Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was brunswick.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Carleton—Charlotte (New Brunswick)

Lost his last election, in 1997, with 26% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply November 21st, 1996

Madam Speaker, first I want to congratulate the member for Port Moody-Coquitlam for her presentation this morning in the House. I listened very carefully to her comments. I have a couple of questions.

She mentioned that government of big spending leads to high taxes and big government. I think everyone in this House and all Canadians by this time are well aware that this government has taken those actions which were demanded by Canadians to reduce the size of government, to reduce the size of expenditures, to reduce spending, and to do it in a balanced fashion so that we could look forward to balancing our budget.

As everyone in this House and most Canadians know, the hon. Minister of Finance took those actions by setting targets which to date have been either met or exceeded. Economists not only here in Canada but throughout the world are suggesting that Canada leads the world, or at least the industrialized countries of the world, in its actions and meeting its commitments to date. Therefore I wonder why the hon. member would state that.

All members of this House are well aware that we are not talking about bigger government. This government made a commitment, not one that it particularly wanted to do, but one that was necessary because Canadians said that they wanted to see a smaller government. The government committed to a reduction of 45,000 positions in the federal government over a three or four year period which affected every department.

We also know that one of the first steps taken after this government took office was to reduce the size of ministers' staffs. Previously junior portfolios had 50 to 60 staff persons and senior portfolios 100 to 120 staff persons. They are now down to 10 to 15 staff members. That is responsibility.

With respect to deficit reduction we have met or exceeded those targets to date. I might add that we are on target for the future for this year and certainly will be for subsequent years. The result has been interest rate reductions to levels that have not been seen for the past 30 or 40 years. This has put money in the pockets of Canadian families.

The hon. member spoke of Liberalism and the Liberal government not being for the family. I have been involved for a number of years with the Liberals and I can say that the family is always first and foremost for all Liberals I have met. They are a family and they also have the greatest respect for the family. I have not seen a group of men and women across this country who work more for the family, for family units.

I would point out to the hon. member for Port Moody-Coquitlam that this government has taken action. Obviously in the weeks and months to come further actions will be introduced in this House that will continue to promote the family.

The hon. member referred to children. There is no question that children have to be first and foremost on all of our minds.

Remembrance Day November 8th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, November 11 Canadians will be assembling in communities across Canada in order to honour the memory of those who fought and died while serving Canada.

More than 50 years ago the second world war ended. As a result of the sacrifices made by thousands of Canadians, successive generations have enjoyed peace and prosperity in Canada.

On Monday, November 11, let us all, youth and seniors alike, participate in these ceremonies and reflect on the many sacrifices made by those at war as well as those who were at home so that we will have a constant reminder that our freedom was not without a huge cost.

Let us all say together: We will remember them.

Speech From The Throne November 7th, 1996

Madam Speaker, I will try to be as brief as possible. I thank my hon. colleague from the Reform Party for his question.

I recall in all the east coast literature I have read over many years and all of the programs I have seen on television that people around the world have exclaimed time and time again what a wonderful organization the Canadian Wheat Board must be because it continues to bring revenue for western farmers in Canada.

It has, time and time again, shown that it could bring more revenue than those selling on an independent basis in many other countries, many other wheat producers around the world.

Yes, there are problems. The hon. minister, time and time again, has alluded to those problems and is looking at ways to make it better. It has a wonderful history. I am glad to see it is going to continue to expand and prosper for all farmers in western Canada in the future.

Speech From The Throne November 7th, 1996

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from the Bloc for his many questions. There were a number of them and I will try to answer them in the order that he put them forward.

The member talked about rethinking government. As all government members are well aware, since arriving in this place we certainly have been rethinking government. We have been looking at the size of all departments.

The first thing I recall being done upon arriving here was reducing the number of staff members in ministers' offices. Many offices in the junior portfolios had 50 to 60 staff members and the senior portfolios had from 100 to 120 staff members. Those offices are now working with 15 to 20 staff members. We are rethinking, taking the challenge first.

The hon. member will know that the budget of every member of Parliament was frozen. Government members and opposition members alike, we all shared in it because it was a burden and we had to overcome it.

There have been a number of those initiatives to build a smaller and more active oriented government that can provide services to people.

This was done in balanced fashion. We protected those social programs that I spoke about earlier and a number of others that we and our constituents across Canada cherish in this country. We did not cut and slash and say they would be gone tomorrow, as others have suggested we do. We looked at their value and tried to make the difficult changes in a very balanced fashion that would be respected by all Canadians.

Industry, business and job growth were mentioned. I think all members see that it is our responsibility to develop and take the initiatives that will build the climate in which business and industry in this country can expand and develop, thus creating the jobs that are needed for Canadians, creating jobs in the new technologies that we know are developing right here in the city of Ottawa. It is happening right under our noses. We heard one of our colleagues speak about it this morning.

It is also happening elsewhere in Canada in many small communities. I spoke earlier about the importance of community access so that rural communities would be on the same level as our urban areas. Those are the important things.

I would like to give a quick example. Some of it has been tabled in the House and some of it will be coming. We know in agriculture and fisheries how important our inspections are to ensure that we have the best product to export around the world. Whether it is in agriculture, fisheries or whatever product we are producing it seemed to put them under one umbrella, a new agency that will have the expertise and the most modern technology to ensure that our product is the number one quality in the world. Those are the types of things that will help us to continue our growth in the export trade and continue making Canada number one in the world.

Speech From The Throne November 7th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to join in the debate this afternoon on the speech from the throne. The throne speech outlined many initiatives which the government would carry forward this year and into the future.

It reflected what has been said in the House on many occasions, in statements by the Prime Minister and many ministers in the House and elsewhere that the number one priority of the government was, is and continues to be economic growth and jobs for Canadians.

One of the most important initiatives in the speech from the throne was to get government right, to continue to bring order to our financial house and to meet or exceed our deficit reduction targets, targets that the government has met or exceeded to date and will continue for the balance of this year and for 1997 and 1998, reaching a reduced deficit target of $9 billion in fiscal year 1998-99. This has resulted in the lowest interest rates we have seen in the country for decades and at the same time a low rate of inflation.

It has prompted an increase in small business and industry in Canada which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of new jobs being created. Getting the deficit on a downward trend toward a balanced budget and our financial house in order is also the best protection for our cherished social programs such as the national medicare system and the protection of pensions for those Canadians depending on this important made in Canada program.

Let me talk a bit about economic growth and the enthusiasm for business, industry and the associated jobs with the same in my constituency of Carleton-Charlotte.

Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of attending the official opening of the new, expanded Sabian cymbal plant in the small community of Meductic, New Brunswick. This new, enlarged and modern facility means an additional 12 to 15 new jobs immediately. As a result of these wonderful cymbal producers who export throughout the world and are marketing what is proclaimed to be

the best or one of the best cymbal products known throughout the world is something to take a lot of pride in.

Also earlier this past early summer McCain Foods in Florenceville, New Brunswick announced the expansion of its data processing centre to double its size, meaning another new 30 to 50 jobs. That is confidence when we see this happening.

In Centreville, New Brunswick, another small community in my Carleton-Charlotte constituency, Canusa Foods announced and began construction of a new potato processing plant, meaning another 25 to 30 new jobs that were not there before.

In Woodstock, New Brunswick, Penn Papers is expanding its processing manufacturing plant which certainly means many new jobs.

Last week in the village of McAdam, New Brunswick I had the opportunity to participate in the announcement that the former railway station would be turned over to the community by the Southern New Brunswick Railway Company and by the Irving family. This is a very picturesque railway station and something of which we can be proud as part of our Canadian heritage.

What does it mean to the village of McAdam and surrounding area? It means that it is the focal point for the tourism industry, and I might say year round tourism industry, the focal point for the lakes, the beautiful eco-tourism industry of that whole surrounding area.

Imagine, in a small community, over 800 people came out for the official announcement. They had waited years for this to happen. This did not just start yesterday. It started many years ago. I certainly was delighted to be part of it. What does it mean? It means new and additional jobs for that whole region.

Briggs and Little in York Mills, New Brunswick is a yarn company which is famous across Canada. It will be opening its new plant this month which produces woollen yarns that are used in products across this country. It will see an additional 25, perhaps 30 jobs as a result of this opening. It is a new modern plant, with modern machinery and modern technology to meet today's demands.

Earlier this week, this very week, I had the opportunity to participate in the official opening of Apocan Inc., an antimony mine in the Lake George area of New Brunswick. Some 75 new direct jobs have been created. The mushrooming effect of this antimony mine will produce additional jobs in trucking and other services throughout the community.

What is antimony? In the very early days it was used in the mixture of medicines. Later it was used as a component in the production of alloys. While it is still used to a small extent in those areas today, one of its major purposes now is as a fire retardant. It is used in many of our homes in such things as draperies, carpeting, even in our clothing because of its fire resistant qualities.

The projections are that the use of this product will increase at a rate of 8 per cent a year for each year in the foreseeable future. Therefore I am optimistic that those 75 jobs announced this very week will continue to expand to become 100, 150 or 200 jobs in future years. They in turn will have the spin-off effect of creating jobs in service industries to support them.

In St. Stephen the famous Ganong Brothers chocolate plant is working at full capacity at the present time. It is working on its Christmas production of those famous chocolates that are in demand not only in Canada but in many parts of the world.

Connors Brothers which operates fish processing and packing plants in Blacks Harbour, Back Bay and Seal Cove has certainly seen increased production this year and the important jobs associated with that.

Agriculture, the traditional fishery, aquaculture, forestry, literally hundreds of small businesses and industries of all sizes are working hard across Carleton-Charlotte, and indeed across New Brunswick, in order to profit, expand and provide hundreds of new jobs.

There are challenges with the new technologies and the changing requirements of today. There is no question that much work still has to be done, but these new technological requirements are being met today and will continue to be met into the future. There are a few examples which were just announced this week by Industry Canada.

There is support for the community access sites. I can refer to those in my constituency and others may want to talk about those in their constituencies because this is good stuff. These are great opportunities for our communities and our youngsters. New technology, new opportunities to connect with the world marketplace are at our doorstep.

Announcements were made for new community access sites in St. Stephen, St. George, Fredericton Junction, Florenceville and Hartland, New Brunswick. These announcements on this three year program are in addition to the ones that were made last year for community access opportunities in Juniper, Bath, Woodstock, Harvey, Lawrence Station, Deer Island, Campobello Island and St. Andrews.

The program provides all of those communities and indeed all of those rural areas with the tools to reach out to the markets and to the information that is available around the world. That is what the throne speech was about: equal access for all Canadians. Regardless of whether they live on Prince Edward Island, in New Brunswick, in the wonderful province of Quebec, on the west coast,

in central Canada or in the Northwest Territories and Yukon, there will be equal access and equal opportunity for all Canadians.

That is why leading economists and even the OECD have projected that in 1997 Canada will lead all G-7 nations in economic growth. Canada will lead all of the industrialized countries of the world in economic growth. What does that mean for Canadians? It means jobs. That is why we are excited about it. It will mean jobs for all Canadians.

I see my colleague across the way from St. John's, Newfoundland. She is excited because there will be an opportunity for her constituents to get jobs. Jobs are needed in Atlantic Canada, there is no question about it.

Yes, we have challenges and we will continue to have challenges. But we will meet tomorrow's challenges as we have in the past. We did not say it was going to be easy and that the solutions would simply fall at our feet. It has been tough work.

On arriving here we faced a $42 billion deficit. The debt was over $500 billion. There was a $6 billion deficit in the unemployment insurance fund. It went on and on. When we opened the books it was scary. Yes, there is still a way to go. There is no question about it. But is it not great to see our deficit on a downward trend? We can look forward to a balanced budget. That is exciting stuff.

What is being said about Canadian exports? We know that team Canada is planning another trip. Business and industry leaders, the Prime Minister and the premiers will get together to travel overseas to create more opportunities for Canadian business and industry. That is being planned for early 1997. What does that mean to us as Canadians? We are told that every $1 billion of export trade that is garnered means 11,000 jobs for Canadians, either in new jobs or existing jobs which will be protected. That is important.

Almost every day in the newspapers the leading economists write that Canada will lead in economic growth in 1997. That is the result of getting government right. That is the result of bringing down the deficit. That is the result of having an acceptable inflation rate. That is the result of good administration and hard work. It will continue from this time onward until the next throne speech and thereafter.

Speech From The Throne November 7th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my hon. colleague's excellent presentation. I note his tremendous interest and enthusiasm for small business and industry in his riding, but more so right across this country of ours.

Having had the opportunity to speak with many of the small business people in my constituency, they are telling me as their member of Parliament to stay the course and to encourage the Minister of Finance to stay the course, to continue to bring our financial house in order, to continue with those low interest rates,

to continue with a low inflation under control. That is what complements small business and the jobs that will go with it.

My question is based on the projections many economists and the OECD are making that among the G-7 nations, in 1997 Canada will actually exceed all of them in economic advancement and growth. Perhaps the hon. member for Lincoln would like to comment on this and on all the actions that have been taken, but is it enough? Are there other things we should be doing to encourage small business knowing that indeed those in small business are the ones that will produce additional jobs in this country?

Committee Of The Whole October 28th, 1996

Madam Speaker, I had the opportunity to work with the member for Macleod in the health committee for a year and a half. We carried out a number of studies. As I recall at that time, to follow up on his comments that he just made about our health care system, how valued our medicare program is to all of us in Canada, how dear it is to the Liberal government and the Liberal members of this place, we will continue to protect that and those principles that go with it in every form, in every manner. We have exemplified that time and time again in this House.

However, I recall a few months ago when the hon. member for Macleod suggested that it was quite okay to have a two level system in this country in health care, that it was okay to have system in which those who had a fat wallet could get the best service and those with no money in their pocket could get no service at all.

It is gratifying this afternoon to hear the hon. member for Macleod now say that he agrees with our medicare system and wants to support it. That is a move in the right direction. That is the first move in the right direction for that party and for the member for Macleod. I am delighted to hear him say that.

I would ask him to comment on what has caused him to move to this great revelation where he has suddenly realized the tremendous benefit of the health care system and our medicare system regardless of how many dollars Canadians have in their pockets. Is the hon. member for Macleod aware of the agreement that was made a year ago in the budget where the provinces were guaranteed the amount of transfer for social programs and health care and where through 1998 those increases will start to go forward and where this is exactly what the provinces asked for and what they wanted? I ask the member to comment on that. I am delighted to see the

revelation of this member and this party in this House on medicare in Canada.

Liberal Party October 28th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend Liberal delegates from across Canada assembled in Ottawa for the 1996 biennial convention. Convention delegates were united in their support and encouraged the government to stay the course for continued success in deficit reduction.

The government is on track to meet or better its deficit target of $24.3 billion or 3 per cent of GDP this current year; $17 billion in 1997-98 and in 1998-99 the deficit target is $9 billion or approximately 1 per cent of GDP. This means it will no longer need to go to the financial markets for new borrowing requirements.

Interest rates are as low as they have been in 30 years. Inflation is under control and the government's number one priority of job creation is working as business and industry create thousands of new jobs across Canada.

We will be faced with new challenges that we will accept and overcome as we have to date while building a better tomorrow for all Canadians.

Administrative Tribunals (Remedial And Disciplinary Measures) Act October 22nd, 1996

Madam Speaker, I listened with great intent to the words of wisdom coming from my hon. colleague from Hillsborough. I congratulate him on his remarks.

I have a brief question. The hon. member will recall very vividly when we arrived here as a government party in the late fall of 1993 that we were faced with a $42 billion plus deficit, a $500 billion plus debt, $6 billion deficit in the unemployment insurance fund. Magazines in New York were saying that we were almost on the point of being a third world country.

Does it not give the hon. member and his constituents, indeed all the constituents of Atlantic Canada, and I would think all of Canada, a lift to know that they have a government in place that has met its commitment, its goals and in fact exceeded its goals in the past three years.

We are on the road to meet our goals this year and next year. A week or so ago the finance minister announced that in 1998-99 the deficit would be down to $9 billion. I think that is exciting news. I would ask my hon. colleague from Hillsborough to comment on that.

Seniors' Bill Of Rights October 11th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I thank the House for the opportunity to speak on the motion M-265, the seniors' bill of rights.

Since the origins of the baby boom, the number of prospective seniors has been increasing. Our population is aging. As a country we must face new concerns and new issues regarding the care and the management of an increasing aging population.

In light of these new concerns, Canadians must seriously consider the implications that a greatly increasing number of seniors will have on our country. This concern is manageable so long as proper planning and thought are initiated in order to protect the quality of life of seniors in Canada as more baby boomers enter the retirement age.

As a management tool or guideline my colleague, the hon.member for Guelph-Wellington, has drafted motion M-265 detailing a seniors' bill of rights to acknowledge the rights of seniors to live a full and proactive life. I congratulate the member for Guelph-Wellington on this initiative and I assure her of my support in order to move this initiative forward.

Today seniors are concerned about health care, personal finances, discrimination based on age and abuse. Many feel overwhelmed with the new information technology and the fast pace today's society maintains. However, seniors are a wealth of information and knowledge, particularly due to the fact that most of their insights are based on firsthand personal experience.

There must be a balance between the vigour, the enthusiasm and the vitality of today's youth and the firsthand experience and knowledge of our seniors. While our society expands and grows through technology, it is still only as good as the knowledge, the insight and the expertise of those operating it. An ideal community would have a balance between the technical training of youth and the knowledge and wisdom of our seniors.

The issues seniors face today will not be foreign to any of us at some point in our lives. Whether we like it or not, we are all aging. We can all look forward to seniorhood, in many cases in the not too distant future.

When I think of seniors, a well known individual in my riding of Carleton-Charlotte comes to mind. I often refer to him as my fisheries historian. His name is Floyd Hawkins. Mr. Hawkins has contributed a great deal to Carleton-Charlotte and to the fishing industry through his experience and his expertise working in the fishery.

Throughout his senior years he has continued to provide a vast amount of helpful direction, input and wisdom, all based on firsthand experience. From issues detailing fish stocks to species behavioural patterns to the mentality behind a traditional fishery, Mr. Hawkins' knowledge, based on firsthand experience, cannot be matched.

Canadians must recognize the contributions seniors can make to society on every level. Seniors must not be overlooked simply because they have become older. They have too much to offer Canada.

In conclusion, Motion M-265, the seniors' bill of rights, is a step in the right direction. It is necessary to create awareness of the needs of an aging population and for all of us to enjoy the advantages of the knowledge and experience of our Canadian seniors population.