House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was federal.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Canadian Alliance MP for Calgary Southwest (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 65% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply March 15th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his remarks and I wish him well in the fight against American protectionism and the fight for free trade in this sector.

I would like to ask the minister a somewhat technical question, but one that is very important in terms of jobs and the Canadian interest in this question. As the minister will know, the lumber industry includes not just the primary sector but a secondary sector that is involved in remanufacturing of wood products, many of which are directed toward the United States.

The minister will also know that this sector is very large. It includes, I think, 300 independent producers in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. It employs over 40,000 Canadians annually. Its production is about $4 billion annually in sales. The sector accounts for about 10% to 15% of Canada's exports to the U.S. under the current SLA.

The minister will also know that group is actively working on the development of a transparent and enforceable process through which Canada's secondary sector can be, from an administrative perspective, effectively excluded from any countervailing duties or from any other restrictions imposed on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. either now or in the future.

My question is, does the minister recognize the concerns of the secondary lumber sector and support its efforts to avoid injury when the current SLA comes to an end?

Supply March 15th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his presentation and congratulate him on his current appointment.

The minister asked rhetorically what was behind the U.S. position on softwood lumber. His answer was U.S. protectionism. We agree but we would add that Liberal and Conservative governments ought to understand the subject since they have practised protectionism for over 100 years.

I will ask the minister a cluster of questions around the same issue. What is behind the lack of vigour behind the government's efforts to fight U.S. protectionism? Is it that the government still has philosophical reservations about free trade? After all, the Liberals opposed free trade in 1988.

Why is the government so slow to use the dispute settling mechanisms in the free trade agreement? It always has to be pushed into using them. It never seems to charge in that direction.

Is the real reason behind the Liberal government's weakness in fighting U.S. protectionism that the government still wants to practise protectionism in certain other areas such as supply management and cultural industries?

In other words, is this not the real reason Liberal efforts to fight U.S. protectionism are so weak and inefficient? Is it because it wants to practise protectionism in some other areas and this weakens its fight against U.S. protectionism in this area?

Supply March 15th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I thank the members of the Bloc for their presentations and the motion this morning. I would make a comment and ask a question.

The official opposition members are free traders and agree that the government should make every effort to secure free trade in softwood lumber and resist the U.S. protectionist interests.

I point out that western Canadians have supported free trade since prior to confederation, but it was central Canada that supported protectionism. It was only when Quebec business interests persuaded Mr. Mulroney to pursue the free trade agreement that we got the free trade with which the motion deals. I might say there was a strategic alliance between Quebecers and western Canadians to secure free trade which makes this motion work.

To win any trade dispute with the Americans, is it not true that Canadian producers need to hang together, that Canadian provinces need to hang together and that Canada needs to hang together? Does the member not believe that the bargaining power of a united Canada with the United States is greater than the bargaining power of a separate Quebec?

Research And Development March 13th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I think the voters of that riding paid tribute to Mr. Clouthier.

There is some urgency to this matter. The old Canadian neutron generator is scheduled to be shut down in four years. Even if the government made a decision today to proceed with the new facility, it would take five or six years to construct. That means there is a gap in which Canada loses clients for this facility and, more important, the scientists who are needed to make it work.

What is required is a financing decision. In order to finance this facility is the finance minister prepared to make that decision?

Research And Development March 13th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the throne speech committed the government to supporting the new economy and the scientific infrastructure required to sustain it.

There is broad agreement among the research community that Canada needs a new neutron generating facility at Chalk River as part of that 21st century scientific infrastructure, but this requires a decision from the Department of Finance to fund it.

Is the minister prepared to fund the Canadian neutron facility in Chalk River?

Speech From The Throne February 9th, 2001

Madam Speaker, I have a couple of points.

At the beginning of his remarks the member implied that it is our position that the throne speech contains no attempts to improve parliament. That is not our position. Our position is that the provisions of the throne speech to improve parliament are pathetically inadequate. I just want to make that clear.

My comment and question really is on the first part of the member's remarks, wherein he dismisses the idea that energy consumers would be better helped by a tax reduction rather than a rebate.

This member and other members opposite have resisted every suggestion to reduce consumption taxes on fuel or anything else by saying that it will not be passed on to the ultimate consumer, that it will be absorbed by the oil company, the manufacturer, the distributor or someone else. This is their argument as to why there is no point in reducing consumption taxes: that they cannot do it because they cannot pass it on to the consumer.

In 1993 the Liberal Party itself promised to eliminate a consumption tax, the GST. It would never have promised that if it had not believed that there was some mechanism to ensure that the reduction in that tax was passed on to the taxpayer. Why does the government not take that mechanism, which it had in place when it planned to eliminate the GST, and use it to pass on a reduction in fuel consumption taxes to hard pressed energy users?

Speech From The Throne February 9th, 2001

Madam Speaker, I will read to the member from Hochelaga—Maisonneuve a few paragraphs from the recent Léger poll in Quebec and then ask him a question.

The latest poll by Léger Marketing says that three-quarters of Quebec residents see themselves as Canadians and not just Quebecers. According to the poll, more than half the respondents oppose Mr. Landry's plan to have the Quebec government actually promote sovereignty. Further, only about 15% say they want to see the total independence of Quebec.

Mr. Léger added that the poll certainly shows that Quebecers do not want a referendum and do not want the government spending their money to promote sovereignty. It found that 55.3% of decided voters would vote against sovereignty, even if it were accompanied with an offer of a partnership with the rest of Canada.

On the other hand, the pollster said, there is considerable demand for change in Quebec's role in Canada, with only 20% saying they would be satisfied with the status quo. Quebecers, said the pollster, “are rejecting the two most radical options, sovereignty and the status quo”. The bottom line, said Mr. Léger, is that Quebecers “want to remain a part of Canada, even though 45% say they would vote for sovereignty. The problem is that they are not satisfied with either the status quo or with the proposal for sovereignty”.

When are the Bloc members, who profess to be democrats, going to start representing the will of a majority of Quebecers and start looking for a third way, between sovereignty and the status quo federalism of the current Prime Minister?

Speech From The Throne February 9th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member on his re-election and on his remarks this morning.

One phrase that he used, with which I would certainly be in agreement, is the need for creating a greater scientific culture, starting right in the House. We do not make the effort that we should to bring science to bear on many of the issues we are confronted with.

I would ask the member, in light of the interest in creating a scientific culture, would he support the government creating a specific ministry of science and technology, rather than having that buried in the industry department? Would he support the creation of a separate standing committee to deal with science and technology issues? Would he support the idea of a chief scientist who was accountable to parliament, somewhat in the same way as the auditor general?

Health February 7th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, we await the draft legislation with interest, but as the minister knows our constitution assigns primary responsibility for health to the provinces.

In order for any regulatory framework dealing with a subject as important as this one to have the right kind of foundation, it is important that there not only be consultation with the provinces but that there be support for the framework. Has the minister obtained the support of the provinces for the regulatory framework he proposes in that legislation?

Health February 7th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, that makes it difficult to ask a nasty question.

It has been eight years since a royal commission recommended that the government develop a framework for the regulation of reproductive and genetic technology.

As we all know, these technologies have an enormous impact on human health, both for good and for bad, and yet Canada lacks a regulatory framework or lags behind a number of other countries in providing that regulatory framework.

My question is for the Minister of Health. Does the Minister of Health intend to bring forward a bill to provide that regulatory framework and if so, when?