- His favourite word was debate.
Last in Parliament October 2010, as Conservative MP for Prince George—Peace River (B.C.)
Won his last election, in 2008, with 63.59% of the vote.
Statements in the House
First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act June 15th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, the second motion is as follows. I move:
That, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practice of the House, when the House begins debate on the second reading motion of Bill C-24, An Act to amend the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act and another Act in consequence thereof, a Member from each recognized party may speak for not more than 10 minutes on the motion, after which the bill shall be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at the report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.
Balanced Refugee Reform Act June 15th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, I have a number of motions whereby there have been consultations among all parties and I think, if you were to seek it, you would find unanimous consent for them. I will begin with the first one.
That, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practice of the House, Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Federal Courts Act, be deemed to have been amended at the report stage as proposed in the report stage motion in the name of the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism on today's notice paper; be deemed concurred in as amended; and that the House be authorized to consider the bill at third reading later today.
Privilege June 15th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, I will try to be brief in respect of the fact that I had already risen earlier this morning during ministerial statements to announce to colleagues in all parties that we have reached agreement with three of the four parties represented in the House of Commons.
I want to congratulate the members of the negotiating teams from the official opposition, the Liberal Party of Canada and the Bloc Québécois for some tough negotiations that took place over the past weeks. As I noted during my brief ministerial statement, there were some 16 meetings, most of them at least an hour in length. We spent a considerable amount of time.
I made the comment at this morning's meeting that indeed my sense was, as is the case in most negotiations among hon. members and political parties in trying to resolve outstanding differences of opinion, that in the end the agreement reached reflects the fact that everyone there had to put some water in their wine, as they say, about these types of negotiations. I felt, at least on the part of the parties that arrived at the decision, that they were comfortable in recommending to their leaders that they sign the agreement that will get this committee of members of Parliament up and operating, as the official opposition House leader said, as soon as possible to address these outstanding issues. That is good news.
As I said, it reflects not only the intent and substance of your ruling, Mr. Speaker, but also the needs of the government to ensure that the issues of national security, international relationships with our allies and the protection of information that could be damaging and indeed put members of our Canadian Forces at risk, are respected. It respects all of those things. That is why those negotiations were lengthy and involved, but they were always conducted with the utmost respect among all of the parties.
Mr. Speaker, in addressing this question of privilege, I would draw to your attention that it was certainly the government's hope all along and that of the people we had at the table that we could arrive at an agreement that would encompass all members of Parliament and all political parties in this chamber. Unfortunately, that has not proven to be the case.
However, three parties have indicated that their leaders have agreed to sign this agreement and get the process under way. It respects your ruling and represents the vast majority of members of Parliament in this chamber. As I said, it is unfortunate and I am disappointed that we could not include the New Democratic Party, but that was its choice.
I would point out as well that following this morning's meeting, we were apprised that the New Democratic Party, as it has done once or twice in the past, had already called ahead of time to organize a scrum before the meeting was even adjourned. It really calls into question whether the NDP members were negotiating in good faith this morning. I also find it unfortunate that the NDP chose to go down that path.
I do believe that the members of Parliament who will be tasked with working their way through all of the thousands of pages of documents, both redacted and unredacted, in being able to see all of the documents and the information that will be available, are going to get at the truth despite what the NDP is saying. That is certainly the hope of the government and, we believe, that of the ad hoc committee of members of Parliament.
The member for the New Democratic Party indicated that there would not be a provision for reporting. This was another instance and there were so many I could not possibly remember over the course of the 16 meetings how many different issues were dealt with from each of the parties bringing forward at times conflicting positions on different clauses of the agreement. However, this particular provision had been debated and discussed for some time. There is provision in the memorandum of understanding that will guide the work of this ad hoc MP committee, and the committee does have the means to make interim reports, if indeed that is the case.
Those reports will be as to whether the committee thinks the process is proceeding and whether there is any obstruction, that type of thing. Obviously those reports will have to respect the oath that each of those members of Parliament will take to ensure the security and, as I said earlier, the safety of our men and women in uniform and to ensure that information that must remain secure does in fact remain secure.
The members of the committee will see it. They will have the opportunity to report as to whether they believe they are getting all the relevant information as per your ruling, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I trust that you will understand, as you clearly do, that following these very extensive time-consuming negotiations, we have arrived at an agreement between ourselves, as the Government of Canada, the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and the Bloc Québécois. We have arrived at this place in our nation's history.
I think what we are doing is precedent setting, and we were all seized with that. We were certainly constantly reminded, as we worked through these negotiations, of your suggestion that the Parliament of Canada has been confronted with this type of dilemma in the past and has always managed to work through it. That is what we endeavoured to do, and I think that is what we arrived at this morning in the agreement of the three parties.
Mr. Speaker, I hope that in considering this question of privilege you will take all of these points into account, as I am sure you will.
Documents Regarding Mission in Afghanistan June 15th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief but I did not want to let this opportunity pass. I apologize to all my colleagues in the other parties for not being able to give notice of this ministerial statement.
I would like to inform you, Mr. Speaker, and all members of Parliament that I am very pleased to announce that there has been an agreement reached after very extensive negotiations over the last number of weeks. We had some 16 meetings with a lot of give and take and good faith on the part of everybody involved in these negotiations.
We have an agreement with three of the parties that were involved in those negotiations that respect not only the Speaker's ruling but also the need to preserve national security. My understanding is that in very short order that agreement will be signed by the Prime Minister and the leaders of the official opposition and the Bloc Québécois. We look forward to moving ahead on this issue of the Afghan documents.
Multiple Sclerosis June 14th, 2010
That this committee take note of the measures being taken to address the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Business of the House June 14th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, as usual, there have been discussions and consultations between all parties and if you seek it, I think you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:
That, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practices of the House, during the debate tonight pursuant to Standing Order 53.1 any member rising to speak may indicate to the Speaker that he or she will be dividing his or her time with another member and no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent shall be received by the Chair.
Government Programs June 14th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, we have no minister by that designation and until members actually address their questions in a respectful manner there will not be a minister answering.
Points of Order June 10th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, I will have to check Hansard. Yes, the question was directed to the Prime Minister, but I do not recall in the letter that the hon. member just read out that he said that he would respond personally.
The questions could be directed to him. They were directed at him. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, as I recall, gave an excellent reply to those questions.
Committees of the House June 10th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, I am feeling bad that I only have one motion left. Perhaps I should keep going with more legislation, but I will save it for next week. I do appreciate the indulgence of all members in this process.
I seek the unanimous consent of the House for the following motion. I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, the debate pursuant to Standing Order 66 scheduled for tomorrow be deemed to have taken place and all questions necessary to dispose of the motion to concur in the Third Report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration be deemed put and a recorded division be deemed requested.