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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was years.

Last in Parliament October 2000, as Reform MP for Cypress Hills—Grasslands (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 1997, with 49% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply March 20th, 2000

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I have been listening very quietly here to a little bit of unparliamentary language. I heard the word hypocrisy used. I heard the words lack of honour used. Coming from the most corrupt government in the history of Canada—

Supply March 20th, 2000

Madam Speaker, I have heard many strange things from the other side of the House, but this is the first time I have ever heard health care referred to as a bottomless pit. That has to set some sort of record.

I do not think the hon. member for Peterborough has begun to understand the motion. He keeps going back to HRDC, and well he might, but the motion refers to grants and contributions of all kinds. We are talking about that $13 billion manure pile which is out there to help the friends of the Liberal Party. We are not just talking about HRDC. That just happens to be the goût du jour measure.

Agriculture March 20th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, today is the first day of spring.

It was not too long ago, about three weeks ago, that the minister of agriculture promised there would be $300 million available for prairie farmers to help them through the spring seeding. So far we do not even know how it will be distributed, who will get it, what the terms of reference will be, nothing. It sounds like another AIDA program with the money laying on the table and the farmers reaching out trying to get it and having it pulled away from under their noses.

I wonder when the minister of agriculture will get his act together and instead of having photo ops will actually come out and show the farmers that he does intend to do something. When will he show some respect for people like Nick Parsons who brought his combine up to the front of the parliament buildings today to try to get the attention of the government and let it know what is going on?

Supply March 20th, 2000

Madam Speaker, I enjoyed the intervention of the hon. member for South Shore. When I listened to the babble from the member for Etobicoke North I could not help but be struck by the fact that in his selective choice of grants, which he said might be victims of our motion, he did not make any mention of some of the grantees who have been living off the public trough for most of human memory in the country, people like SNC-Lavalin and Bombardier. There was never a whisper about them.

In line with what the member for South Shore was saying, let us get back specifically to HRDC grants. Perhaps he is unique, outside our party in the House, in that he realizes we have been getting a snow job from the minister of HRDC who says that all the money that has been frittered away has been going to the disadvantaged, the halt, the blind, the widows and the orphans. It fair makes me weep, it does. Most of it has been going to the disadvantaged politically, to the Liberal Party.

I would like the hon. member to comment on the question of other grants outside HRDC to see if he might raise some other examples.

Human Resources Development March 17th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, you have to admire the chutzpah of the Minister of Human Resources Development. First, she administers the bungling of a billion dollars of taxpayer money. She then botches every one of her attempts to hide the facts. She fumbles every attempt to get out from under this scandal, and yet she has the conceit to stand here day after day and smirkingly insist that she is competent.

When does the minister expect to receive her Oscar for smirking arrogance?

Human Resources Development March 17th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, you have to admire the chutzpah of the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Westray Mine March 13th, 2000

Madam Speaker, it was not my intention to speak to the motion. However because the previous three members who spoke have more or less moved away from the generalities of the motion and directed their attention solely to the Westray disaster, I would like to make a contribution. I am a mining engineer by profession and I have worked many years underground in many parts of the world. I would like to give the House my particular take on this disaster.

The last member who spoke made specific reference to the negligence of the regulatory system. He did not use those words but I will use them. I believe that the heart of the problem at Westray was that there was such enormous political pressure to open this mine in the first place, when there was good advice from mining experts that it was not a viable operation, that the shaft should never have been sunk, that they had had methane problems in that area historically every time they tried to mine there. There was definitely a recommendation that the mine not be developed. However, because of provincial and federal pressures and the huge amounts of government money put forward to get this thing going, there was also pressure on the regulatory system. As I understand it, and I stand to be corrected, I believe the mine inspector was under considerable pressure not to shut that operation down.

When I was working in the mines, I never ever encountered a situation where line management was anything but safety conscious. Line managers would do whatever was necessary to keep a mine safe. They had the advantage of having the mine inspectors behind them. In other words, even if management in Toronto said they had to get production up, line management could still do whatever was necessary to keep the mine safe. They had the full weight and force of the mine inspector behind them because the mine inspector could shut them down. They had that power.

We are perhaps shooting at the wrong target here. The problem at Westray was not governance. The problem at Westray was safety enforcement. Perhaps we might say that line management was guilty but the mine inspection system failed. Any mine inspector should have been able to spot the violations which have been described here which took place in that mine.

Because there was this one particular disaster, let us not talk about revamping a law which has served us well over the years. That is the law which exempts directors. I am not talking about executives or line management; I am talking about directors. Who in the devil would want to be the director of a company if he or she was going to be held responsible for things that are happening out in the field? The directors do not make managerial decisions. They have nothing to do with it.

A man would have to be insane to accept a directorial position for which he is paid a very small amount of money with most companies. There are directors of multinational companies who are well paid, but the directors of most companies work for an honorarium. They get paid so much a meeting and that is it. Who would take on a position like that? Not me, not if I were going to be held responsible for something that happened 2,000 or 3,000 miles away that I did not know anything about and had no input into.

The problem here is government, government, government. The government failed. The civil servants failed. A group of miners was unnecessarily killed because the inspection system did not work. The inspection system did not do its job. We rely on regulators in industry in this country to keep everyone honest and they did not do it.

Export Development Corporation March 3rd, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I believe the substance of the question was, when did the Minister for International Trade first meet with René Fugère? He has very cleverly evaded and danced around that question. He avoids the Earth Canada connection with Petrobras.

Are the magic words that open the doors to federal funds “Hello, I am from Shawinigan”?

Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act February 15th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I am rather surprised that nobody on the other side has been willing to admit or has even drawn the House's attention to the fact that this rather incomplete bill has been brought forward primarily in a pathetic attempt to draw the attention of opposition members and the press away from the scandal in the Department of Human Resources Development. It is pretty easy to see.

I am also a little surprised in that I noticed the member seems to agree with Pierre Elliott Trudeau that the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation, but most of the people who have spoken over there most emphatically seem to believe that the state should be in the bedrooms of the nation. I would rather subscribe to the notions of Mrs. Patrick Campbell when she said, “I do not really care what people do as long as they do not do it in the street and frighten the horses”.

Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act February 15th, 2000

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We all listened intently and politely to the minister. I wonder why she is not here to listen to our speakers.