Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was friend.

Last in Parliament October 2000, as NDP MP for Kamloops (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2000, with 28% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions June 7th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise pursuant to Standing Order 36 to present a petition from a number of constituents, who I think made a mistake on their petition. It states that the federal government pays only 13.5% of health care costs, which has led to a shortage of nurses, hospital beds and emergency room spaces across the country. I think it is 14%.

The reality is, whether it is 13.5% or 14%, it still makes the point.

The petitioners outline a number of concerns about the health care system. Basically the petitioners are calling upon parliament to stop for profit hospitals and restore federal funding for health care.

Petitions May 31st, 2000

Mr. Speaker, in another unrelated petition, the petitioners are distraught about the fact that gasoline prices have risen to 75.9 cents in Toronto and over 80 cents a litre in Quebec. There are extremely high costs right across the country.

The petitioners ask the federal government to take some action through some form of regulation so that consumers are not gouged at the pumps time and time again.

Petitions May 31st, 2000

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to rise pursuant to Standing Order 36 to present a petition on behalf of thousands of petitioners from the Kamloops area. They point out that they have concerns regarding the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada which make it too easy for a person who has been convicted of a serious crime, such as murder, sexual assault or manslaughter, involving a term of imprisonment greater than five years, to obtain a release from custody pending the hearing of their appeal.

The petitioners ask the Government of Canada to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to prevent persons convicted of serious crimes from being released from custody pending the hearing of their appeal except in very exceptional circumstances.

Supply May 18th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the member. After having given a presentation that will help people to understand the crisis nature of our health care issue, could the member confirm two things? Does the average American family in the United States that is actually able to pay the premiums to get some kind of health coverage, all of which is deductible I might add, pay an average payment per family of between $5,000 U.S. and $7,000 U.S. annually, which is a tremendous cost for every household? As a matter of fact, as my hon. friend from northern Manitoba has told me, that is one of the major reasons that people enter the American Armed Forces. It is an easy way to get good personal and family health coverage.

Would the member confirm that the annual family cost ranges between $5,000 U.S. and $7,000 U.S.? Would she also confirm from the information that she has that in terms of a cost effective system the actual cost of health care in the United States, albeit there are millions of people without any coverage, actually costs more than it does in Canada on a GDP per capita basis?

Supply May 18th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, once again I listened with much interest to my hon. colleague from Cape Breton who spoke so eloquently about the crisis in which health care finds itself, particularly as a result of the lack of adequate federal financing.

The question I have for the member has to do with the situation south of the border in the United States where it does have a for profit health care system. A report came out last week indicating that the reason for the lion's share of personal bankruptcies filed in the United States was as a result of the horrendous health care costs that families were required to provide and that once those health care costs were provided it bankrupted the family operation and they had to declare personal bankruptcy as a result.

Based on the United States experience, would the member share the concern that this may threaten us here in Canada?

Supply May 18th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my hon. colleague who spoke eloquently about the need to support the motion. I have a question for him. Was he delighted this morning when he found out that the federal government surplus was now in excess of $14 billion?

It is clear that money ought not to be an issue. The money is there if the government has the will to provide the financial support. Could he tell us whether he too was delighted to get this news?

Citizenship Of Canada Act May 10th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to take up much time in this debate, but I want to use it as an opportunity to raise an important issue for my constituency.

It has to do with a family from the former Yugoslavia that has been trying for some time to enter Canada. These folks have experienced extreme persecution in their country. They have lived a period of horror in terms of their personal lives. Unfortunately they have been trying, I must say unsuccessfully, to enter Canada. I have recently asked them to put their case clearly on the record so that I could present it to the Minister of Immigration, which I have done.

I asked the minister of immigration to involve herself and make a decision based on compassionate and humanitarian grounds to enable this family from the former Yugoslavia to enter Canada and to join with extended family members who have been here for some time and have integrated very successfully into the fabric of Canadian society.

I am fortunate to know one of the families that has been working very hard on behalf of extended family members in the former Yugoslavia. While all sorts of people are using various ways to get into the country, these people have chosen the legitimate way, the honourable way, the correct way, the appropriate way. They have gone through all the appropriate channels.

They have been informed by our foreign service people abroad, particularly those responsible for immigration, that the former Yugoslavia from which they come, and particularly the neighbouring area of Macedonia, is not an area of serious problems. These people on a personal basis have experienced severe persecution and extreme harassment. The spouse of the head of the family has been threatened with rape. Their children have been threatened in the school yards with repeated beatings because they happen to be of the wrong ethnic group in this case.

I am not sure this is the appropriate time to do it, but I will use this occasion to raise their plight and concern. I hope and pray the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration will see fit to grant this family entrance to Canada based on compassionate and humanitarian grounds so they can join extended family members here. I know they will make a very positive contribution to life in Canada and will be able to leave a very unfortunate circumstance behind them in Europe.

Petitions May 10th, 2000

I have another petition, Mr. Speaker, on a topic that I know you also have strong feelings about, the issue of a national highway system. I should not put words in your mouth, Mr. Speaker, I am just assuming that you, like most other members of parliament, would be interested in this topic.

A large number of constituents point out the need for a national highway system. They point out that a national highway transportation infrastructure that is well developed leads to an improved quality of life for Canadians because of greater productivity, greater trade opportunities, greater job creation opportunities and a real boost to tourism.

They are calling upon the federal government to take the appropriate action.

Petitions May 10th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition on an unrelated topic.

The petitioners, primarily from the Kamloops region, point out their concerns regarding the production of child pornography. They point out that a child has to be victimized in order to produce child pornography, that child pornography hurts children and therefore can never be justified, and that the possession of child pornography perpetuates the production of child pornography.

They call upon parliament once again to recognize the fact that Canadians reject any effort to legalize the possession of child pornography. They ask parliament to intervene in this matter to establish and strengthen the laws relating to the possession of child pornography to ensure that it will never, ever, ever be legalized.

Petitions May 10th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a pleasure to present a petition, pursuant to Standing Order 36, on the topic of the Senate.

The petitioners point out that the Senate is a very expensive institution, that it does not make sense in today's democratic world, and the fact that it is an appointed House of Parliament makes it a totally undemocratic institution.

They are calling upon parliament to simply take whatever measures are necessary to abolish it once and for all.