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Conservative MP for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 60.00% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Strengthening Military Justice in the Defence of Canada Act March 21st, 2013
I would like to reiterate a point I made earlier and possibly offer a suggestion on a go-forward basis.
The member for Selkirk—Interlake points out quite correctly that there are rules of relevance in this place, in particular that when we are at report stage and the House is dealing with specific amendments that have been put forward, debate ought to be focused on those amendments rather than on a broad, general discussion of the entire bill or the subject in general.
He has also suggested, if not stated outright, that in this way business before the House is in some ways similar to how a committee would deal with amendments. The points that he has made are all quite relevant.
The question becomes the latitude that the Chair grants to members to discuss business before the House, such as what would be considered allowable context, preamble or reference to other pieces of legislation or other amendments that had been brought forward on the same piece of business, possibly at committee, or other experiences that the hon. member has had.
Therefore, I would remind all hon. members that it is in the collective interest of this place and of all members that time in the House be used efficiently, that members stick to the matter before the House, keep their comments relevant to it and avoid repetition of points that have been made to the same end in terms of the efficiency of this place.
I would suggest to the hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake that the Chair will review the comments he has made today regarding the points of order related to the debate that is taking place in the House today and will return to this matter if it is deemed necessary. However, within that context I would like the House to resume debate on this matter and would state that the Chair will continue to exercise judgment of relevance in a way similar to the way it has been exercised in the past, rather than in the more restrictive way requested by this hon. member. That will remain the practice of the Chair until the Chair has had an opportunity to review the matter. If changes to that practice of relevance are made, they will be announced in the House.
The point that the hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake makes goes beyond this debate today and is a more general point. With all due respect to that point, it will be considered and if deemed reasonable or necessary, the Chair will return to this matter in the future.
The hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.
Income Tax Act December 7th, 2012
There are five motions standing on the notice paper for the report stage of the member for South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale's Bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations).
While it is not usual for the Chair to provide reasons for the selection of report stage motions, in this case it has been decided to do so given that the Speaker has received written submissions from the hon. members for South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale and Cape Breton—Canso, outlining exceptional circumstances surrounding the committee consideration of the bill.
As members know, consistent with the note to Standing Order 76.1(5), the Chair would not normally select motions that could have been presented in committee.
In the present case, however, there appears to be extenuating circumstances. The hon. members who have submitted motions at report stage were in attendance at the meeting scheduled for the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill by the Standing Committee on Finance. In addition, they had both submitted motions in advance of this meeting and these had been circulated to all members of the committee. At first glance, it would therefore appear that the amendments submitted by these members could have been proposed during the committee consideration of the bill.
In his submission, the member for South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale explained the efforts that were made to ensure that the committee would actually begin the clause-by-clause study of the bill as scheduled in order to complete consideration of the bill within the prescribed deadlines attached to it. He reported that these efforts were unsuccessful and, as a result, there was no opportunity to propose amendments in committee.
The Chair has been met with this kind of circumstance before. On September 20, 2010, in the Debates on page 4,069, Speaker Milliken ruled on a case where the member for Scarborough—Guildwood faced a similar situation in relation to his Bill C-300, an act respecting corporate accountability for the activities of mining, oil or gas in developing countries. In that case, the Speaker selected report stage motions for debate because it had been established that the member had made clear attempts to have the clause-by-clause study take place so that amendments could be considered by the committee.
Similarly, in the case before us today, the Chair has carefully reviewed the sequence of events as well as the written submissions from the members for South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale and Cape Breton—Canso and is satisfied that these motions could not be presented during the committee consideration of the bill.
Accordingly, Motions Nos. 1 to 5 have been selected for debate at report stage. They will be grouped for debate and voted upon according to the voting patterns available at the table.
I shall now propose Motions Nos. 1 to 5 to the House.
Student Trip October 30th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, there is a special group of students in Ottawa today. They are participating in a program I call a Capital Experience. Student leaders from each of the seven high schools in my riding come to Ottawa for three days to learn about career opportunities in public life.
They have visited Parliament, the South Korean embassy, Amnesty International, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the press gallery, the University of Ottawa and Summa Strategies.
I wish to thank those who have shared their time with these students and the businesses and service clubs who sponsored them.
Today I welcome to Parliament: Emma Drake and Iain Sullivan from Brock; Kelcey Cathcart and Kelsey Numan from Crestwood; Casey Barber and Raine Storey from Fenelon Falls; George Charlebois and Laura Pottier from Haliburton; Joey DeCunha and Jessica Sutton from I.E. Weldon; Amy Doiron and Eleanore Roundsky from L.C.V.I.; Megan O'Neill and Jessica Weitz from St. Thomas Aquinas; and Julie Hockridge from Apsley.
I ask my colleagues to join me in wishing these young people all the best as they make decisions regarding their future careers.
Business of Supply October 16th, 2012
I thank both the Minister of State for Finance and the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for their interventions. I understand that the question of relevance arose earlier this morning prior to my taking the chair at noon. I would like to make two points. The first is a general point and the second is more specific.
In general terms, there are rules in the Standing Orders that relate to relevance and repetition. It is fair to say that over the years chair occupants have taken a rather wide view of those two matters for the reason that the Chair does not want to unduly limit debate in the House and the opportunity for members to bring the facts that they feel are important or relevant to bear. There are times when the Chair asks members to come back to the matter at hand, but over the eight plus years that I have been in this place, I think it is fair to say that the Chair has taken a relatively wide view of the question of relevance. I think it is also fair to say that when members give a 10 or 20 minute speech, they will often use examples and make arguments that wander away from the principal matter before the House, but it is their responsibility to somehow connect it back to the question at hand.
I would encourage all hon. members to do two things.
First, when members make a presentation to the House, they be mindful of the business before the House and they be respectful of that business as well as the process. This place will function better if all hon. members make a good faith effort to do that.
Second, I would also remind all hon. members that wishing for a much narrower definition of what is relevant and wishing for the Chair to take a much narrower definition of that would have consequences beyond the matter before the House at that time.
I would ask all hon. members if they could balance those two principles. Again, it has been my experience that most of the time members do this very well. While some members take a circuitous route to come to the matter at hand, most of the time they do that.
I have a more specific comment. I have reviewed the blues from earlier today. When the question of relevance arose and when the hon. minister of state rose to speak, I listened very carefully to what he said in order to measure the relevance. Without getting into the substance of the debate before the House today, there is a question of the relevance of omnibus or comprehensive legislation and at what point that becomes inappropriate. The more specific suggestion is that the House ought to refer this to procedure and House affairs committee so it can come back with a ruling.
I heard the minister of state say that he disagreed with the motion before the House today, that he felt that omnibus or comprehensive legislation was not inherently unacceptable or inappropriate in this place. He further argued that matters such as the budget and budget implementation bills were by necessity broad in scope and that it was on that basis that he would vote against the motion.
Subsequently, my expectation is that the minister of state is bringing specific examples to light of how he feels, essentially making the argument that comprehensive legislation is in fact necessary and therefore suggesting that it is inappropriate and that the rules ought to be changed. He disagrees with that proposal. I respect the fact that there are other members in the House who would disagree with his point of view.
With that, I would ask the hon. Minister of State for Finance to continue, to be mindful of the question of relevance and to focus on the matter that is before the House, which is the opposition motion, and to move toward the end of his speech.
Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal June 19th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, every member of Parliament has been given the privilege of selecting 30 recipients for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. For several months I wondered how I would select just 30 people from the 120,000 in my riding. Obviously there are hundreds of worthy candidates. Upon further reflection, I began to think about the Queen herself and about what she values and stands for. Words such as duty, honour and service quickly came to mind.
I think all Canadians are aware of the high regard the Queen has for our armed forces and how often she pays them respect. That is why I decided to select Diamond Jubilee recipients by honouring those who serve members of our armed forces. For example, there are unsung heroes in Royal Canadian Legions across the country who serve our veterans on a daily basis. In recent years, many Canadians have paid respect to our troops in Afghanistan. In my riding, one woman has sent scores of packages in the mail to soldiers she has not even met. There are also many cadet commanders across Canada who give their time to prepare the future leaders of our armed forces.
It is these people who will receive Diamond Jubilee Medals in my riding. I think my choices are most appropriate and I believe the Queen herself would agree with my decisions.
Privilege June 13th, 2012
I would like to provide all hon. members with some guidance in terms of the way in which a point of order or question of privilege ought to be raised. I will quote from House of Commons Procedure and Practice, by O'Brien and Bosc, page 143, related to the initial discussion of points raised. It states:
A Member recognized on a question of privilege is expected to be brief and concise in explaining the event which has given rise to the question of privilege and the reasons why consideration of the event complained of should be given precedence over other House business.
It goes on to state on page 144:
The Speaker will hear the Member and may permit others who are directly implicated in the matter to intervene. In instances where more than one Member is involved in a question of privilege, the Speaker may postpone discussion until all concerned Members can be present in the House. The Speaker also has the discretion to seek the advice of other Members to help him or her in determining whether there is prima facie a matter of privilege involved which would warrant giving the matter priority of consideration over other House business. When satisfied, the Speaker will terminate the discussion.
I bring this to the House's attention. Before I go to the member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel and back ultimately to the member for Winnipeg North, I will remind all hon. members that in the case of a question of privilege, the floor is not the members' until they choose to stop. The Speaker has the right to terminate that discussion if the Speaker feels that relevant points that have not been previously raised have not been brought forward. That is left to the judgment of the Speaker.
On a point of order, the hon. member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel.
Business of Supply May 31st, 2012
The time provided for the business of supply has expired. We will now move on to statements by members.
Business of Supply October 31st, 2011
Order, please. I must interrupt at this time. The hon. member will have three minutes remaining when the House returns to this matter.
Capital Experience October 25th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, there is a special group of students in Ottawa today participating in a program I call a “Capital Experience”, wherein student leaders from each of the seven high schools in my riding come to Ottawa for three days each year to learn about career opportunities in public life.
They have visited Parliament, the South Korean Embassy, Amnesty International, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the press gallery, the University of Ottawa and Summa Strategies.
I wish to thank those who shared their time with these students and thank the businesses and services clubs that sponsored them.
Today, I welcome to Parliament: Katelyn Lloyd and Iain Sullivan from Brock; Chad Leroux and Matthew Steele from Crestwood; Meredith March and Amber Wilson from Fenelon Falls; Samantha Brixi and Puru Shah from Haliburton; Samantha Thompson, Alec Becking and Dan Lowe from I.E. Weldon; Megan Connell and Mandi Manderson from L.C.V.I.; Courtney Kavanagh, Keira Mann and Robert Ridenaur from St. Thomas Aquinas; and Kali Tucker from Apsley.
I ask my colleagues to join me in wishing these young people all the best as they make decisions regarding their future careers.
Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011
The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay has risen on a second point of order. Maybe I will take this opportunity to clarify for all members in the House a couple of issues: one has to do with points order; the second has to do with the clock and whether it continues or stops when a point of order has been raised. This second issue has come up a couple of times in the last half hour.
I would like to remind all hon. members that at any point during proceedings, with the exception of question period, members have the right to stand and raise points of order. This is an important right that all members have, and I think we would all agree that the Speaker needs to respect that right and immediately go to that person.
As all hon. members will know, there are times when a point of order is obviously legitimate, when an issue is raised that clearly needs to be addressed. As an example of a legitimate point of order, I will not use the one just raised by the member for Timmins—James Bay. I will use the one raised a couple of minutes ago regarding the use of a member's name in the House. It has been my experience that the use of another member's name is usually inadvertent and not deliberate. Nevertheless, this needs to be addressed. Therefore, that point of order is dealt with by the Chair.
It is also often the case that members will rise using the process of a point of order to stop debate for something that the Chair determines is not a legitimate point of order. In this case, I appreciate that the member for Timmins—James Bay has recently provided us with an example of this type of point of order in his second intervention. The Chair is also required to deal with whether something is debate rather than a procedural issue or a point of order.
This brings us to the second point, which is the question of the clock and whether, when a point of order is raised, the clock continues or not. I would point out to all hon. members that it is the Chair who decides how long speeches are and that the clock is a guideline to the Chair. But at the end of the day it is actually the person in the chair who determines when it is the end of someone's speech and whether something can be added or not.
The general practice is that, if the point of order raised is legitimate, made quickly, and pertains to the business before the House, the clock does not stop and the time continues. If, however, in the view of the Chair, the point of order is being raised in an attempt to slow things down, to take away from the presentation, or to deprive another member of the opportunity to raise a point of order, the Chair has the right to add that time.
For example, when a member is making a 10-minute speech and a member from another party raises a point of order and carries on at length on what does not seem to be a legitimate point of order, the member is not punished and time is added to the member's speech. Conversely, if a member of the same party as the person making the presentation uses the same approach, often the clock is not stopped. I am sure all hon. members will agree that the Chair has an incentive not to encourage mischief but to respect the right of members to use the point of order process when it is appropriate. Members, however, must not abuse this process in an attempt to reduce or increase the speaking time of a colleague.
This is the process that is used. In the last 15 minutes, there have been examples of all these situations. Please let me assure everyone that all chair occupants do their best to do this job fairly. The Chair is charged with making sure that the rights of all hon. members are respected, and that those who have an allotted amount of time to make a presentation are not punished by having their time reduced by the actions of others, particularly when it is determined that this is the entire purpose of the point of order.