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

Division No. 90 February 23rd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all the independents in the House I vote yea.

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

Division No. 89 February 19th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, it is not often that I take issue with the hon. member but it does matter where a bill originates. It is important. This is the elected House of Commons. We, the members of Parliament who sit in this Chamber, were elected and given a mandate by the people of Canada to represent them.

Those people down the hallway were not elected. They were not given any form of legitimacy by the people in Canada. In fact I would suggest that they do not have the moral authority to continue to sit in that Chamber. It is quite clear that the overwhelming majority of Canadians want to see the Senate abolished.

The hon. member talked about the cost involved in having a vote in the House of Commons. I would simply ask her to compare the cost involved of running the Senate, the tens of millions of dollars involved. I do not support Senate reform because I do not believe the Senate should continue to exist. The Andrew Thompson case is but an example of a very serious problem with the Senate.

The work undertaken by the Senate is work that should be done by committees of this House, by elected members who are accountable to the people of Canada. It seems that at some point we have to take seriously the question of the future of the Senate. It is not enough to simply say that it would require a constitutional amendment and that it is unlikely the constitutional amendment would be allowed.

The Prime Minister and the government must show some leadership and begin the process. I believe abolition of the Senate is the will of Canadians. However, if reforming the Senate were the will of the people of Canada, we should at the very least begin the process. If not, the Senate will continue to carry on, continue to be discredited by the people of Canada. Not only do the actions of the Senate discredit itself, but they also discredit the House of Commons I would submit.

I believe that this bill should have been initiated by the government or by a member in this House. If the bill has the merit that the hon. member says it has, then perhaps an explanation is in order as to why we had to rely on unelected senators to introduce this bill. Why could the bill not have been introduced by the government?

If anything, it is a reflection on the people in this House if we do not have the foresight or the knowledge or the ability to recognize the merit of the bill. I think it does matter where a bill originates. All bills should originate in this House. It should be the elected members of this House who determine public policy.

The Senate February 18th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

It is quite clear that the overwhelming majority of Canadians do not support the Senate in its present form. It is nothing more than a posh country club for political hacks.

The Prime Minister in his previous answer suggested that the people of Canada rejected Senate reform when they voted against the Charlottetown accord. That is simply not the case.

Will the Prime Minister recognize that most Canadians do not support the Senate and will he undertake—

Petitions February 9th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I wish to present to the House a petition from 60,000 petitioners with respect to the toplessness issue in the province of Ontario.

The Ontario court of appeal in December 1996 ruled that the nudity provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada were contrary to the charter of rights and freedoms. It is clear that the overwhelming majority of people in Ontario and across the country do not agree with the court of appeal's decision. It is the role of this Parliament to enact laws with respect to the Criminal Code. It is not within the domain of the court of appeal of the province of Ontario or any other court of appeal.

These petitions were gathered by an organization based in my riding called Keep Tops On, KTO. Those responsible for the petition, Carol Faraone, Cathy Francavilla, Roxanne James and Erica Kubassek, are present in the gallery today. The names of these 60,000 petitioners are in addition to the names of 40,000 petitioners submitted to the House a number of weeks ago and the petition drive is continuing.

The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to enact legislation to amend the Criminal Code, specifically sections 173 and 174, the indecent act and public nudity provisions, to clearly state that a woman exposing her breasts in a public place is an indecent act.

Pensions February 4th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, this motion was introduced on December 10 and through a miscommunication the motion was not carried at the time, notwithstanding the fact that I am in complete support of the motion.

The reason why the motion is back before the House today is because unanimous consent was not given on December 10. However, today, the hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas has sought unanimous consent. It is a motion that is worthy of complete and unanimous support in the House. I urge the prime minister and the government to go to bat for British pensioners living in Canada who have been discriminated against by the British government by having their pensions frozen.

Pensions February 4th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to make some very brief submissions with respect to the motion. I would like to—

Pensions February 4th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, may—

Banking February 3rd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance and it regards the proposed bank merger.

The minister has given his assurance that a final decision will not be taken until the task force reports and that there are full parliamentary hearings on the matter. That means a final decision might not be taken for at least a year.

In view of that delay and in view of the fact that delay and uncertainty is not in anyone's best interest, will the minister refer the specific issue of the proposed bank merger to a parliamentary committee immediately so that the committee can commence immediate hearings?

Committees Of The House December 11th, 1997

Nelson for finance minister.

Committees Of The House December 11th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. My understanding of the rules is that once the motion is put, a debate should ensue.

It seems to me the government has mismanaged the agenda to the point where it is trying to get unanimous consent to run through this House on the last day of sitting a number of measures for which it requires consent. At the very least, the government could grant us the courtesy of advising members of the opposition what these motions are all about.

I have no difficulty giving consent to having these motions carry. However, at the very least I would like to see what I am voting on in advance.