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  • His favourite word is museum.

Conservative MP for Northumberland—Quinte West (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 53.80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day Act April 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in the interests of time, I commend the bill to the House.

National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day Act April 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, what the member across the way has said is very important. Collectively, members of Parliament have been talking about the seal hunt and how important it is to not only the residents of her riding but to the people who live in the north and to the people who supplement their income through sealing.

I encourage all Canadians to do as I did. I bought a sealskin tie. I should have worn it today. I apologize that I did not. We should all support the industry from within this House. I agree with the member as to how important it is. It is important for our country, for our Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and for the Prime Minister himself to encourage especially the European Economic Union to recognize that sealing is a legitimate and proper way to earn a living.

I want to thank the member and her province for being the home of my brother-in-law, Dan Bangs, when he worked in Newfoundland. Of course, I saw some great opportunities there for those of us who hunt moose.

National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day Act April 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, there is no attack whatsoever. Perhaps the member is a bit premature in her comments. I know that we have members on this side of the House who are working on that issue, as well as many other issues. Let us just wait and see what occurs.

It is important to let the member who just spoke know that I do know some of her riding. I used to work in Hearst, Ontario, and worked throughout Kapuskasing and other areas, so I am very much aware of how important hunting, fishing, and trapping are, not only to the residents there but also to the many people who come to Ontario's great north, as I mentioned in my speech. They bring their families. I brought my dear wife, Judy, to a fly fishing camp in Hornepayne, so I know that the member would encourage all members of the House to go to our great north and participate in those activities.

Before the member wants to find some really negative things to say about it, I think she would agree that this bill would go a long way to encouraging more and more Canadians and people from around the world to take part in hunting and fishing in our country, and to buy fur coats of animals raised or trapped in this country of ours. I know that she would encourage all of her constituents who can afford it to buy a fur coat, too.

National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day Act April 4th, 2014

moved that Bill C-501, An Act respecting a National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day, be read the third time and passed.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House this afternoon to address my private member's bill, Bill C-501, which would formally designate the third Saturday in September every year as Canada's national hunting, trapping and fishing heritage day.

Bill C-501 calls for a nation-wide designation of a special day to commemorate the historic role of these traditional activities and a celebration of the part that hunting, trapping and fishing plays in Canada's heritage, social fabric, and indeed our economy.

A hunting, trapping, and fishing heritage runs deep in my family. My maternal grandfather Narcisse Viens came to Ontario from Aylmer, Quebec. He was a great hunter and a very successful trapper. My father Ben, my brothers, and my two sons, James and Matthew, are following in their great grandfather's and grandfather's footsteps, and I must say their father's footsteps.

In 2017, we will be celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation. In the lead-up to that celebration, it is important that Canadians know about, appreciate, and celebrate our history and traditions, which help to define who we are as Canadians today.

Hunting, trapping, and fishing were and are an integral part of life for Canada's aboriginal peoples and our first settlers. Further, the availability of game and fish determined where people settled in this great country of ours.

These activities were the first forms of trade and even currency, and they formed the very backbone of Canada's early financial structures. In part, they helped to set the tone as well as the direction of our economic and social development.

Hunting, trapping, and fishing are vital to the livelihood of Canada's northern communities. I recall my days on the northeast patrol of the Ontario Provincial Police along the James Bay and Hudson's Bay coast, and at the time of year when the geese were returning or leaving, the availability of these migratory game birds sustained communities through some long, hard winters. They supplemented a very expensive diet, and members know how expensive groceries can be in the north.

These activities fuel the economy of our northern communities by attracting more than 400,000 visitors each year. I know that the member for Yukon will agree that it is vital to the economies of our great territories in the north because it provides tourism. Hunters and fishers go there to enjoy some of the world's best fishing and hunting.

I would like to speak now about something that is important to Canadians, particularly those Canadians who garner their living or part of their living through trapping.

There are more than 65,000 Canadians who work in different sectors of the fur trade. The fur trade contributes $800 million to the Canadian economy, including over half, $450 million, to our export markets.

Some of the world's top designers are using fur in their collections. Fur garments are a sought-after status symbol for wealthy customers in China, Russia, and South Korea. In fact, the Canada-Korea free trade agreement will remove border taxes from mink, many farmed, which will provide Canadian exporters with a new edge in this emerging market.

Our aboriginal and many non-aboriginal trappers use the pelts of fur-bearing animals for their living, and for the Canadian fur industry, which is beginning once again to thrive in our country.

The value of hunting, fishing, and trapping in this country is over $10 billion a year, and I believe that I am underestimating that significantly. As an outdoorsman, I can vouch for the many organizations to which we belong, and there is no group of people in this country who are greater conservationists than hunters and anglers. I dare say that we are stewards of the environment and recognize the need for ongoing conservation and restoration.

I would like to thank a few of the organizations that have supported this bill, communicated with me, and encouraged me to continue on in the second time around for the bill.

I want to recognize the Alberta Fish & Game Association, the BC Wildlife Federation, the Delta Waterfowl Foundation, Friends of Fur, the Canadian Outdoors Network, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Fur Institute of Canada, the Hunting for Tomorrow Foundation, the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters, All-Party Outdoor Caucus, the Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus, the P.E.I. Wildlife Federation, the Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Federation, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, Wildlife Habitat Canada, Safari Club International, and the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association. I also want to recognize the member for Yukon, of course, and his great support of this bill, as well as many members of Parliament both on this side of the House and on the other.

I echo the Speech from the Throne in stating:

Since Canada’s earliest days, our economy has been built on our abundant natural resources. Directly and indirectly, the natural resource sector employs 1.8 million Canadians, many in skilled, high-paying jobs. Resource development generates $30 billion annually in revenue that supports health care, education, and programs that Canadians cherish.

These activities of hunting, fishing, and trapping help contribute to the other natural resources that I have just specified.

Economic action plan 2014 proposes to provide an additional $15 million over 2 years to extend the recreational fisheries conservation partnership program. This program brings partners together to support the common goal of conserving and protecting Canada's recreational fisheries.

This bill has all-party support, as well as the support of every provincial and regional outdoor federation across this great country of ours. It is crucial to honour the heritage of those who have gone before us and bring special recognition to those who participate in hunting, trapping, and fishing today.

Please join me in supporting my bill so that every third Saturday of September will be known as Canada's national hunting, trapping and fishing heritage day.

Petitions April 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition asking for the creation of a legislative ombudsman mechanism for responsible mining.

Petitions April 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have another petition on fair election representation.

Petitions April 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is about Bill C-18 and farmers being able to keep the seeds they have purchased.

Petitions April 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have a few petitions.

The first one says that during the darkest days of the war in the Pacific, the British special operations executive asked the Canadian government for Chinese-Canadian volunteers to train for a covert mission that would place them behind Japanese enemy lines to seek out Chinese resistance fighters to help train them for the Allies, to defeat the Japanese. Many prisoners of war were saved because of this.

National Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing Heritage Day April 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, later today I will rise in the House to address my private member's bill, Bill C-501, which would designate the third Saturday in September each year as Canada's national hunting, trapping, and fishing heritage day.

Hunting, trapping and fishing historically set the tone and direction of our nation's economic and social development, as these activities were the first forms of trade and currency.

The purpose of this bill is twofold: to honour the heritage of those who have gone before us and to bring special recognition and encouragement to those who participate in hunting, trapping, and fishing today.

These activities are part of my family's heritage, and I encourage all my fellow Canadians to explore this wonderful country of ours by getting outdoors and doing a little fishing and hunting.

I ask all the hon. members here today to continue supporting this bill.

Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act March 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, from a trade perspective and from a trade agreement perspective, we are going to leave no stone unturned.

We are not only helping, as I previously mentioned to the NDP member, to bolster the lives of the people in that country. We have to be a little on the selfish side here. We have to think about the jobs Canadians depend on.

Whether it is the Philippines or Korea or any country, we will engage in free trade agreements with the rest of the world. We will write into those agreements labour and environmental agreements that will go to not only improving the lives of Canadians, through the jobs and benefits that derive from free trade, but to the benefits and jobs and human rights issues we have talked about in this House. We will only get there when we improve the livelihoods of everyone in the world. I believe that free trade among countries and bringing other countries closer to our standards will do that very thing.