House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was forces.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Perth—Middlesex (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

William Needles March 15th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to congratulate Mr. William Needles of Stratford, Ontario for being named to the Order of Canada.

Mr. Needles is a veteran actor and was a member of the first acting company of Stratford in 1953. He has appeared in more than 100 productions and in 41 festival seasons.

Mr. Needles came to Canada at the age of six. During the second world war he was involved in the army of occupation in Japan in 1945. He has also worked in radio and television in Toronto.

A father of four and a grandfather of fourteen, Mr. Needles will be performing in one role this season, that of Just Silence in Falstaff. Last year Mr. Needles played Merriman in The Importance of Being Earnest and The Tutor in Medea .

In addition, Mr. Needles taught in the drama department of the University of California, Irvine campus. Congratulations to Bill Needles.

Agriculture February 22nd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the last couple of months have been especially difficult for farmers. I certainly understand the difficulties farmers are going through, especially with poor prices and bad growing conditions this year.

This year will be no exception. Farmers are facing rising costs of production and an unfair playing field with the European Union and the United States when it comes to subsidies. Some grain and oilseed farmers in my riding, for example, cannot afford to buy their seeds.

I call upon the federal government to come forward with an assistance program that will deal with this financial hurt. This is a critical time for our farmers and their farms, especially with spring seeding just around the corner.

I want to reassure all farmers in my constituency that I have not forgotten their situation and that I will continue to voice their concerns.

Stratford-Perth Archives February 19th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure I rise in the House today to announce that on February 24 and February 25, 2001, the Stratford-Perth Archives will be holding its 13th annual collectors exhibition.

The Stratford-Perth Archives is the municipal repository for the city of Stratford and the county of Perth. Over 6,000 people use this facility annually. Collections in the archives range from postcards to antique dishes, military memorabilia, antique cameras and teddy bears.

The Stratford-Perth Archives is a recipient of a Canada millennium partnership grant. The components of the grant will be available for exhibition and include the microfilming of the Listowel Banner from 1971 to 1986 and the oral interviews of 12 Perth county war brides after the war in 1945.

Scott McKowen February 15th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise in the House today to congratulate Mr. Scott Mckowen, an artist from Stratford, Ontario. Mr. Mckowen was chosen by the Royal Canadian Mint to design the commemorative silver coin series, which took a year to complete.

This year's coin series will reflect the 50th anniversary of the National Ballet of Canada. Mr. Mckowen's design is an image of the first play ever performed by the company, Les Sylphides , which was performed on November 12, 1951.

Mr. Mckowen has plenty of experience working in the theatre industry. His business has been designing brochures and theatre posters for various theatres. Mr. Mckowen's work has also appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine in 1993 and was displayed in an exhibition at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C. in 1996.

I congratulate him on an excellent work of art for all Canadians to enjoy.

South Easthope Township February 9th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to announce that on February 18, 2001, a book launching of South Easthope Township will take place in my riding of Perth—Middlesex.

The book, entitled Country Roads: The Story of South Easthope , is the product of hard work. It took the committee of this project almost four years to collect information about South Easthope, and their hard work and dedication has produced an excellent publication. This publication is a quality hardbound book of about 800 pages, with 1,300 photos and it tells the lives of the people who make up South Easthope.

I congratulate co-chairpersons Lester Wilker and Wilma McCraig, and the editor of the book, Jim Hagerty, for their hard work and dedication. The hard work of farmers, business people, teachers, clergy and residents should also be commended.

Member For Perth—Middlesex January 31st, 2001

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to rise in the House today to thank the people of Perth—Middlesex for re-electing me for the third straight time.

I am proudly grateful to all my constituents for giving me the chance to serve them once again. I will do everything I can to be worthy of their trust.

The action plan in the Speech from the Throne will create opportunity and ensure that all of our citizens are full participants in our economy and our society. It will help get children off to a good start, it will help strengthen our communities and it will strengthen our country. This is what the Liberal Party is all about.

I wish to reiterate my thanks to the people of Perth—Middlesex. With their support, I will continue to be a strong voice for them.

Stratford Festival October 5th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to announce that the Stratford Festival Theatre has been a recent beneficiary of a $5 million donation to its For All Time Endowment Campaign from Senator Michael Meighen and his wife Kelly. This donation was not only the largest ever received by a festival but also the largest ever made to a not for profit theatrical organization in Canada.

The Meighen family's donation will help the festival enrich two of its major programs, one being the Stratford Festival Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training and the other to support the commissioning and development of new Canadian plays.

At this time I would like to thank Senator Meighen and Kelly for their truly wonderful gift. They have been heavily involved with the festival for well over 15 years. This gesture illustrates again the level of effort they have made to improve and promote Canada's theatrical arts.

Fag Bearings Limited September 20th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to announce that the FAG Bearings Limited of Stratford has recently opened a $23 million, 12,000 square metre plant in Stratford, Ontario. Production lines begin moving on August 18, 2000.

FAG Bearings currently employs 215 people in the manufacturing of high quality aerospace bearings with another 10 to 15 employees to be added by the end of the year. Stratford now has the most modern aerospace bearing plant in the world. This will allow the strategically important Canadian division of FAG Bearings to continue to increase its annual sales, which have grown from $10 million in 1995 to $50 million in 1999, and on and on.

This new plant facility is a perfect example of the growing strength of Canada's economy, which has outpaced even the United States over the past year. This is welcome news for the expanding local economy of Stratford and the riding of Perth—Middlesex, which maintains one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada.

Legacy Of Logan June 15th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to present what is happening across Ontario on the development of a history during the millennium period.

As part of Canada's ongoing millennium celebration, I was fortunate to attend a book launch for the Logan township history book entitled Legacy of Logan .

The lifeblood of any community is the people who live there. The Legacy of Logan has captured that mood. The book covers the area's history from the beginning of the Canada Company to the present by providing rich detail on the lives of everyday people from the area, such as farmers, businessmen, war veterans, teachers and clergy, and the institutions they created.

Special congratulations go to Barbara Scherbarth, the chair of the Logan Township History Book Committee, and especially to Hilary Machan who worked tirelessly to edit the 700 page tome. Congratulations to all those in Logan Township.

St. Mary's Children's Choir May 18th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, it is once again my pleasure to rise in the House to sing praise to the Presto Group of the St. Mary's Children's Choir who recently captured first place at the 13th annual CBC national competition for amateur choirs.

Carried live over the radio on CBC Radio 2, and under the tutelage of the choir director Eileen Baldwin, the St. Mary's Presto Choir group performed three brand new, unaccompanied pieces to beat Edmonton's Scholata Cantorum Chamber Choir to claim the national title.

In winning the title, the St. Mary's choir received $3,000 in prize money which will be used to fund their upcoming tour to Vancouver where they will be participating in the World of Children's Choirs featuring 40 of the best children's choirs from around the world.

This latest achievement is just another feather in the cap of the St. Mary's Choir, having won numerous awards at provincial and national level competitions over the years.

Let me finish by saying, bravo.