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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

Research And Development October 24th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the red book is full of broken promises on the subject of jobs and research and development that they will support in Canada.

We have, among these broken promises, the situation in Chalk River where we have a cyclotron research project in danger of closing down. We have a situation in Whiteshell Laboratories, Manitoba in danger of closing down for the same reason, lack of support from the government.

My question for the Minister of Natural Resources is what are you doing, what will you do to redeem the Liberal promises-

Supply October 24th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, to help in your deliberations regarding the subamendment which was just proposed, I would like to direct your attention to a similar motion that is on today's Order Paper.

On page 11 of today's Order Paper there is an amendment to the speech from the throne and it reads as follows:

That the following words be added to the Address:

"This House deplores that Your Excellency's advisers have demonstrated a lack of vision in the face of the fundamental issues confronting Canada and Quebec, such as job creation, better administration of public funds, the re-establishment of fiscal justice for all, the recognition of Montreal as the economic hub of Quebec society, the need to protect Quebec culture;

and show a lack of sensitivity toward the poor by proposing a reform of the social programs that strikes at those who are unemployed or on welfare, as well as seniors and students;

and show a total lack of understanding of the referendum results".

There is also a subamendment by the member for Okanagan Centre. As listed on today's Order Paper, his subamendment reads:

That the amendment be amended by adding after the words "Quebec Society" the following:

"and, in particular, recognition that it is the separatist movement in Quebec that threatens the economy of Montreal".

I would refer to Beauchesne's sixth edition, citation 580.(1): "The purpose of a subamendment-is to alter the should deal with matters that are not covered by the amendment". And finally, citation 584.(2) states: "A subamendment must be relevant to the amendment it purports to amend".

Kuper Island October 4th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I want to inform the House that Chief Randy James and the Penelakut Band on Kuper Island in my riding of Nanaimo-Cowichan will be conducting a memorial service tomorrow, October 5, to honour the memory of those children who died while attending the Kuper Island Residential School.

While the Penelakut Band estimates the number of students who perished between 1890 and 1984 to be in the hundreds, the exact number may never be known because of the manner in which records were maintained.

Following the memorial service there will be a traditional native healing ceremony for the survivors and their families. Along with Chief James, I call upon members of Parliament to think of Kuper Island today and tomorrow and, in so doing, honour the memory of those who died not only on Kuper Island but also at residential schools across Canada and ask for the healing of those who survived.

Supply September 30th, 1996

Madam Speaker, I am delighted to respond to that question.

I happen to be from British Columbia but I have lived in Manitoba, I have lived in several parts of Ontario, I have lived in several places in Quebec, in New Brunswick and other parts of the world. I think I have picked up an appreciation of what Canada is all about and having travelled continually back and forth I have a reasonable appreciation.

I have given the history and basic geography lesson by way of pointing out that all of this understanding of the mechanics out in B.C. are not understood. We get people like Allan Fotheringham writing in Maclean's . He does it in a jocular way but he is always talking about the lotus eaters or those of us from lotusland. Fine. He does it in a jocular way but underlying it is sort of a sense that we are different out there. I guess we are different but it is these physical and economic circumstances that make us different.

To address the member's last question, where I would love to see us get together is here in this House and in the committees of the House. There should be much less confrontation, much less of the old line party politics dictating this is the way you are going to go. There should be an open atmosphere, of saying let us discuss things toward a solution for all of Canada or for its various regions. Perhaps that is what we should work on first. Eradicate some of our ignorance of other areas of the country and build on some sort of atmosphere where we would dialogue easily and not in a confrontational way.

Supply September 30th, 1996

Madam Speaker, I will try to wind it up. I have not been keeping tabs on the time. I thought it was way under 10 minutes but I have to accept your ruling.

The Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce letter continues: "We urge that your ministry, in conjunction with your colleague, the minister of agriculture, appoint a co-ordinator as outlined in the enclosed report. We believe minor concessions by each of the parties involved could put the terminal back on a firm footing while some of the more complex problems facing the grain transportation industries are resolved".

All the chamber has had in response to that is an acknowledgement-

Supply September 30th, 1996

Madam Speaker, in any event, let it be very clearly understood that I am sharing my time with my colleague, the member for North Vancouver. I am not sure that point of sharing was clear previously.

As a British Columbian, I would like to point out that governments over our history in Canada have not totally understood British Columbia. People cannot do so without a bit of appreciation of our geography and history.

Geography is terrifically important. We know about the Rocky Mountains, of course, going north and south. We know, more or less, there are other mountain ranges in there: the Purcells, the Selkirks, the Monashees, the Cariboo Mountains farther to the north and the Coast Range. All these mountains going north-south have had quite an effect on the history and economy of British Columbia.

There are only four passes that have been used for rail or road traffic through the mountains. There again, it is an integral part of the history and development of the province. There is the Crow's Nest, Kicking Horse, Yellowknife and even the one I was unfamiliar with, the Pine, farther to the north. These are important bits of what makes B.C. the province it is.

The rivers that flow through B.C. are just as important as are the fiords on the coast. Our history is a function of that in part, the geography. Our history starts really on the coast of B.C. It can go back 6,000 to 8,000 years with the native population having been recorded as being in that area. In latter years, only the last 200 years really apply.

We are talking about the Spaniards who travelled here in 1774. We are talking, after that, of British sailors, Captain Cook and George Vancouver. We are talking about enterprises such as the Hudson's Bay Company with its fur trade. We are talking about explorers who came here as recently as 1793 such as Alexander Mackenzie, who went overland through the mountains to reach the west coast. All of these things are part of the make-up of British Columbia.

There was the gold rush of 1857. Prior to that there was the American influence. They said they would claim land to 54 40. They had the campaign slogan ``54 40 or fight'', which was finally settled by the Oregon Treaty.

All of these things have shaped British Columbia. There is inadequate feeling or knowledge of all of the history and geography of British Columbia in central Canada.

Transportation, when we come down to it, is one of the most important things still today. We will get around to Prince George and Prince Rupert on this matter.

In 1867 people in eastern Canada were joining Confederation. Four years later British Columbia finally agreed to join, provided there was a railway. It took 15 long, agonizing years for the railway to get through. The railways are still important.

I heard the Crow arrangement mentioned today. The Crow's Nest Pass agreement goes back to 1897. It said that there would be an adjustment of rail tariffs to accommodate settler supplies going one way and grain the other. That continues to be important. As long ago as 1897 we were talking about the Crow. We are still talking about it today.

Then we come to the Trans-Canada Highway. When was there pavement in B.C. which went from east to west? Not until 1962. Prior to that those of us who travelled through British Columbia had to dip down into the United States if we did not want to go over dicey gravel roads.

All of that, I suggest, is lost on a lot of the establishment of central Canada.

Let us move on to talk about the Prince Rupert grain terminal within the context of the history and geography which I have laid out. In doing so, I would like to pass on congratulations to my colleague, the hon. member for Skeena. He has done a lot of work not just with respect to the port of Prince Rupert but to all of the northern area, integrating the knowledge that is up there and making it available to people such as me.

The points my colleague has made I would like to make again. I acknowledge, at the very least, that the hon. member for Durham has visited Prince Rupert and has come away with some good points. I was happy to hear him mention them.

First, the Prince Rupert grain terminal is one of the most efficient terminals in the world, but it is under-utilized. Prince Rupert is a day and a half in shipping time closer to the Pacific rim markets than is the lower mainland of B.C.

Compared with most other terminals in Canada, the Prince Rupert terminal turns around its grain cars in a fraction of the time it takes other terminals.

When a ship comes into Prince Rupert to take on grain it only has to go to one berth whereas other terminals require ships to move to different berths, up to four times, before getting their full load. There are lower pilotage costs and lower berthing costs; that is berthing as of ships not of babies. Maybe there are lower birthing costs of babies in Prince Rupert, I do not know. However, business is there to be done. The facilities are there but we are not taking sufficient advantage of them.

The member mentioned the amount of operating time that this port has been under. Before July 14 of this year there were two shifts operating in Prince Rupert but from July 14 to September 29 it was closed down. Just last week it received word that it would open up again to two shifts starting today.

Maybe the member for Durham, with all of the information that he has been able to glean from his visit to Prince Rupert, would be able to tell me what has been happening. Why is this? We encourage the use of Prince Rupert much more than has been done. Why is it suddenly coming back on stream? Will we go to three shifts at Prince Rupert to fully utilize the facilities there? I would like to know.

I would also like to know on the point where the member said: "Oh yes, I have been there and I was certainly very helpful to the folks around Prince Rupert and Port Edward". That is great, but did the member come down and talk to our minister of agriculture and our current minister of transportation? That is the sort of help that is needed.

I am going to quote from a letter from the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce addressed to the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. It states: "The Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce is very concerned over the current and suggested status of the Prince Rupert grain terminal".

This letter is dated September 3. Madam Speaker, you are standing?

National Defence September 30th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, there are other examples. When land was given away in Chatham, New Brunswick, they got $15 million to go with it. In St. Hubert, Quebec, they got an extra $1 million plus the land. In Cornwallis they got the land plus $7.5 million. Obviously there is a difference in criterion between the east and the west.

Why the difference in criterion? What is it? Is it the number of Liberal members in the area or what is it?

National Defence September 30th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, several years ago national defence announced that the Nanaimo army camp would close. Since that time the city of Nanaimo, Malaspina College and the local school board have been trying to get an agreement out of Ottawa for the use of the land. They have been trying without success. Yet when there is a base closure in the maritimes or Quebec, it seems to be quite a different story: they not only get the land quickly, they get money to go with it. Why the double standard?

Young Offenders Act September 27th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, years of half measures dealing with youth crime have left Canadians with laws that allow criminals to go unpunished because they are between the ages of 12 and 17.

Victims rights groups and Canadians in general have been shut out of the process to reform the Young Offenders Act. However, in my riding of Nanaimo-Cowichan, constituents are being heard on this issue.

Using the direct democracy initiative of televoting, residents are voting on the following questions:

  1. Do you feel that youths charged with violent crimes should automatically be dealt with in adult court?

  2. Should the names of youths convicted of a serious crime be released to the public?

  3. Should the Young Offenders Act be amended to lower the age at which a youth can be charged from 12 years to 10?

To date, 698 people have responded and in time their views will be reflected in legislation which I will bring before this House.

Canada Marine Act September 27th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by saying that this intercession is being delivered on behalf of my colleague, the Reform transportation critic, the member for Kootenay West-Revelstoke. Reform supports the intent of Bill C-44. However, there are several areas with which we have concerns and I would like to expose those in the next few minutes.

The motion before us is to refer the bill to committee before second reading. We will support that motion but I believe it is in order to state the reasons for that support and the reservations we have.

The first time this procedure was used on a transport bill was the legislation dealing with the privatization of CN Rail. We supported the Liberal argument that this process would allow the bill to be dealt with better in committee and that it would make it more amenable to amendments. Those assurances were false.

The bill was debated at length and our transport critic brought forward several amendments designed to improve the bill that we had already generally agreed with. Although several Liberal members of the committee expressed words of agreement with some of those amendments, when it came time for the vote every amendment was defeated by the same Liberal Party that asked for our support for the new streamlined procedure.

Interestingly, after the bill was passed in the House and implemented it became very clear that the Liberals would have been wise to have accepted some of those Reform amendments.

The next transport bill to come before the House with a motion to send it to committee before second reading was the Canada Transport Act. This time, based on the false promises issued by the Liberals on the previous transport bill, the Reform Party did not support the motion. When the bill ended up in committee our critic once again went to work exposing numerous flaws with a bill that we generally supported. Once again he brought forward numerous motions designed to improve a bill that we did want to support.

Unlike with the previous bill, the Liberals listened and then supported the majority of those amendments. Although there were a couple of rejected amendments which we felt were deal killers, we do acknowledge the Liberals' improved attitude in dealing with our amendments. Because of this improved attitude we are willing to give them another chance to act as they promised when they first introduced this procedure.

Having given our reasons for supporting the motion to refer the bill to committee before second reading so as to make it more amenable to amendments, I will now place the government on notice as to some of the aspects of the bill we have difficulty with.

However, before I do that there is one other item that needs to be brought out. This bill was introduced in the House last spring. The intent of doing so was supposedly to allow the appropriate people to have the summer to study the bill in order to be prepared to study it again upon the reconvening of Parliament in September.

One of the instruments utilized by members of Parliament is a briefing book on the bill supplied by the appropriate department, in this case transport. Our transport critic, the member for Kootenay West-Revelstoke, did not receive the briefing book until the afternoon of September 25. That is not acceptable. I hope this disregard for proper and timely action is not an indication of how this bill will be dealt with.

During summer our transportation critic studied this bill and made notes of his concerns. He then went on the road to discuss the bill with various port operators and users. He began his meetings by asking for their reaction to Bill C-44. He found in virtually every case that many of the concerns of those he visited were identical to his own concerns.

Those areas of common concern include the size and the make-up of the board of directors. Section 6(2)(f) stipulates that the number of directors be between nine and eleven. Most port operators do not need nor do they want that large a board. Of those operators our critic visited, the desired number indicated ranged from three to five. One operator who did support five stated that he could live with seven but would prefer the lower number.

The Reform Party had previously expressed its opinion of board of director make-up in its minority report in the marine study completed by the Standing Committee on Transport last year. We believe in government participation but not government control.

Section 6(2)(f)(v)) of the bill states that one director is to be appointed by concerned municipalities and one by the province, two specifically in the case of the Port of Vancouver, and all other directors are to be appointed by the Minister of Transport. In the case of some of those appointments, the minister is to consult with the users. But no obligation is placed on the minister to appoint those who are chosen by the users.

The government may argue it is its intention to appoint directors selected by the users but if it does not say that, it is not likely to happen. If the minister does indeed plan to appoint those elected by the users, why not just let the users appoint their own directors, but not in the numbers stipulated in the bill? No one group, be it the government, the municipalities or the users, should have in itself a majority on the board.

Section 9 and others within the bill set out a provision that cancels any right that current office holders might have to compensation, damages or indemnity.

Section 11(2) goes further by clearing stating that neither the port authority nor Her Majesty in Right in Canada is bound by any severance agreement entered into between a predecessor of the port authority and any of its officers after December 1, 1995. Given that transport is the same department that gave us the Pearson cancellation bill, we should not be surprised that it would do something like this.

Section 24 restricts the right of a port authority to operate any form of business which may provide needed cash flow revenues for the port. For example, Fraser port does partial assembly of vehicles upon their arrival. That is good business and aids in the

financial viability of the port. The government should not be restricting this activity, it should be encouraging it. Fraser Port is an example of how we should set up the new port authorities. I am glad to see the nod across the way from the parliamentary secretary to go in that direction.

Section 27(3) states that a port authority may not mortgage any property that it holds in any manner. Does this restriction apply only to the crown land turned over to the port to operate or does it include other properties which have or may in the future be bought by the port authority? This we think is overly restrictive and creates serious financial problems for the ports.

Another problem section is 36(5). This either stops a port authority from acquiring a new property or at a minimum requires an amendment to the letters patent each time there is a purchase. The idea of the bill is to get rid of bureaucratic red tape, as stated by the parliamentary secretary, not create more.

Section 45 states that the Official Languages Act applies to a port authority as if it were a federal institution. That is absolutely without merit. Why would the Port of Prince Rupert on B.C.'s north coast need to be bilingual? Why would small ports at other west coast locations need to have this unnecessary expense and hiring restriction placed on them? It is not a matter of not wanting to provide a bilingual service, it is simply that no one would ever use it. Let us be practical.

Section 56 sets it up for the minister to gouge money for little or no service out of certain ports like Kitimat. Considering that the Minister of Transport is also supposed to be the Liberal cabinet representative for B.C., he should be ashamed of allowing such an unfair provision to remain in the bill.

Section 63 is little better and is also likely to cause undue hardship on Kitimat.

While there are some other areas of concern, these are the most contentious. We are giving the government fair notice as to where our concerns lie. I hope it will remain open minded and work with us to make Bill C-44 one which all parties can support and one which will benefit all Canadians.