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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was public.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Independent MP for Parry Sound—Muskoka (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Health May 9th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, it is important for the situation to be regulated. That is now the case. It is important for Health Canada to protect women at all times.

I want to add in this House that a regulated situation exists and that we can defend women in this situation.

Health May 9th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, it is important for this situation to be more regulated. The regulatory requirements are now clear.

I want to add that in the current context a doctor has to make the request. I believe this situation is clearer and promotes women's health.

Health May 5th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, as I explained to the House, there is an additional investment in wait time reductions. We have followed through on our promises, which are consistent with our promises in the campaign.

If I were dining on Liberal promises, I would be wasting away right now. They do not count for anything, and the people of Canada have seen a true government that deals with its promises to the people of Canada for the benefit of Canadians.

Health May 5th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, what I can report to the House is that the budget of this government has added a further 6%, $1.1 billion, in transfer payments to the provinces. Next year there will be another $1.2 billion.

Of the $41 billion of the new deal for health care, fully $5.5 billion will reduce wait times in Canada. We are part of that solution. The government stands four-square with the provinces and territories to deal with the issue that was left hanging by the previous Liberal government because it talked a lot about wait times but it did nothing.

Hepatitis C May 2nd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that this is one of my top priorities. I know there has been a little barracking on both sides of the House, but I can tell the hon. member that this is a priority for this government. We are moving with alacrity. I can tell the hon. member that after 13 years of non-action, we will see action with this Prime Minister's government.

Hepatitis C May 2nd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, as hon. members on both sides of the House know, this issue has been festering for a number of years. We made a campaign pledge and we intend to keep it.

Public Health Agency of Canada Act April 24th, 2006

moved for leave to introduce BillC-5, An Act respecting the establishment of the Public Health Agency of Canada and amending certain Acts.

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

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply April 11th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, this is one of those areas where a bit of investment at the beginning can make a huge difference in terms of overall accessibility to cost. I will give the hon. member an example that is absolutely fitting for northern Canada.

When we invest in information and communications technologies, for instance, telehealth services, it has a huge positive disproportionate impact for northern Canada. The difference is allowing and having individual practitioners, who are able to practise in the north, using telehealth services to diagnose and treat so the patient does not have to travel to Yellowknife, Edmonton or Vancouver.

There is a huge savings in cost with a little investment in some information and communications technologies. That is the kind of thing I would like to see more of, and I certainly will be directing my government to pursue these initiatives.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply April 11th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has touched on the various elements of my speech to the House on this very issue. As he may recall, earlier today I mentioned four cornerstones for a wait times guarantee to become a reality. They are research, technology, jurisdictional cooperation and health human resources. All those four oars need to be in the water at the same time in order to guide the boat to the required destination.

That is our challenge. We are starting to see some great innovation among the provinces, the province of Quebec being a prime example. It is looking at not only ways to deliver health care better but it is looking at ways to deliver the health care guarantee to make sure the health human resources are in place. This will require federal and provincial collaboration and cooperation as well. We intend to work not only with the province of Quebec but with each and every province on this very important issue.

It would not be my place to pre-empt those discussions with the provinces and territories, but I can assure the House that this is my signal responsibility as Minister of Health and something which I take very seriously.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply April 11th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, as has been outlined by the Minister of Indian Affairs, there is no agreement in place that has been endorsed by a court, so we find ourselves struggling with this issue. It has the full attention of the Minister of Indian Affairs. We all want a settlement as soon as practicable, but it would be inopportune for me to comment any further on what I am sure are very sensitive negotiations.

I can tell the member that native health is obviously a direct responsibility of my department in some manner. Some commitment has been made in the past to improve and augment native health. I think the hon. member would agree with me that it is difficult to fix native health without fixing some other aspects of native life. That requires a comprehensive solution. This government has endorsed the principles that were arrived at in Kelowna. We are certainly grappling to take it beyond principle and into reality.