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Conservative MP for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley (Nova Scotia)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 52.50% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Social Development October 30th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre. She is a highly effective member and again she is on the right track.
Statistics Canada says that of the 46% that do use some form of child care, approximately a third uses daycare centres, another third uses home daycares, and the remaining third uses private arrangements. We are on the right track. It is a flexible system. We support the universal child care benefit.
If the opposition gets the chance, it is going to take that benefit away from moms and dads across this country. It should get on board and support our plan for child care.
Social Development October 30th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, here is what that report actually said. It said, “that's really impressive. It’s better than the majority of other countries did during the recession.”
UNICEF also commented that our national child care benefit “kept money in circulation”. It said, “money goes to poorer families, and that tends to be spent on children and then it kept money circulating in the economy as well.... That kind of investment in children is so important.”
That is what UNICEF said. We are on the right track.
The Environment October 20th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the Department of the Environment works and will continue to work in close partnership with other federal departments and other levels of government as well as the private sector and international organizations to reduce the frequency and consequences of oil spills on the marine environment.
We will strive to prevent such incidents, place emphasis on preparedness, provide response and recovery advice, and work to advance emergency science and technology.
If an environmental emergency were to occur, Environment Canada's National Environment Emergency Centre is ready 24 hours a day and seven days a week to provide scientific and technical advice when required. We are in a position to tailor our advice to the unique conditions of any emergency.
The Environment October 20th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to participate in this debate.
I would like to reassure the member that the Government of Canada is committed to protecting the safety and security of both Canadians and the Canadian environment.
Let me first provide the member with some background about the project. The Belledune rail terminal and transfer system project consists of buildings and infrastructure required to receive petroleum products by rail, store them on site, and load them onto marine vessels for shipment through Belledune's terminal 2.
A science-based environmental assessment review of the project was undertaken by the Province of New Brunswick. The environment department was given the opportunity to comment on environmental emergencies, oil spill prevention, preparedness and response, potential spills at sea, dredge materials, migratory birds, wildlife species at risk, and air quality. Those comments were offered for consideration in the planning, construction, and operation of the proposed project.
The disposal of dredged spoils into the sea would require the proponent to contact Environment Canada to verify whether such a permit is required under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
I would also like to mention that under the government's responsible resource development plan, rigorous environmental protection measures are being implemented to ensure the sustainable development of our natural resources. This includes ensuring the protection of the environment at the proposed Belledune rail terminal and transfer system.
The government has already taken major steps to enhance an already robust oil tanker safety system regime and created a world-class regime that protects both coastal communities and our environment.
As the member may know, Environment Canada has a mandate to protect the environment from emergency pollution incidents and takes water pollution very seriously. Environment Canada enforces strong environmental laws, such as the Fisheries Act, and this government would enforce any laws or regulations that may have been violated as a result of a spill and ensure that the parties responsible would take responsibility to remedy any damage.
Employment October 20th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, we believe in a targeted approach that encourages all Canadians to train for the jobs that are going to be there in the future. Jobs should, wherever possible, go to qualified locals such as youth and aboriginal people.
In the last budget, as I said in my previous remarks, we invested a great deal in resources to help train people for available jobs. I would ask the member, when we bring these initiatives forward, can we count on his support to vote for those resources being allocated to train people in northern Ontario so they will be trained and ready for those jobs when those jobs come to fruition?
The Ring of Fire holds tremendous economic promise for aboriginal communities, for the Mattawa First Nations of northern Ontario in particular. That is why we support aboriginal people in gaining the skills needed in a rapidly growing mining industry through partnerships such as the one we have with the KKETS, Noront Resources Ltd, and the Confederation College in Thunder Bay, which includes a total of $5.9 million in funding.
Any employer who wishes to use the temporary foreign worker program must comply with strict criteria to ensure that Canadians will have first crack at those jobs. We stand behind that.
Employment October 20th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the simple answer to that question is yes. I can assure the hon. member that Canadians will always be considered first for projects in the Ring of Fire. Any employers asking to use the temporary foreign worker program will be required to show that these workers are being hired as a limited and last resort, a requirement that applies to all employers who apply for this program.
It is completely unacceptable that Ontario's youth unemployment rate hovers between 16% and 17%, nearly three percentage points higher than the national average, but I also think we would be taking a short-sighted view if we believe that banning all temporary foreign workers from our work sites would somehow magically lower the unemployment rate among our youth.
There is no doubt that the Ring of Fire in the mineral-rich James Bay lowlands in northern Ontario holds much promise for Canada and Ontario. Let us take a look at these facts. There are many challenges associated with the Ring of Fire mining development, not the least of which is the difficulty of accessing remote areas and a serious shortage of infrastructure such as roads, rail lines and broadband capacity. Addressing these deficits will require highly skilled people, from heavy equipment operators to engineers, from pipefitters to Internet technicians.
The true issue then is what we can do to ensure that Canadians, including youth, can take full advantage of the job opportunities when they arise. The economic action plan provides an answer. In the last federal budget, we announced that our government is creating more opportunities for apprentices and supporting under-represented groups including youth. That is one reason we introduced the Canada job grant. It will help more people benefit from valuable skills training and allow more employers to develop the skilled workforce they need to keep contributing to the economic success of this country and Ontario.
We are also introducing the Canada apprentice loan. This is estimated to help at least 26,000 apprentices each and every year. Connecting Canadians to the skilled training they need to fill available jobs is one of the best ways we can address labour shortages and fill the skills gap.
In addition, just last year in the member's riding of Thunder Bay—Superior North, we announced a $5.9 million contribution to KKETS employment training services so that aboriginal people in the Ring of Fire can get the skills and training they need to find good-quality, high-paying jobs in the mining industry, jobs such as heavy equipment operators, underground diamond drillers and environmental monitors. This investment in training is urgently needed in a region where over 40% of the employers said they could not fill a job due to a shortage of qualified people.
I will repeat, any employer who wishes to use the temporary foreign worker program must comply with strict criteria to ensure that Canadians will have first crack at all available jobs. We will continue to pursue significant reforms to the temporary foreign worker program to ensure that employers make greater efforts to recruit and train Canadians. This program is to be used as a last and limited resort only when Canadians are not available.
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act October 10th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, this has been a huge and impactful issue for young people in my riding of Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley. As a former school principal, I have seen first hand the damage that cyberbullying can do, and continues to do, to our young people. Unfortunately, in my riding we have had over four young people commit suicide, in part or in full due to cyberbullying because they were being tortured online, sometimes by adults, sometimes by peers within their own school community.
I had the opportunity to sit with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness a couple of summers ago and with the parents of children who had committed suicide due to ongoing persecution online, many times by their peers.
We absolutely have to take hold of this issue. I give credit to the minister for bringing this legislation forward. It is very needed. I am proud of the fact our government has stood in support of our young people across the country.
Would the hon. member inform the House why it is so important that we pass this legislation as quickly as possible so we can step up and protect our children?
Government Programs October 10th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Employment and Social Development announced that the Canada job grant applications were now available in Alberta, and the same thing was occurring in the Northwest Territories. We are getting the job done. This is a terrific program.
Over the next 10 years, we will need over 300,000 new construction workers in Canada, 150,000 new workers in the petroleum sector and 145,000 in the mining sector.
The Canada job grants can deliver guaranteed jobs at the end of this training. It is a good program. Those members should be on board.
Housing October 10th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, this government is making record investments in low-income housing across the country. We have initiated a new policy called housing first. Just imagine, now people who are homeless can get a home and when they then apply for jobs and have to fill in their addresses, they can fill in actual addresses. Imagine how much stronger that is going to make those applications.
We are supporting people who get jobs. That is the best social program. We are supporting housing in this country. We are getting the job done.
The Economy October 10th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the anti-trade NDP is at it again. Yesterday, the NDP attempted to gut the Canada-Korea free trade agreement. It tried to remove the investor protection provision from that agreement. This is something that is contained in almost every modern free trade agreement worldwide.
Not surprisingly, the Liberal trade critic did not show up to help stop the NDP's anti-trade agenda. Then, again, she has not attended a trade meeting in the ten months since she was appointed as the critic.
While the Liberals and the NDP are playing hooky, our Conservative government is focused on what matters to Canadians, which is growing the economy and helping to create jobs. Since coming to office, our Conservative government has created almost 20% more jobs on a per capita basis than its closest competitor. In fact, Statistics Canada just announced today an increase of 74,000 net new jobs in September. The majority of those jobs are full-time jobs.
Only the Conservative Prime Minister and the Conservative government will stand up for the economy of this country.