House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for South Shore—St. Margaret's (Nova Scotia)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply November 6th, 1997

Madam Speaker, the answer is very quick, very simple and to the point. Where is the plan? We are living the plan today. The success of this country today is directly from free trade. That is why we are cutting our deficit. That is why the government that happens to sit on the benches today can bask in the glory. However, it is not their policy, it is Tory policy that is already in place and here.

Supply November 6th, 1997

Madam Speaker, unfortunately there was quality and substance and it did not get replaced with quality and substance.

Supply November 6th, 1997

What I am saying is very partisan and I am not a bit ashamed that it is partisan. Of course it is partisan. I will tell you what else, it makes sense. You cannot go out there and tell Canadians you are going to get rid of the GST and not think you are going to replace it with something. You are not going to pay down the debt overnight by snapping your fingers. It takes a plan and it takes action. You have to have both.

We have seen the Liberals flip-flop on the GST. We have seen Reform flip-flop on the GST. They were going to get rid of it. They loved it. They thought it was a good idea. We had to have free trade. Now they want to get rid of it.

Let us be practical. There has not been any thought provoking, innovative ideas on how to replace the GST. It is just plain rhetoric. There has been enough time wasted on rhetoric here today.

We have listened to the NDP, we have listened to all the parties, and there is no replacement here. There is no magic here. There are a lot of hard decisions to be made and that is all. Part of it is that this country has to continue to move forward, and moving backward is not moving forward.

Supply November 6th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I sat through this debate today as did the other members in the House.

Quite frankly I am a little exhausted, extremely exhausted, with the partisan rhetoric and the comments from the government side and the opposition side. Perhaps if we could have a bit of attention we can set the record straight. The comments of the Reform Party leave me perplexed. The member for Portage—Lisgar and the member for Calgary Southeast have both stated that the Reform Party would get rid of the GST. That is shocking. It is amazing. This is the tax critic. I want the explanation. I would like to see the numbers.

Let us go back to this little history lesson. The history lesson is very simple. We were in a situation in this country where we were looking at having free trade with the Americans. In order to have free trade with the Americans the Parliament of Canada, the government of the day, had to face the fact that Canadian businesses were faced with an extremely harmful and punishing tax called the manufacturers sales tax. It was 13%. Our companies which exported to the U.S. were penalized 13% on everything they sent across the border.

The only way we could have growth in this country, the only way we could have any possibility of a fair and level playing field to bring in free trade was to get rid of the manufacturers sales tax.

This is a simple lesson in economics. If you have this much money in one hand and you have this much money in the other hand and you are willing to throw that away, you have to replace it. You just cannot draw it out of thin air.

Therefore the GST was brought in to replace the manufacturers sales tax. We could continue to gather revenue. We could continue to pay down the deficit. Some day we could even think about tackling the debt.

Now we are in the situation of listening to a bunch of overblown rhetoric about getting rid of the GST. I am wondering if we are going to get rid of free trade too. Is that the way we are headed? I question the wisdom.

Supply November 6th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, having listened to the hon. member's comments I do not know where to start. Because of time restraints in the House it is obvious we will not have time to meet all the concerns raised by the hon. member.

I have a couple of questions. He spoke about the foundation of the HST. For the rest of the members in the House, when the tax was originally brought in it was called the blended sales tax in Nova Scotia. However the initials BST were a little tough for the government to swallow so it was changed to the HST.

The hon. member made a lot of suggestions about partisan politics. We listened to a certain amount of Liberal propaganda. Does the hon. member understand how on a workhorse the reins go up through the hames and attach to the horse? Does he understand the commands gee and haw or droite and gauche? Does he understand why those commands are given, that they are given to a horse because it is wearing a set of blinders? Therefore the horse listens to the commands. If the blinders are taken off the commands do not seem quite as specific.

You said that when the HST was brought in it lowered the tax rate to 15% in Nova Scotia. That is not entirely correct. It lowered it to 15% on some things, 18% on automobiles and on second hand cars the tax is still there. The tax is not revenue neutral. It gathers more tax than the two combined taxes used to gather. What is the government prepared to do about that?

Fisheries October 31st, 1997

Mr. Speaker, because of acid rain many of the salmon rivers in southwestern Nova Scotia no longer support a run of multi-sea winter salmon in Nova Scotia.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has said many times in the House that his department is responsible for conservation. Is the Department of Fisheries and Oceans now denying that responsibility?

Fisheries October 31st, 1997

Mr. Speaker, the government has allowed an interception salmon fishery on the east and the west coasts of Canada. We are now facing an immediate stock crisis on both coasts. At this time of crisis why is the government following through with a divestiture of the Nova Scotian salmon hatcheries?

These hatcheries support Nova Scotian salmon threatened by the very interception fishery the government allows.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act October 29th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, thank you for your patience. I will put my paper down. I am not going to grind my paper and I am not going to grind my teeth but I will rub my hands.

However, because of the size of the Mackenzie River Valley and the fact that the people in the Northwest Territories and along the Mackenzie River Valley have waited since 1973 for some action on this matter, 24 years, that is why we need to support the bill and that is why this bill needs to move forward.

We can listen to the criticism and we can listen to the debate, but I would like to make one point on this for the House. Are we going to move forward on this very important matter? Are we going to have some devolution of power in this House to the Northwest Territories or are we going to wait another 24 years, as some would seem to think we should, or are we going to move ahead? I suggest we move ahead.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act October 29th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, because the Mackenzie River Valley is 4,241 kilometres long and because the north—

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act October 29th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few comments on what the hon. member on this side previously said.

I listened very intently to—