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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was fisheries.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Conservative MP for Delta—Richmond East (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 55.75% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Resignation of Members March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it has been an honour and a privilege to serve in this place. One does not get here on one's own merit. If that were the case, I would not be here. We get here because some folks have confidence that we will represent their best interests.

I would like to thank them.

First, I would like to thank Preston Manning who provided the inspiration for me to seek elected office in 1988 as a Reformer; Dr. Pat Pettman and others who encouraged me to run again in 1993; Alex Soroka who managed so many of my campaigns, and Eric Sykes and Jim Northey who did the same; the good people of Delta and Richmond who have supported me all these years; but mostly, my wife Sue who has been steadfast in her support, my daughter Carolyn who was just two when I was elected, my older daughters Erin and Kristy, and my son Martin and the grandkids.

Success in this place depends on good staff and I have been fortunate in that regard. Brian Derrah, friend, lawyer, researcher extraordinaire, has served me well for over 17 years on the Hill, as well as Michelle Cormier, Gail Galloway and Kelly Williams. Most important, Karen Siefken and Karen Wilson have served my constituents with devotion in the Ladner office. They were indispensable. I thank them and others, including collaborators Phil Eidsvik and Dennis Brown.

I thank the staff on Parliament Hill for their kindness, concern and dedication to duty, especially the folks at the Library of Parliament whose solid research can make us look awfully good.

I thank the good people at Air Canada who have done their best to make an onerous travel schedule doable and the staff at the Ottawa Marriott, my home for close to 15 years. Last but not least, I thank my colleagues and the Prime Minister for his outstanding leadership.

Not long after I was elected, I had a significant decision to make and I looked to the hon. Ron Huntington, a former member of this place, for counsel. His advice was to choose not just what served my purposes that day but to choose what I would be comfortable with when I left this place. I have followed that advice.

My hope when first elected was that when my time here was done the folks at home would say, “He kept his word. He represented us well”. That remains my fondest hope.

Earthquake Preparedness March 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I wish to extend the sympathies of my constituents to the people of Christchurch.

The destruction in New Zealand is a reminder of the tragic loss of life that can result from earthquakes.

On February 15, an earthquake shook Richmond and Delta. It was very mild compared with the one that hit Christchurch, but it is a reminder that we must ensure that our infrastructure is capable of withstanding a strong quake.

Last week at a meeting of the Ladner Business Association, Brian Hart and Mike Owen, local businessmen with significant knowledge of the lower Fraser River, pointed out that Ladner and Richmond, like Christchurch, are built on an alluvial plane and located on a fault zone.

Furthermore, they are below sea level and protected by dikes. That means for our two communities, merely having specially strengthened buildings and bridges is not enough. Our dikes must be maintained at a level to withstand a serious quake.

We must be prepared. Being prepared means we must all work together. There is no reward for complacency.

Bill Otway October 27th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I inform the House of the passing of Bill Otway.

British Columbia wildlife enthusiasts and recreational fishermen have lost a consummate warrior and friend.

Bill spent a lifetime at the forefront of the fight for the best in management practices for fish and wildlife and was the single most vocal proponent of the right of recreational anglers to fish.

Always available to provide advice and, yes, even criticism, Bill never wavered in his convictions for the sake of popularity.

A former executive director of the B.C. Wildlife Federation and a sports fishing adviser to the federal government, Bill was the recipient of many awards, including a national Recreational Fisheries Award from DFO.

Bill had all the ingredients to carry the burdens he did. He was a smart, stubborn, fearless and thoroughly decent man.

In Bill's passing, British Columbia and, indeed, Canada lost someone it could ill afford to lose: a real conservationist and wise man who said what had to be said.

Our hearts go out to his wife Carol and the rest of his family.

Space Industry May 11th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Canada has long been a world leader in the space industry and this government has maintained its commitment to the program.

Last year we saw Dr. Thirsk and Dr. Payette providing expertise and leadership aboard the international space station, essential components of which were manufactured in Canada by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.

This year's budget committed $397 million to develop the RADARSAT Constellation mission.

Would the Minister of Industry inform the House of the crucial work that is being done by our Canadian Space Agency?

Delta Community Leader March 11th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, recently the Delta Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 100th anniversary. Edgar Dunning was in attendance at the gala. A friend chatted with Edgar after the event, then noted that Edgar jumped in his car and drove home. Nothing unusual about that, except that Edgar was 100 years old on January 7.

Edgar's mother published the Delta Optimist and some of his fondest memories are of that early newsroom. He spent his working life at the paper as a reporter, editor, photographer and publisher. He still writes a weekly column for the Optimist.

I look forward to Edgar's company at community events as much for his interesting recollections as for his insightful comments about current events and his great sense of humour.

Throughout his long life, Edgar has served his community, his province and his country. He is a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal, the Order of British Columbia, the Delta Chamber of Commerce Good Citizen of the Year award and others too numerous to mention. Truly it can be said that it is community leaders like Edgar Dunning who make our country great.

Petitions March 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the second petition has to do with dredging on the Fraser River.

The petitioners note that the secondary channels of the Fraser River are silting in and that nothing has been done for years to address this issue. They point out that they are a hazard for navigation, reduce habitat for fish and are detrimental to businesses on the secondary channels.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to provide funding for dredging.

Petitions March 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present to the House today.

In the first petition the petitioners claim that they support the Air Transport Association of Canada in its efforts to obtain compensation for the aviation businesses that were affected by the restrictions on air space during the Olympic Games in Vancouver. Those businesses were shut down from January 29 to March 24, almost a two month period.

The flight businesses, in particular flight training businesses at Boundary Bay Airport and at Squamish, are hurting desperately. They would like compensation similar to that which was provided to businesses that were hurt during the G8 meetings in Kananaskis.

Fraser River Sockeye November 17th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to compliment the Prime Minister for his announcement of a judicial inquiry into the management of the Fraser River sockeye.

If the government of the day had initiated a judicial inquiry into the management of Atlantic cod when the department's inability to respond to the first signs of the impending disaster became apparent, then perhaps, just perhaps, the collapse of the Atlantic cod might have been prevented.

Fraser River sockeye will not be allowed to go the way of the Atlantic cod because the Prime Minister takes seriously his duty to protect the fishery and all who depend on it. He has called for a judicial inquiry to investigate all aspects of the fishery. The inquiry will have the ability to subpoena witnesses, take testimony under oath and, most important, will have access to all fisheries department records and personnel.

The courage the Prime Minister has shown in calling this inquiry will ensure that sockeye salmon will be there in abundant numbers for future generations.

Petitions November 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, my second petition recognizes that efforts should be made to prevent animal cruelty and reduce animal suffering.

The petitioners call on the government to support a universal declaration on animal welfare.

Petitions November 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present day. The first petition is from the folks from the Ladner Sediment Group.

These people are concerned about the silting up of the Lower Fraser River. The buildup of silt in the secondary channels causes serious navigational hazards, prevents fishermen from delivering their catch to the buyers in the Ladner Slough, and causes great upset to folks living in float homes along the Fraser River.

At low tide, these float homes and the walkways between them go aground. I was down there just a year ago in the wintertime, and it was treacherous walking out to the homes because these walkways had gone aground and were tilted at precarious angles.

The petitioners are calling on the government to make some funding available to address the issue of dredging.