- On the Parliament site
Last in Parliament September 2008, as Conservative MP for St. John's East (Newfoundland & Labrador)
Won his last election, in 2006, with 46.56% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Committees of the House June 12th, 2008
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the tenth report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, entitled “Regulating Immigration Consultants”.
Statutes Repeal Act June 3rd, 2008
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to make some comments regarding Bill S-207.
It is well known that this government has from the beginning been supportive of the objective of the bill, which is to improve Parliament's oversight of the coming into force of its legislation. This is still the government's position.
When Bill S-207 was first tabled back in 2002, it opened a very worthwhile debate on an issue that is especially important for parliamentarians.
We as lawmakers have to deal on a regular basis with coming into force provisions that are generally quite straightforward but sometimes troublesome. I have wondered whether we do not rely too heavily on the government at times to decide when to bring legislation into force.
The coming into force of legislation is far from being only a technical or drafting issue. It deals with the existence of the legislation that we work so hard here to develop.
Coming into force provisions are the keys that open entire acts of Parliament. When we debate legislation in Parliament, often forcefully, and manage to amend some legislation to include protective mechanisms and balance the rights of everyone, we expect that these amendments will be integral parts of the new scheme.
We also expect that the laws we study will be implemented in their entirety with all the checks and balances we see in the legislation. In short, we expect to have a complete picture of the framework that will be put in place.
When we agree to let the government decide when it is appropriate to bring some provisions into force, it is because we have been given some reasonable explanations that stand at the time we adopt the legislation. However, what is missing is a general and permanent mechanism to review all of these decisions later when something does not go according to plan.
Senator Banks' Bill S-207 provides a very simple and efficient solution which would ensure that Parliament will be informed when provisions, and occasionally entire acts, that it had trusted to government to bring into force have not been brought into force after nine years.
As we know, Bill S-207 would require the Minister of Justice to report at the beginning of each calendar year on all acts and provisions that have not been brought into force in the past nine years. These acts and provisions would be repealed at the end of the year, unless during the year they are brought into force or exempted from repeal by a resolution of either House of Parliament.
This bill has been tabled several times before. It was debated at length in committee to the point of all parties supporting the bill.
The other place has completed its review of the bill. If it goes through third reading today, it should receive royal assent soon.
Bill S-207 clearly states that it would come into force two years after it is assented to. We could expect a first report from the Minister of Justice at the beginning of 2011 and start dealing with some overdue issues. Let me repeat that it will come into force two years after it has been given royal assent.
In closing, I want to thank Senator Banks for his initiative and also all of those who supported his proposal.
Committees of the House May 29th, 2008
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, which has considered the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, and report same.
As well, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, which has considered supplementary estimates (A) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, and report same.
Fisheries and Oceans May 28th, 2008
Mr. Speaker, members of Parliament, premiers, coastal Canadians, Inuit and many more have been calling on the Government of Canada to take a stand against a ban on humanely harvested Canadian seal products. They are tired of unethical fundraisers undermining a difficult but honest living.
Could the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans update the House on the action the government is taking in the European Union and on the world stage to stand up for our sealers?
Petitions May 27th, 2008
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a number of people in St. John's East.
The petitioners are calling upon Parliament to enact a law that would recognize unborn children as separate victims when they are injured or killed during the commission of an offence against their mothers, allowing charges to be laid against the offender instead of just one.
Of course, when a pregnant woman in Canada is assaulted or killed, because we offer no legal protection for unborn children today, no charge can be laid in the death of an unborn child.
Therefore, the petitioners are calling upon Parliament to enact a law to that effect.
Committees of the House March 13th, 2008
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on spousal sponsorship and removal. Also attached is a dissenting report.
Committees of the House March 10th, 2008
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on the minister's non-appearance on the supplementary estimates.
Committees of the House February 14th, 2008
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth and fifth reports of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.
The fourth report deals with Bill C-37, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act, including amendments.
The fifth report deals with the future House consideration of Bill C-37, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act.
I want to commend all members of our committee for their cooperation in putting this bill through committee with very minor amendments.
Committees of the House December 13th, 2007
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on “Iraq War Resisters”. Attached to the report is the dissenting opinion of the Conservative members of the committee.
Petitions December 12th, 2007
Mr. Speaker, I want to present a petition on behalf of approximately 500 people in the St. John's area and in my riding of St. John's East.
The petitioners are horrified by pornography which depicts children. They are astounded by legal determinations that possession of such pornography is not criminal. They make the point that it is the duty of Parliament through the enactment and enforcement of the Criminal Code to protect the most vulnerable members of society from sexual abuse.
They are calling upon Parliament to take all necessary measures to ensure that possession of child pornography remains a serious criminal offence and that federal police forces should be directed to give priority to enforcing that law for the protection of children.