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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was fact.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Cambridge (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Citizenship and Immigration December 10th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, a constituent in my riding of Cambridge had to pay $24,000 in order to get his sister-in-law into our great country. Her three and a half year old child is still waiting to get in. Clearly his sister-in-law did not work on the immigration minister's campaign.

This person is a certified surgical nurse in her former country, but she lost that specialized job when her employers found out she was a single mother. For that reason she decided to join us here in Canada. Health care workers are needed in Cambridge, yet this professional is not certified to work here. This nurse will not quit. She wrote her nursing exams for Ontario this week. Her dream is to help Canadians, to build a better life for herself in Canada and to get her child here as soon as possible, a little girl she has not seen for over two years.

My constituent wonders why Liberal campaign workers are more important than nurses. He also wonders why priorities are put on stripper programs rather than reuniting mothers with their toddlers, and nurses with patients.

Committees of the House November 30th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I support the motion that is before the House this morning. The unfortunate truth is that this motion is required to be before the House because the government has failed to act. It has failed to act in a timely fashion despite repeated requests, despite ample time, and despite instructions to do so by the House and the Senate.

Duty remissions which assist the Canadian apparel industry to solve previous problems created by unfair tariffs are set to expire December 31, 2004. This issue has been before the House many times. The government has shown a complete lack of interest requiring this action by the House today. The government has failed to act. I cannot tell if that is a result of a lack of interest, a complete inability to grasp the complexity of this issue, or incompetence, or maybe it is a bit of all of the above.

It certainly lends credence to the old adage that if this government owned McDonald's, a Big Mac would take three weeks to prepare. Frankly, the motion that is before the House this morning is simple. It is a simple fix to a simple problem. It is a fix that was unanimously supported, discussed and voted on by an all party committee. The finance committee made three relatively brilliant recommendations to what appears to be a debacle from past issues raised by the government and past attempts to fix mistakes.

What is this minister doing? The Minister of Finance is discussing it with his senior staff considering other things and looking at other solutions. That is great and indeed necessary, but these people need help now. The minister has taken it upon himself to go in a different direction. What for? He has his marching orders. He has been instructed by the House and by the Senate. If there are other solutions, and there will have to be to fix this package of bungled bureaucracy in government, then we can look at those too. No question about that, but please, deal with this issue today.

The amount of bureaucracy in this area is equally astounding as it is in all areas that the government touches. If it is not a study, or in the case of this present regime, an investigation or an inquiry, the government spends far too many tax dollars on programs that just do not seem to be necessary. Members will recall that this is the government that spends $20,000 to hand out $3,500. This entire tariff program is wrought with the same kind of bureaucracy.

Does it make any sense to anyone that if we were to import silk and claim we were going to use it to make a tie, we would pay a lot less than if we said we were going to use it to make a woman's blouse? Gender inequity is appearing everywhere in the government. Perhaps the minister intends to fix this bungling too and so he should, but that can wait. This cannot. This same solution was put forth by the Prime Minister who was then the Minister of Finance in 1997 and it had no global impact and no negative effect.

When owners of John Forsyth in my riding of Cambridge called me a few months ago, they said the issue had been going on for far too long and the deadline was fast approaching. They were at a loss to tell me how such a seemingly simple solution was not solved or implemented especially since the member in my riding at the time was from that side of the House. How is it that half of the factories are in ridings from that side of the House? How is it that it always seems to be the opposition that has to get the job done?

I offered to meet with the people from John Forsyth immediately. In fact, I offered to meet with them the very next day because I took this issue very seriously. I have since met with the owners, the manager and the workers personally. When I entered John Forsyth plant in Cambridge, above the rhythm of finely tuned sewing machines and expensive machines that precision cut over 100 sheets of fabric at one pass, I saw an industry that has remained on the cutting edge, not to use a pun. This industry, whether it is Hathaway in Guelph or Miller Shirts in Montreal, has done its very best to stay competitive.

I also saw bulletin boards with pictures of picnics and celebrations of these workers and a corkboard with hundreds of pins identifying the locations of the different countries from which these hard working Canadians came from. The most visually impacting thing that I saw was the people themselves and a management team which showed deep concern for its people. I saw an owner who was gravely worried, not only for his own future but for the workers that he had come to know. I saw 200 workers behind which were families with children, homes with mortgages, and educations waiting to be undertaken.

I saw Canadians with jobs. I saw people with worry, indeed many with tears. I also saw a careless government that has allowed these people to teeter on the edge of collapse and to go needlessly week after week while the minister sits, thinks, discusses it and appears to be doing nothing.

I have asked the minister by letter, by phone, by e-mail and in the House on numerous occasions, and still no action. I wrote a letter to every single member whose ridings had these very factories in them. I informed them of the problem and the simplicity of this particular solution. I asked all of them, Liberals, NDP, Bloc and of course my own Conservative members, to join me to pressure the minister into doing the correct thing, not in a few weeks forcing these people to suffer longer and longer, not in a few weeks debilitating the managers and owners of these companies from planning and forecasting, but now.

In my riding there are 200 workers and their families are in shambles because of the government's inability or refusal to act. Rather than flying around the country campaigning, perhaps the Prime Minister should have stayed home and addressed the inadequacies of his ministerial departments. Rather than standing in the House a few weeks ago, bragging and taking credit for jobs the finance minister claims his government created, any logical thinking person would give at least equal attention to the jobs we already have.

Let us talk about the minister singing his own praises. On November 5 in response to my question regarding this issue in the House, the minister bragged that the government had created thousands of jobs. The fact is that last year, of the jobs created, only close to 40% were in the public sector which is paid for by our taxes. Of those jobs that were created in the private sector that he bragged about, some 60,000 of them were classified as self-employed, which is defined as earning one penny or more.

Further, statistics during that same period the minister was bragging about creating jobs, unemployment went up by 10,000 people, 6,000 in the manufacturing sector. These were jobs we had and were lost. This is exactly why we are here today. We are here once again to speak to the government's inability to step up and step off its high horse, to stay in touch with Canadians, and emphasize its inability to come up with ideas that do not create more collateral damage than they are designed to fix.

We care on this side of the House for all Canadians, new and existing, those with and without degrees. Those we care about are with and without jobs. For the community of Cambridge and of course the entire country as a whole, I support this motion.

Supply November 23rd, 2004

Mr. Chair, one of the first questions I asked in the House was whether the minister was willing to start an accreditation process for the foreign trained doctors that are in our country. The answer I received from his representative was they were meeting with his colleagues in a few weeks. I would like to know, did he meet with those people and what was the outcome of that meeting?

Supply November 23rd, 2004

Mr. Chair, if in fact the medical profession is not trying to monopolize the situation, is the Minister of Health willing to accept the qualifications of professionals like physiotherapists, nurse practitioners and chiropractors to help fill this void immediately?

Supply November 23rd, 2004

It is not a silly question. I think the attitude of this side of the House is reflective of our health care problems.

Is the medical community pressuring the minister and if not, why do we not have processes in place?

Supply November 23rd, 2004

Mr. Chair, I would like to thank the hon. member from Nova Scotia. It was a heartwarming conversation and it brought tears to my eyes. I must say that as long as this side or that side of the House is going to tell those kinds of stories, they are never going to appreciate the reality on the ground. For every story that members tell about how good the health care system is, I have been in practice for 20 years and I have 100 stories to every one of theirs.

Let me set the mood tonight with the latest story of a constituent of mine from Cambridge. I am speaking for the thousands and thousands of residents in my community of Cambridge who do not have doctors. The latest story that is far more touching than the one we just heard is about a 19-year-old who went to a walk-in clinic because he does not have a family doctor. He was misdiagnosed and, as a result, prescribed the wrong medication. When he became addicted to the medication, and it was a problem for the health care people, they fired him. He attempted suicide on Friday. Frankly, the reality is that we do not have enough doctors. Members can tell all the stories they want. There are people dying without doctors.

The other point I want to make is that after 10 years of a majority government, the Liberals are still talking about the problems. Not only do we lack doctors which is risking lives, but the Chamber of Commerce in my riding used to be asked when companies wanted to move into the riding, “Do you have the land and the skilled workers?” Today it is being asked if it has the medical doctors.

I would like to ask the minister, is he feeling pressure from the medical community to not bring more doctors on board and keep the numbers low so Canadians do not have the choice--

Riding of Cambridge November 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the people of Cambridge-North Dumfries for electing me as their member of Parliament. It is an honour and a privilege to represent the community where I was born.

I asked for this duty because I was fed up with the waste and mismanagement which still pervade the government today. For example, who in their right mind would spend $20,000 to pay out $3,500 or deny compensation to all hepatitis C victims while administrators chip away at this fund?

The lack of intellectual fortitude on that side of the House is truly astonishing. People in Cambridge have told me they are fed up and mad as hell. They needed that million dollars that the Prime Minister spent on a wasteful pre-election tour for a new CAT scanner.

The people of Cambridge have entrusted me to represent them. I will do exactly that. I look forward to working for my community, including my riding executives who are here today.

Textile and Clothing Industry November 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I met with over 200 apparel workers in my riding of Cambridge last week. They were stressed out. Some were crying. Thousands of existing jobs are on the chopping block, unless the government does the right thing and implement the recommendations of the finance committee right away.

The clock is ticking. Canadians do not want more conversation. They want action. Will the minister extend the remission orders for the apparel industry to save these jobs, yes or no?

Textile and Clothing Industry November 5th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, last week when I asked the Minister of Finance when he would implement the recommendations of an all-party committee for the apparel industry, all he could do was admit that it has been sitting on his desk for two months. Those recommendations also expire in December.

The minister has had enough time to implement the democracy of that committee. When I meet with the workers in my riding of Cambridge next week, can I tell them that their jobs are safe, yes or no?

Committees of the House November 3rd, 2004

Madam Speaker, let us be very clear on something that I have been hearing in this debate, last night and again today. I do not think there is any doubt that every member in the House is gravely concerned about this issue. On this side of the House we are being accused of politicizing it and we are accusing the other side of politicizing it. I do not believe that is the issue at all.

However, we have to make very clear as well that no one wants to reduce the eligibility of those victims between 1986 and 1990 for the victims outside that period. Nobody wants to do that and I hear that. This is not about compensating additional victims at the expense of this group. That is not what it is about at all.

If hon. members remember, the guidelines for this group were based on the assumption, by former health minister Allan Rock, that there were not sufficient tests prior to 1986. That is completely not true. I have evidence that there were tests as early as 1981. The second issue that we have to be clear about is--