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

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, first of all I wish to congratulate you and all the others in the House. That way I can simplify it. It has been mentioned many times over and over.

I wish to take this opportunity as well to thank the voters of my riding of Saskatoon-Dundurn for electing me to this House of Commons. Saskatoon-Dundurn comprises a large part of the city of Saskatoon, a city that we affectionately call the pearl of the prairies. The electorate represents all strata of society and are a true mosaic of cultures, creeds, nationalities and religions. I am proud to represent them as their member of Parliament.

The question that is before us today is obviously a very serious one. Canadian soldiers in Bosnia are in more than just a peacekeeping role. It has been mentioned many times over that they are in a war zone where they are neither aggressors nor combatants. This is a very difficult and extremely dangerous role.

A country has crumbled because of religious and ethnic problems. The citizens of Bosnia have rejected the peaceful methods that Canadians have embraced for years of parliamentary debate. Instead they have embraced the gun and the bomb as their means of communication. As well, as the nation has crumbled the peace process sponsored by the European communities and the United Nations seems to have crumbled. It appears that the different leaders have lost control over their military leaders. This is shown by the fact that every time a truce has been drafted it is broken before the ink has dried on the document. The leaders who appear to be intoxicated with power show the problems of a quest for political power over the value of human life.

However, it is not our job here today to name aggressors or to point fingers. Our primary question is the safety of Canadian military personnel stationed in the former Yugoslav republic and that is the only reason that we are here. It has become clear to many that a military solution to the situation in Bosnia is no longer feasible. What is needed now is a political solution. However, the quest for power and nation building seems to destroy all hope of achieving a political settlement without the intervention of the world community.

We have seen the world community intervene at a number of different times. The European community peace negotiators, the Vance-Owen peace negotiations and the current negotiations in Geneva have all proved fruitless. Ceasefires are signed, ceasefires are broken. Peace plans show hope only to have one party walk away at the last moment. The situation seems bleak at present, bleak of ever reaching a political settlement.

We must be careful to balance this against the needs of the 2.75 million people that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says depend on the humanitarian aid as their sole source of food. This is a weighty question.

We must sit here to balance the lives of 1,800 Canadian personnel versus an estimated three million innocent citizens. However the problem does not stop there. It is estimated that once a peace agreement is signed, if one is ever signed, they will need two times the number of troops they have now in the former Yugoslav republic to monitor the peace accord and to disarm the belligerents.

Therefore by staying, are we just getting ourselves into a project that will turn into another Cyprus where we were for 25 to 30 years? I think the chances of a peace agreement at this time are slim.

I wonder if it would make any difference if today we were speaking in the House had the situation a few weeks ago been one of guns being shot not over our soldiers' heads but at a lower position. If we had dead personnel would we be speaking any different today? I suggest we would be.

I must join with the member for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre and say that we should withdraw for now and reassess our position.

Criminal Code January 24th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, under section 745 of the Criminal Code many murderers of police officers and prison guards are coming up for review of their eligibility date for parole. Such individuals are serving life sentences with no eligibility for parole for 25 years. The review proceedings could allow this 25-year period to be reduced to 15 years.

I ask that all members join together to review this condition to determine whether this procedure should be available to murderers of police officers and prison guards or whether it should be eliminated completely as soon as practically possible, thereby making murderers of police and prison guards serve at least a minimum of 25 years.