House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was opposition.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 71% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House April 5th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his comments and his presentation today. I would like to follow up on some of the points that he made and one of my other colleagues, the member for Fort McMurray—Athabasca, also made dealing with the qualifications of the applicant, Mr. Murray.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment has stated on numerous occasions, as has the Prime Minister, that the primary qualification of this position is not to have intimate knowledge of the subject, but to be an effective chair.

I have heard from the presentation by my colleague from Essex and the previous presentation by my colleague from Fort McMurray--Athabasca that there needs to be far more inherent knowledge and in depth knowledge of the subject matter itself rather than just having effective chairmanship skills.

Could my colleague expand on that and whether he feels the government's position, that Mr. Murray would be an excellent employee because he is an excellent chair, is sufficient or does one need an in depth knowledge of the environment?

Committees of the House April 5th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I share many of the concerns expressed by the hon. member across the floor, particularly when it comes to the perceived conflict of interest and the perceived patronage in this appointment. I think it reflects poorly on all parliamentarians when the Canadian public believes, as I think it does in this case, that appointments are made, not through merit but through patronage and political affiliation. We need to get beyond that.

During the last election campaign the Prime Minister stated on many occasions that he would get beyond that. However it appears that he has not. The perception of impartiality and the perception of patronage are things with which most Canadians cannot abide.

Something else that concerns me greatly, which the member for Skeena--Bulkley Valley pointed out in his presentation, has to do with Mr. Murray's apparent lack qualifications.

Many of us here in the House have gone through job interviews ourselves. One thing I always did when I was up for a position in years past was to ensure I did my homework. Before I went to an interview I made sure I found out everything about the company I was applying to. I even went so far as to do some role playing with friends or other colleagues in respective industries or organizations to try to anticipate the type of questions that might be asked at the interview. I would certainly go through the job description of the position itself so I would be intimately aware and knowledgeable of all of the attributes that the successful applicant would require for the position.

What distresses me about this whole situation is that it appears that Mr. Murray did not even do the minimum required to learn about the job or the qualifications needed for the job itself. The member who just spoke and other colleagues have stated that Mr. Murray went to the interview without the basic knowledge of what the chair's role would be.

I have a couple of questions for the member who sits on the environment committee. Does he not think that other members of the round table must have confidence in the abilities of the chair to act in an effective manner? If they do not have confidence in an appointee who is to become their chair, does that not undermine the ability of the round table itself to do some effective work?

Committees of the House April 5th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, one of the problems we have with the appointment is it appears again that the Prime Minister has gone back on his word. He has talked on many occasions and at great length about ending cronyism in government, ending the feeling of western alienation, ending political patronage appointments across the board. Yet with this appointment, regardless of how qualified Mr. Murray is, it appears that the Prime Minister has broken his word.

One of the things that most Canadians are concerned about is that politicians do not keep their word, that politicians, if we look at recent surveys, are among the lowest ranks of all occupations when it comes to things like integrity, honesty and reliability. This only reinforces the misconception that most Canadians have about politicians.

Does my colleague from the Bloc not think that the perception of impartiality and the perception of fairness are as important as qualifications in making appointments such as this one?

Criminal Code April 5th, 2005

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-359, an act to amend the Criminal Code (personal identity theft).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill entitled an act to amend the Criminal Code (personal identity theft).

Personal identity theft is a serious problem throughout Canada, with thousands of victims each year. This bill seeks to clearly define identity theft in the Canadian Criminal Code. It would make it illegal for one to possess or transfer another person's identifying information without lawful excuse. The bill would also make it an offence to possess or transfer documentation of another person, such as a driver's licence or credit card, without lawful excuse.

In the high tech era in which we live, identity theft is quickly becoming a major problem. This law is designed to close the loophole being used by identity thieves. I hope the bill will earn support from all sides of the House.

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

Government Appointments March 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it has taken only a few short months for the Prime Minister to break his word. He promised parliamentary overview and a return of democracy. Despite the overwhelming rejection by the environment committee of Glen Murray, the Prime Minister continues to defend this obvious patronage appointment. Now he has his own deputy whip running around saying that rejecting Mr. Murray's appointment may be, “outside of legal authority”.

Why is the Prime Minister allowing one of his parliamentary secretaries to try to undermine one of his key campaign promises, or is this just another case of, promise made, promise broken?

Supply March 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment on one of the things my colleague mentioned in his presentation. Perhaps he could expand upon it.

He talked about what he called the unconscionable practice of the clawback provision taking more away from the province than it made in revenue. For example, Saskatchewan raised over $1 billion in oil and gas revenues a couple of years ago but the clawback provision took more than that away from the province.

It would seem to me that we have a constitutional argument here. We all know that provincial jurisdiction has constitutional powers over ownership of non-renewable natural resources. It is one of the key reasons that non-renewable natural resources should be removed from the equalization formula.

It seems that every other province in Canada is benefiting from Saskatchewan's oil and gas production, except for Saskatchewan itself. We produce the oil and gas but the revenues created from the sale of that oil and gas do not flow to Saskatchewan. They literally flow to every other province in Canada. I cannot see how anyone in the House would consider that to be fair and equitable. That is one of the main reasons we are calling for the removal of non-renewable natural resources from the equalization formula.

I would like the hon. member to comment on whether or not I have it right. Perhaps he has some different views.

Supply March 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to go back to something my colleague said a few moments ago. He said that Alberta was considered to be a have not province in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but with its ability to keep 100% of its oil and gas revenues, it finally turned it around to now be the wealthiest province in Confederation.

I would like my hon. colleague to tell me what this might mean to the province of New Brunswick, his home province, if this motion came to pass.

Supply March 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question. We have heard many members opposite say today that we cannot have a cookie cutter approach to equalization. I disagree with them profoundly on this. I believe that when we have a national program, the formula has to apply equally to all provinces.

I would like my hon. colleague to speak on that. If we need to have equal representation in the formula for provinces in the equalization program, what about the issue of fairness? Should we receive the same deal in essence that we see as being afforded to Premiers Hamm and Williams?

Supply March 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like the hon. member to expand a little on some of his comments. Toward the conclusion of his presentation he said that had Saskatchewan received the same equalization deal for the last decade as now afforded to Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, it could have meant up to $8 billion in additional revenue to the province.

In Saskatchewan there is a serious problem in the agricultural sector. The agricultural sector quite frankly has been failed by the Liberal government. The provincial NDP government has also failed farmers. I am wondering if the member could expand on what an additional $8 billion could have meant to the agricultural sector in safety net programs and direct aid to farmers who have been devastated over the last number of years by drought and frost.

Supply March 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I want to take the hon. member opposite to task on a few of the things he said because his facts were not quite accurate.

First, the debt to GDP ratio in Saskatchewan is not at 25% as the member and the Minister of Finance suggest. It is at 34% and that is a significant difference.

Second, the member opposite speaks in almost glowing terms about the wonderful economic situation that Saskatchewan finds itself in with low unemployment and being a have province. I point out to the member opposite that our net per capita fiscal capacity is the third worst in Canada. Newfoundland's is lower, but Nova Scotia's is higher.

Also, with respect to unemployment rates, Saskatchewan has the highest percentage of poor aboriginals in Canada and of course they are not included in unemployment figures.

Also, we have a massive rural infrastructure to maintain, which the minister does not seem to appreciate.

Again, though, the bottom line, which the member opposite does not seem to get, is that with respect to national programs there has to be equality of those programs, in both the formula and the design behind those programs, for all provinces.

I can stand here and make a more cogent argument as to why Saskatchewan is closer to Newfoundland and Labrador in terms of economic capacity, fiscal capacity and net worth than the minister can in standing here and making an argument that Saskatchewan is a have province, yet the member opposite and the Minister of Finance and in fact all members opposite continue to say that it is fair to cut a deal with Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, but the rest of the provinces be damned. That is just not fair. We are talking about an issue and the essence of fairness here.

Given the circumstances I have just outlined, which show the true economic and fiscal capacity of Saskatchewan, I would like the member opposite to please explain, if he can, why he does not agree that Saskatchewan deserves the same deal as that afforded Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, which, I may say, was an extremely fair deal.