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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was languages.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Acadie—Bathurst (New Brunswick)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply October 23rd, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I will reply to my colleague and I will use the same words he used earlier. When he is in the House, he should perhaps listen and stop preparing a second question without listening to what is being said.

What I said in my speech was that I invited the Liberal government to visit our community. First, I will set the record straight: I never said that the minister never came to New Brunswick. Second, what I said was that I invited the federal government to organize a forum in our community, to get the people in the industry together, and I made a suggestion to the effect that I want to get to the root of the problem and find a solution.

We will come back to the fact that they say they wanted to solve our problems. I will tell you something. People in my riding tried to escape the cycle of poverty because they could no longer work in the fish plants for a living. All they were told, according to the government's recommendations, was: “Go and work somewhere else. Go and make some wreaths or in other sectors”.

Do you know what the Liberal government did three years ago? It turned around and did a poor job. The Minister of Human Resources Development began checking into those who had received employment insurance. What did he do? He investigated 150 people. Now he is telling them: “Sorry, we made a mistake; now you owe us $20,000, now you owe us $25,000, because our department made a mistake and gave you employment insurance. We are sorry, but you poor folks who can hardly put bread on the table owe us Liberals $25,000. We want you poor people to give us $40,000”. That is what the Liberals have done.

Supply October 23rd, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I would say it is both. Maybe they both had something to do with ousting the Liberal member from the Acadian peninsula, with throwing him out and replacing him with an NDP member. Sometimes, I refer to myself as the new NDP member in New Brunswick, because our party is a novelty in that province, at the federal level.

The Liberals were ousted from the riding of Acadie—Bathurst, and in fact right across the Atlantic region. Earlier our friend from Gander—Grand Falls talked about the situation up until 1993, but he did not keep going because his party came to office that year. The reason the Liberals were ousted is that after the mess left by the Conservatives, they too left us a mess, after making promises to Canadians when they formed the opposition. They said they would save employment insurance, which would be a disaster for the Atlantic provinces. That is what the Liberals said. When they came into power, they did the same as the Conservatives. They even went further.

With the changes to employment insurance, they went even further than that. Now people can no longer connect two fishing seasons, because of the problems with the fisheries. What they call that now, down home, is “the black hole”.

I will tell you how July's changes to employment insurance work, in case you did not know. I will educate you a little, if my predecessor has not.

In May and June, we catch crab. In July and August, there is nothing to fish for, where we are. Then the herring fishery starts around August 28, or after the fête des Acadiens on August 15. So our people suffer. They have no employment insurance in July and August, because they have not had the chance to accumulate enough weeks with the crab fishing to be able to get employment insurance.

The Liberal government is ignoring this problem completely, washing its hands of the whole problem, letting our people suffer, and this is totally unacceptable. That is why the people of Acadie—Bathurst showed Doug Young the door on June 2.

Supply October 23rd, 1997

Mr. Speaker, through you I indicate my support for the motion with respect to the fisheries put forward by my Conservative colleagues. The motion asks the House to recognize the urgent need for action to address the serious problems in the fisheries.

This is an extremely important issue for me because it has a direct impact on the people in my riding. The fishery is a very important industry for us. Entire villages are dependent on the viability of this industry. We depend on a great number of resources to put bread on the table of families who survive by fishing. We fish for crab, shrimp, lobster, herring and some plaice. But I am going to dwell a bit more on a species we no longer fish, cod, and on the reduction in crab, herring and lobster quotas.

As for the moratorium on cod, each time there are incidental catches of cod when people are fishing for plaice, plaice fishing gets shut down too. To all intents and purposes plaice fishing is shut down for 50% of the season.

Although I congratulate the Conservative Party for drawing attention to this very important issue, I find it somewhat ironic that they are asking the Liberal government to take action when it is they who are partly responsible for the crisis in the fisheries.

We all know that the disappearance of the cod stock is due to poor management of the fisheries. And who is responsible? Our Liberal friends, yes, but also our friends in the Conservative Party. It was the Conservatives who were irresponsible in their management of the fisheries throughout Canada from 1984 to 1993. And what was the result? A crisis in the cod sector that became critical and that has remained so to this day.

The Conservatives can now say that they are concerned about the difficult situation facing fishermen, but it is too little and too late. They should have been concerned by these issues when they were in power.

I do not know which is worse: Conservatives who mismanaged the fisheries for ten years, or Liberals who are indifferent to the difficulties caused by the crisis. The Liberals are like ostriches who stick their heads in the sand and are surprised when they pull them out to see boats landing empty at the docks.

The Liberals are refusing to do something about the suffering of people by proposing immediate solutions. The Liberals are refusing to recognize that some people have nothing to eat. As a result of the changes they brought in to employment insurance, fishers and plant workers have no incomes for a certain period of the year.

What is still more unforgivable, however, is the refusal to address the structural problems related to fishing. We are debating this issue today because of a crisis that is happening now, and will continue, and yet this government remains passive. The government even says there is no fishery crisis. It ought to visit the Atlantic provinces, not just the hotels of Moncton, but where the fishing is really taking place.

This government does not always react, and when it does, it reacts badly. We need a proactive government that formulates short term strategies to deal with people's suffering but also, and primarily, we need long term strategies to diversify the economy of the communities hardest hit by these difficulties.

We need to put into place a forum that will bring together all of the stakeholders affected by this issue. This means that the federal and provincial governments must give up a bit of their power and must listen to the communities directly affected, and accept their proposals. This means that everyone needs to be represented, people in industry and the various levels of government.

This undertaking needs to be guided by certain basic principles. Initially, we must ensure that resources are conserved. It is very simple. If we do not take care to manage the stocks, there will be no more fish and no more industry. Communities like ours will then disappear. A long term preventive approach must therefore be the primary objective of the forum.

This forum must address the sharing of resources. We must ensure that every member of the community shares in the success of lucrative fisheries. If we want to get out of this difficult situation, we must all be prepared to put in an equal effort to ensure that the community as a whole benefits. This problem will not be resolved by going it alone.

Finally, we must ensure that funding is available for processing. Why should we send our fish abroad for processing when we have the skill to do it at home? This would necessitate collaboration between the various levels of government as well as a commitment from industry stakeholders.

Fishers and plant workers are looking for work. Here is a long term strategy that could help ease the pinch these groups are feeling. In addition, this kind of initiative will promote a degree of diversification in our local economies. There is no quick fix, but there are better solutions than those put forward by the Liberals.

People in the fishing industry want their government to be concerned with the difficulties they are facing. They do not want the government to penalize them, like the Liberals did, on account of the depletion of fish stocks. They want a proactive government capable of developing short term and long term solutions. The Liberals did not meet that challenge. When will they wake up and protect the interests of fishers and plant workers?

Also, the government should in the industry to support second and third level processing in addition to rationalizing fisheries and plants, buy a few vessels, as used to be done, and give a pension to the people over 50 in the fishing industry who had never benefited from the fruits of this industry up until a few years ago, to help improve the situation of the fishery industry.

Education October 22nd, 1997

Mr. Speaker, that is not enough. It is blatantly obvious that the Liberals are not listening to young Canadians. The despair felt by young people is real.

A survey today revealed that 78% of young Quebeckers believe poverty has increased. Most of them even think that the situation will continue to worsen.

Is this government prepared to invest in young people in this country by making access to post-secondary education a national priority? In addition to setting objectives and creating jobs for young people, will this government stop forcing them to eat Kraft dinners?

Supply October 21st, 1997

Madam Speaker, I will be pleased to reply to my hon. colleague. First of all, why is it that, when the Liberals were in the official opposition, my predecessor used to say it would be disastrous for our region?

Second, it is not my fault nor that of the government, supposedly, if fishing quotas were cut in New Brunswick and if there is a complete ban on cod fishing. I congratulate the fortunate ones who have found jobs, I am happy for them. But if we are to live in a united country, where we all look after one another, attention should be paid to those regions experiencing difficulties.

What my hon. colleague said is starting to sound like what my predecessor used to say, claiming that the unemployed were lazy and should stop abusing the system. He said that, in his region, people get up in the morning and work all day long. That is very similar to the remarks my predecessor used to make. What is different with the people in my region is that, when they get up in the morning, they do not have a job to go to. Jobs have disappeared because there is no cod to fish.

We cannot go ice fishing for cod in winter. We cannot make a hole in the ice the same way we would on a lake in Ontario and put our lines through. That is not how fish is caught in the Atlantic ocean. Another thing: New Brunswick blueberries cannot be gathered under the snow.

Peat bogs cannot be operated under snow, the same way that Christmas wreaths do not get made in July. That is the problem we are facing in our region. And tourism is slow in New Brunswick in the winter, as compared to the summer.

Our jobs are seasonal jobs and, until the government does the responsible thing and invests in natural resource processing at the secondary or tertiary level, this will remain a problem. In the meantime, what we need is a short term solution, not $12 billion hoarded for bankers and for Paul Martin.

Supply October 21st, 1997

Madam Speaker, I would like to split my time with my colleague for Vancouver East.

First of all, I am pleased to take the floor today to speak to the motion from our party, the NDP.

It must be kept in mind that in our area—which I will use as an example to start with, and then will move on to the rest of the country—there are a lot of seasonal workers. The changes to employment insurance have been disastrous to our regions. New Brunswick alone used to receive about $243 million that it has now lost with the changes to employment insurance.

The region I come from, Acadie—Bathurst, has lost more than $66 million in funds, which means that it has lost jobs instead of creating any. We have lost jobs because the small and medium businesses have been forced to close, since no one is buying their goods.

My predecessor, Doug Young, travelled through the Acadian peninsula in 1989, telling people “Vote Liberal, that will save employment insurance”. That was what he said in Acadie—Bathurst. I will tell you another thing my predecessor said.

The newspapers reported “Mr. Young is calling for New Brunswickers to submit briefs to the legislative committee that will be holding public hearings this coming September in the province on employment insurance. According to the hon. member for Gloucester—in opposition at the time—New Brunswick must strenuously oppose any change to employment insurance and any proposed change, because it will have serious repercussions on the region”.

That is the gift from our predecessor. Our predecessor became the Minister of Human Resources Development and is the one who made the changes to employment insurance. Unbelievable, and unacceptable.

My predecessor was not the only one, however, to talk like that. Let us talk about Marcelle Mersereau, Liberal Minister of Natural Resources in New Brunswick, who was still saying this week that employment insurance changes were a disaster for New Brunswick, that there were terrible repercussions and that it had added more people to the welfare rolls. This is what the minister of natural resources of New Brunswick, another Liberal, was saying publicly.

What are they doing? They take people who are on social welfare who have no rural experience and they pack them off to work. I have no problem with the people on welfare having an opportunity for a job, but I do not agree with the fact that the government, because of problems due to its changes to employment insurance, takes people and, to get them off welfare because changes to employment insurance have resulted in an increase in the number of people on welfare, and sends them working in order to get them on employment insurance and off the provincial rolls.

Let us have a look at the figures. There are families on welfare receiving perhaps $750. People are sent to work at $6.25 an hour. If you figure you work 40 hours a week, that means $1,000 a month. When we multiply that by 55%, that gives $550. They are going to make these people even poorer. This is what they have to realize.

This is a sort of jobs that have been created in our regions. And that is what hurts. If we have a look today, what do we see? We are told that if taxes are cut jobs will be created. I said that this morning here in the House, if taxes are lowered, jobs will be created.

I remember the government gave money to large corporations to promote new technologies. Where did that take us? The companies made more money, but with the new technology, in the mines for example, in the Brunswick mine in Acadie—Bathurst, there were some 1,400 employees. Well, not long after the arrival of new technology, the number of employees dropped to 800.

We can take a look at what happened with the banks. In the next ten years, 35,000 people will lose their jobs in Canada. The banks are making millions and millions of dollars in profits. They are not creating jobs, they are laying people off. This is what is happening.

Now, let us look in the Atlantic region, not only in Acadie—Bathurst, in Newfoundland, for example. Everyone there is affected by the closing of the fisheries. Cod fishing is closed. Everyone there is affected, and people in the Reform Party are saying that the TAGS program must be terminated. Just imagine the number who will starve to death.

During the election campaign, I met people and entered the homes of some poor people. But what I heard after the campaign was even more painful, because I am the new member for Acadie—Bathurst and the people of my riding expect a lot from me. They expect me to do a lot for them because they are living in poverty. One evening, this woman phoned me up and said: “Mr. Godin, I am so glad you were elected. Finally, someone will speak for us in the House of Commons in Ottawa instead of merely looking at the deficit. We are in dire straights and, last night, my husband and I seriously considered committing suicide together. We have worked all our lives. We both used to work in a fish processing plant for $6.50 an hour. Today, we are out of work because the cod fisheries have been closed down, crab quotas have been reduced and lobster quotas are all but gone.”

This kind of testimony is painful. I can feel what these people feel. I can understand that some members do not meet these people, but I can tell you that, in my riding, I do see them. I can certainly speak for our region.

British Columbia is going through the salmon crisis. They will face the same problems we have had in Atlantic Canada. When I say that people back home are hard working, I know that they are indeed. They would travel to the other end of the country to find work. They are hard working people.

In Bathurst for example, when it was announced that a new CPP office would open and that there would be 60 positions to fill, 800 people showed up. Go to the Brunswick mine today and you will see that, even though they are laying people off, there are between 1,000 and 2,000 people at their door looking for work.

As regards fish plants, those who do not know, those who have never seen poverty in this country should visit our region in the summertime to see what is going on. They will see women—because 80% of fish plant workers are women—get up at 8 a.m., seven days a week, to work until 2 a.m. at the plant. This morning, Reformers claimed I accused them of saying our people were lazy. No, they did not say that. That comment was made by my predecessor, in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the one who said that people in my region were lazy and that it was time for people to stop abusing the system.

What do our regions need? What is required to help New Brunswick's economy? What is required to help Newfoundland's economy? What is required to help Nova Scotia's economy? These economies need real jobs. We must be able to use the natural resources that our provinces are lucky to have and do the first, second and third processing. This is the only way we can create jobs back home.

Never—and I will say it in this House—will GM build a plant in New Brunswick. Never will Chrysler come to our province. Therefore, we must use our resources and do the second and third processing.

Meanwhile, what do we do with human resources? I say this government, this country has a responsibility toward people and must make sure there is bread on the table in the morning for children who go to school.

Supply October 21st, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I think that, in coming to Ottawa, everyone here has forgotten what the real situation is in our country. I think they have even forgotten that, in some areas of this country, there are people who do not have the money to put bread on the table so that their children can go to school.

I have trouble understanding our colleague from the Reform Party who is saying that, by lowering taxes, we will create employment. I am not interested in the statistics, the economic studies and the research papers. These figures are not right. We are interested in what is really going on. What is really going on is that government gave money to companies for technological change, which eliminated 600 or 800 jobs, and companies increased their profits without creating employment.

Canada's banks have made profits in the billions of dollars and they are letting people go, not creating jobs. I still have trouble believing that immediately lowering taxes will put an end to the employment problem in Canada.

Let us not forget that it is not the fault of ordinary people that there are no longer any fish. It is not the fault of Newfoundlanders, of the employees who used to work in fish plants. It is not their fault if they are not working. In a united country, as we are supposed to call it, we are supposed to look out for one another.

In the meantime, I will ask my colleague a question. If the Reform Party were in power, what would their short term solution be for those who have nothing in the house to eat, and who get $38 a week to feed their family? That is where the problem lies. In the short term, a solution must be found to help people in Canada and, in the long term, other solutions must be found to create real jobs that will give our workers some dignity.

I do not believe, and I will never agree, that the people in the Atlantic provinces are lazy. Let us, my friends and colleague, take a quick tour across Canada and look at what is happening in the regions represented by my colleagues.

There were eleven children in my own family. In 1972, not one of us was left in New Brunswick. We had all gone to northern Ontario, Prince George, B.C. or Oshawa, Ontario. We had to.

If we were to take a quick tour across Canada—Hearst, Kapuskasing, White River, Wawa, Marathon, Manitouwadge, Oshawa, Hamilton, St. Catherines, or go to Alberta and B.C.—we would find people from down home who have been forced to move away from their families. Perhaps the Reform Party members have never had to leave their relatives behind in the West, but the rest of us know what it is like not to know one's brothers and sisters. We know what that is all about.

When there is talk today of a united country, it is time for action, not just words. What would the result be, if the Reform Party were in power? We would be in a sorry mess.

Supply October 9th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, this is in response to the answer the Minister of Human Resources Development gave me on September 25, 1997 when I asked him a question on employment insurance. He said that he was proud of the changes to the employment insurance program. In my mind, this shows how disconnected this government is from its constituents.

I would like to quote from a statement my predecessor made in the Acadie Nouvelle on July 31, 1989. He said: “According to the member for Gloucester, taxpayers in New Brunswick should vigorously oppose all the proposed changes, which will have a negative impact on the area”. He is the very person who five years later went after the employment insurance system, thereby directly attacking people in this country.

Many problems are associated with the administration of the employment insurance as a result of the changes made by my predecessor, the former MP for Acadie—Bathurst. One of the particularly difficult issues is the problem of seasonal workers. They are one of the groups which have been hurt the most by the changes to the employment insurance. These changes ignore the particular needs of these workers.

The formula used for calculating the weeks of entitlement to benefits penalizes seasonal workers. Because of the changes implemented by this government, these workers are without income for several months out of the year. By reducing the number of weeks when benefits are paid, the government has plunged these people into poverty.

Everywhere in the country, from B.C. to Newfoundland, from northern Ontario to New Brunswick, the economy relies on natural resources such as mines, forestry and fisheries. For the last two, the industries are seasonal.

Those people work very hard during part of the year, but when the weather is adverse or the level of fish stocks too low, they must apply for EI. It is not their fault if Mother Nature decides that one season will be shorter than the other. The very purpose of employment insurance is to help workers make it through difficult times.

But what does this government do? It punishes the workers and turns a blind eye when they need help. The government should know that the logging and fishing seasons do not overlap and should therefore implement programs to meet the specific needs of those industries.

Canadian workers are waiting for the Liberals to keep their promise and create jobs. In his answer, the minister told me that he preferred active manpower measures. Well, I urge the government to develop long term active strategies to deal with the very real problems were are experiencing throughout Canada. I realize Liberals have a hard time setting up long term programs. Very often, they carry no immediate political reward.

We need leadership on this whole issue. We need short, medium and long term strategies to deal with the structural problems in our economy. But we also need immediate programs to alleviate the suffering. It is not good enough to examine the situation, as the human resources development minister said he is doing.

The minister seems to like active measures, but I urge him to take action to help people who are suffering.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Act October 8th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your appointment as deputy chairman of the committees of the whole House.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the people in my riding of Acadie—Bathurst for their support and their trust in the June 2 federal election. Their support underscores their belief in the government management and the importance of an open democracy, and I will certainly not discuss this today.

Acadie—Bathurst has a population of nearly 100,000 people of all ages and interests. Its linguistic attributes, with anglophone and francophone populations, mark it as a particular spot in Canada.

Mining, forestry and the fisheries are very active and the main driving force of the local economy. Natural resources are however very unstable. The pulp and paper industry has experienced certain difficulties. Nevertheless, things in this industry are on a better footing these days.

The fishing industry is not so well off. Since 1984, fishing has produced little, and this situation has had an alarming effect on communities.

As things currently stand in my region, the future looks vulnerable and difficult. This is why I wish to react to the changes proposed to the Canada pension plan. Bill C-2 proposes increased contributions, the creation of an independent agency to administer the plan and a reduction in benefits to those least well off in our society.

In his press release on the new bill, the Minister of Finance said that the changes would ensure the plan's long term viability, while making it fairer and more affordable for future generations of Canadians.

The Minister of Finance has an odd sense of fairness. He is targeting Canada's most vulnerable people—older women and people with a disability—in favour of his friends on Bay Street in Toronto.

The New Democratic Party finds this option unacceptable. We will not go for the Liberal and Reform Party position, which would increase inequity within Canadian society. The NDP believes that the voters must be consulted before any changes are made to the pension system.

The people of Canada are the ones who will have to live with these changes. They must be given an opportunity to express their views. When one is elected to this House, one is supposed to be able to participate in the debates, and I am really ashamed of what has happened here today.

The changes proposed in this bill hurt Canadians. First, Bill C-2 reduces benefits in several ways. It makes it more difficult to qualify for disability benefits and imposes stricter rules for combining disability and survivor benefits.

Under the existing legislation, one must have worked during at least four out of the past six years to be eligible for CPP disability benefits. If this bill is passed, one will be required to have worked during two of the past three years or five of the past six to be eligible for disability benefits. With the proposed changes, some people who are currently eligible would no longer be eligible.

Another problem is the whole issue of survivor and death benefits. At present, the maximum is set at $3,580 for a person receiving survivor benefits. These have been reduced to $2,500 with the maximum being frozen, and this will be especially harmful to widows and separated women who live alone for a longer time.

Bill C-2 also freezes the low level of earnings that is exempt from CPP contributions. This back door increase of CPP contributions is regressive because it affects people with low levels of earnings the most. The year's basic exemptions, the first $3,500 of earnings, is no longer indexed to inflation which means that the low income workers, many of whom are women, would have to pay more in contributions.

The bill also includes amendments to the CPP's financial provisions and changes the plan into an additional tax and a make-work project for bankers, who are good friends of the Liberals.

Bill C-2 speeds up the planned increase in the contribution rate to the CPP. The rate, which is currently set at 5.85%, will rise to 9.9% by the year 2003, a 73% increase over a six year period. This rapid increase in the contribution rate is a concern for several reasons.

First, the CPP will be refinanced at the expense of low income people, particularly women. To shift responsibility for refinancing the CPP to those who are least able to do so, as our Liberal friends are proposing, is irresponsible and will have a harmful impact on future generations.

This tax will also have to be paid by small businesses, many of which will have a hard time meeting a 73% increase. It will prompt some of them to go underground when it comes to managing their business or hiring employees. Creating an environment that makes the underground economy more attractive is harmful to all Canadians, and this concerns me a great deal.

In addition to their ill-conceived idea of increasing contributions at the expense of the poor, the Liberals will establish the Canada pension plan investment board, whose role will be to manage the reserve fund so as to maximize revenue. However, the Liberals are not telling us that the board will not have the mandate to promote investments in our domestic economy. I support job creation programs, but I have a serious problem when I see that friends of the Liberals, namely bankers, are the ones who will benefit, while ordinary Canadians are still waiting for the Liberals to fulfill their commitments and create jobs for them.

This government keeps promising jobs for all Canadians, but its proposed changes to the CPP's financial provisions mean more power for the big wigs and more hardship for ordinary people.

Let me give an example. Why does the government accept that, when an accident occurs in the workplace, the CPP provides benefits for the injured worker, instead of the workers compensation board? It is a way of abusing the system and still keeping an eye out for their friends.

We must also come to the defence of the universal public pension system. An older population does not mean we must adopt an individualized approach or that we must privatize our public pension system. On the contrary, our European friends offer good examples of societies with older populations that now have public pension plans.

The Liberals have manufactured a crisis around the CPP in order to be able to attack the concept of the universality of our pensions and to save money on the backs of society's weakest members.

The Canadian public pension system is a crucial part of the Canadian social security net. The CPP and the OAS have been particularly important for lower and middle income seniors. It embodies the values Canadians share and ensures a fair redistribution of wealth.

Thanks to public pensions Canada has made tremendous gains in overcoming poverty among senior citizens and has provided much better prospects for retirement with dignity. In the three decades since the CPP was adopted, the poverty rate among Canadians 65 and older fell to 10.9% in 1995 from 33.5% in 1980.

The battle against poverty among seniors is far from over. Today one of every five elderly persons still lives in poverty. In 1993 the poverty rate for seniors increased over the previous year in almost every province. Scaling back CPP and OAS benefits will hurt low and middle income seniors. We have a responsibility to present and future senior citizens to oppose this legislation and protect our public pension plan.

The health of the CPP is directly tied to the rate of economic growth and a good level of employment, which increases the government's revenues. This government's many cuts, high interest rates, the present high rate of unemployment, and modest incomes have done more damage to the CPP than the aging of the population.

It is terrible to see a government that calls itself democratic refusing to let the debate continue, in this House, to get to the bottom of things. It is unacceptable. We were elected to this House to debate legislation. The CPP is of real importance to all Canadians, and the Liberal government turned its back on them today by refusing to allow the debate to continue. That is regrettable. What the Government of Canada has done today is truly shameful.

The Late Mr. J. Chester Macrae October 8th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleagues in the New Democratic Party, I would like to pay my respects to the memory of J. Chester MacRae.

Mr. MacRae was a Progressive Conservative member of Parliament from 1957 to 1972. He was a decorated war veteran who served in both England and France.

As a fellow New Brunswicker, Mr. MacRae served the people of New Brunswick well. I did not have the pleasure to sit in the House with him, but he was known in Parliament as a devoted and tireless advocate for veterans' interests.

My colleagues and I in the New Democratic Party extend our sincere condolences to Mr. MacRae's family, especially to his wife Mina Catherine, his daughter Marjory Ann and his two sisters.

His contribution to Canadian and New Brunswick political life will remain with us for the years to come.