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Last in Parliament November 2005, as Conservative MP for Westlock—St. Paul (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 66.80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question No. 175 October 31st, 2005

With regard to Nav Canada, has this organization received any funding from the government during or since its creation in 1996 and, if so, what were the full details of the funding?

(Return tabled)

Income Tax Act October 25th, 2005

moved that Bill C-271, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (tuition credit and education credit), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Civil Marriage Act June 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, when the government has an agenda of social engineering to the extreme, it cannot allow democracy to get in the way. Not only have many of the experts in this field not had a chance to testify, but Canadians have not had a chance to express their opinions on this issue, an issue of social engineering, of basic restructuring of society.

All Canadians should have their say on this. It should either be an election issue before the bill passes or it should be a national referendum on whether this is the kind of society we want.

Civil Marriage Act June 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the member uses the word faith. Unlike the Prime Minister, some of us in this place live our faith. We are not members of Parliament during the week, then we go home, go to church on Sunday and be religious. The faith we grow up with and the teachings we learned have become part of who we are and what we are.

It is my responsibility, as a member of Parliament, to represent the majority views of my riding and my constituents. I have done that and I have done that without compromise. I have defended the principles of protection of religious freedom and I will continue to do that.

Civil Marriage Act June 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have a number of comments on the member's remarks. I quite frankly do not give much credibility to the comments of his seatmate, given her history of statements in this place. I do not pay a lot of attention to that.

The situation that exists in terms of lower court rulings in the country is as a result of the government's abdication of its clear responsibility to challenge those courts and to appeal them to the Supreme Court where this issue could have been resolved.

Civil Marriage Act June 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate in this debate. As members may know, my ongoing illness prevented me from having the opportunity to participate in second reading or report stage of this bill so I am grateful to now have that opportunity.

In my 12 years in this Parliament, no other issue, not even the gun registry, has created such a groundswell of opposition to Liberal social engineering. My office has sent out in excess of 15,000 responses to emails and letters and we long ago lost count of the number of phone calls that were received on the issue.

Over 95% of those representations are opposed to the government bill. In fact, to date only one constituent called to say they were supporting the redefinition of marriage. The overwhelming opposition to the bill in my riding makes my decision easier because I personally agree with this majority. I do not accept that this debate is about equality under the charter. It is really about social engineering.

When full equality rights were extended to women in Canada, and a previous Liberal speaker made reference to that, they did not have to be called men to be equal and homosexual unions likewise do not have to be called marriage to be equal. Homosexuals have long had all the rights of heterosexual couples under the law in terms of matrimonial property rights, pension sharing and other separation benefits.

If the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice really had this genuine passion for protecting equality rights, they would long ago have scrapped their employment equity program. They would be actively fighting for English language rights in Quebec or any of the other state sponsored discrimination to which the Liberal government turns a blind eye.

No, this is not about equality. It is not even about starting down the slippery slope toward moral decay because we are already well down that slope. We started down that slope with Trudeau's “just society” theory which was launched 40 years ago.

As an aside, I would like to remind members in the House, particularly the Prime Minister, that his own father had the moral courage to resign from the Trudeau cabinet rather than support the 1968 bill liberalizing divorce, homosexuality and abortion.

As to the government's pledge to protect the religious rights section of the charter, the provisions of the bill are simply unbelievable. Jurisdiction over the solemnization of marriage is exclusively allocated to the provinces under section 92(12) of the Constitution Act, 1867. I have not noticed, quite frankly, any effort by provincial governments, provincial courts or provincial human rights tribunals to protect religious freedom. In fact, just the opposite is true.

Provincial courts were the first to declare traditional marriage discriminatory with no regard to the religious significance of the institution. Provincial human rights tribunals in B.C. and Saskatchewan have completely ignored religious rights in favour of gay rights in several highly publicized cases. Provincial governments could not comply with the courts fast enough. They are now ordering marriage commissioners to comply or lose their jobs regardless of their religious beliefs.

How could anyone believe the Prime Minister will protect religious freedoms for ordinary Canadians when he will not even protect religious freedom of his cabinet ministers by allowing a free vote on this bill? How could anyone believe anything these Liberals say when in 1999 in a resolution in this chamber they overwhelming supported the traditional definition of marriage? In speaking to that motion the Deputy Prime Minister stated:

--the definition of marriage is already clear in law. It is not found in a statute, but then not all law exists in statutes, and the law is no less binding and no less the law because it is found in the common law instead of in a statute. The definition of marriage, which has been consistently applied in Canada, comes from an 1866 British case which holds that marriage is ‘‘the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others’’. That case and that definition are considered clear law by ordinary Canadians, by academics and by the courts. The courts have upheld the constitutionality of that definition....

Let me state again for the record that the government has no intention of changing the definition of marriage or of legislating same sex marriages

What happened to the government? What happened to the minster in the short time since that statement? If the government was misleading Canadians then, what would be the next step down the infamous slope? Will it be legalizing polygamy, or prostitution, or hard drugs or just working for organized crime to import strippers and drugs. God only knows but the one thing we do know is that Canadians cannot trust the Liberals because they do not tell us the truth.

Re-engineering society is not a Canadian priority. Canadian priorities are health care, education, security and taxes. Only the Prime Minister is fixated on same sex marriage.

What is the imperative of pushing this initiative? What is the social benefit to society of tearing down the marriage covenant? If we reduce the meaning of marriage to simply the union of committed, loving individuals, how do we then maintain other existing restrictions to marriage that exist in civil society?

It is important to note that no national or international court or human rights tribunal, has ever ruled that the right to marry is a human right. Just because two consenting adults of the same gender wish to be married, does not make marriage a human rights issue. The agenda of the government on this issue constitutes a huge social experiment with unknown consequences. I believe there will indeed be major consequences for family and for the Canadian society, but those consequences will not be really apparent for a generation.

If we examine early trends in another country, the Netherlands, there are already some alarming trends developing for Dutch society. My point is before we rush to follow the Netherlands' example on same sex marriage, legalized prostitution and legalized drugs use,and other examples of liberal extremism, the prudent thing to do would be at least wait and watch what the outcome of the Dutch experience will be.

No where in any culture in the history of mankind is there any example where same sex marriage has been the norm. Why would we put our society and future generations of children at risk for no other reason than the few same sex couples wanting to redefine marriage?

Heterosexual unions provide a whole range of benefits to civil society, only one of which is to create, nurture and raise the next generation. A family made up of a mother and a father is indisputably the most desirable incubator of future citizens. This forum of family is the mortar that holds our society together and those of us who work in these stone buildings know that if we do not maintain the mortar, over time the building collapses.

I urge members to reject this Liberal extremism and this social experiment with yet unknown consequences. If Canadians do not draw the line now, where will they draw the line to protect their children? Where will they draw the line to protect future families? Where will they draw the line to protect our most treasured society?

The Conservative Party is offering a moderate, reasonable and compromise position which I believe most Canadians would support. I urge all members of Parliament to reject the bill in the vote that will come later tonight and to maintain the traditional definition of marriage.

National Defence June 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence assured me personally on three occasions that he would resolve a conflict between his department and Scott Collacutt and his company CEL Surplus. Mr. Collacutt is a resident in my riding of Westlock—St. Paul.

In spite of the minister's commitment to me and months of delay, the minister has failed to use his ministerial authority to resolve this issue fairly. Mr. Collacutt has served his country honourably in the Canadian armed forces and is seeking only fair compensation for his losses caused by the actions of the Department of National Defence and the government.

I want Canadians to know that I am holding the weak-kneed minister personally responsible for the great hardship that this has caused Mr. Collacutt, his family and business. Why will the minister not find some backbone and courage and live up to his promise?

Oil and Gas Industry May 18th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the gas is not flowing in a timely fashion.

The government has also dropped the ball on the Alaska pipeline. We have a 27-year-old piece of legislation which is outdated and is now threatening to tie up the entire Alaska pipeline project for years in court. I raised this issue in the House with the minister two years ago and was simply dismissed.

Enbridge is now threatening legal action on this issue, yet the minister is not doing anything to resolve the issue. Why has the government been sitting on its hands for the past 12 years and doing nothing to move this project forward?

Oil and Gas Industry May 18th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it is vitally important to the Canadian economy that we have access to our northern natural gas. Esso, Shell and ConocoPhillips have halted their work on the $7 billion Mackenzie Valley pipeline project due to unreasonable demands from aboriginal groups and mounting red tape from this government.

The government is sitting on the sidelines watching this project go down the drain. Why has the government failed to move this project forward?

Member for Westlock--St. Paul May 17th, 2005

Madam Speaker, for a number of reasons, this is likely my last opportunity to speak to the House. It has been an honour to serve in this House with you, Madam Speaker, and with my hon. colleagues. For the past 12 years I have been privileged to represent two ridings, Athabasca and Westlock--St. Paul.

I would like to thank my wife, Evelyn, for her never ending support and trust, my two sons, Matt and Gary, their wives, Andrea and Patty, and our six grandchildren.

I would like to thank my staff and the boards of directors from the two ridings that contributed to my success over the years. They are the lifeblood to any successful member of Parliament.

There are far too many people to mention individually. However, a few stand out due to the dedication that they have shown to me over the years. They are Bob Forester, Ron and Marilyn Bell, Bill Whitney, Dave and Vera Barnes, Margaret Modin, Sheila Trueblood, Guy Bouchard, Hank and Ruthield Offereins, Clarence Truckey, Paul Quantz, Wayne Cockerill, and the list goes on and on.