises. That gives us all a bad name and it gives the House a bad name in my view.

I think we should be more careful. We should cost out those election promises and we should make them on the basis that whichever party forms the government it is prepared to fulfil those promises in the mandate that it has been given. I think we should focus on what this is really about.