Anthony (Tony) TIRABASSI

TIRABASSI, Anthony (Tony)

Personal Data

Niagara Centre (Ontario)
Birth Date
October 30, 1957
sales representative

Parliamentary Career

November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
  Niagara Centre (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board (January 13, 2003 - December 11, 2003)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 19)

June 11, 2003

Mr. Tony Tirabassi (Niagara Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to 11 outstanding high school students in my riding of Niagara Centre who have been selected to receive one of the 404 millennium excellence awards that the Millennium Scholarship Foundation provides to outstanding Ontario students entering post-secondary education.

They have been selected on the basis of academic performance, community service and leadership and innovation.

Congratulations to Jimmy Wintle, Taryn Diamond, Keith Bennie, Sarah Golin, Delaney Greig, Deanna Hunt, Tasha Maheu, Lisa Moreira, Elena Paraskeyvopoulos, Kelly Todd and Janelle Fournier.

My best wishes to all of them as they follow their paths to a bright and promising future.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Millennium Excellence Awards
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June 9, 2003

Mr. Tony Tirabassi (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to take part in this debate tonight with my hon. colleague in the House. The issue being debated tonight is an important one. It is central to the operation of this institution of Parliament. One of the most fundamental missions of the House is to provide a forum in which the government can be held accountable for its actions, especially for how it spends public funds.

The people's right to control how public funds are collected and spent is one of the cornerstones of democratic government. In Canada, like other parliamentary democracies, this control is carried out on behalf of the people by their elected representatives, and that is us, the members of Parliament.

Over the years, Parliament has given itself the tools it needs to make sure that the government remains accountable to the people of this country, that the government lives up to its commitments to deliver results to Canadians, and achieves the best possible value for money with every decision, with every policy, with every program. The Auditor General has played an invaluable role in this regard.

When the Office of the Auditor General was created by legislation, coincidentally 125 years ago today, it was seen as a means to promote good and effective governance in this country by ensuring that public funds would be spent wisely and effectively. The fundamental mission has remained unchanged to this day. For 125 years, a dialogue has been ongoing among the Office of the Auditor General, the government and Parliament. This dialogue is partly responsible for Canada being recognized today as having one of the most modern and efficient public services in the world, if not one of the best systems of government in the world.

The issue raised tonight by the member for South Shore is whether, given this important role, the Office of the Auditor General is being supplied an adequate level of funding by Parliament. It must be said that funding for the Auditor General's office already has increased considerably in recent years. Like most other government departments and agencies, the Auditor General's budget was reduced in the 1990s, after hitting a high of $60 million in the 1993-94 fiscal year. As the public accounts records will show, the entire shortfall was made up fully by fiscal year 2000-01. Since then, the Auditor General's budget has climbed steadily from $60 million to nearly $72.5 million in 2002-03. This represents a 20% increase over three years.

In 2002-03 alone, the OAG was granted a $9.2 million increase by Treasury Board. This represents a 13% increase in one year alone. I am sure that most members of the House and certainly most ministers who sit around the cabinet table would characterize a 13% increase as very sympathetic.

There is a process in place for the Auditor General to request additional funds from Parliament and it is through the Treasury Board. If recent practice by the government is any indication, it would seem that the Treasury Board has responded quite actively and supportively to requests for additional funding from the Auditor General.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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June 9, 2003

Mr. Tony Tirabassi

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member mentioned that the roles of officers of Parliament have become increasingly complex and busier through the years, and the OAG is one. As the hon. member knows, it was this government that recognized that.

Under the former Progressive Conservative government, the Auditor General reported to Parliament once a year. It was this government that decided it was time to bring the Auditor General in four times a year. That was to increase accountability and to increase transparency. He or she, and she in this case, would report more often so we could identify the challenges and deal with them. As I said in my statement, the funding has been increased accordingly to help cover that.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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June 6, 2003

Mr. Tony Tirabassi (Niagara Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on June 6, 1944 Canadian soldiers stormed the beaches on the Normandy coast in France, code named Juno, as part of the allied effort during World War II.

Thousands of Canadians fought in this battle and hundreds lost their lives. Today this historic site is home to the Juno Beach Centre. Officially being opened today, it will ensure that all Canadians know about Canada's involvement in all campaigns during the second world war and fully appreciate the sacrifices our soldiers made.

The Juno Beach Centre project was developed by a group of World War II veterans who participated in the D-Day landings as well as other battles. The centre will inform visitors of Canada's participation in, and support of, the war effort both at home and in Europe.

Let us thank our veterans for their valiant efforts on the Juno Beach Centre project.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Juno Beach Centre
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June 3, 2003

Mr. Tony Tirabassi (Niagara Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the members of the rowing teams at Denis Morris Catholic High School, which is located in my riding of Niagara Centre.

The senior boys fours with coxie, under coach Matt Miller, placed first at the Wyandotte Regatta in Detroit, Michigan on May 2 and 3. The junior girls heavy 8, under coach Brian Dell, placed first at the same regatta. The senior boys heavy 8, under coach Brian Dell, placed first at the Mother's Day Regatta in St. Catharines on May 11.

I wish to congratulate all members of these three exemplary rowing teams. They have set the bar extremely high for others to attempt to equal their success.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Rowing
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