- His favourite word was countries.
Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Edmonton East (Alberta)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 53% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Member for Edmonton East June 15th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, 18 years ago I entered this arena we reverently call the House of Commons, commoners serving together for the betterment of all.
As I reflect upon our party's promises in 1997, I find it to be significant to compare the outcomes of today: veterans' issues resolved; the homeless helped; the military strengthened; effective foreign development aid; criminal justice improved; taxes lowered; the long gun registry cancelled; the GST cut twice; Turks and Caicos a work in progress; and, Canada's unity greatly improved upon.
I depart this chamber in the fact that the promises made are all promises that were kept. We have made Canada a better place for our children's children, for my grandchildren, Katelin, Alexandra, and Eleanor.
May this august chamber of commoners continue its good work, further showing that Canadians too are caring citizens of the world, for the world.
Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd Parliament June 9th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, everyone has their story of their journey to and for the House. This one is mine.
My journey began in earnest 20 years ago in partnership with my wife, Lorraine. In the summer of 1995, we were motor homing down through the southern United States when we heard on the radio that Jacques Parizeau's campaign for the upcoming referendum stalled at a 60-40 level, a repeat of René Lévesque's 1980 level. Then all of a sudden under the leadership of Lucien Bouchard, it was catapulted to an amazing 50-50 proposition. I resolved that upon returning to Edmonton I would book a week-long holiday for Lorraine and me to Quebec City over the referendum voting day to see for ourselves exactly what was happening.
Our work together for Queen and Canadian unity began in Quebec City at the Château Frontenac, where we were based for the week of the Quebec referendum in 1995, as we campaigned for Canada on the “no” side.
At the hotel at day's end, after campaigning on the streets and in the shops, we placed pedestal-mounted Canada and Alberta flags on the rotunda bar at the Château Frontenac. People gathered and staff congregated to hear the discussions. The room occupiers tilted to our deliberations. Bar glasses were supremely polished in our vicinity as the benefits of unity which seemed to prevail, at least with this group.
The evening vote results slowly and painfully came in from behind a barely registered win for the “no” side. This frightful close call for Canadian unity would change our lives forever.
Within two months, we returned to Quebec to Montreal to be granted with a western chapter to organize for the Special Committee for Canadian Unity, which would be based in Edmonton. We also sought out political parties to support. At entirely our own personal cost, we became engaged in national unity in Edmonton. We organized regular committee meetings, canvassed for supporters, became active in the media and operated a Canadian unity booth at the Alberta Legislature which turned out for over 14 years.
We also funded a group of 10 to fly to Montreal for a Special Committee for Canadian Unity dinner at McGill before boarding the unity train to Quebec City to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the bare success of the referendum of 1995. We were well received and Allan Barbe of our group was invited to the stage of the Château Frontenac to sing his wonderful song, (One) Canada (Uni).
The problem with Canadian unity support in western Canada at the time was that the vocal minority were convinced that it was too much trouble to save the unity of our country. This western vocal anti-unity minority were in effect the separatists' best supporters.
Politics followed, and I was called upon in early 1997 to run for the Reform Party nomination in Edmonton East and to win a seat in election 1997 from a sitting Liberal. To this day, I am still a card-carrying and active supporting member of the Special Committee for Canadian Unity in Montreal.
Lorraine, of course, organized fundraisers and meetings from the days of the Special Committee for Canadian Unity following the Quebec referendum through to today, including the assemblies and meetings of the Reform Party, Canadian Alliance and then the Conservative Party. I did my job, searching far and wide throughout Canada, being proactive in news stories which had many times before supported and propelled my issues in politics and unity forward.
Nomination races, elections, committee chair elections are all about marketing. My many years in business prior to politics are those in which I honed my marketing 101 skills. Before politics, I ran my own business and was required to travel frequently to job sites and to meet with clients, something that prepared me for the travel that is required for a member of Parliament. That work also allowed me to take the time to travel with Lorraine to Quebec City to experience in 1995 the Quebec referendum first-hand.
Early in 1996, I was working in Cochrane, a town just west of Calgary, and having a late night dinner in a restaurant. While I ate, I was using the time to write to parliamentarians in Ottawa, sharing my concerns for national unity. A local man came up to me and noting the paperwork, asked me what I was doing, was I perhaps a school teacher correcting papers.
A discussion followed, during which I divulged my concerns, my wish to get answers, and my desire to find ways to get involved to help Canadian unity efforts. I also explained that, while I had absolutely no previous political party affiliation, I would be contacting parties to offer my help.
The man from Cochrane said that I was wasting my time and that one man could not make a difference. Perhaps in some cases that man from Cochrane would be right; perhaps one man cannot make a difference, but I have never backed down from a challenge, especially not when it involved something about which I am passionate.
Can one man make a difference? He can if that man has a tremendously hard-working wife like Lorraine, if he has family, friends, party, volunteers, and contributors doing their part for Canadian unity, for Edmonton East, for Canada, and internationally.
I am very satisfied with the efforts of my partnership and team over the past 20 years:
I would simply not be here without my wife, Lorraine. Her work is the secret to our success. My daughters, Corinna and Kristina, have given unwavering support and assistance over the past 18 years. My one daughter Corinna asked in the very early times when we were working on Canadian unity issues if we were on a quest, and for that I really had to say yes.
Both my daughters have been involved in artistry for certificates, for unity train graphics, and for T-shirts. The T-shirt in Montreal was a supreme hit. My other daughter came up with the graphic and slogan for my nomination, which was “Go for Gold, vote Goldring”. What a kid.
My son-in-law Tom provided his help and support. I want to spend much more time with my granddaughters, Katelin, Alexandra, and Eleanor, to watch them grow up.
In my Edmonton office, Annette Sabrowsky gave 18 great years of tremendous work ethics and solid management skills that are so essential for a well-run endeavour; and Lynda Werning gave 7 years, recognized by so many for her excellent work, particularly on the immigration file.
In my Ottawa office, there was Shazmin Ali, with 10 years' outstanding office management in Ottawa, very capable and personable; Lorne Anderson, for 8 years and hundreds of articles, brochures, and reports; Grant Peters, just for the past 8 short months, but he has done tremendous research, writing, and organizational work on 90 meetings in Canada, U.S.A., Ukraine, and Turkey. They are a great staff.
I extend special thanks to supporters, board members, volunteers, contributors, colleagues, and House of Commons support staff.
After 98 years, Edmonton East, a swing riding that has been host to every political party in western Canada, will come to an end as an entity. Some 17 members have served in Edmonton East, with Bill Skoreyko's 21 years leading. Second is my service of 18 years, and then third are 15 others whose terms varied from 3 to 6 years.
My 53% support in the 2011 election is the highest level of support since 1979, when Bill Yurko received 56% more than 30 years ago.
Successes, I have had more than my fair share. Only some of these were merchant navy veterans, 50-year concerns, successful; Hong Kong veterans, 50-year concerns, successful; Christmas in Ortona; Col. John McCrae's medals that were saved; the Kingsclear report, with Karl Toft and RCMP investigation; two books on affordable housing and unity; and on Canadian unity, the highest level of support since the early 1960s, as opposed to the fifty-fifty level when I began in 1997.
Regrets, I have had a few but too few to dwell on.
Five Goldring brothers arrived in Upper Canada in the 1840s. Several became captains of industry. Literally, Captain Richard Goldring skippered the schooner Maple Leaf out of Whitby, Ontario, where I went to high school. I am proud, though, to be the first Goldring to serve in elected public office.
Now in the twilight of my life, the time to step aside draws nigh. I will forever treasure this honour to have served our Queen, our country, and the constituents of Edmonton East. I wish all the best and thank the Speaker and everyone here in Ottawa. May God bless.
Conservative Party of Canada June 2nd, 2015
Mr. Speaker, 18 years ago today, newly elected members of the class of '97 joined their colleagues in Canada's two Conservative loyal opposition parties. CBC's Saša Petricic was alarmed that our party had supposedly been taken over by those with special interests, such as Chuck Cadman for criminal justice, the member for Calgary Southeast for taxation, and myself from Edmonton East for Canadian unity. Canadian voters did not share the CBC's concerns. Election '97 and each subsequent election saw gains. Then, as we came together as one party united in principle and policy, we became the Government of Canada in 2006.
Today, June 2, eight of the Class of '97 remain, proud of our accomplishments together with colleagues over the past 18 years, through the roller coaster of Canadian politics.
Congratulations to my Conservative colleagues, one and all. It has been a voyage of excellence, and our journey of great success continues today.
90th Birthday Congratulations May 29th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, when dawn broke 71 years ago, the enemy's stark view from their fortifications over the beaches of Normandy was a silhouette of war painted across the horizon. The Allied invasion of Europe had begun.
Among the vast Allied fleet poised to attack was a young teenage seaman of the Royal Canadian Navy serving on the HMCS Prince Henry, a landing craft carrier. Amidst bursting enemy shells and clouds of smoke from the ship's guns, Marty Jones provided artillery cover for the landing crafts laden with soldiers of the Royal Regina Rifles and the Canadian Scottish Regiment heading to Juno Beach.
After the war, Marty worked for 29 years for CMHC in Edmonton, retiring in 1985. He distinguished himself further and became the recipient of the Alberta Centennial and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Marty, his wife Pauline, and family and friends are all celebrating life's blessings and Marty's 90th birthday this Saturday.
Happy birthday to Marty. Good health, and God bless.
Turks and Caicos Friendship Mission May 27th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to welcome the delegation from the Turks and Caicos Islands, engaged here in Ottawa on a mission of friendship.
When Canada and the Turks and Caicos first engaged, nearly 150 years ago, wooden windmills pumped sea water to expansive evaporation pans for harvesting the ocean's salt. Canadian fishermen purchased large quantities of this salt for their offshore fleet of fishing boats, which needed this salt for fish preservation.
Today the economic interests are far different. Canada, by establishing economic and transshipping regional offices in the Turks and Caicos to better serve the Caribbean Rim of countries, would also greatly benefit the Islands by diversifying their tourist economy.
This friendship mission by the Premier's office of the Turks and Caicos Islands visiting here today bodes well for greater social and economic engagement, mutually beneficial to both of our countries. We all become hopeful that our two countries will become much more meaningfully engaged as a result.
I wish them Godspeed in their deliberations.
Organ Donation May 4th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, this year makes five that have passed since my sister, Sue, received the gift of freedom, of renewed life's normality. She was the recipient of a kidney, which has allowed her the fullness of daily living since. Sue's dialyzing for hours every day is for her and her family but a distant and fading memory.
This gift five years ago was a Godsend to my eternally grateful sister, as well as a blessing to her loved ones and friends who all silently prayed for her day of liberation to come. We joined in one voice to thank the medical doctors, donors and the families who selflessly contributed to this extraordinary gift in such a moment of grief.
Organ donation is truly a liberating gift, removing the shackles that bind one to a machine and, indeed, many times giving life itself.
On this the 4th day of May, I thank all donors everywhere, knowing that my sister Sue will have a happy birthday today.
Metropolitan Mefodiy February 26th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, an ecclesial leader of great repute, a proponent of Orthodox unity, the devout head of the worldwide Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church passed away on Tuesday.
Metropolitan Mefodiy stood for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, from the Orange Revolution to Euromaidan. He advocated for the unity of the Orthodox church in Ukraine.
I met with Metropolitan Mefodiy in January in Kyiv. For hours, we discussed Ukraine and Orthodox unity. He believed that Orthodox unity would lead to greater social and political stability in Ukraine.
Ukraine, indeed the world's Orthodox church, lost a great ecclesiastical leader on Tuesday, a pious man of the people.
On behalf of Canada, I would like to express our sincerest condolences to Metropolitan Mefodiy's family, his ecclesial colleagues, friends, and everyone with whom he had a human and spiritual connection. Memories eternal.
Canadian Flag February 3rd, 2015
Mr. Speaker, how a nation views itself is a measure of its pride and self-esteem. How a nation is viewed by the world is a reflection of its collective deeds. How a nation projects this image is through its national symbol, a flag.
Our nation is known throughout the world for its deeds in war and peace. Canada's symbol is its flag, which floats supremely over this very House. Our flag is the embodiment of our nation's heart and soul. For 50 years our flag's symbolism has been world renowned of a nation that serves mankind by supporting freedom, justice, and tolerance in the God-given belief that all mankind should share these virtues together in harmony.
Canada's flag is not merely a symbol for our country, but is truly emblematic throughout the world as a symbol of hopefulness, as a symbol of the desire for peace, and as a symbol of our Canadian way.
Holodomor November 24th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, today we remember the Holodomor, a crime against humanity the world in the past knew little of, it being hidden behind the Soviet curtain of iron. More than seven million people perished in Ukraine 80 years ago in a forced famine of unimaginable horror.
The deep rich soil of Ukraine, known as the breadbasket of Europe, suffered not the ravages of nature but the savagery of one man: Stalin. While millions of Ukrainians horribly starved to death, the people of the world feasted on Ukraine's bountiful crops, stolen by Stalin's evil regime.
We must speak out in Canada and around the world to support historical truths of mankind's failings, or revisionist historians, deniers of the Holodomor, will educate the world with their version of the truth.
Today we remember the victims of the Holodomor, that dark side of humanity, and by remembering we help the world guard against those who would repeat such genocide.
Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company November 17th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, since 1969, the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company, founded by Chester and Luba Kuc, has enthralled thousands in Canada and around the world.
Featuring traditional dance and song from a kaleidoscope of colourful folkloric-costumed youth, the creatively choreograph productions of Cheremosh have toured to great international delight and acclaim.
A fantastic 16-foot portrait of historical Ukrainian regional dance costumes was displayed in a place of great honour in the Alberta legislature, in 2010.
Cheremosh, this year, also celebrates 30 years of hosting the annual Cheremosh Festival, in which my daughters participated in their youth. Today, my granddaughters are beginning their own tour of cultural dance fantasia as part of the Cheremosh School of Dance.
I congratulate Cheremosh. May its delightful extravaganza of colourful folkloric dance continue to challenge our youth to great pride of accomplishment in artistic presentations of today, tomorrow and always.