House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was respect.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe (New Brunswick)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

International Bridges and Tunnels Act May 1st, 2006

Mr. Speaker, while my riding does not in any way touch upon an international bridge, it is said that the people of Albert county are so fiercely independent they are a separate country and the new bridge that spans the mighty Petitcodiac probably took so long because of the international aspect.

My friend brought up an aspect of infrastructure. In municipal infrastructure, provincial and federal programming has been working terribly well in our province and in our region. There are programs like CSIF, on strategic infrastructure, and MRIF, for municipal rural infrastructure programs, which we fell might be under attack in the coming days as an effort by the government to redo or redress what it perceives to be the fiscal imbalance.

I fear, and I ask the hon. member for his comment, that money will be taken out of infrastructure programs that might otherwise help to update bridges and roads in our communities. I fear that the money will be taken out of those programs, with those programs collapsing like the bridges the member referred to from 1918 and 1938, and will be put into provinces for other purposes that are laudable but are not infrastructure purposes.

Does the hon. member feel that these infrastructure programs are very important to municipalities and communities around our country that face deplorable states of aging infrastructure?

Federal Accountability Act April 27th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I am really proud of the vigour and passion shown by my colleague from New Brunswick.

I know that the member for Tobique—Mactaquac also considered the members from New Brunswick as being passionate people. However, I am a Liberal, not a Conservative, and there is a difference.

Given the obvious cooperation between the Conservatives and the NDP, I am wondering if there is still a difference between them. But here is the real question regarding this bill. With respect to floor crossing, does the member think that it would be good to allow a cooling off period or does he think that his party, the NDP, does not need one for this bill that, I hope, will make it into law.

Federal Accountability Act April 27th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I have a simple question for the hon. member for Joliette. It concerns the process for selecting the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner. As we know, the commissioner is selected by the Prime Minister alone.

Does the hon. member not think it would be a good idea to have a process established by a committee of this House or some other mechanism along the lines of this bill, which would be fair and transparent?

Federal Accountability Act April 27th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, this is my first time addressing the House in French. Half of the citizens in the riding of Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe speak French. I am pleased to ask my colleague from the Bloc a question about the bill.

As mentioned in paragraph 3(c) the aim of this bill is to:

provide the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner with the mandate to determine the measures necessary to avoid conflicts of interest and to determine whether a contravention of this Act has occurred.

The commissioner was chosen by the Prime Minister. Does the hon. member expect the commissioner to decide if he is in a conflict of interest himself? Is this not a flaw in the bill?

Federal Accountability Act April 25th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for his articulate views on the act. It is indeed a prodigious act that intends to many things.

I do have two brief comments or questions for a party that is not partisan and yet institutionally against accountability. I found those comments very contradictory. In any event, I have questions concerning the lobbyist act provisions and the whistleblower provisions.

I am concerned that registered lobbyists, as written, must recount all of their conversations whether they are paid or not, with public office holders. Does that apply hypothetically to members of the National Citizens' Coalition or the Sierra Club if they have conversations with political operatives, the people who hold public office?

The second aspect is on whistleblowing. Does the aspect of transparency, which whistleblowing is intended to make certain, apply to government employees who want to roll out perhaps private documents that they are working on, books for instance, suggesting that they should have the right to air in public and who have been withheld the permission from the government to do so? Finally, and I work as the assistant justice critic, in any department, does it preclude, or will it allow in other words, public employees who give advice to ministers, there is no doubt there, from expressing their views on intended legislation at conferences in the proper venue of the public? Is there any element of whistleblowing or speaking one's mind that the hon. member sees which will make government work better?

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply April 11th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I just want to pick up on the justice aspects, the prime aspects.

It is important to have a debate in the House and at committee level about the effectiveness or the efficacy of mandatory sentences, of seemingly wanting to be tougher on crime by imposing longer sentences and putting criminals away longer and all those sorts of things. However, empirical evidence shows, and one of the members referred to this morning, that these mandatory sentences do not work and that our neighbours to the south are the perfect proof of that.

All I am asking, because I know this is not question period and it certainly is not an answer period either, is for some openness from the other side or the other sides that if there is empirical evidence that being tougher on the books on crime does not deter crime, and if there is an openness to suggest that there are other ways, such as, laudably, increasing the number of men and women on the street enforcing those laws, will there be an openness from the hon. member and from the other side to those aspects?

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply April 11th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his remarks.

I would like to thank the hon. member for his thought provoking and thoughtful speech.

I have three short points. One deals with change that Canadians purportedly voted for. In my riding, the Beausejour Medical Research Institute carries on important cancer research. It has just learned that its funding under the ACOA umbrella has been cut. It will be limited in the amount of research it can do in finding breakthroughs or cancer cures.

I would ask the parliamentary secretary to perhaps look into that at some point. I do not require an answer immediately. I appreciate his candour and sincerity on the issue.

On wait times in general, we have great concern on this side that this will mean that someone has to get in a station wagon and drive from Albert County to Moncton and be flown to Toronto. Is there a plan on what is a limit on the amount of travel that is acceptable to get people who are in need to centres of excellence?

Finally, as a former member of a council and a mayor, we grappled at the local level with the West Nile virus when we turned our thoughts and words to public health. That was a very pressing issue and continues to be. What was very frustrating at the municipal level and perhaps even at the provincial level was the lack of a pan-Canadian resolution or battleground for these pandemics.

I welcome the member's words when he says that when it comes to the flu pandemic, we predict there might be a pan-Canadian approach to the pandemic. I also ask him to turn to some of the other national problems such as West Nile virus.

Lobbyists April 11th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I would be afraid to because there would be nobody left to lobby the Conservative government.

That is a distinction that is not in the ethics code. The relationship is not how one is paid but what influence or relationship one has. Mr. Salvatore not only worked for the minister but he worked for the Prime Minister when the Prime Minister was in opposition. That is a close link.

How can the Prime Minister square this circle when it comes to real accountability?

Lobbyists April 11th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, David Salvatore, now a registered lobbyist, worked until the month of March for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, one full month after that minister was sworn into cabinet. That is a revolving door that would make the trade minister's head spin.

Will the Prime Minister put forward an amendment to close this blatant loophole or is he willing to let his selective accountability act stand silent on this important issue?

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply April 10th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, congratulations on your new position.

The previous two speakers for the Conservative Party began with the warm and fuzzy topic of gun control and then got into secondary subjects such as family and how important it is. However since they chose to talk about the long gun registry, I personally take some offence as a Liberal, as a duck hunter and as an outdoorsman in always being castigated as the people who are not in favour of cracking down on crime and on the misuse of guns.

Under the heading, Tackling Crime, on page 6 of the brief document entitled the Speech from the Throne, which is what we are talking about here, there is no specific mention of getting rid of the long gun registry. Yes, it was not administered the way it was supposed to have been and there was waste. However measures were put into place to bring it under control and to bring it into the harmony that the police chiefs across this country were calling for. The harm guns can do is only mentioned two or three times.

If gun control was the priority of the two members who spoke in reply to the Speech from the Throne why was it not specifically in the Speech from the Throne?