House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was report.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Charlottetown (P.E.I.)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Fisheries November 22nd, 2001

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with respect to the conservation and management of highly migratory fish stocks in the high seas. What is the status? I am speaking about both ratification and implementation of the United Nations fisheries agreement on these issues.

Verbal Abuse Prevention Week Act November 21st, 2001

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-414, an act to establish verbal abuse prevention week.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce my private member's bill which will establish the first week of every October as verbal abuse prevention week.

Verbal abuse is a national problem and is present within all our communities. It exists in our schools, in our workplaces and even in our homes.

My hope is that the bill will serve to raise awareness and promote education about the negative consequences of verbal abuse.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Operation Apollo November 7th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, in a ceremony repeated many times in Halifax harbour's long naval history, Canadian warships once again departed for troubled waters to the sorrow and applause of family members and supporters, and to the appreciation and pride of all Canadians.

Canada's deployment of 2,000 Canadian forces personnel in Operation Apollo includes the deployment of the naval frigate HMCS Charlottetown . The name Charlottetown holds special significance to all Canadians as it is the birthplace of this nation. As a citizen of the city, I am proud to rise today to extend on behalf of all citizens of the birthplace of Confederation support and best wishes for a safe and successful return of all personnel involved.

As Canadians we are all proud of them.

Communities in Bloom October 30th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to take this opportunity to congratulate the city of Charlottetown for placing first in the national Communities in Bloom competition.

Prince Edward Island's capital city, the birthplace of Confederation, was recently awarded this prize in recognition of the city's effort to improve civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through the participation of both the residential and business communities.

The Communities in Bloom program, run by a not for profit organization, has Canadian municipalities compete with similar size cities in improving such areas as heritage conservation, environmental effort, community involvement, and landscaping and floral arrangement.

Judges of the Communities in Bloom program indicated they were most impressed with the involvement at all levels within the community and Charlottetown's efforts to maintain history through various heritage initiatives. As a result of the efforts of all residents Charlottetown is now recognized as one of the most beautiful and clean municipalities in Canada and has been given the prestigious Five Blooms designation.

City staff and citizens of both the business and residential districts should be proud that their dedication and hard work have earned Canada's birthplace of Confederation the national first place Communities in Bloom title.

The Budget October 24th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. In response to a question this afternoon he indicated that he will soon be tabling a budget in the House.

As we are entering uncertain economic times, does the minister's department have the required information to deliver a budget this year that will present both a current picture of the economy and where the economy is heading?

Breeder's Crown October 24th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to congratulate all participants, volunteers and sponsors who organized the harness racing Breeder's Crown weekend which was recently held in Charlottetown.

The gala weekend included a reception, pancake breakfast, banquet and two cards of harness racing held between October 7 and October 9. The culmination of the weekend was the Breeder's Crown finale for two year old colts and fillies and three year old colts and fillies.

In particular I congratulate Joe Kennedy of Amherst, Nova Scotia, and Hardy Mills Stable, the owners of Firm's Phantom, winner of the three year old colt final and winner of 27 consecutive races over the past two years.

On behalf of all residents of the district of Hillsborough and all harness racing fans throughout the maritime provinces I thank all the participants, volunteers and sponsors of the very successful Breeder's Crown weekend.

National Security October 19th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Revenue.

All Canadians are aware of the initiatives being taken to improve and enhance security at our U.S.-Canadian borders. On a related and equally important issue, what action is the minister and his department taking with a view to engaging the United States to ensure at the same time the efficient free flow of travellers and goods through the border?

Canadian Airline Industry October 1st, 2001

Madam Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this take note debate on the difficulties being experienced at present by the Canadian airline industry. Our airline industry has long and short term challenges.

These challenges should be dealt with separately. We should not be mixing apples and oranges. The short term challenges result from the dramatic decrease in the appetite of the consumer for flight travel, especially international flight travel resulting from the terrorist incidents that occurred in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania on September 11.

Before dealing with the financial assistance that a lot of us are speaking about tonight, the first issue that has to be addressed is providing consumers with total confidence in the security of our airline system. Our Canadian system is safe and has been safe. Canada has an enviable aviation safety and security record and is committed to improving that record. However the system is not perfect and improvements have to be made.

Canada and all other countries around the world are taking extraordinary steps to improve the system. Changes must be made in both airport and air flight security. There must be increased terrorism response training for flight crews; increased use of sophisticated technology; total separation of the cockpit from passenger areas; worldwide identification and tracking of known terrorists or people who in the past have associated with known terrorists; and increased penalties for both the travelling public and, more important, the companies that operate within our Canadian airports for any violation of airline security regulations.

It has been said tonight that many of these actions are being taken. I compliment our Minister of Transport for the actions that have been taken to date.

I support the privatization of our airports. I have read or heard nothing that convinces me the Government of Canada is better able to operate the country's airports than the companies that are presently operating them.

Improvements have to be made, especially with the financial plight of our smaller airports. The Government of Canada must make and enforce the rules. What the Canadian airline industry needs right now is a return to normal flight levels.

Airline traffic will return. We are seeing positive signs, especially on domestic flights, that the number of passengers is slowly returning. Immediately after the September 11 incident traffic was down by 60%. Today it is my understanding that traffic is down by approximately 20% and decreasing daily.

On the issue of financial assistance to Air Canada, I am compelled to recommend a go slow and cautious approach. Any decision has to bear in mind that Air Canada lost $108 million in the second quarter of this year. That is nearly a million dollars per day for every day that it was operating during that period.

Robert Milton, president and chief executive officer, announced that Air Canada had to adopt a new business plan and lay off approximately 4,000 employees. That announcement was made prior to the September 11 incident.

Many of the commitments made by Air Canada during the takeover of Canadian Airlines and incorporated in Bill C-26 were in serious jeopardy prior to the September 11 incident. Any compensation package should be based on losses directly incurred as a result of the September 11 incident, and any package should be available to all airlines operating in Canada. That is the short term solution.

Unlike some of my colleagues, I am against the Government of Canada taking over Air Canada. A government owned airline would be cumbersome, uneconomical and inefficient. It would not have the flexibility to operate in today's complex airline industry.

Unlike many of my colleagues, I am against the Government of Canada taking an equity position in Air Canada. This would be politically pleasing in the short term but would cause considerable grief to the Government of Canada. I see difficulty convincing the public as we go forward that the government is not operating Air Canada. As the saying goes, “if you are in for a penny, you are in for a pound”.

The industry's long term problems are caused to a large extent by the sheer size of our country.

Canada is a geographically large country, the second largest country in the world, with a relatively small population. Servicing cities like Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver will not be the challenge. The challenge will be providing air service to other cities, towns and regions that require economical, stable and reliable air service.

If Canada is to remain a strong country, regular, stable and cost efficient service is needed in smaller centres. We need a competitive environment, the environment that existed prior to the September 11 attacks. We also need mechanisms that in the long term protect service to our smaller communities.

Looking at the long term and going forward, I invite the transportation committee and the Minister of Transport to look at the following positive recommendations.

First, all airlines should be required, depending on the number of flights they have, to offer service to outlying communities, to the smaller towns, to the smaller regions. This would be done on a comparative basis, based upon the size of the airline and the flights they operate.

Second, all airlines operating on major routes should be required to accept passengers of a competitive regional carrier at a reasonable cost. This code sharing is similar to the concept that has been already successfully adopted in the long distance telephone industry.

Finally, and most important, there are many routes because of their remoteness that will require government assistance. Air service is the lifeblood of many communities in the western part of Canada, right across the northern part of the country and in Atlantic Canada.

The Government of Canada provides assistance for roads and wharfs. It assists the rail industry. It is only normal to accept the proposition that some assistance would go directly to the airlines that provide service to these communities.

There is tremendous pressure today, tonight and tomorrow on the government to straighten all the problems of the airline industry. We are under some artificial deadline this week. There is suggestion the train is leaving town and that everyone should be on the train.

What I am saying tonight is that the trains are already gone from a lot of these smaller towns, cities and regions. They do not have trains and they need air service.

The public is returning and will continue to return to the air. The short term difficulties should be dealt with as such. At the same time the government should seize this opportunity, this crisis, to look at a made in Canada solution to the long term challenges facing our Canadian airline industry.

Supply September 25th, 2001

Madam Speaker, I agree with the hon. member. On a decision like this, the government should consult the House and the issue should be debated at length. Every member of the House is entitled to be heard and every member should be heard, but I am at a loss as to how the motion would work.

The motion calls for the government to not commit the Canadian armed forces to any offensive action until the House of Commons has been consulted and a vote has been held. Would the deployment of four or five specialized persons call for a motion in the House, or the whole armed forces being sent to Afghanistan? Where do we draw the line?

As well, is the hon. member aware of any other democratic countries, based upon the Westminster model, that would require a vote in the House before the deployment of armed forces?

Peacekeeping June 13th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, on June 28, 2000, the Governor General of Canada announced the creation of the well deserved Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal for members of the armed forces, RCMP and local police who have served abroad as United Nations peacekeepers.

Almost 125,000 Canadians have served in peacekeeping missions over the past 53 years, a record unsurpassed by any other nation. I personally wish to congratulate the more than 130 Prince Edward Islanders who were awarded this medal as well as the 44,000 other Canadians who have been honoured for their past service at ceremonies across the country.

Sadly, our valiant efforts to inspire peace around the world has not been without loss. The red stripping in the medal's ribbon is symbolic of the blood shed by Canada's 113 peacekeepers who have lost their lives in service to this country while on peacekeeping and observer missions.

On behalf of all residents of Prince Edward Island—