House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was reform.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Millennium Excellence Award June 10th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to announce today that one of my constituents, Karen Bees, has been chosen to receive a millennium excellence award from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

The foundation was established to help Canadians meet the challenges of a rapidly changing economy and society by creating opportunities for them to pursue their post-secondary education.

Karen was selected as one of 37 Manitobans to receive this award based on a national competition for her academic performance, community service, leadership and interest in innovation. Karen, along with Kyla Pederson, Jennifer Pommer and Melissa Therrien, was also a recipient of my own Member of Parliament Canadian Student Award.

These students are dedicated and hard-working young people who give selflessly to their school and community, all the while maintaining high academic achievement.

On behalf of everyone in the House, I would like to congratulate Karen, Kyla, Jennifer and Melissa on their outstanding achievements and wish them all the best in the future.

Member for Saskatoon--Humboldt June 6th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the chief government whip.

The hon. member for Saskatoon—Humboldt has produced and distributed a pamphlet that raises serious concerns about hate mongering. In it aboriginal leaders are sharply attacked and even smeared as racists. He has done this with House of Commons mailing privileges.

Will this matter be addressed by the House leaders of all parties? I think members would want to know whether any House rules have been broken.

D-Day June 6th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the courage and sacrifice of our Canadian Forces. On this day, 59 years ago, they set foot on a section of the Normandy coast, code-named Juno Beach, and took part in the initial assault of Operation Overlord that led to the liberation of Europe.

More specifically, I would like the House to join me in acknowledging the contribution of some special Canadian soldiers who took part in the D-Day operation and were stationed in my hometown, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles.

The soldiers of the Winnipeg company who were ordered to land at the western edge of the beach paid a large price for victory. Their landing craft came under brisk gunfire while they were still far offshore. Many men died the instant they waded into the chest high water.

Nonetheless, the survivors advanced past the beach defences, cleared the minefields, and occupied the adjoining coastal villages. In a few hours, the company lost almost three-quarters of its men, but victory was theirs.

They died for us, for our children, and for our freedom. We shall always remember them.

National Microbiology Laboratory May 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, in the recent SARS outbreak a great deal of attention has been paid to medical professionals, public health officials and scientific researchers.

I think it is also very important that we acknowledge the many unsung heroes at Health Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. These people have been working tirelessly. They are the “behind the scenes people”, sample processors, laboratory technicians, database managers, scientists and biosafety personnel, who have been working around the clock to see that thousands of samples are correctly processed, analyzed and reported in an accurate and timely fashion to the decision makers and epidemiologists who are at the front lines of SARS.

They deserve our thanks and support as they continue to work around the clock in support of Health Canada's mandate to preserve and protect the health of Canadians. I ask that all members join me in congratulating these very valued individuals.

Port of Churchill April 30th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the Port of Churchill in northern Manitoba is one of Canada's most important inland ports and plays an important role in economic development and tourism activities in that region. The port experienced a very difficult year last year.

Could the minister responsible for the province of Manitoba indicate what the Government of Canada is doing to ensure the economic future of the Port of Churchill?

Supply April 3rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my friend who has just finished speaking. I find it rather interesting because the usual line from the opposition parties when they are talking about the Prime Minister and his caucus is that the Prime Minister is allegedly some kind of dictator who exercises thought control over the caucus and the caucus cannot do anything without his approval.

Yet, the hon. member just a few minutes ago stood up and said that with regard to these unfortunate remarks made by certain members the Prime Minister just let them do it. The hon. member cannot have it both ways.

When it comes to these two or three unfortunate remarks that have been made over the last two or three weeks, no one on this side condones those kinds of remarks. Those things happen. They are unfortunate and regrettable.

When we disagree with our American friends--and they are our best friends, we support them and we are not anti-American--we do not personalize it. When we find that this has happened on a couple of occasions, that is regrettable. The Deputy Prime Minister made it very clear this morning that this kind of talk is not condoned.

There is not a strain of anti-Americanism on this side. I find it regrettable that the opposition members would use the kind of language and make the kinds of allegations that would in effect tear the relationship that exists between Canada and the United States. We have a strong relationship. We are solid friends.

While there may have been in the past two or three regrettable remarks on this side of the House, the kind of talk from opposition members would equally, if not more, contribute to the possible deterioration in the relationship which remains strong and will get stronger.

Foreign Affairs March 31st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, since March 18, in other words in the last two weeks, the Cuban government has arrested approximately 72 Cuban dissidents in almost every province in that country.

Can the Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and Francophonie, explain to the House what is Canada's position on those arrests?

World Figure Skating Championships March 31st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, last Friday evening in Washington, D.C., Canada's ice dancing champions Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz capped an impressive amateur skating career by winning the gold medal in ice dancing at the World Figure Skating Championships. This is Canada's first ever gold medal in the 51 years since ice dancing has been competed at world championships, making this achievement all the more impressive.

Chatham, Ontario, native Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz of Vancouver have been skating together since 1991 and have won 10 Canadian championships. They have also won 6 medals at world championships, including this year's gold medal performance. Throughout their amateur career these athletes have epitomized the beauty and elegance of their sport with poise and grace, both on and off the ice, and have proven themselves outstanding role models.

I wish to invite all Canadians to join me in congratulating Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz on this outstanding achievement and wish them all the best in their upcoming professional career.

Committees of the House March 20th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the comments made by the hon. member from the Bloc Quebecois.

I have heard from the other side, particularly the Alliance members, that they have a great fear that the Americans will take great umbrage at our decision to stay out of the war. Let me say that I have much greater faith and respect for the Americans than that. The Americans have a long-standing and very deep democracy. While they may be disappointed with our position, I can assure the House that they will respect it. I think that we will remain steadfast friends for a long time to come.

I also want to say that we as Canadians take pride in the fact that we are a nation of laws. We follow the laws and I think that we have to behave in the same way when it comes to international law. In this case, the law is the United Nations and more specifically resolution 1441. It is only the UN Security Council that can decide whether the Iraqis were in breach of resolution 1441. It is only the Security Council that can decide whether there should be consequences as a result of Saddam Hussein not living up to the terms of resolution 1441.

Resolution 1441 does not say that if the United Nations remains silent on that resolution some individual country, the United States, Britain or someone else, can take it upon itself to invade Iraq. That is not the way the international law works.

I just hope that when this war is over, and I hope it is mercifully short and there are few deaths, that the world community will be able to address this issue of the Bush doctrine having to do with pre-emptive war or pre-emptive strikes. To me that simply is not fitting and does not match international law. It simply does not. I hope that the United Nations can find a way of dealing with this very serious issue.

If we are going to leave the world at this particular risk, so that strong powers in the world can take the law into their own hands, who knows where that takes us? I would like to address that question to the hon. member who spoke previously.

Veterans Affairs February 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

In 1917 Canada defined itself as a nation at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Today, the Canadian national Vimy memorial is in bad need of repair.

Can the minister please tell the House today what the government is doing to address this issue?