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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was oshawa.

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

Won his last election, in 2000, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House November 7th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I have the honour of tabling, in both official languages, the government's response to the third report of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs entitled “Honouring the Pledge: Ensuring Quality Long-Term Care for Veterans”.

Veterans Affairs October 31st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, speaking personally, which I am not supposed to do, I would like to honour that request. However, things do not operate that way around here. One has to get consensus. Sometimes one even has to get consensus from the members opposite. However, in this case the consensus will be reached and there will be an answer.

Veterans Affairs October 31st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, inasmuch as I take a very important part in Remembrance Day ceremonies, I wish that I could make that kind of commitment.

I cannot make that commitment on behalf of the government. I am sure that a favourable decision will be made in the near future.

Veterans Affairs October 31st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, as to the time interval, I cannot answer. It is under study at the moment. I am quite sure that a favourable answer will come somewhere down the pipe.

Veterans Affairs October 31st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, as has been said before in the House and I pretty well have it memorized, the Department of Veterans Affairs exhausted its budget enabling 10,000 additional widows to receive VIP treatment.

As reported in the press, the Prime Minister has said that he would take a look at this and see what he could do. I am sure that the Prime Minister, with the other important decisions that he has to make in the next while, will do so.

Children of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance Act October 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I will not prolong this, but I am going to defend my minister. The hon. member opposite said some nice words about the minister, but I do not think he said enough.

Let us get this thing in perspective. We have been flogging this horse for so long now that I think it is down to a burrow. What happened was that we reassessed our budget. We had money assigned to programs that we figured we could get away with taking because the programs were not using up all that money and we wanted to use the money to put it where we could best use it.

We had five or six things that were on our “we would love to do” list. We took that money and we managed to do five of the six things. There was enough money left in the VIP to look after the widows of those veterans who died before June 2002. There was a bit of misinformation there. If the widows were on the program on May 12 then they would continue on the program.

That is all the money we had within the budget. Inasmuch as I am not one of these proverbial spendthrift Liberals, I believe we should stay within a budget. It was a re-apportionment of money within a budget. I do not want to go outside that budget, neither does the minister and neither does anyone else on this side. That was all the money there was.

That having been said, the veterans' organizations said, “That is too bad, but let us do what we can”. We might have been better off to say that we would not do anything with the VIP because, after all, there was not much fuss being raised about it so we could have left it alone, but we did not do that. We looked after who we could.

I know the minister is lobbying hard outside the budget to look after those other widows. The Prime Minister has made a commitment to look at it and between the two of them I have hope that it may be done, but all we have at the moment is a hope. There is no commitment, no guarantee, but we did what we could within the budget.

Prime Minister of Canada October 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the Prime Minister's 10th anniversary.

He has led the government to three consecutive majority governments. Since day one, the government has pursued a bold, forward-looking agenda that has never faltered, and has been devoted to building a healthy and prosperous Canada.

We have much to celebrate and much to be proud of. As one who was here in those early, heady days in 1993 I share with so many of my colleagues a sense of accomplishment. As the Prime Minister said back then, we had a lot of work to do. Well, we have done a lot of good work.

In the past 10 years Canada has progressed as a nation and secured a strong future in our ever changing world. Canada's children get a better head start, our national parks system is growing, our books are balanced, our taxes are lower, and millions of jobs have been created, and those are just a few examples.

I know my colleagues will join me in congratulating the Prime Minister on 10 good years of government.

Veterans Affairs October 9th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the subject to which the member refers is one that we have gone over and over in the House. Rather than exclude 23,000 widows, we added 10,000 within the budget at that time.

I would remind the member that the department looks after $1.6 billion a year in pensions and allowances to veterans. I know the member is not from the same generation that I am from, but I remember when a dollar was a lot of money, and $1.6 billion is a heck of--

Veterans Affairs October 9th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I challenge the statement that there is nothing for widows. Ten thousand additional widows are going to be looked after through the rearrangement of funds within the department.

Veterans Affairs October 9th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, in reply to the hon. member, the Department of Veterans Affairs operates within a budget. We reapportioned our moneys and managed to look after 10,000 widows who would not have been looked after otherwise, but that is within our budget.

We will have to wait and see what happens in the future with another budget.