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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was years.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Conservative MP for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 51% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions December 8th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, as a member of Parliament for the riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, I am proud to submit two petitions on behalf of concerned hard-working constituents of this great riding.

The first petition is on behalf of 120 school bus drivers. The petitioners say that driving a school bus is a highly responsible profession contributing to the safety and education of our children, that in the past a Canadian school bus driver could qualify for employment insurance benefits after working approximately 20 weeks and that under current rules, eligibility for benefits is based on the number of hours worked. They say that the federal government collects billions of dollars more in EI payments each year than it pays out in benefits.

Therefore, they call upon Parliament to enact legislation that would base eligibility for employment insurance premiums on the number of weeks rather than the number of hours worked.

Agriculture and Agri-Food December 2nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is panicking over the mad cow crisis, so much so that he is refusing to meet with Quebec farmers of the UPA, although everyone would be quite satisfied to meet with his assistant.

Will he be forced to admit that he got nowhere with President Bush, or is he unable to give us a date for the reopening of our borders? We need a date.

Courage Campaign November 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, on November 23, some 200 people attended a special dinner in Cornwall in my riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry. This dinner was in support of the first annual Courage Campaign which has raised $11,000 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre Foundation.

The Kinsmen Club of Cornwall donated $5,000 and the dinner raised another $6,000. All of the money raised will go toward a project to double the size of the hospital. The keynote speaker, CJOH news personality Max Keeping, praised the people of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry for their caring and their generosity.

The Courage Campaign will continue until December 15. I encourage everyone in eastern Ontario to lend their support to this excellent cause.

Whistleblower Legislation November 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-11 would allow the government to cover up corruption like the sponsorship scam.

The minister says that this would protect the identities of whistleblowers but the information commissioner plainly states that “there is no merit to the government's argument”. In fact other sections of the bill say explicitly that the confidentialities of whistleblowers will not be guaranteed.

Why will the minister not just admit that this bill is all about protecting the corrupt government, not honest public servants?

Whistleblower Legislation November 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-11 will enable the government to cover up scandals like the sponsorship scandal. The minister cleverly claims to be protecting people making complaints, but the Information Commissioner refutes this. Elsewhere in the bill, the statement is made that honest informants will not be protected.

Will the minister admit that the purpose of this bill is not to protect honest public servants, but to support a corrupt government?

Whistleblower Protection November 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the government's Bill C-11 contains no new mechanisms for whistleblowers to report reprisals to their employers. It contains no punishment for employers who discipline whistleblowers. As a matter of fact it explicitly refuses to protect whistleblowers who go public. Yet it authorizes departments to hide disclosures of wrongdoing for up to 20 years. The bill is designed to protect a corrupt government, not whistleblowers.

When will the government stop using honest public servants as an excuse for a bill designed to hide corruption?

Whistleblower Protection November 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-11 is cause for alarm. Using the sponsorship scandal as an example, the Information Commissioner told us this morning that this bill would allow a minister to hide for 20 years information on an issue disclosed by an honest whistleblower.

Will the President of the Treasury Board admit that he is preparing the biggest cover-up in parliamentary history?

Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Act October 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to address Bill C-14, an unprecedented bill that would give force to both a land claim settlement and a land claim agreement to the Tlicho people of Canada's western Arctic.

I would like to begin my remarks on the bill by thanking and congratulating my colleague from Calgary Centre-North for the excellent work he has done in analyzing the bill and the agreements with which it deals. The bill is relatively short, but it gives force to the very complex provisions set out in a 208 page settlement agreement and a shorter tax agreement.

I know for a fact that the member for Calgary Centre-North has read and analyzed those agreements in their entirety. I also know that in conducting his analysis, the member for Calgary Centre-North brings a great deal of expertise to bear. He is certainly Parliament's foremost expert on aboriginal land claims. In fact he has negotiated and mediated many land claim settlements over many years and has lectured extensively on the need for justice in the resolution of native land claims.

It will be tough for me to offer much analysis of the bill that my hon. colleague from Calgary Centre-North has not already provided in admirable detail. I think I can best contribute to this debate by framing it in terms of key principles.

First, I want to affirm the dedication of the Conservative Party to the goal of establishing a workable, respectful and durable partnership with Canada's aboriginal people. The riding I represent, Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, includes the lion's share of the Akwesasne region, which is home to about 13,000 Mohawk people. That does not make me an expert on land claims by any stretch of the imagination, but it does give me a strong appreciation of the importance of establishing trust and certainty in the relationship between the various levels of government and the aboriginal people of Canada.

The Conservative Party is committed to speeding up the settlement of the unacceptable number of outstanding comprehensive land claims in the country, to say nothing of the backlog of specific claims, which is even worse. Moreover, it is the party's policy that self-government must be within the context of the Constitution and that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms must apply to all Canadians and their governments, including an aboriginal government.

I am not opposed to the objectives and purpose of the agreement. I am however opposed to its final form, which is simply poorly thought out and poorly drafted.

The agreement before us today simply has not been adequately considered from the perspective of Canada's interests. I do not see anything in it for Canada, and obviously any agreement between a first nation and the Government of Canada should strike a balance between the interests of both parties.

The agreement fails to balance the economic and social needs of the Tlicho people on the one hand with Canada's need for certainty, finality of terms and constitutional workability on the other. The whole purpose of negotiating an agreement like this from Canada's standpoint is to put an end to squabbling and litigation and to establish a stable partnership with our aboriginal citizens. This agreement deliberately fails to do so.

It actually says in the agreement that the Tlicho people are entitled to anything that is granted to any other aboriginal group in future land claims agreements in the Northwest Territories. That means the nitpicking and legal actions could resume in the future and nothing in the agreement is final. The relationship between the Tlicho people and the Government of Canada is not cemented by this agreement, so the agreement fails in its main purpose.

The agreement also fails to establish which government's laws are paramount when jurisdictions overlap. This is the second key objective that the agreement simply fails to achieve. The agreement contradicts itself in three different sections dealing with the authority of the Government of Canada, the government of the Northwest Territories and the Tlicho government.

The general idea of the agreement is that the Tlicho government has the power to enact laws concurrently with both the federal and territorial governments, but if conflicts occur there seems to be several different ways to determine which laws are paramount. Not only is the agreement not final, it is not workable either. Even if the agreement is not thrown into dispute because another agreement gives another aboriginal group something not given to the Tlicho people, it may well be torn apart by jurisdictional confusion and bickering.

The third thing about the agreement that makes me shake my head is the way it undermines Canada's federal authority and international autonomy. The agreement explicitly says it does not limit the authority of the Tlicho people to enter into international agreements, which implies that the Tlicho government can enter into international agreements.

Canada Post October 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, last spring the Treasury Board announced that henceforth the appointment process for heads of crown corporations would be cleaned up and objective rules would be followed. But old habits are hard to break. The next month, everything new was forgotten. The minister of revenue parachuted his friend, Gordon Feeney, into a position at the head of Canada Post.

Does the Prime Minister believe that all these political appointments will just slip through like so much mail?

2004 Summer Olympic Games October 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to pay tribute to Olympic gymnast Melanie Banville. Melanie is 17 years old and hails from Long Sault in the riding I am proud to represent, Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.

Melanie was one of only two Canadians to reach the individual all round final in gymnastics at the summer Olympic Games in Athens. Only the top 24 women gymnasts in the world advanced to the all round final. This achievement is even more remarkable considering that it was Melanie's first summer Olympics and that she had just recovered from two shoulder injuries in two months that forced her to miss three weeks of training.

Long Sault is proud, Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry is proud and Canada is proud of Melanie. I look forward to following her promising career in gymnastics. I know her athletic performance and personal grace will represent Canada well at future Olympic Games.