John Ferguson GODFREY

GODFREY, The Hon. John Ferguson, P.C., B.A., M.Phil., D.Phil.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Don Valley West (Ontario)
Birth Date
December 19, 1942
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Godfrey
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=7735b9d3-b2fe-47b2-b170-7d73357280a5&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
economist, historian, journalist, research administrator

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Don Valley West (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation (February 23, 1996 - July 9, 1997)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Don Valley West (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation (February 23, 1996 - July 9, 1997)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (July 10, 1997 - July 15, 1998)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Don Valley West (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister with special emphasis on Cities (December 12, 2003 - July 19, 2004)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Don Valley West (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister with special emphasis on Cities (December 12, 2003 - July 19, 2004)
  • Minister of State (Infrastructure and Communities) (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
January 23, 2006 - August 1, 2008
LIB
  Don Valley West (Ontario)
  • Minister of State (Infrastructure and Communities) (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 71)


June 20, 2008

Hon. John Godfrey (Don Valley West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, speaking of what is a billion dollars, here is a question about where is a billion dollars?

Yesterday, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages announced an official languages plan, but the $1.1 billion envelope was not included in the latest budget. This is troubling, because if the money has to come from somewhere else, other programs might suffer.

Can the minister tell us where the money for her official languages action plan will come from?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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June 20, 2008

Hon. John Godfrey (Don Valley West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, what is a billion dollars? Where is a billion dollars?

The heritage minister also has reintroduced a watered-down version of the court challenges program that blatantly excludes minorities that are not linguistic minorities. Women are excluded. Gays are excluded. The disabled are excluded. Visible minorities are excluded. This is nothing less than discrimination.

Why is the government refusing to allow all minorities to use the program and defend their rights?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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June 19, 2008

Hon. John Godfrey (Don Valley West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as you can see, I have not quite gone yet.

That is because now, today, more than ever, Canadians have a clear choice concerning the environment.

The Liberal green shift will offer big tax cuts to all Canadians: taxes down. The Conservative plan offers dead ducks on tailing ponds

While our plan offers an improved child care tax credit to help families, the Conservatives are completely abandoning those most in need.

While our plan offers credits to seniors and citizens living in rural areas, the Conservative plan offers unregulated hot air emissions from the environment minister.

While our plan will not—I repeat, will not—increase the tax on gas at the pump, the Conservatives are allowing gas prices to continually rise and—

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Environment
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June 17, 2008

Hon. John Godfrey (Don Valley West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a point of order which really is not a point of order. For this, I beg your forgiveness, Mr. Speaker, but only after I have finished.

The two toughest decisions in politics are when to get in and when to get out. The tougher decision is when to get out, because in politics, one never knows what lies around the next corner, what new catastrophe or opportunity may suddenly appear just in time to change one's life forever. If one just stays on a little longer, who knows what may happen. Nowhere is this truer than in a minority Parliament. So, the temptation to stay on is great, just to see what happens next. In this regard, I am reminded of the British army officer whose men would follow him anywhere, just out of sheer curiosity; not, of course, that this reflects in any way on the management style of my current leader or his predecessors.

How extraordinarily privileged we are as members of this House, members of Parliament, to be part of great events as they unfold, witnesses to history, as we were last week when the residential schools apology was delivered, or as we were earlier in this Parliament when we were present for that remarkable debate on the question of a Quebec nation within a unified Canada.

Here in this place the stakes are high, the issues really matter, and we all feel we can make a difference. That is why we are drawn to politics. It is exciting, worthwhile and unpredictable. It is also a bit like playing the horses: addictive, potentially dangerous to one's health, and tough on family life.

I have enjoyed my fourteen and a half years here. I have learned a lot, made good friends in all parties and, I hope, in some small way worked with all of them to make Canada a better place.

In Arnold Bennett's novel, The Card, the countess asks of a rising young politician, “But with what great cause is he associated?” This is the question that each of us must ask of ourselves; not, “Am I great?” but “Is my cause great?”. Because the cause is always greater than we are, and each of us can take a greater pride in the causes we have advanced as members of Parliament than the formal titles we have achieved.

But none of us can serve our causes, or Canada, without the loyal support of the people who work with us and who make us look good. Over the course of fourteen years, I have been lucky enough to have worked with many talented and dedicated people and also, I would add, with many splendid parliamentary interns. I cannot name them all, but I want to make special mention of two long-time associates and friends, Kathy Kocsis and Andrew Bevan, and the current crew in Ottawa and Toronto, Catherine, Bo, Delaney, Jonathan, Steve and Angela.

As I look around this chamber, I also want to acknowledge my friends in all parties, in the Liberal caucus, the whole Liberal team on the Hill, my leader, the officers of this House and all the people who serve in it. I also want to recognize all the support staff of the committees and the Library of Parliament, all the men and women on the Hill who protect us, clean for us, serve us in the cafeterias and generally make our lives agreeable, and you, Mr. Speaker, for struggling so valiantly to create an atmosphere of non-partisan civility and camaraderie in a time of trouble.

I want to make special mention of the pages who buzz around so efficiently and have learned cheerfully how to interpret the eccentric demands of the member for Don Valley West, which he conveys by a unique form of sign language. Now here is a little lesson for the rest of you. Ready? Watch carefully: glass, ice, lemon, and make that fizzy water. What a legacy.

I also want to thank the people of Don Valley West, who have supported me through five elections; my constituency association and its long-serving president, Dennis O'Leary; Pam Gutteridge, my first and last campaign manager; and above all, my family, especially my wife, Trish, helpmate indeed, and my son, Ian, who made it all possible and who have been my greatest supporters. I should also mention that my son, Ian, graduated today from grade eight, just as I am graduating from grade fourteen and a half.

In politics it is always important to pick our moment to leave before the moment picks us.

And what a moment. I am lucky to have a new career as the headmaster of the Toronto French School. I am returning to my roots, to the education of young people and, even better, to the French language.

As I say goodbye, I leave with my idealism intact. I leave with a certain regret, but also with satisfaction and pride at having been one of the select few, a member of the House of Commons of Canada, one of you, one of us.

Thank you, merci, au revoir, goodbye.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Points of Order
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June 13, 2008

Hon. John Godfrey (Don Valley West, Lib.)

moved:

Motion No. 2

That Bill C-474, in Clause 15.1, be amended by replacing line 19 on page 6 with the following:

“into force of section 18.1 of this Act, remain in”

Motion No. 3

That Bill C-474, in Clause 16, be amended

(a) by replacing line 33 on page 6 with the following:

“11(3) of the Federal Sustainable Develop-”

(b) by replacing line 1 on page 7 with the following:

“(c) any agency set out in Schedule 2 to”

Motion No. 4

That Bill C-474, in Clause 18, be amended by replacing, in the French version, line 14 on page 8 with the following:

“justesse des renseignements qu'il contient”

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Federal Sustainable Development Act
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