House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was richmond.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Steveston—Richmond East (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Ethics Counsellor February 13th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the ethics counsellor, Mr. Wilson, said that the Prime Minister did have an interest in the financial health of the Auberge Grand-Mère and the Grand-Mère golf course.

Mr. Wilson clearly stated that the Prime Minister might lose money on his investment.

Is the Prime Minister in agreement with Mr. Wilson and will he simply acknowledge his financial interest between 1996 and 1999 in the Auberge Grand-Mère?

Financial Consumer Agency Of Canada Act February 12th, 2001

Madam Speaker, let me thank my friend from Toronto—Danforth for those very kind words. One thing my friend did not mention is that we may have gone to the same high school but my friend may have gone a few years earlier than I did.

There is a note saying that the youth looks at things in a very passionate and emotional way and then they simply grow up. In response to my friend's questions on my meanderings and my moving over on the political spectrum, perhaps I simply grew up and looked at things the way they ought to be looked at.

I share my friend's concerns about the importance of providing capital to small business. We have talked about big business. The Prime Minister is off to China trying to get contracts for big companies. That is a legitimate thing to do, if they are actually able to get them. However, no reputable economic thinker disputes the importance of small business to the strength of the economy. If we cannot have access in a fast and efficient way at rates which are competitive, we are not going to do things in a good way.

Let me simply thank my friend across the aisle for his comments and say that we will work together. I am sure all of my colleagues in the Canadian Alliance would agree that we need to have a strong financial services sector with banks and financial institutions that offer loans to the small businessman and woman.

Financial Consumer Agency Of Canada Act February 12th, 2001

Madam Speaker, I take this opportunity to thank the voters and constituents of Richmond, which is I think the best place to live in the lower mainland of British Columbia, for giving me this opportunity to represent them and to be here today to talk about this technical but very important piece of legislation.

It is interesting that my maiden speech will be a rather technical one. However, I think it is important to say, as my friend from Surrey Central has mentioned, that the Canadian Alliance supports the general thrust of the legislation. We hope to offer constructive amendments to it at committee stage.

I will take this opportunity to go point by point in a little bit more detail than my colleague and talk about the position of the Liberal government and how we will be helpful in supporting where we believe support is necessary, and opposing in a gentler constructive way where we believe that opposition is necessary.

The member for Surrey Central talked about the Canadian financial services ombudsman. We all know that this agency would be responsible to the finance minister. It would be designed for all financial institutions. The Canadian Alliance believes that it will simply be another bureaucracy with no powers and filled with Liberal appointments. What we should have, and what the Canadian Alliance will follow through on at committee stage, is an independent ombudsman selected by the House with our colleagues, with the powers of penalty enforcement and also with the power to make binding directives to the banks.

I will also talk about the holding company structure. The Canadian Alliance does support this new structure because it would allow Canada's banks to more effectively compete against foreign non-bank competitors and other alternative financial institutions.

We have many financial institutions in Richmond. We have credit unions, the TD Bank and the Bank of Montreal. I was actually discussing this proposal with the bank manager of the TD Bank. We are in complete agreement with the bill on this and we will work very closely with the government to pass the legislation.

With regard to expanding the credit union role, I reiterate that we are disappointed that the government did not take the MacKay report into consideration when dealing with this point. The Canadian Alliance supports the move to restrict widely held ownership to 20% because we think it will strengthen the global position of Canada's domestic banks.

To go back to Richmond riding again, we have the TD Bank and the Bank of Montreal. We have a wonderful opportunity to move in not only south of the border, where we have many integrations occurring in the financial services, but if we are able to pass the legislation, we can be world players in the international field, particularly in the Asian market.

On the issue of allowing smaller banks, we are talking about the minimum capital requirements to establish a new bank, trust company or insurance company. We support this initiative because it would provide more consumer choice, which basically is what this is all about.

We can talk about percentages and holding requirements. Even though we are in opposition we believe we are a constructive force. Ultimately we are trying to give the greatest choice to consumers at the lowest possible price. The greater the competition, the greater will be the incentive to have lower costs on service charges and on a variety of issues.

With regard to restrictions on auto leasing and insurance, the Canadian Alliance believes that the auto leasing and insurance markets are currently very vibrant and competitive industries. The banks must continue to be restricted from offering auto leasing and insurance products directly through their branches to avoid unduly concentrating financial power in their hands. We are talking about competition where we do not want a monolithic entity stifling competition and where we can have a variety of players in the field such as local brokers.

I have a variety of local insurance agents in Richmond. They work very hard to give the best possible price and products to the people of Richmond. I am sure we have hard working brokers across the country. I take this opportunity on behalf of the Canadian Alliance to congratulate the hard working men and women who work within these industries.

With regard to regulating access, my friend talked about the new regulations that would set lower ID requirements for opening accounts and proof of employment would not be a requirement. This is excessive red tape. It is an issue that is not being properly addressed. Let us allow the industry to address it. We believe it is an area that the government should not be delving into. Let us allow the forces at play to deal with it.

We applaud the government side for finally dealing with this issue. As my friend from Surrey Central mentioned, we must have a very strong and vibrant financial service so that our whole economy can function properly. We are a bit disappointed and saddened that the seven year process has occurred with a lot of political manoeuvring rather than sound business economic decision making. However, I am sure that in committee stage we will be able to work very closely with the government to make sure we come up with a top notch bill.

Canadian Economy January 31st, 2001

Mr. Speaker, this government is ignoring what is happening in the States. The Canadian economy is becoming more or less competitive compared with the States.

I would like to know whether the Minister of Finance will really cut taxes in order to address this new economic reality? This is no longer October 2000.

Canadian Economy January 31st, 2001

Mr. Speaker, clearly an economic storm is heading toward Canada, but the government is not moving.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Will he be presenting a budget before April 1 this year?