Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was vote.

Last in Parliament October 2000, as Independent MP for York South—Weston (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2000, with 41% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Privilege February 26th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, this House either means something or it does not.

The reason why the Prime Minister's office put out a press release was to inform Canadians of a fact, that Mr. Landry was appointed or accepted the invitation to head the foundation. As a result of that press release the Toronto Star ran an article in today's paper. The headline of that article is “Chrysler chief to run scholarships”. The sub-headline is “No bias for high-tech training, Landry says”. This is the information that those who read the Toronto Star are receiving.

That assumes that the announcement made by the Minister of Finance will in fact become law. Not only has legislation not been presented in this House, we do not know the nature of the legislation. This House might decide, for whatever reason, that instead of having a foundation to dispense the millennium fund, it might choose another mechanism. By inviting Mr. Landry to be the head of the foundation, they are in effect assuming that this Parliament will ratify and endorse whatever the plan is for this foundation.

As a member of Parliament, I have not seen the legislation. I do not know how many members will be on this board. I do not know what the provisions are with respect to the head of the foundation.

Not only is this action a contempt of this Parliament, it is also a contempt of the Senate. While the Prime Minister and his majority might be able to make an assumption that they could in effect pass legislation through this House, they cannot assume that the Senate down the way will also give its endorsation to identical legislation.

At the very least, the invitation was premature. The government should recognize that the invitation was premature. If it has any confidence in the integrity of this House, that invitation should be withdrawn pending the passage of that legislation in this House and in the Senate.

The Budget February 26th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, can the finance minister please indicate to the House what his target is for unemployment this year? What does he expect the unemployment rate to be at the end of this fiscal year, or the next fiscal year?

The Budget February 26th, 1998

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

While the books are now balanced, it has not been done without considerable pain. What message does the finance minister have for the 1.5 million unemployed Canadians? Can he indicate where his job creation plan is and can he advise the House what his unemployment target is for this year?

Canada Labour Code February 24th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, the hon. member wants to be accurate and he just made a statement that is simply not accurate. He said that the Reform Party was the only party speaking to the bill—

Canada Labour Code February 24th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I too have enjoyed his remarks. I would ask for unanimous consent to allow the hon. member to continue with his remarks in keeping with your enjoyment.

Points Of Order February 24th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that the matter has been clarified. It is important that the Speaker clarify this.

The point that was raised was that on occasion, given the rules of this House, unanimous consent is required in order to take a particular course of action. The point is that once unanimous consent is not given to a particular proposal, is it possible for that same proposal or that same initiative to come forward time and time again on the same day?

It seems to me if unanimous consent is denied when the question is put ab initio that should be the end of the matter for that day. Otherwise we are faced with a situation that defeats the whole purpose behind that rule that says you require unanimous consent in order to take a particular course of action.

If a single member of Parliament decides for whatever reason to deny unanimous consent in order to ensure that a particular initiative does not come forward on any given day, that person has to be glued to his or her seat for the entire day. That is not in keeping with the intent of that rule.

Canada Labour Code February 24th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to make some submissions with respect to Bill C-19.

This bill was introduced in the last Parliament. Because of the election call in June the amendments to the Canada Labour Code died and here it is again in the House.

I have been listening very carefully to the comments that have been made by a number of speakers. I share some of the concerns. I am particularly impressed with the comments made by the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands with respect to this notion of final offer selection arbitration.

Before I get to that, I wish to comment with respect to the concerns I have with the bill itself. This is second reading of Bill C-19. Second reading will send this bill to committee for consideration. I am sure that interested parties from across the country will come forward at the committee stage. Hopefully some of the deficiencies in this bill will be corrected at the committee stage and there will be a willingness on the part of the government to listen to some of the concerns.

I note that the Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Labour is present in the House today. I know her to be an extremely hardworking member of Parliament. She is open minded. She is receptive to change in order to improve bill. I am sure that rather simply defending some of the inadequacies in the bill she will play a leading role in convincing the government, the minister in particular, to correct some of these deficiencies.

As a democrat believing in the principles of democracy, I have a concern that this new named board, the Canada Industrial Relations Board, would be able under certain circumstances to certify a union even though a majority of the workers in that bargaining unit are opposed to certification. That does not make any sense at all.

If we are living in a democracy, if we believe in democratic principles, surely those principles should apply to the workplace. If a majority of those in a workplace are opposed to the formation or the certification of a union, then it simply should not happen. Frankly, I am surprised as well that certain members of this House who often talk about choice, who often talk about democracy and accountability, would be opposed to honouring that very basic principle of democracy, that the majority of a group should be listened to. I have concerns about the provision in the bill that allows for certification even though a minority of the workers would want certification.

Secret ballots are important as well. We all know that in union drives and in certain circumstances in labour relations members of a particular bargaining unit are afraid to speak out, to express their true wishes. It seems that secret votes would take away the ability in certain circumstances for coercion to take place.

Those are two of the major concerns I have. I am sure the parliamentary secretary will be addressing those concerns.

With respect to the comments of the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, I know it is a position that is shared by a good number of members in this House which is a constructive proposal on final offer selection arbitration.

One of the problems we have with labour relations in this country, and other jurisdictions share the same problem, is that it is adversarial in nature. It is we versus them. The system has developed over the years where employers are fighting against employees. It is wrong. We have come to a point in the history of this country and in the history of labour relations where we ought to find mechanisms and methods of removing some of the adversarial nature from labour relations.

This adversarial component is further entrenched in the legislation. Section 9(1)(c) refers to the establishment and organization of the Canada Industrial Relations Board. It says “not more than six other members of which not more than three represent employees and of which not more than three represent employers”.

In the make-up of the board we are further entrenching this adversarial nature so that we need union people on one side and employer people on the other. That is not a healthy situation. The people who ultimately suffer, the people who are ultimately penalized are the public as well as workers. The damage that ensues to companies in certain circumstances and in certain strike situations is irreparable. We know of cases where companies have literally had to close down because of labour strife.

This notion of final offer selection arbitration is an attempt to diminish the adversarial nature of labour relations in this country. As the member points out, the negotiations continue to take place. That is very important. Both sides will negotiate. When an impasse is reached, rather than shutting down the doors of the factory or utilizing that ultimate weapon on the part of labour, the strike weapon which does not help anyone, both sides are forced to submit themselves to final offer selection arbitration. That would require, as the hon. member points out, both sides to be reasonable. They have to be reasonable in their positions. If they are unreasonable they run the risk of the arbitration panel selecting the package put forward by the other side.

We all know that some of the very basic principles of negotiation is that you ask for far more than you expect to get with the view to finding common ground at some point. What this does is eliminate these ridiculous positions that are put forward on the part of labour and on the part of management. What is requires them to do is put forward a package.

This makes good sense because this would avoid or eliminate a great number of strikes. We are dealing with a very small percentage of the labour force. This code applies only to federally regulated industries. It does not apply to provincially regulated industries. This notion of final offer selection arbitration could apply not only to industries that are federally regulated but to provincially regulated industries.

I hope the government will consider this proposal being put forward by members of the Reform Party and other people in this country. It makes sense. It is in the public interest. I hope that at committee the government will be persuaded that we have to find mechanisms and ways to remove some of the adversarial nature of labour relations in this country.

Division No. 93 February 23rd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I will make that unanimous. I vote yes.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

The Canada Shipping Act February 23rd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I agree that the bill should originate here. I vote yes to the amendment.

(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Small Business Loans Act February 23rd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the small business people in York South—Weston I will be voting with the government on this motion.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)