House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was farmers.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply June 8th, 1994

I would like to ask a question of the hon. member opposite. How many people in the world today would like to pay $26,000 or $50,000 and be able to move into this country? The world has recognized that we are living in the world's greatest spot. Many people would like to move here tomorrow.

The member opposite mentioned infrastructure.

Supply June 8th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member opposite for all the information, but I am not sure we really gained much.

He mentioned that we on this side of the House might like to re-establish our credibility. That was certainly re-established on the date of the election. I certainly notice in the polls from the west that we are doing very well in an area represented by a very regional party.

Our party has established confidence in the country. Confidence is something that we need. Certainly many of his constituents are very much more in favour of where we are headed today. There is a lot of confidence in the oil patch in the west. Prairie grain producers recognize what our ministers are doing and what we are doing around the world to protect the interests of our people. Things are certainly looking much better.

In Ontario small business is feeling better. Small business is starting to hire. The major employer in my riding is Goodyear Canada, the most modern tire plant in the world. It has just hired a few more people. It has gone over the 700 mark. It is investing in eastern Ontario and is shipping to auto manufacturers in Quebec, in western Ontario and right into Michigan. Its tires are being shipped all over North America. Why did Goodyear build a new modern plant in eastern Ontario? It is because it believes in the country.

The other day I was in the northern part of my riding. Georgia Pacific, one of the largest lumber companies in North America, has just invested several million dollars in a GP waferboard plant. Money is coming from the States and it is to hire 85 people next month. Certainly there is confidence there.

Our party is not like the party opposite. We do not want to cut the legs off the working people. We want everybody to be able to go to work.

You mentioned a $26,000 debt per person. Let me ask you: How many people in North America-

The Environment June 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, recently the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Agriculture announced 10 partnership projects in Ontario to promote sustainable agricultural practices which will benefit and restore fish and wildlife habitat.

Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington is proud to be included as part of the Canada-Ontario agricultural green plan. Over the next three years this plan will provide $1.8 million for demonstration projects which are part of the wetlands, woodlands, wildlife program.

I am very pleased that Ducks Unlimited, farmers and land owners in Lennox and Addington will be involved in this partnership project.

I am also pleased to announce that the Napanee Conservation Authority will participate in project sites on Little Creek, Selby and Wilton Creeks, which will include windbreaks and shelter belts, reforestation, fence rows, retirement of fragile land, livestock fencing, and stream bank stabilization.

The government's support of the Bay of Quinte's remedial action plan will ensure the goals of the 3-W program.

Royal Military College May 30th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, with the consolidation of military colleges in Quebec and British Columbia into one operation based at Royal Military College, many staff and students will be transferring to the greater Kingston area.

Contrary to the concerns that have been voiced by various Quebec interests, let me say to the faculty, staff and students at Royal Roads and collège militaire royal on their transfer to our area that our residents are looking forward to the enriching experience that these newcomers will bring to our communities.

Therefore, on behalf of the residents of the townships of Pittsburgh and Ernestown, I extend a warm hand of friendship, welcome and understanding to future RMC students and staff.

Let me also give my assurance that Pittsburgh and Ernestown townships will work together with RMC Base Kingston and others to establish a community liaison to assist in making the transition an enjoyable one for all concerned.

The Budget March 10th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

As I go back to my riding and talk to business people from across 5,000 miles of road a lot of these business people who like to complain about government-I complained about government for many years and I still do-believe there is a new confidence in the air already. I do not believe they are just saying this because I happen to be a Liberal member. I hear people running down the government but who are also acknowledging the fact that there is an atmosphere of confidence today and that things are getting better already.

Back to my small business background, I am certainly glad to talk about the debt. The hon. member's cohorts and my friends in our standing committee are letting every witness who comes in front of us know that we do have a debt in this country. Many of us believe that the only way we can look at this debt and be realistic in this country without ruining it is to have jobs.

Therefore we believe it is very important how we affect this country and certainly we want to provide the right atmosphere to help businesses grow.

The Budget March 10th, 1994

I thank the hon. member for his question. Certainly I appreciate the fact that I have had an inside opportunity for the last few weeks of sitting with the Standing Commit-

tee on Human Resources Development. We have been listening to witnesses for 12 and a half hours a day this week, and I will be back there shortly.

Certainly with our programs we are not setting out to cut off anyone and make them suffer and go hungry in this country. We believe that there is a lot of money in the system between the different levels of government, including all the provinces and this government. The strength seems to be that the municipalities can deliver a lot of these systems.

We can save a lot of money within the administration as we study that. We can put this to good use in helping to look after all the people of Canada.

The Budget March 10th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to have the opportunity to speak about such an important measure as the federal budget. I consider the budget to be a historic document which lays the necessary framework for a renewed, prosperous and just Canada.

As this is my maiden speech, I take the liberty to point out that my great privilege to be speaking today is also a historic occasion. I am the first Liberal representative of Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington since David Wright Allison defeated Sir John A. Macdonald back in 1883. It is a privilege to be given the trust and good wishes of one's constituents. I will work to ensure the government represents the concerns of my riding.

Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington extends from Lake Ontario in the southwest and Algonquin Park in the north to the Thousand Islands area in the southeast.

As I travel through the riding and stop in places like Bancroft, Madoc, Marmora, Stirling, Napanee, Arden, Sharbot Lake and my own village of Camden East, I receive many words of encouragement. I also receive general advice and specific suggestions about the issues that face our rural communities. I value this input and I thank the people of Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington for their support and wise counsel.

I give thanks to several hundred people who gave so freely of their time during the recent campaign. Today I am proud to be representing all of the people of our riding.

I would also like to publicly thank my wife Reta, and Kayla Rebecca, our daughter, for their love and support.

One of the messages I receive over and over again is that people want to see the government come out with an open and transparent game plan for economic and social renewal. My constituents expect no less. This is what the 1994 budget sets in motion, a framework for social and economic renewal.

Our objective is clear: to stimulate growth by targeting our spending without imposing new taxes. Just look at how quickly the government has set about funding initiatives which were promised during the campaign. In this party we take our platform, the red book, seriously.

The national infrastructure program has had a speedy start. In my riding alone 44 local level governments and five school boards are busy preparing their proposals. There is no doubt in my mind and in the minds of rural residents that there are many worthy infrastructure projects.

I received copies of proposals from a number of municipalities in my riding. My riding has the most miles of roads of any riding in Ontario. I have seen proposed projects for road improvements. I can attest that there are many heavily travelled arteries which have yet to be paved. The benefits of these proposed upgradings are many. Besides the prospects of jobs in road construction, there is the added benefit to the local tourist economy. Good roads get residents and tourists to and from their destinations quickly and safely.

Infrastructure projects may even save lives.

My background is in small business. I owned a general store in our community. My constituents own, work in and patronize small and medium sized businesses. Eighty per cent of new jobs are created by small and medium sized businesses. Eighty per cent of all jobs in rural areas are created by local based businesses.

This budget, I am pleased to point out, supports small and medium sized businesses. By its measures to support small business, this budget becomes the foundation for our country's economic renewal.

One of the most common complaints coming from the business community in my riding is that it is difficult to access bank capital for investment or expansion. During the election campaign we in the Liberal Party acknowledged this and promised to act to redress the situation.

The government is acting now in consultation with both financial institutions and businesses to develop a code of conduct for small business lending. The government's role is to act as an honest broker between stakeholders. By consulting with those concerned our government is showing its willingness and ability to tackle the problem of access to capital.

It is only by working with the banks and their business clients that we can together meet our country's common objective to improve the business environment and increase international competitiveness.

With this budget the government has proven that it not only knows how to consult but it knows how to listen and act as well.

More payroll taxes would have been a burden on business and a barrier to jobs. The government has acted decisively to roll back the unemployment insurance premium rate.

As most people know, a common request made to MPs' offices is for information on programs for small business. This suggests to me that Canadians have the will to create new businesses. Canadians have faith in their talent and their abilities. Canadians have plans that they are willing to put into action. Finally, Canadians have the initiative to search out the resources which are available to them.

My staff has been and will remain happy to seek information on government programs for small business on behalf of constituents.

It is only sensible that my staff and my constituents should be able to access complete information quickly. They need direct access to civil servants who hold an expert's knowledge of the content and scope of government programs for small business.

By next year the government will have put a Canada business services centre in every province. This is an efficient one stop shopping scheme for government programs. This is just one more piece of the framework which will serve to support business growth. With this budget the government is putting into place the building blocks necessary for strong social and economic renewal.

Also, on the economic front I am excited about the Canada investment fund and the Canadian technology network, just two more pieces of the framework for our country's renewal.

I am perhaps most encouraged by our government's commitment to fundamentally overhaul the social security system. We will not achieve savings by indiscriminately slashing the budget of social programs. Ours is not the mandate of the previous government. We have not been elected to tear down the social safety net, but rather to rebuild a system that works for all Canadians. This is our mandate and this is what the 1994 budget initiates.

Teaching Excellence In Science, Technology And Mathematics February 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, this morning the recipients of the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology and Mathematics were honoured. The 17 recipients, coming from all parts of Canada, are all exceptional teachers. They have formulated and put into practice innovative teaching methods.

In my riding, Mr. Richard Hopkins, a teacher at Napanee District Secondary School, is cited for creating an applied science and technology program which responds to local community needs. The students gain invaluable practical experience. There can be no greater testimony to Mr. Hopkins' ability than the fact that it was his students who nominated him for the award.

I note that the award winners are presently in Ottawa. I ask the House to join me today in congratulating all 17 worthy recipients of this national award.

Peacekeeping January 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate all the members of this House on their thoughtful comments during Tuesday's historic debate on Canada's peacekeeping role.

The decisions that we take on the future of peacekeeping in Bosnia cannot be divorced from the broader issue of Canada's overall future in international peacekeeping.

Like many of my constituents and many Canadians, I support the UN peacekeeping role. Peacekeeping is so vital to international security. Therefore we must examine, reconceive and perhaps reconsider our present involvement in Bosnia-Hercegovina. In my opinion there is no one right answer. There are only options to be weighed and there are only best possible choices.

I trust that our government has every intention of making the right choices. I thank the government for its sincere efforts to consider all the options and insights put forward in the House during the course of that historic debate.