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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is farmers.

Conservative MP for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell (Ontario)

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

Statements in the House

Veterans Affairs February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we thank Corporal Franklin for his service to Canada, and we are here to help him and veterans like him across Canada.

The NDP has voted against every single initiative that we have brought forward to actually help our veterans in concrete ways. To give members an example, our Conservative government is delivering on new front-line mental health treatment facilities. We are delivering enhanced financial benefits to veterans, and we are supporting them in retraining and rehabilitation.

Through eight budgets, our government has earmarked over $5 billion in new funding to improve the benefits and services that we provide to veterans and their families.

Veterans Affairs February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Veterans Affairs is engaged and committed to improving the services for veterans. In fact, when this issue first came to light, he made a personal phone call to this veteran to determine the nature of the problem.

As a result of veterans' feedback several weeks ago, the minister asked for this process to be reviewed.

On behalf of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, I am pleased to inform this House that the VIP renewal will move to a three-year cycle instead of a one-year cycle. Veterans will also have six months to complete this renewal, which is significantly longer than they have today. The form and the letter will also be updated for simplicity and to promote wellness.

Ernest Côté February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canadians learned of the passing of the World War II veteran, retired Colonel Ernest Côté.

Mr. Côté served as platoon commander in the Royal 22nd Regiment and later in the headquarters of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, and was ultimately promoted to colonel. He was a senior planner for the invasion of Normandy and landed on Juno Beach on D-Day. He then deployed to Nijmegen during the liberation of the Netherlands. After his time in uniform, Mr. Côté continued to serve Canada as the deputy minister of Veterans Affairs.

The courage and dedication of Canadians like Mr. Côté, who have fought valiantly over the years to defend our freedom and rights, have made it possible for us to live in a peaceful, democratic country where we enjoy the best quality of life in the world. As a veteran myself and as the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Veterans Affairs, I ask all Canadians to join me in thanking Ernest Côté and his family for his exemplary service to and sacrifice for Canada.

Veterans Affairs February 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Edmonton Centre for his personal commitment to our veterans.

Our government continues to work diligently with the Government of Quebec toward a successful transfer of the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue veterans hospital while maintaining excellence in care for veterans in the language of their choice.

Contrary to what the member for Lac-Saint-Louis and his federal Liberal Party claims, our government is standing up for veterans and delivering tangible results. Veterans can count on our government to ensure that our veterans have the best care available and to continue to support our veterans in every capacity.

Veterans February 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I just responded to that question

Let me just point out a few other things. By reducing red tape and backroom bureaucratic expenses at Veterans Affairs Canada, veterans are benefiting.

I would point out, for example, that 90% of the budget at Veterans Affairs Canada actually goes to delivering services to veterans and their families, as opposed to paying for all of these backroom administrative costs. I would also point out that it is our government that is opening nine new offices to deliver new mental health services to veterans across the country.

Veterans February 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, when the minister was first appointed, he worked very closely with the department, and he directed them to reduce forms and processes and obstacles to our veterans who would be applying for benefits. He wants less red tape for our veterans.

I also want to point out to the House that the minister reached out personally to the person who was identified in this question.

Veterans Affairs February 3rd, 2015

Talking about concrete measures, Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the nine new offices this government is opening under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Veterans Affairs. We are talking about nine clinics that will be focused on mental health. For example, there will be one in Halifax, St. John's, Chicoutimi, Pembroke, Brockville, Kelowna, Victoria, and Montreal, and just last Friday, the minister was in Hamilton announcing a new clinic in Hamilton.

These are real results delivered to our veterans to support them on mental health issues.

Veterans Affairs February 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the member is criticizing the minister for having direct contact with veterans, exactly what we want the minister to do. The committee also asked the minister to report to it on January 30, which is exactly what he did.

The member asked what kind of progress we have made. I have examples here. One of the recommendations of the committee was to increase research on mental health, and last November, our government announced new funding to support further research on mental health for veterans.

There was another recommendation to extend psychological counselling to the families of veterans in December. We have extended the number of psychological counselling sessions available to family members of veterans.

Veterans Affairs February 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, MPs from all parties on the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs worked together cohesively and they made a number of constructive recommendations. One of these recommendations was that the government update the committee on January 30, and that is exactly what the minister did.

He released a six-page letter in which he outlined the progress the government was making on recommendations. I am running out of time, but I will list one of them. One of the recommendations was to extend psychological counselling to the families of veterans.

On December 1, 2014, we extended the number of psychological counselling sessions available to family members of veterans.

Veterans Affairs January 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, this is my first time addressing the House as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, and it is an honour to serve in this capacity.

I joined the Canadian Armed Forces at the age of 17 and served for 20 years. As a member of the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, I had the pleasure of serving with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, with 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and with 1 Service Battalion.

With respect to office closures, this government is opening new offices to better serve our veterans. These are eight new front-line operational stress injury clinics, and they are focused on delivering mental health services to our veterans.