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  • His favourite word is ontario.

Conservative MP for Huron—Bruce (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 54.90% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my thoughts are that a lot of the time New Democrats just get it plain wrong. I think it has been proven through the years that they do get it wrong.

The point is the front-line workers. The vaccine is one thing, but the front-line workers are preparing and improving every single day to make sure that Canadians will be safe and protected if there is an outbreak. That is the most important thing. The vaccine, granted, is one thing, but based on the evidence and the facts we have today, the priority is to ensure that if there is an outbreak, all the front-line workers are protected and have been educated. It is a big job.

We have all heard what the Liberal health minister in Ontario, Dr. Eric Hoskins, has had to say. He feels very confident. He is obviously concerned and he has a big job to do, but he complimented the way our government is working with the Ontario government, and we are doing that from coast to coast.

I think New Democrats should get on board and work with the minister a little better than they do.

Business of Supply October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question, but I will go back to the point I made.

If members opposite want any information that they somehow cannot get hold of, the minister sits right in front of them. They could go over at any time and ask. If they still felt that they needed more time, they could arrange for a meeting with her in her office, or with her staff or the parliamentary secretary. If they had questions about any information, they could do that.

My point was that if members opposite have questions, they would have seven minutes in a committee meeting. I have witnessed the questions in committees for years, and usually they have a six-minute, 59-second question and one second for an answer. I am trying to say that if they want to have a meeting, why not just arrange to meet with the minister or meet with her staff? They are always willing and available to have a meeting. It is a far better use of everybody's time, and opposition members would have the ability to ask more questions. I think it is a great thing.

Business of Supply October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House today and discuss this motion. Just to review it, the motion is:

That the House recognize the devastation that Ebola is wreaking in Western Africa and the serious threat to public health that the virus could pose to Canada; and call on the Minister of Health, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, and the Minister of Public Safety to appear before the Standing Committee on Health twice monthly to report on Canada’s efforts at home and abroad to ensure that the outbreak does not pose a threat to the health and safety of Canadians.

That is the motion we are looking at. The attempt from the Liberal Party here is to have these people come to the health committee, of which I am a member, and report back to the committee twice a month until, I guess, further notice. There is no start time and there is no end time. There is nothing in the motion that mentions that the minister of development, who could also be a liaison, should appear.

I really disagree basically with the entire portion of the motion. The reason I say this is that the Health Canada website lists everything that it is doing. It is right there in real time. The minister and the Chief Public Health Officer have held press conferences. They have put out press releases. It is in the news every evening, so the information is out there and it is getting to Canadians. All of the provinces are working together. They are working with the minister and with the local public health units.

In Ontario, the Liberal government and the Liberal minister, Dr. Eric Hoskins, actually complimented the minister on television a few days ago. They pointed out what a great working relationship they have on this issue and how provinces, ministers, public servants, health officials, and everybody involved are working to make sure that Ebola does not come to Canada but, most importantly, that if it does, they have the ability to recognize it, detect it, treat it, and make sure that the health care officials who are providing front-line care are protected when doing their job.

It is an important comment when we hear someone from a different party from ours complimenting, rising above partisanship, and stating the facts on what is taking place.

That is what I feel. I feel as well that a lot of this is about recognizing the roles of the federal government, the provinces, the local health units, and the local hospitals. All these areas are doing their jobs and are working collaboratively. Just the other day, the federal response team was in Nova Scotia doing a trial run. That is a further example of how each level of government and each agency is working to make sure it is done correctly.

We have been doing what has been asked of us by the WHO. We have delivered, both in dollars and in the personal protective equipment that we have sent over. We have been there. Obviously, we want to work with the WHO to make sure that we are addressing the issues in Africa and that we are trying to contain the issues there so that they do not spread to Canada. Travel advisories have obviously been set up. With other air traffic coming into Canada, direct flights are not available in many cases.

These are important facts to show what we have done, but let us get back to the point about the actual process that the Liberal Party brought forward on this motion.

To my mind, the committee is maybe not the best avenue for this work to be done. I will point out why. It is because of the way the committees are set up in the Standing Orders. Basically the minister, the Chief Public Health Officer, and the Minister of Public Safety would be there, and they would each have 10 or 15 minutes to present their information.

All that information is already in the public domain. It is available. The Liberal Party would have seven minutes to ask questions.

Canadians are being informed. That is the point: Canadians are being informed. Anything that would be presented in committee is already in the public domain.

If members of Parliament, specifically the Liberal members, need information or want information, the minister literally sits right across from them. If they had a question, they could come over and ask it during question period. They know all the minister's staff, and they could contact the staff. The information is flowing. There is not a problem with information. All the information is in the public domain.

The other important thing is that we are not resting on our laurels. We are working, as I said, with the World Health Organization, but we are also monitoring, very closely, what is taking place in Texas. We are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure that if there are any areas for improvement, we are taking those actions.

It is important to recognize that there can always be improvement. We can always do better. We can always find ways to make those important front-line health care officials as safe as possible, because we do know how this disease is transmitted.

One thing I wanted to talk about here with prepared notes was one of the institutes, the Institute of Infection and Immunity, or III, which supports research and helps build research capacity in the areas of infectious disease and the body's immune system.

In addition to supporting research, III plays an important role on infectious disease issues in Canada, including helping to coordinate Canada's rapid research response to infectious disease outbreaks, especially those caused by new and emerging pathogens.

To respond to these emerging threats, CIHR III has led the effort to strengthen Canada's vaccine research landscape through strategic investments, leadership, and partnership activities. For example, starting in 2006, CIHR III led the development of the pandemic preparedness strategic response initiative, and our government made an investment of $21.5 million.

A lot of these investments were made some time ago so that we would be prepared as a country to protect our citizens from these outbreaks.

Tremendous leadership in developing this initiative was shown by forming linkages and building partnerships with provincial, federal, and international stakeholders. As I mentioned earlier in my comments, these partnerships increased the total amount of funds available for research from $21.5 million to $43.3 million. This investment allowed CIHR to support more than 92 projects involving 345 researchers across the country.

The projects supported through this initiative produced a variety of research and commercialization outcomes. For example, over a third of the projects researching vaccines and immunization produced results that could lead to a new drug or vaccine.

There is no doubt about it: we have done a great job in working with our partners, both abroad and locally. All should be commended on this point.

I do have an amendment to the motion.

I move, seconded by the member for Yukon, that the motion be amended by replacing the words “the relevant minister and ministers to appear twice monthly” with “the Minister of Health” and replacing the word “monthly” with “as soon as possible”.

I will now take questions.

Committees of the House October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Health entitled “Marijuana's Health Risks and Harms”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government take a comprehensive response to this report.

Energy Safety and Security Act September 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to ask the minister a question.

I believe the opposition has left out a lot of facts and a lot of significant points in the debate today. We are talking about liability and risks, and one of the risks is nuclear.

There are some vast differences between Fukushima and the reactors we have in Canada. We have CANDU reactors here that are heavy water reactors. Japan was using light water reactors that used enriched uranium.

Then, if we look at the geography of the location of reactors, and let us talk about Ontario specifically, they are all on the Great Lakes, where there is no high risk for tsunamis or earthquakes. If we take a look at Fukushima, it is right on the ocean, right in a fault line.

Also, the design of the safety components for the reactors at Fukushima and the CANDU reactors are vastly different

When we talk about liability, we talk about insurance, and we have to face the facts and the risks. They have been working on this for years. They have it right. Would the minister expand on this?

Houston Astros June 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, a big congratulations goes out to Brock Dykxhoorn this weekend. He is a mountain of a man at 19 years old, 6 foot 8 inches, 240 pounds, who throws over 90 miles an hour. He was drafted in the first pick of the sixth round by the Houston Astros this weekend.

Congratulations to Brock. He grew up in Goderich, Ontario. He played for the Team Canada under 18 team, and pitched in Florida and the Dominican Republic. He won a silver medal in Seoul, Korea, where he won two games. Brock pitched this year at Central Arizona Community College and last year at West Virginia University. He is one of the very first players to be drafted from Huron—Bruce to the major leagues. He throws 90 miles an hour and has great control.

We should all watch for him. Even though some members like to wear their Blue Jays hats in the House of Commons, we can throw one on for Brock Dykxhoorn. Congratulations to Brock.

Committees of the House June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Health in relation to Bill C-442, An Act respecting a National Lyme Disease Strategy. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Committees of the House May 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Health in relation to the main estimates 2014-15.

Canadian Mental Health Week May 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to bring awareness to the Canadian Mental Health Association's 63rd Annual Mental Health Week. First introduced in 1951, Canadian Mental Health Week has been raising awareness of mental illness and offers Canadians practical ways to maintain and improve their mental health or support their recovery from mental illness.

Canadian Mental Health Week is an annual national event that takes place during the first week in May to encourage Canadians to learn, talk, reflect, and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health. We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health, but we must remember that mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. It is a state of well-being.

I encourage all Canadians to use this week to reflect on their own mental health or take advantage of the Canadian Mental Health Association's online mental health check to see if they are at risk.

Health May 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, investments in health research, and particularly research in the area of mental health, are important contributions to both the health of Canadians and indeed the world at large. Millions of Canadians will suffer from neurological illnesses during their lives, impacting their families and their communities. That is why I am proud of our government's yearly investments of up to almost $1 billion to support nearly 13,000 health researchers. Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister update the House on the government's latest investments in health research?