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Conservative MP for Yorkton—Melville (Saskatchewan)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 68.90% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Criminal Code February 25th, 2015
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-655, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (interference with hunting, trapping, fishing or sport shooting).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce my private member's bill that would amend the Criminal Code to make it an offence to interfere with lawful hunting, fishing, trapping or sport shooting in Canada.
These outdoor heritage activities have played an integral role in shaping Canada's social and cultural heritage, and make a significant contribution to the national economy. Hunters, anglers, trappers and sport shooters have made important contributions to the understanding, conservation restoration and management of Canada's vital fish and wildlife resources.
While there is a patchwork of legislation at the provincial and territorial levels, the bill seeks to harmonize and clarify across Canada the protection of persons pursuing all of these outdoor heritage activities by placing these offences within the Criminal Code of Canada.
Finally, I want to bring fairer representation for Canadian anglers, hunters, trappers and sport shooters to Parliament. Animal rights groups would rather have us end our passion for these outdoor heritage activities. Well, I am convinced that these activities are just as important now as they ever were, and I want to ensure that those who enjoy these outdoors activities get the protection they deserve. I believe this legislation will do just that.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
Royal Canadian Mounted Police February 23rd, 2015
Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, the civilian review and complaints commissioner for the RCMP finally released his report into the RCMP's handling of the June 2013 flood in High River, Alberta.
Members will recall that both the Canadian military and the RCMP were called upon to undertake a search and rescue operation in response to the devastating flood situation there. However, long after the town was secured those efforts by the RCMP changed into forcibly entering homes and seizing legally owned firearms and ammunition. The report confirms that hundreds of those firearms were taken without the legal authority to do so.
Back in June of 2013, our government raised the alarm after hearing reports that firearms were being seized by the RCMP. Law-abiding Canadians should never face unlawful search and seizure of their personal property. The RCMP clearly has a long road ahead of it in restoring the reputation with law-abiding gun owners. Some accountability in light of the report's finding would be a good start.
408 Squadron December 8th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, in speaking of Canada, parliamentarians increasingly include the caveat “from coast to coast to coast”. That was not always the case. Prior to the 1950s, Canadians knew very little about our Arctic coastlines. What we did know was derived from sketched maps and journals created by explorers.
Today I have the pleasure to introduce a book that details how we as a nation finally came to understand fully the significance of Canada's Arctic. The book is entitled 408 Squadron--the Rockcliffe Years. The RCAF 408 Squadron flew Lancaster aircraft over the Arctic during the Cold War, performing many tasks, including precise aerial photography from which accurate maps were created and conducting reconnaissance missions. Conditions were often dangerous and demanding, but the members of this motivated crew knew the importance of their work to the security and development of our country.
Congratulations go to the group of nine octogenarians who put this book together. It serves to tell Canadians a story that up to now had simply not been heard.
Petitions December 3rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to present a petition from a large number of Canadians who are asking the Government of Canada to acknowledge that the current impaired driving laws are too lenient. In the interest of public safety, these citizens of Canada want tougher laws and the implementation of new mandatory minimum sentencing for those persons convicted of impaired driving causing death.
They also want the Criminal Code of Canada to be changed to redefine the offence of impaired driving causing death as vehicular manslaughter.
Fur Industry December 2nd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to welcome members of the Fur Institute of Canada to Ottawa for the annual fur day on the Hill.
When Canadians hear about the fur industry, they probably think back to their high school history lessons about the traders and voyageurs who helped build this great country. However, do members know that the modern fur industry contributed over $1 billion to the Canadian economy last year? Retail fur sales in North America topped $4 billion, and globally they were close to $36 billion.
There are an estimated 50,000 trappers in Canada, and 40% of those are from our first nations and Inuit communities. About 250 families in each of our federal ridings directly depend on the fur industry for their livelihood, and it is not just trapping. Farmed fur in Canada from 300 operations countrywide is worth $280 million.
Members can see that the fur trade is not just something for the history books. It is a vital and growing contributor to our national economy.
Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act November 26th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, five minutes is hardly enough time for me to go over all the things I would like to go over, but I will begin and then finish at another date.
I am really pleased to be able to rise and discuss the common sense firearms licensing bill. I am pleased to see the government is standing up for the rights of law-abiding Canadians who enjoy and use firearms.
As members know, I have been fighting for the rights of law-abiding hunters, farmers, and sport shooters for two decades now. I fought the introduction of the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry from the time it was introduced by the Hon. Allan Rock under the previous Liberal government, and I was proud to stand in this place two years ago to support and pass the Ending the Long Gun Registry Act.
The gun registry was the epitome of political pretense. It pretended to protect us by reducing crime, but in fact it did just the opposite. The long and short of it is that criminals do not register their guns and they do not obey laws. It was about time people realized that spending $2 billion of taxpayers' money to keep a list of property of individuals predisposed to obey the law was not a good use of resources.
Equally, I am glad to see that this bill today includes strong measures to focus the use of resources on that which actually prevents crime rather than simply seeking to disarm Canadians.
This legislation will streamline licensing and eliminate needless red tape for responsible gun owners, and it is something that I have advocated for many years. In fact, some measures in Bill C-42 can also be found in my 2009 private member's bill, Bill C-301. They are housekeeping items that will simplify procedures without reducing public safety and include items such as merging the possession only licence with the possession and acquisition licence, for instance, or making the authorization to transport a restricted firearm, more commonly known as ATT, a condition of a restricted licence.
Let me explain, for those in the House who are less familiar with firearms regulations, what an ATT is. An ATT is a document that specifies where a licence-restricted firearm owner may take their property. It may contain a variety of locations or it may be very specific. This is dependent on the whim of the provincial chief firearms officer. It is not in legislation.
If travel to a location outside of those previously approved is needed, more forms must be filled out and more approval must be sought. Some may say that this level of rigour is needed, as restricted firearms can be dangerous in the wrong hands, but the fact of the matter is that those with restricted firearms licences get a background check every day, and the application for an authorization to transport is not even shared with local law enforcement. It is the definition of wasteful paperwork.
It is frustrating for me to sit here and listen to people talk about this thing when they know very little about it. Hopefully, if we get to questions and comments, I can explain more about the lack of knowledge here in regard to this issue.
If the government trusts a restricted licence holder to have a restricted firearm in their home, the government should trust them to travel to appropriate locations to use the firearm. Some have said that this will allow for conceal and carry by the back door; that is absolutely false. All safe transport requirements remain in place, such as unloading a firearm, rendering it inoperable, and placing it in a locked case.
The logic that these ATTs, which are not shared with law enforcement, will somehow reduce crime is the same logic put forward by those who think that registering a firearm will somehow reduce crime. At the end of the day, violent crimes committed with firearms are committed by evil people with evil intentions.
No amount of paperwork or regulation will divert them from their path of wanton destruction. What will stop them is being incarcerated for a lengthy period of time, which is why we passed mandatory prison sentences for those who commit crimes with firearms. As well, we created a specific offence for drive-by shootings.
These measures truly increase public safety and reduce the cost of crime. That is what we are focusing on: tackling those who are predisposed to break the law, rather than those who are simply trying to enjoy a way of life that has been part of Canada's heritage since Confederation.
The focus on safe and sensible firearms policy is the reason this bill amends the Criminal Code to establish firearms prohibition orders for those convicted of domestic violence.
Once this bill is passed, those convicted of serious domestic violence offences, which include offences against a spouse, common-law partner, or dating partner, would be subject to a mandatory prohibition from owning a restricted or prohibited firearm and from owning long guns for a minimum of 10 years.
I am sorry that I had to split this bill and speak to it at a later date, but I look forward to some healthy debate in this House, because there are some serious misconceptions that need to be addressed.
Brant Scott October 7th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a former employee and great friend of Canada's outdoors and firearms communities, Mr. Brant Scott, who unexpectedly passed away on September 16.
Hailing from Grimsby, Ontario, Brant wore many hats. In his younger days, he was a reporter and editor at the local paper. In Ottawa, he put those skills to good use as a legislative assistant to several MPs, myself included.
He was an avid photographer and a talented musician, but above all, he was an exceptionally gifted writer and communicator. A man of integrity, Brant honed those skills while on Parliament Hill. He worked passionately for the rights of firearms owners and tackled a variety of the issues affecting Canada's outdoors community through the outdoors caucus. He made many friends along the way.
To Brant's wife, Susan, and children, Graham and Mary, we extend our heartfelt condolences on this devastating loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We will miss Brant. May God bless.
Petitions June 2nd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to present a petition from residents of Canada who are concerned that the Chinese Communist Party launched an intensive nationwide persecution campaign to eradicate Falun Gong. Hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained in forced labour camps, brainwashing centres, and prisons where torture and abuse are routine and thousands have died as a result.
The petitioners ask Parliament to pass a resolution to establish measures to stop the Chinese Communist regime's crime of systematically murdering Falun Gong practitioners for their organs, to amend Canadian legislation to combat forced organ harvesting, and publicly call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Petitions April 28th, 2014
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I will do it as quickly as I can.
The third petition calls upon the people of Canada to stand with the Ukrainian people during this difficult time, and to continue to forcefully oppose all efforts to repress the Ukrainian people’s rights and freedoms, and to monitor closely and utilize all options that are at Canada's disposal.
Petitions April 28th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the next petition also comes from constituents in the Saskatchewan area. Their petition is in regard to ensuring that Canadians have a fair electoral system. They are advocating that there be a suitable forum of proportional representation whereby everyone can cast an equal and effective vote to be fairly represented in Parliament regardless of their political beliefs or place of residence and to be—