House of Commons photo

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was chairman.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Conservative MP for Dufferin—Caledon (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Unanticipated Surpluses Act October 27th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, every year we hear the government boasting about its surpluses. The government says, as was said by the parliamentary secretary, that it is doing the best it can on the best advice that it has.

I would think the government would get better advice if that is going to happen every year. People will be overtaxed, the government will spend money on non-budgeted items, items that we will not even debate in the House, and then it will give some of the rest of it back.

My question probably should be for the government and not the Bloc member. However, he may have philosophized on it somewhat. To send this money back, the government will have to get bureaucrats to figure out how much is to go back to individuals. Some people will receive a benefit, others will not. There will be a cost to stuff the envelopes and to make the cheques out. There will be a cost to mail them. The government will say that it does not cost anything. It does cost the taxpayers something. These are unknown hours by the bureaucracy to give the money to them.

Has the Bloc member philosophized at all as to what this will cost taxpayers to send back their own money?

Criminal Code October 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, would the member elaborate further on the question of minimum sentencing? I believe the bill is designed for organized crime. It is not designed for joyriders. My friend from the Bloc talked about the young person who is charged. This is about removing the vehicle identification signal. Why can we not have a minimum sentence for this type of offence?

Intergenerational Transfer of Farms October 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member for bringing this important issue before the House. Certainly, anyone who represents a community that has farming in it is finding it more and more difficult. Young people are reluctant to go into farming. The farmers who are there are indeed getting older and are not able to continue on with farming.

I have two questions for the member. The first deals with part (b) of her motion. She mentioned that it would include nephews and nieces. I would like to know exactly what she means by immediate family. How far does that go? I would like her to elaborate.

The second question is regarding part (e). I would like her to indicate how much should be earmarked for the provinces? This section may require an amendment to the agricultural policy framework and if that were the case, the amendments would require agreement of two-thirds of the provinces representing 50% of Canadian agricultural production. I support the philosophy in general as to what she is trying to do, but there are obviously some questions that need further elaboration.

Criminal Code October 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the member for Provencher has indicated that he is not pleased with the sentence of up to five years and that perhaps it should be as high as 10 years. Every member from all sides of the House who talked about how serious this type of offence is said that it goes beyond just joy riding, that it is organized crime.

The member for Provencher gave examples of fatalities. There has been talk about how much it costs Canadians with respect to auto theft. As many as 170,000 vehicles are stolen annually. All of these things describe very serious crimes. I might also add that the member for Provencher has expressed concern that there does not seem to be any real minimum type of offence. One could conceivably go for house arrest.

I ask the member for Provencher to comment on the provision which says that not only is there an indictable offence but there could be a summary conviction offence. This was mentioned in the previous exchange. Can the member for Provencher think of any examples where someone would be charged with a summary conviction offence?

Criminal Code September 27th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, would the member comment on the reverse onus section that is in the bill? As I understand it, for the reverse onus section to apply, the Crown has to prove on the balance of probabilities that the offender has engaged in a pattern of criminal activity and the court then makes a ruling to seize whatever the material is.

As one of my colleagues has said that it is some reverse onus clause. This is the first thing that has to happen. The Crown has to prove on the balance of probabilities that either the offender engaged in a pattern of criminal activity for the purpose of receiving material benefit or the legitimate income of the offender cannot reasonably account for all the offender's property.

After the court makes the ruling, then comes what I gather the government calls the reverse onus clause. The offender has to prove on the balance of probabilities that the property is not from the proceeds of crime.

What does the member think of the reverse onus clause?

Criminal Code September 27th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, recently a court ruled on a sentence for someone who pleaded guilty in the ad scam scandal, in which there was theft of something like a million and a half dollars. The court said, “This man has been a good man. He has never committed crimes before. We will just send him home and we will let him give lectures on ethics to students at universities. That is what we are going to do”. That was his sentence for stealing a million and a half dollars.

I would like the member to comment again on minimum sentences. The minister says he is not going to go that way because it has not worked in other countries. Let us look at the section of Bill C-49 that was read out by the member for Winnipeg Centre. It talks about very serious offences. It says what the penalties are. It has been quoted several times. People can be sentenced to life imprisonment, but there is no minimum sentence. There is no guidance to the court, so someone could commit a very serious offence and some hotshot lawyer could come into the courtroom and say, “This is a good man. He has never done this before. Let us send him home”. And the man will spend his sentence at home.

I would ask the member to elaborate further on what he thinks about these minimum sentences that members on our side of the House have been talking about.

Taste of Autumn September 27th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, October 21 the Rotary Clubs of Orangeville are holding their 11th annual fundraiser “A Taste of Autumn”. This event takes place at the Hockley Valley Resort and features a terrific seven course dinner prepared by chefs from some of the finest restaurants in Dufferin—Caledon. These restaurants include the Mono Cliff's Inn, the Millcroft Inn, the Cataract Inn, One 99 Restaurant, Hockley Valley Resort and Whitefield Farm.

A silent auction will be held throughout the evening and a live auction will take place around 9 p.m. These auctions have helped raised over $1 million in support of local community projects and international charitable programs. Headwaters Health Care Centre and Rotary's Centennial Project, as well as other Orangeville and Shelburne area causes, are just some of the organizations that have benefited from “A Taste of Autumn”.

For a sensational evening in Dufferin—Caledon this October 21, the place to be is “A Taste of Autumn”.

Information Commissioner June 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, today in committee, John Reid, the Information Commissioner of Canada, indicated that on March 17, 2005 he received a letter from the justice minister advising that his term would end on June 30. On June 15 the same justice minister voted in favour of the standing committee's fifth report calling for the commissioner's term to be extended for one year.

What is up with that?

Committees of the House June 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the current position is that the executive of the government of the day approves the budgets of officers of Parliament who could and would be investigating that very executive, ministers of the Crown and others. That is why this committee essentially would be an all-party committee, with representatives from all the parties in this House who would review the presentations. The budgets would not be prepared by the committee. The budgets would be prepared by the various commissioners. They would make presentations. At the same time they would work with the Treasury Board.

It is an effort to create independence and the perception that independence is there. In fact I would submit that because the approval is being made by Parliament and not one party, the governing party, we believe that independence would be created.

Committees of the House June 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the committee did not really get into the issue of combining the role of the different officers. That may come at another time.

It is tempting to talk about the Radwanski affair but I do not really want to do that. It may have been in the back of some of our minds as we were dealing with this. However when we were going through the estimates it became quite apparent to us that everyone felt there was a problem with the independence of a commissioner.

With the one exception of the Ethics Commissioner, who deals through the Speaker, all other officers of Parliament have to go to Treasury Board. They all raised the possibility that they could be investigating someone in the very government that would be approving their expenditures. Some of the officers said that they did not have sufficient funding to do their work and that they had backlogs. The suggestion was that maybe they were trying to hold them back. It really was not said but there was the perception of the need for independence, which is why the committee got into what it did.

With respect to the member's final question as to whether we consulted with the government, we had Mr. Wallace from the Treasury Board appear before committee. He made a presentation and indicated that he was prepared to work with the committee. I remind the member that what is being suggested is a two year period where we could review how this would work but everybody agreed that the status quo would not work.