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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was debate.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Conservative MP for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 41% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Economy January 28th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have good news for the House. The Conference Board of Canada has released its index of business confidence which as members know is regarded as a leading indicator of economic activity.

The index shows a jump of 10 per cent to a level of 150.8 for the final quarter of 1993, bringing the index to its highest level since the first quarter of 1989.

My question is directed to the acting Minister of Finance. Can Canadians consider this most welcome news as a harbinger of the end of the recession?

Speech From The Throne January 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add a few comments to this debate being someone who comes from southern Ontario, very much an anglophone region.

Ultimately, my question is: Is it a matter of language or is it a matter of other things that we might have in common? I would like to very briefly tell an anecdote for the benefit of the hon. members of the Bloc.

Some 15 years ago I was a journalist at a newspaper in southern Ontario when an event occurred in Quebec that some of the Bloc Quebecois members will remember. It was called the Saint-Jean-Vianney landslide that occurred in the region of Lac-Saint-Jean.

I, as the only reporter at my newspaper with only my school French, and very poor French I have to say, was sent to that area on the anniversary of the landslide to do a story on a year's aftermath. I had a great deal of difficulty, with my poor school French, to communicate with the people in the area because the accent was very different than the accent I had been taught in school.

However, I have to say that the people were very nice. They took me to their local club, an Odd Fellows hall, in which I must say I felt very much at home. I was able to communicate with the people through a person I had met in the club from northern Ontario. He was able to translate my bad French into the Quebeçois French-and possibly my very bad English as well-which was very useful for me.

What was so striking about this event was that even with the language problem I felt very much at home when I sat in this little Odd Fellows hall. We then went across to the beverage room, as we would say in English Canada in those days. I suppose Le bar is what they say in the Lac-Saint-Jean region.

As a journalist in those days, I very much favoured drinking Scotch. Journalists in those days drank scotch in order to show that they really were newspapermen. At the bar I asked if I could have a scotch. I was told that they did not have scotch, only rye, but I still felt very much at home. We really share a Canadian thing in that.

What I finally found out during my investigation of the landslide was that when the catastrophe occurred the majority of the people in Saint-Jean-Vianney were watching hockey. I felt very much at home.

Speech From The Throne January 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I quite enjoyed the remarks of the hon. member for Fraser Valley East and I found them very edifying.

I come from a riding that is mainly suburban-urban so I cannot claim to have the expertise on GATT and agriculture that he obviously does have. However, I do have to say that some of his remarks do not parallel the kind of reading I am doing on this issue. In my mind, he seems to confuse ice cream and yogurt with other dairy products.

My understanding is that in the GATT round at Geneva what was at stake was a question of either sacrificing all the GATT or preserving marketing boards and in fact what subsequently occurred is that a deal was struck at GATT which is still to be ratified basically putting a tariff regime on most poultry and dairy products.

What has happened here is that ice cream and yogurt failed at the GATT panel some years ago. Now the Americans have come forward and questioned the tariff regime that we would like to see on ice cream and yogurt. That is what is at question here. Perhaps the hon. member knows something that I do not on this issue. As I understand it also from everything that I have read GATT takes precedence over NAFTA in every category involving this tariffication of dairy and poultry products, with the exception of ice cream and yogurt.

Given all these things, is the hon. member suggesting that the Reform Party's approach to agriculture policy over the last two months would be one where he would sacrifice, would do without the GATT agreement in favour of preserving marketing boards? That was the kind of choice we had. Is that what the member for Fraser Valley East would recommend?

Speech From The Throne January 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I quite enjoyed the hon member's remarks. They help me indeed in understanding a lot of things. I must say also though that I am one of those new Liberal MPs the hon. member mentioned in his remarks. There are some things I do not quite understand and I hope the hon. member can clarify them for me.

I have heard consistently through the day from other hon. members of the Reform Party that the Reform Party appears to be universally against higher taxes. Indeed the proposal, as the hon. member has said, is to lower taxes. Juxtaposed against this consistent theme is the idea that MPs should take a 10 per cent salary cut. I am quite interested by this juxtaposition.

My question therefore for the hon. member is when we put these two things together, am I to understand that the hon. member and the party of which he is a member would support a 10 per cent tax surcharge on all those earning $60,000 or more?

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to represent the people of Hamilton-Wentworth both in the House and in this debate. I must say too, as this is my maiden speech, that it is somewhat daunting to follow such eloquence as we have heard here for most of the day.

I would like to convey to you, Mr. Speaker, and hon. members an anecdote that pertains to the debate we have heard in the House. I come from the village of Lynden, a rural community of some 500 in southern Ontario, which has always managed to send some of its sons and daughters to the great wars of this century.

On the wall as one enters the village church there is a roll of honour commemorating those who died in the service of their country. The village also has a branch of the Royal Canadian Legion which over the years has served, especially on November 11, to keep alive the memory of those who were willing to defend their lives, not just for Canada but for what Canada stands for.

Shortly before Christmas I attended a social at the legion centred on the giving out of service pins. The event was well attended for the branch is well supported in the community. What was unusual however was to see someone there who was actually on active service, to see the green uniform of today's Canadian forces. It was a young man in his early twenties named Chris Kivell. I talked to Chris whom I have known since he was a little boy. He had just been accepted into the Canadian forces, into the artillery. He was following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Owen Kivell, who had served in the navy during the second world war. Owen had survived the torpedoing of a ship in the north Atlantic. Young Chris looked very fine in his new uniform which he wore with pride.

Nevertheless I asked if he was not scared about the prospect of being sent to a hot spot like Bosnia and he said that he was. He had talked to other young men who had been there and who had recited the frustrations and dangers. Then he said to me suddenly, perhaps remembering that I was an MP: "But, Mr. Bryden, don't let them pull the Canadian troops out of Bosnia. We want to be there". I have since had time to reflect on his comment. A whole generation separates us so I cannot be sure that I am reading his feelings accurately. However I know my village. I know the people in it. I know the values he grew up with.

My conclusion is that Canada has a fine military tradition both francophone and anglophone going right back to the French and British struggles of the 18th century. In the 20th century in the Boer War, the Great War and World War II, Canadian soldiers both French and English speaking incurred the admiration even of their enemies for their bravery and devotion at Dieppe, at Normandy and during the liberation of Europe.

In the post-war years the Canadian forces became specialists at peacekeeping. Again our Canadian soldiers garnered the admiration of the world for their firmness, their bravery and their non-partisan ability to keep warring parties apart. The book perhaps has yet to be written that fully describes their accomplishments but the world knows. Canada and peacekeeping: that is the legacy that has been created by Canada's soldiers over the past 40 years.

Now the world is a darker and more threatening place. The breakup of federated nations like the former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia has unleashed hatreds that go back centuries. Peacekeeping as we used to know it is all but impossible in these terrible tribal conflicts. The hate runs deep and it has no respect for women and children.

Our soldiers in Bosnia are there for humanitarian reasons only. At the risk of their lives they are there to guarantee that people be fed. The UN intervention has saved hundreds of thousands from starvation. Canada is an essential part of that intervention. Canadian soldiers have died in Bosnia. Others have been injured but thousands of people, mainly women, children and the elderly, have been saved.

I submit that the international role of Canada's military has advanced rather than regressed, advanced at least in spirit. Instead of fighting to win wars and instead of fighting to prevent wars now in Bosnia we are simply fighting to save lives. Is there a nobler purpose for a soldier? I think not.

I look across the floor in the direction of members of Bloc and Reform. I was most impressed by the compassionate content of their remarks during the debate. Their comments reveal that no matter what separates us in ideology, no matter what separates us in history going back to Lord Durham's report or to the Plains of Abraham, we are united in our desire as Canadians. Call us what us what you will, Saskatchewaners, BCers, Acadians or Quebecers, we are united in our desire to rescue those in the world who are defenceless, those who are hurt and hungry.

Let us not be deflected from doing what is right because of opinion polls. The trouble with always doing what a majority seems to want is that majorities can sometimes be poorly informed. There is no regular news coverage of the Canadian forces in Bosnia. Their story is not being told by the Canadian media. We cannot judge the Canadian situation in Bosnia by watching CNN or reading a newspaper. We must therefore take guidance from the only people who really know, who are right on the spot: our own soldiers, the Vandoos and the Princess Pats for instance. They believe in what they are doing. We on all sides of the House should be very proud of them.

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I found the remarks of the hon. member to be very informative. I was very struck by his suggestion that we bring sound businesses practices to what is essentially war.

Would the hon. member mind elaborating on how we put humanitarian aid on a sound financial footing?