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Track Robert

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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is environmental.

Conservative MP for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 63.10% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Grains and Oilseed Industry October 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the grains and oilseeds sector is a significant contributor to the Canadian economy which remains the top priority for our government.

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced an investment of $15 million to the Canadian International Grains Institute to support market development efforts and sales of Canadian field crops in global markets through customer education and training.

This investment will support the Canadian International Grains Institute ongoing efforts to share technical and market knowledge with customers around the globe, further strengthening the competitive advantage for Canadian field crops. This will be achieved through technical exchanges, new crop missions, educational programs for global clients and domestic training.

While our government continues to support our farmers, the opposition would rather introduce a carbon tax to hinder Canada's competitive advantage in the grains and oilseeds sector.

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I listened with amazement to the speeches of the New Democrats. It must be nice to be on planet NDP.

The New Democrats say that there are not enough jobs and that people are struggling for survival. One of his colleagues said that there was too much oil being shipped on the St. Lawrence and that the shipping should be reduced. They sneer at natural resource jobs, calling them hewers of wood and drawers of water. I represent a constituency of hewers of wood and drawers of water and they are very proud of what they do. They work very hard. We represent the working person here. Those members do not.

Given that the New Democrats claim to represent the working person and many union pension plans are invested in natural resource industries, which they claim to detest, does he have the intestinal fortitude to recommend that union pension plans reduce their holdings of natural resource industries to zero?

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my colleague from Winnipeg North, who made some excellent points. He opened the door to a question I always want to ask.

Knowing that their economic policies have failed completely and knowing that their socialist left wing ideology has failed, which happened when the Berlin Wall fell, what the New Democrats have done, through their politicization of the environment and science, is look around for something and they settled on the environment.

I have never heard such a rambling, incoherent, disconnected speech on the environment from my colleague in my entire life. She went from ballast water to de-icing fluid, on and on, completely misrepresenting and misunderstanding the situation itself.

Why is her party supporting a motion against this project long before the proposal has even been approved or any assessment has been done?

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, earlier in this debate, it was noted that the refineries in eastern Canada are supplied by many countries, some in the Middle East that have very questionable human rights records. The energy east program and the development of these pipelines to eastern Canada would displace this offshore oil with Canadian feedstock.

Could my hon. friend, who is from the legal profession and understands the notion of human rights extremely well, talk about the importance of replacing this kind of oil with oil from domestic sources?

Public Safety October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is standing up for safe and sensible firearms policies, and I was pleased to see the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness introduce the commonsense firearms licensing act this week.

For too long, hunters, farmers, trappers, and sport shooters have been treated as second-class citizens due to failed Liberal policies.

Could the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness please update the House on what our Conservative government is doing to cut red tape for law-abiding firearms owners?

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I strongly agree with my Liberal colleague across the way. If refineries were to be expanded in Canada, they already would have been built. Refining is a low-margin, highly expensive business. For my colleague to insist that we have to value add every export product we have, that is like saying we will not export wheat out of western Canada, only bread, which is clearly ridiculous.

In the member's comments about the natural resource industry and those big, evil energy companies and oil corporations, I hope she realizes that about 450,000 families from right across the country, some in her constituency, are supported by the Alberta oil sands industry. Why is she so against the workers who make their livelihoods in the natural resources and energy industries?

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have a quick comment on wind energy and its environmental soundness. I guess my friend has not heard about the thousands and thousands of bird strikes caused by wind turbines, which is a clear negative environmental impact.

I would like to focus on something the NDP leader said. As early as 2012, in a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto, the Leader of the Opposition called the shipment of western oil to eastern Canada, a “pro-business, common sense solution”. I just saw a pig fly.

Just a few weeks ago, while attempting to clarify the NDP's position on energy east, the member for Terrebonne—Blainville said, “We simply haven't taken a position yet. We will wait for the project to be submitted to the National Energy Board to do the homework and properly study the file. Then we'll made our position clear”.

Why has the NDP put forward a motion to reject the project prior to its submission to the National Energy Board?

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier in the House today, this is a clear example of the NDP's anti-resource development bias. The New Democrats want every natural resource development project in the country stopped, and this one is no exception. They go on and on saying that they want this condition, that they want the environment protected. All those things will be considered in due course during the environmental assessment process. Then they say that they want the project rejected, even before the project has been proposed. It is clearly ridiculous.

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is very important to be precise about what information was provided to the Quebec court.

DFO informed the Government of Quebec that it considered this work and the proposed mitigation measures did not violate the federal Species at Risk Act or the Fisheries Act.

This is a list of the information provided in this case: analysis under the federal Species at Risk; impact of underwater noise generated by the geotechnical study of the Beluga in the area of the point of Gros-Cacouna project; analysis under the federal Species at Risk Act; analysis of the proposed project geotechnical investigation; results of all previous work; results of various previous studies on the impact of noise on aquatic environment; and scientific response 2014/020 impact of geophysics Cacouna Harbour on the St. Lawrence belugas.

If that is not enough information, I do not know what is.

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am very well aware of the difference in beluga populations across Canada, having done fisheries and marine mammal work in the eastern Arctic myself over a number of years.

Of course species depend on their habitats. One of the key measures that we use is to ensure that any industrial activity is done under very strict guidelines, such as the 500-metre exclusion zone and those kinds of things.

For example, this summer I happened to be on Vancouver Island, on Georgia Strait. I saw whales, a lot of boating activity, and whale-watching tours, and they are all conducted under the same rules. The whales are fine, and the whale-watching industry is fine. It is all about applying and enforcing the right standards so that we ensure both sustained economic development and sound environmental protection.