House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was senate.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia (Manitoba)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Health October 22nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. There is $1.1 billion sitting in the compensation fund for victims of hepatitis C from tainted blood and it is not being used. Meanwhile, more than $250,000 a month is spent on administrative costs. This is not right. Money continues to sit in the fund with management costs of at least $3 million a year and no one outside the window is being compensated.

Since the minister supported opening the fund in 1998 as attorney general in B.C., why does he not do the right thing and today begin to compensate the victims outside the window?

Health October 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, that answer makes me sick. I think the minister could use the vaccine.

If I know the government, I would not doubt that it is trying to put this surplus against the debt. However, the final decision on sharing publicly purchased vaccine is up to the provinces.

Has the minister talked to the provinces about their surplus, or is this just another foray into provincial jurisdiction by the government?

Health October 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the government has another case of “surplusitis”.

Yesterday the Minister of Health said he is looking at sending our surplus of flu vaccine to the United States. Then, in the same interview, he said there is no need to talk to the Americans about it.

When the minister stops flip flopping like he did last week on the hepatitis C compensation, could he tell the House how big the surplus of flu vaccine is and how many doses he has promised to send to the United States?

Health October 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, there is something terribly wrong in Canada and the government is not moving to address the issue.

Thousands of people have been affected with hepatitis C from tainted blood and are refused compensation. The government drew an arbitrary line in the sand to determine who would get compensated and who would not.

Now those who did not get compensated have a miserable, painful existence through no fault of their own. They will experience severe fatigue, swelling of the liver, nausea and weight loss, and these are just the physical symptoms. These victims also experience mental anguish and frustration over the way they have been ignored by the government for so long.

As Canadians we are a compassionate people by nature. I find it troubling that some of our own citizens needlessly suffer when there is a way to mitigate their misery.

I urge the government to provide these victims with access to the compensation fund. Stop playing politics with people's lives. The government must compensate these hepatitis C victims. It is the right thing to do.

Health October 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I understand why the NDP traded him away.

The minister refuses to give Canadians an honest answer. Why is the government blatantly discriminating against the pre-1986 and post-1990 victims? Why will the minister not stand up in the House right now and tell Canadians that all victims of hepatitis C from tainted blood deserve compensation?

Canadians know. Give an honest answer and do the right thing.

Health October 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, last week provided more evidence that the new health minister has no clue about what he is doing. He told Canadians that the government will review the rules of the hepatitis C fund and give compensation to those outside the 1986-90 window. In fact, we have found out that he had no intention of opening the fund.

What he did was give false hope to these people. While the government compensates its pals with millions of dollars of ad contracts and golf balls, victims sit at home, getting sicker every day.

When will the minister stop giving these people false hope and apologize for his comments?

Health October 7th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the Minister of Health that people are suffering and this babble is not helping.

According to the original agreement, the provinces do not have to account for this money until next year.

Will the health minister ask the other provincial governments to account for how they spent their share of the money ahead of the scheduled reporting date?

Health October 7th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I thank everyone for that warm introduction. I have to say, however, that I do not think the government side will be applauding after I ask my first question.

This question is for the Minister of Health. This week the minister said that the Government of Ontario should account for how it spent the additional $83 million funded by the federal government to care for hepatitis C victims. Is that not ironic, the minister providing advice on accountability?

When will the government be accountable for all the victims who were affected by hepatitis C, not just those on the existing list who qualified for compensation?

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply October 7th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I think on this we agree. A country should be judged on the way it treats its most vulnerable people.

We do have a contradiction in Canada. On the one hand, we save people from accidents like mine or from birth defects or illness or prolong their lives, but in many cases we do not provide the resources to allow these same individuals to lead meaningful and productive lives.

What I think we need to do first is educate the Canadian public about these challenges. As long as people feel that their tax dollars are being utilized for the benefit of their fellow Canadians, there will be a lot of support for these vulnerable people.

However, one of the challenges, with all due respect to the hon. member, is the strong feeling among the Canadian populace that this government is not utilizing taxpayers' dollars in the way that Canadians expect the moneys to be used.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply October 7th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his kind comments. I feel very fortunate to be here to share this time with my colleagues, particularly at a critical time in our nation's history.

I have to say that I do not come from a family of money or power. I came here with grassroots support. I cannot think of any other country where someone in my situation could be elected to the federal House. For that, I would like to thank all Canadians.

To respond specifically to the hon. member's comments, yes, I think that in this minority government situation we need to cooperate. As we know, the Liberals did not get the majority of votes throughout the country. It is up to the opposition parties to hold the government to account. I think we will find common ground among the Bloc, the Conservatives and even the NDP, and hopefully the Liberals, to ensure that the interests of Canadians are fulfilled. That is our main obligation, putting aside party affiliation.

Having said that, I think the amendments that were presented would enhance the throne speech. The government obviously did not listen to or misheard what Canadians were telling it. The amendment put forward by the Leader of the Opposition, along with that of the leader of the Bloc, would help improve the lot of Canadians, if the Liberals would go along with them.