House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was transportation.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Thunder Bay—Atikokan (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Thailand June 13th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, a recent Globe and Mail article painted a disturbing picture of how Canadian taxpayer money is being mismanaged in Thailand. The article alleged that private Thai investors were

profiting greatly from CIDA loans and not repaying one red cent.

This article implied that Canada has not been receiving a satisfactory return on investment for many of CIDA's initiatives in Thailand. What is the government doing to improve the accountability of CIDA's operation in Thailand and other Third World countries?

Peacekeeping May 24th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the United States is asking us to take part in the new United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

Canada, as usual, will probably participate and share the peacekeeping expenses. The United States profits from these ventures through the additional sale of arms. However, it refuses to pay its share of peacekeeping costs which now amount to over $1 billion.

What is the Canadian government doing to get the United States to honour its United Nations peacekeeping commitments?

Racial Discrimination March 21st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, many of our colleagues in the House are wearing the multicoloured bow which was conceived and created in Thunder Bay.

The bow is a symbol for March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

This day was declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1966 and in 1988 federal and provincial ministers agreed to commemorate March 21 in Canada.

The multicoloured bow is a visible symbol of our commitment to the elimination of racial discrimination as the poppy is to Remembrance Day.

The red, yellow, black and white ribbons represent the colours of the human race. They also signify the beauty and harmony created when the diverse people of the world unite.

We wear the bow today to show support for the elimination of racism in Canada.

Government Expenditures March 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, March is the final month of the government's fiscal year. This usually means that last minute purchasing decisions are being made in most departments before the final date. Often the spending frenzy is not based on need. It is commonly felt that if there is money in the budget let us spend it.

What are the ministries doing to prevent unnecessary spending during this month?

Borrowing Authority Act, 1994-95 March 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, there are several models of governing which a society or a community of people could choose in order to determine how it wishes to be governed and how it hopes to achieve its common goals. Of all the models, the democratic model demands the longest period of time for identifying, clarifying, implementing and assessing these goals. Without any doubt, it is the most expensive in terms of time and human energy required for the tasks that are essential for its maintenance and survival. It could also be the most expensive financially. However, there is no other model of governance that is superior to the democratic one, for it is in the democratic process that the very nature of man is recognized and taken into consideration.

Over a lengthy period of time a network of systems has emerged that have attempted to meet the individual's physical, mental, social and spiritual needs. But all of this is taking place in local, national and global environments which are in a constant state of flux, constantly changing.

It is imperative for our society to be in harmony with these fluctuations. It is not always an easy task to identify the changing forces and the long range directions. It is equally difficult to determine the emergent needs of our peoples and

their institutions. A dictator could readily solve these problems according to his own whims or fancies.

However, in a democratic society we must turn to the people for guidance and that is exactly what this government did. With a new leader the Liberal Party of Canada proceeded on an uncharted course, one in which every constituency had the opportunity to provide their perceptions and recommendations through representatives, not only from every facet of our society but from a multitude of other foreign sources. All this resulted in the Liberal plan which our Prime Minister stated "is a plan for Canada, anchored in the principle that governing is about people and that government must be judged by its effectiveness in promoting human dignity, justice, fairness and opportunity".

No doubt the opposing political parties in this House of Commons subscribe to similar principles. However, the big problem is how are these principles to be achieved. As an example the Official Opposition has clearly revealed it must devote all of its energies to the accomplishment of one goal, that being the separation of Quebec from Canada no matter what the cost might be. The third party, the Reform Party, is obsessed with the state of the national deficit and the national debt. It feels it can effectively promote human dignity, justice, fairness and opportunity by slashing federal programs and services in order to eliminate the deficit within three years.

Economists throughout the entire world warn that such a move would wreck the social network and play havoc with our economy, leading to unimaginable social and economic problems. Both opposition parties maintain policy positions of special interest groups and in no way do they reflect the needs of the vast majority of Canadians. The Liberal government is here to serve all Canadians.

The consultative process has never ceased to operate and in fact it intensified as we prepared for the presentation of the first budget. This government received input in a variety of ways from all over Canada. This government read and analysed the written communiques. This government listened to the people. This government acted in a responsible and constructive manner. This government, in light of all the problems with which it had to deal, set out a budgetary plan which has its foundations in people.

As an example I would like to share part of a letter received from several constituents in my riding of Thunder Bay-Atikokan. They state:

Our knowledge of politics and economics is very limited. But we don't think it takes a masters degree to realize that when the taxes go up, consumers don't buy; it is as simple as that. A reduction in taxes will give consumers more money in their pockets and they will be more likely to go out and spend it. Taxing benefit packages will serve to remove more money from the economy and stifle whatever remaining consumer interest there might be.

That is from a letter received from Messrs. Thompson, House, Boyd, Wolotko and Brodie from the city of Thunder Bay. The government heard these concerns and did not raise basic taxes. It did not tax benefit packages.

They also, like millions of their fellow Canadians, expressed their anxieties related to the unemployment-employment situation. These concerns were heard and collectively they determined where the major thrust of the 1994 budget would be: in a host of programs and measures that would enhance the prospects for the creation of jobs and continued economic growth.

I would like to give a few examples of budget initiatives that will have an early impact. First, the rollback of unemployment insurance premiums to the 1993 level of $3 for 1995 and 1996. This represents a saving of $300 million a year for the reinvestment in new jobs. The revival of the residential rehabilitation assistance program will make $50 million a year available for the construction industry. Making the home buyer's plan permanent allows first time home buyers to use RRSP funds to buy homes.

With the reallocation of budgeted existing expenditures, jobs will be created with the national infrastructure program, youth internship and apprenticeship programs. The government intends to renew and revitalize Canada's outdated social security system within two years and to deliver better service to those in need, thus ensuring the social safety net remains affordable.

These are but a few of the many budgetary measures stimulated by the Liberal plan for Canada, as found in "Creating Opportunity," the red book, a plan that promotes human dignity, justice, fairness and opportunity for all Canadians.

Estonia February 24th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I address the Canadian people in celebration of the 76th anniversary of the independence of the republic of Estonia.

On February 24, 1918 Estonian nationalists declared independence from Russia, and after several periods of foreign control, reclaimed their independence on August 20, 1991. Since then it has emerged as a leader among the Baltic states. It is the first former Soviet republic to issue its own currency, to double exports and is outstripping the other developing economies of the former Soviet Union as well as most European countries.

Under the vibrant leadership of Prime Minister Mart Laar, institutions are rapidly emerging which clearly and solidly establish Estonia as an independent and free democratic republic wherein the supreme power is vested in the people.

To the people of Estonia, the people of Canada extend wishes of permanent peace and prosperity.

Chamber Of Maritime Commerce February 23rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today of announcing the restructuring of the Chamber of Maritime Commerce. Established in 1959, this organization brings together all those who depend upon a viable Canadian maritime transport industry.

The recent reformation includes establishment of a board of governors that will interact with governments at all levels. The chamber's representation extends from western Canadian grain producers, Ontario steel, coal, aggregate, salt and cement interests, Quebec ore mines and Atlantic Canada shippers to the ports which facilitate these trades.

It is apparent that with such a cross section of industries crucial to Canada's economy, the chamber will provide a united, proactive voice for the growth of industrial Canada.

I would like to take this opportunity in welcoming the Chamber of Maritime Commerce in the pursuit of this common goal.

Cbq Radio February 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I extend greetings to CBQ-CBC Radio of Thunder Bay on its 20th anniversary of reaching into the homes and hearts of northwestern Ontario from Manitouwadge to Kenora to Sandy Lake.

Due to the foresight of the founding forces such as the late Paul McCrae, Liberal MP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, Doug Ward, Ken Dawson, the late Gladys Hart and the former mayor, Dusty Miller, to name a few, CBQ became the unifying link between eastern and western Canada.

Through creative programming of superior quality such as "Voyage North", "Indian Faces" and "The Great Northwest" we have listened to the heartbeat of the finest nation in the world, a nation of peoples of diverse values, religions, languages and customs sharing a common dream.

I say thanks to CBQ for being so distinctly Canadian.

1994 Winter Olympic Games February 9th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my constituents in Thunder Bay-Atikokan and all the young Canadians who aspire to achieve levels of superior performance in their respective athletic endeavours, I wish to congratulate Thunder Bay's John Lockyer on becoming Canada's champion ski jumper, an outstanding athlete who has earned international respect and acclaim.

However as the only member of Canada's national ski jumping A-team John will not be competing in the winter Olympics in Lillehammer, the first time in winter Olympic history that Canadian ski jumpers will not be participating.

The Canadian Olympic Association must be encouraged to re-examine its new regulations which without doubt will prevent many of our champions from entering future games and which also give the appearance that the true purpose and spirit of the Olympic Games are lost.

The Late Joshua Kakegamic February 3rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, this is a tribute to Joshua Kakegamic of Keewaywin in northwestern Ontario who died in a snowmobile accident while trying to save his friend, John Kalaserk, an Inuit preacher.

Josh Kakegamic was a talented woodland native artist whose works are found in the permanent collections of major Canadian art galleries and in private collections in many countries.

As a business associate and friend, I encouraged him to draw upon his own rich, but not always happy, life experiences which collectively would reveal the very essence of his native culture. His paintings reveal his vision of a powerful life force within all of God's creations and the joy he saw in that sacred relationship of perfect harmony.

In his short life he touched many lives and enriched the world through his art, his friendship and his faith which can be best described in the words of John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends".

Josh Kakegamic: husband, father, community leader, friend, creator, hero. He was 41 years old.