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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was years.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Halton (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 47% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Renewable Energy February 13th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, with his first budget just days away, I would like to take this opportunity to remind the Minister of Finance and the House of the tremendous potential of biofuels.

Investing in biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel could mean new jobs, improved energy security, rural development, improved health for our constituents and decreased emissions of greenhouse gases. With new technology and falling costs, we must act now to reap the benefits.

We have taken first steps but we can and must do more. Rural caucus members from this side of the House have called for a $400 million investment in a national renewable fuels strategy to provide incentives so that we can produce enough biofuel right here in Canada. I look forward to hearing good news in the budget.

Assisted Human Reproduction Act February 11th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I move:

That report stage Motion No. 86 be amended by adding in new clause No. 5.1 after the words “licensee to provide” the words “to an independent repository designated by”.

That would replace the agency with an independent repository.

Government of Canada December 13th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Yukon, I have the honour to ask his traditional year end question of the hon. government House leader.

Would the House leader please outline what the government has accomplished since September of this year?

Community Policing Award December 13th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that the Halton Regional Police Service has won the 2002 Community Policing Award for its total integrated policing service delivery, a model of community policing based on extensive research and input from all members of the service and the community.

Developed in response to problems with a nightclub that attracted clientele from around the Golden Horseshoe, the Halton police worked with local residents and business owners to reduce or eliminate the dynamics that were providing the opportunity for crime to flourish. Working together they identified problems and came up with an immediate coordinated strategy to improve safety for everyone and quality of life in the neighbourhood.

Congratulations to Halton police on being recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and ITT Industries Night Vision for this outstanding initiative.

Prebudget Consultations December 12th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, there are efficiencies of course and every area must be examined. What registers with me most strongly is the area of accountability. When we transfer funds to the provinces, we do not want them spending medical transfers on lawnmowers.

Prebudget Consultations December 12th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, we are all aware that a large percentage of emissions into the atmosphere are as a result of all sorts of combustible fossil fuels in our transportation system. When that traffic is reduced and changed into other modes of transportation, naturally the emissions are reduced.

Intermodal freight traffic, in the view of this humble member, is one of the keys to the future. It will get long distance trucks off the highways and move them on to rail. I have talked to people in the trucking industry who are so enthusiastic that this be expanded. Southern Ontario has some intermodal traffic now and it will have more in the future, wherever they are located. I would say to my friend that these kinds of techniques are the way we must go.

I see an increase in urban transit and an increase in intercity transportation of people on rail particularly. We have allowed our rail system to decline in recent years. It is undergoing a revival. In the higher population areas it will revive even more quickly. I think we are making great progress.

Prebudget Consultations December 12th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I remind my hon. friend that in 1994 when I co-chaired a task force on ethanol, one of the great naysayers at the time, a senior bureaucrat in the government, told the task force that there would be a loss of 4,000 jobs if 10% ethanol went into gasoline across Canada. What he failed to tell us was the rest of the study which showed that there would be a gain of 6,000 jobs.

I say to my hon. friend with great respect that the naysayers can say what they like but they are not looking at the positive side. It does take a little vision, it does take a little innovation, it does take a little imagination, but we are on our way.

Prebudget Consultations December 12th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I will be dividing my time with the hon. member for York West.

It is an honour to rise on the prebudget consultation debate to look at what the government has accomplished to this point and where we may go in the future.

Looking into the past it might be relatively easy for someone like myself to say steady as she goes. The previous finance minister set up a system of two year rolling targets which resulted in balanced budgets. We are headed toward six consecutive balanced budgets for which I am sure the people of Canada are quite grateful. We have been able to make a substantive dent in the national debt and to certainly free up a great deal more revenue that can be used for worthwhile purposes.

Some changes have entered into the picture this last year that cannot be ignored. However they can be complemented in the budget that is to be put before us, possibly in February.

One is health care which Canadians consider to be the single most important social issue that we have to deal with. It is one of those wonderful elements that sets us apart from our cousins to the south. In the past it has proven to be an excellent program.

Physicians who deal internationally tell me that if we want to compare Canadian medicare with other countries all we have to do is to travel to every other country in the world. We would find with all of its weaknesses that medicare in Canada still holds its own at the top or close to the top of the heap. It is not that we cannot improve, but we must improve. We must meet the needs of Canadians in the future.

We must remember that when medicare came into existence people's expectations and the technology to treat people were very different from what they are today.The cost per citizen is a very different issue than it was in the 1960s. There are things like heart bypass operations now, which almost seem like getting a wisdom tooth extracted. After five days a patient is transferred to a rehab hospital and then is back on his or her feet. The vast majority of those surgeries are very effective.

That kind of medical procedure did not exist when medical care came into existence. We have to be cognizant of that. We get far better service than we did years ago. Our physicians know more and their practices are constantly improving. We are grateful for that but we have to find the resources to match the need. That is relatively new in the system, although it has been coming on over recent years.

The other element we are going to deal with for the first time is the commitment we made with respect to the Kyoto accord. It commits Canada to lowering greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels over the next 10 years.

It is interesting to observe that when it comes to health care and the Kyoto accord, the two of them have somehow come to fit together. The elements that Canada is challenged, in the view of this humble member, seem to have been opened up and positively exposed with the passage of the Kyoto accord. I will try to detail that as best I can.

I feel that when the new budget comes out, however we call it, whether we call it a health budget, a green budget, a Kyoto budget or whatever, a lot of the elements will be tied together. This should help to make a budget that is more efficient. It will strengthen Canada's financial position rather than weaken it.

I think of Kyoto and health, for instance, as that part of the health system that we consider preventive health rather than clinical treatment. According to the Ontario Medical Association there are about 1,800 to 2,000 premature deaths in Ontario every year because of dirty air and there is a huge escalation in the incidence of childhood asthma. In Alberta's oil patch, the information I have is that the incidence of respiratory ailments is three times higher than it is in the rest of the province of Alberta.

Surely those things should say something. They should make us conscious of the fact that when we think of the need for an improved health system, we should also think of the need for improved preventive measures. One of those preventive measures will be manifested in our setting on a journey of 1,000 miles, the first step of which was the endorsation of the Kyoto accord. Therefore it is a health issue.

Kyoto also is an agriculture issue. When we think of the potential to augment our fossil fuel supplies with biofuels that can be added to the existing fossil fuels and very much reduce emissions into the atmosphere as a result, Kyoto becomes an agriculture issue. It encourages markets for farmers who have really been suffering in the last few years because of the incredible agriculture subsidies in Europe and the United States. That is another plus. Perhaps we could call it an agriculture budget.

We could call it a transportation budget because one of the objectives is to reduce emissions.

When the budget comes down, I think a lot of these issues will converge. It will allow us to bring in a budget that will strengthen all the sectors of the economy.

Kyoto Protocol December 3rd, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I am at a loss to know where the hon. member for South Shore has been since he was elected to the House.

Has he forgotten about the ethanol biomass program? Has he ever thought to tour the plant in Chatham that is turning out nearly 200 million litres a year? Has he forgotten about the elimination of the excise tax on ethanol? Does he not know about the Iogen Corporation in the south end of Ottawa near the airport? It is working on ethanol development from cellulose with a very hefty infusion of cash from the federal government. Has he forgotten that? Has he forgotten the last budget? The former minister of finance announced supplemental buy-back rates for wind powered energy. Has he forgotten about that?

I realize we could always do more, but perhaps the member could comment on those initiatives.

Kyoto Protocol December 3rd, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my friend across the way that Kyoto is not a house. Kyoto is an objective. It is a direction that we must go in. It was precipitated because of a recognition that our climate was changing on earth due to human activity.

I also remind my young friend, who is relatively new in this Parliament, that consultations have been going on with the provinces for over five years. At least one province, Alberta, has had a detailed plan in its hands for 12 years, which the premier of Alberta somehow chooses to ignore.

Reaching the objective of Kyoto is going to be a combination of two things. It is going to be a plan, yes, but also running the race as technologies develop and as we reintroduce old technologies, which served the industrialization of this country so well before the days of petroleum and so on.

Would the member recognize that this is a two-pronged approach? Not only is it just the plan, but is it not also the race we have to run?