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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is veterans.

Conservative MP for Prince George—Peace River (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 62.10% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Veterans Hiring Act May 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as a former member of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, I actually saw what our government was doing for veterans and what we continue to do for veterans. I have family who are veterans and served in Afghanistan. I am proud of that fact. If I had better eyes, I likely would have been a veteran myself, as I wished. I would be a former member of the air force.

What I find unfortunate about some of the discussions around veterans issues is that even though we work together at committee for veterans and work behind the scenes, what is problematic is that they becomes political pawns. Veterans become the pawns of the political opposition. It is unfortunate, because we should all be working towards veterans' needs and working toward a good end for veterans.

What does the member think of veterans being used as political pawns?

First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act May 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, with respect to aboriginal education, we have heard from people in my riding who want changes made to the aboriginal education bill. We have responded to those concerns.

What makes it interesting for me is the opposition has been asking for changes to aboriginal education in Canada, yet when it is changed, it is never good enough.

Would the hon. member tell us what the positives of the bill are?

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his speech. I would say that it falls in line with my constituency.

I am an old carpenter. I was a registered carpenter back in the day and built a lot of houses. I can assure the members across the way that what would not be discussed at Tim Hortons would be to give the guys more time to discuss something.

I would like to ask the member if he thinks enough time has been allocated to discuss our economic action plan 2014.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it goes back to a simple principle. We see the opposition members making statements like “budgets will balance themselves”. The fact is that to have a prosperous economy, we need to be very deliberate in what we do, and that involves skills training. It involves tax incentives for corporations. It makes for a positive economic environment in Canada. It is a very deliberate act. Acts we have done and our budgets have all been very deliberate. They are far from accidents, as the opposition members would think they are.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, an old saying is “the proof is in the pudding”. We believe in health care for all Canadians. We are continuing to fund it and have extended health care spending well into the future at 6%, and then beyond that, based on GDP. The fact of the matter is that we continue to fund health care. Despite what the opposition members say, the simple facts are that we believe in health and we will continue to support it well into the future.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the only part that is really relevant in that member's statement is in relation to health care. However, I will say that this speech was written by me. I am not sure where he gets the PMO notes and where his comments are from. That is the way the member across the way is, and that is just the way he is going to continue to be.

I would like to continue to speak about the increase of 6% per year in health care dollars we are spending. Often the opposition members say that there is a decrease in health care spending across Canada, and I tell my constituents that what they are saying is simply not true. There has been a 6% increase, and there will be increases well into the future. The fact of the matter is that we support health care, and we will continue to do so.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 April 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak on economic action plan 2014. This budget will bring enormous benefits to my riding of Prince George—Peace River and to all of Canada.

Natural resource development is critical to the economic prosperity of British Columbia, and a great deal of that is in my riding. We have an abundant amount of natural gas in the Peace River region and northern Rockies, coal deposits further south, and lumber operations spanning northeastern B.C. I am encouraged by our government's commitment to supporting responsible resource development, which will continue economic growth in northeastern B.C. and create jobs across British Columbia.

Our government is also working hard to encourage investment in other areas of natural resource development as well. There are vast coal and mineral deposits in northern B.C. and in the territories, and these projects need proper investment and a system that will ensure that those resources are extracted responsibly.

I am encouraged by our government's plan to extend the 15% mineral exploration tax credit for flow-through share investors. This will further bolster investment in mining operations in the north.

The district of Tumbler Ridge has seen the benefits of proper investment incentives in the mining sector. In 2000, there were fears that the town would turn into a ghost town after the Quintette Mine closed. I had worked on the original site with my father and it would have been a shame to see Tumbler Ridge go, but it is still here.

For years, Tumbler Ridge has struggled with low coal prices, and low demand attracted little investment. That began to turn around in 2011 as market demand grew for the high quality metallurgical coal present in the southeast. Now Tumbler Ridge is once again a vibrant and prosperous community.

Mining companies in the area provide crucial financial support for mining activity, which has yielded significant archeological discoveries and ongoing research material on dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals in the southeast. The revival of the economy of Tumbler Ridge would not be possible without incentives to invest and the ability for mining companies to seize market opportunities. The motto for Tumble Ridge is the Latin for “invitation to prosperity”. That is a motto that we as Canadians need to encourage.

Through our government's investments in our budget, we are inviting continued prosperity for my riding and the rest of Canada. This budget invites prosperity by extending that 15% mineral exploration tax credit. This budget invites prosperity through $40 million in strategic investments in northern economic development. This budget invites prosperity through investing $90 million in the forest industry transformation program. This investment will advance cutting-edge technologies to enhance the competitiveness of Canada's wood products in the pulp and paper sectors.

In the B.C. interior, I believe we all appreciate how much the mountain pine beetle has hurt the forestry sector. New technologies will develop new uses for the wood and open new markets for Canadian wood products. This kind of investment is vital, as saw mills in the B.C. interior are being consolidated due to the spread of the pine beetle throughout the province.

This budget also invites prosperity by ensuring timely reviews for pipelines. Canada's natural resource sector supports 1.8 million jobs across the country, which is a massive number. It is a vital sector for our economic development and our position as an energy superpower. As the sector grows, it will create thousands of skilled and well-paying jobs.

However, in the oil and gas sector it is not a matter of if one builds it, they will come. Our resources need to be able to get out to port and form markets to meet demand. In emerging markets like Asia, we are not the only player in the natural gas game.

Lengthy delays and protracted environmental reviews can cost us valuable market share and hurt our reputation as a reliable supplier of energy. This is why our government's $28 million investment in the National Energy Board is so crucial. I think everyone understands the importance of the environmental review process and how important it is to keep that independent. However, that process needs to be both timely and fair. I believe that these additional funds for the National Energy Board will do just that.

In order to invite prosperity, we as a nation must to be prepared to supply the needs that prosperity brings. That is why our government has worked to invest in skills and trades training and is continuing on that path of developing the skills and jobs for the future.

Since 2006, our government's top priority has been job creation and economic growth. Canada has the best job growth record in the G7, but we must maintain that resolve in order to continually invite prosperity.

Our Conservative government's budget would create a new apprenticeship loan for Canadians working toward certification in 50 trades, including my own, which is carpentry. These trades range from carpenter to pipefitter, from electrician to millwright. Our government is making over $100 million available for interest-free loans for Red Seal apprentices across Canada.

These trades are currently in high demand in my riding. Businesses in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, and Prince George are in constant need of these skilled tradespeople.

It could take weeks for a homeowner in northeastern B.C. to find a plumber or a roofer. The oil and gas industries are constantly hiring, as there is a constant shortage of people with the applicable skills.

There are many jobs in businesses looking for people who fit very particular skill sets. New graduates, on the other hand, are finding that the job market is more competitive than they expected. That is why our government is championing the new Canada job grant, which would create a new class of students who will graduate with skills tailor-made for waiting jobs. The employers would have recruits with the skills they need, and the students would be working toward secure employment.

While finding a job is important, finding the right job is equally important. Employees working in their fields have a better sense of job satisfaction and are more productive in the workplace. That is why we would launch an enhanced job matching service. This would allow qualified Canadians to find the jobs that suit their skills and experience and would allow employers to identify candidates who meet their needs. We would invite prosperity by facilitating an employment landscape that would make the most of a worker's ability and that would encourage students to train for jobs that will be in demand.

Another way to invite prosperity is to give credit where credit is due. Our government introduced a $450 tax credit for volunteer firefighters, and in this budget, we would extend that credit to search and rescue volunteers. Search and rescue volunteers provide an essential service in rural areas across Canada. These services require expensive equipment and require volunteers to go into dangerous or remote areas to save lives and keep people safe.

I was proud to recommend this initiative to the Minister of Finance on behalf of my constituents and all search and rescue volunteers across Canada.

The reason we, as a government, work so hard to invite prosperity is to maintain our way of life in a financially responsible manner. We have fulfilled our promise to continually increase health care funding across the country. Despite what the opposition says, we have maintained that increase at 6% nationally and continue to work with the provinces in ensuring that health care dollars are spent wisely.

We have delivered on our promise to veterans as well. Our government has increased funding to nearly $4.7 billion to enhance benefits, programs, and services for veterans and their families. We have expanded Veterans Affairs services to more than 600 Service Canada locations across the country so that rural veterans will no longer have to travel long hours to receive the service they deserve. In my hometown of Fort St. John, veterans can find a place to receive service, where they could not before.

We have invested heavily in rehabilitation for injured veterans and in transition programs for soldiers preparing for a return to civilian life. Unlike the opposition, we believe that our veterans remain skilled and capable people, even after a serious injury. That is why our government has committed more than $3 billion per year in direct support for veterans, with a focus on physical and psychological rehabilitation and vocational training.

We continue to support our aging veterans and to help them remain independent and lead full and active lives.

Even as the number of veterans in Canada has decreased, financial support for veterans services has increased by $1.9 billion since our government took power in 2006. We are working across all sectors to create new opportunities in Canada and to offer support for those who are willing to make the effort in order to succeed.

That is how economic action plan 2014 invites prosperity.

Natural Resources March 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the International Energy Agency predicts that the world energy demand will increase by 33% in the next 20 years. With up to 37 trillion cubic metres of natural gas resources, Canada and my province of British Columbia are well placed to benefit from this opportunity.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources update this House on what action our government is taking to allow for the export of liquefied natural gas?

The Economy March 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, under the strong, stable leadership of our Prime Minister, our Conservative government has remained committed to strengthening the economy for all Canadians. Canada's overall job growth record since the depth of the recession is the best amongst all G7 countries, with over one million net new jobs created. Nearly 90% of those jobs are full time and more than 80% are in the private sector.

Despite a worldwide economic crisis, we have never wavered from seeing our plan through.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please tell the House what our newest step will be to create economic growth?

Richmond Cenotaph February 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is with regret that I advise this House that two nights ago the cenotaph located in Richmond, British Columbia was vandalized.

Vandalizing a memorial for fallen soldiers is simply shameful. These are the men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect our country. This is why I support my colleague's private member's bill to bring criminal penalties against instead of a simple slap of the wrist of people who denigrate our veterans monuments.

I call on those who are responsible to come forward, and if anyone has any information about this crime to contact police immediately.