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  • 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

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, one of the things about the two parties opposite is that when they talk about budgeting, they primarily talk about spending. For them it is spend, spend, spend. They rarely, if ever, talk about the need to create a business climate that creates the wealth that runs our country.

Could my hon. colleague comment? Having been an entrepreneur in a previous life, he knows the importance of a sound business climate. Could he talk about the factors in our budget that go toward creating the business climate that we so desperately need in this country?

Firearms December 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our government is making reasonable and common-sense amendments to Canada's firearms laws. Bill C-42, the common sense firearms licensing act, would ensure that Canada's communities remain safe while reducing red tape.

Prior to the introduction of the bill, our laws had not been updated for over 20 years. The common-sense firearms licensing act would ensure mandatory safety training courses and would end needless and ineffective bureaucracy surrounding the authority to transport firearms to ranges, gunsmiths, and the firearm owner's home and property. It would prohibit the possession of firearms by individuals convicted of domestic violence and would ensure that the classification of firearms was accountable to the public and informed by independent expert advice.

However, all the opposition wants to do is fearmonger. The Liberal leader uses fear and dishonesty to make ridiculous and unfounded claims. Unfortunately, Canadians can expect nothing more from the party that brought in the long-gun registry and is itching to bring it back. Only our Conservative government will always stand up for Canada's law-abiding hunters, trappers, and sport shooters.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, when I was the environmental director at a paper mill many years ago, the regulatory process was extremely confusing. One never knew at any one time what kind of process the company would be in or not be in. It was at the whim of whoever happened to think they had jurisdiction at the time. There was the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act, and on and on.

The protection of fisheries and navigable waters and so on is all very important, but this can be done and is being done under our government through a streamlined process as part of our responsible resource development policies.

As I pointed out, almost all of Canada's environmental indicators are moving in the right direction. Focusing on process as opposed to focusing on environmental results gets us nowhere.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I was taken aback by my colleague's use of the word “supposed” environmental measures. The over 2,000 anglers who worked on our recreational fisheries conservation program would be mildly offended by that particular word. This government does real, on-the-ground, concrete environmental work that generates real results.

I should point out to the member opposite that on our watch as a government, almost all of Canada's environmental indicators have improved. Quite frankly, that is the only thing that counts.

What is actually happening out there in terms of air quality, water quality, and biodiversity is that they are all going in the right direction. However, we certainly realize that we still have some work to do.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed an honour for me to stand in the House in support of Bill C-43, the economic action plan, 2014, the second budget implementation act.

I represent the great constituency of Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette. It is a natural resources and agricultural constituency, and my remarks will be focusing on those sectors.

First, I would like to talk about Canada's overall economy, which is doing extraordinarily well in a tough and difficult world economy. Our unemployment rate is at 6.5%, and 1.2 million net new jobs have been created since July 2009.

There have been 180 tax cuts. GST has gone from 7% to 6% to 5% under our watch. A family of four, right now, saves $3,400 per year, money in their pockets.

The previous speaker implied that if a dollar did not go to the government, it was not a good dollar. We believe the more dollars that families have in their pockets, the better off they are and the better off we are as a country.

Our budget is on track to be balanced, the first in the G7 to do so. At 39%, our debt-to-GDP ratio is the lowest in the G20. By contrast, Japan and Italy have debt-to-GDP ratios over 100%. Our economy is on track to grow, thrive and indeed survive in a very tough world. Bloomberg rates Canada as simply the best place to do business.

My constituency has many small businesses in it. I want to focus for a minute on the small business job credit. This credit would lower small business payroll taxes by 15% for the next two years. It would result in savings of approximately $550 million to small businesses over those years. Again, in my constituency, the small business sector is very significant, and this job credit is very important.

We have frozen EI premiums to provide certainty and flexibility for small businesses. We are cutting red tape. We have reduced the small business tax rate from 12% to 11%. We have increased the small business limit to $500,000. The results are clear.

A typical small business, with $500,000 of taxable income, is seeing savings of approximately $28,600. In total, small businesses have seen their taxes reduced by 34% since 2006.

This bill also ends pay-to-pay billing, giving the Business Development Bank of Canada more flexibility to help small and medium-sized enterprises. Intellectual property has been modernized. More power has been given to the CRTC to encourage compliance in the telecom industry.

I would like to focus on the budget dealing with the environment.

I happen to have the honour of serving on the environment committee. My chair is sitting right in front of me, the member for Kitchener—Conestoga, and my able chair from the fisheries committee is also here, the member for Saint John. Both are vying strongly for chair of the year.

I am making light of that right now, but fisheries and the environment are very near and dear to my heart. When one looks at the government's environmental record, it is clearly second to none. We do not simply just talk about the environment. We actually do concrete, on-the-ground environmental projects and remediation. For example, we are protecting Canada's national parks by providing over $390 million to make improvements to highways, bridges and dams located in our parks.

I happen to have one of Canada's most beautiful national parks, Riding Mountain National Park, right smack dab in the middle of my constituency. My constituents are very much looking forward to the improvements that this fund will bring.

We are also, and this is a project that is near and dear to my heart as well, supporting conservation by investing an additional $15 million in the recreational fisheries conservation partnerships program to further support projects that support the conservation of recreational fisheries habitats. The results from this program have simply been overwhelming. When this first round of funding is spent, there will be almost 400 fisheries conservation projects conducted and completed right across the country. We are talking about 2,000 kilometres of shoreline and 2.4 million square metres of stream habitat restored and conserved.

Again, what makes this program so successful, and this is how Conservatives deal with the environment, is that for every dollar that we spend on the recreational fisheries conservation partnerships program, an additional $2.25 is spent by outside groups as partnerships.

This is a remarkable achievement not by the government alone, but by those hundreds of fisheries conservation groups and anglers groups right across the country from coast to coast to coast. The kinds of projects that have been done, like in the Maritimes, in Ontario, in Quebec and in British Columbia, again, are by local people doing local projects, helping their local environments. That is the way we do environmental conservation, and the results speak for themselves.

We are improving and expanding Canada's snowmobile and recreational trails by investing $10 million to improve trails across the country. We are encouraging the donations of ecologically sensitive land by making tax relief for such donations more generous and flexible. We are supporting family oriented conservation by providing $3 million to allow the Earth Rangers Foundation to expand its ongoing work with young people.

All this builds on our government's strong record of environmental conservation and protection, and our commitment to the national conservation plan.

Canada should be very proud of the national conservation plan. Not only are we creating more parks throughout the country, we have allocated $50 million for wetland conservation, something that is near and dear to my heart; $50 million would go for on-farm conservation initiatives; and $100 million will be spent under the national areas conservation plan, preserving and protecting Canada's fragile land on what we refer to as the “southern working landscape”.

In total, in terms of environmental conservation, real on-the-ground work, the results have been nothing short of remarkable.

Agriculture, which again is very important in my constituency, is the dominant economic activity of my constituents. Family farms are throughout my constituency and across the rural areas of Canada. Family farms are, quite simply, the backbone of country. For generations, our farmers have fed Canadians and the world, while providing jobs and opportunities across Canada. That is why economic action plan 2014 includes a number of measures to support Canada's farmers, as well as new innovations in agriculture, such as expanding tax deferral for livestock that are kept for breeding when sold due to drought or excess moisture, something that is very important. Again, as many in the House will know, Manitoba experienced severe floods in the last couple of years and my cattle producers, in particular, welcome this initiative.

We are supporting innovation and competitiveness in the agriculture sector by modernizing the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, including farmers' privilege, which allows farmers to save, condition and reuse seeds for planting on their own farms.

We will be introducing a new pilot price insurance program to provide cattle and hog producers in western Canada with insurance against unexpected price declines within a production cycle. Again, this will build on our record of supporting Canadian farmers and the agricultural sector since 2006.

Our track record is over $11 billion, including provincial and territorial contributions to farmers through business risk management programs; over $3 billion, including provincial and territorial contributions toward investments in innovation, competitiveness and market development; $500 million to establish the agriflexibility fund; $370 million to the hog industry to support debt restructuring to help sustain the industry through some very difficult times; nearly $350 million to help western grain farmers cover the costs of adjusting to operating in an open market; and $50 million to support increased slaughter capacity.

I am very proud to speak in favour of Bill C-43.

Criminal Code November 27th, 2014

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-637, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (firearms storage and transportation).

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to introduce my private member's bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code, firearms storage and transportation, for first reading this morning.

The bill would amend certain provisions of the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act in order to better define low-velocity barrelled weapons, which are not firearms.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Taxation November 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, thanks to our Conservative government's low-tax plan, Canada has created over 1.2 million net new jobs since the depths of the global recession.

However, the global economy remains fragile and the constituents in my riding of Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette know that we must stay the course with our low-tax plan for jobs and growth.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please update the House on what the world is saying about Canada's economy?

Petitions November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to present a petition signed by hundreds of Canadians supporting our government's common sense firearms licensing act. These Canadians are proud that our government is standing up for hunters and law-abiding gun owners through these reasonable updates that would reduce red tape while keeping our communities safe.

The petitioners call upon the government to pass the common sense firearms licensing act.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act November 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we applaud the leaders and members of all religious communities who are confronting these kinds of activities. They deserve our praise and honour for what they do. I am sure the mosque the member visited acts in that particular manner. However, it is very important that we do everything we can to ensure that radicalization does not occur.

Again, I want to thank the cultural and religious communities in our country for stepping up to the plate and doing what needs to be done in this regard.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act November 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I think the current levels of oversight are adequate. It is important that there be oversight of security and police agencies. Our government has struck the right balance in that regard.