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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is health.

Conservative MP for Oshawa (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 51.30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

National Paramedic Competition April 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I had the honour to attend the 13th annual National Paramedic Competition held at Durham College. Day in and day out, through community paramedicine and emergency services, paramedics save lives each and every day. They often go into situations that are unpredictable, yet that does not stop them from saving lives. They are truly heroes.

This past weekend, Oshawa residents had the opportunity to see these heroes square off against each other and put their skills to the test to prove that they are the best paramedics in the country. Thirty teams from all across Canada, including Durham Region, competed in three divisions: the advanced care paramedic division, the primary care paramedic division, and the paramedic student division.

Our local heroes did not disappoint. Jeff Hooper and Andrew Mokendanz, of Durham College, finished second in the student division; and Dale Button and Matt Walton, of Durham Region EMS, finished second in the primary care division.

I would like to thank paramedics for all their service to Oshawa and around Canada and congratulate all the winners and participants in the national competition.

The Environment April 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it was a long, long time ago.

When the Liberals were in government, they signed something called the Kyoto accord, and greenhouse gases under the Liberals actually went up 130 megatons. Therefore, they did worse than doing nothing: they actually increased greenhouse gases by 130 megatonnes.

Our approach is allowing the economy to grow 8.4%, and greenhouse gases are actually going down 4.8%. The only success that the Liberals actually had is naming a dog Kyoto.

When we look at the comparison between the Liberals and our government, it is obvious that we are getting results, and we are getting them without the $20 billion carbon tax that the Liberals and the New Democrats would like to impose.

The Environment April 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, our sector-by-sector regulatory approach is getting results.

Let us compare that to the Liberals. When they were in government, greenhouse gases—

The Environment April 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I too want to start by expressing sympathy for any Liberal who asks a question about the environment here. We remember his past leader, Mr. Ignatieff. It is going to be historic because I am going to agree with a Liberal leader, although not the current one. Mr. Ignatieff actually said, “We didn't get it done”.

My colleague asked how we engaged the department in real mitigation and adaptation activities. I spent some time on this speech, so I am going to be working from my notes, because there are so many good things and I do not want to miss anything.

Our government is committed to addressing the challenge of climate change and has followed through on that commitment with concrete action on both mitigation and adaptation. Our government is implementing a sector-by-sector regulatory approach and has started by addressing greenhouse gas emissions in two of the sectors of the Canadian economy with the largest emissions: transportation and electricity. Our government will build on these actions by working with provinces to reduce emissions from the oil and gas sectors while ensuring Canadian companies remain competitive.

Our government has also made significant investments to transition Canada to a clean energy economy and advance this country's climate change objectives. Since 2006, and I want to be very clear, we have invested over $10 billion in green infrastructure, energy efficiency, clean energy technologies, and the production of cleaner energy and fuels.

Our approach is getting results. It is estimated that as a result of the combined actions of provincial, territorial, and federal governments as well as consumers and businesses, greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 will be 737 megatonnes. This is roughly 130 megatonnes lower than what they would have been under the Liberals.

Adaptation is complementary to our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so we have taken actions to better understand climate change and to help Canadians prepare for climate-related impacts by making investments in priority areas. Since 2006, our government has invested $235 million in domestic adaptation initiatives that support decision-making in key priority areas, including human health, the north and vulnerable communities, and economic competitiveness.

I would like to take this opportunity to provide some concrete examples of these activities.

To start, through Environment Canada's climate change prediction and scenarios program, the government continues to provide updated information about observed and projected changes in climate. This foundational work will allow the government to provide credible, scientifically sound information on climate change to support adaptation planning and decision-making in Canada. Through the Standards Council of Canada and with support from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, we are providing funding to adapt critical codes and standards in the north to address the effects of climate change on new and existing infrastructure.

We are also providing $35 million to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to support climate change and atmospheric research at Canadian post-secondary institutions. This funding will ensure that new knowledge is produced to address current and future climate change issues. By equipping Canadians with the information, knowledge, and tools they need in order to make informed decisions, we will be better able to manage risk associated with climate change and be better positioned to take advantage of new economic opportunities that emerge along the way.

Our record speaks for itself. We will never take lessons from the Liberals, whose climate change policy was international rhetoric followed by domestic inaction.

The Environment April 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, again, I think it is necessary to provide clarity to the member opposite and the rest of Canadians.

The University of Toronto study examined the differences between industry-reported emission levels and the actual monitored emission levels. Let us be clear, this was not a study on public health. With regard to emissions, the study actually concluded that they are within acceptable regulatory levels.

The Environment April 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, first, I reject the very premise of the member's question because no government in Canadian history has done more in terms of the scientific monitoring of our resource sector than this Conservative government.

Second, I would like to thank the member for giving me the opportunity to share some of the great things our government is doing to protect the health of Canadians, along with our environment, when it comes to resource extraction.

The fact is that our government has been and will continue to be committed to the responsible development of Canada's oil. That is why, together with the Government of Alberta, we have implemented significant monitoring enhancements through the joint Canada-Alberta implementation plan for oil sands monitoring. This scientifically rigorous, comprehensive, integrated, and transparent undertaking monitors the environmental and cumulative impacts of oil sands extraction activities over an area covering roughly 140,000 square kilometres.

The joint Canada-Alberta implementation plan for oil sands monitoring has done the following: first, increased sampling frequency of air, aquatic life, and water; second, broadened monitoring for contaminants specific to the oil sands; third, introduced new monitoring sites for air, aquatic life, and water; and fourth, created an integrated sampling program to better understand the industry's impact on the regional environment.

The member opposite will be happy to hear that under joint oil sands monitoring, the actual levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, from all sources, including air, water, sediments, and organisms, are being measured. This enhanced monitoring began in the winter of 2010 and continues today.

The joint plan provides publicly available data in a timely standardized manner that is transparent and freely accessible to allow for independent scientific analysis and conclusions.

The fact that the University of Toronto used some data from the Canada-Alberta joint oil sands monitoring for its study shows that this objective of supporting independent scientific analysis is being achieved. The study contributes to an improved understanding of the sources of PAH emissions from the oil sands region.

With regard to this report, despite what the opposition may lead Canadians to believe, the study actually concluded that the measured levels are within acceptable regulatory levels.

Let us be clear. It is our Conservative government that has been beefing up environmental laws by setting higher safety standards and creating mandatory minimum sentences for individuals who violate environmental laws.

Environment Canada administers and enforces a number of acts and regulations that apply to the oil sands, including the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Fisheries Act, the Species at Risk Act, and the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

To facilitate the enforcement of federal laws and regulations our government opened an Environment Canada enforcement office in Fort McMurray in March 2012. This office constantly monitors the compliance of the regulated industry by inspections and has taken required enforcement action when necessary.

Our record speaks for itself. When it comes to responsible resource development, our Conservative government is on the right track.

The Environment April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the evidence speaks for itself. I do not know if the member had the opportunity to listen to the speech about all the wonderful things we have been doing and to compare that to the Liberal record.

When the Liberals were in government, emissions actually went up 130 megatonnes. They signed all of these international agreements and there was all this rhetoric, but they did absolutely nothing.

We are actually seeing our economy grow as the trend in emissions is slowing. Our Conservative government's actions have resulted in a constant decline in emissions intensity and emissions per capita. Both these trends, which are projected to continue through 2030, clearly demonstrate that our sector-by-sector approach is achieving real results in terms of reducing greenhouse gases, while fostering economic growth.

That is something Canadians should be proud of.

The Environment April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to let my colleague know that our Conservative government is committed to addressing the challenge of climate change and is following through on that commitment with concrete actions, both domestically and internationally.

Domestically, the government is implementing a sector-by-sector regulatory approach that started by addressing emissions in two of the largest emitting sectors of the Canadian economy, which are the transportation and electricity sectors. In collaboration with the United States, the government has developed emission standards for passenger automobiles and light duty trucks, as well as heavy duty vehicles. With these regulations, it is projected that by 2025, light duty vehicles will produce 50% less greenhouse gas emissions than 2008 vehicles. This is great, since I come from Oshawa, where we build cars.

With the government's coal-fired electricity regulations, Canada became the first major coal user to ban the construction of traditional coal-fired electricity generating units. In the first 21 years, the regulations are expected to result in a cumulative reduction of about 214 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This is great news for Canadians. It is equivalent to removing 2.6 million personal vehicles per year from the road over this period. The government will build on these actions by working with the provinces to reduce emissions from the oil and gas sectors, while ensuring that Canadian companies remain competitive.

The government has also made significant investments to transition Canada to a clean energy economy and advance this country's climate change objectives. Since 2006, the government has invested over $10 billion in green infrastructure, energy efficiency, the development of clean energy technologies, and the production of cleaner energy and fuels.

We are taking the responsible approach, working closely with all stakeholders, and it is paying off.

It is estimated that, as a result of the combined actions of provincial, territorial, and federal governments, consumers, and businesses, greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 will be 734 megatonnes. This is roughly 130 megatonnes lower than they would have been under the Liberals. I make this distinction because, in contrast to the Liberal climate change policy of international rhetoric and domestic inaction, our Conservative government's policies are achieving real results.

Internationally, Canada is playing a constructive role in the United Nations' negotiations toward a fair and effective new post-2020 climate change agreement. At the latest UN climate change conference in Warsaw, Canada demonstrated leadership in helping to achieve a breakthrough in an important initiative to help developing countries reduce deforestation and forest degradation, which account for nearly 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Canada is also taking a leadership role on a number of collaborative international initiatives outside of the United Nations to combat climate change. For instance, the government is taking meaningful action to address short-lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon and methane, through active engagement on the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, of which Canada is a founding member through its chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

Due to their short lifespan, reducing these types of pollutants can achieve more immediate climate benefits, particularly for the north.

The Environment April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my colleague will be happy to hear that we are taking a balanced approach that will continue to support Canadian jobs while protecting our environment. We have worked very well with the Province of Alberta to launch a world-class scientific monitoring system of the oils sands. This undertaking, which is unprecedented in Canada, involves monitoring the impact of oil sands activity over an area covering 140,000 square kilometres.

Environment Canada is pleased that the University of Toronto used the data provided by the joint Canada-Alberta implementation plan for its very important study, and that shows that our plan is working. We are going to continue to work with the Province of Alberta to achieve the goals of this plan.

The Environment April 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech, and he is going to be very happy to hear what I have to say, because our government has made responsible resource development a priority. That is why, together with the Government of Alberta, we have implemented significant monitoring enhancements through the joint Canada-Alberta implementation plan for oil sands monitoring. This is a scientifically rigorous, comprehensive, and transparent undertaking.

Since the joint implementation plan for oil sands monitoring was announced, significant progress has been made. Monitoring has been enhanced with greater geographic coverage, more monitoring sites, more frequent sampling, and testing for a greater variety of contaminants. All environmental components—air, water, land, and wildlife—now will be studied. By the time the three-year plan is fully implemented in 2015, water sites will increase from 21 to more than 40, air sites will increase from 21 to more than 30, and biodiversity monitoring sites will increase from 35 to more than 70, with thousands of additional samples being taken each year to assess impacts on individual species.

The data that has been collected is public and is intended to be used for independent scientific analysis. The fact that the University of Toronto used information from the joint Canada-Alberta implementation plan for its study shows that our objective is being achieved. This shows we are delivering on our promise to produce oil sands monitoring data and ensure this information is publicly available.

We are also delivering on our commitment to ensure that Canadians continue to have some of the cleanest air in the world for generations to come. On this note, I would like to highlight the air quality management system. It represents a major step forward in addressing air pollution in Canada. It is a comprehensive system that includes stringent outdoor air quality standards, emission requirements from major industries, and provincial actions to address local sources of air pollution. Once fully implemented, the system will provide significant health and environmental benefits. It was developed through years of extensive collaboration with the provinces, territories, and stakeholders. The result is a system that lets all levels of government work together to address air pollution in a coordinated and effective way.

Working with all levels of government is the key to a cleaner environment, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Province of Alberta to achieve the goals of the joint Canada-Alberta implementation plan. Our co-leadership of environmental monitoring contributes to the development of the oil sands in a responsible and environmentally sustainable manner, for the benefit of all Canadians.