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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was grandparents.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Reform MP for Mission—Coquitlam (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 1993, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Borrowing Authority Act, 1994-95 March 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, thank you for recognizing me in this debate today. I recognize the necessity for the government to have a borrowing authority bill passed by Parliament.

The government does not receive all of its revenue from taxes on a specific date early in the fiscal year. Therefore, to meet its program needs when there is a shortfall in revenue it needs to be able to borrow. This is done all the time in the business world. What is new and extraordinary about the situation we in the House of Commons are faced with on this bill is the fact that the government knows now that there will be a substantial difference between revenues and expenditures, some $39.7 billion on the expenditure side, and has done nothing substantial to move toward balancing its books.

The only thing it has done is sought borrowing authority through this bill to make up the difference.

We were also told on Thursday, February 24, 1994 by the President of the Treasury Board that spending for the fiscal year 1994-95 only went up by $3 billion. Then he told us if we took out the increased amount to pay the interest on the debt, not the principal, spending only went up $.7 billion. What is most surprising is that he said this as if it were something to be proud of, some great achievement.

Does any of this make sense to the people of Canada, the people who pay all the bills? I repeat, the people who pay all the bills for everything the government does.

The government, in the overall scheme of things, is going to increase its spending, making a bad situation in relation to the deficit even worse. How can this government justify to Canadians any tax increase which puts more financial burden on Canadians when it will not even begin to put its financial house in order?

What does this government think Canadians want? What does this government think Canadians voted for on October 25 last year? They voted for a promise to create jobs and they voted for fiscal responsibility. If they did not want fiscal responsibility we in the Reform Party would not have increased our numbers from 1 to 52. The government's actions two weeks ago with the budget and the tabling of spending estimates and the borrowing bill will do nothing to create long term, permanent jobs, nor are they fiscally sound.

We have a short term, make work project through which we borrow money to create jobs, but nothing permanent. The president of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association has said that the Martin budget measures do not add up to a coherent plan that will help manufacturing grow, modernize and reinvent itself for the 21st century.

On the second issue of being fiscally prudent and attacking the deficit now, what are we told by the government? Just like any loser in an athletic contest: "Just wait until next year, or maybe the year after that".

Canadians thought on October 25 that they had elected a government with a plan, a plan for the economy, a plan for social programs, a plan for reworking unemployment insurance, a plan to deal with the provision of better health services. Really what they elected was a government with a plan to study, not a plan to act; a plan to pass the buck, a plan to spend a lot of bucks but no plan to act.

We have the red book but what does it say? It spends a lot of time discussing programs but little time discussing implementation. If the government had plans to implement change, then at least we could see where we are headed in relation to program change and tax savings.

My friend from Lethbridge two weeks ago asked the Minister of Finance when the results of all these studies came in, after the summer break, after these results had been considered by cabinet if he would bring in a new budget, a budget in the fall. The answer was no.

We believe it is time to act. The government was elected in October last year and we are now in March. We are now going to undertake studies, studies whose results will be reported to us in approximately six months. If the government had acted quickly and decisively when it was first elected, we would have the results of these studies well before the summer break, and a budget could reflect such quick and decisive action.

Does the government not realize that by reducing and subsequently eliminating the deficit we will eventually be able to start paying down the national debt?

By reducing and eliminating the deficit we would have in a very short period taxpayers' money freed up so that taxes could be reduced, thus stimulating the economy or perhaps this money could be used for retraining or to help industry, manufacturing, expand or retool so that permanent long term jobs are created.

Action on the expenditure side, action to reduce expenditure, will return to us as Canadians the economic freedom to choose which we have not enjoyed for many years. Again, what do we hear from the government? In three years the deficit will be 3 per cent of GDP. What does this mean?

It means that any hope of dealing with the country's debt is put off until the next century. We will still be devoting a huge amount of taxpayers' dollars to pay the interest on the debt without any hope of encroaching on the principal for many years.

If the government is not prepared to act on the expenditure side, I am serving notice today that we in the Reform Party are ready to act.

Each line item of each departmental expenditure plan will be scrutinized carefully by members of this party when the estimates are in committee. We will ask each minister and each deputy minister to justify every penny of the departmental expenditure plans. When we find expenditures which we believe are not crucial to the well-being of the people of Canada we will vote against them. The government wants to consult with members of this House. We will give the government consultation.

Second, I will press the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the government House leader to recommend the creation of a permanent standing committee of this House whose sole job would be to review the spending estimates of government departments.

In 1983 the special committee created to study the standing orders and procedures of the House recommended an elaborate series of estimate review committees in its fifth report to this House. My proposal is simply to create one such committee which would in the course of the fiscal year scrutinize very carefully the estimates of perhaps only three government departments. It would then report back to this House and also to the standing committee which deals with a particular department on a regular basis.

This information could then be used by the departmental standing committee when the minister came back for supplementary spending estimates or in the following year when new spending plans are referred to the departmental standing committee.

The fiscal responsibility committee which I recommend be established would during the life of a Parliament scrutinize in detail the spending plans of virtually all government departments. This would not be glamorous work but it is the kind of work that is needed, the kind of tough work the government does not seem prepared to do, at least at this time.

I can assure my friends opposite that this is the kind of work that we in the Reform Party were elected to do and we are quite willing to spend the long and necessary hours to reduce government expenditures.

The time has come for action, not for talk. Canadians are a fiscally responsible people. They do not live beyond their means. If in a family something cannot be afforded then spending priorities change. We do not expect families to run out and borrow every time they see a new item they want to buy. Why should government be any different?

Mr. Speaker, I would like to apologize because at the very beginning I should have told you on behalf of the whip, pursuant to Standing Order 43(2), we will be dividing our time this morning.

Petitions February 18th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I would like to present a petition on behalf of my constituents asking the government to bring in changes to the Young Offenders Act to make it tougher in how it deals with dangerous young offenders.

This petition is presented in memory of Rosalynn Dupuis. I support it and hope that the government will respond to it favourably.

Physician Assisted Suicide February 17th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate I am actually speaking of a referendum at election time which of course defrays the cost.

The National Referendum Act covers more than constitutional matters. Surely the Prime Minister must have known that when he pushed the Right Hon. Joe Clark in a letter dated November 12, 1991 and I quote: "to give the federal government the power to hold a referendum".

Why is he then denying to the people of Canada that right on this special issue similar to the Constitution?

Physician Assisted Suicide February 17th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

My understanding is that the Prime Minister and indeed his party supported and actually pushed the previous government to enact the National Referendum Act in 1992, a special situation. Yet in his answer to me yesterday he said no to a referendum on the issue of physician assisted suicide.

Has the Prime Minister lost faith in the people of Canada so as not to entrust them with making a decision on this matter through a national referendum held at the same time as the next election?

Physician Assisted Suicide February 16th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his answer. However, it does not satisfy me.

Euthanasia was not an issue in the election last fall. Yesterday the hon. member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell told Radio Canada that he will vote his own belief on this issue rather than those of his constituents.

Will the Prime Minister allow all Canadians to freely vote their own beliefs on this deeply personal issue at the next election in a national referendum?

Physician Assisted Suicide February 16th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Yesterday the Prime Minister confirmed he would allow a free vote in this House on the issue of physician assisted suicide.

Does the Prime Minister mean by a free vote that a member of this House has the freedom to vote according to the member's wishes or beliefs, or that the member will vote according to the wishes of the member's constituents?

House Of Commons Standing Orders February 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for answering my questions from this morning.

He also inquired as to how I felt we could restructure the committee system. In keeping with the rules of the House I would like to reword my answer into a question so it will be allowed.

Would the government consider going to the extent of initiating and setting up a public accounts committee with all-party membership to look at the spending of two or three government departments for a year? In the process of one Parliament, which would be five years, we would be looking at 15 or perhaps 20 government departments after the fact. This would be a way to hold us accountable. Could I have an answer, please.

House Of Commons Standing Orders February 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member mentioned the whip and the whip's powers, so to speak, and the government does recognize free votes to a certain extent right now.

Keeping that in mind, I would ask the hon. member if the government would consider allowing free votes in the standing committees including free votes for chair and for vice-chair rather than have the whip tell the members who they will vote for for chair and vice-chair?

House Of Commons Standing Orders February 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member on his speech. I concur with just about everything.

However, in agreeing with the member on the atrocity of the pensions and in fact in MPs collecting pensions prior to 60 or 65 years of age, while agreeing with the member-and it is hard for anyone in Canada to disagree-I have to point out right now that there are former members of the House who lost in the last election who are collecting pensions way before they are 60.

I constantly hear that Canadians are very angry about this. I heard it again all weekend from my constituents at our annual general meeting and at my constituency opening.

Does the government have any plans or some kind of process in place, something that we can address this with, to prevent right now those who are receiving this pension prematurely?

House Of Commons Standing Orders February 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member for an interesting and very well intended speech.

I am pleased to hear of the possibility that committee members could receive the bill beforehand. This would certainly be beneficial for everyone and I thank him for saying that.

I would also like to mention what the hon. member just said about the times changing. This is a very good move. In view of the fact that 1994 is the year of the family I hope we take this into consideration. MPs are just as important as everybody else and so are their families.