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

Petitions June 12th, 1996

Madam Speaker, I have a petition signed by approximately 200 individuals from my constituency in Saskatoon asking that Parliament enact Bill C-205, introduced by the hon. member for Scarborough West, asking that Canadian law provide that no criminal profits from committing a crime.

Criminal Code May 30th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I commend the hon. member for Scarborough West on his efforts in Bill C-205. I will deal with some of the problems I see in the bill. I agree with the comments made by previous speakers about individuals not profiting from their crimes, such as in the Bernardo and Mahaffy matter. However, we have to take a look at the bill to see what it does.

First, let me give a summary of how copyright works in Canada. Copyright is a legal system of rights developed to reward authors for their intellectual labour and thus encourage them to continue creating original works for the benefit of society.

Copyright is made up of statutory, economic and moral rights that allow authors to control the exploitation of their works, to profit from their works and to protect the integrity of their works. Copyright protects the expression of the work and not the idea

embodied in the work and comes into existence as soon as an original work has been fixed in a medium.

Categories of protected works as defined by the Copyright Act are literary works such as books, poems and stories, or artistic works which are paintings, sculptures, photographs, dramatic works such as plays, television programs, movies, scripts and musical works, for example, notes transcribed on paper or song lyrics.

The Copyright Act gives authors of works exclusive economic rights and these are the right to authorized reproduction, performance in public, publication, communication to the public by telecommunication, adaptation of certain works, commercial rental of computer programs and exhibitions of certain artistic works.

Moral rights protect the work's integrity and author's reputation. Moral rights can be waived but not transferred. They are the right to the integrity of the work, the right to be named as the work's author or the right to remain anonymous and the right to prevent the use of the work in association with a product, service, cause or institution.

The author is normally the first owner of copyright in a work, but employers normally own the copyright in works produced by employees in the course of employment and copyright ownership is alienable by assignment or succession.

Canadians recognize the importance of allowing authors to earn a livelihood from their works. They understand the benefits to society that derive from the creation of works such as cultural identity, private enjoyment of books, music, art and television and the wealth of information that is distributed through these works.

The issue becomes difficult when society, and this includes victims of criminal acts, believes that a work has been created by someone who does not deserve to make money from such works. More specifically, convicted criminals who write about their crimes and profit financially from their publication.

Bill C-205 offers one solution to the problem: to take away the copyright and proceeds of copyright from authorize who are convicted of indictable offences when they write about the offences they have committed. However, the proposed amendment to the Copyright Act runs the risk of contravening our international obligations under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. The spirit of the Berne convention limits the state regulation of copyright in the criminal law.

In addition, Bill C-205 is too far reaching. It extends beyond the incarceration period throughout the lifetime of ex-offenders who have done their time and to their family members for 50 years following an ex-convict's death. For example, take someone convicted of drunk driving. This bill covers many offences, not just murder, manslaughter or sexual offences. It covers thefts, mischief, prostitution and drunk driving.

Should a person who has been convicted of drunk driving decide in his old age to write his memoirs, he could not write about the offence without losing copyright or proceeds from the work, even if the work decries drunk driving. His family would also be disinherited although they did not commit the crime. The same applies to individuals who may have been convicted of possessing marijuana and then at a later time writing about their experiences and the bad effects of drugs, could not benefit from such writings.

It is the same for individuals who have been involved in the prostitution trade. Neither the men or women who have been involved and who have been victimized in that trade could write about it years later, damning that type of trade because the copyright would be with the government. It is not a matter of them writing and not being able to profit. It is a matter of them not being able to publish it because the copyright is in the name of the state and the state must consent to publication.

Canada is not a country that is in the habit of taking away rights. It is a country with a strong charter of rights and freedoms that is respected worldwide. There are other solutions to this problem that do not involve the expropriation of rights or discrimination against ex-offenders and their families. Rather they involve choices made by the Canadian public and the respect of the rights of all Canadians.

Books written by criminals about their crimes often appeal to the curiosity of the population. Canadians can choose to buy them or not to buy them. Those who choose to buy them do so knowing that copyright proceeds may go to the author. Those who choose not to buy or read the works of the offenders who write about their crimes are making a statement. If enough Canadians boycott a particular account of a criminal then that person will not benefit financially from copyright.

Let us put our trust in Canadian consumers that they will make the decision for themselves.

Alliance Of Manufacturersand Exporters Canada May 30th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, 125 years ago the Canadian Manufacturers' Association was founded and 94 years ago, on May 15, 1902, Parliament passed an act incorporating the CMA with objectives to promote Canadian industries and to further the interests of Canadian manufacturers and exporters.

Fifty-three years ago the Canadian Exporters' Association was founded to promote Canadian international business and to advance the interests of exporters.

Today these two historic associations, which have helped to form the fabric of Canadian industry, are merging into a new organization to be known as the Alliance of Manufacturers and Exporters Canada. They bring together their respective strengths and the commitment to support Canadian manufacturers and exporters in a globally competitive economy.

The new alliance will, in due course, request Parliament to amend the original act to formally adopt the new name and to continue to advance the interests of Canadian manufacturers and exporters.

I ask the House to endorse the new association, Alliance of Manufacturers and Exporters Canada, and to extend its best wishes for every success in the future.

Bankruptcy And Insolvency Act May 27th, 1996

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to begin second reading of Bill C-5.

This legislation is a key part of the framework laws that provide the foundation for our economy. Marketplace framework laws provide the cornerstone of good government. They help government play a less intrusive role in the economy by establishing the rules that level the playing field for all concerned.

Modern, up to date framework laws protect consumers, small businesses and others against the abuses of economic power. They provide rights and impose obligations on marketplace participants, thereby providing certainty and reducing transaction costs. Framework laws are therefore essential for creating a climate for business that fosters jobs, innovation and growth. They help create the proper economic environment in which firms and consumers make their decisions.

The particular framework laws in the legislation before us involve bankruptcy and insolvency, an issue that few Canadians want to contemplate. However, when Canadian businesses or consumers find that they have need of insolvency protection, they want to be assured that Canada's laws help them make the necessary decisions to get their lives or their businesses back on track again.

Canada needs bankruptcy laws that encourage rather than deter risk taking and entrepreneurship. This is achieved by enacting bankruptcy laws that provide certainty and fairness to both debtors and creditors. The health of the Canadian marketplace depends on this balance. Lenders and borrowers need the assurance that their transactions are backed by framework laws that will treat all parties fairly and that will allow innovative solutions.

At stake are jobs that rely on a company's ability to carry on paying its debts. Good bankruptcy laws give firms and individuals in financial trouble greater opportunity to get back on their feet by reorganizing their affairs and allowing them to capitalize on emerging opportunities. We must also be mindful of the health of businesses that rely on the ability of its customers to pay. At stake are the interest rates and conditions of borrowing at institutions. They must always consider the risk of not getting their loans repaid and set the price of their loans accordingly.

In sum, this proposed legislation is dealing with the whole moral and ethical climate of the marketplace. Canadians want to be assured that no one is slipping away from financial obligations by

using bankruptcy as an easy way out. Canadians want assurances that the piper will be paid.

Over the years bankruptcy laws have been very difficult to reform and modernize. It proved to be difficult because so many different and often diverging interests must be taken into account in bankruptcy legislation. Consider for a moment the different points of view.

Consumers abhor bankruptcy. They want bankruptcy laws that offer a real and honourable alternative to bankruptcy and asset liquidation. Canadian consumers want to be responsible and honour their financial obligations but when there is no viable alternative, consumers do not want to be harassed or stigmatized. They want to turn the page quickly and be given another chance to start afresh.

Then there is the business community. Business women and men need insolvency laws that encourage rather than discourage them to be bold, innovative and to take risks, knowing that there will be a fair process to negotiate with creditors and reorganize their finances if their financial situation deteriorates to a state of insolvency. Corporate directors need incentives, not disincentives, to make the bold decisions that will save a business in financial difficulty.

What about lenders? No business, and for that matter very few consumers, could go on and contribute to the health of the economy without financing being available, and on reasonable terms. Without bankruptcy laws that recognize the market realities of security lending that treat different classes of creditors fairly and equitably, Canadian businesses and consumers would be at a competitive disadvantage compared to competitors in other countries.

Then there are the insolvency practitioners such as trustees and receivers. They need adequate protection against personal liability for claims that would otherwise lie against the debtor or estate. Without adequate protection against personal liability, trustees and receivers would either not deal with sensitive estates or would systemically opt for liquidation when they would have opted for trying to salvage the business and preserve the jobs that depend on it.

Then there are federal and provincial treasuries that are legitimate creditors. Where should they rank among other creditors? What priority, if any, should the crown legislatively grant itself?

There are many different and divergent interests. In the event of an insolvency, when it comes time to divide the assets of a company, like dividing a pie, each of these interests wants a piece of that pie which unfortunately is not large enough to cover all liabilities.

Where is the balance? What is fair and equitable? Is what is fair for one class of creditor fair for another class of creditor, fair for the business debtor and its employees, suppliers and shareholders? These are the questions that insolvency laws grapple with.

At the same time, if the reorganization features of bankruptcy laws are effective, the insolvent company can be given breathing space to get its affairs back in order. It is as though the baker were to say to his creditors "back off for a bit, then you will all get your piece of the pie and there will be more pies to come in the future".

With so many conflicting interests is it any wonder that over the past decades bankruptcy and insolvency reform has been among the most difficult legislation to pass in the House?

The legislation includes more than 70 amendments which respond to the needs of the many and varied constituents it exists to serve, including the business community and consumer groups. The amendments cover a wide range of bankruptcy issues from consumer issues to commercial issues, to priorities and privileges and to amendments to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.

I feel we are on solid ground with Bill C-5. I am confident the House will pass the legislation. I am confident for three reasons, first because of the wide range of input and advice that we have received from the whole spectrum of stakeholders.

In 1993, following passage of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, Industry Canada set up the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Advisory Committee to review insolvency legislation, to identify priority issues and to formulate possible solutions to them. More than 100 private sector insolvency experts have participated in this process. They represented consumers, business, lenders, insolvency practitioners and governments. Their voluntary effort speaks well of the importance of the legislation as well as the desire of the private sector to participate in the process leading to legislative reform.

I was very impressed by the calibre of the advice the committee provided. The vast majority of the amendments before the House directly respond to the specific recommendations made by the committee.

I emphasize this legislation reflects the government's resolve to respond to the needs of our clients, those who need and use the legislation. Framework legislation must respond to the real needs of the marketplace by taking into consideration real situations.

By themselves governments do not have the expertise to anticipate the impact their regulations may have in the marketplace. However, by working as a facilitator to bring together the various interests and stakeholders, governments can play an effective role in helping to build modern, workable framework laws and policies. I am confident the House will recognize the quality of the advice

we have received and see it reflected in the wisdom of the amendments before us.

The second reason I am very confident in the legislation before us is the exceptional co-operation and support received from cabinet colleagues. The amendments before us touch on a variety of issues and interests. The ministers responsible for those interests have provided their support and encouragement for this legislation.

For example, the Minister of Human Resources Development not only supports but has also been instrumental in crafting the measures to make student loan debts non-dischargeable for a period of 24 months after termination of studies.

Students who have received financial assistance from taxpayers owe it to society and to future generations of students to reimburse the loans they have received.

At the same time, however, governments and bankruptcy laws have to recognize that some students may find themselves in a hardship situation. This is reflected in the legislation by limiting the period during which student loan debt would be non-dischargeable.

The Minister of Justice and the Secretary of State for the Status of Women are both quite enthusiastic about the measures to prevent those who have been fined for sexual and other physical assault from declaring bankruptcy as a means of avoiding their obligations.

Under this legislation judgments for wilful damages will not be released by a discharge. My colleagues have also supported the measures in this legislation that would see spousal and child support payments become provable priority claims.

The Minister of the Environment has offered me great advice and collaboration in coming to grips with the important issue of environmental liability for insolvency practitioners as well as the no less important issue of the priority for environmental clean-up claims.

I am proud to report the provisions proposed in this legislation will not only assist business reorganizations but will for the first time in Canadian history formally and legally recognize the priority of a clean environment.

The third reason I am confident the legislation before us will obtain the support of Parliament is that Bill C-5 is part of work in progress. It is neither the beginning of the process of reforming Canada's bankruptcy laws nor the end.

Some members will recall the spirit with which the changes to the BIA were greeted three years ago. It was regarded as a necessary first step in the reform of the framework laws. Some members wanted to go further but one of the compromises made back then was to commit the government to bringing bankruptcy law forward for a parliamentary review three years after royal assent.

The three-year review of the BIA was instrumental in obtaining stakeholder and parliamentary approval of the 1992 amendments. It provided some assurance to those whose concerns were not addressed in 1992 that their issues would be dealt with in phase two of the amendment process.

They were assured further modernization of the statute would be considered by Parliament. The time for that review has arrived. Members on both sides of the House will welcome the opportunity to address many of the issues that were left unresolved on the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act was passed in 1992.

The legislation before us is very much intended to assist Parliament in a statutory three-year review. This legislation fine tunes and where warranted rectifies the reforms introduced in 1992.

It applies the spirit of the 1992 legislation and emphasizes giving time for reorganization of business and rehabilitation of consumers. From 1993 to 1995 over 48 per cent of the reorganizations started under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act are still alive. They are now under way with creditors and the court's approval.

The reorganization provisions have created a framework to facilitate discussion and negotiation between creditors and debtors. The clear benefit is that the framework has created an environment in which possibilities that would have been lost can be explored in a transparent manner.

In other respects this legislation adds new items to the bankruptcy reform agenda such as international insolvency and reform of the Company's Creditors Arrangement Act.

In 1992 the passage of bankruptcy reform legislation represented something of a breakthrough. Much had changed since the last reform legislation had been passed some 40 years before. The legislation before us represents very much a consolidation of some of the reforms passed three years ago.

The 1992 legislation addressed the heart of bankruptcy practices by reforming the rules surrounding reorganizations. The legislation before us takes these rules further by addressing many crucial issues that arise in bankruptcy, issues such as environmental liability and director liabilities, issues such as the treatment of off farm income and consumer rehabilitation.

Some of my colleagues will address these areas in more detail. In summary I emphasize the three strategic thrusts the legislation before us provides.

First, Canadian bankruptcy law will continue to provide a framework in which it is preferable for consumers or businesses to reorganize their affairs rather than declare bankruptcy.

Second, the legislation emphasizes the importance of measures to promote consumer rehabilitation. We want to create an environment in which consumers can act as responsible citizens.

Third, the legislation is aimed at promoting fairness to both creditors and debtors.

The legislation helps minimize the social and economic costs that result from insolvencies. It provides framework laws that will help business debtors who want to become competitive once more and consumers who want to act responsibly.

I hope all members will join me in voting in favour of the bill at second reading.

Standards Council Of Canada Act May 27th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, when I was asked to participate in this debate about Bill C-4, an act to amend the Standards Council of Canada Act, I had to ask what stake my constituents would have in this legislation and its implementation.

This got me thinking about the role of standards in society and how they touch the day to day lives of Canadians. Clearly these legislative changes are meaningful to Canadian businesses and business because standards have an impact on business practices and Canada's capacity to compete in the international marketplace.

Standards also matter to Canadians because they contribute to consumer safety and health and to the utility of everyday products, be they industrial, domestic or recreational. Therefore today I direct my comments to the people side of the standards story.

In Canada standards setting is based largely on voluntary consultation and consensus among a wide group of public and private sector stakeholders. Individual citizens and volunteers from industry and special interest groups routinely sit on panels and committees that develop national standards. A variety of standards development organizations accredited by the Standards Council of

Canada, the SCC, bring these groupings of people together to set standards affecting every sector in our society.

The SCC oversees the five key standards development organizations active in Canada and estimates that a further 14,000 people are involved in some capacity with establishing and maintaining standards in Canada. Together these experts and concerned consumers establish standards for everything from health care products to emergency planning.

Their deliberations and decisions set guidelines and standards for environmental management practices, the manufacturing and marketing of consumer products and electrical devices, occupational health and safety, building codes and quality assurance procedures. Standards which flow from a voluntary consensus based system like the one we have nurtured in Canada have the capacity to track the dramatic changes introduced by technological innovation.

This consultative approach also takes place at the international level, and often standards developed here in Canada lead the way and become universally accepted.

The federal government embarked on an extensive consultative exercise to examine standards and their growing importance for Canadian consumers and business. That consultation revealed significant interest in standards in Canada and support for an enhanced role for the SCC. Most stakeholders favoured a broader SCC mandate to include economic and environmental management issues while maintaining the core mandate which already included consumer protection. People told the SCC they were looking for leadership, effective management, accessibility and constructive Canadian action on the international stage. The bill we have before us today reflects those public wishes.

The bill also builds on our national record of achievement in creating responsive, consumer driven standards. Without the work of standards development organizations in Canada and their many volunteers and technical committees we would not be so sure about the safety of the light switches in our homes, that propane tank under the barbeque and our child's bright yellow bicycle helmet.

The Canadian Standards Association, the CSA, one of the agencies accredited by the SCC to develop Canadian standards, is possibly the standard organization Canadians are most aware of, although several other key standards development organizations are also at work in Canada.

For over 75 years in Canada the CSA has ensured that a plethora of electrical devices, chemical products and manufacturing processes meet stringent national safety codes. Of the nearly 1,500 standards the CSA has on its books, about one third have been incorporated into government regulation, and that trend continues.

On the high tech side Canada is playing a leadership role in co-ordinating the vast network of computer systems that span the world. As Canada builds its own information highway, committees are at work to match our infrastructure with others in the world. One initiative called open systems interconnection, OSI, involves the creation and standardization of the unique electronic addresses required by information highway users to send and receive information. Here good standards equal good human dialogue, not to mention technical innovation.

Let us talk about the air we breathe and the water we drink. Canada provides the secretariat for an international technical committee for environmental management which offers management systems for corporations that have an impact on the environment. As we speak, the committee is at work setting standards for environmental waste management, environmental audit practices, labelling and product design and safety. The aim is to encourage compliance around the world, making it easier for companies to plan for and monitor their environmental impacts.

On the horizon lie many more opportunities for Canadians to be involved in domestic and international standards activities. Growing emphasis is being placed on establishing standards for management systems, including quality and the environment. Canadians from all walks of life continue to participate on standards writing committees or consumer advisory panels.

Though seemingly complex and bureaucratic, standards setting mechanisms do affect our lives, and our powerful international alliances have the potential to deliver significant and long lasting benefits to the people of the world.

I also think these amendments, because they are based on so much consultation, set the stage for a standard setting system that engages and listens to Canadians. For that reason I think Canadians will support the emphasis the government is placing on standards.

Petitions May 27th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition asking that Parliament amend the Criminal Code so that sentences given to individuals who drive while impaired or who cause injury or death while impaired will be reflected by the severity of the crime and that there be zero tolerance in Canada toward this crime.

Petitions May 9th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first petition has 30 signatures and asks that the human rights act not include sexual orientation.

The second petition has 452 signatures and asks that sexual orientation be included in the human rights legislation.

Order Of Canada May 8th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I wish to bring to the attention of my colleagues in the House the outstanding contributions of two residents of Saskatoon who are being awarded the Order of Canada today.

The Hon. Sidney Buckwold is no stranger to Ottawa having served honourably in the other place representing Saskatchewan for many years. Today he is invested as an Officer of the Order. Mr. Buckwold also served as mayor of Saskatoon, having a record as one of the most progressive and forward looking mayors in the city's history. As well, Mr. Buckwold has served our community through work as a volunteer with many charitable organizations. He is one of the most prominent businessmen in Saskatoon.

Walter Podiluk is best known for his work at St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon but his contributions go well beyond to include service as superintendent of the Saskatoon Catholic Board of Education and as deputy minister of health in Saskatchewan.

I ask my colleagues to recognize the contribution of these two outstanding individuals.

Gasoline Pricing May 6th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member well knows, the Competition Act covers this. The government is vigilant in ensuring that prices are not set in contravention of the Competition Act.

The hon. member also knows the industry committee has been very active and is having before it tomorrow the director of competition to deal with this matter.

The hon. member should also be well informed that the question of prices and the prices of gasoline is not a matter necessarily regulated by the federal government. The hon. member should perhaps be looking at the provincial government in his province for some resolution of this matter.

Rcvc Western Fitness Roof May 2nd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, young people today are faced with many challenges. What they learn during their school years is crucial for their success as adults.

Twelve young women from Saskatoon learned this past weekend that with desire, hard work and perseverance dreams can come true. I speak of RCVC Western Fitness Roof, a volleyball club from Saskatoon.

The dedication of these young women under the superb coaching of Frank Enns and his assistant, Roxanne Deptuk, was rewarded when this team won the gold medal at the Western Canadian Midget Women's Volleyball Championship in Victoria. This team not only captured gold, but went through the entire season, including this tournament without losing a match.

Congratulations to them all.