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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

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.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act November 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, again the members opposite, the NDP socialist party, always make excuses for terrorists. They do not call them terrorists. They use convoluted language all the time to somehow excuse what these evil people do. The difference between us as Conservatives and the far left or the left over there is that we believe that evil exists and evil needs to be confronted. That is what we are doing with our actions and our legislation.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act November 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Edmonton Centre.

It is a great privilege for me to stand today to speak to Bill C-44, the protection of Canada from terrorists act. As we have heard in these debates, the bill includes amendments to the CSIS Act and technical amendments to the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act. My remarks today will focus on the amendments to the CSIS Act and why we must take steps to give this vital agency the tools it needs to conduct investigations outside of Canada related to threats to the security of Canada itself.

First, I would like to speak to the global terrorist threat, its impact here at home, and the steps Canada is taking to address that threat. Acts of terror and murder have been carried out across the globe by extremist groups that have no regard for the lives of innocent people. In fact, as we all witnessed in the past weeks, Canada was a victim of two terrorist attacks within the span of one week. Due to radical Islamist terrorism, we lost two fine soldiers, Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was laid to rest this past weekend.

Terrorists kill people from all walks of life, including people from communities they claim to represent. Significant work has been done over the last decade, particularly since September 11, 2001, to counter terrorist activities. Canada has been a leader in global counterterrorism efforts. We have seen citizens and civil society organizations representing people of all faiths and beliefs work among themselves and with our government to prevent terrorism by building stronger and more resilient communities.

All of these measures are captured within the four pillars of Canada's counterterrorism strategy: prevent, detect, deny and respond. That strategy will serve us well on the difficult road we face ahead as our Canadian Armed Forces engage in a campaign to degrade and destroy the threat that ISIL poses to western civilization, and it is a threat to western civilization.

Indeed, our security agencies have been monitoring groups such as al Qaeda and ISIL closely for years and we have taken concrete measures to disrupt and prevent violent and extremist activities. This takes a comprehensive approach. While we join our allies in air strikes, we are also taking other measures that are working to isolate ISIL and deny it and its partners resources, including funds and new recruits. Let me explain.

As we know, terrorists need money, media access, weapons and explosives, among other resources, to sustain themselves. We want to make sure that all groups that would assist terrorist organizations are restricted from doing so. Preventing terrorists from using the global financial system to commit their acts of terror is essential to help suppress these groups. Therefore, we have certain provisions under the Criminal Code that we can use to deal with the assets and operations of groups that support terrorist activities.

Listing an entity under the Criminal Code is a public means of identifying a group or individual as being associated with terrorism. It carries significant consequences. Once listed, an entity's assets are frozen and may be subject to seizure, restraint or forfeiture. Further, it is an offence for Canadians at home or abroad to knowingly participate in or contribute to, directly or indirectly, any activity that facilitates the activities of a listed terrorist entity.

We know that terrorist groups are inspiring some westerners to take up arms with their cause. In order to reach these individuals and guard against these tactics, we work closely with diverse communities, including through the cross-cultural round table on security. We are working with leaders and communities right across the country to help engage Canadians in a long-term dialogue on matters related to national security, particularly in countering violent extremism.

Through the round table, we have reached out to hundreds of respected cultural and religious leaders who have their fingers on the pulses of their communities. These leaders have been integral in helping law enforcement and security agencies address threats and identify the best ways to reach individuals who may be leaning toward violent behaviour and to redirect them from pathways of radicalization leading to violence. However, the rapid changes in technology, the ease of communications, and mobility of terrorist travellers have created new and complex challenges for Canada and all of our allies as we work to keep our citizens safe.

As in other countries, despite everyone's best efforts, a small but significant number of individuals have left Canada to join terrorist groups in the Middle East. Denying ISIL its new recruits also means using Canadian law to crack down on these so-called extremist travellers. We brought forward the Combating Terrorism Act to make it an offence to leave Canada to take part in terrorist acts. We have laws in place to revoke the passports of Canadians who travel abroad to join extremist groups.

Both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness have stated clearly that our government will continue to look at ways to help our national security agencies investigate and track the activities of terrorists at our borders and beyond. One of these ways is the legislation that is before us today to amend the existing CSIS Act so that we are better able to provide CSIS with the tools it needs to investigate threats to the security of Canada, wherever they occur, and ultimately to protect the security of Canadians.

It is important to note that the CSIS Act was created three decades ago. That was in the age of rotary phones, when our world was under the shadow of the Cold War. This act is in need of updates and upgrades that would confirm CSIS' authority to investigate Canadian extremists and other threats abroad. That is why I urge the House to support the bill that is before us today.

The protection of Canada from terrorists act would confirm that CSIS has the authority to operate outside Canada when investigating threats to the security of Canada or conducting investigations for the purpose of security assessments, and that the Federal Court has the authority to issue warrants authorizing CSIS to conduct activities outside of Canada without regard to the laws of other states. This new legislation would also reinforce CSIS' statutory authority to investigate threats abroad and to ensure that judges would only need to consider relevant Canadian law, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the CSIS Act, and not foreign laws when issuing a warrant.

Clearly there are a number of ways our government protects the safety and security of Canada against terrorism, but first we must ensure that we have the right tools in place for our security intelligence agency to do so. There is no time to waste. We must amend the CSIS Act and allow this vital agency to continue its work. I urge members of the House to join me in supporting the bill.

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?