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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

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada February 15th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, in 1972 I was a co-founder of the Big Brothers of Dufferin, along with Bill Bissel, Bill Parke, Spencer Finch, Wes Prosser, Bill Roberts and Vera Rogers. Big Sisters was started in 1977 by Jim McCloskey and Dave Ferrier, along with board members Penny Smith and Mary Wells. Then in 1996 the two agencies were merged to form Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Dufferin & District.

As the leading youth mentoring organization in Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is committed to the healthy development of youth in our community by providing them with quality relationships and adult mentors. Those who volunteer their time as a big brother or sister are to be commended for the time they take from their personal lives.

This Saturday, February 19, I will be attending the 26th Annual Bowl for Kids in Orangeville. Last year $37,000 was raised. This year over 100 participants have signed up so far and over 50 volunteers.

Sponsors for this year's Bowl for Kids are Kelsey's, Subway, the Banner, K&G Trophy, Mono Arts & Graphics, J.S.T. Printing and The New VR. Bowl for Kids is certain to be a big success.

Questions on the Order Paper February 15th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the resolution that is before the House deals with choice. The Conservative Party believes that parents should have a choice among public day care, private day care and care from parents, grandparents or friends. They should have that choice.

The Bloc Québécois and the Liberal Party are actually quite similar in their philosophies. They believe that the state should decide where preschool children should go and they believe children should go to a day care centre.

I would recommend to the Liberal Party and the members of the Bloc Québécois a very interesting article put forward by Peter Shawn Taylor in the National Post quite recently, called “Listen to the parents”. It talks specifically about the Quebec philosophy.

Really, Quebeckers only have one choice: they have to enrol their kids in day care. That is their only choice. They do not have any other choice. If they read this resolution being put forward by the Conservative Party of Canada, they will see that we believe in all kinds of choice. My question for the member from the Bloc is, why will she not support real choice in the presentation of day care?

Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act February 10th, 2005

Madam Speaker, my colleague from the Bloc Québécois is correct. The federal government has made substantial cuts to health care over a period of time, which has caused great problems among the provinces. In my province of Ontario I think something like 14¢ on the $1 was cut in the funding, which is a long way from where it was originally, which was 50¢ on the $1.

This funding was agreed to by all the provinces, which is why I was interested in the comments by the member for the Bloc when he said that what was agreed to was not in the bill. I have not heard Mr. Charest grumbling about this or raising issues in the media or anywhere else with respect to the fact that the federal government did not honour its commitment.

The Bloc of course is saying that the government has not. Either the Bloc is right or Mr. Charest is not doing what he is supposed to be doing. However that is another story as far as I am concerned. In fact, many of the provinces thought Quebec got a better deal than the other provinces. However the deal was made and all parties agreed.

My question for a comment from the member, which he may or may not have an opinion on, is something entirely different. It has to do with the section in the bill that deals with funding for diagnostic equipment and medical equipment.

It is all very fine and good for a government to say that it will give funding for that type of equipment. In my riding of Dufferin—Caledon there is a hospital centre called the Headwaters Health Care Centre. Several years ago some private citizens wanted to donate an MRI to the centre but were told they needed to go to the Province of Ontario and get permission for people to operate this equipment. The province said that it did not have the funding for that and consequently we never received the MRI. That can be directly attributed to the lack of funding by the federal government and that problem has not been addressed in the bill.

Supply February 8th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, this member is the second person today who has stood up in this place and has said how wonderful everything is in the textile industry and has talked about all the wonderful things that the government is doing. However, the industry is not saying the same thing. It is saying something different. It is saying that it is in deep trouble.

Why would you stand in your place and say that the government is doing all these great things? One of the speakers this morning essentially said that we cannot do anything more. The speaker said that is why the government members are opposing the resolution. That member said, “We are not going to support it because we are taking adequate measures. The safeguards are adequate, all of these things that are critical of our government and the resolution are not true”.

Why is it that what you are saying is different? Why is everything you are saying different from what the industry is saying?

Supply February 8th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster had me until his last comments and I do not want to go there. I want to return to the textile and clothing industry.

I must say that I agreed with a lot of his initial remarks. This is what I would like him to comment on. When listening to the parliamentary secretary talking about their policies, I get the impression that the Liberals said they were not going to support this resolution because they did not like the words “inadequacy of the assistance plan”. They say that the safeguards already exist. If all these things are going on, why is the textile and clothing industry in such a mess?

I would like the member to comment on a remark recently made by the minister in the The Hill Times . He said:

At the end of the day, it is the activities and decisions of individual companies that determine how they adjust to changing market conditions and challenges.

In other words: “We give up. We do not know what we are going to do”.

Supply February 8th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for Joliette for raising the issue in the House today.

It is not a new issue. It is an issue that has been around for a good number of years. The community of Huntingdon where Huntingdon Mills is located is obviously suffering a great deal by these job losses. I understand the population of Huntingdon is about 2,600 people and the loss of jobs is about half. All of us represent communities that have manufacturing industries and the magnitude of job losses is rather spectacular.

The question that I have for the member for Joliette deals with the final part of the motion that deals with a program to assist older workers. This type of job loss can be very devastating to a community. When half or all of the income is gone, depending on whether it is a single parent family, this has an effect on not only children and seniors but it can have a spin-off effect on jobs related to the industry.

For that type of magnitude I am surprised that the Bloc is zeroing in just on that one area, which is the assistance for older workers.

Companies have closed in my community and it has had an effect on everyone in the community: the retraining of people, finding jobs for people, assisting people economically to get them through that tough time.

My question for the member from the Bloc is why is he zeroing in on that one issue?

Supply February 3rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, my Liberal colleague on the other side has read a very fine speech. I do not know whether he has any farmers in his riding. I have two federations of agriculture in my riding, the Dufferin Federation of Agriculture and the Peel Federation of Agriculture, and quite frankly, if I read that speech at a hall where they were holding a meeting, they would not only gag, they would throw me out of the hall.

Does the hon. member have any idea what is going on in the agricultural community? I know that someone in the Ministry of Agriculture wrote that speech, and it is a wonderful speech, but it is not what is happening out there. They are dying; they are literally dying.

I have a question for the member who gave that speech. One of the questions that is often asked of me is on the issue of subsidies from other jurisdictions, particularly from the Americans and the Europeans.

Canadian farmers talk about how they cannot possibly survive the competition with the subsidies being given by the Americans and the Europeans, and of course there has been discussion here today about how the Europeans are going to be increasing those subsidies. I understand the minister is into negotiations. My question for the member is this: how does the government intend to deal with that issue?

Supply February 3rd, 2005

Madam Speaker, with respect to the comments made by my colleague from the Bloc Québécois, it sounds like she has similar concerns in her riding as I have in my riding of Dufferin--Caledon.

I have had farmers from all over Dufferin--Caledon come to me and say that they are concerned about the increase in subsidies, in competition not only with the Americans but with the Europeans. With respect to the forms, many of them say that they find them very difficult to understand. They also talk about the deposit and the fact that they cannot afford it. That is why the Conservative Party of Canada has made the resolution.

The more frightening part is that many, and I am not just talking about the odd one, have come to me and asked if there are tax advantages they can receive with respect to the disposition of their farms. They have said that they want to get out of the business because they cannot afford to do it anymore. That I find is the most serious of all. Another thing they comment on is their RRSPs. Many are cashing in their RRSPs simply to stay alive.

My colleague indicates that the resolution does not go far enough. Could she elaborate specifically on what additional things she feels that the Minister of Agriculture and the government should do?

Citizenship and Immigration December 14th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, we shudder at what the next headline will be tomorrow.

Last week we asked the immigration minister if there were any police investigations into her staff and she said, “no”. Today we learn that one of her former staffers is being investigated for ties to a terrorist organization.

Granting status to a Romanian stripper who worked on her election, taking campaign funds illegally and now we learn about this investigation.

If I could have just one wish for Christmas, it would be a straight answer from the immigration minister--

Justice November 16th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the American ambassador has warned that the government's plan to decriminalize marijuana would exasperate already dire congestion problems at the U.S. border. The justice minister stated that the U.S. attorney general understood our position and that he had no problem with it. Who are we to believe, the ambassador or the justice minister?