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

Canadian Music Week February 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to ask all Canadians to join in the celebration of our Canadian music industry.

This is Canadian Music Week. Every year the creators, broadcasters and entrepreneurs involved get together to share a vision, celebrate successes and lay the groundwork for addressing the new challenges they face.

For many, names like Alanis Morissette, Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Céline Dion, the Guess Who and other superstars define Canadian music. We can now add the name Painting Daisies to this list, an Edmonton based band that won the CBC's Great Canadian Music Dream on Wednesday night.

Indeed, Canadian music as a whole is a great success story with Canadian songwriters and musicians from all parts of the country playing an important role capturing and reflecting the diverse Canadian experience.

I ask all members to please join me in congratulating all of our Canadian talent and the many participants in Canadian Music Week who play a key role in supporting our music industry.

Canadian Heritage February 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The 2001 census showed that demographics in Canada were constantly changing. I am wondering whether the minister could tell the House what she is doing to ensure that all Canadians have the opportunity to celebrate their heritage and to engage in cultural expression in the Canadian context?

Bison Industry February 26th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Wascana, Saskatchewan's minister in the Government of Canada, I wish to acknowledge the important contributions being made by the Canadian Bison Association and the Canadian Bison Marketing Council.

From near extinction just a century ago, there are now more than 225,000 head of bison across Canada. In fact, the bison industry is now the fastest growing sector in the Canadian livestock industry. Bison meat is a healthy, natural product with considerable cultural significance and a high international appeal. Canadian sales now exceed $50 million per year.

The Canadian Bison Association and the Canadian Bison Marketing Council have been instrumental in re-establishing the species and making it a viable commercial business. With over 1,200 members nationwide, they are committed to the promotion and development of the bison industry.

I would like to thank the chairmen, directors and executive staff involved for their continued efforts to seek improvements in areas such as trade and commerce, marketing, animal health, and disease surveillance. I wish them every success.

The Budget February 25th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the remarks by my friend from Edmonton. I would like to put at least some of the points from his remarks into context.

He mentioned a number of times that we failed to deal with corporate welfare. He did not define corporate welfare. I do not know what he means by corporate welfare.

The gentleman comes from Alberta. I think we all know that there are some pretty favourable tax provisions for the oil industry in Alberta. I am not opposed to that. Is he suggesting that we should pull the rug from under the oil industry in Alberta? I would doubt it but I would love to hear his remarks.

He said that we have no long term vision for employment insurance. Well, we have had 10 annual reductions since 1993. I would say that it implies vision. That is a reduction of several billion. There is one more thing. He talked about there being not one cut in the budget. I recall back in the middle 1990s that we were cutting contributions to the provinces and all we heard were howls from the Alliance.

We Liberals from the west have been fighting proposed environment department cuts to weather stations in Kelowna, in Saskatoon and in Winnipeg. I wonder, would the member from Edmonton be appreciative of cutting out the weather stations in those three cities?

Juno Awards February 18th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to congratulate the many exceptionally talented Manitobans who have been nominated to receive this year's Juno Awards.

The 2003 Juno nominations reflect the diversity of Manitoba's talent. The nominees include: Doc Walker, nominated for Country Recording of the Year; Remy Shand, who has received four nominations, including Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year; Fred Penner for Children's Album of the Year; James Ehnes, with two nominations including Classical Album of the Year; the Duhks, nominated for Best Roots and Traditional Album of the Year; and Holly McNarland for Best Album Design.

Last week's announcement of the Juno Award nominations solidifies Manitoba's reputation for being a dynamic and outstanding force in both the national and international music communities.

Congratulations to these remarkably talented Canadians.

Canada Health Act February 11th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-202 and I want to pay tribute to the member for Ottawa—Vanier, the sponsor of the bill. His work around the bill has been exemplary.

On behalf of all Manitobans I wish to express my support for Bill C-202 which would add the principle of respecting linguistic duality to the Canada Health Act of 1984. This sixth principle is a logical consequence of the Official Languages Act as it would ensure that the linguistic minorities of Manitoba would be entitled to health care services in the language of their choice, that is, English or French, the two official languages of Canada.

We forget too often that there are francophone communities west of Ontario. Some 45,000 francophones live in my home province of Manitoba. Saint Boniface is one of the largest French communities outside of Quebec. French communities in Manitoba are strong, well structured, and their contribution to the cultural, economic, and social development of our province is significant.

Since 1993 francophones in Manitoba have governed their own school board. The time has come to get the same rights in health care accessibility.

Health care in French is important for the preservation and promotion of Franco-Manitoban communities. Among the many arguments, a good communication between health care professionals and patients is absolutely essential. Many studies confirm the importance of the language in ensuring efficient health care service. Language related obstacles reduce accessibility to and the quality of health care.

The health care professional has to help, guide and advise patients. When communication is good, services are more efficient, there is no time wasted, results are better, and costs are reduced.

Francophones in Manitoba have been working hard for a number of years to ensure the delivery of quality health care and social services in French, but access is still very limited. When such services are offered, their capacity is restricted. The Government of Canada must respect its own constitutional obligations and support francophones by giving them quality of status and equal rights in the field of health care.

The Société franco-manitobaine, SFM, is the spokesgroup for Franco-Manitobans. In March 2002, a little less than a year ago, supported by nearly 50 francophone organizations, the SFM presented its view to the Romanow commission when it came to Winnipeg. The SFM asked Mr. Romanow to recommend to the government the addition of a sixth principle to the Canada Health Act.

Francophones want to see their constitutional rights guaranteed when it comes to health in Manitoba. The Société franco-manitobaine was in complete agreement with the document produced by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, “Health in French: Towards improved access to health care services in French”.

Voting in favour of Bill C-202 would definitely be an advancement of rights for official language minority communities in Canada and it would be an excellent way for the Government of Canada to reaffirm its commitment to enhance the vitality and support the development of Canada's francophone and anglophone minorities as recommended by section 41 of the Official Languages Act.

I am delighted to support Bill C-202 and I recommend it to all members of the House.

Canada Elections Act February 11th, 2003

Madam Speaker, this legislation which I support in principle should not be seen as imposing a burden on taxpayers. The democracy we have in Canada is to be cherished and if it is worth having, it is worth paying for. I am sure most taxpayers would agree.

As a result of this legislation, we in the Liberal Party will no longer have to share our rebates with headquarters. Some of the money we will get will be from corporations at the local level and that money cannot be shared with the party because it will be barred by the legislation.

Another concern that I want to place on the record has to do with the provision to provide rebates with respect to expenditures on polling, whether it is at the local level or the national level. I feel somewhat squeamish about that. I think we spend enough money at the local level. If we allow for rebates, 50% on polling expenditures, that is an inducement to spend more money and I do not think that is necessary. Maybe the parliamentary secretary would like to respond to that.

Supply February 10th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, first I want to say that I appreciate the remarks of the hon. member for St. John's West. Obviously he has reflected long and hard on this very difficult issue. The fact that he urges caution is indicative of that.

The member talks about not closing doors. I think that is certainly the position of the government, and it certainly is my position that we should use every opportunity to us to prevent war, to find a peaceful solution through the United Nations. This is what the Government of Canada has done. The Government of Canada is committed to the UN process. I disagree with anyone who suggests that Canada has been marginalized. The Prime Minister has met with many world leaders. I think he has played a significant role in this UN process.

I want to ask the hon. member for St. John's West about the motion itself. It seems to me that if we were to pass the motion it would in a sense compromise the executive powers of the federal government. It is the federal government, I assume, that through its diplomatic efforts knows more and has more information than ordinary citizens do and certainly more than we MPs do. Does the member feel that this kind of motion would compromise the executive power of the federal government?

Speed Skating February 10th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to acknowledge the accomplishment of a great Canadian athlete who became the first Canadian in 27 years to win the overall title at the world all around speed skating championships. She is Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg, my home city, who finished third in the women's 1,500 and 5,000 metres Sunday to capture the overall gold, and be crowned the most complete speed skater in the world. That is a signal honour.

Ms. Klassen was also second at the world spring championship last month and has won four World Cups so far this winter.

I am sure all members will join me in congratulating this young athlete for her great victory and in thanking her for bringing so much honour to Canada.

Volunteerism January 30th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate one of my constituents, Mr. Bob Harvey, for his outstanding efforts on behalf of the Canadian Executive Service Organization.

Mr. Harvey is currently in Jelgava, Latvia, working with a government owned health insurance company to assist with the development of new health care legislation. Mr. Harvey has also been conducting seminars on health care issues and to emphasize the need for improvements to the Latvian health care system.

Bob Harvey, a dedicated hardworking volunteer, is typical of the Canadian Executive Service Organization. Volunteers such as Mr. Harvey are truly outstanding Canadians.