House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was reform.

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

Won his last election, in 1993, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation And Safety Board Act March 6th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present.

Two of the petitions have to do with the national highway system, the first of which notes that 38 per cent of our national highway system is substandard. Therefore the petitioners call on Parliament to urge the federal government to join with the provincial governments to make the national highway system upgrading possible.

The second petition, which is also on the subject of highways, notes that 52 per cent of the price of gasoline is composed of taxes, while only 5 per cent of the revenue is reinvested in the highways. Therefore the petitioners call on Parliament to not increase the federal excise tax on gasoline and allocate its current revenues to rehabilitating our crumbling highways.

Nuclear Safety And Control Act February 4th, 1997


Motion No. 6

That Bill C-23, in Clause 9, be amended by a ) replacing lines 23 to 28 on page 5 with the following:

"(ii) prevent unreasonable risk to national security associated with the development, production, possession or use,

(iii) achieve conformity with measures of control and international obligations to which Canada has agreed,"; b ) adding after line 36 on page 5 the following: c ) to inform the public as to the health, safety and environmental effects associated with nuclear activities in Canada; and''

Nuclear Safety And Control Act February 4th, 1997


Motion No. 3

That Bill C-23, in Clause 3, be amended by a ) replacing lines 15 and 16 on page 4 with the following:

"substances, prescribed equipment and prescribed information;"; b ) replacing line 22 on page 4 with the following:

"weapons and nuclear explosive devices; and"; c ) adding after line 22 on page 4 the following: c ) the education of the public on the health, safety and environmental effects associated with the development, production or use of nuclear energy in Canada.''

Prime Minister December 12th, 1996

Mr. Speaker:

This statement is about the word The word that may not be heard It's a word really common Except with the brahmin

The word L-I-E is not free It is bound by the House SOP For in this house of repute The rules make us mute

The Prime Minister may prevaricate In front of Canadians so variate But it's all self-deception If he misjudges their reception

When he tells campaign stories That could be writ by the Tories He can later deny, And say twas not I

He said we'll kill the GST An abomination from Mulroney But if we find that we can't We'll just let people rant

If I do what isn't a word I'll deny till all is absurd The public won't die If this guy who is shy Is found to be telling a shmy.

Petitions December 12th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition signed by about 650 British Columbians, some of whom are my constituents.

The petitioners ask that reading not be taxed. They state that the application of the 7 per cent GST to reading material is unfair and wrong. Therefore, they urge all levels of government to demonstrate their commitment to education and literacy by eliminating the sales tax on reading materials.

Excise Tax Act December 10th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, just to reiterate, we are talking about Bill C-70, an act to amend the Excise Tax Act and other acts so as to accommodate the GST and make it into the BST or blend it or harmonize it or otherwise.

My question to the House and the people of Canada is: What is the impact of the GST? Is this a good thing or is it dividing us?

It has been a very unsettling thing from its inception. The way the government is carrying on at the moment, trying to get different regions to buy into it, is once again pitting Canadians against Canadians. It is characteristic of the government to do just that. It will confer special privileges on some groups of people and say: "If you are in this group, then you have these privileges. If you are not, then you do not have them".

What we need in Canada is equality. We need equality between all Canadians and we need equality between all of the provinces. My suggestion is that the GST and any of its offshoots are tearing the country apart and that is not good.

The other aspect which I would like to address concerns integrity. I will keep using the word integrity to show in what way the GST is reflective of integrity in government. Let us start with the GST as an election promise.

Canadians are probably tired of hearing all of this, but this has caused us to say: Why did the Liberals as a party make a bunch of promises and put them in the red book? Was it to get themselves elected or was it to better govern the country? The answer is obvious. It was a book of promises cobbled together to win an election. Never mind the results. As long as they could promise enough and get the message out, people would vote for them and then they could do whatever they wanted.

We have used the GST as an example of a Liberal broken promise time after time in the House. Perhaps it is the prime example, but it certainly is not the only one. We did a study of the red book promises. We calculated that 30-odd per cent of the promises in the red book have been kept by the Liberal government. The government's estimate is that 70-odd per cent of the promises have been kept. Canadians can make up their own minds by looking at the red book, if they want to take the trouble to find out who is speaking the truth.

In any event the GST is typical of an integrity issue. Before the government was elected it said: "We must form the government. It does not matter what we say, we have to get the votes".

The red book is also typical of the difference between the Liberals and their way of doing things and Reform and its ways. The Liberals in cobbling together the red book, started from the top. It is a backroom document, with input of course from other areas. They said: "What is it that we need to really convince the public?"

On the other hand, Reformers get together and say: "Here are the principles and policies. We need to make positive changes in the country". Those policies and principles come from the bottom up. They are grassroots stimulated and they are ordinary people who say: "These are the changes that we need". Our fresh start document is a reflection of that, from the ground up rather than from the top down.

I am using the GST as an example, but let us look at integrity as reflected by the current government. There was talk about an ethics counsellor. Again it was a red book promise that there would be an ethics counsellor. Not only would the Liberals deal with the GST but they would do all these other things.

The ethics counsellor has turned out to be a will-o'-the-wisp. What are the terms of reference for the ethics counsellor? Some of them have been published, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, they are concealed. It is a matter between the Prime Minister and that counsellor and not open for the rest of us to see. That is not integrity.

Look at party discipline across the way. The member for York South-Weston is a prime example. Here is a man who stood on his honour and said: "I as a member of the Liberal Party took part in the decision to eliminate the GST. We have reneged on that decision. As a matter of honour, I will opt out". He is being severely punished and will continue to be for being an honourable man. That is not a good example of integrity on the part of the Liberals or the Liberal government, however one would choose to put it.

What else is this negative GST tearing apart? What else is it doing to the country? We hear examples from across Canada about the negative effects of it.

One of my constituents felt strongly enough about the GST that he said he believed the government was doing something illegal with this tax so he refused to pay it. He ran a shop called the Sandwich Tree in Nanaimo. He was prosecuted by Revenue Canada for not collecting the GST, but he held his ground. So far he has won two court decisions on this but of course he is not finished with it. Through Revenue Canada the government is saying: "Get him". Whether the government has good legal background to say this, I do not know. But the evidence I see is that this man is not just being prosecuted, rather I think he is being persecuted. His wife's salary has been garnisheed as has his own. He is not a free many any more, I can assure the House of that, whether or not he has won the first two rounds of this case.

Integrity. There are examples of integrity or its opposite in this House every single day, whether it is talking about the GST or about other subjects. I hear the Minister of Finance every day saying things that are patently not correct about the Reform Party. He puts our policies in a way which is totally twisted, and this is wrong. If that is an example of integrity as with the GST, I am not with it.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage today in exactly the same way did the same thing when talking with one of our members, supposedly answering a question on what our policy is with regard to the CBC. She deliberately chose to say things that are not Reform policy. She absolutely, deliberately said: "No, this is what you guys are advocating", and it was patently wrong.

The GST is not doing good things for the country. It is not doing anything for individuals, for groups or for regions. It is certainly

not doing anything for our economy except driving it underground. That makes the situation even worse. We do not need the GST.

Drunk Drivers December 10th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, with the holiday season fast upon us, I want to remind Canadians who contemplate getting behind the wheel of a car after they have been drinking of one sobering statistic.

Each year on average in Canada, drunk drivers kill two and half times more people than do murderers. In 1994 alone this meant that 1,400 Canadians lost their lives because someone decided to have one more for the road.

I want to remind Canadians that the Liberal justice minister has done nothing to address this obscenely offensive situation. The government has had ample opportunity to redress the problem. Most recently this opportunity has come in the form of a private member's bill presented by my colleague, the member for Prince George-Bulkley Valley. The bill would have mandated a minimum sentence of incarceration for those who kill as a result of driving while impaired.

Reform's message is: Don't drink and drive. But Canadians are wondering if the justice minister has a different message.

Fisheries Act December 6th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to tell my colleague, the hon. member for Gaspé, that I agree with many of the things he said about our colleague, the hon. member for Gander-Grand Falls-

-who is taking great advantage of blaming everything that is happening on the Conservatives while he is reluctant for the Liberals to take any blame for what has happened in the fisheries.

The government has put before the House Bill C-62, the fisheries act. This legislation will radically change the management of the fishery as we have known it for over 150 years. If passed, Bill C-62 would give the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans unlimited discretion to carve up the public fishery into private and exclusive fisheries. That is bad news.

The bill contains no requirement for any publication of private or exclusive fisheries agreements. There would be no guidelines on who might be the recipient of these agreements. The private fishing agreements can override any regulation governing the public fishery made by the governor in council, that is, the cabinet.

These fishing agreements would be similar to the aboriginal fishing agreements that the government currently enters into with native bands under its aboriginal fishery strategy. We heard nothing about that from the member for Gander-Grand Falls.

Under this bill the minister would be given unlimited discretion to make his own regulations and to organize the fishery by ministerial decrees or orders. These ministerial orders could override a condition of a licence. The bill would give the minister the power to take away the historic common law public right to fish in exchange for a privilege dependent on the whim of the minister.

The government would be able to transfer its constitutional responsibilities for fisheries management, enforcement, and habitat protection to the provinces without coming back to seek the consent of this Parliament.

The government views this new legislation as a political necessity following three decisions of the supreme court last August. The court held that British Columbia natives do not have a constitutional right to a separate commercial salmon fishery. The

decisions exposed the native only commercial fishery arrangements undertaken by the government as a fraud.

In the past the public was assured that the government had been required to establish the separate fishery by the courts. There is now greater awareness that the present Fisheries Act does not give the government authority to establish a native only commercial fishery. The government has been operating outside the law.

Without the new powers in the bill, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans would probably be unable to operate a separate native commercial fishery. The government would also have to admit that the criticism levelled by fishermen against this separate native only commercial fishery was correct.

The bill would give unlimited discretionary power to the minister to regulate the fishery, to enter into private fishing agreements, to transfer control to the provinces but without any accountability, without yardsticks with which to evaluate what the government is doing.

A new fisheries act ought to deal with the real problems in the fishery, not simply make life easier for the government. It ought to solve problems, not create new ones. It ought to respect the law, not try to get around the law.

Let me remind the government of some issues that Bill C-62 ought to have addressed. John Fraser, a respected former Speaker, in his study of the mismanagement of the salmon fishery on the Fraser River in 1994 identified problems with fisheries and oceans. Then the government in the spring of 1995 undertook to implement all 35 recommendations from Mr. Fraser.

A study undertaken in the spring of this year by DFO evaluated the department's success in implementing Fraser's recommendations. Let me read directly from the study. DFO's own study speaks eloquently of the department's failure. One of Fraser's recommendations was:

That DFO retain and exercise its constitutional responsibilities and not in any way abrogate its stewardship of resources under federal jurisdiction. Conservation must be the primary objective of both fisheries managers and all others participating in the fishery. That conservation must prevail throughout and be adhered to by all.

The evaluation study instead found that "stock-specific conservation of the Fraser River sockeye is threatened. DFO cannot hope to succeed without a clear vision of what it is trying to achieve". It stated: "The first requirement therefore is an explicit definition of conservation". It also stated: "There can be no conservation of Fraser sockeye salmon in the long run without equivalent care and protection for habitat on which fish stocks rely".

Bill C-62 does not contain any definition of conservation and Bill C-62 weakens habit protection. Bill C-62 would allow the government to transfer to the provinces responsibilities for habitat protection, the very opposite of what Fraser recommended.

Let me go on with Mr. Fraser's recommendations: "That DFO and the Pacific Salmon Commission"-of which we heard nothing from the member from Gander-"adopt a risk aversion management strategy because of the great uncertainty on stock estimates, in season catch estimates and environmental problems". The evaluation study undertaken this year by DFO under contract found: "A risk averse strategy has not yet been developed. We found that DFO's actions were not the result of an explicit, well defined averse management strategy but rather were a response to the unprecedented events of the 1995 fishery".

Therefore we can conclude that Bill C-62 does not contain any requirement for risk averse management of the fishery or even a definition, totally contrary to what was recommended in the Fraser report. Let us take another recommendation of Mr. Fraser's:

DFO develop better co-ordinated inter-party communications among its staff and between staff and the Pacific Salmon Commission, First Nations, commercial and recreational fishing groups, with a greater degree of co-operation aimed at enhanced in season management and post season evaluation, and at fostering working arrangements among all parties-

So much for the recommendation by Mr. Fraser. The evaluation study found: "Tensions between DFO and the Pacific Salmon Commission persist particularly with respect to the free flow of data. This is true of integration with both ocean fisheries and in river aboriginal fisheries".

We conclude that Bill C-62 does not contain any requirement that there be a free flow of scientific data between DFO and the salmon commission. In fact Bill C-62 would continue to leave the openings for aboriginal fisheries outside the commission. There is only one set of fish and there cannot be two competing organizations managing it in isolation from one another.

Bill C-62 would give the minister unlimited authority to sign such agreements but without any recognition of Fraser's recommendation. Let me cite another recommendation from Mr. Fraser:

That the Canadian section of the Fraser River Panel be vested with responsibility for in season management for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon fisheries in Canadian waters beyond the current Pacific Salmon Commission convention area. Further, to facilitate communications and understanding between DFO and PSC of the in season run and stock size estimates, a member of the DFO stock assessment division be assigned to work closely with PSC during planning, estimation and evaluation of run estimating procedures.

Instead, after that recommendation the evaluation study found that there are still problems in the integration of DFO and Pacific Salmon Commission activities particularly with respect to the transfer of information. The evaluation study found that based on numerous interviews with DFO staff and industry reps, it is clear

that certain difficulties still face the integration of panel fisheries and non-panel fisheries.

The evaluation study found instead: "We understand from both parties, DFO and PSC, that relations between the two organizations have been somewhat strained in recent years-effective communication and co-operation between the two are essential to conservation and good management of Fraser sockeye", that is Fraser River sockeye. "Whether the problems arise from politics or personalities, immediate action is required to ensure effective communications and co-ordination between DFO and PSC".

Bill C-62 ignores this problem. Because it is a structural problem involving two separate organizations each operating under its own statutes, specific recognition of this problem in the bill would have gone a long way to solving it. Ignoring this longstanding west coast problem will not make it go away. Unfortunately it guarantees that it will be with us indefinitely.

Let us look at another Fraser report recommendation:

That an independent Pacific fisheries conservation council be established to act as a public watchdog for the fishery, to report to ministers and the public annually and from time to time as is appropriate.

What did the evaluation study find with regard to that recommendation? It found to date that DFO has not developed an annual review process as recommended in the Fraser report. It found that the consolidated annual review process such as was called for has not yet been implemented.

The Fraser commission made a whole series of recommendations. Fraser is a well-respected man. The evaluation study, which went hard on its heels, has virtually ignored many or most of the recommendations.

Bill C-62 as a bill is good news, but only for the minister of fisheries. To the fish, fishers and people of Canada it is bad news. The Reform Party cannot in any way support Bill C-62.

Communications December 6th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the minister will be aware that the reason for the grey market is that there are no Canadian providers. The reason there is no Canadian service is because of CRTC regulations, an over abundance of regulations and hurdles that these companies have to go through.

What will the government do to clear away the obstacles and the red tape that prevent Canadian companies from fulfilling the market that is there, ready and waiting?

Communications December 6th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, a former CRTC chairman stated that Canadians that rely on direct to home satellite service from the United States would not be prosecuted for violating CRTC regulations.

Recent media reports indicate that maybe officials are getting ready to prosecute those persons whose only crime appears to be that there is no Canadian provider of those satellite services.

Will the Minister of Industry give his assurance to the House and the people of Canada that until companies in Canada start providing DTH services that Canadians who receive U.S. signals will not be charged with an offence.