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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was farmers.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Canadian Alliance MP for Selkirk—Interlake (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canadian Parks Agency Act March 19th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I am quite interested in the financial aspects of this bill. Therefore I will make my question to the speaker quite simple.

What effect does he see, if any, of the MAI agreement that could come down on our national parks system in Canada? Is there a possibility of foreign interests getting involved in our parks system?

Canadian Parks Agency Act March 19th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting the evolution of this Liberal government's financing to its departments. In the last Parliament I was not here. I was out in the constituency and I was aware of what was going on. It financed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the tune of $100 million to set up 13 integrated proceeds of crime sections. The RCMP was forced to borrow that $100 million and is now in the process of paying it back.

I see there has been an evolution in this 36th Parliament to a full retention and reinvestment authority for all revenues. I wonder if this, in the hon. member's opinion, would be a good thing to extend to the RCMP to fight crime, to have the moneys retained and reinvested in fighting crime as opposed to paying it back to the Treasury Board.

Competition Act March 16th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting to hear the discussion regarding wanting to keep both the Royal Bank and the Bank of Montreal in Outlook, Saskatchewan. I would like to contrast that kind of thinking with the Reform type of thinking that happens to come out of my constituency and out of Reform country, which is most of western Canada.

We are quite pleased when one of the banks happens to pull out of town because one of our local credit unions walks right in and opens a branch. The first thing we know the credit union that is owned by our small farmers and the union people who work at various unionized shops in my riding get together and put together a credit union that then provides banking services. We keep the profits and all those good things at home. That is Reform country.

Does the member support the big banks or does he support the little guy as he is supposed to?

Competition Act March 16th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, my question is with regard to the criminal offences that have been mentioned in this act. I would like to know if the act amends the Criminal Code to have these criminal offences designated under the Criminal Code for the purposes of the proceeds of crime legislation. Can the moneys be recovered under the proceeds of crime legislation? Are there provisions made for that?

Canada Labour Code March 16th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on Bill C-19. This bill starts with a change in the name to the bill from the Canadian Labour Relations Board to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board. This certainly differentiates it from the original bill that was brought forward. It is not as specific. I would like to point out that this bill still has to do with labour relations.

What else does this bill do? The member for Palliser commented very strongly on support of the union particularly on the west coast. I would like to make it clear that the NDP, the member for Palliser and the rest of his colleagues have at heart only the interests of the unions. The Reform Party has the interests of unionized workers and the non-unionized workers such as farmers in western Canada. It is this kind of an approach that is required when bringing legislation before this House.

Serving only the interests of the big unions on the west coast is a dramatic hindrance to the economic performance of this country and it is a dramatic hindrance to agriculture in western Canada. We only have to look at some of the problems that arise for farmers in the west to see that every dollar counts.

In the past couple of years we have had the transportation problems with grain moving to the west coast. Over the years there have been many strikes and grain sales were held up. The problems I am referring to in the past years have ended up costing farmers in the neighbourhood of $100 million between demurrage costs, lost sales and those kinds of thing.

When legislation is brought forward in this House, we have to look at whether or not it is good overall in the sense that is it 80% to 90% good for everyone, or is it really just good for a small segment of workers. Good legislation should not disadvantage to a great extent any one group in Canadian society. As an example, a piece of legislation which comes to mind as good and which everyone can support is the RCMP superannuation act. It is legislation where everyone wins.

Bill C-19 has some good points. However in the whole it is insufficient to pass a bill that does only a little good and a whole lot of harm. It certainly does good. If there is an elevator terminal on the west coast full of grain and a strike happens, the people who move the grain from the elevator on to a ship are required to go back to work to put that grain on.

However, as the days drag on in a strike and if the elevator was empty or was not necessarily full at the start, what happens then? This legislation will not enable the agriculture products from western Canada to continue moving because there will not be anything to move. What is the solution? Certainly labour has to be treated fairly and properly. There are mechanisms by which this can be done.

The Reform Party has very clearly come out with a plan that would enable the unions and the workers to be treated fairly. They would receive good compensation for the work they do. It would also protect those people who do not have protection under legislation, for example the farmers in western Canada and other small businesses that move their products through ports.

I would suggest as put forward by the Reform Party that a labour dispute settlement mechanism such as final offer selection arbitration would be useful on the west coast. It would ensure that labour is treated fairly, that it is properly compensated for its efforts and that farmers in western Canada continue to have their grains and other products moved.

Strikes in the public sector differ from those in the private sector because of the monopolistic nature of most public services. Final offer selection arbitration gives labour and management the tools to resolve their differences. It does not favour one side over the over. It eliminates government interference in the negotiations.

The Reform Party believes that final offer selection arbitration would provide protection from back to work legislation in a strike or lockout situation.

We only have to look back a few weeks to see the mess we were in during the post office strike. In that case both union and management knew that the House was going to have to do something eventually. Therefore they had no incentive to get together to come up with a good solution. As a result many Canadians suffered drastically as that strike went on, primarily small business and small farmers.

My friends to the left in the NDP represent only the big unions. They have no balanced approach to represent all Canadians. I agree the unions have to have the right to organize, the right to bargain, but their right is not supreme over the right of all Canadians. That is the point I make in that regard.

I will quickly comment on how this final selection arbitration would work. If and only if the union and employer cannot make an agreement by the conclusion of the previous contract, the union and employer would provide the minister with the name of a person or persons they jointly recommend as an arbitrator or arbitration panel. The union and employer would be required to submit to the arbitrator/panel a list of the matters agreed upon and a list of matters still under dispute.

For disputed issues each party would be required to submit a final offer for settlement. The arbitrator/panel selects either the final offer submitted by the trade union or the final offer submitted by the employer, all of one position or all of the other position. The arbitrator's decision would be binding on both parties.

As the member for Brandon—Souris commented, this legislation is exactly like Bill C-4. Nobody but those with a narrow little interest wants to see this legislation go ahead. As a result I cannot support this bill.

I support the Reform Party's position that we want to see unions treated fairly. We want to see non-unionized people treated fairly. I believe the plan we have put forward will do that.

Questions On The Order Paper March 12th, 1998

With respect to the settlement of the federal employees' pay equity issue: ( a ) at what stage are the negotiations; ( b ) when will they be finished; and ( c ) when will the affected persons receive their cheques?

The Budget March 9th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, last Friday the Manitoba government brought down its budget which indicated that $150 million would go to pay down the debt. That figure is related to a timetable that brings down the debt to GDP ratio by the year 2028. It is a hard and fast timetable to get the province of Manitoba at a manageable level of debt.

Could the member advise this House of the government's timetable for reducing Canada's overall debt?

Business Of The House February 23rd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, my question originally had to do with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the military in Haiti. I would like to tell the House right off the bat that this question has absolutely nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the safety of the RCMP members stationed there on the peacekeeping mission. Actually, I believe that it is now a training mission.

In any event, the two areas we were dealing with after the military left had to do with the physical safety of members of the RCMP as they carried out their training duties and their work with the local police forces.

Haiti is a relatively unstable country. It is still working out its democratic institutions.

A couple of recent events come to mind. For example, a police chief was reportedly killed in the area with a machete. Apparently he was beheaded. That indicates that the level of violence to which I am referring is present.

At the time of my question and at the time of committee meetings on the RCMP superannuation act, one of the assistant commissioners stated that the RCMP did have some concerns and that they were sending a medical officer to Haiti to look into the situation and ensure that members of the force were being properly taken care of.

If a member of the RCMP is injured we want to ensure that they have the care required, similar to what they would receive in Canada.

My question to the parliamentary secretary is twofold. Are the members of the RCMP in Haiti sufficiently safe in their duties, having due regard to the local situation? This also includes other countries which might have military support in Haiti. Second, if a member of the RCMP is injured, either slightly or seriously, can the parliamentary secretary confirm that there will be adequate care given to that member?

Property Rights February 23rd, 1998

Madam Speaker, I would like to share my time with another member.

The question of property rights is certainly bigger than physical property as in land and other things we own and are physically able to touch. It is important to protect the other property rights and intangibles such as the property rights my friend was talking about with regard to land, Bill C-68, guns and other property.

If we do not have security of property, it brings into the question the security of a lot of things. We will be debating the MAI which will have to do with foreign investment in Canada. Once again property rights will come up as part of that discussion.

The hon. member on the other side was talking about the protection of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The question of property rights has to be entrenched in the constitution, because we feel that having that right should be fundamental to being a Canadian.

It was certainly mentioned in the U.S. constitution that it was a fundamental right for Americans. I think we can look toward the way its society has evolved. There is no reason we could not have evolved in much the same way. In keeping with that theme I would like to point out there is still time for us to do that.

If the motion would have been made votable, it would have been an indication from the House of whether or not Canadians across the country were concerned about the issue and whether or not there was more support for it than what the members opposite and the government indicate.

This confiscation of property tends to leave the person from whom the property is taken without adequate compensation for what is being done to him. As a result it takes away from basic rights.

The hon. member next to me will continue my portion of this presentation.

National Revenue February 18th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, on Monday when I asked the national revenue minister about the leaked income tax return he denied it. On Tuesday he referred to clearing up ambiguities. What about a clear and honest answer today? How many more ambiguities are there, 100, 1,000, or 10,000?