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  • His favourite word is vote.

Conservative MP for Vancouver Island North (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 46.10% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we have had a long Parliament, since 2011. We have 12 weeks left. We still have a parliamentary legislative agenda. The government has a parliamentary legislative agenda. It has now been three and a half months since October 22. We do not have infinite time to move forward on measures that are required. We have been able to do some things in terms of integrating the security around here, and we have made some definite positive improvements.

I would like to join the member from Winnipeg in saying how much we value the people who have looked after the security in the parliamentary precinct in every way. There is no attempt to divide or to suggest that there has been any weakness or any criticism. This is all positive. They are all heroes. However, we do need to make some changes.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we are not debating a bill; we are debating a motion. This motion does not fetter the Speakers in any way, shape or form. The Speakers would have to negotiate or come up with a memorandum of understanding, a contractual agreement, some kind of agreement that deals with the details of how this is to be derived. That could all happen without this motion. However, this motion brings it to life and expedites it.

If anybody here wants to suggest that we do not have some sense of urgency about moving on, then they are out of step with where the Canadian public is. We have a responsibility in this place to protect much more than ourselves. It is all about the people we invite to this place. The Canadian public and all visitors who come to this place deserve a certain standard of care. That standard of care is something we need to improve. This integrated security exercise is all about that.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we do have an integrated security unit and force in the mother Parliament in London, as well as in Australia. They were responding to events, modernizing and doing what is necessary when there is recognition that it could be a place that is targeted. We have a living example of that now. We did not have that in June of 2012.

In the latter part of the motion, it very clearly states:

—as recommended by the Auditor General in his 2012 report and as exists in other peer legislatures; and call on the Speaker, in coordination with his counterpart in the Senate, to invite, without delay, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to lead operational security throughout the Parliamentary precinct and the grounds of Parliament Hill, while respecting the privileges, immunities and powers of the respective Houses, and ensuring the continued employment of our existing and respected Parliamentary Security staff.

We are all aware of the concerns that have been expressed on this subject from all parties and various people, such as the experts who have looked at security on Parliament Hill. This motion respects all of those principles.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, well, I am not surprised that leader of the Green Party is not happy. However, I would like to say from the get-go that her attempt to continue to put words in the mouth of our former sergeant-at-arms is absolutely and totally inappropriate. It is political theatre and political opportunism on her part.

Second, this is not a rushed exercise. There have been discussions going on for a very long time.

Finally, this is not unconstitutional. The Speaker, in many ways, is the keeper of that very point. I am confident, as are others who have looked at this question, that the motion is absolutely consistent with our constitutional separation.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the whole question of an integrated security force was recommended, and the recommended time, not a deadline, to have it in place, was 2015.

There has been no shortage of discussions between the security advisory committees on the House of Commons side and from the Senate side. We have had integration with the House of Commons and Senate security forces, which has been ongoing for some time now. We are moving to the next step.

I would remind the member that this all happened within 24 hours when they were presented with a clear and present danger in Australia. We need to exercise some sense of urgency about moving forward with an absolutely essential measure.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the whips and the House leaders have been involved in discussions regarding the motion. The motion is a common sense motion that builds in everything needed to be consistent with the recommendations from the Auditor General's report, and other considerations, such as separation of powers.

Therefore, regarding the need for further consultation, based on the fact that we already debated it in the House prior to the one-week recess we just had, it has given everyone ample opportunity to weigh in on the matter, and that it is well in hand.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as usual, we are once again watching the politics of division coming from the House leader of the official opposition.

This is a situation where we would have an integrated security unit, which would consist of both parliamentary security personnel and the RCMP. This is something that was called for as long ago as the Auditor General's report of 2009. It has been thoroughly discussed many times. The only reason we have not had it in place is because we did not have a catalytic moment. We certainly had a catalytic moment on October 22, 2014.

The Auditor General's report from June of 2012 expected this integrated security unit to be in place by 2015. It is 2015. It is long overdue.

The motion calls for the coordination of the new responsibilities and roles to be through the Speakers' offices. The Speakers are the ones who would ensure that the parliamentary separation of powers and so on would be maintained. It is not the RCMP who would be in charge. It will be the Speakers and Parliament.

With that, I think I have answered the questions more than once. The same questions keep coming up, but this is an absolutely essential thing to do.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 6th, 2015

Opposition members would like to suggest that there is not caucus solidarity on the government side, Mr. Speaker. They are incorrect.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it has been over three months since the events of October 22. There has been a lot of debate and discussion. We have a government initiative. We hoped for opposition support. It may be an overreach on our part to assume that this would happen, but we certainly have caucus solidarity on this issue.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague for saying so eloquently what I should have said in response to the previous question.

We thank our security forces. The House of Commons force was very dutiful and did all the right things on October 22. We are not saying that one is better than the other. We are saying that what we need is seamless, integrated security. It is that simple. It has to be led by one entity. The entity best placed to do that is the entity with a national presence and with connections to rapid response training on a national level and to intelligence sources, and so on. That is why we are where we are.