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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is cfia.

Conservative MP for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 48.80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Agricultural Growth Act June 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my colleague made a comment that no Conservatives have spoken to the bill. She must not be following the debate. The minister himself introduced the bill in Parliament and spoke to it. I, as the parliamentary secretary, stood in the House and spoke to it, as did a number of other Conservative MPs.

We are the biggest proponents of the bill. It is the NDP members who seem to be conflicted on the bill. They are weighing one side, weighing the other, and then trying to walk straight up the middle to please both sides of their base.

This is an important bill for agriculture. It is an important bill for farmers. I call on the NDP to support the bill, wholeheartedly and 100%.

Très-Sainte-Trinité de Rockland Parish June 13th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to congratulate the Très-Sainte-Trinité de Rockland parish on its 125th anniversary.

I am also lucky to be joining the clergy and the parishioners for a mass and consecration this weekend.

I also want to acknowledge the important historical presence of this community of believers in the Rockland region. Founded in 1889 as a francophone Catholic parish, the church is a spiritual home and an important gathering place for the region's faithful.

I know that generations of believers and clergy in Rockland have worked hard and made lots of sacrifices to build this sacred place. We are blessed to be able to see the fruits of their labour now, 125 years later.

Once again, I would like to congratulate the Très-Sainte-Trinité parishioners and their priest.

Trinity Western Law School June 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Trinity Western University is a private Christian university in Langley, British Columbia. It is a place of rigorous scholarship that focuses on the preparation of graduates to practise law while emphasizing ethics, professionalism, and service to the community. Students join the school's Christian community and pledge to respect standards on the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman. This is a choice they freely make.

It needs to be noted that Trinity Western's law school graduates are fully qualified to practise law. There is just one problem: their views are not acceptable to those who rule the Law Society of Upper Canada. Unless they abandon their views and accept the beliefs of those who rule the law society, these students will not be permitted to practise law in Ontario, as the graduates of other law schools can.

Its policy seems to be contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2, which guarantees Canadians' right to freedom of conscience and religion and freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression.

I call on the Law Society of Upper Canada to reverse its discriminatory and intolerant decision regarding Trinity Western Law graduates.

Agriculture and Agri-Food June 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, let us look at Bill C-30. It was introduced into the House on an urgent basis and passed by the House on an urgent basis. It increases supply chain transparency, it strengthens contractual mechanisms between producers and shippers and it helps to ensure that the entire grain handling and transportation system is working at its capacity. It obligates the rail companies to move one million metric tonnes of grain a week.

This system is working and it is serving our western Canadian grain farmers.

Agriculture and Agri-Food June 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture showed tremendous leadership by tabling Bill C-30, the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, to solve the serious grain transportation problems that were present in Canada. The bill was well received across Canada by stakeholders and right here in the House. It was a bill that was clear and unequivocal and it set ambitious but realistic goals.

The latest figures show that our government's efforts to get grain moving are working.

Agriculture and Agri-Food June 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about farmers and how well they are doing in Canada with our government's policies.

Crop receipts have increased to over $30.5 billion because of our initiatives. Wheat receipts grew by 26%, which is a record. Livestock receipts have totalled $21.6 billion.

If he wants to talk about seed, I would encourage this member to support our Bill C-18, which would bring in agricultural technology to the benefit of our farmers.

Agriculture and Agri-Food June 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for this good question, but I also thank my colleagues, the members for Egmont and Tobique—Mactaquac, for working so hard to represent the concerns of the potato farmers on this important matter.

Canada's seed potato certification system is effective in maintaining Canada's reputation as a supplier of quality seed potatoes. That is why, working with the Canadian Horticultural Council, we have instructed the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to continue export-related inspections to maintain market access to the United States.

Although I am answering this question today in the House, I do want farmers to know that the CFIA wrote to the Canadian Horticultural Council on this earlier in the week.

Agricultural Growth Act June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my understanding of this bill is that it is strongly supported by the agricultural sector, except for the splinter group the minister spoke about, and that the agricultural sector wants us to move ahead quickly so that it can gain the competitive advantage this bill would bring it.

I wonder if the minister could comment on the support he has heard from the agricultural sector regarding this bill and why it needs to move forward quickly.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I absolutely must reject the premise of the member's question. Members who have served their country need to be respected for their service. That member has to realize as well that every case is unique and that the details of certain cases cannot be discussed in Parliament or with the media or in public. The government is at somewhat of a disadvantage, but it is at a disadvantage because it respects the privacy of veterans and their families.

One of the things I would like to highlight for all veterans who might be watching this debate is this government's commitment to them. For example, the base funding for Veterans Affairs Canada has increased by roughly 30% over the last 10 years. It is at a record level. On top of that, this government added an additional $5 billion for pensions and for benefits, which is another record amount in terms of funding.

We have been trimming the administrative costs to ensure that 90% of the funding that has been allocated for veterans actually delivers services to veterans themselves. I do not think any Canadian would accept 50¢ on the dollar being delivered to veterans. They would ask, “What happened to all the administrative costs? Why are they so high?” We do find efficiencies, but to the benefit of veterans, to ensure that 90% of funding allocated for veterans actually serves veterans and their families. That is a positive message for veterans.

I hope that the ones watching today hear me say this, because they will not read about this in the media and they certainly will not learn about it from the opposition parties.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his service to our country as well. I thank him also for his question, because it is very pertinent.

He is right. When military members decide to retire from serving their country in the Canadian Armed Forces, there is almost too much to think about, yet not enough information to help with decision-making.

The most fundamental piece of information that people leaving the Canadian Forces need to know is what the government will provide to them to help them transition to civilian life.

I am the father of five children. Although I left the military at the age of 37, in no way, shape, or form was I retiring from the workforce. I absolutely needed to transition to civilian life. Every type of benefit that is offered by the government to help veterans do this smoothly and in a positive way needs to be communicated. How is it communicated? It is done through a variety of mechanisms, including advertising.

I will pick up on one last point that my colleague brought up, which is that is not just veterans who are informed through advertising. Canadians across the country see that veterans who have served their country in uniform are also able to transition into civilian life and they see what the government is doing to help with that transition. That makes Canadians proud of their government and it makes them proud of their veterans. Advertising plays a key role in that.