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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was fact.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Conservative MP for Kootenay—Columbia (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 60% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canadian Heritage October 3rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question because it is very valid. If we were just talking about a fee for service basis and we were losing sight of the fact that the parts of the parks that people most frequently want to go to, like the Burgess Shale in Yoho Park, and I am sure there are some other specific areas that people want to go to, there must be a control. There must be a park warden. There must be people who are actually going through the process to make sure that the integrity of that area is under proper control.

I would suggest that for those areas in particular that where we have to be spending dollars using resources to give special protection to those areas, those areas should be not only preserved for the good of our children which would happen, not only totally self-sufficient but I believe they could actually be profit-making so that some of the cost of doing the general work that the member refers to would be able to come out of that revenue and thereby be less draining on our bankrupt treasury at this point.

Canadian Heritage October 3rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of people reading Hansard I will tell them that I am wearing a tartan tie which I purchased in Scotland this summer. It is my family tartan and I am very proud of it.

I just want to make a couple of comments about this whole business. The Liberals have permitted this debate to fall off the tracks. It has ended up in a squabble match between them and the Bloc over whether the Bloc is right or they are right or whatever.

As I said, my wife and I visited Scotland this summer. I was very impressed that the people of Scotland, who have much blood on the ground over various things which have happened in their history, are very, very proud of their Scottish heritage. I can only hope after we are successful in defeating the separatists in their referendum whenever they want to bring it, that the Quebecois in exactly the same way that the Acadians have, will say: "I am proud to be a Quebecer," in the same way that the people in Scotland say: "I am proud to be Scottish, but boy am I happy to be a part of the United Kingdom". I can only hope we will see a move in that direction.

The member for Broadview-Greenwood finally mentioned the word parks in this debate. Surprisingly in the grab bag that is Canadian Heritage, national parks are actually included. I suggest that parks possibly have more in common with the Department of the Environment. I have a couple of thoughts along that line in terms of the reorganization of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The Canadian Parks Service objective for national parks as enunciated in 1991 is to protect for all time representative natural areas of Canadian significance in a system of national parks and to encourage public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of this natural heritage so as to leave it unimpaired for future generations. It is for this reason that I suggest because of the very obvious close connection to the Department of the Environment that perhaps parks would be better served in a different department.

Let me also read from the 1990 publication "State of the Parks". The introduction says in part: "The national park profiles and national historic site profiles are designed to identify basic data for each park and site in the system. As such they will provide a context for the first state of the parks report. They represent a first attempt to provide a comprehensive reference list of the values, conditions and threats which occur throughout the system".

At another point it says: "At this stage the data for the profiles are preliminary and reports of conditions are generally based on professional judgments rather than definitive criteria. This report fills an important function in that it identifies quite specifically gaps in the information systems which need to be addressed". And this is the specific connection: "Canada's green plan will provide resources to take an ecosystem approach to the management of national parks. In co-operation with other services of the Department of the Environment, the parks service will be developing indicators to measure the condition of the natural resources and the stability of the cultural resources".

It is important to note that the introduction to this presentation in 1990 was done at a time when parks were actually a part of the Ministry of the Environment. Under Kim Campbell's regime she made this grab bag of Canadian heritage that now happens to include parks.

For reference let me also read from the news release from the current minister dated March 24, 1994. In its background, national heritage considerations, ecological integrity: "In the establishment and management of national parks, Parks Canada strives to maintain the ecological integrity of those protected areas. Ecological integrity is defined as a condition whereby the structure and function of an ecosystem are unimpaired by the stress of human activity and are likely to remain so.

The 1994 Parks Canada guiding principles and operational policies provide the framework for achieving this condition within national parks in conjunction with their sustainable use and enjoyment by visitors".

Parks are of great interest to me because I have three parks in my constituency; Kootenay National Park, Yoho National Park and Glacier National Park. Therefore I am quite interested in them. I have also taken time to read the current and most recent study from the Glacier-Mount Revelstoke National Park management plan.

In summary this very good document tells me the direction the park wants to go. Basically it is leave it alone, do not touch it. Leave it in its natural state. It also talks about the fact that if certain flora or fauna or smaller animals or birds have been removed through the mismanagement of the parks, the parks would like to add them back.

Interestingly though, they say that they will only let wild fires burn if they are in very remote areas and would simply go straight up the mountain. I can appreciate that where we have the Northlander Lodge and other buildings of that type, even parks buildings and camp sites with washroom facilities and so on and so forth that you would want to protect that area. However the difficulty is because we do not have a really clear definition of what we want to do in our parks. Because we have a Disneyland, Bambi kind of an idea about what a forest looks like, we are saying: "Leave it alone, except we will suppress fire".

The difficulty is that even in Glacier National Park there is an area of the park that has a campground in it that has root rot. Root rot is something perfectly normal that is going to happen to trees. Therefore, due to lack of understanding, people from

Canada, the United States and Europe travelling through will say: "Oh my, how awful, this part of the forest has died".

Forests live and die in the same way that populations or people within populations live and die. We have a situation right now in Kootenay National Park-and I would suggest that this would be applicable to parks on the east coast and on the west coast-where we have a bug or a blight. We have in quite a number of trees an infestation where the trees are all turning red. How terrible. No, it is not terrible. That is part of nature's plan, of regeneration.

As a matter of fact the reason why we have dominantly lodgepole pines up through Banff, Kootenay Park, Yoho Park and on up through Jasper is because around 1885 for a three-year period fire actually started as far south as Mexico and slowly worked its way up so that we have this monoculture of lodgepole pine. The trees have now reached a point where they are attracting disease or bugs.

If we as human beings have not learned anything from what was in many cases an explosion in Yellowstone National Park where the place turned into an absolute inferno with no conceivable way of being able to control that inferno, then we have not learned very much. Particularly in Banff National Park they have tried burning some of the undergrowth and underbrush, to try to maintain this Disneyland kind of Bambi, Smoky the Bear, approach to what a forest is supposed to look like.

I also read in the same report under sustainable use that throughout the consultative process leading to a revision of Parks Canada policies, discussions surrounding national parks underwent the most scrutiny. There was concern about which activities and facilities are appropriate within the confines of national parks.

In response a revised policy reflects the role of national parks as part of larger ecosystems. Therefore decision making must be based on an understanding of surrounding environments leading to partnerships for the protection and sustainable use of the whole ecosystem. In the national parks context this means that people gain direct and indirect benefits from heritage resources over the long term without destroying them.

Herein lies the conundrum. Herein lies the problem. In fact, in my judgment in many situations in our national parks-again I direct this to whether we are talking about the east coast, the far north, central Canada, because of our Disneyland approach to parks-we are actually letting the parks act as an incubator for bugs and disease where the trees are being killed. As a consequence we are loading the fuel and when it takes off there is going to be no stopping it. Commercial forests outside of parks are going to be negatively impacted either by disease, bugs or fire.

Glacier National Park has a budget of $7.3 million and 99 full time people. Yoho National Park has a budget of $5.8 million with 81 full time people. In the case of Glacier National Park the vast majority, 75 to 80 per cent, of the budget is for road clearing. I would like to know what in the world Heritage Canada is doing in the road clearing business when we have perfectly competent, capable, equipped departments, subcontractors or contractors to the provincial government?

To give an idea of where this is going, I have a press release in my hand of September 12 from Doug Martin, regional vice-president, Public Service Alliance of Canada and it reads: "Parks Canada is contemplating centralizing Yoho National Park highway crew to Banff and Lake Louise. Also being considered for transfer are the finance and store operations. Yoho employs approximately 60 full time and seasonal employees. The proposed transfer affects upwards of 40 employees who will be required to move to Alberta". It goes on and raises some very legitimate concerns.

I was speaking about an hour ago with the mayor of the town of Golden which is in my constituency. The mayor was asking me: "What is going on, what is happening". He is going into a council meeting tonight. They want to know. They need to know.

I lay at the door of the Liberal government the fact that this area of parks management is completely up in the air, is rolling over, is appearing to be completely out of control. We are into a process of redirection and there is no direction from the top; the top level being the minister of parks.

Furthermore, in taking a look at the whole issue of highways and asking why Parks Canada is in the highway business, I read in a note from the Northlander Lodge, which is up in Rogers Pass: "The Alberta Truckers Association lobbied long and hard and advanced the position that they should not have to pay to transport commercial goods across Canada on the Trans-Canada Highway just because the highway happened to go through the federal park". Parks Canada made a policy decision and in a speech in Calgary the minister announced that through commercial traffic would no longer have to pay a toll to go through the parks. He is asking if there is going to be a reimposition of the toll in the parks because it very directly impacts on his business.

If there is a reimposition of the toll for the vehicles going through the parks, then people coming through are going to be in a position of saying: I am not going to stop at the Northlander Lodge because I did not pay my permit; I am not going to stop for a cup of coffee, I am not going to stop for that extra gas that I think I need, I am going to bypass it. This directly affects him.

The reason why I am asking if it makes sense for parks to be in the highway business is that the last time I looked commercial vehicles, for that matter passenger vehicles, are presently paying to all the provinces diesel and fuel taxes that should be

going to the capital cost of maintaining roads as well as the day to day maintenance of roads.

I believe in user pay. The Reform Party believes that those who are using a service should be paying for it. I understand that and I support that. However if it works to the detriment of the businesses that are located in the parks, then that is just plain wrong-headed thinking.

Right at the moment we have a situation in Kootenay National Park-again let me put in parenthesis that I am referring to some specific situations I am personally familiar with. I have every reason to believe that the same kind of situation is in place in virtually every park across Canada. We are talking about a management situation, what should we be doing. With the greatest respect to my friends across the way, the people are not getting direction from the top.

For example we are looking at enterprise units in parks. What is an enterprise unit in a park? If you have hot pools in Radium, in Banff and in Jasper and the revenue from the visitors to those pools is just going into consolidated revenue, that does not generate efficient management of those pools. As an example, that is the first of the enterprise units. They have hired an individual and the revenue coming in from the pools is going to be segregated so that they can use it to manage the park facilities related to the pools.

Here again, we have an issue of hiring practices. Should we not be making sure that the parks are in a position to be able to hire people with pool management backgrounds rather than being forced to hire from within the civil service, still with the civil service mind, to be able to get the job done?

In conclusion, I believe for dollar efficiency that the heritage department should turn over parks back to the environment department. I also believe in the concept of enterprise units, where you would have user pay so that you get the dollars to provide the service.

Finally, may I suggest that Canada sell the parks building in the very high rent district in Calgary, get out of Calgary, move the people into a town like Golden which is right in the centre, and manage the parks from a low rent district and a district that more reflects the area than the area the bureaucrats in Calgary are presently in.

I thank you for the opportunity to speak to this issue, Mr. Speaker. These are a few ideas that I have with respect to parks. In summary I say I believe parks should be moved from heritage back to environment.

Income Tax Act October 3rd, 1994

Madam Speaker, the entrepreneurial spirit is a driving force to the Canadian economy. I say again that there is a particular group of Canadians who are a driving force in the Canadian economy. They are the entrepreneurs. They are the people who get up in the morning with a blank page in their diary and go to bed at night having filled that page by exhibiting personal initiative. They have filled that page with creative, productive activity.

The entrepreneurial spirit moves forward with no boss pushing. These are the self-starters. Truly, if they do not do it, it will not get done. They are the farmers, ranchers, fruit growers, independent small business people, artists, writers, people in real estate sales or sales in general, freelancers and consultants.

Let us define what we are talking about here. We are talking about taxation and the way it relates to the entrepreneur. Tax is an arbitrary confiscation of wealth by government so that it may provide services and under political direction redistribute that wealth. The wealth is in the form of dollars and cents. It is capital. We are talking about the confiscation of capital for altruistic purposes. What we are really talking about is fairness in the taxation system.

I support the thrust of the motion because I believe the current tax system discriminates against entrepreneurs who are, I state again, a major driving force in the Canadian economy.

Assuming that the government historically has not intentionally discriminated against the entrepreneur, this question still must be asked: Now that it has been drawn to the government's attention, why would it want to continue to discriminate against people who have the handicap of never seeing a steady month to month paycheque? Why should these people have to suffer the disadvantage of irregular income along with the other insecurities of trying to provide for their families' welfare, their children's education and their own futures?

In debate in the House on September 20, 1991, Lee Richardson, member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, said in part:

When income of individuals fluctuates significantly from year to year, the total of the income taxes they pay over several years may be greater than if their income stream has been more constant over that period. This is because in those years, when incomes were high, they are subject to higher marginal tax rates and thus pay a greater portion of their income in tax. In such circumstances, averaging the income over a number of years would result in lower taxes each year, thus lowering the total tax burden over that period.

Using farmers as an example, in the same debate at page 2500 of Hansard the member for Edmonton Southeast said:

I would like to pick up a thread that was made, I think, yesterday by a member. Right now the average farmer in Canada produces food for about 95 to 100 Canadians. At the same time, since most farmers are men, his spouse has to go off the farm to earn money to feed the family on the farm. That is a catastrophe.

I believe and support the point the member for Edmonton Southeast was making that currently the tax system discriminates against the family farm. In many cases it forces an undesirable situation within families.

Staying with the same example of the farmer, in a letter from Mr. Ken Gadicke of Folkman and Gadicke, chartered accountants in my riding of Creston, British Columbia, he says:

The taxpayer in question reports his income on a cash basis, meaning revenues are reported only when received and expenses reported only when paid. For the first time, the farmer has sold almost his entire crop prior to the end of his current fiscal year. Furthermore, in almost every sale case he would be able to collect the cash also prior to his year end. However, this would put him in the position of receiving two crop years of revenue in one fiscal period, the 1993 and 1994 crop revenue. As this would mean a large absolute increase in the amount of income tax he would be paying, he has made the nonsensical business decision to ask his customers to not make their payments to him until after his year end. In turn, he has had to ask his bank to extend his line of credit, incurring unnecessary financing costs.

In a case such as this some form of averaging of income may have benefited the taxpayer by allowing him to collect the cash, reducing his need for financing from the bank and no increase in his overall tax burden.

As shown in Mr. Gadicke's letter about farmers, the impediments are common with impediments to all small business

people and individuals who are concerned about cash flow or having to become involved with interest payments which result specifically from the action of the current burdensome taxation system that confiscates wealth or the working capital they so desperately need. This can lead to a situation where the business person or individual has to make some nonsensical business decisions.

Other examples of individuals would fall into the area of real estate sales people and especially sales people who are on 100 per cent commission. They frequently cannot control when their next commission cheque is going to arrive. This group includes writers who want to work on books, reporters who sell their columns by the word or staff people with professional skills or extensive background work and experience who, when they encounter layoffs, become consultants and work on contract.

There is a growing pool of experienced contract workers who are serving the business community well. Additionally there are artists who have work in progress who may be forced to push forward a finished product.

At the risk of overusing the agriculture example, in my constituency with the downturn of demand for Delicious red apples many orchardists in Creston pulled up their apple trees and replanted a specific form of Japanese cherry. This was a very prudent decision to build revenue for the future. However it has serious taxation implications because of the inability to average income.

A parallel example would be that the inability to average income could hamper entrepreneurs as they try to improve or change their current situation. Business people need flexibility in the taxation system in order to retool or invest in response to market pressures. If they cannot rationally make changes it is an impediment to productivity.

Let me restate that I support the motion because I fully acknowledge there is a particular group of Canadians who are a major driving force in the Canadian economy. I support the entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial spirit.

Child Sex Offenders September 30th, 1994

A 43-year old male was charged with gross indecency on several young females aged from 4 to 13 years. He took pictures of the girls during the acts. These pictures were seized, plus other pornographic tapes. That is several young females.

He is presently before the courts.

A male was charged with gross indecency involving two 13-year old boys. A search warrant located photographs of young males in a very compromising position that I do not choose to read to this House. He was sentenced to all of two years.

A 51-year old male sexually assaulted two boys aged seven and eight years, taking various photographs of them. The accused distributed these photographs to pedophile magazines in the United States. A search warrant located the photos of

numerous young males. Guess what he got? Nine months. That is a tough one.

A 30-year old father attempted to get his nine-year old daughter to touch his penis and he in turn attempted to have intercourse with her. Investigation revealed he had taken photographs of other young girls in his basement. A quantity of pornographic material was seized. He received a real toughy, a suspended sentence and probation.

A 16-year old male sexually assaulted an 11-year old female neighbour. He took photographs of her in various sexual poses including sexual intercourse. When arrested he had several Penthouse magazines-I did not say hard core, blue pornography, I said Penthouse magazines-in his possession. He got two years probation.

It seems to me that we have something on our hands right at this moment in terms of the penal system where we could start to get serious, where we could take people who are giving lifetime sentences to these children. These pedophiles are fouling up the lives of their victims for their lifetimes.

Surely our court can do better than giving the pedophile all of two years, or suspended, or probation or whatever the case may be. It is already in our hands. We can go ahead and do something. That is a second issue.

The first issue is the registry. The second issue is the sentencing grid. As the revenue critic, I support the efforts of Canada Customs in its interdiction of pornographic material. In the research I did there is a very clear connection between pornography and particularly the way pornography is used.

I mentioned Penthouse magazine that you will find in your friendly neighbourhood Mac's Milk or 7-Eleven store. There is a very clear connection between these things. I suggest to civil libertarians who are always talking about freedom of speech and expression that there must be a first priority and that is the protection of children in this society.

I thank you, Mr. Speaker for the opportunity to intervene on this. I feel very strongly about this. We can look at pornography, keep it under control, look at the registry and finally the sentencing grid to show that we can be serious with the tool that we have in hand right now.

Child Sex Offenders September 30th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, there are times when being a member of Parliament is very difficult. It is particularly difficult when having to deal with this type of issue especially when one does some research in order to make some

half intelligent comments. I have had a feeling of putting my head into a toilet.

Members of Parliament must make the protection of children a first priority. I mention the frustrations of being a member of Parliament. From time to time I get the impression that we move at glacial speed in this House. No matter how urgent the issue, it is highly unusual for this House to move with dispatch. Even as we sit here speaking again and again about awful issues like this one, we move at glacial speed.

In doing some research I came across an article from the Globe and Mail of June 1, 1994. The headline is ``Ottawa ponders nationwide registry of child abusers''.

The article reads in part: "A national registry of people convicted of sexually abusing children could help prevent schools and child care centres from unwittingly hiring offenders, says a government discussion paper released yesterday. Children could be better protected from sexual abuse by preventing known sex offenders from having positions of trust or responsibility with children, says the 19-page document. But it draws no conclusions about how to set up such a registry or what it might cost taxpayers. However, the report says research suggests society pays roughly $200,000 each time sex offenders repeat their crime, on investigations, prosecutions, imprisonment and judgment". In other words, clearly on the basis of this report it is basically saying that we are already spending the money so why do we not spend the money more wisely, particularly in the area of prevention?

By way of this speech I remind the justice minister that it says here "the justice minister, Allan Rock, has promised the registry will be operating by fall once the government has reviewed comments from the public".

I can appreciate that this is a sensitive issue, particularly as it relates to charter issues. I can appreciate that this has to go forward responsibly and well by the justice minister. At the conclusion of the article it says: "A similar provincial registry in British Columbia was shut down in 1984 after a court challenge. A Manitoba registry survived a challenge last year when three teachers suspected of child abuse lost a legal effort to keep their names off the list".

I raise that because it was clearly evident on the basis of the motion put forward by the member when she asked that this House give unanimous consent that this go forward that unanimous consent was denied. We have to ask the question then in the light of that what is it that we can do?

I have three suggestions. The first suggestion I have already made, that the justice minister as quickly as possible fulfil what I took to be a commitment that there will be a registry so that repeat offenders will not have access to the young children of Canada or at least as easy access as they presently have.

Also, from The Toronto Star of March 23 of this year: Pedophile gets three years for assault on boy 12 years of age''. It reads in part:It was a matter of trust, a trust bought by camping trips and outings to amusement parks like Canada's Wonderland. But as Kevin Starnaman himself admitted yesterday after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 12-year old boy and filming the deviant acts'', and this is the quote of a convicted pedophile, ``society must be protected from persons like myself''.

I say again that a convicted pedophile says to us in this Parliament as legislators: "society must be protected from persons like myself".

One of the difficulties, again as a legislator coming to this august assembly, is that very frequently there are measures taken, whether we are talking about justice issues or whatever the legislation before us that are half measures, quarter measures, mincy steps, sometimes in the judgment of individual members steps in the wrong direction. Clearly there must be unanimous consent on the part of all members of this House that our first priority must be the protection of Canada's children.

What is another thing we can do? In light of the fact that we are having difficulty in terms of coming forward and there are charter concerns and so on and so forth, and we have already uncovered one which is a registry, let us take a look at what might happen if we were to take tougher corrective action and actually bring a grid to sentencing.

I will give just a few examples. A 41-year old male was charged with several counts of sexual assault and gross indecency on five children between the ages of five and nine. Pictures of the sexual act were taken and retained. These pictures were seized along with sex aids and other pornographic movies. Do you know what he got? He was convicted and sentenced to an amazing 23 months.

The Budget September 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker:

Cautiously, wisely,

Canadians had thoughts

That investing in RRSPs

Meant a future without knocks

But comes the finance minister

year after year,

Teasing and punishing


creating such fear.

Pension consultants have said: it is wrong!

To punish Canadians for being wise and strong.

But the finance minister says:

"We must take steps

In order to meet

Our budget deficits"

Reformers agree

The deficit's bad

But reducing expenditures

Would make us so glad

Its the expenditure rocks

Not in our socks!

Hands off our pensions, Mr. Minister, we say

Stop all the rumours, long before budget day.

Department Of Industry Act September 26th, 1994

That is where the debt came from.

Department Of Industry Act September 26th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, when I spoke last week on the criminal justice Bill C-41, I suggested that perhaps some of the Liberal members of the frontbench required some Q-tips because they were having a little difficulty hearing. I can see that the problem extends past the front bench.

I would like to know when the member ever heard somebody from my party suggest that the government should do nothing? That is a very gross misunderstanding of what seemed to be a very clear way of expressing ourselves.

Because social spending in Canada currently consumes $53 billion a year which is over 50 per cent of our current expenditures, would he agree that the direction the Reform Party wants to go, which is to focus social spending on those who are most in need to make sure that those in our society who are the most

dependent on that kind of support, are in fact expounding the correct way to go which is to focus social spending?

Petitions September 26th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the third petition reads the majority of Canadians respect the sanctity of human life and whereas the majority of Canadians believe that physicians in Canada should be working to save lives, not end them, therefore your petitioners pray that Parliament ensure that the present provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada prohibiting assisted suicide be enforced vigorously, and that Parliament make no changes in the law which would sanction or allow the aiding or abetting of suicide or active or passive euthanasia.

I would like my constituents to know that I support all three of these petitions.

Petitions September 26th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the second petition reads whereas societal approval including extension of societal privileges would be given to same sex relationships if any amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act were to include the undefined phrase sexual orientation as a grounds of discrimination, therefore your petitioners pray and request that Parliament not amend the human rights code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in any way which would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or homosexuality, including amending the human rights code to include in the prohibited grounds of discrimination the undefined phrase sexual orientation.