February 25, 1993

PC

Thomas Edward Siddon (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Thomas Siddon (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure other colleagues will understand why members of the British Columbia caucus mourn the loss of Chuck Cook so deeply. He was a friend to all in this House.

Some of us knew Chuck Cook very well. As my colleague, the member for Capilano-Howe Sound has said, he could be gruff. Perhaps that is why he was successful as a pioneer in open-line radio. It was perhaps Chuck's manner, but those of us who knew him came to discover that Chuck Cook had a heart of gold. He was always very concerned about each one of us, as our colleagues have indicated, and was always ready to offer a compliment and offer positive and helpful advice.

Chuck came to Ottawa shortly after I arrived here and took an office across the hall from me. I remember the long nights he used to work. There are two things about Chuck Cook that the House should remember. He was a consummate politician but a classic servant of his constituents in the best possible way.

Some people used to wonder how Chuck Cook could be elected and re-elected as often as he was. Those of us who knew him know he did it the old-fashioned way, by wearing out shoe leather door to door. People could not understand how some of the giants, such as Iona Cam-pagnola and Gordon Gibson Jr., could fall to defeat to Chuck Cook, but we knew Chuck Cook. We knew what a dedicated British Columbian, and Albertan by birth, he was.

Something else that the House may not know is that Chuck Cook was-I know his family is very proud of this-the first supporter of our Prime Minister in British Columbia. In 1982 he invited the Prime Minister and Mila to come out to British Columbia where the Prime Minister spoke on the first occasion and won over friends and supporters in British Columbia.

The friend who he won first and to whom the greatest loyalty was shown was Chuck Cook. He was steadfast and dedicated to his party and to this government, and especially to the Prime Minister. For that we will always respect him.

Tributes

Dale and his family, now grown up as all of our families do while we come to this place and fly that horrendous distance between British Columbia and Ottawa almost weekly, know the sacrifices he made and they too made sacrifices. Our hearts go out to Dale, Kim, Colin and Ken at this time of their bereavement. We will miss him greatly.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE LATE CHUCK COOK
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LIB

David Kilgour

Liberal

Mr. David Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast):

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak on behalf of the Liberal Party about the late member for North Vancouver, Chuck Cook.

The respected journalist John Warren's tribute in today's Hill Times captures well what a lot of us in this House, across the prairies and British Columbia, and elsewhere felt about our colleague.

I have three short quotes from Mr. Warren's piece:

He understood he'd pass this way only once and there wasn't time to waste bearing grudges or regrets. Unlike any politician I've known, he was totally free of vanity or envy.

The second quote is:

He had enjoyed careers, or at least supplemented his income in all these pursuits (in politics, law, education, broadcasting, business, and horse-racing). It made for an unpredictable, often bumpy ride. And one Chuck often conceded he could not have taken without his loving and devoted wife, Dale.

The third quote is:

He read more than anyone I know but laughed at being branded as an unschooled boor for telling publishers they weren't producing the kind of books Canadians want.

Chuck Cook and I entered this House together after the 1979 election. Serving for a decade together in the same caucus I grew to admire him greatly.

He was absolutely straight. He had strong views on many subjects, developed in the cut and thrust of debate, law practice and talk shows in all four western provinces, and he feared no one and nothing in expressing them. Whenever he spoke in the Conservative caucus most listened very carefully. Not a word was wasted. He said what he meant and meant what he said. There was no double talk, no lawyer's sophistry, no blarney, and no apple-polishing. He gave only the unvarnished truth as he saw it, and many people loved him for it.

This unique but quintessential westerner loved risks and he took them, from being a party Whip, with all of that risk, to horse racing, sailing or poker. I am told today

that he kept the real state of his illness from his family until only late last week, presumably betting he might still beat the odds.

Although Chuck Cook both supported the leadership bid of the Prime Minister in 1983 and served him as Whip after 1984 he broke with his party, as is well known, over the Charlottetown accord. That was the first time he differed with his party in 13 years.

Why? After he cast his dissenting vote he said: "I don't care about the eastern press any more than they care about the voters of North Vancouver".

He believed the accord left western Canada even further under central Canadian dominance than now, and I quote him again: "I represent the people of North Vancouver. In the final analysis that takes precedence over my caucus or my leader". That is a statement that all of us in this House should reflect on very carefully.

Late last year he announced that he would not run again for Parliament because he and his wife wanted to "enter a new stage in our lives".

The North Shore News in North Vancouver said this about Mr. Cook last fall:

Chuck Cook is that rarest of political birds: one who speaks his mind rather than simply mouthing the party line-They (his views) have always rung with personal conviction and sincerity, characteristics virtually extinct in the modem political arena.

In writing about this country's 125th anniversary celebration he wrote:

One of our great strengths is the fact that we are a nation of minorities. There is no 'majority' in Canada. We are a collection of minorities, each learning tolerance from the other groups. . . To be Canadian is to have a very quiet pride and knowledge that you are extremely fortunate.

Mr. Speaker, as a British Columbian you will probably know that all of his family called him FB, Father Bear, including friends of his children. For his wife Dale's 65th birthday he flew everyone to North Vancouver for a surprise party for her. Over the past Christmas he spent many hours teaching his favourite indoor game, chess, to his six-year old twin grandsons, Trevor and Michael.

I would like to give two other short vignettes about our colleague's unique personality. When he was a 20-year old broadcaster in Winnipeg he announced that he would throw $100,000 off the roof of his radio station. There were the predictable traffic jams as he pitched the money from the building. It was Monopoly money. It made the national news.

February 25, 1993

Later in B.C. he took his family sailing. Being from the prairies I guess he did not know about tide waters and anchored near Bowen Island. At 5 a.m. they were all awakened by a rapidly approaching ship. He had anchored in the B.C. ferry lane.

Our colleague leaves behind him his wife, Dale; his children, Ken and wife Deborah, Colin and wife Lorraine, and Kim; and grandchildren Trevor, Michael and Sean. The funeral will be held on Saturday at St. Catherine Church on Ridgewood Drive.

As others have mentioned, the sympathies of all the members of this House go out to the entire family. We will remember and honour Chuck Cook in this House.

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Subtopic:   THE LATE CHUCK COOK
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NDP

Ian Gardiner Waddell

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ian Waddell (Port Moody-Coquitlam):

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my party, the New Democratic Party, as a fellow member of Parliament for British Columbia and as a friend of Chuck Cook I would like to add to the eloquent words of my colleagues who have already spoken.

The hon. member for Calgary West spoke eloquently about the friendship he had with Chuck and his family. The minister from Capilano spoke about how Chuck stood up for what he believed in, and that is certainly true. The Minister of National Defence from Vancouver Centre spoke of Chuck's sense of humour, and I saw that as well.

The minister of Indian affairs, my colleague from Richmond, spoke about Chuck having a heart of gold. The member from Edmonton spoke about his admiration for a colleague who was a straight talking person. There is not a lot I can add because I think it has been covered, but I would like to say a few things.

Charles Henry Cook was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. He was educated at Northwestern University, the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Western Ontario. He was well educated.

He was a lawyer, a broadcaster and a member of Parliament. At least in British Columbia being a broadcaster is well thought of, though I will not mention being a lawyer or member of Parliament.

Tributes

I recall his hotline show. I was on the show. Many of us were on the show. I recall him being outspoken and controversial on the show. It is not unusual to be a member of Parliament and be a former hotline reporter. The member for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca did that as well.

It is very important, especially in British Columbia. Chuck and I were elected together along with many others in the House in 1979. Our ridings touched just a little bit. I represented Vancouver-Kingsway then as you know, Mr. Speaker, since you represent the next riding down, Vancouver South. Our ridings all went together: your riding of Vancouver South, my riding of Vancouver-Kingsway with a little touch of Burnaby and North Vancouver.

I remember in 1984 debating with Chuck on the Jack Webster Show. I remember being surprised at how strong Chuck's views were and what a keen debater he was. I should not have been surprised. I saw it again in the House and on different occasions.

He was the government Whip, which is a tough job I am told. He did it well. I was surprised that he was the government Whip in a way because he was so independent. Whips are not traditionally that independent and outspoken but Chuck certainly was.

I recall that during the little incident where the Mace came up and hit me in the House of Commons that he was one of the few people who got up and defended me. I do not think he was defending my actions which were not really defensible, but I think some of the members were getting a little holier than thou in their speeches. Chuck got up and corrected that.

I remember sending him a note saying: "I owe you one. I will send you a bottle of whiskey," but being a Scotsman I never got around to sending the whiskey. I regret that. Chuck, wherever your spirit is, I want you to know I am thinking about you. I owe you one and I am thinking about you now.

Outspoken, a sense of humour, a good human being: What more can one say about someone? I think that is a great tribute to him.

February 25, 1993

Business of the House

I wish to give my condolences to his wife, his children, his friends and his constituents. He represented his constituents and Canada well.

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Subtopic:   THE LATE CHUCK COOK
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LIB

James Scott (Jim) Peterson

Liberal

Mr. Jim Peterson (Willowdale):

Mr. Speaker, in May 1980 Prime Minister Trudeau appointed a task force to look into the issue of regulatory reform in Canada.

I had the honour of being the chairperson of that task force and Chuck Cook was one of the Conservative members. Chuck Cook was always constructive. He worked hard. He worked very precisely. He had a finely tuned mind when it came to looking at the issues.

What I remember most was the way he focused in and said: "I am not going to accept this report", and this was in the final days, "unless we get equality for western representation on our national institutions." CBC, the transport board, CRTC and things like this are what he fought for. He fought for them strongly and effectively.

Chuck was a strong advocate for what he believed in. Of course, he was right and he made his imprint. I was happy to work with Chuck and also to know his wife, Dale, who was a very supportive, decent, kind person. I know that Dale will miss him greatly. We will miss him here.

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Subtopic:   THE LATE CHUCK COOK
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

David Charles Dingwall (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. David Dingwall (Cape Breton-East Richmond):

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I can ask a question of the government House leader with regard to the business for tomorrow.

While the government House leader is on his feet, can he indicate what arrangements have been made with regard to the special committee relating to the North American free trade agreement, which is to sit and travel the country?

Also, I wonder if he can indicate to the House perhaps something to do with his own personal plans. Does he intend to stay in the great constituency of Calgary Centre in the months ahead?

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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?

An hon. member:

In the leadership.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Gerald R. Ottenheimer (Speaker pro tempore)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I would point out that the hon. minister does not really have to answer that if he does not wish to.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Harvie Andre (Minister of State (Without Portfolio); Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Harvie Andre (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons):

The hon. minister is trembling in his boots at the thought of an opponent who thinks there are votes to be gained by giving out T-shirts in Cape Breton-at least votes in Calgary to be gained.

Hopefully this afternoon we will get around to second reading of Bill C-101, the labour code act, and then get on to Bill C-109. It would be nice to get to second reading on that and get it to committee. It is an issue upon which I think there is a fair degree of unanimity in the House.

On Friday we would like to complete report stage and third reading of Bill C-99, the Small Businesses Loans Act, which again is anticipated in many quarters and then get on to Bill C-73, the Canada Post Act.

As you know, the House adjourns tomorrow for one week. At this point I am not entirely certain what the business for Monday, March 8 will be but I will commit to both opposition parties to let them know by the middle of next week what the business will be for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the first week back.

In terms of a committee study of the legislation related to the North American free trade agreement, we are certainly favourably disposed toward getting the legislation to a committee as soon as possible so it can organize and arrange for hearings and witnesses, both here in Ottawa and in other parts of the country. Perhaps in discussions later this afternoon or tomorrow we can firm up plans in that regard. I would rather do that before we complete second reading, simply because scheduling of second reading and the nature of the debate we will have is such that if everything is done sequentially it may be some time before we can get the material to committee for proper study.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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NDP

Iain Francis Angus (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Iain Angus (Thunder Bay-Atikokan):

In the

estimates of the Ministry of Transport, reference is made to legislation dealing with drug testing of employees. The document suggested it would be tabled and receive Royal Assent in 1993.

February 25, 1993

I wonder if the minister can advise this House where that legislation is in the process and when we can expect it to be tabled.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Harvie Andre (Minister of State (Without Portfolio); Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harvie Andre:

I am sorry I do not have that information offhand. I will have to look into it, discuss it and find out just where it is and I will get back to the hon. member.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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NDP

Ross Harvey

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ross Harvey (Edmonton East):

This morning I sent the government House leader a letter suggesting a very prompt, quickly dealt with motion of congratulations for the Canadian winners of the American Grammy awards yesterday. I was just wondering if the House leader or another member of the Privy Council has any intention of bringing forward such a motion today or tomorrow.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Harvie Andre (Minister of State (Without Portfolio); Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Andre:

I could not get it on the cabinet agenda this morning. You can understand we may have other items of some significant import to discuss.

Like everybody else, I am proud of these two Canadian singers for their awards. As an Albertan I am proud of k.d. lang and as an Albertan I am proud of Celine Dion because she eats beef. However, I do not know if we need a government decision to express that pride.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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NDP

Raymond John Skelly

New Democratic Party

Mr. Raymond Skelly (North Island-Powell River):

wonder if the government is contemplating a statement in this House by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on the aboriginal fisheries strategy, which has become an extremely important issue on the coast of British Columbia. With the adjournments that are planned in the House it looks like there will be no opportunity to provide a debate on an extremely important issue to aboriginal people in British Columbia and to all those involved and dependent on that fishery.

I wonder if this has come up on the government agenda and whether it might be possible to have the minister make a statement on progress on the work on the aboriginal fisheries strategy.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Harvie Andre (Minister of State (Without Portfolio); Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Andre:

My understanding is that it is more likely to get a statement out of the minister than to get a policy position out of the NDP.

Privilege

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PRIVILEGE

PC

Barbara Greene

Progressive Conservative

Ms. Barbara Greene (Don Valley North):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Question Period under the protection of parliamentary immunity, the member for Mississauga East stated, as is reported on page 16386 of Hansard'.

According to the chair of the kangaroo committee on poverty,

children would have to be naked, homeless or on the brink of

starvation before being considered poor.

This is a slanderous, bald-faced lie which impugns not only me but also our committee which has undertaken an important study designed to improve government accountability on the important issue of poverty.

Failing an immediate apology, I ask that you refer this matter to the appropriate House committee for disciplinary action.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
Sub-subtopic:   COMMENTS DURING QUESTION PERIOD
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LIB

Albina Guarnieri

Liberal

Ms. Albina Guamieri (Mississauga East):

Mr. Speaker, when a committee of the House, established ostensibly for the Canadian poor is under the leadership of someone who questions the motives of food bank operators, disputes the necessity for food banks and does not believe Canada's poor are really poor at all, I would say that Canada's poor are ill-served.

As someone who has experienced childhood poverty firsthand, I find the member's attitude and behaviour certainly like that of an idle spectator who really does not understand poverty at all and whose head and heart are mesmerized by the Ivy League in the United States.

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Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
Sub-subtopic:   COMMENTS DURING QUESTION PERIOD
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PC

Gerald R. Ottenheimer (Speaker pro tempore)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I have listened carefully to the intervention of both hon. members. The complaint of course is that one hon. member has been described in an uncomplimentary way and in reply the hon. member who made the original remarks is carrying on what is obviously a difference of opinion between the two members.

I hope that both the hon. members can resolve their differences. However it is not a question of privilege, it is a matter of debate. There seems to be some concern that the hon. member bringing the complaint said that what was said about her was a lie. Under the circumstances, what she means is that she does not believe there is any truth in that and it is not appropriate to say those things.

Government Orders

I am not going to go further with the matter. I would ask hon. members when they are referring to each other to always try to keep the debate on the subject matter and try not to personalize it because these things do wound on both sides of the House.

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Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
Sub-subtopic:   COMMENTS DURING QUESTION PERIOD
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GOVERNMENT ORDERS

February 25, 1993