House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was students.

Last in Parliament October 2000, as Progressive Conservative MP for St. John's West (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Won his last election, in 1997, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Fisheries October 27th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, last night four Newfoundlanders were arrested after a violent confrontation with Mi'kmaq natives from Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia natives intended to fish, without licences, the lucrative crab resources off the Newfoundland waters.

After the violent incident last night, will the solicitor general be instructing the RCMP to enforce the Fisheries Act and to arrest anyone who fishes without a proper licence, or is he going to leave the enforcement of that act to Newfoundland fishermen?

Fisheries October 27th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has created a race relations crisis in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This problem is growing and has now reached the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Yesterday a native fishing crew from Nova Scotia attempted to fish crab on Newfoundland's south coast. A serious confrontation with local fishermen ensued, resulting in a violent confrontation and four arrests. The federal government must be made to realize that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Newfoundland fishermen are sending a clear message that they will not stand idly by while their livelihoods are put at risk by non-resident native fishermen. Members of the House should be aware that similar confrontations are almost a certainty without leadership from the government and without a sensible plan to prevent further violence.

Fisheries October 15th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, it is not total rubbish. It is total chaos which the minister has created.

On Monday, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development will be meeting with native leaders in Ottawa. The fact that the meeting is taking place in Ottawa is just another slap in the face to Atlantic Canadians.

We would like to know why the ministers are hiding away in Ottawa. Why can they not go to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and meet these people where the problem really is?

Fisheries October 15th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the news that the federal government would appoint a federal negotiator in the Atlantic fisheries crisis.

It is indeed regrettable that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans can no longer be directly involved in negotiations to settle a fisheries management dispute. Would the minister agree that the appointment of the negotiator was necessary only because he and his senior bureaucrats have lost all credibility with the people involved?

Fisheries October 14th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, since the supreme court ruling on the hunting and fishing rights of native Canadians, a crisis has grown in the lobster fishery on the east coast.

This is just the first manifestation of a serious problem that lies ahead for all regions of Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia. If a reasonable, fair and lasting agreement between native and non-native fishers cannot be achieved, further conflicts are a certainty and the potential for more violence remains very high.

Parliament must act immediately to demonstrate the leadership that the federal government has failed to provide. I urgently request the agreement of all parties to facilitate the immediate reinstatement of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. The committee should immediately go first to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia where tensions are tearing traditionally peaceful communities apart along racial lines. Let us hear directly from those involved, accept the responsibility entrusted to us and seek to establish a constructive environment for agreement. We all want a peaceful solution.

The PC Party of Canada is prepared to take this action. I call on all my caucus colleagues and all members of the House to join us in—

Special Debate October 13th, 1999

Madam Speaker, I have a question for the member whose comments were quite insightful on this whole issue.

Today in the House the minister was asked several questions. On a couple of occasions the minister said that today we should applaud those aboriginal leaders, 33 out of 35, who on a voluntary basis decided to have a moratorium and not fish for 30 days. He went on further to say that was co-operation and dialogue and that they had a solution in place which was working because dialogue and co-operation was working.

Does the hon. member now begin to believe that in order to have dialogue and co-operation it takes two trusting parties? In this case where the aboriginal leaders have absolutely no trust in the minister and no trust in the government, how then can we have co-operation and dialogue and therefore how can we have some kind of co-operation with the minister and the department to solve this very serious issue?

Ferry Service June 10th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, section 32 of the terms of union between Canada and Newfoundland commits Canada to maintain a suitable passenger and freight service between Port-aux-Basques and Sydney. Does the Liberal government believe that the current cattle car level of service lives up to this commitment by the Canadian government, or is the minister willing to accept his responsibility and purchase the ferry that is available to give Newfoundland the service that it deserves?

Ferry Service June 10th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, the Marine Atlantic ferry service in Newfoundland is in crisis. Traffic and freight backlogs are causing havoc. Tourism, an important growth industry in the province, is being hampered every day by an inadequate ferry system between the isle of Newfoundland and the mainland.

The Newfoundland tourism minister, a Liberal, has said “the four Liberal MPs from Newfoundland are sleepwalking through this debate”. He has called on them publicly to come out of their comas and do what is right for Newfoundland.

Is the transport minister prepared to commit today to the purchase of a new ferry as the wide awake Liberals in Newfoundland have recommended?

Goldman Environmental Award May 27th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to acknowledge the significant achievement of an extraordinary Newfoundlander. Mr. Bernard Martin is a fourth generation fisherman whose determined efforts in marine conservation have been rewarded with distinguished international recognition.

Mr. Martin was recently presented with the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize at a ceremony in San Francisco. The international award was designed to recognize grassroots heroes in environmental conservation. It was awarded to only six recipients worldwide and Bernard Martin was the winner for North America. A resident of the fishing community of Petty Harbour, he is the first Newfoundlander ever to receive this great honour.

On behalf of Mr. Martin's family and friends, we congratulate him on his award. I know that Bernard, in his quiet, confident and committed manner is probably somewhat embarrassed by all this attention. On behalf of all members I want to tell him that Canada is proud of his accomplishments. He has every right to be proud of his commitment, his contribution and his well-deserved recognition.

Carriage By Air Act May 14th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our transportation critic from Cumberland—Colchester I will take a few moments to speak to Bill S-23, which we will be supporting. Like the member who just spoke, I would like to see discussion on some other things, such as a Canadian bill of rights for passengers.

The region of Canada I come from is Newfoundland and Labrador. I would love to get a chance to discuss in the House the cost of airfare in this country, in particular the cost of regional airfare. The cost of airfare in Newfoundland is a significant prohibiter to travel. There are significant problems for the tourism industry. For many individuals who have to travel on crisis calls, the regional costs of airfare are absolutely shameful. Someday we may get a chance to discuss these issues in the House.

Today I will read a few notes on behalf of our critic which address Bill S-23. It is a bill regarding air transport that ratifies amendments to the Warsaw convention on international carriage by air. More specifically, Bill S-23 takes the form of amendments to the Carriage by Air Act by implementing Montreal Protocol No. 4 and the Guadalajara supplementary convention.

The Warsaw convention was signed in 1929. It assigns liability to the air carrier and provides for maximum liability in the event of death or injury of a passenger and loss of baggage or freight. In addition, the convention authorizes the passenger or shipper to enter into a contract in order to improve the terms of that liability.

Canada gave effect to the Warsaw convention in June 1947 by passing the Carriage by Air Act. This act has been amended from time to time to reflect new international agreements relating to the conduct of the international airline industry. The Montreal Protocol and the Guadalajara convention are the most recent of these new international agreements and parliament has been asked to ratify them through this piece of legislation which is now before the House of Commons.

Bill S-23 makes some housekeeping amendments to the Carriage by Air Act. Clarity is provided through definitions at the beginning of the act. The text, in keeping with modern legislative practice, has been rendered gender neutral, and a formula is provided for the establishment of international currency conversions. The Montreal Protocol and the Guadalajara convention are dealt with in schedules IV and V and are referred to accordingly in this act.

Montreal Protocol No. 4 amends the liability regime for cargo with stricter carrier liability and with maximum limits. It provides that a carrier is liable for damages to cargo to the limits of the liability but only after those damages have been established. As a result, the carrier cannot escape liability by taking all necessary precautions and cannot be assessed damages beyond the maximum limit even in the event of gross negligence.

This protocol, signed in 1975, only came into effect in 1998 when the requisite number of 30 states had deposited their instruments of ratification. This protocol came into effect in the United States in March of this year and thus puts U.S. carriers at a competitive advantage over Canadian carriers. It is therefore imperative that Canada ratify this protocol as soon as possible so that our air carriers can remain competitive in what is an increasingly competitive industry.

The Guadalajara convention in schedule V was first signed in 1961. It clarifies the relationship between passengers and shippers on the one hand and air carriers on the other. It is already widely in force and it clarifies the application of the Warsaw convention to situations where the contract of carriage was made by a carrier that did not actually perform some or all of the carriage by air. In short, it distinguishes between the contracting company and the carrier actually performing the carriage and sets out varying liabilities for each. This fills a gap that results from modern practice where one airline issues the ticket and another airline does all or part of the actual flight in question.

The Warsaw convention is thus made to apply to the contracting carrier throughout the journey and to the actual carrier during those parts of the journey that it actually carries. A claimant may sue either, but the aggregate of damages is limited to the amounts established by the Warsaw convention.

Bill S-23 enjoys the support of the Air Transport Association of Canada, a body representing all of the major airlines and many of the cargo operators, regional carriers and small airlines as well. The industry regards this legislation as long overdue and essential for the modernization and commercial viability of Canadian commercial aviation.

In conclusion, the PC Party supports the bill and urges its quick passage.