JORDAN, Jim, B.A., M.Sc.

Personal Data

Leeds--Grenville (Ontario)
Birth Date
September 2, 1928
Deceased Date
September 18, 2012
school administrator, teacher

Parliamentary Career

November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
  Leeds--Grenville (Ontario)
October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
  Leeds--Grenville (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 52)

April 23, 1997

Mr. Jim Jordan (Leeds-Grenville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to make what may be my last statement in the House of Commons on a high note.

The town of Kemptville is in my riding of Leeds-Grenville not far from here. Its Junior "B" hockey team has gone through the 1996-97 regular season undefeated. The team's record is 38 zero and four. In the seven game playoffs, which the team won four games to three, it won the final game four to three in double overtime.

I do not know whether any other team in Canadian hockey history can match that record but it is a record of which we are all very proud. Head coach Paul Sheard and assistant coach Derek Rintoul are proud.

Congratulations to the Kemptville '73s. All of eastern Ontario is very proud of them.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Kemptville '73S
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February 20, 1997

Mr. Jim Jordan (Leeds-Grenville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from citizens in my riding, places like Merrickville, Brockville and North Augusta.

The petitioners request that Parliament support the immediate initiation and conclusion by the year 2000 of an international convention which will set out a binding timetable for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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February 17, 1997

Mr. Jim Jordan (Leeds-Grenville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present from constituents in places like Prescott, Brockville and surrounding areas.

The petitioners ask that the Prime Minister and the Parliament of Canada declare and confirm immediately that Canada is indivisible and that the boundaries of Canada, its provinces, territories and territorial waters may be modified only by (a), a free vote of all Canadian citizens as guaranteed by the Canadian charter or (b), through the amending formula as stipulated in the Canadian Constitution.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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February 13, 1997

Mr. Jim Jordan (Leeds-Grenville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to speak to the opposition motion today. I am going to speak to one aspect of the motion, the reference to the national highway system. The motion suggests that the government should be condemned for its continued neglect of Canada's national highway system.

Yesterday the Standing Committee on Transport tabled a report in the House which made several recommendations for the federal government to consider with respect to the renewal of our national highway system. It is a coincidence that we were talking about

those recommendations yesterday and today the third party is condemning us for not taking any action.

I want to congratulate my colleagues on the transport committee for coming forth with the recommendations in the report. Indeed, I want to congratulate the hon. member for Kootenay West-Revelstoke. He is a well valued member of the transport committee. I have enjoyed working with him under the chairmanship of the hon. member for Winnipeg South.

When the Minister of Transport met in Charlottetown last October with the provincial transport ministers, he received unanimous support for the idea that the federal government would participate in a study in which all transport ministers would get together to see if something could be done to address the deteriorating condition of Canada's national highway system. He received tremendous support for the idea of moving forward with the study. We have been encouraged by the kind of inspiration and attitude shown by the provinces.

The federal government is concerned with the national highway system. It must be adequately maintained and properly expanded to meet growing Canadian demands. Trade is associated with a good transportation system. The highway system is also important to the Canadian tourism industry.

The federal government has a long history of supporting the provinces and territories in developing the TransCanada highway system and other highways. The first federal contribution to highways occurred back in 1919. Ever since that time succeeding federal governments have provided an uninterrupted level of support for highway construction and maintenance.

That should not surprise anyone. I believe we are open enough to realize the importance of a highway system. It is too important to say that it is a provincial matter and therefore we should not become involved. That is not the attitude I have sensed in the years I have sat on the transport committee. Of course, there is all-party participation on that committee.

Highway transportation accounts for almost 95 per cent of intercity passenger trips and about 75 per cent of all freight that moves in this country. That is how important it is to all Canadians. I personally think it is too important to be left exclusively to the provinces.

Most of Canada's interprovincial trade moves by highway, as do 60 per cent of Canada's exports and 80 per cent of Canada's imports. There is no question about the need for a national commitment to something that involves our lives to that degree. About two-thirds of the 25 million U.S. tourists who come into Canada each year use the highways.

The federal government already spends a significant amount of money on highways with an expenditure of $292 million on highway development under the federal-provincial agreement's 1996-97 commitment. In addition, approximately $100 million is spent each year on federally owned bridges and roads.

Within just a few miles of here in the last year the government has committed $42 million to construct a highway in which I have particular interest since it goes through my riding. It connects the nation's capital with the 401, the busiest highway in Canada. I have been here for a few years and people may have thought that this is all I have been concerned with.

Indeed, a good deal of my energy has gone into that project because I can see the need for it. I can see the need for the federal government to get involved because a good deal of the traffic on that highway is there because this is the capital of Canada. Most of us would be fairly embarrassed if the old highway were the best we could do. Most Canadians would feel very embarrassed if a visitor to Canada from another country had to travel on highway 16, which hopefully will be highway 416.

It is not just a question of congestion. Highway 16 has a horrid record. Three weeks ago there was another fatal crash. A father and his son were killed. Dozens of people have been killed on that highway in the past six years. I am not speaking of that loosely. When travelling that highway I have had some personal experiences of accidents that have occurred. We speak very often of those who were killed. Usually if an accident is serious enough to kill people, there will also be injured people.

Notwithstanding the federal contribution, it has been clear for some time that a massive and focused effort will be required to maintain and upgrade the national highway system. Analyses conducted by Transport Canada in co-operation with the provinces and territories showed that Canada's highway infrastructure is aging. It is thought that the age of a highway is 30 years. Over half of Canada's major highways are approaching the maximum age limit for highways. It is a very serious problem.

Highway infrastructure requires increased financial resources to maintain them because we have more traffic on our highways now than we did 30 years ago. It is no more complicated than that. Highway infrastructure is experiencing growing congestion in certain parts of our nation. My colleague mentioned in and around some of the western cities. My colleague from the Reform Party was interested in that aspect of it too. We all know there is more volume on our highways today and of course that will reduce the age in which the highways can be of service to the Canadian people.

Despite the identification of highways by several premiers at the conference I mentioned earlier, there are still some provinces that have not regarded highway construction as a pressing economic need. We all have an understanding of the reason for that but we

still think as a nation that all provinces should come together under the guise of the federal government to carry on with the massive reconstruction of our highways.

Someone has said that instead of the weather being the major topic of conversation among Canadians, now it is the condition of our highways about which we initiate conversations. I believe that more and more. Nearly everyone is commenting on the condition of Canada's national highway system.

The hon. member who introduced the motion before us today takes great umbrage with the focus of the standing committee's report on private-public partnerships for highway infrastructure. I want to draw the attention of the House to the committee's own conclusion that there is widespread agreement among the users and builders of the highways that we must get into public-private financing on a partnership basis if we are ever going to see any real and meaningful reconstruction of our national highway system.

It is not my recollection that the transportation committee in its investigation of the relationship that existed between transportation, trade and tourism, decided to focus on the paramount need to renew the national highway system. I thought that was what all committee members agreed to do. Indeed, throughout our discussions over the past several months, I thought even the member from the third party was on board in relation to that.

I know my time is coming to a close, but I want to mention that there is no more basic, fundamental way, in my view, to reach our goal for the future growth of this country than to start immediately with the very pressing problems associated with the deteriorating conditions of our highways nationally.

The government is aware that this will have to be a major financial commitment. Although it is largely a provincial matter, the government is willing to work with the provinces and others to try and correct the network that is in need of immediate attention. It is a massive undertaking but we must address the problem. So much of our economy depends on an adequate transportation system.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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February 13, 1997

Mr. Jordan

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend for the question. We do need to develop a trust when we are embarking on something different. We have dabbled a little bit in the private-public way of doing things, particularly with road construction.

I am pleased, assuming the member speaks for his party, that it will support this private-public membership for highway construction. If I misunderstood that, I apologize.

I have some difficulty with the simplistic way Reform is looking at it. The hon. member is saying that two cents a litre is collected as a tax on gasoline, why not take the two cents and put it back into road construction? However, how far do we want to go?

Where would the money for health care be generated if everything is designated? What is out there in the marketplace that is generating money which could be designated to health or education? That is the difficulty with the argument. I heard it when we travelled with the committee. It sounds like a very simplistic way of doing it but there is nothing wrong with that if it would work.

The difficulty I have is projecting it a bit and asking how far we want to go with it. Do we want every dollar collected by the government to be directed into a specific area? If we do that the government's hands would be tied. It would have no money for the services Canadians demand and want for which there is no money being generated. Would the hon. member propose to use the money generated for highways and for no other purpose? This is the problem I have with the member's position.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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