House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was colleagues.

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

Won his last election, in 2000, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canadian Foreign Policy March 15th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I first want to congratulate the committee chairman, the member for Ottawa-Vanier, on an excellent speech. I commend him for his commitment to the cause of Canada here and abroad.

The committee will be travelling from one end of the country to the other. Representations will be made by groups interested in the issues of foreign aid, foreign policy and so on. At what point in time will the committee which is dealing with defence policy issues and other international and foreign affairs issues present its report to the House of Commons? Will the members of the committee be the same members who are now sitting on the foreign affairs committee or will others be joining it?

Canadian Foreign Policy March 15th, 1994

Madam Speaker, this is a very important issue. Unfortunately, given the time left, I cannot provide a fully satisfactory answer to the hon. member. I will simply tell him that, as I indicated earlier, each billion spent on foreign trade results in the creation of at least 12,000 to 15,000 jobs.

Every time we talk about job creation in Canada, we have to take into account the fact that we must do our best to encourage companies to do business abroad, not only because of the better opportunities, but also because only 10 to 15 per cent of Canadian companies are currently doing business abroad. Consequently, our government should continue to encourage more and more Canadian companies to do business abroad.

Unfortunately, as you know, we have a problem in Canada with private sector investments in the field of research and development. If we compare Canada to other countries, we see that our government invests a lot, or at least enough, in R and D, but that the problem is the inadequate contribution of the private sector.

This is very important, and our government is sending a signal to the private sector. If we want to gain a reasonable momentum, the private sector must invest more in research and development.

As you know, over 80 per cent of new jobs created in Canada are created by small business. So, our government took that into account and developed a policy to support small business.

In response to my hon. colleague's question, when we talk about government policy in the area of job creation, it is very important to bear in mind that we believe in import. It is one of the best ways not only to create employment here, in Canada, but also to generate additional revenue in Canada. To fight a$38 to $40 million deficit and a debt now totalling over $500 billion, funds must be generated. And there are two main sources of funds. One source is taxation, and as my hon. colleagues know, Canadian taxpayers have had it up to here with taxes. So, other means of generating revenue must be sought.

In the end, these means of generating revenue will be provided by small and medium-sized businesses which will create jobs for Canadians here, in Canada, and export their products in other countries.

I hope to have answered the question of the hon. member for Ottawa-Vanier.

Canadian Foreign Policy March 15th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I am honoured to be speaking in the debate on foreign policy. I want to congratulate all the men and women who are serving our country abroad in different capacities, whether in peacekeeping or in a foreign post trying to represent our great country.

I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate the government, the Prime Minister, the Minister for International Trade, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of National Defence for undertaking this initiative to conduct both a foreign policy review as well as a national defence review. I am delighted to see that at some point in time both the foreign affairs policy and the national defence policy would go hand in hand. A number of groups have made presentation to me and to many of my colleagues. One issue they have raised with us is that they want some sort of connection between the review of foreign policy and that of national defence.

I quote the National Forum on Canada's International Relations in the second part wherein it is indicated that the government is committed to reviewing the two hand in hand. There will be public hearings across Canada by parliamentary committees on Canada's foreign and defence policies. This is excellent. It is extremely timely in many ways.

We are approaching the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. It is timely for a country such as Canada that has always been on the leading edge internationally to be reviewing its policy in terms of national defence and its foreign policy at the same time. It will coincide with the review of the United Nations policy on its 50th anniversary.

I am confident that once again Canada will play a leadership role on that front and will be on the leading edge when it comes to the international scene in trying to ensure, as the parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs has indicated, that the global village lives in peace and harmony and that humankind never sees the suffering we have seen in past decades.

Madam Speaker, I will take a few minutes to address another issue in this area, and I am referring to trade and the review of our foreign policy. As you know, Madam Speaker, we are all aware of the extent to which trade, and especially international trade, contributes to Canada's economic prosperity. Nearly one-quarter of Canada's GDP is generated by our exports of goods and services. One out of five Canadian jobs is directly or indirectly linked to international trade. Each billion dollars in Canadian exports creates between 12,000 to 15,000 jobs in Canada. This means that exports are extremely important to us as a country.

We have every reason to be proud of our export record, because our exports have continued to post good results despite a slowdown in the world economy in the early 1990s. Finally, in 1993, our monthly exports to the United States, for instance, reached new highs. The latest figures are expected to show that in 1993, exports to our principal trading partners rose 15 per cent over 1992 levels. Canada's exports to the United States are worth $268 billion annually, which means that in 1993, our exports to the United States were worth $4 billion more than in 1992.

However, in an increasingly competitive market, we cannot afford to merely repeat our past results. We have been successful, but we must do better. Intensifying our efforts in this area will create jobs in Canada and stimulate domestic growth.

If we are to maintain our competitive position on international markets, we must act quickly to take advantage of opportunities offered by trade agreements like GATT and NAFTA. We have a chance to strengthen our service sectors, which represent more than two-thirds of our national economic activity, and also to improve our service exports.

As we know, about 75 per cent of our trade is with the United States, and five groups of products represent more than 70 per cent of all exports of goods. We must continue to develop these exports while increasing our market share in other areas as well.

Asia, for instance, has become our second largest market after the United States. It has strong potential and poses a big challenge to Canada's competitiveness.

We must also work with small and medium-sized business to develop an export mentality. As you know, only 15 to 16 per cent of our manufacturing industries export their products, and that is what happened if we look at the large number of businesses here in Canada.

I cannot overstate the importance of exports for Canada, but I would be wrong to suggest that we should concentrate solely on exports. The international business climate changes rapidly, as you know. Businesses must now also consider international investments, capital flow, technology, research and development in developing their international marketing strategies.

We are facing some challenges. We have a $9 billion to $12 billion trade deficit in high-tech products, and our research and development results are less than those of the other G-7 countries and OECD members.

In addition, international business investments greatly help to create jobs and improve the competitiveness of Canadian-based companies. In this regard, we are fiercely competing with other countries to attract scarce investment capital.

I see that I am almost out of time and I would like to know whether I have 10 or 20 minutes. Ten minutes?

So, with all these issues, we must see if we have partners. We have banks, various businesses and manufacturers, and our role as a government is to work together, as a team, to develop the economy for the benefit of Canada.

Private Members' Bills February 18th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, some time last week I gave notice to the House that I would be introducing three private member's bills Nos. 7, 8, and 9.

I would like the consent of the House to withdraw those notices for the time being.

Defence Policy February 17th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence and the government on this long overdue review of our national

defence policies, the way we provide services as well as the role of national defence. I would also like to congratulate the government on involving once and for all national defence staff, the armed forces and all those who have anything to do with national defence policy.

I believe it takes a lot of guts to undertake such an overall review. I am very happy and delighted to see this review taking place. In particular, unlike my colleague on the opposition side, I am encouraged by the fact that our role internationally will be enhanced through this review and also through the fact that some of the bases that we have here in Canada might be used as training bases for other forces around the world that might be interested in peacekeeping roles.

When it comes to the closure of bases, the hon. member is saying that MPs should be consulted in order for them to go back to their constituents and tell them about the issues so that they may bring back the views of their constituents. It goes without saying any MP who tells me that his or her constituents support the closure of a base is mistaken. No constituent would like to see a base in their neighbourhood or their surrounding being closed.

What we have to do is involve those affected by doing a review to ensure that whatever action the government takes would have a minimal or no affect on the surrounding community. The government is doing just that.

I am informed that this member in his home province of Saskatchewan undertook an initiative to have a look at one of the bases that is under consideration, I presume, and invited everybody but the member for the area in which this particular base is involved. I want to ask him why he did not practice what he preached. When he undertook this initiative why did he not involve all of the different partners rather than just picking and choosing the people he wanted to invite to that particular meeting or event?

Would the member not agree that it would really be wrong to prejudge the government decision on an initiative which has just now been launched? Would he not agree that it would be wiser to wait until such a time as the committee is struck and has had a chance to undertake a review? Does he not think that would be the best time and place in order to make any kind of presentation on behalf of his constituents? That would be the proper time for the member to tell the government and the minister the kind of things he would like to see the government do when it comes to national defence issues.

supply February 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I was very interested in the member's representation. He will acknowledge that many excellent measures have been taken by the government on issues that relate to government efficiencies and operations. I am surprised that in his comments he did not acknowledge the good things this government has done.

I want to ask the member a question. Would he be willing, at the next Reform caucus meeting, to stand and encourage his colleagues to vote, as they have said in the past, according to what their constituents have to say? Would the hon. member tell me how many times so far the members on the Reform side have voted against the will of their leader?

What I am trying to say here is that charity always begins at home. I want to ask the hon. member to list for me the number of times that people on the Reform side have voted individually.

Crown Liability And Proceedings Act February 4th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his comments on this issue.

Everything we do as a country and as a society has and continues to be in the best interests of our workers and our businesses. We will continue to further the dialogue between our partners both in the United States and Mexico in order to ensure that the quality of life that our workers enjoy here in Canada is enjoyed elsewhere. This bill will further these initiatives for the best.

Crown Liability And Proceedings Act February 4th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege for me to rise to speak to this bill, an act to amend the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act.

I would first like to congratulate our Canadian representatives who worked tirelessly to ensure that there is fairness in our trade relations. It will open a tremendous market for Canadian business and Canadian industries abroad.

At the same time I want to congratulate all those who were involved in the negotiations in the three countries, particularly when it came to the side agreements. I know how difficult it was at times in pursuing these negotiations.

The object and purpose of this legislation can be stated in a few words. This legislation ensures that trade sanctions cannot be taken against Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement, on environmental and labour co-operation.

What this legislation does is give effect to the unique provisions written into these agreements for Canada which provide that our own Federal Court of Canada would enforce a panel determination against Canada in the unlikely event that this should ever occur.

This was the agreed outcome of the trilateral negotiations when Canadian negotiators insisted that for Canada the trade sanctions were an unacceptable recourse and remedy particularly for environmental and labour disputes. Canadian negotiators proposed instead, and it was accepted by the American and Mexican negotiators, that the Canadian courts would enforce the integrity of the agreement as it operated in Canada.

The bill before us gives us legal effect to the negotiated outcome that Canada achieved in the so-called NAFTA side agreement negotiations on environmental and labour co-operation.

This amendment is the only legislative measure necessary for Canada to completely fulfil all of its obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement on environmental co-operation and labour co-operation.

The environmental and labour co-operation agreements protect Canada's interests in these fields, with respect to the North American Free Trade Agreement. These agreements reinforce and broaden important commitments made by Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The three countries have pledged to work together to co-operatively pursue environmentally sustainable growth and promote the rights of workers across North America.

More important, both agreements reinforce NAFTA's provisions regarding labour and the environment. They guarantee that the increase in trade we are seeking will not happen at the expenses of the environment or Canadian workers.

At the present time, we are setting up a commission, under the North American Agreement on Environmental Co-operation, which will work to foster close and ongoing co-operation among the three countries. It will have as a mandate the promotion of sustainable development, the development and implementation of environmental regulations, and the settlement of disputes arising from non-compliance with existing legislation.

The commission will ensure the implementation of an agenda reflecting priorities, including setting limits on certain pollutants, evaluating projects having an impact on both sides of the border, and guaranteeing reciprocal access to tribunals.

The commission, in co-operation with the Free Trade Commission, will also ensure that the objectives of the Environmental Co-operation Agreement are met.

Established pursuant to the North American Agreement on Labor Co-operation, the Commission for Labor Co-operation has the same purpose. It will promote the application of a comprehensive set of principles considered essential by the three countries involved.

The Commission will also give effect to the promise made by all parties and set forth in the NAFTA preamble, that is "improve working conditions and living standards" and "protect, enhance and enforce basic workers' rights" in the three countries, on "their respective territories". The Agreement guarantees that legislation governing health and security, children's work, as my colleague mentioned earlier, and minimum wage will be respected in the three countries.

The agreements are based on a very close and permanent co-operation between the three countries, but they go much further than mere co-operation. In fact, each country signing these agreements will be committed to enforcing on its territory any national legislation concerning environment and labor.

The North American free trade agreements on environmental and labour co-operation in fact does strengthen and improve the environmental and labour objectives of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Through these side agreements Canada, the United States and Mexico have pledged to work together to co-operatively pursue environmentally sustainable growth and promote the right of workers across North America. Achieving these agreements met two of the conditions set out by the Prime Minister for proceeding with NAFTA on January 1, 1994.

In addition, the government sought a subsidy code, an anti-dumping code, a more effective dispute resolution mechanism, and maintenance of Canada's energy security.

Through these discussions with the governments of the United States and Mexico, we were able to successfully negotiate improvements to NAFTA that addressed these Canadian concerns. Understandings were reached on subsidies, dumping and national sovereignty on water resources.

At Canada's insistence, the three NAFTA countries have established working groups on subsidies, countervail and anti-dumping. Through these working groups we will seek rules and procedures on subsidies and dumping to make cross-border trading conditions more secure.

Ultimately, these badly needed improvements will make dispute settlement more equitable and substantially improve the business climate among the three partners countries.

In order to correct some of the false interpretations about NAFTA and water, the three governments have made a joint declaration on water. It states that there is nothing in the North American Free Trade Agreement that could force Canada, the United States or Mexico for that matter to export water.

The government's declaration on energy spells out our commitment to energy security for all Canadians, an important element of our overall economic priorities which also states that Canada will continue to be a strong and reliable supplier of energy to our customers, reinforcing our industry's expanding role in the North American energy market.

Taken together, these improvements enabled the government to proclaim NAFTA on January 1, 1994 and the government is satisfied that the North American Free Trade Agreement will advance Canada's trade policies objectives as stated in this House by all three parties.

I want on this note to thank all my colleagues who have made comments in this House and I am delighted to see this bill moving ahead. It is a great day for all of us and a great day for Canada and for the tremendous opportunities that will come as a result of this agreement.

Speech From The Throne January 20th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to congratulate the hon. member of the Bloc Quebec for her rather interesting speech. I was intrigued by a number of points she raised, in particular the question of the administration of different provincial programs as compared to federal programs. In point of fact, several of these programs come under joint federal-provincial jurisdiction. Manpower training programs are just one example. The hon. member said that everywhere in the world, people are talking about the need for free trade and worker mobility.

Would it not be important to have a national manpower training standard which would allow federal and provincial governments to work together, instead of at cross-purposes?

As far as economic development is concerned, I would simply like to mention to my hon. colleague that study after study has shown that in every country of the world, economic development is truly a function of the education system. For instance, Japan's economic development is a function of its education system. The same holds true for Germany. As far as Canada is concerned, I say that in order to have strong, confident and sufficient economic development, we have to make education our number one priority.

I would like to point out to my hon. colleague that under the Canadian Constitution, education is the responsibility of the provinces. There is nothing to stop any province or territory in Canada from making education its top priority and from initiat-

ing a dialogue on this subject to ensure that its education system meet the needs of the private sector and of the public.

I can assure my hon. colleague that if this kind of action is taken, one of the troublesome economic issues in the province of Quebec will be addressed. The same thing is true for all of the other provinces. Therefore, we must start by focusing our attention and our energies on the education system.

While we are on the subject of manpower training, I would like to congratulate the Prime Minister and the Minister responsible. I believe this government will initiate an extraordinary, and even historic, dialogue on, among other things, training and unemployment insurance administration.

I believe that all members of this House have an extraordinary opportunity to work together to draft an action plan for the next ten, twenty and even fifty years. Canada will continue to be not only the best country in the world, but also the strongest from an economic standpoint.

Could my hon. colleague tell me how she sees the issue of worker mobility in relation to her proposal for administering unemployment insurance and manpower training?