Leonard Donald HOPKINS

HOPKINS, Leonard Donald, B.A. (Hons.)

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke (Ontario)
Birth Date
June 12, 1930
Deceased Date
February 6, 2007
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Hopkins
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=e62a3516-e718-4a0a-af61-35a0a053e51b&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
school principal, teacher

Parliamentary Career

November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
LIB
  Renfrew North (Ontario)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
LIB
  Renfrew North (Ontario)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
LIB
  Renfrew North--Nipissing East (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence (December 22, 1972 - December 21, 1973)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence (January 1, 1974 - May 9, 1974)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
LIB
  Renfrew North--Nipissing East (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence (September 15, 1974 - September 14, 1975)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
LIB
  Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke (Ontario)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
LIB
  Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (March 1, 1984 - June 29, 1984)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (June 30, 1984 - July 9, 1984)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
LIB
  Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke (Ontario)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
LIB
  Renfrew (Ontario)
October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 305)


September 26, 1996

Mr. Hopkins

Madam Speaker, I just want to say to the hon. member that it is quite obvious that I got through to the true intention of the Bloc Party in the House of Commons today when he turns around and makes a personal attack on me. My hide is thick. I can take that. But I can also dish it out.

I am going to say to him today that the Auditor General of Canada has always had the highest respect from the member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.

I have no hesitation in saying that it was this government which took the initiative. It was not the Bloc. Do not stand and say that the Bloc took the initiative. The Government of Canada took the initiative and referred the matter to the finance committee of the House of Commons and the finance committee brought in the report.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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September 26, 1996

Mr. Leonard Hopkins (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, Lib.)

Madam Speaker, as I rise to speak on this motion today I am really amazed with its content. It has been some time since I saw a motion in this House that is worded in the way this one is today. It is really trying to get at rulings that were made in 1985 and 1991 relating to the immigration of taxpayers and the distribution of Canadian trust property to a non-resident beneficiary. It is also very much about migration taxation.

The opposition motion today tries to convince people that the doors are open for other transactions to leave the country and they talk of this in terms of hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars. This is an absurd assumption. What they are trying to do is create a perception of a loss of tax dollars. The finance committee has brought an excellent report into this House and found no such transactions taking place.

As I have said, this is an absurd assumption. Are billions of dollars leaving the country tax free? The answer is a clear and unequivocal no. Revenue Canada is not aware of any similar transactions since 1991, and the finance committee confirmed it found no indication of large revenue losses or tax planning opportunities that occurred because of the 1991 ruling.

The minister of revenue, as she said today, has placed a moratorium on any such rulings in this area of the Income Tax Act until such time as the government plugs the loopholes.

The hon. member for Beauport-Montmorency-Orléans indicated today that the Liberals would be blaming this on the Tory administration. The Canadian public has already passed judgment on the Tory administration. It did that on October 25, 1993 in the general election. Therefore we do not have to pass it on to it, it was there during its time. However, there was no evidence found of wrongdoing on the part of tax department officials in this ruling. That is in the report that the finance committee brought into this House.

I want to emphasize that the Minister of National Revenue has stated that we have a moratorium on any such procedures until the government plugs the loopholes. This is in effect a freeze on all procedures, and no decision to let money out of this country can be taken while that moratorium is on. How do we get fish out of a lake when the lake is frozen? We have to drill a hole. But the finance minister and the Government of Canada are saying they are going to plug the hole. The Bloc can try as it likes but it will not be able to drill a hole in the ice on that lake and get the fish out. The Government of Canada is going to review these tax laws which have not been reviewed for 25 years. It has already taken many measures in this regard.

Therefore let us not get carried away with the idea that something terrible is going on today because the finance committee, the auditor general and other officials, six leading auditors of this country, have said there was no wrongdoing. The Department of National Revenue says that nothing has happened since 1991.

If they are trying to put a hole in the Liberal armour in Quebec, they will have to try harder than this. The people of Quebec are smart enough to know they are not being led down the garden path by tactics such as this. Just reading that motion is the worst bedtime reading anybody could possibly have.

The government has stated on the floor of this House that the problem today is how to treat capital gains when someone, an immigrant, a person, a trust, a company or a partnership wants to leave Canada. That is the question. That was the auditor general's main point. The majority finance committee report of the House endorsed it by saying action must be taken. The Minister of Finance said: "We agree and we intend to take action".

At another place in Hansard on September 20, the government said that the majority finance committee report was very thorough in the way it dealt with this point and that the government intends to take action. The Minister of Finance, on behalf of the government, said: ``We wanted to shed some light on the matter and the majority report of the finance committee did so, and we intend to act''.

It becomes very clear that the motion which the House is debating today has been placed on the Order Paper by the official opposition as an example of straight crass politics, and that is why it does not mention the positive approaches that have been taken by this government to update the Income Tax Act. The average Canadian needs the facts surrounding this issue and they are getting them. They do not need the kind of political rhetoric portrayed by this motion.

I repeat that a moratorium has been placed on all rulings with respect to taxpayer migration until the government has introduced legislation and taken other steps to plug the loopholes. It wants to study the finance committee report in depth.

Let us compare ourselves with other countries. In the House we are always downgrading ourselves in many ways. I want to compare Canada's tax laws with those of other countries.

Our tax laws are tighter than those of other G-7 nations. Our tax administration system is the most highly respected of any today. It is pure speculation that money has been lost. There is no evidence from any source that money has been lost.

It is another matter when we come to a debate such as this to examine the issues in their full complexity, not just in simplistic statements such as those stated in the motion today. It is another matter to examine the actions of hardworking and dedicated officials in the context in which those actions occurred.

It is very easy to criticize somebody, talk about the good and the bad, put people into categories of heroes and the villains. But that is why it is absolutely necessary to explain the whole issue on the floor of the House. It is quite another matter when we consider that one of the central issues we are examining today relates to the highly complex and frequently uncertain area of the tax treatment of taxpayers who migrate.

Chapter 1 of the auditor general's report issued on May 7 of this year raised issues related to income tax rulings and in particular Canada's tax policy as it relates to persons who become or cease to become resident in Canada.

The fact that these concerns dealt partially with family trusts should not obscure the fact that the principal issue in this matter is the tax rules relating to taxpayer migration.

I think this is something which is very relevant. It has been said that the period since the end of the second world war will be regarded by historians as the twilight of the nation state and the dawn of the single world economy.

According to Webster's Dictionary the term globalization did not even exist until 1944. Today it is the defining watchword of our modern world. Yet surprisingly tax rules relating to taxpayer migration were not enacted by Parliament until 1971 and have not been significantly reviewed in the 25 years since they were enacted.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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September 16, 1996

Mr. Leonard Hopkins (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Dr. Victor Railton, whom we are fondly remembering today, was a great Canadian by virtue of his many achievements and his dedication to each cause he undertook.

Victor Railton was a no nonsense person when it came to getting a job done, but at all times he practised a sense of decency and was always considerate of other people's feelings. These qualities helped him to exercise excellent bedside manners as a physician and surgeon and also served him extremely well in carrying out his duties both here in the House of Commons and with his constituents during his tenure as a member of Parliament from 1972 to 1979.

He and his wife Ruth, who predeceased him in 1987, were highly regarded both on and off the Hill.

With regard to his academic background, Victor Railton graduated from Brantford Collegiate and then from the University of Toronto in medicine in 1929. He practised family medicine in Port Colborne, obtained a fellowship in surgery as a specialist and served brilliantly in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps from 1940 to 1945 as a surgeon in France, England, Belgium and Holland where he played a leadership role in field hospital work.

After he came home he practised surgery in Welland where he became chief of staff of the Welland County General Hospital. This outstanding Canadian served as chairman of the board of education for the city of Welland and was awarded the Centennial Medal in 1967.

He was a dedicated, talented person who led many fine community causes. He became a volunteer surgeon in Nigeria during the Biafran War in 1970.

In 1972 he was elected as the member of Parliament for Welland and was re-elected on July 8, 1974. He served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and served on several committees in the House. Dr. Railton always delivered well informed speeches in this House.

He is survived today by his wife Deirdre Railton, his sons Richard and James, and his daughters Jane and Eleanor. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. We extend our sincere sympathy to all of them on this occasion. He was predeceased by his daughter Nancy, and three sisters. We thank his family for sharing the life of their wonderful father with us.

As an MP he was everybody's friend and adviser and indeed a doctor to many of his colleagues, including yours truly. It was not his nature to become rattled or upset in any way. He always had his feet planted firmly on the ground and his head on his shoulders.

Dr. Railton was a hardworking MP, a friend and a very congenial and jovial person at all times. Victor Railton was over 90 years of age when he passed away. Those 90 years were productive, dedicated and a fantastic service to his family, his community, his country and the international community.

Today as we pay tribute to this remarkable man, many members and aspirants to public office could well use his exemplary life to help them mould their own future.

We thank his family for sharing his life with us for the betterment of Canada.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Late Dr. Victor Railton
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September 16, 1996

Mr. Leonard Hopkins (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today we pay tribute to the late Marvin Howe, a member of Parliament in this House from 1953 to 1972. He was predeceased by his wife, the former Helen Ruth Blair.

We in the House extend our sympathy to his children Bill, Peter Marvin and his wife Doreen, Mary Ellen McNaught and her husband David, and Sandy and his wife Susan. We also extend our sympathy to his grandchildren and to his great grandchildren.

Marvin Howe was a graduate of Listowel High School and Toronto Teacher's College. After a short stint at teaching Marvin established a small business in Arthur, Ontario. Before coming to the House in 1953 he was reeve of Arthur, chairman of the local school board and a member of county council.

After he became the member of Parliament for Wellington-Huron he served on several committees in the House of Commons and was chairman of the transport committee on two occasions.

I remember him as one who got along well with other members and was always a jovial type of person. He served in Parliament under four prime ministers, the Rt. Hon. Louis St. Laurent, the Rt. Hon. John Diefenbaker, the Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson and the Rt. Hon. Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

During his tenure in the House between 1953 and 1972 there was considerable rapport among members of Parliament from both sides of the House of Commons. As a result members tended to get to know one another extremely well. That boded well for this institution. Regardless of the different party affiliations each of us realized the other person had some good community and national spirit to share. Marvin Howe was a hard working MP and was always a friend.

It is ironical that today we are paying tribute to two former members of the House, both of whom lived to be over 90 years of age. Marvin Howe was one who spent those years trying to help his neighbours and his country and we thank his family for sharing him with us for a long period of time.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Late William Marvin Howe
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June 20, 1996

Mr. Leonard Hopkins (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, you are in the chair, along with the three other people who chair this House of Commons, and I would like to extend to you and to the others in the chair and at the table a big thank you on behalf of this House for your patience, the esteem in which all of you are held and the fairness in handling this boisterous crowd out here on the floor of the House of Commons. It is at a time like this that I think we should recognize good habits and practices in the House. We thank you and the others for your fairness in handling all situations.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Privilege
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