House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Mississauga South (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Merritt G. Henderson April 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, from time to time Canadians are fortunate to be served by outstanding leaders who have distinguished themselves through consistent high quality performance over a long period of time. On the occasion of the retirement of one such outstanding Canadian from the city of Mississauga, I am honoured to pay special tribute to him.

Merritt G. Henderson is the president of the Mississauga Hospital and after more than 35 years of dedicated service he will be retiring. The measure of one's success is not a matter of where one is but rather of how far one has come from where one started. Mr. Henderson worked his way up the ranks and earned the respect and recognition of his peers.

Under his leadership the Mississauga Hospital developed into one of the most respected health care institutions in Ontario and in Canada.

He is held in very high esteem by those who know him for consistently providing the necessary guidance, wisdom and knowledge we look for in our leaders.

To Merritt G. Henderson we extend our sincere gratitude for his outstanding contributions to Canadian health care.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Suspension Act March 24th, 1994

Madam Speaker, as I follow the debate, it would appear that the situation here is not a vote so much to do something as opposed to maybe stopping something which may put us into a situation which would be unacceptable to Canadians.

Members have asked for time to discuss and time allocation would restrict that. Is it not the intent of the overall motion and the process to allow more time for members throughout the entire House to have a fuller discussion about the criteria for boundary setting and to ensure that Canadians are going to be well represented in the House through these major changes?

There is time to do this. I wonder if the member would agree that taking the time to do this job properly is the right course of action.

Supply March 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the previous speaker gave some numbers in the House about the Liberal Party adding another $100 million to the debt over the next three years. Other speakers from the Reform have indicated the same thing as if their financial plan during the campaign would not have added to the debt. I wonder why there is this double standard.

In his closing statement the hon. member said we have to stop spending on these kinds of programs for the benefit of all Canadians. I wonder if the member might want to consider whether he is talking on behalf of Canadians who have rather than on behalf of Canadians who have not.

Rotary International March 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, Canadian unity has been enhanced by the unselfish contributions of many organizations that have worked so hard to make Canada a better place.

One such organization is Rotary International. I was first introduced to Rotary 12 years ago by Mr. Allan Shulman and over the years I have been most impressed by its community leadership role.

In recognition of Rotarians, I would like to share with the House the Rotary International four-way test to guide what we say, think and do:

First, is it the truth?

Second, is it fair to all concerned?

Third, will it build goodwill and better friendship?

Fourth, will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Rotarians reflect the true spirit of Canadians and it is because of that spirit that Canada will always remain strong and united.

Supply March 8th, 1994

Madam Speaker, after several hours of debate many hon. members have raised the issue of women in the context of violence. I feel compelled to comment on the incompleteness of the thought. Having spent five years on the board of the shelter for battered women in my riding, I can say that violence against women is really only one part of it. Really the aspect is abuse. I want to share this with members.

Abuse against women includes violence but it also includes non-violent abuses, the economic abuses in which the financial purse strings are controlled by one spouse to the detriment of the other, taking away that financial independence. The second aspect of it is psychological abuse. There exists that authority and that power as a result of the position of the man in the household, an abusive man. A woman does not have the dignity

and respect she has earned by being a partner within that marriage.

I want this to lead into a point that I raised earlier in the day because I feel so strongly about it. It has to do with one of the most honourable professions that anyone could aspire to that is available only to women, a mother; flowing from which is the ability to be the manager of the family home and providing that care.

There is a tremendous inequity in our society today. In this House throughout the day people have talked about women leaving the house and going to work. Who in this House honestly believes that being a spouse in the home is not a job, is not work, is not an honourable profession to be recognized and to be compensated?

That is one of the reasons I presently have a private member's bill in the works. I would like to see one day Canadians recognizing the value of a spouse in the home, managing the home and providing parental care and being compensated. That private member's bill will propose amendments to the tax act which would allow one spouse to pay or to transfer income to a spouse working in the home and taking care of the family home and the children.

I think we have to open up to the fundamentals within our society and realize that there is a very important role for women to play in certain aspects and that being in the home is a job to be respected.

Possibly the member has some comments.

Supply March 8th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the comments. They were most interesting. In my experience I have heard what can best be described as blatant discrimination in terms of appointees with regard to the old boys networks such as the legal profession and the appointment of judges.

Would the member please comment on the realities of our society? When I go into a bank the majority of tellers are women. When I go into a corporation and look at the secretaries, the majority are women. When I go into a supermarket and look at who the clerks are, the majority are women. I suppose the examples go on and on, classical stereotype positions that seem to be prevalent in our society.

I wonder if the member feels that equity for women in our society is something to be legislated or mandated on the basis of a quota system or whether it should take into account primarily the ability to do the job. Perhaps the member would comment on that.

Supply March 8th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the member's comments. I thought I would suggest one initiative that Canadians might consider to see the member's reaction.

Very typically when we have two spouses working and there are dependent children which require day care the net income to the second spouse entering the workplace after day care costs is very nominal.

Given that the value of the net pay to that second spouse does not generally reflect the value of the work provided in the workplace, I wonder if the member would consider the merits of an arrangement whereby a working spouse could either transfer income or pay a salary to a spouse in the home who is managing the family home and caring for dependent children. In that way there would be earned income in the hands of that second spouse, allowing them to have economic independence and the ability to purchase RRSPs, et cetera. Also it would free up a job, free up a day care spot and maybe recognize for the first time in our Canadian society the value of a spouse in the home.

I wonder if the member might comment on the general merits of recognizing the value of the woman in the home.

Day Care February 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the economic reality in Canada today is such that in many cases both spouses of a family must work.

However, when a spouse decides to enter the workforce where day care service is necessary, the net earnings of that spouse are materially depleted due to the cost of day care. In fact, the net income generated is often not reflective of the value of the work done. As such, many working spouses would not require much incentive to leave their jobs to work in the home.

Today we need to address the acute shortage of affordable day care. We need to make it easier for a parent to personally care for young children. We need to create job opportunities. We need to provide opportunities for all Canadians to accumulate retirement income. We need to promote economic independence for all and we need to recognize the economic value of a spouse working in a home.

Accordingly, I will be introducing a private member's bill which will permit a working spouse to pay a salary to the other spouse for managing the family home and caring for dependent children. This would allow that spouse to pay into CPP and buy RRSPs. We need to recognize the value of the woman in the home.

Violence And Abuse February 24th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, on many occasions in this House, hon. members from all sides have expressed unanimous concern about the growing and senseless violence and abuse within our society.

Spousal abuse, child abuse and racism have been raised frequently because we know that law and order and safety within our communities are very important to all Canadians.

As such, members of this House have a duty to reflect their support for these social concerns whenever possible. Verbal support is important but tangible actions must compliment the words to demonstrate our sincere commitment.

Accordingly, I call on all members of this House, and indeed all elected representatives across Canada, to utilize their skills and resources to develop and to champion specific initiatives to promote our shared value which is, and I emphasize, there is no excuse for abuse.

The Budget February 23rd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. The point about sovereignty has been raised.

On a financial issue in that regard, the member concluded that as a result of the inconsistencies therefore the answer must be that a sovereign Quebec will be the solution.

I wonder if the member would care to advise the House how much of the $500 billion national debt Quebec is prepared to assume and how it intends to finance that and survive as a separate country.