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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was respect.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Regina—Wascana (Saskatchewan)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Agriculture May 6th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the diplomatic and trade mission that has just been concluded to Japan, Korea, China and Hong Kong involving the Governor General, myself and a number of Canadian agri-food business leaders was a significant success for Canada.

We were able to conclude certain transactions during the course of our travels. More important than that, we have laid significant foundations and opened some new doors for future business and trade for Canada in the Asia-Pacific region which is the fastest growing economic zone on the face of the earth.

The opportunities include obviously the grain trade, wheat, barley and malt, canola, alfalfa, livestock, animal genetics, animal husbandry, livestock feeds, agriculture technology, education and training, potash, fertilizer, value added in the food-

Trade May 5th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the short answer to the hon. member's question is an unequivocal yes.

As I have said on many occasions, we will not roll over and play dead. Canada will defend this country's vital interests, including those of Canadian grain producers. I have made that point on a number of occasions, as has the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Minister for International Trade, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

We want a negotiated settlement with the United States. We are prepared to negotiate fairly and in good faith for as long as it takes to get such an agreement. In the meantime we have made it absolutely clear that unilateral trade action by the United States against Canada will be met with vigorous and determined response by Canada.

Agriculture March 22nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, in response to the first question, I indicated there were a number of serious issues that those who advocate the notion of a plebiscite might want to consider very carefully, one being the legal basis on which a plebiscite might be held.

Those who recall the previous government might remember that government was ensnared in some rather serious legal difficulties because it acted without the proper legal authority, according to the Federal Court of Canada.

There are a whole range of other questions having to do with the structure, the voting list, the wording of the question and the kind of majority required to carry the question. There are eight or nine technical and logistical questions that need to be answered very seriously before one would rush to embrace this particular proposal.

I have put those questions very seriously and sincerely to those who advocate the notion of a plebiscite. I await, with a great deal of interest, their response to those questions.

Agriculture March 22nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, a variety of representations have been received by me on this particular point. The representations go both ways. Some farmers and farm organizations are

strongly advocating support for the Canadian Wheat Board and its traditional strength as a marketing agency on behalf of Canadian farmers. Others are taking a different point of view and supporting the argument that is contained in the question that has just been asked.

As I say, I am receiving a large number of these representations. Some of them propose the notion of a plebiscite as a method of resolving this controversy on the prairies with respect to grain marketing systems.

To those who have proposed the notion of a plebiscite I have responded with a number of technical questions that I think they ought to address and think carefully about before rushing to embrace that particular form of solution.

At this moment in time, to my knowledge, I have not received any replies to those questions but I anticipate I will. That will be a part of the input that the government will take into account as we consider this question.

Agriculture March 18th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question. It is on subject matter about which I know he cares very deeply.

I spoke by telephone this morning with the United States Secretary of Agriculture, the Hon. Mike Espy. We explored in that conversation whether we were close enough in our respective positions on Canada-U.S. agriculture trade to make a face-to-face meeting between us sometime next week a productive undertaking. Obviously we are dealing with some very difficult issues.

We may well have further communications later today and there may be the possibility of a useful meeting between the secretary and myself at some point next week.

The member asks what assurances can be offered of our intent to stand up in defence of Canadian farmers. Such assurances have already been offered in the House and elsewhere by me as minister of agriculture, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, by the Minister for International Trade and by the Prime Minister and that will be very much the approach we take into any further meetings with the United States.

Questions On The Order Paper March 16th, 1994

Between June 1992 and January 1994 there were 44 appointments to Agriculture Canada at the level of director or higher. Of these, 33 were appointments from within the department, 10 were from other federal government departments, and one was from the Quebec provincial government.

Details concerning the appointees, their current and former positions and the dates of appointment are listed below. None of the employees appointed at these levels were exempt staff. This list does not include any contract employees, since people retained under contract are not appointed to specific classified positions in which case it cannot be determined whether their assigned duties are at the director level or higher.

Agriculture March 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the provisions of the free trade agreement are one potential avenue that might be pursued. There is the potential of an appeal of the CITT ruling to the Federal Court. There is also the potential of commencing a brand new CITT inquiry.

The difficulty with all these avenues is that they take a long time. The time factor was of particular concern to apple growers when they met me. In terms of my consideration of what the government's response might be, I am bearing very much in mind the timing issue apple growers had uppermost in their minds.

Agriculture March 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question and for the courtesy of some notice of the question.

As I am sure he will appreciate, since the decision of the CITT is in effect a decision of a quasi-judicial body, it would be inappropriate for me to comment in any way on the merits or demerits of the decision.

However I can confirm that I had the opportunity to meet with representatives of Canadian Apple Growers on Monday, March 7, when they were in Ottawa, in conjunction with the National Convention of the Canadian Horticulture Council. We discussed a variety of options in terms of how the decision of the CITT might be reacted to, including the various forms of appeal or other potential reactions.

I am now considering the input I received from apple growers about a week and a half ago. In due course we will see what an appropriate further response might be.

Canadian Wheat Board March 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her question and for her interest in the Canadian Wheat Board.

This question and others that have been asked reflect the diversity of opinion in western Canada with respect to the operations and the jurisdiction of the wheat board. I continue to have a great many consultations and discussions with the board and with others, particularly with farmers, about the board's operations and its future direction.

With respect to the matter of a plebiscite, there are many differing views on the question. Indeed some who had argued against a plebiscite a year ago are now arguing in favour of one and vice versa.

In considering the government's position we will keep the hon. member's representations in mind. My objective, and it is the objective of the government, is to obtain the very best possible marketing results for farmers both now and in the long term. Every action of the government will be very much aimed in that direction.

Farm Credit Corporation March 8th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. member will appreciate that it would be inappropriate for me to comment on specific FCC cases on the floor of the House of Commons.

I do want to assure her that I will insist that the Farm Credit Corporation deal with all of its clients in a fair and balanced way, taking into account the legitimate rights and interests of the farmer clients involved and also taking into account the fiscal integrity of the corporation which I am sure is important to the hon. member in the Reform Party.