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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was place.

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

Won his last election, in 2000, with 63% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply October 21st, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I also would like to remark that I found the type of questioning which was directed to the leader of the New Democratic Party to be rather disgusting in a place which frankly should be above that kind of personal attack.

I would find myself not agreeing in many instances with the hon. leader of the New Democratic Party but I at least respect the legacy of the New Democrats having come from a labour family. My father was the national director of the United Steelworkers of America for 20-some years. I know the dedication and hard work which were put into developing social policies.

We should give credit where it is due. The New Democrats can indeed take some credit for some of the social programs which exist in this country, not the least of which is medicare.

Having said that, I would ask the leader of the New Democratic Party to explain to this House how that party's policies will work for Canada. We have seen what happened in the province of Ontario from 1990 to 1995. We have seen the devastation that occurred as a result of some of those policies which may have seemed good on paper but in reality did not stand the test of good government.

I would ask the member to respond.

Employment October 10th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, statistics show that we are indeed seeing major improvements around the country in employment. Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick had significant reductions in the their unemployment rates last month. There has been a substantial shift in the country from part time to full time employment in the month of September.

The situation for youth has improved tremendously over the last four months, with a nearly 1% drop in the unemployment rate. Employment is up by nearly 300,000 jobs since February. The unemployment rate is 2.2 percentage points lower and private sector employment is up by a million jobs since the government took office.

It is very clear that the job strategy of the government is working for Canadians.

Airports October 7th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

Can the minister confirm that there are guidelines restricting the hours of operation at Lester B. Pearson International Airport and can the minister assure the citizens of Mississauga that the government will not allow the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to unilaterally change those hours?

Kinsmen Club Of Erin Mills October 2nd, 1997

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise in the House today to bring to your attention that the Kinsmen Club of Erin Mills, a community that forms an integral part of my riding, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend on October 4.

A visionary group of young men started the local Kinsmen Club 20 years ago. Since then they have made a positive contribution to the quality of life in Erin Mills and throughout Mississauga. In its 20-year history the club has organized many local events and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit non-profit community organizations. Some of the beneficiaries include the Erinoak Treatment Centre for Children, the Credit Valley Hospital, the local Boy Scout troop and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, among many others.

Thousands of our residents have benefited directly from the activities of the Kinsmen. On behalf of the House I would like to congratulate the Erin Mills Kinsmen Club on 20 years of hard work and dedicated service to our community.

Speech From The Throne September 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, the party opposite has a clear-cut goal. Having said that, I think it is important for those of us from English Canada, from communities like Mississauga which by the way is designated as officially bilingual because of the francophone community we have there, to say that we do not want the polarization that party seeks. We want Canada to be strong.

We realize that in order to be strong we have to deal with the issue of separation and national unity. We have to send a message from sea to sea to sea which says we are united, that Quebec is a part of Canada.

A vast majority of the people, at least a clear majority of the people in the province of Quebec, has recently stated they are tired of this issue. They are more concerned about the economy and they want to get on with building this great nation.

Speech From The Throne September 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, it is helpful for the member to ask the question and then tell me what I should answer. I appreciate the fact that the two parties are fighting over an opportunity to respond to some of my comments.

Let me say very directly to the member opposite that I certainly—and I believe my government—recognize the province of Quebec as a partner within Confederation. We recognize it as a unique society. I personally recognize it as quite distinct. When we look at language, when we look at law, when we look at culture, there is every reason for the country to embrace the province of Quebec as a distinct society or a unique society, whatever word we want to put on it.

I was in fact cautioned before I made my somewhat embarrassing attempt at French. The reason I was doing it was that hopefully within a year or so I will be a little more proficient and able to address answers to the member in the French language.

I was also told that I probably should not waste my time trying to convert the Bloc Quebecois. I can see that is obvious. You have one goal and one goal only and that is to destroy this country. Frankly that is not what—

Speech From The Throne September 25th, 1997

Our plan is a balanced plan. We said clearly and loudly during the election that when we achieve a surplus, 50 percent of that surplus will go to the kind of social spending that the NDP talks about and for tax relief, and 50 p. cent will go toward debt reduction.

It is a balanced plan that we believe the people of Canada believe in. Clearly they have sent us here to administer that plan and to deliver it.

I would ask my hon. friends in the third party to remember that Canada is a unique and wonderful country. From coast to coast, our country embraces many regions, each different in its own way, including the very unique province of Quebec.

Throughout our long history, we have learned to set our differences aside and work together to build a great country. A great and vigorous country where democracy flourishes, without sacrificing minority rights, a country where citizens can move freely, a country where everyone can speak freely without fear of persecution, a country that is the envy of the world.

I believe all Canadians are prepared to reconcile their differences and continue building their country. Recent surveys show that the vast majority of Quebecers want to stay in Canada. Quebecers want to be a part of this great country.

I would urge hon. members of the third party to respect the will of the majority of Quebecers as expressed in two referendums and numerous surveys, and give up their plans to destroy this unparalleled success.

I suggest they join us to continue building this country.

I apologize for the quality of my French, but I think it is important that we send the message to the third party in the House that the people of Quebec are sending to you. We want Quebec to stay in Canada and help build this wonderful country.

Speech From The Throne September 25th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to offer either my congratulations or my condolences to you. I think your job is going to be interesting over the next four or five years. I wish you well and I look forward to it.

I will be sharing my time with the member for Waterloo—Wellington who will speak after me.

I would like to begin by paying tribute to my predecessors who have represented Mississauga West. Mississauga Centre became the new riding in the redistribution and the member previous for Mississauga West is now the member for Mississauga Centre; prior to her Dr. Bob Horner, a good friend and a wonderful man, unfortunately with the Conservative Party, although not his fault; prior to him of course Doug Fisher, a good long time Liberal, and Tony Abbot before him.

My riding has always sent a representative to the government, no matter what party happened to be elected. Fortunately for me it has done so once again.

Specifically I would like to thank the voters of Mississauga West for their confidence in sending me to Ottawa to represent them in this place. Mississauga West is an interesting riding made up of three very distinct communities, Streetsville, Erin Mills and Meadowvale. The perception of the riding is really different than the reality, as is probably true of many ridings. The perception is that it is a riding with high average incomes. It is mainly family and small business oriented, a riding of baby boomers one might say.

In addition we have our share of concerns and problems. I frankly take exception to a member of the House standing in his place and saying that because we are Liberals in the government we do not care about people. That is absolute nonsense. It is stuff that I have listened to for five years in opposition to the NDP in the parliament of Ontario. It is interesting that is almost déja vu in this place.

We care about social housing problems. We need more in my riding. I was the president of the Peel non-profit housing while a member of Peel regional council. I was on that board for nine years. We have women's shelters and a food bank. We want to end the systemic violence against women and children, and no individual or political party in the House has cornered those concepts and ideas.

We have youth unemployment and under employment. I have three sons in their 20s and I am concerned about their future the same as all parents care about the future of their children. We have new Canadians, refugees who need help to adjust. We have crime. We need to fight crime to take back our streets. We in the Liberal Party believe that we can do all of those things by providing a balance.

That brings me to my point with regard the throne speech. We will not govern on the extremes of the right or the extremes of the left. Rather we will bring a balance to the government of this great country. We hear calls to spend more from the left. I sat and watched an NDP government in Ontario take the total debt of that province from $39 billion in 1990 to over $100 billion in 1995, which literally destroyed the confidence of one of our greatest provinces. What I hear from the party of the left is to spend more.

I watched what the Tories did. It was interesting to hear the sound bite this morning on the news of the leader of what I believe is the fifth party in this beautiful establishment, the leader of the Progressive Conservatives, who said that there was a sign over the Prime Minister's door which reads “send it and we will spend it”. There was a sign over Mr. Mulroney's door which read “we will spend it before you send it”. The NDP sign would say “we will spend it. You send it and we will spend it again”. That is the nonsense of getting into extremes.

I find the official opposition to be rather interesting. It is the politics of Ross Perot. It uses analogies like Ross Perot would do when he says on television “If you want to know why the car won't run, you have to open up the hood and look at the engine”. I heard the Leader of the Opposition say that they have fixed one of the flat tires on the car. I heard the speaker from the Reform Party this morning go through some incredible analogy about a ship at sea going down the Niagara River. He lost most Canadians and most people in the House before he got on board the particular ship.