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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Vancouver South—Burnaby (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Softwood Lumber June 6th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, we have a program to support our workers. Let me remind the hon. member of the government program on the softwood lumber dispute: $110 million for research and development; $29.7 million for Canada's offshore markets; $71 million to assist workers; $110 million for the national softwood industry community adjustment; $20 million for the advocacy program; $15 million for the softwood lumber association.

The hon. member should recognize that these announcements are helping the softwood lumber industry across the country.

Agriculture June 4th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has stated before, we need to make sure we do the science. That is exactly what we are doing. It is on sound science that we will be able to convince the international community and the U.S. that this was an isolated case. So far we have only found one cow that was infected with BSE; no other animal has been found. It is something we are looking at.

As I said in my earlier response, we hope that next week all the tests will be done so that we can start moving our product to our markets around the world and into the U.S. That is what the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is doing right now.

Agriculture June 4th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I will certainly bring the question to the attention of the Minister of Agriculture who, as members know, is meeting with representatives of the beef industry to make sure they have their input. I will make sure that the hon. member gets a comprehensive response from the Minister of Agriculture.

Softwood Lumber June 4th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is simply wrong when he says there is a lack of action. We in fact have provided action.

Just a few minutes ago the Secretary of State for Western Economic Diversification put forward a number of programs and proposals that are there that are looking at community adjustment programs. Human Resources Development Canada has also indicated the programs it is involved in.

We are taking action for the workers and for the industries across the country. I would hope the hon. member would recognize the good work that has already been done in all those programs.

Softwood Lumber June 4th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on a number of occasions in the House in response to the hon. member, we had a major program in phase one. We admitted at that time that this was an area that we wanted to monitor closely, that we wanted to watch what has happened across the country and if other programs were needed, if more help was needed, that it was something we would look at.

We still have the same position. We have not changed. We are monitoring the situation. We certainly will take the representation of the hon. member and the party into consideration.

Agriculture June 4th, 2003

First of all, Mr. Speaker, Canada has the best testing system in the world within that framework.

For the hon. member to question that, he should know better. He should not be standing up in the House and questioning a system that is recognized all over the world by the international community. He knows better. He should be speaking about the good work done.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is recognized as the best in the world. It is doing everything possible to make sure there is a full investigation and let the scientists do their study so we can open the borders and give confidence to people around the world that Canadian beef is safe.

Agriculture June 4th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member knows that there is a program for compensation for those herds that have to be depopulated. All the farmers will be able to get compensation for that.

As far as a larger review, this is something that is ongoing. The situation is evolving. We need to have a good understanding. In fact, that is why the Minister of Agriculture today is in Alberta, to make sure that he meets with the beef industry, has that view and takes that view into consideration.

This situation is being worked on. The Minister of Agriculture is on top of this issue to have a good understanding of what is needed to resolve some of these issues.

Softwood Lumber June 4th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, we, in fact, acted more than seven months ago. We did not wait until we had the situation now where we have layoffs. We acted way before.

Yesterday I outlined the programs: $81 million to support workers; $110 million to support communities; money for research and development; and money to make sure that we get new markets.

We have responded to support employees across the country. We will continue to do that and, as we have always said, if more needs to be done the government will take action to do more.

Softwood Lumber June 4th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday to the hon. member, this was one of the options that was considered when we introduced a $350 million package. It is still on the table.

However it is in our best interests to make sure we find a long term solution to this problem because it is something that has been going on for a long time. That is what we are focusing on.

We hope that in the near future there will be a solution to this but failing that, we have always said that we are committed and that we will do more to support the industry and the workers.

Agriculture June 4th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, of course we are concerned with the effect on the industry. We are monitoring the situation. We are evaluating it.

However, unlike the hon. member and his party, we do not believe we should be building firewalls across the country. We believe we should be building bridges and strong national solutions to problems such as this. That is why we are working on it and will continue to work on it.