Tom Lukiwski

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Tom Lukiwski
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Incumbent
Assumed office
2004
Preceded by Larry Spencer
Personal details
Born (1951-10-05) October 5, 1951 (age 63)
Esterhazy, Saskatchewan
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Diane Lukiwiski
Residence Regina, Saskatchewan
Profession small business owner, political administrator
Portfolio Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (2008-)
Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform (2006-2008)

Tom Lukiwski (born October 5, 1951) is a Canadian politician. He is the current Conservative Member of Parliament for the Saskatchewan riding of Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre. Born in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, he was a businessman and political administrator.

Political career[edit]

Lukiwski was first elected in 2004, winning by 122 votes over Liberal Gary J. Anderson. His predecessor, Larry Spencer, was denied the opportunity to run as a Conservative, despite having served as a member of the Canadian Alliance, due to inflammatory comments he made regarding homosexuality. At the time, Lukiwski criticized Spencer for making the remarks and approved of revoking Spencer's party membership.[1]

Lukiwski was re-elected in the 2006 and 2008 general elections. He currently serves as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, the Hon. Peter Van Loan.[2]

Filibustering[edit]

Lukiwski is well known on Parliament Hill for his ability to stall Parliamentary Committee business by "filibustering".[3][4] An example of this ability includes speaking for almost 120 minutes to prevent the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development from studying a private member's bill to implement the Kyoto Accord on October 26, 2006.[5][6][7] Lukiwski admitted later that he deliberately stalled the proceedings.[8] Further examples include the February 5, 2008 and February 7, 2008 Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs meetings, in which Lukiwski blocked any inquiry into allegations that the Conservative Party spent over the maximum allowable campaign limits during the 2006 election.[9][10][11][12][13]

Equalization[edit]

As an Opposition MP, Lukiwski argued that non-renewable natural resource revenues, such as revenues from oil and gas, should be excluded from the calculations of the equalization formula. Despite acknowledging that Saskatchewan was no longer a "have-not" province,[14] Lukiwski estimated that Saskatchewan would be between $800 million to $1.5 billion wealthier each year if non-renewable resources were removed from the equalization formula.[15][16]

On March 22, 2005, Lukiwski introduced a motion into the House of Commons calling for changes to the equalization formula.[17] During his speech introducing the motion, Lukiwski stated that "[w]hat we are asking today in this motion is that the non-renewable natural resources should be removed from the equalization formula."[18]

Lukiwski, along with the Conservatives, promised during the 2006 federal election that a Conservative government would remove non-renewable natural resource revenue from the equalization formula.[19] On January 19, 2006, only days before the 2006 election, Lukiwski stated that Saskatchewan would be "$2 to 2.5 billion wealthier each and every year" as a result of the changes.[20]

However, once elected, the Conservatives began to indicate that any future equalization program changes would not necessarily be what was promised.[21][22]

In the federal budget introduced on March 19, 2007, the Conservatives introduced changes to the equalization system which imposed caps on payments. This resulted in Saskatchewan not being able to retain 100% of its non-renewable resource revenue.[23][24] Lukiwski acknowledged that the Conservative changes did not exactly fulfill the Conservative's promise with the changes,[25][26] stating "If you want to say we didn't fulfil the commitment or keep our promise, fair enough."[27]

The 2007 federal budget passed with the support of the Bloc Québécois.

Videotape controversy[edit]

On April 3, 2008, the New Democratic Party of Saskatchewan released a videotape showing Lukiwski, then 40 years old, making homophobic remarks in 1991. At the time the videotape was made, Lukiwski was the general manager of the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan led by Grant Devine.[28] In the video, he says:

"There's A's and there's B's. The A's are guys like me, the B's are homosexual faggots with dirt under their fingernails that transmit diseases."[29][30]

The release of the tape provoked immediate controversy, including calls for Lukiwski's resignation or removal as a Parliamentary Secretary.[31][32][33][34][35]

Lukiwski apologized for the comments, saying "If I could take those comments back I would... They do not reflect the type of person that I am."[36]

Lukiwski subsequently promised that "I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, and all of my colleagues in this House that I will spend the rest of my career and my life trying to make up for those shameful comments."[37]

However, he failed to attend a May 31, 2008 Regina gay pride parade to which he was invited. Gay groups said they were disappointed that Lukiwski failed to respond at all to the invitation. "Mr. Lukiwski stated in his public apology... that he would spend the rest of his life making amends," said gay pride spokesman Nathan Markwart. "Well, when exactly does that kick in? "It is clear that his apology is less than sincere and is, in fact, hollow as it has not been followed up with any concerted effort to join our celebrations as an elected official who represents gays and lesbians in Regina and surrounding area." Markwart noted that the disappointment was heightened by their understanding that Lukiwski was in the Regina area on the date of the parade.[38]

Other apologies[edit]

In 2005, Lukiwski was sued for libel by former Liberal MP Reg Alcock for wrongly claiming Alcock had given his campaign manager a job with the Canadian Wheat Board.[39][40] Lukiwski stated that the matter was settled out of court in 2007 in Alcock's favour,[41] with Lukiwski apologizing to Alcock in a statement.[42]

In November 2009, Lukiwski apologized in the House of Commons for mailing out Parliamentary flyers to the riding of Liberal MP Larry Bagnell which wrongly stated how Bagnall had voted on a private member's bill on the long-gun registry.[43][44][45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Turfed MP Spencer doesn't think Lukiwski should be ousted". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  2. ^ http://o.canada.com/news/both-sides-claim-victory-as-fair-elections-act-clears-the-commons
  3. ^ Alexander Panetta (2008-04-03). "Tory's loose lips an asset - until now". Toronto: The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  4. ^ Catherine Clark, Tom Lukiwski (July 27, 2009). "Beyond Politics interview (at 19:11)". CPAC. 
  5. ^ "Parties trade blame for House logjam". Toronto: The Canadian Press. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  6. ^ "Filibuster fixer sent to block bill". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  7. ^ "Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development". Parliament of Canada. October 26, 2006. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  8. ^ Mike De Souza. "Tories accused of stalling their own green agenda". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  9. ^ "Angry chairman suspends session". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  10. ^ "Tories accused of stalling ad scheme review". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  11. ^ Kady O'Malley. "Filibuster ahoy! Liveblogging the Procedure and House Affairs Committee for as long as it takes...". www.macleans.ca. Retrieved 2010-02-13. [dead link]
  12. ^ Kady O'Malley. "Liveblogging PROC: We’ll stop blogging when he stops talking – the return of the killer filibuster (From the archives)". www.macleans.ca. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  13. ^ Kady O'Malley. "Liveblogging the Procedure and House Affairs Committee for as long as it takes... (Part 3)". www.macleans.ca. Retrieved 2010-02-13. [dead link]
  14. ^ Tom Lukiwski. "MP writes a letter to the Carillon...and we write back". Carillon. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  15. ^ "Hansard". Parliament of Canada. April 12, 2005. 
  16. ^ "Hansard". Parliament of Canada. October 6, 2005. 
  17. ^ Randy Burton. "Taxes reflect complacent council". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  18. ^ "Hansard". Parliament of Canada. March 22, 2005. 
  19. ^ "Calvert expects quick action on equalization". CBC. 2006-01-18. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  20. ^ "Provinces spat over Harper's mystery promise". CBC. 2006-01-19. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  21. ^ "Conservative MPs respond following equalization letter leak". CBC. 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  22. ^ Murray Mandryk. "Now you see them, and now you don't". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  23. ^ "Sask. will sue over equalization: Calvert". CBC. 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  24. ^ Murray Mandryk. "Tories squirm over our dough". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  25. ^ Murray Mandryk. "Tory MPs choose Harper over voters". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  26. ^ "Premiers stand united". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  27. ^ James Wood. "Layton blasts PM over broken promise". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  28. ^ "Saskatchewan MP apologizes for anti-gay slur". CBC. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  29. ^ James Wood, Mike De Souza. "Sask. MP, premier caught in videotape scandal". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  30. ^ "Sask. MP Lukiwski's homophobic comment". National Post. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  31. ^ Murray Mandryk. "Lukiwski must resign for his remarks". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  32. ^ "Lukiwski seeks forgiveness as Liberals slam Tories". www.ctv.ca. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  33. ^ "Lukiwski still under siege after apologies". www.canada.ca. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  34. ^ "Protesters rally outside Lukiwski's office". CBC. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  35. ^ John Gormley. "Tasteless tape sparks tacky outrage". www.canada.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  36. ^ "Saskatchewan MP apologizes for anti-gay slur". CBC. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  37. ^ "Hansard". Parliament of Canada. April 4, 2008. 
  38. ^ The Canadian Press. "Sask. Tory MP skips Regina gay pride event". CTV. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  39. ^ Paul Samyn (February 19, 2005). "Alcock suing Conservative MP for ’defamatory’ letter to the editor". National Post. 
  40. ^ "Harper libel suit could be costly to taxpayers if House pays Liberal legal fees". The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2010-02-13. [dead link]
  41. ^ Tim Naumetz. "Libel threats have become a practice". www.lawtimesnews.com. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  42. ^ Tonda MacCharles (2008-04-04). "Tory MP apologizes for gay slurs". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  43. ^ Chris Hall. "Libel threats have become a practice". CBC. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  44. ^ Louise Elliot. "The flyer fight". CBC. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  45. ^ "Hansard". Parliament of Canada. November 18, 2009. 

External links[edit]