House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was energy.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Timiskaming—Cochrane (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 62% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Frank Pickard May 7th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate Mr. Frank Pickard, president and CEO of Falconbridge Ltd., one of Canada's foremost mining companies. Mr. Pickard is to be honoured with an honorary doctorate of business degree from Laurentian University.

I congratulate Frank Pickard, president and chief executive officer of Falconbridge Limited, one of the largest mining companies in Canada. Mr. Pickard is to receive an honorary doctorate in business administration from Laurentian University.

Mr. Pickard's impressive career represents the employment and advancement opportunities the mining industry provides Canadians from coast to coast. A native of Sudbury, Mr. Pickard worked his way from being a process labourer in 1957 to becoming Falconbridge's top executive. The honorary degree also serves to highlight Mr. Pickard's involvement in community projects and support for many developments in Sudbury and northern Ontario.

On behalf of all hon. members of this House, I congratulate Mr. Pickard on this tribute, and offer him and Falconbridge my best wishes for success.

Hon. Member For Québec-Est May 2nd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the hon. member for Québec-Est made a derogatory comment, comparing francophones outside Quebec to paraplegics in wheelchairs. I am deeply offended by this comparison.

I am a francophone from northern Ontario and proud of it. My wife, too, is a francophone; she is also paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair. Despite her condition, she, unlike the hon. member, is in full possession of her faculties; this does not make her a second class citizen, as the hon. member is suggesting.

I feel that the comments made by the hon. member are an insult to all handicapped people who, like my wife, must use a wheelchair. I am asking the hon. member to apologize to all those who were hurt by his comments; that is the least he can do.

The Budget April 16th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, again we are hearing rhetoric and very little action by the Reform Party. Reform was to have submitted a budget ahead of the hon. minister and this budget never came about.

We hear from the Reform Party day in and day out to cut, cut, cut. Reformers would like us to have a balanced budget by the end of our term. I ask the hon. member from where would he take that money?

Our record speaks for itself. We have at this point in time the lowest deficit as a ratio of GDP of the G-7. Our interest rate is lower than the United States. For the first time we have the lowest inflation rate in the last 30 years.

The Reform Party is always asking us to cut, cut, cut. Even Ralph Klein and his colleague Mike Harris, who by the way supports the Reform Party, is not going far enough for the Reform Party. The Reform Party is at the right of Attila the Hun. Reformers give us rhetoric. They want us to balance the budget in three years but yet they do not want to cut anywhere.

I ask the hon. member how can the budget be balanced in four years if there are no cuts?

The Budget April 16th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the point the member raises is very important.

Very few people know that there are more mining jobs in Toronto than in any of the rural ridings. There are more mining jobs in Toronto than there are in my riding, yet my riding has dozens of mines.

Toronto is now the centre for mining investment in the world. Investment in mining especially for exploration has risen from about $400 million when we took office in October 1993 to a projected investment of approximately $850 million this year. The mining industry is very healthy at this point in time. It is thanks at least in part to the actions taken by our government in the last three budgets.

We started in the first budget by permitting the deduction of the money used for reclamation funds. We went on to relax the flow through mechanism in the budget to increase the accelerated capital cost allowance. All of these measures have contributed to create the proper economic climate. Investors across the world now have faith in the Canadian mining industry. Discoveries such as Voisey's Bay are doing a lot to enhance Canada's international reputation.

Once again, by the actions of our government, we have put the Canadian mining industry back on the map. I hope my colleagues from urban Canada realize the importance of that sector not only to rural Canada but to all Canadians.

The three main economic sectors, agriculture, mining and forestry, account for 60 per cent of Canadian exports. We depend on exports. If we remove rural Canada, the economy of the country would be in shambles.

I hope these questions and comments will make my colleagues from urban Canada realize the importance of rural Canada. I hope they will work in co-operation with us to enhance the economy of rural Canada.

The Budget April 16th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, before going into the details of the budget, I would like to salute the people of Verner and Lavigne in the south of my riding, who have had access to the parliamentary channel only since April 1 of this year.

I am pleased to rise today in this House to congratulate the Minister of Finance on an excellent budget. This budget is one of confidence and was well received by taxpayers and businesses

alike. The minister put forward an effective, well-balanced action plan that benefits all Canadians.

The people of this country care about their social service network, and the minister reassured them that all services currently in place would be maintained. Our government has been listening and will continue to listen to all the people, as this compassionate budget shows.

We all know how important social programs are. They benefit everyone and help sustain people going through hard times. However, a sluggish economy and the increasing burden of servicing the ever-growing public debt threaten the long term viability of Canada's social safety net. That is why it is so important to breathe new life into the economy and bring the public debt and deficit under control.

It is also necessary to overhaul Canada's social programs and transfer system in order to make them more effective and more affordable, while at the same time preserving the basic fairness of our social safety net.

In this budget, our government vows to revitalize the economy of rural regions and to tackle their problems. The new technologies put in place by this government, like the information highway and the community access component of SchoolNet, help our young people prepare for the emergence of the new knowledge-based economy.

Rural Canada is rich in natural and human resources and faces different challenges than urban areas. The government will take the appropriate and necessary action to make sure that all Canadians benefit from economic prosperity.

The budget will renew the confidence of all Canadians, especially their faith in our social programs. All the measures taken in the budget will serve to reinforce Canadians' shared values in the system. These measures are to be implemented without raising taxes or disrupting the timetable to lower the deficit.

In his budget, the minister is proposing a new seniors benefit. This new system, which will take effect in the year 2001, is designed to protect current seniors, increase pension payments to low income seniors and ensure that income maintenance programs for seniors remain affordable and sustainable for generations to come.

The new benefit will be fully tax free and it will incorporate the current pension income credit and age credit. It will be paid in monthly instalments and, in the case of couples, each spouse will receive a separate and equal cheque.

Those who currently receive the guaranteed income supplement will receive $120 more per year, and spouse's allowance payments will also increase by $120 per year. Moreover, pension benefits will be fully indexed to inflation, which represents an important improvement on the current system.

This proposal will greatly benefit seniors. It will safeguard the pension system for seniors to enjoy now and into the future. Our government is fulfilling its commitment to current seniors and to those about to retire to maintain and, in many cases, to increase pension benefits.

Unlike certain other parties, we are responsive to the needs of seniors and recognize the outstanding contribution they have made and continue to make today to Canadian society.

Let us not forget the younger generation. Our youth are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as more jobs are being created and more money is injected to create summer jobs. Students are also pleased that tax incentives for education have been increased.

On behalf of the mining sector, in which I have been actively involved since the election, I wish to thank the Minister of Finance for his support and concern. I am pleased the minister included in the budget some change to the flow through shares mechanism. It will certainly enhance the incentives for exploration and development activities and will end certain abuses.

The budget proposes that issuers will have an additional period in which to make the expenditures that have been flowed through the investor. In February my recommendation to the minister was to change the 60 day rule of flow through shares and extend it to one year.

Once again I thank the minister for accepting my recommendations. By doing so he is giving a real boost to the mining industry. Furthermore, I congratulate my colleague, the hon. member for Davenport, for his contribution to the environment by encouraging the extension of flow through share mechanisms for certain renewable energy and energy conservation projects.

Also included in the budget is the proposal to improve access to financing for the renewable energy and energy conservation sector by relaxing the specified energy property rules. These changes will provide an essential level playing field in the energy sector and recognize the importance of renewable energy to Canada's overall energy supply needs.

In this budget, the government recognizes that special measures and policies need be developed to ensure the economic well-being of rural Canada communities. This budget proposes interesting measures regarding natural resources.

In the budget the government recognizes that rural Canada needs special measures and policies to ensure the economic well-being and viability of this sector.

The budget is following its course on debt and deficit reduction in an orderly and humane fashion compared to the slash and burn approach taken by the provincial Conservative government and the Reform Party. This is why I call upon provincial governments to work in collaboration with this government in its efforts to replace the existing GST. The objective is a system which is fairer for Canadians, simpler and less costly for businesses to comply with and more efficient to administer.

Canadians have demonstrated strongly and clearly that they want one national sales tax. Therefore, it is essential that all provinces reach an agreement on this very important matter.

Canada is a great place to live. Let us work together to ensure unity and prosperity in Canada.

Canada is a great place to live. Let us work together to ensure unity and prosperity.

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie March 19th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in this House today to draw attention to la Semaine de la Francophonie. This is a time to realize the important role played by the French language and culture as a basic element of our collective identity.

As a Franco-Ontarian myself, I have always vigorously defended the rights of francophone minorities, because I believe it is possible for us to develop wherever we are in Canada.

In a spirit of co-operation and solidarity, we, francophones, are proud of our language and culture, and we would like to strengthen our sense of belonging to the Francophonie.

I wish to salute and thank the francophone institutions and associations which, through their achievements, have greatly contributed to the French language being taught and used in the education, socio-cultural and institutional sectors, both nationally and internationally.

I wish all francophones from coast to coast-

Mining Exploration And Development November 9th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief. First of all, I would like to thank all of my colleagues in the Bloc and the Reform Party, and all my colleagues in the government, who have spoken so eloquently on this motion and particularly on the importance of the mining industry in Canada.

I think that we all, as parliamentarians and as federal politicians, acknowledge the importance of this industry to Canada. It is wonderful to see all parties supporting this motion and I thank you for doing so.

The Environment October 26th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of the Environ-

ment. On the issue of implementing policies and regulations aimed at preventing pollution, are the federal and provincial governments working together to agree on stricter standards for cars and cleaner gas?

Quebec Referendum October 25th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of International Trade.

Can the minister explain to this House why the members of the Canadian Exporters Association, through their president, Mark Drake, have expressed such concern about the possible consequences a victory for the Yes side might have on their future?

Referendum Campaign October 23rd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to speak to our neighbours in Quebec who are going through a period that is critical for their future. My riding, Timiskaming-French River, is on the Quebec border, and 30 per cent of the residents are francophones.

Since time immemorial, people in Northern Ontario and Northern Quebec have done business with each other. Strong ties of friendship have developed between these two regions. There is no doubt that if Quebec separates from the rest of Canada, we would see a considerable decline in the level of interprovincial trade. Quebec's separation would also have a devastating impact on what now constitutes Canada's strength: our trade, our economy, our national and international relations and especially our two cultures.

Dear friends and neighbours in Quebec, there are no problems we cannot solve in order to build this beautiful country together. So on October 30, decide to grow with Canada and say no to separation.