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Conservative MP for Wetaskiwin (Alberta)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 81.40% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Natural Resources June 11th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, Canadians know the importance of our natural resources in providing jobs and economic prosperity. Canada is a secure and responsible supplier of energy and is well-positioned to contribute to global energy security, whether it be by utilizing our robust infrastructure or by deploying our world-class energy expertise and know-how.
Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources update this House on what our government is doing to reinforce Canada's commitment to global energy security?
Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, may I just say thank you very much for your intervention earlier today while you were in the chair, explaining the process for voting to members. I really did appreciate the wisdom you gave us from the chair.
I want to ask my hon. colleague who gave a very eloquent, very articulate, and very accurate speech on the economic action plan what he thinks about the investments in the job grant and the apprenticeship loans.
I want to ask him this specifically because in my province, particularly in my area of central Alberta, we have almost a 4% job vacancy rate. We have more jobs available than we have people to fill them. This is common in Alberta. It is common in places to the east of us like Saskatchewan.
I came here as a member of Parliament in 2006 straight from being a faculty member at Red Deer College. It completely reorganized the college for training and educating people insofar as the trades. When it comes to deadlines for applications, there are cars lined up around the entire college with people trying to get in to take advantage of these programs.
Can my colleague tell us how important it is that we train the workforce of tomorrow, to have that Red Seal certification so that Canadians from all across Canada can go to those areas where those great paying jobs are available?
Energy Safety and Security Act May 29th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the reasoned and logical question from my colleague. We used to sit on the natural resources committee together for a number of years when he was the parliamentary secretary to the minister of Natural Resources. I certainly appreciate his wisdom and guidance and his knowledge and expertise on this file. We should not be surprised that an intelligent question comes from him.
Let me compare Canada's current position in the bill, which is $1 billion. It is in line with international standards. It is significantly higher than the limits set by many of our nuclear peers. In the U.K., the operator liability is currently capped at approximately $260 million, which is basically one-quarter of what we are proposing in the legislation. South Africa is $240 million. Spain is $227 million, and France is even lower, at $140 million.
My finding is that $1 billion is a reasoned approach. We met extensively with many stakeholders who are involved in this. We are protecting the Canadian public and at the same time are not setting such a burdensome insurance or liability regime in place that we would drive business completely out of Canada, especially a clean business like nuclear energy. One would think the Liberals and the NDP would be in favour of non-GHG electrical generation. I am surprised that they would impose caps on these Canadian businesses that would basically drive the businesses out of business, and goodness knows where we would get our clean electricity then.
Energy Safety and Security Act May 29th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who asked me the question left a lot of facts out of that question. For example, she failed to mention that not only is Canada's proposed set target of $1 billion not the highest, but it is also by far not the lowest. There are a number of other countries around the world that have much lower limits.
She also failed to mention that in the United States, for example, which has over five times as many nuclear installations, they have a pooled plan whereby they have individual liabilities for their companies, which when combined form a pooled amount that is far greater than Canada's. We simply do not have that capacity.
The hon. member should have brought up the fact that Japan, before the Fukushima incident, had unlimited liability for its companies. However, no company has the fiscal capacity to deal with a disaster like Fukushima, and the Government of Japan had to step in and deal with it at any rate.
The $1 billion is the right amount. Everyone in the industry who knows what they are talking about accepts it. The only people who do not accept it are the ones who do not know what they are talking about.
Energy Safety and Security Act May 29th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak in support of our government's proposed new legislation to increase accountability in Canada's nuclear and offshore industries.
Before I continue, I would like to announce to all present that I will be splitting my time with the valued and intellectual member for Yukon, who sits with me on the natural resources committee and does an absolutely amazing job standing up for Yukoners and their natural resource sector and does a much better job than the previous member of Parliament for that region certainly did.
As the Minister of Foreign Affairs has responsibility for Canada's international treaties as well as nuclear non-proliferation policy, he has stressed the importance of bringing Canada into an international nuclear liability convention. This convention would facilitate trade among nuclear power manufacturers while providing for streamlined compensation in the event of a nuclear accident in a country that is a party to the treaty. This is important to Canada, where 15% of electricity is generated by nuclear power. The mix of nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar-powered generation means that 77% of the electricity produced in Canada emits no greenhouse gases. We are number one in the G7 in this regard.
To advance Canada's intention to join an international nuclear liability and compensation regime, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Consular, the hon. member for Blackstrap, signed the convention on supplementary compensation for nuclear damage, or the CSC, in Vienna, in December 2013. I would like to talk about some of those benefits.
With Canada's having achieved that important milestone, let me emphasize that the passage of Bill C-22, the energy safety and security act, would allow Canada to ratify and fully join the convention on supplementary compensation for nuclear damage. I should note that Canada's signature on the treaty has encouraged Japan and South Korea to accelerate their approval processes for joining.
Once one of those countries joins the convention, the combined nuclear power capacity of treaty members will, according to the requirements set by the convention's drafters, be sufficient for the treaty to enter or come into force. This would allow Canada's nuclear trade with the U.S.A. and other treaty member states to flourish. It would establish absolute certainty that liability lies with the operator in the event of a nuclear incident. This clarity would allow manufacturers of nuclear power components and systems in member states to export without the worry of liability that may otherwise impede trade.
Ratification of the convention on supplementary compensation for nuclear damage would offer Canadians two additional pools of international funds for compensation up to $1.45 billion in the event of a nuclear incident. Ratification would also provide exclusive jurisdiction of the Canadian court in the case of a nuclear accident in Canada causing damage internationally. As noted, the convention on supplementary compensation would also channel liability exclusively to the nuclear operator of the site where a nuclear accident occurs, thereby providing business certainty to the many nuclear supply chain companies that add value to the Canadian economy domestically and abroad.
As a treaty member, in the event of a nuclear accident outside Canada, Canada would have its liability limited to $23 million per event, and it would be recovered from nuclear operators in Canada. Taxpayers would be fully protected from any expense. The method of reimbursement to the federal government by the nuclear industry for any amount paid out would be established by regulation prior to Canadian ratification of the convention. This has international importance and consequence.
The convention is aimed at a worldwide liability regime in which all states may participate, regardless of whether they are members of any existing civil nuclear liability conventions or have nuclear installations in their territories.
While the convention is open to all states, those with nuclear installations must also be party to the International Atomic Energy Agency's nuclear safety convention. Canada ratified that convention in 1995 and since then has been a leader in nuclear safety, transparency, accountability, and best practices at the triennial review meetings.
Canada's ratification of the convention on supplementary compensation for nuclear damage would be a favourable response to international calls, led by the U.S. government and the IAEA, for countries to establish a global liability regime. As the world continues to recognize the clean energy advantages of nuclear power, the importance of such an instrument as this only increases, and of course, there are domestic benefits as well.
The convention would also facilitate nuclear development for Canadian provinces, especially Ontario and New Brunswick, which have nuclear power generating programs already.
Within the G7, Canada and Japan are the only members that do not belong to a major international civil nuclear liability regime. This would also be addressed through Bill C-22, and we are confident that Canada's example will help move other countries in the same direction.
This legislation brings Canada up to date with international standards and best practices in the nuclear sector. Our government has made a number of attempts to modernize our nuclear safety system. This is my third Parliament, and I remember the previous iterations of this legislation, and every time, only the NDP opposed improved safety measures.
We on this side of the House support a strong and safe nuclear industry that generates non-emitting electricity. Allow me to quote the Leader of the Opposition. These are the words of the NDP. They are not mine. He stated:
I want to be very clear. The NDP is opposed to any new nuclear infrastructure in Canada.
Canadians know that nuclear energy can be generated safely while supporting jobs for thousands of Canadians. While the NDP will continue to oppose our efforts to improve the safety of this important industry, we will focus on the safety of Canadians and a safe environment. It is time to move this very important initiative to its conclusion.
Natural Resources May 8th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, G7 energy ministers held a special security meeting in Rome to discuss action on energy security. The global demand for energy is projected to increase by one-third over the next 25 years. Canada is well-positioned to benefit from this opportunity.
Can the Minister of Natural Resources, as if he were explaining it to his own mother, elucidate this House on the role Canada could play on this important file?
Business of Supply April 10th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, would my hon. colleague over here say that his words were “every member of Parliament should have an opportunity to speak”?
The Parliament of Canada sits about 33.5 hours a week. It sits for 27 weeks a year. Out of those 33.5 hours a week, 10 hours are taken out for question period and for private members' business. That leaves us 23.5 hours a week to talk about this. If we multiply that by 27 weeks, that gives us 634 hours a year to debate things in the House of Commons. If we divide that by 308 MPs, that is two hours. If we divide that by 15-minute sections for questions and comments, that means every member of Parliament in the House would have an opportunity to speak to eight pieces of legislation per year.
Does the hon. member over here honestly think that the motion he is presenting today is logical in getting the business of the Government of Canada done, speaking to eight bills a year?
Kraft Hockeyville 2014 April 9th, 2014
There are great things done under Albertan sun
When people stand together
In support of a town whose arena came down
in the worst of winter's weather.
The Sylvan Lake lights have seen queer sites
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the street when Lakers did meet
For a photo in minus 40 degrees.
Now this tale that I weave, most wouldn't believe
If you'd asked them a few weeks ago
But opportunity knocked, Sylvan volunteers rocked
When Kraft provided some hope.
Those who played in this game, I'll call them by name
For victory belongs to them
They gave it their all, no task was too small
And if I've missed any, please forgive.
Here is to Parsons and Rosie, who worked for the trophy,
Along his lovely wife, Kim
Brenda Dale, Jared Waldo were easy to follow
What was started by Kevin Putnam.
Jas, Kelly and Kris also took part in this
Dale and Crystal, well they never tired
Nor Diane, Megan, Steve, and the one in the lead
Inexhaustible Mayor McIntyre.
For those who work in the news, and give us their views
I give credit where credit is due
You provided air time, never charging a dime
unto you goes a worthy salute.
The Sylvan Lake lights have seen many great sights
But the greatest that they ever will
Was that Saturday night amidst cheer and delight
Sylvan Lake won Kraft Hockeyville.