Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was grain.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Brandon—Souris (Manitoba)

Lost his last election, in 1997, with 18% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Western Grain Transportation Act February 13th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I rise to support Bill C-66, an act to amend the Western Grain Transportation Act, the WGTA. The bill received first reading on December 15, 1994, just prior to the House rising for its Christmas break.

I would imagine all hon. colleagues are well advised that the minister has been consulting with all sectors of the agri-food industry and all political colleagues in neighbouring provinces on these major reforms to the WGTA.

As I mentioned earlier, Bill C-66 deals with three issues. I intend however to speak only to the issue of exports to Mexico, which is very important to NAFTA and other trading arrangements Canada has recently entered into.

On April 4, 1994 the Government of Mexico launched a countervail duty investigation of both Canadian WGTA wheat shipments to that country and U.S. exports under its export enhancement program or its EEP. At that time Mexico had concerns that wheat imports from Canada and the U.S. were affecting its domestic market. It believed that the WGTA was a subsidy which along with U.S. EEP subsidized wheat sales into

Mexico. This was affecting the price of wheat received from Mexican farmers and grain companies.

Over the following months our federal government participated in the investigation of the Government of Mexico and wanted to ensure that all facts were brought forward explaining Canada's grain marketing system. After much discussion the federal government reached a negotiated resolution to Mexico's concerns about the impact of Canadian WGTA supported wheat exports to that country. Under the agreement Canada will refrain from making payments under the WGTA on Canadian wheat shipped to Mexico. In return, Mexico's current countervailing duty investigation of Canadian wheat exports will be terminated.

The federal government has always indicated its preference for a negotiated solution to this matter rather than run the risk of having excessive countervailing duties in place.

I know there are some people in Canada, indeed some in the House today, who will cynically see the agreement as a loss. These people will point to it as an example of Canada making concessions while receiving nothing in return. As usual this is not the case.

First, the agreement will in no way interfere with or limit the amount of high quality wheat Canada can export to Mexican customers. The Canadian Wheat Board has already indicated to the federal government that it will continue to have a major presence in the Mexican market even with the voluntary withdrawal of WGTA.

Second, perhaps the greatest benefit is that the U.S. has voluntarily agreed to withdraw use of the export enhancement program from Mexico. Mexico was not included in the recently issued list of countries eligible for U.S. EEP allocations for the 1994-95 marketing year. In the previous year, 1993-94, Mexico's EEP allocation for wheat was some 1.4 million tonnes. This move by the U.S. to rein in its EEP restores a level playing field in that market with the result that prices will increase to North American levels.

Should the U.S. at some point decide to revert to its trade distorting subsidy program and resume using EEP on a large scale in the Mexican market, Canada will use NAFTA provisions to request the Government of Mexico to resume its countervail duty against the EEP.

The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has often referred to the EEP as "the most trade distorting program on the face of the earth". Anyone who is even remotely familiar with Canada's recent bilateral agri-food trading relations with the U.S. will attest to the accuracy of the remark. By agreeing to remove WGTA payments on wheat to Mexico, Canada has in effect restored a level playing field or contributed to such in the Mexican market. I might add that this is a growing and promising market for Canadian wheat in the future.

Bill C-66 will permit Canada to continue to sell wheat into the Mexican market without having to worry about possible excessive countervailing duties. It will also be able to do this without having to worry about competing against EEP and the billions in the U.S. treasury.

Petitions February 13th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls upon Parliament not to amend the human rights code, the Human Rights Act or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in any way that would indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or homosexuality.

Petitions February 13th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I rise with two petitions representing views of constituents in Brandon-Souris.

The first petition calls on the government to enforce the existing provisions in the Criminal Code prohibiting assisted suicide. It also asks that no further changes be made in the law which would sanction the aiding or abetting of suicide or active or passive euthanasia.

Petitions December 9th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the signatories of the third petition recognize that with cutbacks to services to communities, families and individuals in order to balance budgets, more than ever there is a need for service clubs in all communities.

In recent years memberships of service clubs throughout the country have been declining. In these times of monetary restraint service clubs would find it easier to recruit new members if the financial factor could be alleviated.

The Brandon-Souris petitioners pray that Parliament act immediately to amend the Income Tax Act, allowing the members to deduct their membership dues from their taxable income in the same manner as union and professional dues.

Petitions December 9th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, certain petitioners of Brandon-Souris pray that Parliament enact legislation providing for a referendum of the people to accept or reject two official languages, English and French, for the government and the people of Canada.

Petitions December 9th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I rise today pursuant to Standing Order 36. I have the honour and privilege to table three petitions duly certified by the clerk of petitions and signed by constituents of Brandon-Souris.

The petitioners pray and request that Parliament not amend the human rights code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in any way that would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or of homosexuality, including amending the human rights code to include in the prohibited grounds of discrimination the undefined phrase of sexual orientation.

The Environment December 9th, 1994

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

The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has asked that an environmental assessment panel be appointed to conduct a public review in the Lac de Gras area of the Northwest Territories. The proposed review would focus on the environmental and socioeconomic effects associated with the BHP Minerals Canada Ltd. diamond mine.

Would the minister please tell the House when this panel will be appointed?

Department Of Canadian Heritage Act November 21st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity. I agree with the comments of the previous speaker from Broadview-Greenwood that hockey does need some fortification. As a former principal of a high

school in which hockey has just become an athletic sport in rural Manitoba, I subscribe very much to that enterprise.

It gives me a great deal of pleasure to join the debate and speak in support of Bill C-53, an act to establish the Department of Canadian Heritage. Passage of this bill will enable the department to continue to successfully pursue its mandate.

Bill C-53 is a part of a greater reorganization of government that will provide streamlining of services and will allow for a more efficient organizational structure which will prove of greater benefit to the Canadian taxpayer.

Although this department has its origins in the steps taken by the previous government in 1993, the current government has improved on these changes which are reflected in the accomplishments the department has achieved in one full year.

The Department of Canadian Heritage reflects the sweep of the new department's mandate, a mandate that includes responsibilities in the areas of cultural development, multiculturalism and official languages, heritage conservation, national parks, national historic sites and amateur sports. In these areas the department has a common objective of promoting Canadian identity.

The Department of Canadian Heritage is the chief custodian of our natural parks, parks preserves, national historic sites, heritage railway sites, historic railway sites, historic canals, marine conservation areas, heritage rivers, federal heritage buildings and of course historical markers.

These national symbols contribute to our national identity in many ways. They depict a diversity of cultures and natural environments. They are national symbols and yet they can be located in virtually any part of this country, urban, rural and remote. They are tangible links to our illustrious past and help us to understand where we as a people have come from.

The traditions of Parks Canada began in 1885 and are now embraced by the Department of Canadian Heritage. These traditions will continue to protect, preserve and promote these natural parks and sites which are important to Canadians.

Another key aspect to Canada's parks and historic sites is the importance to the Canadian economy. National parks and national historic sites generate annual revenue in excess of $1 billion, including some $275 million from foreign tourists, and provide jobs for some 30,000 Canadians, both men and women.

Heritage tourism in Canada is also a major job creation activity. Taking national parks and historic sites as an example, it is estimated that for every person year of employment generated as a result of Parks Canada expenditures, between 2.5 in the Atlantic regions and 12.5 in the Alberta region person years are supported as a result of investment by partners in sectors directly or indirectly linked to tourism.

A large portion of these jobs are generated in economically less advantaged areas of the country.

The Department of Canadian Heritage recognizes the cultural diversity of Canada through its multiculturalism policy. I have heard the members opposite denigrate the efforts of the multiculturalism sector of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The sector works in partnership with Canadian institutions, ethnocultural communities, individuals, immigrant serving agencies and other organizations to eliminate racism and promote integration of ethnocultural minorities in Canadian society.

Certain members opposite would have us believe that multiculturalism is multimillion dollar boondoggle. However, I would point out that on a per capita basis multiculturalism grants cost each Canadians less than $1. The multiculturalism program has the aim of promoting equal opportunity for all Canadians to participate in the social, cultural, economic and political life of this country.

It would be foolish to get rid of multiculturalism on the mistaken notion that it exists to finance ethnic folk dances. The aim of multiculturalism is to help immigrants fit into Canadian society.

I might also point out to the members opposite that they say the multiculturalism model does not work. I would like them to become aware and consult with those Canadians who are grateful for the multiculturalism policy and its benefits.

The Department of Canadian Heritage not only recognizes the Canadian diversity among Canadians but also our linguistic duality. Canada's two official languages are intrinsically linked to Canadian identity and culture.

Canada's linguistic landscape is dominated by our two official languages, as English or French is spoken by 98.6 per cent of the Canadian population.

The Department of Canadian Heritage is committed to supporting the development and enhancing the vitality of linguistic minority communities in all sectors and encouraging Canadians to learn their second official language.

The Department of Canadian Heritage, with its official languages policies, provides funding for second language instruction for all provinces and territories. The French immersion experience constitutes the most studied phenomenon in the recent history of education in Canada and it is the consensus of experts that it is an excellent method to learn a second language.

Another facet that fosters the Canadian identity is the amateur sports component of which I spoke briefly a moment ago, which is also a valued component of Canadian heritage. Games and

related events like the Canada Games and the 15th Commonwealth Games held this summer in Victoria are a fundamental vehicle for fostering and illustrating important Canadian values such as the pursuit of excellence and cultural diversity.

Finally, the Department of Canadian Heritage has focused its efforts on the management of cultural development in Canada. The Department of Canadian Heritage nurtures and supports culture. It does so because it not only enriches our lives, it also improves the economic well-being of Canadians.

Despite what other members would have us believe, culture adds richness to our lives, giving people a way to express creativity and at the same time creates jobs and wealth. Bringing the cultural functions together in a single department will enable the Government of Canada to take more concrete action, making it possible to defend the interests of cultural minorities across this country.

In addition, the department is responsible for providing funding and encouraging cultural agencies that have a national mandate such as the CBC, the National Arts Centre, the Canada Council, Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board.

Clearly the mission of the Department of Canadian Heritage is closely linked to the major issues facing Canada today. It is more important than ever to start thinking of the importance of Canada's cultural complexity as an asset at a time when economies are opening up in different countries and around the world. That is why I strongly urge the quick passage of this bill.

Supply November 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I was late arriving this morning and I did not hear the hon. member's entire speech. I would like to compliment the member on his broad approach to many of our national problems.

Does he not agree that there needs to be some time when any department needs to research issues without being transparent at the initial time of investigation? Surely in transportation, surely in justice, surely in agriculture some research requirements need to be addressed.

Department Of Canadian Heritage Act October 18th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak on Bill C-53, the bill to create the Department of Canadian Heritage.

This bill is designed to give legal status to the amalgamation of five previous organizations: the Secretary of State, the Department of Multiculturalism and Citizenship, the Department of Fitness and Amateur Sport, the Parks Canada component of Environment Canada and the cultural broadcasting and heritage components of the Department of Communications.

This new department has functioned well over the past year and reflects the government's commitment toward more efficient and effective government. The Department of Canadian Heritage lays the foundation for the promotion of Canadian cultural heritage and identity which are important sources of social and economic enrichment.

I wish to speak at this time on what I feel to be one of the most important aspects of this legislation, the preservation of Canada's national heritage.

As Canadians we value our freedom, our clean environment, the breathtaking beauty of our natural scenery and the hard work of those men and women who helped make this country what it is today. With this in mind the proposed legislation intends to preserve Canada's rich past and to stimulate a profound concern for ensuring the survival of historic places, artefacts and structures.

Inasmuch as these areas and sites represent the very essence of our identity as Canadians, so is the concern that our historic legacy continues to be maintained and that we are motivated to protect our natural resources and commemorate our historic places.

The vast expanse of Canada's environment presents an interesting array of terrestrial and marine ecosystems: the Arctic tundra, the western mountains, the prairies, the Precambrian Shield, the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific coasts. The environment also includes places and landscapes associated with our human heritage. These historic places, which represent thousands of years of human history and encompass places of work and worship, commerce and culture, evoke all our aspirations and all our values.

For more than a century the Government of Canada has been involved in protecting Canada's outstanding national areas and in commemorating significant aspects of Canadian history. This extensive experience has enabled Canada to be recognized internationally as a world leader in the management of heritage.

Parks Canada as an integral part of the Department of Canadian Heritage is committed to establishing an extensive and comprehensive network of protected heritage areas that fully represent Canada's natural and cultural heritage.

Canada's national parks system began in 1885 when 26 square kilometres around mineral hot springs near Banff Station, Alberta were set aside for public use. The Rocky Mountain Park Act of 1887 defined the first parks as public park and pleasure grounds for the benefit, advantage and enjoyment of the people of Canada.

In 1930 the National Parks Act dedicated the national parks to the people of Canada for their benefit, education and enjoyment and made provisions for their sustained enjoyment for future generations.

In 1917 Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, was set aside as a historic site, followed in 1919 by the establishment of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. These two significant events set the ground for Canada's system of national historic sites.

Following the second world war the Historic Sites and Monuments Act of 1953 reflected the strong sense of national purpose that was found in Canada. The act provided statutory authority for the designation of natural historic sites as well as a legislative basis for acquiring and contributing directly to the care and preservation of these sites.

As Canadians we appreciate the beauty of the natural environment and the richness of our history. Canadians share this heritage with each other and welcome others to value, respect and learn about it. We celebrate the rich heritage through national historic sites, national parks, park preserves, heritage railway stations, historic canals, marine conservation areas, heritage rivers and federal heritage buildings as well as historical markers.

These national symbols contribute to our Canadian identity in numerous ways and it is for this reason that I eagerly await the enactment of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

With this legislation Canadians can be assured of the future preservation of Canada's illustrious past.