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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was competition.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Pickering—Scarborough East (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions March 29th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present 667 signatures from Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Ajax, Pickering and Whitby.

These petitioners call upon the CRTC to review the entire matter in which the cable TV companies introduced the new specialty channel service.

Communications Security Establishment March 21st, 1995

Mr. Speaker, in my recent question to the Minister of Health, I indicated that many Canadians suffer from multiple sclerosis. In fact, 50,000 Canadians have MS. However, through medical research a number of drugs have recently been developed which have proven to be effective in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

One of these drugs is betaseron. In the United States this drug has been used to treat certain forms of MS for well over one year. Here in Canada there are over 15,000 Canadians with MS who could benefit from betaseron.

Unfortunately, access to betaseron in Canada has been impeded because the health protection branch of Health Canada has yet to conclude its review of the drug. Betaseron is currently only available from the federal government's emergency drug release program at a cost of $17,000 or more for a year's supply.

In the province of Ontario, the provincial government recently announced that it will soon be expanding its drug funding program to help those who require expensive medication. However, while those who require betaseron would then qualify for assistance, the drug itself will not be eligible until the review has been completed.

I realize the health protection branch has specific guidelines to follow when any new drug is submitted for its approval to be distributed in Canada. Moreover, I am not suggesting that the integrity of the review process be compromised in any way, shape or form.

The reviews undertaken by the health protection branch of any new drug are vital to ensuring the safety of Canadians. Nonetheless, Canadians who suffer from MS are understandably anxious to obtain greater access to affordable betaseron. They are also frustrated by the slowness of the review, especially since the health protection branch has agreed to use the so-called fast track approach.

Berlex Canada Inc., the company which applied for the betaseron review did so back in February 1994. Yet over a year later, the review is still ongoing.

It was my hope from the question I asked the Minister of Health that she could provide additional information on the progress of the review of this drug. Given the important role this review plays in bringing about greater access to affordable betaseron, I know the minister would agree that the sooner this review is completed the better it will be for those Canadians who suffer from MS.

The Budget March 15th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague for Simcoe Centre made reference to the famous tax rallies which took place across the country. He will know the most notable one took place in my riding of Ontario. An estimated 3,500 people came out to protest against any notion of tax increases.

Of the 3,500 people who attended that meeting not one has called to tell me this was a bad budget. We have had over 50 calls telling us it is a budget that hit the mark and that the government has definitely listened to the voices of Canadians.

What was interesting about that evening was that it crystallized what these tax alerts were really all about. They were fronts for the Reform Party. That is very clear in the presentation I made a couple of weeks ago.

It is more interesting that one of my hon. colleague's cohorts by the name of Diane Francis in her paper The Financial Post on the same day that tax rally took place mentioned Morgan Trust, a famous bank. It does a lot of business in Canada, and has made some $9.5 million in profits at the expense of the Canadian economy and has only paid 3 per cent in effective taxes.

The hon. member says we do not need any new taxes in this country. He applauds the tax alerts that have taken place. But surely to goodness he is not saying that some people should be indulging themselves while advocating austerity for the others as the banks have done.

Multiple Sclerosis March 15th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Health.

Fifteen thousand Canadians suffer from multiple sclerosis. In the U.S., the drug Betaseron has been used to treat MS for over a year. Betaseron is currently being reviewed by the health protection branch and can only be obtained under the emergency drug release program at a cost of over $17,000.

Can the minister provide information on when Betaseron will be made available to Canadian MS victims at a price they can afford?

Income Tax February 27th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I recently attended an anti-tax rally in my riding where 2,000 people told the government they do not want tax increases in the budget.

Canadians have a right to be heard and the Minister of Finance has made it possible through an open and full budgetary process.

It is wrong however when the Reform Party, in concert with top officials in organizations such as the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation, tries to pass itself off as leading the anti-tax message in Canada.

The CTF and provincial counterparts such as the Ontario and Alberta Taxpayers' Federations are staging anti-tax rallies across the country. Unfortunately that is not the only thing they are staging.

The CTF states it is independent of all political affiliation, yet Mr. Andrew Crooks, member of the CTF board of directors and head of the Alberta Tax Federation ran for the Reform Party nomination in Calgary and contributed $3,000 to the Reform Party in 1993. Mr. Paul Pagnuelo, executive director of the Ontario Taxpayers' Federation also sought the Reform Party nomination in the riding of Durham.

Canadians have legitimate concerns about the budget and they want to see these concerns taken into consideration. However, they do not want to be taken in by these people who are trying to further their political ambitions.

Petitions February 22nd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, today I have the honour of tabling in the House two petitions asking the government to look into intoxication as a defence in rape cases.

The petitioners representing the areas of Pickering, Ajax and Whitby call upon Parliament to amend the Criminal Code to ensure the excuse of extreme intoxication is never again used.

I support this petition.

Petitions February 17th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I have the privilege, pursuant to Standing Order 36, of presenting the first of many petitions dealing with the cable industry.

The 114 petitioners represent people from across southern Ontario who are requesting that the federal government immediately launch an investigation by the CRTC into the way in which cable companies have been raising prices inequitably.

Petitions December 14th, 1994

My final petition, Mr. Speaker, calls on Parliament not to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in any way which would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships, including amending the Canadian Human Rights Act to include the prohibited ground of discrimination the undefined phrase sexual orientation, which I concur with.

Petitions December 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the second petition requests Parliament to ensure that the present provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada prohibiting assisted suicide be enforced vigorously and that Parliament make no changes in the law which would sanction or allow the aiding or abetting of suicide or active or passive euthanasia.

Petitions December 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to present three petitions on behalf of my constituents from the Ontario riding.

The first petition calls on Parliament to act immediately to extend protection to the unborn child by amending the Criminal Code of Canada to extend the same protection already enjoyed by born human beings to unborn human beings.