- His favourite word was calgary.
Last in Parliament June 2012, as Conservative MP for Calgary Centre (Alberta)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 57.70% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Resignation of Member May 30th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to inform you of my resignation as the member for Calgary Centre.
Serving in this House on two different occasions in two different centuries has been the greatest honour of my life.
From 1988 to 1993, I was privileged to serve as the member of Parliament for Calgary Southeast in the government of prime minister Brian Mulroney, whose achievements included the free trade agreement and the acid rain accord, two landmark agreements between Canada and the United States.
Since 2004, I have been equally privileged to serve as the member for Calgary Centre and since 2006, in the government of Canada's 22nd Prime Minister, the right hon. member for Calgary Southwest.
To both prime ministers, I thank them for the honour of serving in their caucus. Each has remarkable listening skills when it comes to leading a united caucus, the most important leadership attribute in our parliamentary system.
This Prime Minister has reunited our party and brought it from political wilderness to government, where he leads our country with great distinction. As a Calgarian, I think all Calgarians take great pride that our country is led by one of our own. I am proud to have served in his government and am grateful for his friendship and support. I am equally proud of Laureen Harper, a wonderful chatelaine of 24 Sussex and ambassador for Canada.
I first sat in the members' gallery, and some members will recall me saying not long ago, 40 years ago, as executive assistant to the Right Hon. John Diefenbaker, Canada's 13th prime minister. He was no longer leader of the Progressive Conservative Party at that time, but he was still master of this House, the greatest parliamentarian of his time. It was a privilege to have known him and to have worked with him on his memoirs, One Canada. There was never a more partisan figure in this House than Mr. Diefenbaker, but he was, above all, a man of this House.
If I could share one thought with colleagues, it would be this. While we advocate for different ideas of Canada, we are all Canadians and we all love our country. I think we would all do well to remember that and leave the partisan furies at the water's edge.
There are many people I would like to thank, many people to be thanked, beginning with the voters of my two ridings who sent me here in five elections.
I would like to thank the volunteers and supporters in my Calgary association, and my dedicated staff who have served me so well over the years.
In particular, I want to thank Lynda MacKay, my executive assistant, who is now the longest serving staffer on Parliament Hill. Just last week she received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her decades of unbroken service.
I am leaving to take up a new opportunity as principal secretary to the Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford. This is an exciting challenge at a moment when Alberta's new premier is claiming Alberta's leadership role in the Canadian federation in a way that only Peter Lougheed, among her predecessors, has done.
To my friends here, I say goodbye for now. I hope to see all of you at the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede this July. It has been an honour to be in your company.
Calgary Homeless Foundation May 29th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, in 2008, the Calgary Homeless Foundation set out to end homelessness in Calgary within 10 years. It is year three, and the organization is well on its way to achieving its goal. The assistance to the homeless of Calgary has resulted in a reduction of 40% in the use of the public social system in Calgary, emergency room visits by the homeless have decreased by 50% and interactions with police are down by 60%.
Of the individuals who are housed by the Calgary Homeless Foundation, 92% have retained their residence. The Calgary Homeless Foundation has increased its housing units to 323, with over 100 more under construction.
The Calgary Homeless Foundation has also launched a housing plan to end youth homelessness, aboriginal housing programs and programs that track homelessness, and it has actively engaged the private sector for funding and leverage. These programs, the success of social organizations in co-operating, and funding from private and public sectors have helped 11 other Canadian cities come forward with their own plans to end homelessness.
I would like to congratulate the staff and volunteers of the Calgary Homeless Foundation for their dedication and commitment to end homelessness.
Calgary Stampede May 28th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, over the past century, the Calgary Stampede has welcomed millions of visitors to the greatest outdoor show on earth. The Calgary Stampede is a pillar of Alberta's culture, reflecting our core values of western hospitality, integrity, pride of place and community.
We are less than 40 days away from the start of the centennial Calgary Stampede. This year marks an important chapter in our history, representing over 100 years of Alberta overcoming the many challenges that faced a young province to become the economic powerhouse that feeds Canada's economy today. New attractions and events will take place to mark the special occasion. Visitors will see the very best of rodeo and chuckwagon races in the world, and enjoy spectacular grandstand shows, this year featuring Alberta's own Paul Brandt.
I encourage all Canadians to take part in this great cultural event in a year that also marks Calgary's designation as the 2012 cultural capital of Canada.
I send congratulations to this Canadian icon of tourism and culture, and thanks and appreciation to the staff and over 3,000 volunteers who make the Calgary Stampede the greatest outdoor show on earth.
Mali March 26th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, last week we learned of some concerning reports coming out of Bamako, Mali where certain elements of the Malian military appear to have staged a coup d'etat. The militants have attacked the presidential palace and have detained several ministers. This is a direct attack against the democratic institution and will of the Malian people.
Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs kindly give us an update on the government's reaction?
Petitions March 14th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, requesting that the Minister of the Environment move quickly to protect boreal woodland caribou in Canada by adopting a strong boreal woodland caribou recovery strategy that includes adequate habitat protection measures to ensure their long-term survival.
Canada-China Relations February 8th, 2012
Mr. Speaker, today, the Prime Minister attended the official opening of the Canadian Tourism Commission's newly outfitted marketing centre in Beijing. This centre will play a key role in highlighting Canada as a destination of choice for tourists. It will further facilitate the flow of people among our two great countries and strengthen our ties with one another.
2012 marks an exciting year for the CTC as it aims to promote Canada as an all season destination of choice by focusing on a collection of unique travel experiences offered by our country. In particular, the CTC's 2012 international marketing campaign will highlight the centennial celebration of the Calgary Stampede.
Moreover, our 2012 government introduced two new Canadian visas, the long term multiple entry visa and the parent and grandparent super visa, making the visa application process easier and more efficient.
By increasing people-to-people connections, Canada is strengthening its economic co-operation with China.
Mining Industry October 27th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, Canada has a long history as a country whose extractive industries have contributed to Canada's prosperity and economic growth.
We know that many developing countries are rich in natural resources but do not have the capacity to manage these resources to benefit their people and help lift them out of poverty.
In the last Parliament, the Liberals introduced an ill-conceived corporate social responsibility bill that would have punished the mining sector.
What is our government doing to help these countries ensure their natural resources ultimately contribute to economic growth and benefit their local population, including those living in poverty?
Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act October 20th, 2011
Madam Speaker, the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act will enable the interim Canadian Wheat Board to act as a voluntary marketing organization through its transition to full private ownership.
During that orderly transition our government will provide the Canadian Wheat Board with the tools it needs to act as a voluntary pooling option for the farmers who choose to use it.
During the transition period our government will continue to guarantee the new Canadian Wheat Board's initial payments for borrowing, assist with funding for reorganization costs related to the removal of the monopoly and put in place a voluntary check-off to continue producer support for research and marketing development activities.
Today we are only a few hours into the debate and the opposition has introduced two motions to delay and stall the bill.
Would the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food explain to the House why it is important that the legislation be passed immediately to ensure the transition happens in an orderly fashion?
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act October 6th, 2011
Madam Speaker, as I was sharing my time with another member, I did not have time to get all of these great points in, but small business is one that I really wanted to talk about and I am thankful for the question.
There are so many good things in the bill for small businesses that I do not know where to begin. I just cannot get it all in with the time allotted. We have the accelerated cost allowance, which would be continuing. We have the temporary hiring credit for new hires. This is made for small businesses to assist in new hires. In any event, the general increase in the economy and helping Canadians by reducing taxes would generally provide an economic climate for small businesses in Canada compared to other countries in the world. This is a great environment for Canadians to invest and businesses to grow.
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act October 6th, 2011
Madam Speaker, I know how hard the hon. member has worked on this file in the promotion of research and development and funding for Alzheimer's in Canada. Personally, I agree that we should look at this more. I know we are currently reviewing Alzheimer's disease, largely because of the member's efforts. I appreciate her efforts.