Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was reform.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Saskatoon—Dundurn (Saskatchewan)

Lost his last election, in 2000, with 22% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply May 12th, 1994

Madam Speaker, the dissertation just given deals quite succinctly with many of the areas in dealing with some of the problems of young offenders.

I am wondering whether the hon. member would consider that perhaps a reduction of the age from 18 to 16 would be reasonable so long as the young offender who is of the age of 16 or 17 could still apply to the courts to be placed in young offenders court, thus eliminating the repeat offender from being able to be in young offenders court but allowing the young person who seldom gets into trouble to remain in young offenders court.

If I am not clear on that, perhaps I can put it a different way. At present the crown must apply to elevate young offenders into adult court. Would perhaps the reversal of that onus be more appropriate by having the young offender apply to be placed in young offenders court?

Canadian Products May 12th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, many of us heard reports a few weeks ago that the coconut oil used by movie theatres was not as healthy as originally thought.

Last week American movie chains decided to switch from coconut oil to a healthier Canadian canola oil. Cineplex Odeon, a Canadian company, declined to make this switch preferring to wait and study the matter further. This answer is not good enough. A Canadian company should be supporting healthier Canadian products before it supports inferior foreign products.

However this seems to be the rule in Canada rather than the exception. We have seen this problem before involving Canadian wines and innumerable other Canadian products. When will we start buying superior Canadian products and putting Canada's unemployed back to work?

Justice May 10th, 1994

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

Members of the public have shown concern for the need for blood testing of sexual offenders to determine if they are HIV positive or to determine whether they carry a transmittable venereal disease.

What if anything is being done in this area to detect such diseases and to prevent the spread of such diseases to victims?

Petitions May 6th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions identical in form today both asking that section 745 of the Criminal Code be repealed by this Parliament.

Controlled Drugs And Substances Act April 19th, 1994

Madam Speaker, it is interesting to hear all the different members in the House speaking on this legislation. It is interesting to hear that there is consensus on many points and disagreement on some.

Everyone, it appears, agrees that there is need for legislation for the control of drugs and that this be put into one statute. To date we have two statutes that govern this. It is important to have this in one statute; important for the public so that the public can from this point on refer to one statute and know what is allowed and what is not allowed and how the controls take effect.

It is also important that our children be protected from the parasites of society. The legislation in question takes that into effect. We all have the goal of having legislation that will control what many people consider to be a profession, a profession at the price and at the cost of our young people in society. We cannot have young people destroyed. We must not allow it. Apart from educating the public we still need legislation controlling, as I have indicated, these parasites in society.

We cannot take legislation such as the legislation that has been proposed and rubber stamp it. Perhaps we have consensus on that as well. The legislation is so different. It is not just amending legislation but is new legislation which has been drafted, trying to foresee all the problems that may arise. By trying to foresee problems one tends either to overlook certain matters or give it too great a scope.

We must be vigilant that we do not throw out human rights. When we are dealing with legislation such as this innocent people will also be involved. We must not trample on their rights. In enforcing rights against individuals who breach the law we sometimes come into contact with people who are innocent and their rights are trampled upon. We must look at the legislation in this light.

In other words we generally have to balance the rights of the innocent people with the objectives of the statute itself. What better way to do this but in committee. It appears all people in the Chamber favour the legislation and its goals. We must be careful as we look at the legislation not to get to the stage where we in fact trample on the rights of individual people, innocent people.

Let me just give an example in this respect. We must be careful with the definition of trafficking. I am not saying the definition in the statute is adequate or inadequate, but let us just take a look at it. The definition of trafficking deals with selling. Traffic means to sell, administer, provide, transport, send or deliver.

Is that a definition we wish to have? Do we want people who simply send or deliver an item or provide an item to be trafficking? Then we have the definition of provide which means to give, transfer or otherwise provide in any manner. Do we want such a definition?

The problems we run into with such a definition of provide is that we could have too many people covered. We could have innocent people covered. We could have people who simply give medication to others within a home, people who have a proper prescription to a controlled substance, being guilty of trafficking.

Let me give an example. An individual, a spouse, may have a prescription for a controlled substance. The other spouse may be requested to fetch that particular item. By giving that substance to a child to bring to the other spouse the initial spouse is guilty of trafficking. We do not want that. We cannot have that. We must be vigilant that innocent people are not covered by the legislation in this manner. In other words we have to balance here again. The balance requires that the innocent people be protected against the objectives of the statute.

We must also look at the provisions of the statute in certain procedural matters where preliminary inquiries are taken away from certain individuals.

The summary convictions portion of the statute is expanded thus eliminating preliminary inquiries. This may not be something suitable for the public. This may not be something we require or desire in the administration of justice. Depending on discussions in this area, discussions as to disclosure by the crown to the defence, this may be reasonable but it may not be reasonable. What better place to deal with it but in a committee.

We have to look at what the controlled substances are. What are we looking at? Part of the definitions in the schedules refer to derivatives and similar synthetic preparations.

One has to look at the objectives of the legislation again which are to prevent the designer drugs, slight alteration to drugs and in that way getting around the legislation. We also have to look at the innocent people who can possess these particular items and not know that it is an offence.

Unless we have specific items indicated in the statute that we know are offences or not offences, it is difficult to function in society. We have to balance again. What better way to balance but to discuss it in committee. Let the committee take a look at it and thus be able to protect the innocent who may come into contact with the statute and also see to it that those who are trying to circumvent the legislation are duly dealt with.

One area that may create some problems is the area of possessing property or proceeds of any property knowing that all or part was obtained or derived directly or indirectly. I look at this matter and I have problems. The problems that arise are that individuals may have property they received. Store owners may receive money from people who they believe may be selling drugs but also have legitimate jobs. Those store owners are not protected if they sell products to that individual. This particular legislation might be too broad.

As well we have a problem with respect to legislation that deals with the Governor General being able to exempt police from the statute. Exempting police from the statute allows police in the investigation of offences under the statute to traffic. If police can traffic they can instigate offences. If they can instigate offences and if it is allowed we may have a problem in our criminal justice system with individuals who are too vigilant or too aggressive in attempting to protect society, and

by trying to protect society may in fact be pulling innocent people into the web. I see that my time has run out.

Controlled Drugs And Substances Act April 19th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member made reference to marijuana and a particular threshold of three kilos without making reference to that as being simply a procedural matter in the act and having nothing to do with substance.

The new legislation in dealing with cannabis, which is marijuana, puts the substance into the same schedule, schedule I, that opium, codeine, morphine, cocaine are in, some of the worst drugs that we have. Marijuana and its derivatives are in the same schedule where reference is made that marijuana, its preparations, derivatives and similar synthetic preparations are all included in schedule I.

How can the hon. member indicate that this legislation is not legislation that adequately deals with marijuana when that substance is put into the same schedule as other drugs such as cocaine, codeine and opium?

Supply April 18th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member mentioned that the Bloc does not want to make this experiment called Canada work. I wonder in light of some of the comments of the Reform member using such terms as "dominance of English in this country" and "Quebec with only a shore along the St. Lawrence" whether that is an attempt to hasten the separation of Quebec from Canada rather than trying to heal any wounds and whether that is the goal of the Reform Party, to hasten Quebec leaving this country rather than trying to live in a country that compromises and has two official languages.

Electoral Redistribution In Saskatchewan March 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the question of electoral redistribution in Saskatchewan.

I understand redistribution is done as required by statute after each decennial census. In Saskatchewan we neither gain nor lose seats. In this time of fiscal restraint I find it difficult to understand why we need to spend millions of dollars to change ridings that are well represented by current members of Parliament.

Redistribution will not mean more effective representation in Saskatchewan.

Therefore I call upon the government to introduce legislation to forgo redistribution in Saskatchewan on this decennial census. This would save the Canadian taxpayers money and preserve the representation that they now enjoy.

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

Mr. Speaker, it was with interest that I listened to the hon. member speak about the blaming of previous governments for our woes. I simply wish to remind the hon. member that is exactly the position we have not taken.

We have taken the position that we will not blame anyone because we came in and we simply have a problem to deal with.

My question for the hon. member is with respect to the cuts that are being suggested. It is very vague as to what cuts should take place. Can the hon. member perhaps enlighten us as to the specific areas where cuts will be made? In particular, is one of these areas transfer payments to provinces?

The Budget February 24th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has touched on rail line transportation. In Alberta there has been some experimentation with privatization of abandoned rail lines, where they have been taken over by private entrepreneurs who have been successful in the operation of these lines.

Could the hon. member tell us whether his party favours the privatization of rail lines in Canada?