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 70 of 71)


March 16, 1994

Mr. John Godfrey (Don Valley West)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member had five questions for the Prime Minister and now I have three for her.

First, the hon. member refers to the fact that three Canadian companies were willing to bid for Ginn. Does she have any idea whether each of them is willing to pay $10.3 million or not?

Second, if they were not willing to pay that sum but something closer to $3 million, where does she propose the $7 million difference might come from? Does she propose adding it to our national debt?

The third question is really a more philosophical one. I would like a little understanding of whether we or the previous government should have intervened or not intervened on the sale of Ginn.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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February 11, 1994

Mr. John Godfrey (Don Valley West)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Louis-Hébert for his comments. I fully agree that, at the present time, Canada's objective is 0.7 per cent, but it is very difficult with the upcoming budget later this month.

As regards government priorities, indeed we have to make choices. I think that when we review our foreign policy we will have to ask ourselves: What worked in the past? Where were we successful and where did we fail?

We must also acknowledge the fact that we are part of an international setting. In my opinion, we will always have two objectives: the centrality of the individual's development, as well as the basic needs which underlie any development. However, we must remember that developing countries need high technology just like us.

I think we can do two things at the same time: Improve the plight of the poorest in the world and try to make them benefit from our technological advances.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   supply
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February 11, 1994

Mr. John Godfrey (Don Valley West)

Mr. Speaker, poverty alleviation, protecting human rights, building democracy and ensuring environmental stability are the challenges facing the Canadian International Development Agency.

The Auditor General states that few Canadian organizations, private or public, attempt the complex and high risk taking tasks that CIDA undertakes. Our aid effort ensures that Canadian values help to shape the world of the 21st century, a world we hope will be peaceful and prosperous, fair and free.

Canada's aid program helps define Canada's place in the world. It is beneficial in a number of ways. For example, a good part of the aid budget is directed to fulfilling basic human needs. It supports the humanitarian concerns of Canadians. It supports the respect of human rights, gender equality and popular participation, all values important to Canadians. It helps developing countries achieve environmental sustainability. What kind of work does our aid budget actually support?

In West Africa CIDA has been helping the people of Senegal fight against the spreading desert by planting trees. The Panaftel project, one of Canada's major initiatives in Africa, gives several countries a good basic communication link.

In Zimbabwe the University of Ottawa's human rights centre and Zimbabwe's legal resources foundation, a non-governmental organization, are bringing legal services and rights to the rural poor.

Part of the program has involved the training of paralegal workers who operate in different parts of the country, educating people about their legal rights and helping them deal with problems that range from finding missing relatives to damage claims after bus accidents, a big concern in Zimbabwe.

In Honduras there is a problem of rapid destruction of the hardwood forests which stretch along the Caribbean coast. Each year over 2 per cent is cut and burned for shifting agriculture.

CIDA's hardwood forest project is addressing the problem on two fronts, improving forest management and sustainable land use in buffer zones next to the forest. The project is expected to reduce deforestation and reduce the pressure to convert forests to farms.

A rural development project in northern Pakistan supported by the Aga Khan Foundation and CIDA is widely regarded as one of the world's best.

The Auditor General recognizes in his chapter on CIDA that most Canadians support international aid efforts, but they want assurance that their taxes are really being used to develop the potential of the poor and of the developing world in general.

The Auditor General and CIDA have agreed to a follow-up on the action taken by CIDA to implement the recommendations of the 1993 chapter. The Auditor General will be reporting on CIDA's progress in implementing changes at all levels of management in his 1995 report to Parliament.

We believe that a sustained partnership with non-governmental organizations and business people doing outstanding work abroad can strengthen this support from taxpayers for the Canadian aid program.

International development is very important, considering the present world situation. It promotes global security, respect for human rights and democracy.

We need to work together to deal with the problems of our planet and the aid budget is a contribution Canada makes as a good citizen of the world community.

The aid program brings significant benefits to Canada. The aid program sustains over 40,000 jobs in this country with 2,000 businesses, 45 universities, 80 colleges and dozens of provincial departments and agencies benefiting from aid-related contracts.

Canada's food aid represents the output of some 3,000 Canadian farms.

Canada's aid program alone cannot change the world. It has made a difference. CIDA has a reputation in the field for integrity and co-operation.

The Auditor General said many things about CIDA but he did not say that aid is a poor investment for Canada. He did not say that aid is wasted.

As the Auditor General mentioned in his report, CIDA is recognized throughout the world for its integrity and co-operation. Nevertheless, we are aware that improvements must be made and CIDA is committed to renewing its management.

CIDA has committed itself to management renewal and to demonstrating results for investments. CIDA has launched a

process to streamline and modernize its management practices. Some early steps such as simplifying its organizational structure and improving management systems are already completed. Others are under way.

We have a lot of resources, technical expertise, and experience gained in our own development. Our role in development has won Canada a lot of good will and credibility virtually everywhere in the developing world.

Sometimes, the images the media give us lead us to believe that the history of developing countries is just one of failure and despair. The figures tell another story. Despite the problems, we must admit that international aid has helped improve the situation in developing countries.

My government is proud of the success achieved in international development.

Within a generation, the average real income in developing countries has more than doubled. Infant mortality rates have been halved since 1960.

The adult literacy rate has risen 20 per cent in recent years.

Over 70 per cent of the people in developing countries have access to health services.

Smallpox has been eliminated, at a cost of $250 million. This involves a saving of $1 billion a year on vaccine and treatment, in addition to the relief of the suffering formerly associated with the disease.

CIDA's program in South Africa continues to play a constructive role in the transition toward political pluralism.

Let me say, Mr. Speaker, that just this week there was a letter published in the Globe and Mail that discusses the positive side to CIDA which press reports often do not cover. The letter states: ``On a visit to El Salvador I witnessed some absolutely incredible success stories such as an industrial co-operation made possible through CIDA. I was never so proud to be a Canadian''.

With respect to more business-like and accountable modes of operation CIDA like other government departments is responding to public demands to demonstrate better accountability. Clearly this will require the support of our government and the support of development partners in Canada and overseas.

However, let me assure you, Mr. Speaker, that CIDA through its annual report to Parliament and its appearance before the public accounts committee in the House of Commons makes every effort to ensure that parliamentarians are properly informed. There is already an evaluation and audit process in place at CIDA as well as a comprehensive consultation process between CIDA and its partners.

The Auditor General did say that CIDA, like all other organizations, must adapt to new conditions. It needs to do better with less. CIDA must be more systematic in measuring the impact of development programs. CIDA's partners including multilateral organizations, other governments, Canadian companies and non-governmental organizations must participate in this change. CIDA needs to be more transparent to Parliament and the public. CIDA agrees with the thrust of the recommendations aimed at improving the agency's accountability and strengthening its management effectiveness.

By addressing issues at the level of program management CIDA will achieve a more results oriented and business-like style of management and will also address project management concerns.

Clearly there can be no question of the importance of the aid programs to the developing world and to Canadians. The government is committed to renewal in the public service, improved effectiveness, openness and transparency. This applies to CIDA as well as other departments. There is no doubt that CIDA will meet this challenge.

Mr. Speaker, it is also important to note that the foreign policy review will answer some of the questions raised in the Auditor General's report.

This foreign policy review involving a broad consultation with Canadians and partners is the process the government has chosen to help us define our priorities in foreign policy. Once the review has been completed the government will establish its new priorities, thus tackling what the Auditor General describes as making CIDA's task so difficult, that of trying to meet so many contradictory priorities.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   supply
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February 11, 1994

Mr. Godfrey

Mr. Speaker, the point is well made that security is being redefined as we speak after the cold war. It is also being redefined in the countries we are trying to help. I remember in my own time during the Ethiopian famine when the geopolitical concerns of Somalia versus Ethiopia and their protectors, the superpowers, was of overriding consideration.

Now we face a world in which we potentially have a peace dividend in this country, but there is also potentially a peace dividend in the developing countries. We are in a position where we can force a greater degree of conditionality by saying that if the priorities in such and such a country are to rearm rather than to help the poorest of the poor we may share those priorities with them and not give them a hand.

Therefore we have the foreign policy debate, the security debate and the environmental debate. All these debates come together in a most complex pattern and it is an ideal time to be reviewing our foreign and development policies.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   supply
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February 1, 1994

Mr. Godfrey

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question.

It is extremely interesting, but in a way it is the paradox of Quebec, if I may quote the hon. member's leader. In other words, if it makes sense to have industrial clusters at the Quebec level, why not at the Canadian level? Because we control our own territory we can create a tax atmosphere that is not the same as that in New York but that could be the same everywhere in Canada.

What I have always admired most about Quebec over the past 30 years is the willingness to experiment that has found new funding formulas. The Caisse de dépôt et de placement, for example.

I agree that if the high-speed train makes transportation sense, if it is not just a luxury, then yes, it is exactly the type of joint experimental project we should be trying out. We have to take advantage of the fact that we are after all a common market.

Lastly, if we are going to create clusters, we have to concede that in some cases-atomic energy, for example-it makes sense to have the headquarters in Ontario. In the case of the aerospace industry, on the other hand, the headquarters should be in Montreal, with a branch plant, for instance De Havilland, in Ontario. The trick is to have networks all over the country that can benefit from all the resources. That's what we did not have during the unfortunate business of Connaught BioSciences Inc., where there were the resources, in Quebec as a matter of fact, both technical and financial, and we missed the boat.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Pre-Budget Consultations
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