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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was reform.

Last in Parliament September 2002, as Liberal MP for Saint Boniface (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 52% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Science, Research And Development May 25th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have generally accepted that the rate of participation by women in the natural sciences and engineering sectors is too low. In fact, it is less than 12%.

NSERC has also recognized this and it put forward a university faculty awards program where there are opportunities for women. They are chosen like any other individual. They go through the very same steps. They must have a research project that is at the leading edge of their expertise.

By providing the right tools, by providing the right role models, we will have more women and men participating in science and technology.

Persons With Disabilities May 14th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, in western rural Canada through the community futures development corporations, the Government of Canada has provided $6.5 million in loans. This has resulted in 319 loans and roughly 650 jobs.

With respect to the urban areas, we are in the cities of Edmonton and Calgary and the cities of Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg with similar kinds of programs. We are looking to grow into other cities because these programs have worked. The Government of Canada is vitally interested in providing the correct tools so that disabled Canadians can be—

Questions On The Order Paper May 13th, 1999

Western economic diversification has provided one federal contribution of $1.3 million through the infrastructure works program to renovate the Stanley Theatre in Vancouver.

Small Business April 28th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I was in Edmonton. On behalf of the Government of Canada I had the honour of announcing $90 million over five years in operational funds for 90 community futures development corporations that cover virtually the whole of western Canada.

These organizations are run by local volunteers. They work with partners in assessing the community and economic development needs of their communities. They provide a wide range of services to the private sector, particularly the small businesses. This is good—

Western Economic Diversification April 13th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, last Friday on behalf of the Government of Canada I had the pleasure of renewing the mandate of the Women's Enterprise Centres, one for each of the western provinces, which amounted to a $17.5 million renewal.

Why? Because independent evaluation showed that they did exceptionally well.

In what areas? Providing advice and counselling, access to funding, education, training, networking, mentoring and partnerships with government and non-government agencies. Women have been extremely successful in business. They need to be supported—

Supply April 13th, 1999

Madam Speaker, first I want to know whether my colleague believes that the decision taken by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, an independent organization which makes decisions based upon the evaluation of peers, the very best in the field, determining whether or not something should be supported, was a good decision for Saskatoon and a good decision for Canada.

My second point concerns the Official Languages Act. I have two questions in this regard. Does my colleague realize that when he quotes figures it provides translation services for our colleagues from Quebec who want to express themselves very often in their first language.

They want to speak their first language, French.

Does he realize as well that it involves services that we require in order to speak to people who do business with Canada from other countries? It is not simply money that is tossed away. Why is it that he and the Reform Party are so irritated by the French language? What is with them?

Supply April 13th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, I think an error was made by previous speakers, which I am sure was unintentional. The official name of the task force which has been referred to is the Prime Minister's caucus task force on the four western provinces.

My question is very simple. I want to ask my colleague if he personally has ever made any positive comments about the Government of Canada's contributions to western Canadians or to Alberta in particular.

I will give him a couple of examples that I think might be useful.

He may not be aware that there are 14 centres of excellence in Canada and that the University of Alberta is involved in 14 out of 14. I think the University of Calgary is involved in 12 out of 14. That is a pretty good score.

He may not know that since 1993, 1,790 schools and 72 libraries have been connected in Alberta.

He may not know that the Small Business Loans Act backed 20,957 loans, valued at $1.4 billion, to Alberta SMEs.

He may not know that the National Research Council, through its IRAP program—and these are people in the field working with industry to try to bring ideas in order to commercialize manufacturing as quickly as possible—provided support to 838 clients for 1,319 projects worth $26.7 million.

He may not know that the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada has invested since 1993 $132.6 million.

He may not know that the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has invested since 1993 over $24 million.

He may not know as well about the $40 million partnership that Canada has with the province of Alberta that is going very, very well.

Are these the kinds of things that the hon. member shares with his constituents, with other Albertans and with other western Canadians? Perhaps he could enlighten us.

Supply April 13th, 1999

Madam Speaker, I want to commend my colleague for his positive attitude. Let me give a few examples.

He acknowledged that any activity which a political party takes has a political dimension. When I go to Brandon and make an announcement which I have done, obviously it has a political dimension. When one undertakes an initiative such as the one we are discussing this morning, out of necessity it has some political ramifications. There is no question about that.

I am particularly pleased that my colleague pointed out that if we look at the country today, indeed if we look at the world, there are some questions we could have been discussing today, debating and exchanging information on which could have benefited all Canadians. I am not sure that is going to happen.

Would my colleague agree that an initiative such as the one that has been undertaken, which he has discussed, could have some potentially positive benefits for western Canadians and western Canadian provinces? I indicated that the Government of Canada was fully integrated into western Canada. There are a lot of services which many people do not know about, but I acknowledge the fact that a couple of colleagues have identified how helpful those have been.

Let us strip away the politics. Let us strip away the other dimensions. Is there some potential benefit in having people from not only western Canada but from eastern Canada, MPs as well as senators, meet with groups to talk to them and to try to understand better than they do now what this country is all about? In this case it happens to be western Canada.

Supply April 13th, 1999

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the appropriate question. Of course there are issues and I wish we would identify them.

Let us talk about the $400 million that was given to west coast fisheries. Is that appropriate? Is it working? How is it going?

Let us talk about the $224.5 million that was given to flood victims in Manitoba. Is that appropriate? Is it working?

Let us talk about the $56 million that was invested in Synchroton in Saskatoon. Is that an appropriate investment? Are we for it or against it? Those are the questions we ought to be talking about.

Supply April 13th, 1999

Madam Speaker, I would like to know what his point is.

I wanted to point out that western economic diversification, with other government departments, has responded to the needs of western Canadians such as those in rural areas and francophones.

They do not want to hear about that. We have been involved with the fishing communities that were devastated in western Canada and with the people affected by the floods. We have had a number of initiatives in science and technology and invested major dollars in western Canada. Why? Because western Canadians are competitive.

Why is it that hon. members opposite cannot see what the government has done? Why is it that their only ability is to try to identify issues about which they know very little and to try to inflame the passions of western Canadians against other regions of the country? I cannot understand that logic. That is petty politics. That is unacceptable. Frankly I am ashamed of that behaviour.