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

Petitions December 4th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition on behalf of 140 citizens who are concerned that all levels of government should demonstrate their support of education and literacy by eliminating sales tax on reading materials.

The petitioners ask Parliament to zero rate books, magazines and newspapers under the GST.

Communications November 25th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I live on a small island on the coast of British Columbia. In common with my fellow islanders and hundreds of thousands of other rural Canadians, I can only receive two or three regular TV channels. We have no cable TV and no prospect of getting cable, but that is not our complaint.

Here is the problem. The air around us out there is filled with a cornucopia of good TV programs and movies but our government here in Ottawa says we may not receive those programs because it is illegal.

If a Canadian company were to make this programming available, my neighbours would be happy to buy Canadian but there is no such company. Therefore tens of thousands of rural Canadians

are being made to do without or break the law by receiving American signals.

It is just as wrong for the Canadian government to deny its citizens the ability to legally receive TV signals as it is for the Government of North Korea to dictate to its people what they will hear and see on radio and TV.

Canadian Volunteer Service Medal For United Nations Peacekeeping Act November 25th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I will see what I can slip in during the allotted time.

My basic point concerns what the medal is all about. Why should there be any medal? We can get down to real basics by asking such questions as what training do members of the Canadian Armed Forces go through and what does a medal represent in their ethos.

The training the members of our military get prepares them to give their lives for their country or their unit. This is instilled in them throughout their training so that when the time comes they will be prepared. A medal is simply recognition of that among other things. A medal can be a campaign medal that tells all who want to look on its bearer that the individual has had service in a foreign land.

At the same time it tells those who look at that medal or the medal ribbon, its representation, that individual has put it all on the line during his training and has said: "I am prepared to give my life for my country or my unit, and all I expect in return is the loyalty of my fellows in the field and of my country toward me, the representation of which is this medal".

I will say more at a later date. This is a very worthwhile bill for this House as an entity to support.

Canadian Volunteer Service Medal For United Nations Peacekeeping Act November 25th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to talk to the bill. I was a little taken aback by the time allocation. How much time would I have?

Questions On The Order Paper November 22nd, 1996

With respect to the jointly administered Pacific Marine Heritage Legacy Park acquisition fund, what has the government through the department of heritage determined to be: ( a ) the amount of money for use in the purchase of lands north of Active Pass for fiscal 1996-97 and ( b ) the priority list of those locations north of Active Pass which are to be purchased?

Research And Development November 1st, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I have a specific suggestion for what we would do if we were in the Liberal's position.

The U.S. Brookhaven Institute is in a position to pick up jobs that Spar Aerospace would otherwise give to the cyclotron in Chalk River. The same situation exists for Whiteshell where our scientists are leaving for the United States due to inaction on the part of the government.

I have this specific suggestion for the minister. Would the minister use $3 million of the $40 million in refund that is coming from the European Space Agency to keep the Chalk River facility open and start the process of privatizing Whiteshell as was called for in the task force report?

Research And Development November 1st, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the most recent broken red book promises are in the area of research and development and jobs, particularly projects at Chalk River, Ontario and Pinawa, Manitoba. The internationally recognized cyclotron facility at Chalk River, TASCC, could be closed due to a lack of funds and the future of the Whiteshell Laboratory

in Manitoba remains in doubt while the government ignores its task force recommendation to privatize the facility.

Is the natural resources minister going to do anything to ensure these research initiatives and jobs remain in Canada?

Radioactive Waste Importation Act October 31st, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of Bill C-236 put forward by the member for Fraser Valley East. The purpose of this bill is to prevent the importation of radioactive waste.

Worldwide there are 413 commercial nuclear reactors, an untold number of small research reactors at universities and other reactors on ships or submarines. Together they have generated and will continue to generate enormous amounts of highly toxic nuclear waste, waste that will be deadly for 10,000 years.

Canadians in general do not want radioactive waste in their backyard. It took eight years and $20 million for the siting task force struck by the Minister of National Resources to find a place for our low level radioactive waste. Note this does not cover high level radioactive waste. The town of Deep River finally said yes in September a year ago, but only two communities in Ontario even volunteered to consider the question.

It should be self-evident to most that the import of radioactive waste should be banned. As I will explain, there are some compelling reasons why a law should be passed to firmly establish this principle.

In doing so it should be clear that this bill would not ban the importation-I hope members are listening across the way-of plutonium from U.S. and Russian warheads to be burned as fuel in CANDU reactors. This idea is only one of nine separate proposals the Americans are considering as an option.

In essence the plan calls for the CANDU fuel bundles to be fabricated in the U.S. and brought into Canada as fuel, not as waste. It would be a great contribution to global disarmament but Canadians would be expected to subsidize the conversion process. In that regard I am opposed to the idea that the Government of Canada should do any subsidization of a process such as this.

If the process were to be done, I understand it would be on a commercial basis most likely with help from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. As a crown corporation close to the federal government, AECL's role might consist of paying and in effect subsidizing the retool of facilities such as the old Bruce reactor which might then burn the plutonium.

Clearly any support should be contingent on the Government of Canada controlling the regulatory side but staying out of the financial side. Pointedly, we Canadians should not be paying to beat American and Russian swords into ploughshares. If we want to use our tools to act as the blacksmith for the military powers of the world, we should not have to pay for the raw materials.

This proposal is not without an environmental cost to Canada. The Department of Natural Resources tells us that the United States is looking to get rid of 50 tonnes of plutonium over a 25-year period. We are also looking at the same amount from Russia, 50 tonnes over 25 years. In total, 100 tonnes is how much plutonium will be generated from the dismantling of a total of 40,000 nuclear warheads.

By way of comparison, at the moment we already have 22,000 tonnes of high level waste in Canada stored on sites of over 22 nuclear reactors. This includes 78 tonnes of plutonium. By the year 2025, we will have 58,000 tonnes which will include 200-odd tonnes of plutonium.

The price Canada would have to pay is increasing radioactive waste in our country by a third. The government's decision will have to strike a balance between the environmental security of Canadian citizens and the probability of plutonium in nuclear warheads being used for more harmful purposes. Once Canadians learn about this plutonium deal, they may want to think twice about it. However Bill C-236 does not specifically address that issue.

To get back to the purpose of my colleague's bill, why do we need a law regarding the importation of fissionable waste materials? Because of the profit in the business of burying high level radioactive waste. That is the reason.

There are profit oriented groups which might want to import waste for money. The United States alone has an enormous high level waste problem. Because of that, there is an enormous profit potential in it.

The U.S. Hanford site located 300 kilometres south of the B.C. border has enough waste to fill 86 football fields one metre deep. It will cost $57 billion to dispose of that. It is estimated that the clean-up cost in the United States alone will total a staggering $230 billion.

The problem continues to grow. The U.S. has a total of 77,000 tonnes of waste to bury. Someone is going to look to this for a profit. Let us take an example. The Meadow Lake Tribal Council, which represents nine Indian communities in northern Saskatchewan, reported on February 25, 1995 that it was considering the offer of land for a price. That underlines the problem.

I will try to draw this to a close although I do have much more to say about it. Even the Nisga'a law which is under consideration in British Columbia can have an effect on this.

In conclusion, Bill C-236 provides a golden opportunity for Canada to send a discouraging message to the United States and to profit seeking groups within Canada who might view the absence of legislation as a way to capitalize on the import of nuclear waste. It is an opportunity for the government to respect the wishes of a majority of Canadians who are opposed to the importation of hazardous radioactive waste.

Committee Of The Whole October 29th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, in addressing this motion I would like to start with the Liberal red book and end with the Liberal red book.

Let us start by assuming that there was some good will there that went into the creation of that document, that there were honest, noble members of the Liberal Party who said, sitting in opposition: "We need change. We have to respond to the people of Canada who are saying let us have change, let us revise the rules of the way we are doing things. Let us do things better".

I assume that even the member for Kingston and the Islands was one such person and the report he put forward which forms a contributing document to the red book was made in good faith. Having said that, what happens to it?

When the Liberals were in opposition I think they were sincere and honest in saying that we really must have this. Now they flood the government benches and oh what a difference it makes.

In the creation of the red book the Liberal Party brass, the creators of strategy asked what it is that the people of Canada want. They had a pretty clear message at that point of what the people of Canada wanted, which was integrity and honesty in government. Their red book was created by that stimulus. They said: "Fine, let us promise to the people of Canada what it is that they want, and we will put all that in the red book". It has wound up as a book of promises and the government says it has kept 78 per cent of them. We give the government 30 per cent at the most.

One of the contributing documents for the red book which has already been cited today is the document "Governing with Integrity". Having read it in my role as an opposition member I totally subscribe to it. It states: "If government is to play a positive role in society, as it must, honesty and integrity in our political institutions must be restored". The Liberals felt that was true at the time and I am sure it was, but it is still true and it has still not been achieved.

Again from "Governing with Integrity": "This erosion of confidence seems to have many causes. Some have to do with the behaviour of certain elected politicians, others with an arrogant style of political leadership". Hold on. This is the Liberals talking about the Conservatives. "The people are irritated with governments that do not consult them or that disregard their views or that try to conduct key parts of the public business behind closed doors". That is the Liberals talking in the creation of their famous red book in 1993.

Lest anyone say this is sour grapes or this is just a westerner talking, let me quote from an article written by Michel Venne in Le Devoir yesterday about the unhappiness of the Canadian electorate:

"For the past week, the Liberal Party of Canada has been congratulating itself in a way bordering on indecency, given that, since the Liberals took office in 1993, the country has come within a hair's breadth of disintegration, while poverty and voter cynicism keeps growing from coast to coast."

That is the view from Quebec. The Quebecers say that the cynicism of the electorate is prevalent from coast to coast. Let us look at the reasons for that cynicism. Let us examine some of the specific promises made in the Liberal red book.

Number one: "We will restore Canadians' faith in themselves and their government". Has that been done? The answer is a resounding no, and we will get that no from province to province from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

They also promise: "We will implement new programs only if they can be funded within existing expenditures". That is a very nice promise. Certainly it was probably their intent at the time to keep the promise to implement new programs only if they could be funded within existing expenditures.

How about the latest foray by the Minister of Canadian Heritage into flags at $23 million, and the establishment of-let us call them what they are-government propaganda offices across the country at a cost of well over $100 million? These are new programs that were unfunded and magically, funding has been found for them but not for other things.

There is an example close to us in Ottawa, in Chalk River, Ontario. A superconducting cyclotron needs $3 million of bridge financing to keep it going but the money is not to be found. The government cannot find $3 million or even half of that amount, presuming that the rest would come from private industry. No, the money is just not there.

The same case can be made for Whiteshell Laboratories in Manitoba. The government simply cannot find the money or the means to make its promise of looking at the privatization of that laboratory. It has simply been left to wither on the vine.

These were promises made and promises not kept. The government, when it wants to implement new programs, we have the example of the grant of a loan to Bombardier in Quebec. Was that necessary? Well it was only necessary from a political point of view. New money is found for anything that suits the purpose of the government.

Promise No. 4: "We will exercise unwavering discipline in controlling federal spending and we will re-order current spending priorities to make sure the maximum return is obtained on each investment". It really sounds good: unwavering discipline in controlling federal expenditures. Look around and we find example after example of the flagrant disregard for that.

Just to show that the Liberals did keep some of their promises let us look at a kept promise. Promise No. 7: "A Liberal government will cancel the $5.8 billion purchase of EH-101 helicopters". They kept that promise. The only problem is that it has cost us a few hundred million dollars just to keep the claimants away and we still do not have a replacement three years later. They kept the promise but to the detriment of the country.

Let us go on to some of the other many unfulfilled promises made by the Liberals. Why did they make these promises? They made them purely to get elected. I will reiterate my opening statement that without a doubt some statements were made in honesty at the beginning and some of those were incorporated honestly into the red book. However, they went on from there to say: "No, winning is the thing. We must win and we must win at any cost. Therefore, do not mind what promises are made, we will just see how we can cope with that".

Another promise: "The Liberal government will replace the GST". That one has been pounded into the ground so I think I will leave that for others to hit.

Here is another promise: "A Liberal government will work closely with provincial governments to achieve the maximum possible co-ordination of tax policies". We have seen where that one has gone in recent months. It has made a hiatus in the Atlantic provinces and other provinces are totally unhappy about it.

Another promise: "A Liberal government will be committed to the elimination of interprovincial trade barriers within Canada and will address the issue urgently". What has been done on that? I recall there was a little effort made in 1994 and perhaps there are a few minor items going on but the work that is desperately required is not happening.

Promise No. 17: "The Liberals will manage this trading relationship with the United States in a way that best serves Canada's interests". They are talking about the GATT, the NAFTA and such things. Let us look at examples from the last year or two with respect to our trading with the Unites States in fish, in softwood and in wheat. We do not have anything which is serving Canada's best interests. There are problems. That is not to say that they have not put some effort into it. Of course they have, but it is insufficient. Once again it amounts to a broken promise.

Let us move on through the pages. The Liberals said they would prepare for the transition from school to the workplace and provide a constructive outlet for the skills and talents of younger Canadians who are the innocent victims of Canada's prolonged recession. They said they would enhance the opportunity for job training and improve the literacy and numeracy skills of Canadian workers, and improve access to employment for women and single parents by making quality child care more available.

Those are wonderful words. It is an admirable aim for the government to have said: "Look Canadians, this is what we are going to do for you. We are going to make 100 more promises like this, but unfortunately we are not going to be able to keep them". As a promise it was wonderful. It was certainly a worthwhile aim. That is indeed what the government should be doing. It should be keeping the promises which were made in this book.

Let us go on to other promises along the same line. The Liberals said that a Liberal government would gather information on these developments of job training, skills and disseminate it to all those responsible for the education of our children. That has not been done.

In collaboration with provincial governments the Liberals would introduce a voluntary national achievement test in math, science and technology. Again, that is a very worthwhile aim. I laud the Liberals for having thought of all these wonderful things, but I do not laud them for having put them in this book and then not having kept those promises.

They were also going to work with business, labour and provincial governments to provide funding to establish apprenticeship programs for the new economy. Once again, what could be better than to establish worthwhile apprenticeship programs? This country needs more of them, but we are not getting them. The Liberals have simply not delivered on their promise.

Let us turn the page. What do we have? "A Liberal government will provide the necessary funds and administrative support to launch pilot projects in community projects across Canada within the first year of a Liberal mandate. We will invest $100 million a year in the Canadian Youth Service Corps". I have to say that is not a totally ignored promised. There has been something done.

I have in my own riding of Nanaimo-Cowichan a very worthwhile project concerning the Canadian Youth Service Corps. The trouble is, it only involves 16 or 17 young people. The promise was to invest $100 million a year. That is not being done. Again I will give credit for what is being done, but what is not being done is what we are calling the Liberals to task for.

All of these are examples of broken promises. They are good intentions. If the Liberals want good parliamentary government and good government across the country, they should read their red book again. They should read again the contributory documents that were made probably in good faith to say what the red book is all about, that they are the basic documents. They should read them again and ask themselves if they have kept their promises to the Canadian people, starting and ending with the promise to have a deputy speaker who represents the opposition in the House. It was a good intention. They simply did not measure up to it.

Research And Development October 24th, 1996

The question, Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of Natural Resources is what will you do to redeem-