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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was reform.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Conservative MP for Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 62.32% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Agent Orange March 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I am unaware of any federal involvement 20 years ago by Transport Canada, but certainly, I will take this question under advisement. Any information that Transport Canada has about the use of Agent Orange, and its distribution and dispersion, I will make available as soon as I possibly can.

Infrastructure February 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the first question the hon. member asked was why Canada had raised the standard for drinking water right across the country. We did that. We put in the highest standards we possibly could because Canadians deserved it. They want to know they have clean drinking water. They want to know that the groundwater is protected through sewage treatment systems. We have put in the regulations through Health Canada and Environment Canada to ensure it stays that way.

We have done a tremendous job, from coast to coast, on improving our water systems and we will maintain that into the future.

Infrastructure February 10th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member where the Conservative Party stands. To deal with exactly this type of problem and the needs right across the country, we doubled the amount of money that municipalities got through the gas tax. Then we made it permanent so they could make long-term plans.

There is up to $2 billion a year. From now on and from here on in, they can go into things like clean water, sewer treatment plants, green energy and other things. More than that, we have put a record amount of money into both short- and long-term funding for infrastructure, the type and amount of which the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has said is unprecedented.

Transport February 9th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, what is interesting, of course, is that the daily oil tanker traffic into this well-patrolled and well-controlled zone is exactly the same number of tankers that came through when the Liberals were in charge of this file. It is exactly the same. Now the Liberals think they have an issue they can drag through the water to see what they can pick up.

The truth is that every ship that comes into Canadian waters has to report to the coast guard. Every vessel that comes through there is a double-hulled tanker. Every single one of them has to be inspected regularly. No tanker traffic is allowed on the inside passage.

These are the same rules that have been in place since the Liberals were in power. For some reason they are now dangling this one over the side hoping somebody will take the bait.

Transport February 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, of course the primary relationship on transit is between the provinces and cities and townships across the country. That being said, we have contributed mightily and in an increasing way not only by doubling the amount of money in the gas tax and making that permanent, but also by making major infrastructure investments across the country.

There is one other question I have when it comes to transit. Why is the member almost exclusively and all by herself the only one against improving transit to the Toronto downtown airport? I do not get it. Why is she against making that an efficient airport hub for Torontonians?

Infrastructure February 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, what I can tell the House is that I had an excellent meeting before Christmas. The Minister of Fisheries, from Prince Edward Island, had arranged a meeting with the provincial ministers of Prince Edward Island. At that time, it was made very clear that this was a priority for the province. We understand that. It was not a priority, as I mentioned, when I was there for the provincial–territorial fund, but they have put it in as a priority under the green infrastructure fund.

We are looking at and examining options. We are looking at the Confederation Bridge as a conduit. We are looking at an underwater cable. We are looking at all options.

However, the one thing we are looking at as well next time is trying to find a way to get the member involved in this issue, because he has been nowhere.

Questions on the Order Paper January 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Department of Transport and, more specifically, the 2007 risk assessment study conducted for the south coast, including Placentia Bay, in response to (a), this project was initiated by the Canadian Coast Guard and thereafter transferred to Transport Canada, along with the Environmental Response Group, in 2003. Transport Canada managed the risk assessment in full partnership with Canadian Coast Guard. The following is a breakdown of funds spent by Transport Canada over the course of the study:

Annual Spending in Dollars

2005-06--146,247

2006-07--94,170

2007-08--92,921

2008-09--85,295

2009-10--7,135

Total 425,768

The only funding spent by Transport Canada on follow-up and implementation of the recommendations is that allotted to the contract with Mr. Stan Tobin to provide Placentia Bay with an emergency contact plan. See the response to (b) which follows. As of January 2, 2011, a total of $9,270 has been released for this contract.

In response to (b), in light of the recent oil spill risk assessment for the south coast of Newfoundland, Mr. Tobin has been contracted by Transport Canada to review all existing emergency and environmental response plans developed by government and industry for the Placentia Bay area, and to produce a summary report that contains all pertinent contact information.

A sole-source contract was issued to the environmental consultant based on his extensive experience and unique and extensive knowledge of the Placentia Bay area and of Canada's marine oil spill preparedness and response regime. The sole-source method was chosen because it will allow the department to deliver an emergency contact plan to the Placentia Bay community without delay. Further, this will help keep costs to a minimum, as the time required to familiarize another consultant with the history and background of the regime and Placentia Bay area would be significant.

With respect to the cost, as this was a sole-source contract, it was awarded at the financial limitation of $22,100, plus HST, and approved under the financial authority of the Director, Operations and Environmental Programs, Transport Canada Marine Safety.

With respect to the scope of work, Mr. Tobin is required to prepare a summary document of all of the applicable government and industry preparedness, response and contingency plans in place for the Placentia Bay area, with contact information for public use. Further, the document must identify the responsibility of governments that would be involved in an oil spill in the Placentia Bay area, as well as that of industry groups that would be directly involved, i.e., response organization or oil handling facility.

With respect to the time frame, the contract was awarded to Mr. Tobin on October 19, 2010, and will be completed by January 31, 2011.

Questions on the Order Paper January 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, unlike most other economic action pPlan measures, the green infrastructure fund, GIF, was announced in budget 2009 as a five-year $1 billion fund supporting infrastructure projects that promote cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner water. As of December 14, 2010, 18 green infrastructure projects had been announced for a total of $627 million in federal funding.

While $200 million was provided for fiscal year 2009-10 through the 2009 Budget Implementation Act, as reported in the sixth Report to Canadians, not all of this funding was expended. It is important to remember that the GIF is a five year program that funds largerscale strategic projects of national or regional significance. Such projects typically require longer lead time for the planning, engineering and development stages which results in a smaller amount of expenditures in the early years and larger expenditures during the construction phase in the later years.

Moreover, as is the case for all programs managed by Infrastructure Canada, the federal government is a funding partner and does not manage or control the construction of infrastructure projects. Federal funding for approved projects flows as construction proceeds and costs are incurred. Once the federal government has approved the project, the pace at which a project gets built and funds flow depends on claims submitted by the proponent and is not within the federal government's control. Once receipts are submitted, the federal government pays all eligible costs within 30 days.

It is important to note that any unspent funding under the GIF was not lost, but reprofiled to future years to meet the cash flow requirement of our partners.

Questions on the Order Paper January 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), Infrastructure Canada has ongoing and regular discussions with regard to a large number of potential priorities for funding under federal infrastructure funds with all provinces and territories, including the Government of Prince Edward Island. As such, it is not possible to provide with any degree of accuracy information pertaining to the dates on which communication took place between the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island on a given issue within the 45-day period in which this response would be due.

In response to (b), as of December 14, 2010, Infrastructure Canada has made no commitment to the Government of Prince Edward Island concerning funding related to the electricity transmission system to date.

In response to (c), Infrastructure Canada has ongoing and regular discussions with regard to a large number of potential priorities for funding under federal infrastructure funds with all provinces and territories, including the Government of Prince Edward Island and the Government of New Brunswick. Consistent with section 14 of the Access to Information Act, Infrastructure Canada does not disclose any records that contain information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the conduct by the Government of Canada of federal-provincial affairs, including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, any such information on federal-provincial consultations or deliberations or on strategy or tactics adopted or to be adopted by the Government of Canada relating to the conduct of federal-provincial affairs.

Questions on the Order Paper January 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and their exempt staff are subject to the proactive disclosure. The details for their travel and hospitality expenses can be seen on Transport Canada website at the following link: http://wwwapps2.tc.gc.ca/Corp-Serv-Gen/2/DTH-DVA/disclosure/emp_list.asp.