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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was forward.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Progressive Conservative MP for Brandon—Souris (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Budget Implementation Act, 2003 May 16th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I knew there were questions and comments. I just did not think anyone would want to ask a question or make a comment on the speech of the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle.

It is my pleasure to stand in the House and resume debate. It has been a long week, I can appreciate that. It has been a very exciting week for myself and my party with the byelection results on Monday evening. I know the weeks to come will be equally as exciting, particularly with the government trying to defend its budget when it comes to not just simply a byelection, but a general election. It is not only their budget the Liberals have to try to defend, but the mismanagement that has taken place by this government over the last 10 years.

The member for Regina—Qu'Appelle had indicated that it seemed the economy changed in 1993 when the Liberal government was elected. I know the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle would have to give credit where credit is certainly due, in that the policies that were put into place prior to 1993 were the policies that this government is now living on.

The policy of the GST, where we took the manufacturing tax off and put it on to a goods and services tax, I appreciate is not a tax that Canadians appreciate all that much. However when it was brought forward in 1993, it was with the understanding that it would be a tax that would reduce the deficit, which Liberals always talks about, the $42 billion deficit prior to 1993. It was that particular improvement which helped us find ourselves in the economy we have today.

It is the same government that will throw up its arms and say that the Tories left it with a $42 billion deficit, but it does not seem to always take the other highroad and mention the free trade agreement which was negotiated with our American friends at that time because we did have a relationship with our American friends. This is something the government does not have at this time. We were able to sit down at the table and negotiate a free trade agreement that allows us to flourish in the economy we have today.

I know the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle did not mean it when he said there were terrible economic times prior to 1993 and immediately when the government took office those economic times changed, because it did not happen that way. It certainly did not happen in this government. As a matter of fact, in spite of themselves, the Liberals have taken our initiatives and allowed themselves to balance those budgets that we would have had balanced certainly long before they did.

The budget which has been tabled today is only a reflection of what has gone on in years past with Liberal governments. It gives us the understanding of the old 1970s Liberal philosophy of spend, spend, spend. It is a legacy, and we keep hearing that word all the time, of a tired government and a tired Prime Minister telling us that they will shotgun this budget, that they will please just about everybody they have in their political pockets and that wherever the economy goes from here, it really does not matter.

We have returned to an era where the Prime Minister of the day was the previous finance minister. We have returned to an era of the Pierre Trudeau spend, spend, spend philosophy of the Liberal government. Canadians are not terribly pleased about returning to that. It is a shotgun approach.

Bill C-28 is the budget implementation bill that puts into place the budget the Liberals have tabled in the House. This is really an unfortunate happening for Canadians because the Liberals have now increased program spending in this budget alone, which means spending that was there for programs prior to the 2003-04 budget, by 7.3%. That is substantial. I do not think Canadian households have the ability to spend an additional 7.3% this year than they did last year. That 7.3% program spending increase is taking out of this budget the health care and the military expenditures, which by the way were absolutely required.

When we take out those extraordinary costs of health care and defence and the military, there is still a 7.3% increase in program spending. It is shotgun program spending, I might add. The Prime Minister probably had a dartboard somewhere in his office or maybe a putting green and he kept putting into different areas to decide which programs he was going to spend on. That is what it seems like. There was no logic to this; it was simply an ad hoc, shotgun approach to the budget.

There is a 7.3% increase in program spending. However, the finance minister of the day, who is up against that other guy from LaSalle—Émard for the leadership, says that the Liberals are going to find $1 billion somewhere in this morass of government bureaucracy that they are going to put back in that area of program spending and they are going to save $1 billion.

I will tell members how the government has saved $1 billion. It got involved in a gun registry that has cost Canadians about $1 billion over the life of that registry. It is not gun control, it is gun registry. The Liberals are going to save money in other areas to put it back into program spending, so maybe they will save money in different areas to go back into this black hole of the gun registry. From where are they going to spend some of this money? They are going to find some efficiencies in the military, the same area that Canadians and our own Auditor General have said is sadly and sorely lacking for resources.

We were supposed to put about $1 billion or $1.3 billion back into the military for this year just so it could continue in its operations. We did not. I think the military received $800 million in this budget. Not only did it get less than what was necessary as the Auditor General indicated, now it has to find $200 million in its operations to give to the finance minister to spend on the gun registry.

Justice May 16th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said that there is a perception that money can unduly influence the political process. Perhaps he should realize that his own personal schedule and his own legacy agenda are wrongfully manipulating the political process of the House.

There are some very important pieces of legislation before the House and in committee. Recent events in Toronto have focused the need for the creation of a national sex offender registry. Bill C-23 is the legislation that will create such a registry and is an issue that Canadians see as a priority.

Yet the Prime Minister does not see this as a priority. What does his own House leader put as a priority before the House? Bill C-24, the political financing act. He wants us to stay in the House until that legislation is passed, but he does not care about the sex offender registry.

The Prime Minister is more interested in pushing through vindictive legislation aimed at getting even with people within his own party, those who once referred to Bill C-24 as “dumb as a bag of hammers”, than in doing what is best for Canadians. It is no secret that the financing bill has raised a storm of controversy, but we should be dealing with things that are important to Canadians in the House, not what is important to the Prime Minister.

Perth--Middlesex May 14th, 2003

What a delight, Mr. Speaker. We had a Progressive Conservative victory in Perth--Middlesex. A determined PC candidate, Gary Schellenberger ran a hard fought campaign and won Monday night's byelection.

However it appears the Prime Minister has decided to blame his byelection blues on everyone else but himself and his government, saying that they had a problem in the riding and were unlucky. In typical Liberal fashion the PM blamed the previous Liberal member who held that riding.

Before the Prime Minister shrugs off this loss, perhaps he should realize that the voters of Perth--Middlesex have sent him a clear message: that they no longer tolerate the mismanagement of health care; the fishery; softwood lumber; agriculture; military; and the conflict in Iraq. The people of Perth--Middlesex chose not to reward the Prime Minister and his Liberal government for their continued mismanagement of national affairs.

The Prime Minister said the previous member stayed too long. Perhaps after 40 years this Prime Minister has stayed too long.

Budget Implementation Act May 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Progressive Conservative Party vote no to the motion.

Budget Implementation Act May 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, members of the Progressive Conservative Party vote no to the motion.

I would also like to have the member for Fundy—Royal recorded as voting no.

Parliament of Canada Act May 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the parliamentary secretary has not used any viable arguments to suggest that there has not been a conflict. I go back to the same decision that he is using as an example, and that is the definition of conflict which states that “A conflict does not require acting on the knowledge. Simple possession creates the conflict”. The minister at that time, the member for LaSalle—Émard, had that simple knowledge.

The parliamentary secretary said that the key is disclosure. He is wrong. One of the keys is disclosure. When one discloses, that does not mean that person can now have any active part in that private sector corporation.

We as members of Parliament come to the House and must be above reproach. Above reproach means we get rid of all of our private interests and those that we do not get rid of we put into the blind trust particularly when one is a minister of the Crown. That is the key, not simply the disclosure. The fact is that we will be seen as being above reproach however this member was not seen as being above reproach.

Parliament of Canada Act May 7th, 2003

No, I said ethics and the government are unusual.

Parliament of Canada Act May 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I certainly like my name in the same sentence as ethics. Perhaps we could instill some of that in the government and we will all be successful.

The beautiful thing about the adjournment proceedings or the late show is that we can actually try to get some answers from a government that is not terribly forthcoming with those answers. We tried to elicit some answers from the government, answers to what I consider to be logical, well thought out, serious questions that are not too often dealt with by logical, well thought out, serious answers.

On February 20, I had the opportunity of posing a question to the Deputy Prime Minister. It had to do with what I thought was a very serious question of ethics. It had to do with the member for LaSalle—Émard, who in fact had left cabinet. But prior to leaving cabinet, the member for LaSalle--Émard was dealing with some very specific issues at that cabinet table yet was still having some serious investment involvement in a private sector corporation.

As a matter of fact, I asked if the member for LaSalle—Émard did not perhaps have a conflict of interest when dealing with such things as tax law or tax implications, perhaps, while sitting at the cabinet table but in fact perhaps putting some legislation in place that would be for the betterment of the private sector corporations that he had some interest in. The Deputy Prime Minister said no, that was not in fact true, because the Parker commission dealt with the definition of conflict, and in his opinion there was no conflict.

What do we know? We know that the member for LaSalle—Émard in fact met 12 times with the administrators of what is referred to as a blind trust. How can one meet 12 times with the administrator of a blind trust and still logically consider that to be a blind trust? There is a contradiction there that I do not think anybody in the House could see as anything other than a contradiction.

The second thing we heard was that not only did the member for LaSalle—Émard meet with the administrators, the Prime Minister said he had no idea of what was going on in those meetings because he was not part of them.

The third part of this was that the ethics counsellor said that he cannot reveal what happened because it is private. There is a Catch-22 here. The public unfortunately is caught in this Catch-22 and does not have the opportunity to find out in fact whether there is a conflict or not.

The member for LaSalle—Émard without question was at that cabinet table. Did he discuss? No. Did he influence, perhaps? No. In fact, did he direct the change to law that may well have benefited his private sector corporations? Is that in fact the conflict? The Deputy Prime Minister says no, because it falls under the Parker commission. If I may, let me very quickly quote what the Parker commission defines as a conflict of interest: “a situation in which a minister of the Crown has knowledge of a private economic interest that is sufficient to influence the exercise of his or her public duties and responsibilities”. That is pretty defined. Then it goes on to say, “A conflict, therefore, does not require acting on that knowledge. Simple possession creates conflict”.

Without question, the member for LaSalle—Émard was in a conflict when he sat at that cabinet table and the Deputy Prime Minister, unfortunately, in quoting the Parker commission, made my statement absolutely correct. There was a conflict and this government in the name of ethics has to identify that conflict.

McKenzie Seeds May 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, April showers bring May flowers and:

Roses are red,Violets are blue.Here's a little ditty About McKenzie Seeds for you.

McKenzie Seeds in Brandon is now the top packaged seed company in Canada, but like the beautiful petunias hanging on front porches everywhere, it needed a little sunlight, a little pruning and a little tender loving care.

Just three years ago, McKenzie Seeds was experiencing some difficulties. There was a lot of weeding that needed to be done. McKenzie Seeds was like a wilted flower: Does one try to bring it back to life or pull it up and start over again?

Michael Fearon and Ken Robinson were not about to let the company wilt. The two Johnny Appleseeds, then executives in the company, rolled up their sleeves and took over McKenzie Seeds, saving 100 jobs in Brandon and 100 more across Canada.

Mr. Fearon and Mr. Robinson recently picked up the business persons of the year award in Brandon. I would like to congratulate them, and I suspect that with their green thumbs McKenzie Seeds will continue to grow beautifully.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act May 6th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, members of the Progressive Conservative Party will vote no to this motion.