Roy CULLEN

CULLEN, The Hon. Roy, P.C., B.A., C.A., M.P.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Etobicoke North (Ontario)
Birth Date
December 31, 1944
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cullen
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=a366e212-f1a1-4e5e-b543-2d1f0af4815e&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
chartered accountant

Parliamentary Career

March 25, 1996 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Etobicoke North (Ontario)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Etobicoke North (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (September 1, 1999 - September 12, 2001)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Etobicoke North (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (September 1, 1999 - September 12, 2001)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Etobicoke North (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
LIB
  Etobicoke North (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 202)


June 17, 2008

Hon. Roy Cullen

Mr. Speaker, I would encourage the parliamentary secretary to try to accelerate the review of this cost recovery policy, because it is creating a lot of anomalies and situations where there is unfair competition.

I can recall that courier companies were set up at various airports, for which there have to be customs services either 24/7 or very early in the morning. As the shipments come in, they have to be processed through customs.

There was an anomaly. A new courier company would come in and its services would be on a cost recovery basis, while the other courier services would be part of grandfathered core services. This creates some competitive issues.

Issues also arose at the Detroit-Windsor border, where there were opportunities to move more trucks on a ferry, but because of this cost recovery policy, the customs services were going to be on a cost recovered basis. That did not help in terms of the business case of moving more trucks across the river on a ferry to take some of the congestion off the Windsor-Detroit bridge.

I think it is a matter of some urgency now. I am surprised, frankly, that solutions have not been forthcoming. It was our Liberal government that brought in the grandfathering policy. That was done in the mid-1990s out of a need to deal with a $42 billion deficit.

Is it the most sound policy given today's circumstances? No, it is not. That is why our government started that review. We were close to seeing some resolution, but then the writ was dropped and there was an election.

However, the Conservative government has had more than two years now. I plead with the parliamentary secretary to get the Canada Border Services Agency to come up with some solutions to this problem as soon as possible.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
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June 17, 2008

Hon. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I appreciated the parliamentary secretary's comments.

In fact, the review of cost recovery within the Canada Border Services Agency started under our government and was getting close to being finalized when the election was called and the new government came to power. It has been in power for over two years now, but on this side of the House we are still waiting for a new cost recovery policy.

If I may, just by way of background, I will highlight what my understanding is of the circumstances. In the mid-1990s, our government decided to grandfather the services provided by the customs portion of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, which ultimately became part of the Canada Border Services Agency. All existing services provided by customs operations would be grandfathered and any new operations would have to be on a cost recovery basis.

That applied to any new airports and any new ports. The port in Prince Rupert is a good example. It came on stream later and was presented with the option that the customs presence it would need in order to clear goods coming in would be on a cost recovery basis. It was difficult to establish how it was going to compete with the Port of Vancouver when the Port of Vancouver's services had been grandfathered and those of the Port of Prince Rupert would be on cost recovery basis.

I suspect, and I am wondering if the parliamentary secretary could confirm it, that the Tremblant services were part of a new suite of services that were on a total cost recovery basis.

It seems to me, and I think the parliamentary secretary alluded to this, that the department is looking at core services and non-core services as being the more rational way of deciding what is on a cost recovered basis and what is part of core government services. I am wondering how that review is coming along and when the department, the minister and the parliamentary secretary will be able to brief Parliament on the new approach to cost recovery as it relates to customs.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
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June 16, 2008

Hon. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present a petition signed by a large number of people in the Toronto area who are very concerned about Canada Post policy to accelerate the installation of community mailboxes. They believe that Canada Post has not consulted very widely or fairly, that these community mailboxes create safety hazards, that they are often not accessible to seniors, that they are not accessible because of winter conditions, and that they create an environmental problem. They are asking that Canada Post reconsider this misguided policy.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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June 3, 2008

Hon. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the member for Nanaimo—Cowichan, particularly the reference she made earlier to employment insurance. I thought I would take this opportunity to clarify the framework under which employment insurance works.

The member talked about the employment insurance fund. In fact, in the days of the Liberal government there was no EI fund per se. There was a notional fund. The Conservative government is planning to set up a crown corporation or something, but the previous government had a notional fund.

In the late 1980s the auditor general requested that the government consolidate the EI fund, or notional fund, into consolidated revenue because the fund was in deficit. The EI fund, notional fund, was in deficit from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s. At that point, I do not recall the unions or management clamouring to Ottawa to say that they would make up the deficit.

Yes, it is true that the EI surplus did form part of consolidated revenue and helped the government deal with the $42 billion deficit left by the Conservative Party, but, as I said earlier, there was a string of seven or eight years when the EI fund was in deficit and there was a certain logic to allowing that to happen. Then when our government came in, it reduced the employment insurance premiums every year. We were able to get it to the point where now the Conservative government can look at it as a self-sustaining insurance fund.

Is the member aware of the history of EI fund and notional fund and would she look at it in the context of her remarks earlier, when she seemed to intimate that the surpluses were from the wages of workers and were exploited by the Government of Canada?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2008
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June 3, 2008

Hon. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the community mailboxes that Canada Post has been installing are a bad deal for communities across Canada. These mailboxes are being placed in neighbourhoods without considering the well-being of members of these communities who do not feel safe accessing their mail while traffic moves around them. Senior citizens often do not have the ability to go to a community mailbox to pick up their mail.

The government has not been looking out for the communities where these mailboxes have been installed. Why has the government put its own convenience ahead of that of the citizens and communities of Canada?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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