House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was particular.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Liberal MP for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Lost his last election, in 2021, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply November 4th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I rise to compliment my hon. colleague from St. John's East. I enjoyed his speech thoroughly and there is no doubt in my mind that he believes what I believe. What I believe unequivocally is, for Newfoundland and Labrador, 100%. In my riding in central Newfoundland, I have received hundreds if not thousands of e-mails and calls talking about the sincerity of this issue. I too believe in the sincerity of this issue, much as my honoured colleague does. Again I compliment him on his career and I compliment him on his speech. There is no doubt in my mind that all of us here believe in Newfoundland and Labrador 100%.

These are troubling times for us and the reason is that this is an incredibly important issue. This is our Meech Lake accord.

My question is for the member for St. John's East. We are trying to keep all the rhetoric down. I have had several conversations, including one with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and I would urge all people to keep the rhetoric down at this point, to see that we can reach this deal, so that the decision can be done with information, and everybody is--

Supply November 4th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I listened with particular interest to a couple of my colleagues across the way concerning this issue. Certainly over the past two months I have been talking with many people in the federal government and in the provincial governments, and have spoken to many experts in the field. I am getting a good grasp of the equalization formula and everything that it involves.

I would like to ask that particular member, who seems to have a genuine interest about providing what is just and what is right, to explain to me how this deal falls short of expectations in the sense of fiscal capacity and also in the sense of the clawback itself. Perhaps he would like to explain it to me in detail because I would like to get his take on it.

Supply November 4th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by saying that I was insulted by my hon. colleague's comment. For him to say that this is a greater disaster than the Ocean Ranger disaster undermines the situation and, as a Newfoundlander, I am completely insulted. More than 80 lives were lost in that disaster. I will not listen to any member undermine the greatest disaster in the offshore that Newfoundland and Labrador has ever seen. I ask the member right now, in front of everybody, to retract his statement.

Canadian Heritage November 2nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage.

On October 30 the minister co-hosted a meeting in Halifax with the provincial and territorial ministers responsible for culture and heritage.

Having supported the renewal of the program “Tomorrow Starts Today” at the current level, would the minister tell us more about that meeting?

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply October 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the feedback has been tremendous. It became the most important issue during the campaign. It also became the most important issue for me personally, on two levels. First, it is stable funding. Many in the health care sector approached me during the campaign and said they liked the idea that they were getting stable funding. Recently, because of the deal that was signed, once again they are saying that we have done what we said we were going to do. We set this out in the throne speech, we set it out in our campaign, and now we are going through with it.

The other issue was of course home care. There has been tremendous feedback about home care and how we plan to be sincere about this particular topic. As I mentioned during my speech, yes, we give respect to our patients, but also we give respect to our health care workers. To me, that is a tremendous goal.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply October 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Winnipeg South Centre. First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your appointment.

The riding of Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor is not only rich in heritage but also rich in its people. Being in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, our cultural heritage dates back over some 500 years. In that 500 years we have cultivated a place that is so distinct that people from the world just marvel when they arrive. I am very proud to say that I am part of that rich cultural heritage.

The Speech from the Throne brought up several points to me that I felt were very endearing toward Newfoundlanders and ones that they accepted, which is why in the last election five out of seven seats went to the Liberal Party. For me one of the big issues that came out was health care. The federal government was able to reach a historic and truly significant deal that works to achieve better health care for Canadians. What is great about this deal is that it is a 10 year commitment to stable funding for the people who need it the most. I am very proud to say that I supported that and the people of Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor supported me on that as well.

I have a very rural riding. It consists of over 100 communities and the biggest community is a little over 10,000 people. For us primary health care and emergency services are a vital issue. The money that we are now seeing promised to the smaller communities will go a long way toward better health care, reducing our wait times and also toward something that is very vital to my province which is home care.

I campaigned on home care because to me that is in essence where we are going to be in the future. When we talk about home care, there is a tremendous amount of respect for our home care workers and now we are ready to back them up. I am very proud of that.

Regional economic development in my province has been very strategic in the past few years through an agency known as ACOA. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has been a tremendous vehicle for regional economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador, especially over the past three or four years. In that time we have managed to build something that is a true testament to what our cultural heritage is that I talked about earlier.

We are now celebrating our history in Bonavista and Port Union. ACOA has gone a long way in investing in this, to help support the people who want to invite the rest of the world to come and see what it is that we have to offer, and I am very proud of that. This past weekend I was in a town called Port Union which has a group called the Coaker Foundation. The town is celebrating the fact that Port Union is the only town in Canada built by a union from the vision of a man named Sir William Coaker. He built the town for his workers. He owned the company, but truly believed in the workers of his town. I am very proud to be a part of a riding that truly believes in that.

I truly appreciate the rightful respect that the throne speech gives to our municipalities. This is very important. In this past election, it was brought to my attention that only 8¢ out of the dollar goes back to municipalities. This does not give municipalities, large or small, the right to manoeuvre. It does not give them a lot of ability to plan. Now, finally, we have a government that truly respects the responsibility of a local government. I am extremely happy to be a part of that government.

This past weekend I was in Bonavista and I spoke to a town council. Council members spoke passionately about where they are going and where they want to be in the future. There is a town called Elliston and the mayor of that town told me that, “we know where we are going to be in the next four or five years and your government believes in that, and I believe in you”. That is one of the major reasons why we were successful and why I was successful in my riding.

I would also like to talk about communities in this sense. One of the things I said time and time again during the campaign was that as a member of Parliament I do not lead the parade down the street; I support the parade ahead of me. As members of Parliament, that is what we do. To me, local government is the most important government in one's life. As supporters of that, with this initiative and the gas tax we have put a commitment behind it. Just recently, rebates on the GST provided our communities a tremendous infusion of cash, which allowed them the manoeuvrability to make long term commitments. We are about to go even further.

The throne speech, under the environment, talks about protecting our fish stocks that straddle the 200 mile limit. Let me quote from the speech. These are words that were very endearing to me:

The Government will... move forward on its Ocean Action Plan by maximizing the use and development of oceans technology, establishing a network of marine protected areas, implementing integrated management plans, and enhancing the enforcement of rules governing oceans and fisheries, including rules governing straddling stocks.

Recently during a conversation between the Prime Minister and the leader of France, this very issue came up, which shows the commitment our Prime Minister has toward this issue, the conservation of a fish stock. More than that, it is the conservation of our future, so that our children can partake in an industry that we have been partaking of for the last 500 years.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I humbly stand before you today in this hon. chamber for the very first time to say that I am committed to the greatest resource that our province has shown to the world, and that is our children. Out-migration of our youth continues to be our greatest challenge in Newfoundland and Labrador. I want to give our youth the option to stay if they choose to do so and I believe the government believes in that, in regional economic development and sustainable living that will finally give our children the right to stay in Newfoundland and to make a living for them and their children if they choose to do so.

The government understands that our policies will help pave the way so that Newfoundland and Labrador will become the shining jewel of the north Atlantic.

Canada Shipping Act October 18th, 2004

Yes. In response to the other issues, I will go back to the bill itself, which is of course something for the respected employees we have. In many cases, when they would look for the answers they would have to go here or go there. What the bill does is answer the concerns, not just for our bureaucrats but also for the respected people in the industry itself. When it comes to pleasure boats and when it comes to environmental measures, we have responded in this case. Changes were made and were implemented back last December. What we have done now is that we have caught up with that in the bill. We have certainly responded to the concerns.

The issues the member brings up will be addressed in the future. I do not think the comments brought up earlier really stand up to that, because what we have right here is that as part of the Canada Shipping Act we are taking care of the concerns on small vessel regulations, boating restriction regulations, competency of operators of pleasure craft regulations, and marine navigation services. All of these concerns are being addressed in the bill. That is why I wholeheartedly support Bill C-3.

The Canadian Coast Guard, under DFO's purview, continues to manage the aerial surveillance, which gives respect to what it does best. By having DFO keep the aerial surveillance, fisheries and security, we are listening to the concerns of our bureaucracy and we are listening to the concerns of our people. We are listening to the concerns of all Canadians.

Canada Shipping Act October 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, let me say in response, no, I do not expect to change the world overnight, but certainly with a little bit at a time, as the bill accomplishes, I think we can make a difference, even as one member of Parliament can.

I am very proud of the dedication that the Prime Minister has committed to in the Speech from the Throne in regard to closing that democratic deficit and I am very proud to be sitting on this side of the House. I might add that I am very proud to be Canadian.

Canada Shipping Act October 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I too share a great amount of interest given my riding, but certainly in this situation these are the ongoing concerns that we no doubt will address at present and in the future.

What is important about Bill C-3 is that it does answer many of the concerns of the stakeholders in this situation. For instance, the government is transferring from the fisheries department to the transport department policy responsibilities and certain operational responsibilities for pleasure craft.

With regard to the environmental aspect, a lot of it will be transferred. This is what was asked for by the stakeholders in this situation. What we have done is that the government has responded to the initiatives taken by the people. In turn, we are now following up on that, with the implementation being done back in December 2003.

I would also note that many of the aerial surveillance programs will also be transferred to the transport department. This is of course in response to what the Department of Transport has asked for and, more important, it is also what the stakeholders have asked for. They have made the request and we have responded in kind.

Canada Shipping Act October 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I am sharing my time with the hon. member for Yukon.

Before I start to speak to the bill, I am very honoured and pleased to be representing the constituents of Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor. They have bestowed upon me the greatest honour that I could ever receive, and that is to represent them in this honoured House as their member of Parliament. I would also like to thank the people closest to me who got me in this position.

I am pleased to rise to speak in support of Bill C-3, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act and the Oceans Act that has been tabled by my colleague, the Minister of Transport.

Marine transportation has a special significance for Canadians. Our waterways were the original routes for travel and commerce. That commerce has grown as the country has grown. The bill gives the House an opportunity to promote a more transparent and predictable regulatory system for marine transportation, and I join my colleagues in emphasizing the importance of shipping in the Canadian and global economies. For instance, waterborne transportation carries three-quarters of the world's international trade, and it is economical. On a single litre of fuel, for instance, one tonne of freight can travel 240 kilometres by ship.

Stakeholders in the marine community welcome the change as it makes it much easier to know which minister and which department is responsible for what. The division of policy and enforcement responsibilities between Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been difficult to understand and to implement in the past. That is why we react this way. Having one minister responsible for pleasure craft and another responsible for non-pleasure vessels, in particular, was a constant irritant for the stakeholders. It is their concerns that bring us to this point.

The bill supports improved service delivery in both policy and operational function. Specifically, all Canadian coast guard policy, responsibilities and operational responsibilities relating to pleasure craft safety, marine navigation services, pollution prevention and response and navigable waters protection are transferred now to Transport Canada. Those policy responsibilities include the development and management of legislation, regulations, standards and the guidelines.

The bill will help the Department of Transport to do its job of protecting safety and also protecting the environment, a sincere commitment the government has made in the past and we do it again here today. The bill responds directly to stakeholder concerns. Stakeholders have had their concerns about the complexity of having two departments of government sharing policy responsibility in just one single field. The government has listened to the stakeholders and the bill brought forward today reflects that.

The changes reflected in the bill will make it easier for stakeholders to make themselves heard in the future. Recreational boaters and industry alike will welcome the Minister of Transport's open consultation forums the Canadian marine advisory councils. Any Canadian who takes an interest in marine safety and the protection of the marine environment can take part in these meetings which take place twice a year across the country and are open to all members of the public. There, stakeholders from coast to coast to coast can meet in person with officials of the department and participate in the initiatives that affect them.

The content of the statutes affected by Bill C-3 remain otherwise unchanged. The rules remain the same. Therefore, there is no adverse impact on the environment or international relations. The implementation of the transfer of responsibility has no significant cost; it is being done inside of existing resources. Delivery of service to stakeholders and other Canadians goes on without interruption.

I am pleased to promote the government's stated objectives of “a transparent and predictable regulatory system that accomplishes public policy objectives efficiently, while eliminating unintended impacts” and “providing an up to date legislative framework for business concerns”. That is why, in this honoured hall, I support Bill C-3 for my colleague.