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- His favourite word is parole.
Conservative MP for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 51.30% of the vote.
Statements in the House
An Act to Bring Fairness for the Victims of Violent Offenders December 10th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour in the House to speak to Bill C-479, an Act to bring fairness for the victims of violent offenders. I am dedicated and passionate about seeing this bill through because the changes it would bring about for victims and their families are overdue. Today marks one step closer in the legislative process in seeing these changes become a reality.
First, I would like to thank the hon. member for Scarborough Centre, who is also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, for her strong support the last time we debated Bill C-479 in the House. In her role, she has been a strong advocate for victims in her community and across the country, and I congratulate her on her work.
The parliamentary secretary, the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Justice were busy this past summer, hearing from victims across the country. We look forward to hearing more from them in the months ahead on the federal government's support for victims.
I am proud that Bill C-479 complements our government's work to support victims and their families from coast to coast to coast.
I would also like to thank and acknowledge the hon. members for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, Winnipeg North, Alfred-Pellan and Abitibi—Témiscamingue for the support they offered in the House to bring this bill to committee. I appreciate their kind words on my intent in bringing forward this bill. While they have raised some points that will be further debated in committee, I have no doubt that their hearts are in the right place.
All of us on both sides of the House should desire to do everything we can to bring about fairness for victims and their families and act on some of the recommendations of the victims ombudsman. Contrary to the member for Malpeque's comments, this bill is not about the Criminal Code, but the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and victims' rights. This is all about that.
I offer special thanks to the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, Sue O'Sullivan, for meeting with me and my staff and for all of her advice and support in the development of this bill. Many of the provisions of Bill C-479 stem from the recommendations made by Ms. O'Sullivan and her office. I appreciate and respect the work that she and her team do on a daily basis to advocate for victims. It is tough, emotional and unrelenting work and they do it effectively, professionally and compassionately.
I have also heard from victims. To me, that is the ultimate litmus test of this bill. When they tell me that it will make a difference and that we are on the right track, I know that this makes sense.
Please allow me to conclude this debate at second reading where I began. That is by reiterating my intent in bringing forward this bill. As I have said at each stage of the process, it was an eye opening and heart-wrenching experience at a hearing of the National Parole Board of Canada in the summer of 2010 that led me to introduce this bill. Invited to observe as a guest of my constituents, I witnessed first hand how the system revictimized the people who had already suffered enough for a lifetime. Since that time, I have witnessed many more meetings, all just as gut-wrenching and painful.
Constable Michael Sweet's story and his family's reasonable request to have more information has profoundly affected me as well. Their point is well taken that their father and husband's life was taken from them publicly. The offenders were tried publicly, with all of the evidence being introduced publicly. Victims, their families and all Canadians should have some public assurance that those convicted of violent offences are doing what they can to be rehabilitated and become contributing citizens.
If an act to bring fairness for the victims of violent offenders eases the revictimization of just one family, it will be worth it, but I am convinced that it would do much more.
Merry Christmas. Joyeux Noël.
Committees of the House December 5th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology in relation to Bill C-8, an act to amend the Copyright Act and the Trade-marks Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back the House, with amendments.
I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology in relation to the supplementary estimates (B) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.
Tibet December 4th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, the human rights tragedy in Tibet continues under the watchful eye of the Chinese authorities. Reports out of Tibet are that yet another monk set himself ablaze in November. This sadly brings the total to 122 in Tibet who have self-immolated.
Imagine what it must take to set oneself on fire as a means of protest. The circumstances are clearly getting worse, but we do not hear much about it, because journalists are prevented from reporting from the Tibetan areas in China.
We in the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet continue to shine the international spotlight on the worsening situation. That is why some members of the House heard directly from Mr. Kaydor Aukatsang here on Parliament Hill earlier this afternoon. Mr. Aukatsang is His Holiness the Dalai Lama's representative in North America and is part of the Central Tibetan Administration, the government in exile. He updated us on the developments and reiterated the Dalai Lama's call for peace and for the Chinese leadership to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Tibetan people.
Time is of the essence. The world is watching.
Multiculturalism November 29th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, as we enter the Christmas season, I hear a lot about political correctness and wishing someone merry Christmas. There are those who will say, “do not say merry Christmas; say happy holidays”.
Political correctness is deluding Christmas in a well-intentioned but unnecessary attempt to be inclusive. After all, we deck the halls of Parliament with Christmas trees, not holiday trees.
As we spread holiday cheer this Christmas season, I ask the Minister of State for Multiculturalism if he considers it an offence to wish someone merry Christmas during the holiday season?
Respect for Communities Act November 28th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I think the debate is not one of ideology, it is one of understanding public policy and the nature of what a broad vision of public safety is, not only in what the member talked about in terms of harm reduction but also in the community that he is questioning, the community where such a site would be.
I mentioned to one of my colleagues earlier the fact that there is no framework right now for a supervised injection site.
Presently there are just two aspects in section 56 and they are explicitly for research and for things like using illicit drugs when sniffer dogs are being trained, et cetera. Does the member not think that there should be some framework for a site that has such a high level of risk so that communities can have the input from police, councillors, the general public, the provincial health authority? Does he not think that is something that should be necessary?
Respect for Communities Act November 28th, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I am going to forgive my colleague from Sudbury, whom I have worked with very positively in a number of different dimensions, for inferring that there is some alternative intention of the bill.
He began his speech by mentioning a framework for supervised injection sites. In fact, the real issue is that there is no framework. He refers to section 56, which simply provides an opportunity to get an exemption for research on illicit drugs or for use with things like sniffer dogs. There is no framework at all right now.
Bill C-2 is the first attempt to put a framework in place for supervised injection sites. Would he not agree that some of the aspects of the bill should be in place to make sure that the community has a say and that police, the municipality, and the provincial health officer have a say in where these sites go, when we are talking about people who are hopped up on illicit drugs and who are going to be leaving these sites and going into communities?
Status of Women November 22nd, 2013
Mr. Speaker, child, early and force marriage is a barbaric practice that not only prevents development, but has a devastating effect on the health, education and economy of entire communities. It is a violation of the freedom and human rights of young girls.
What is the Government of Canada doing to fight this terrible practice?
Respect for Communities Act November 21st, 2013
Mr. Speaker, my colleague asked the hon. member a good question.
Without any kind of answer, we have to assume that they are fine that there is absolutely no framework in place at all to limit people who are going to go out and actually do two crimes before they even get to one of these safe injection sites. They have to buy illicit drugs, they have to be in possession of illicit drugs and they have to go to one of these sites. Even after they are supervised or released from this site, they are hopped up on drugs, going back into the communities.
Is there any kind of protection that he would like to have for communities at all, in order to ensure that they are safe?
Grey Cup November 21st, 2013
Mr. Speaker, as a proud member of Parliament from Hamilton Tiger-Cat country, it gives me great pleasure to rise today to recognize the CFL's eastern division victors and the next Grey Cup champions, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The Ticats have had one heck of a season. Displaced from the home field, against the odds, when everyone had written them off, they fought back and won. It is a story of sheer grit and determination, much like the city they hail from.
On Sunday, they are going to do it again. Against a tough opponent, against the cheers and jeers of the hometown crowd, the Hamilton Ticats will show the country what they are made of.
They are as true as a cup of Tim Hortons coffee, as strong as steel, and with as much heart as the people in the greater Hamilton area. The hon. member for Burlington, seated behind me, has got it right: “Oskee wee wee. Oskee waa waa. Holy mackinaw. Tigers, eat 'em raw”.