Maurice VELLACOTT

VELLACOTT, Dr. Maurice, B.R.E., M.Div., D.Min.

Personal Data

Party
Conservative
Constituency
Saskatoon--Wanuskewin (Saskatchewan)
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Vellacott
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=371336d4-a92b-4661-94b4-14d8939d7e94&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businessman, minister

Parliamentary Career

June 2, 1997 - March 26, 2000
REF
  Wanuskewin (Saskatchewan)
March 27, 2000 - October 22, 2000
CA
  Wanuskewin (Saskatchewan)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
CA
  Saskatoon--Wanuskewin (Saskatchewan)
December 23, 2003 - May 23, 2004
CPC
  Saskatoon--Wanuskewin (Saskatchewan)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
CPC
  Saskatoon--Wanuskewin (Saskatchewan)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
CPC
  Saskatoon--Wanuskewin (Saskatchewan)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
CPC
  Saskatoon--Wanuskewin (Saskatchewan)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
CPC
  Saskatoon--Wanuskewin (Saskatchewan)
May 2, 2011 -
CPC
  Saskatoon--Wanuskewin (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 128 of 128)


October 27, 1997

Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Wanuskewin, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, during the course of the afternoon we have heard on numerous occasions the fact stated that there was something in the way of a better system in Newfoundland, that various church groups were dragging their feet and slowing up the system so that this could be occurring.

I want to dismiss some of those myths and refer to some of those things that are actual fact from the Newfoundland situation. Time and again it has been asserted by people that the Roman Catholics, Pentecostals and others were seeking to frustrate the process of educational reform, how necessary it was and yet being blocked by these obstinate people.

Premier Tobin made that point on numerous occasions, that they were trying to prevent this from occurring. The truth is that those groups, the Pentecostals, the Roman Catholics, willingly embraced reforms that came along.

They entered into dozens of joint service arrangements and consolidated and closed scores of schools. They co-operated with the government in the reduction of school boards from the original 267 down to the present number of only 10.

Today 90% of Newfoundland communities have a single school system and only 10% have more than one system, so considerable changes have occurred with regard to reform over the last while.

They have no objection to the government operated provincial school construction board. They accept that school bus reform is necessary, that school councils will serve a useful purpose, that school boards may be fully elected.

For many years governments in that province have set the curriculum. They have trained and certified teachers, and until it unwisely abolished them, they also set and corrected public exams.

What do these groups want to protect? They have not been standing in the way of reform. They simple want the right, as has been stated by many others here, to bring up their children, send them to schools where their own faith values are pre-eminent. That is a bit of a prelude.

I want to pass on to the test which was mentioned by our leader this morning, the test of democratic consent, and offer some suggestions as to where it may be suspect or found to be lacking with regard to the whole matter of democratic consent. Was the question a fair one? Was it clear?

Members may be aware that this question was developed by the Newfoundland government's public relations firm and was one of several potential questions subjected to some mini polling and focus groups to try to massage it to the point where it came up with a question that would ensure a certain outcome of the vote.

The question also referred to a preference for a single system where all children would attend and where religious education is taught. Of all the children in Newfoundland, 90% are presently in that kind of system. Therefore Roman Catholic, Pentecostal and integrated children have access to a program in their own faith if there is sufficient demand. That was the question and the people believed they were voting yes to preserve this system.

On July 30, 1997 single school system was defined by the premier as a Christian school system. One month later, seven days before the actual vote, one day before the advance polls, a single school system had been redefined as a public, non-denominational school system and religious education had become not necessarily Christian but general. In the three days before the Labour Day weekend there was insufficient time to address the fact that the question now meant something entirely different than originally.

The question fails to address the real issue. Voters want some constitutional rights of parents to choose separate schools removed. It is my belief that this was not a fairly worded question. There were some shenanigans which took place in the last days which did not give people time to properly address the question before them. As a result they voted in favour of a prior question stated.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Newfoundland School System
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October 27, 1997

Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Wanuskewin, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I want to express my satisfaction and great delight with the Reform Party whip for this motion for a free vote, which I think is quite in order for this magnitude of a decision in respect to the amendment and the main motion.

I wonder if the whip on the government side would be open to the suggestion of a free vote. I hope others on this side would too. I think it would be fair and in the best interests of Canadians if they pushed the matter of a free vote on the amendment and the main motion.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Newfoundland School System
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October 27, 1997

Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Wanuskewin, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, under section 93 the Constitution requires that in Newfoundland or anywhere else in the country for that matter, the rights of the minority dissenting group are not to be prejudicially affected when changes are made.

The denominational supporters have been offered only a very sanitized, sterilized, neutered, generic, no name brand of religious class in place of the religious instruction that they were accustomed to in the past. Because they are basically offered a sociology of religion course, that does not equate to the provisions made for them in the past. It seems that there is a negative and prejudicial effect for the Roman Catholic and Pentecostal church adherence. How are their interests not prejudicially affected?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Newfoundland School System
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October 23, 1997

Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Wanuskewin, Ref.)

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the way in which the bill underscores the importance of nutrition services for Canadians. Studies have shown beyond any shadow of doubt that a proper diet is very crucial to the healing process. It also provides a needed preventive measure against illness.

Reformers and I are definitely in support of preventive and holistic measures. I endorse the way in which the bill constitutes a vote of confidence in Canada's dietitians who are skilled professionals and who serve the Canadian public well.

However I cannot support the bill for a few reasons. First, it is because I am not convinced and have not been convinced by the member's speech that it merely extends gracious recognition to dietitians. Rather it seems to put dietitians on a par with physicians as far as their ability to invoice the government directly is concerned.

It would appear that the bill will have the effect of creating a massive increase in expenditures due to the inclusion of nutrition services in the Canada Health Act. The summary of the bill shows us that the bill's purpose is to include nutrition services in the definition of insured health services. In fact they are already covered when a physician refers a patient to a dietitian.

It occurs to me that there has to be something more about the bill that I am not fully aware of to this point. If this is only about affirming health care providers, why not include physiotherapy, optometry, chiropractic services and all dentistry and not just surgical-dental services as the Canada Health Act now provides?

Given my concern I cannot support the bill because it fails to reckon with the economic forces at play in our country right now in relation to the budget. We have had a $7 billion shortfall from the Liberal government during the course of the last term in health and education. It fails to reckon with what is going on with medicare in our country at this time.

The Reform Party strongly supports the public funding of medicare as an essential, comprehensive, universally accessible national health service publicly funded and portable across the country.

Reformers also know that supporting such a program requires a great deal of funding. In order for that to happen across the country, the funding needs to be there. As I said before, funding of late has been insufficient to meet the needs of Canadians because of some of the cuts that have occurred over the course of the last number of years, expressly to the tune of some $7 billion for health and education.

We must be sober and acknowledge that the context of our debate today is a widely acknowledged crisis in health care funding. It is in this context that we need to ask a question. Can we afford to pay the additional costs that would be associated with adding nutritional services to the Canada Health Act? I would say that the answer at this point is no.

I also cannot support the bill because it further complicates an already existing strained, tense relationship at times between federal and provincial governments justifiably upset with being short-changed in respect to provincial health dollars.

Provincial health ministers are not waiting with bated breath for decrees from the House requiring additional expenditures. The provinces will simply not ask how high when Ottawa issues the command to jump. Nor will they ask how many when Ottawa issues the command to make bricks out of straw.

National standards will be meaningful and well received by the provinces only if they are backed by the funds needed to meet those standards, which is not currently the case.

A few quick phone calls I made this afternoon divulged to me another concern of mine, that there has not been a consultation process across the country. There has been no consultation with deputy ministers, health ministers and other key stakeholders.

It would be presumptuous for us in Ottawa to tell the provinces what their priorities in spending should be. There is no justification for fast tracking this through and giving it precedence over other health care services that are also interested in having more money to work with.

In some of the health districts in Saskatoon their concerns revolve around MRIs and keeping beds open since 70 beds will be closed in the Regina District Health for two weeks over Christmastime. Those people are more concerned about the shortfall of funding in those areas.

We have big concerns in other areas. Why would we add another area when there are big concerns and shortfalls in other areas that need to be shored up?

I recall a story from my province within the last couple of weeks of a 79 year old woman from Coronoch, Saskatchewan, who had to wait six days to have a hip pinned. Her life was endangered because of the policies of the government in terms of shortfall in funding. I am sure that she and her general practitioner would tell us that there is need for extra funding in other areas before we add more areas, which is the implication of the bill.

For these and other reasons that we do not have time to get into I oppose the bill as it stands. I would be open to further discussion in the future with the member opposite about the intent of the bill.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Canada Health Act
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October 22, 1997

Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Wanuskewin, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the group Canadians Addressing Sexual Exploitation has sponsored white ribbon against pornography week and some of the members of the House are wearing white ribbons in support of this.

People who view pornography are affected in different ways, but they are all affected. Child molesters have been shaped by the pornography they view. Individuals who become rapists have by pornography been desensitized to the personhood and dignity of women.

And those seduced by pornography who do not become sexual criminals nevertheless develop a contaminated view of human sexuality. This breeds unfaithfulness to one's spouse and is therefore destructive to families.

We are reminded of the need to restrain the pornography industry which causes so much personal devastation and societal harm. Those opposing this cancer are to be commended for their courage and endeavours in these days.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Pornography
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