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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was great.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Cape Breton—Canso (Nova Scotia)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 74% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Acoa November 7th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, the Atlantic innovation fund that was launched by the government in June of this year, and is aimed at increasing the research and development capacity of Atlantic Canada, has attracted a great deal of attention from research institutions and the business community in the Atlantic region.

Could the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency inform the House as to the extent of the interest generated so far for funding under this $300 million initiative?

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act November 6th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, Canadians and their government have built a world renowned system of national parks for over 100 years. This parliament has the opportunity to set the stage for building a system of national marine conservation areas. Future generations of Canadians will be able to enjoy and appreciate the diversity of our magnificent marine environments as they now enjoy the outstanding natural areas in our parks.

The long term goal is to represent each of Canada's 29 marine regions in a national system of marine conservation areas, much as we would establish a national park in each of the 39 terrestrial natural regions of Canada. Each national marine conservation area like each national park should be an outstanding sample of the region it represents.

There is an assumption that national marine conservation areas will simply be national parks on water. This is not so. Maintenance of ecological integrity is the first priority when considering park zoning and visitor use in national parks. National parks are managed to remain essentially unaltered by human activity.

National marine conservation areas are designed to be models of sustainable use and the approach to management is one which balances protection and use. As a result we need legislation tailored to national marine conservation areas.

I will give a quick overview of the legislation indicating how it is designed to manage protected areas in the complex world that is our marine environment.

The bill establishes the legal and regulatory framework for creating and managing national marine conservation areas. It does not by itself create any specific areas. It provides a mechanism for formally establishing national marine conservation areas under the act.

Bill C-10 sets out an order in council process for the establishment in law of national marine conservation areas that is similar to the recently proclaimed Canada National Parks Act. The order in council process would speed up the scheduling of new areas. I assure the House that the supremacy of parliament remains.

The bill would require proposals to establish each new national marine conservation area to be tabled in both houses and referred to the appropriate standing committee for consideration. The order in council would not proceed should either house reject the establishment of the new area.

Bill C-10 requires federal ownership of all lands to be included in a national marine conservation area both above and below the water as is the case for our national parks. This ensures that the Minister of Canadian Heritage would have administration and control of these areas.

If a province owns all or part of the seabed in an area where Parks Canada proposes to establish a national marine conservation area, the province would have to agree to use those lands for an MCA. In marine areas where there is contested federal-provincial jurisdiction there would always be consultations with the province concerned. The federal government has no intention of acting unilaterally.

There is a clear requirement for public consultation with the establishment of any national marine conservation area with particular emphasis given to affected coastal communities. I emphasize that if there is no public support for the creation of a national marine conservation area in any given location, the proposal would not be brought forward to parliament. Parks Canada would look to another area with which to represent the marine region.

When the government decides to take the final step and formally establish a national marine conservation area parliament would have an opportunity to examine the proposal in detail and satisfy itself that there is broad community support.

Bill C-10 calls for active stakeholder participation in the formulation, review and implementation of management plans. The legislation provides for accountability to parliament through the tabling of management plans for each marine conservation area.

Coastal communities need certainty before an area is established. Therefore when a new proposal comes to parliament along with a report on consultations held and any agreements reached with provinces and other departments, there will also be an interim management plan. Management advisory committees will be created for each marine conservation area to ensure that consultation with local stakeholders is on an ongoing basis.

I would now like to address how Bill C-10 reflects the government's commitment to working with aboriginal peoples. The legislation includes provisions to establish reserves for national marine conservation areas. These are established when an area, or a portion of an area, is subject to a land claim by aboriginal people that has been accepted for negotiation by the Government of Canada. Reserves are managed as if they were national marine conservation areas but without prejudice to the settlement of the claim.

A non-derogation clause has been added regarding aboriginal and treaty rights. There is also a specific requirement in the legislation to consult with aboriginal governments and organizations and bodies established under land claim agreements.

Finally, the legislation explicitly recognizes traditional aboriginal ecological knowledge in carrying out research and monitoring studies in national marine conservation areas.

Certain activities are prohibited throughout all national marine conservation areas. The most important of these prohibitions concerns non-renewable resources, specifically minerals and oil and gas. Marine conservation areas are managed for sustainable use and by definition, extraction of non-renewable resources is not sustainable.

Other activities would be regulated through zoning. In each national marine conservation area there would be multiple use zones where ecologically sustainable uses are encouraged, including fishing. There will also be zones where protection is afforded to special features and sensitive elements of ecosystems. These would be protection zones where resource use is not permitted. These zones would be identified in full consultation with local stakeholders.

I would like to reiterate that Bill C-10 is framework legislation. It provides the tools needed to create national marine conservation areas and to manage each one in a way that is appropriate to its unique characteristics. I believe we have struck an appropriate balance between protection and sustainable use. Very few activities are completely prohibited but tools are available to regulate activities to ensure that the structure and function of each area's ecosystems are not compromised.

We have an obligation to consult affected communities during feasibility studies in the planning process and in preparing the applicable regulations. Each area will be unique. It will be unique in its characteristics and uniquely managed. A national marine conservation area in Georgian Bay will be distinct from one in the Beaufort Sea or one in the Strait of Georgia or one in the Bay of Fundy.

Canada needs this legislation so that outstanding examples of our country's natural and cultural marine heritage can be provided with long term protection and so that Canadians can learn more about and experience this shared heritage.

Gemini Awards October 29th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I take this occasion to speak about the 16th annual Gemini Awards that will conclude tonight at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre's John Bassett Theatre.

The Gemini Awards are made possible by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. The first national awards presentation took place in December 1986. Since then the event has grown in prominence and stature to become one of the most prestigious in our country.

The Gemini Awards recognize and celebrate exceptional achievements in all areas of the Canadian English language television industry. They showcase the creativity, energy and talent of our many Canadian artists and creators. I thank all those who made the Gemini Awards such a success: the organizers, the artists and the creators without whom the awards would not be made possible.

I ask all my colleagues to join me in congratulating all the recipients of the 2001 Gemini Awards.

The Acadians October 3rd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to respond to the member for Verchères--Les-Patriotes and to his motion asking the Governor General to intercede with Her Majesty, the Queen of England, to present an official apology to the Acadian people for wrongs done in its name between 1755 and 1763.

Canada's history, like that of all countries, has skeletons in its closet of which we are not proud. These are events that took place sometimes hundreds of years ago, such as in the case of the Acadian deportation. History can sometimes be cruel, however, Canada's history does not include only injustices. It is a history which for the most part is one of progress and growth. Today we must look to the future.

Canada's Acadian community is not one but many communities spread throughout the Atlantic provinces. In New Brunswick, Acadians are concentrated in the southeast, the northeast and the northwest, with groups in Fredericton and Saint John.

In Nova Scotia there are dynamic communities in Baie-Sainte-Marie on the southwestern coast and in my own constituency of Bras d'Or--Cape Breton. Both Île-Madame and the Chéticamp region are beautiful communities, proud and progressive.

In Prince Edward Island Acadians are in the region of Évangéline. In Newfoundland they are found near Cape St. Georges and in Saint-Jean and in Labrador City. They are also situated at Îles-de-la-Madeleine in the Gaspé, in the Montreal region and in western Canada. All these communities, no matter how big or small, are testament to the vitality of Canada's people and our two official languages.

It takes extraordinary courage and strength to develop a community which lives in a minority situation. The members of the Acadian communities have founded schools, colleges and universities. They have established theatres, newspapers and publishing houses. They have made outstanding strides in culture, theatre, cinema, visual arts and music as well as in literature. They have blessed the world with writers, poets, artists, dancers, musicians and singers. They have established an impressive network of businesses and created jobs.

The Acadians of Canada are part of what makes Canada able to be successful and prosper. The Government of Canada recognizes this dynamic and vital contribution to Canadian society. They count among the seven million people in Canada who speak, sing, write, work and live in French. These francophones are proof of the vitality and extraordinary determination to grow and expand on a continent with an anglophone majority.

The English and French languages and the people who speak them have shaped Canada and helped define its identity. Canada's linguistic duality has its origins in the very nature of our country. It is hard to look at Canada today without seeing the importance of these two languages and their communities within Canadian society.

The official languages support programs of the Department of Canadian Heritage are designed to provide opportunities for Canadians to fully appreciate and profit from our rich linguistic heritage. The Government of Canada believes that the great majority of Canadians share these goals.

Few would doubt the importance of education to any community. Through the support for minority language education, the Department of Canadian Heritage works toward the full participation of both language groups in all aspects of Canadian life.

These programs not only further the vital cultural contribution of the English and French speaking minority communities, but also promote access to the economic mainstream. For instance, progress in the area of French language minority education has had a prominent role in lowering illiteracy and school dropout rates and increasing post-secondary attendance.

Thirty years ago the quality and availability of French language minority education was not only a national disgrace but also a significant barrier to the development and survival of francophone communities throughout Canada. We set out to change this. In the process, schools were built where none had existed. Community centres were built where none had existed. Colleges were built where none had existed.

We have worked with the provinces and with francophone and Acadian parents from one end of the country to the other. The economic value of quality public education in their language for the 1.6 million Canadians who are part of official language minority communities cannot be underestimated.

All Canadians have a stake in minority language education programs. In their absence, as the bilingualism and bicultural commission pointed out, these Canadians would not be able to make their potential contribution to society. The Department of Canadian Heritage, in particular the official languages support programs branch, has concluded a series of agreements which greatly benefit the Acadian and francophone populations of Canada.

Collaboration between both levels of government within the framework of the official languages and education program allows more than 150,000 young people from official minority language communities to study in their language in 700 elementary and secondary schools in all regions of the country, and 18.5% of these schools are situated in the Atlantic provinces.

The official languages and education program contributes to the financing of a network of 19 francophone colleges and universities outside Quebec, many of which are located in the Atlantic provinces and which serve the Acadian population. It is also through these programs that 2.7 million young Canadians are learning a second official language, including more than 318,000 in immersion classes, thus greatly increasing the number of Canadians with an appreciation for the French language and culture.

While I will not go into details about all the good work that is being done, I would like to outline some of the noteworthy accomplishments which have been achieved in minority education and which have directly benefited the Acadian communities over the past few years.

In Nova Scotia, major roles in French education are played by Collège de l'Acadie, to which I will speak in more detail, and Université Sainte-Anne, which has been funded for many years by the federal government.

Created in 1988, Collège de l'Acadie is now a key institution within the francophone and Acadian communities. Having two in my own constituency, I certainly can speak to the role they play.

The considerable distances that separate the different Acadian regions of the province could have posed problems with respect to the service delivery but, undiscouraged, the Acadians adjusted and established training centres attached to Collège de l'Acadie throughout the territory. There are now seven and there is no doubt that these training centres contribute directly to the economic expansion and development of the Acadian communities.

The college and its training centres have state of the art technological tools such as video conferencing and teleconferencing, offering superior distance education programs. On the eve of a new focus on knowledge and communications, a French language distance education capacity is certainly a sign of prosperity for francophones and Acadians in Canada.

Also in Nova Scotia, federal funds have supported the construction and expansion of the Carrefour du Grand Havre school and community centre in Dartmouth. The opening of the Étoile school and community centre in my neighbouring constituency of Sydney--Victoria was equally an occasion to celebrate a victory for the francophone population in the greater Sydney area. Along with offering quality education in French, it is a centre where the Acadian community can gather together as well as a place to promote the Acadian culture.

In New Brunswick, the federal government also has widely and consistently supported the development of well established institutions, such as the University of Moncton. It, like any other educational institution, plays an important role as an engine of social, economic and cultural development for the Acadian communities.

Created in 1963, the University of Moncton is the second largest university in New Brunswick and the biggest French language Canadian university outside of Quebec. It has three campuses: Moncton in the southeast, Edmundston in the northwest, and Shippagan in the northeast. There is no question that the University of Moncton contributes directly to the vitality and dynamism of the francophone and Acadian communities of Canada.

Also in New Brunswick, federal funds have helped in the construction of three school community centres at Fredericton, Miramichi and Saint John, as well as funding for four community colleges. In Prince Edward Island another community centre has been established. Newfoundland's Acadians can soon be celebrating the signing of an agreement with the federal government for francophone school management.

The federal government also supports the Acadian associations that bring Acadian institutions and organizations together.

These associations work hard for the Acadian cause and have over the years brought about many positive changes. There is no doubt the Acadian deportation is an event that ranks among the great tragedies of history in Canada.

That fact and the effects of it should never be forgotten or diminished in our memories. Historic and commemorative venues, such as Grand Pré, have been established so that Canadians will always remember this part of our history.

Stream International September 26th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the citizens of Bras d'Or--Cape Breton it gives me great pleasure to welcome to our island our newest corporate citizen. Stream International Incorporated, with the co-operation and support of various federal and provincial agencies, and in particular HRDC, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and the Cape Breton Growth Fund, recently announced the construction of a state of the art facility and 900 call centre jobs for Glace Bay.

Stream International provides technical support and customer service for some of the biggest companies in the IT and e-business sectors. Identifying an immediate access to a highly educated and motivated workforce and the development of an excellent working relationship with our community college, Stream believes the Glace Bay operation has the potential to emerge as its flagship centre in its international operation.

This is a good news story for the 900 new employees of Stream, for the community and for all of Cape Breton Island.

Justice April 27th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, while the criminal justice system responds to crime and criminals, people in my riding and elsewhere believe we must enhance the role of victims who are caught up in our criminal justice system.

Could the Minister of Justice tell the House what work is being done by her department to improve the services and support available to victims of crime within our justice system?

Summit On Sport April 27th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to inform the House that today is the start of the National Summit on Sport here in Ottawa, which is being chaired by the Prime Minister of Canada.

The Summit on Sport is the culmination of consultations held across Canada since June 2000 by the hon. Secretary of State for Amateur Sport. The process has included six regional conferences and six round tables.

The summit will bring together 350 delegates representing the leaders of the Canadian sport community. They will be discussing major issues, such as participation, excellence and developing our resources.

I invite members to join me in recognizing the importance of such a summit in Canada and to participate in the ongoing discussions being held this weekend.

Sports April 24th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport.

In light of the upcoming national summit on sport being held in Ottawa this weekend, what provisions are being made to ensure that those most impacted, our young developing athletes, will be the benefactors of the new national policy on sport?

Hockey March 29th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to stand in the House and share with all members information on a truly unique event taking place in my constituency this weekend. The 12th annual Vince Ryan Old Timers Hockey Tournament is being held in Cape Breton beginning today and will see 125 teams from across Canada and the United States converge on my community.

The tournament's namesake, Vince Ryan, was recognized throughout Cape Breton and indeed the Atlantic provinces as a skilled athlete, a fierce competitor and a man who held high a sense of fair play and sportsmanship.

Upward of 2,000 players will compete in the spirit of fellowship in the country's national winter pastime in what has become one of Atlantic Canada's premier adult recreational sporting events.

I thank Duddy Ryan, the entire Ryan family, Ritchie Warren and his committed group of volunteers for ensuring that this annual event continues to be a highlight of our Cape Breton winters. I wish them all the very best in this week's tournament.

Fisheries March 19th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced the recipients of the national recreational fisheries awards for the year 2000.

These awards recognize those individuals and organizations that work to protect and enhance recreational fisheries and their habitats. The efforts of this year's award winners contribute not only to the development of this important tourism industry but also to the enhancement and preservation of Canada's aquatic environment.

On behalf of all members I salute the year 2000 recipients: Jeremy Maynard of British Columbia, Jack Cooper of Labrador, the Urban Angling Partnership in Winnipeg, the Conservation Faune Aquatique Quebec Inc., and the Southeastern Anglers Association of New Brunswick. I congratulate all this year's winners.