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Conservative MP for Parry Sound—Muskoka (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 55.70% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Access to Information November 17th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that the federal government has in fact increased its reaction, data, and access to information requests by 27%.
Over six million more pages were released last year. That is two million more pages than the year before. In fact, as a result of our new open data and open government action plan, we are going to put more information online and have more data available for citizens, researchers, entrepreneurs, and the public.
We are proud of our record.
Taxation November 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, as I said, PSP Investments, which is responsible for meeting the obligations with regard to federal government pensions accrued since 2000, operates at arm's length from the government. It is not part of the federal public administration. Its affairs are managed by a board of directors.
We expect investments to be done in compliance with laws, rules and regulations, in a transparent manner, while keeping in mind the best interests of its clients.
Taxation November 6th, 2014
Actually, Mr. Speaker, we have a strong record of getting tough on tax cheats. In fact, the CRA has audited more than 8,000 international tax cases, identifying over $5.6 billion in additional taxes, taxes that are being collected. We are being aggressive.
We are making sure that Canada has one of the most extensive tax treaty networks in the world, with 92 tax treaties and 21 tax information exchange agreements in force.
Taxation November 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member well knows, this administration is at arm's length from the federal government. Its business and affairs are managed on a day-to-day level by a board of directors. That is how it works.
We on this side of the House expect that all investments should be done in compliance with laws, rules, and regulations in a transparent manner and to the greater benefit of the clients.
Performance Reports 2013-14 November 5th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of 92 departments and agencies, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the departmental performance reports for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
I also invite members to access the performance reports at tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr.
Public Accounts of Canada October 29th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to table today, in both official languages, the Public Accounts of Canada 2014.
The Government of Canada is committed to strong financial management and reporting to ensure accountability and transparency. For yet another year, the Auditor General of Canada has provided an unqualified audit opinion of the Government of Canada's financial statements, and we can be justifiably proud of this record.
Public Safety October 23rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a very trying day for many public servants, who, in the face of a situation that none of us had ever contemplated, still worked on the public's behalf and on parliamentarians' behalf.
We have been in constant communication with the public service to keep them up to date on the situation as it arose yesterday and as it will arise in the future. We will continue to do that.
I believe that every public servant should expect that he or she has the ability and the right to work in an environment that is secure and free and free of potential violence.
Military Contribution Against ISIL October 7th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, that is a very important question. That is the point we are at right now. Today, there are people in that region who want individuals from Canada, the United States and Great Britain to join in the fight against us. That is the current situation. I think that there needs to be a clear response. Our responsibility is to take immediate action before this becomes a situation that we are unable to respond to.
Therefore, we have to respond now before the situation gets further out of control. I say it again in English. The situation that members are worried about is happening now. They are recruiting. They are getting more adherents, and we have to degrade the possibility of that occurring in the future.
Military Contribution Against ISIL October 7th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am splitting my time with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development.
I am rising to participate in this very important debate. It has been called historic by other members of this chamber and I think it is. When we are dealing with a situation where we are putting people who serve our country in harm's way, we do have to have a considered debate. Incidentally there has been more debate about this in this chamber prior to action than there was during the Afghanistan mission at the inception of that mission.
We take it seriously. To those who say and I have heard the words “naive” and “not serious”, and so on, for us on this side this is very serious. We go into this situation with our eyes open, knowing full well that this is a complicated situation, absolutely. This is a situation that requires a lot of coordinated activity, but it also requires clarity of thought and attention. This is where we perhaps diverge from the hon. members who insist on voting against this resolution.
From our perspective there is a general consensus in the halls of the United Nations, but also throughout the halls of democratic society and in the neighbours around the affected area, that something has to be done. I would only say this to the hon. members opposite. If we do not act in this situation, when are we supposed to act? If we are not to act with these people being affected by positively medieval tactics, whether it is beheadings, the potential genocide, raping, murdering, if we do not act in this situation, when do opposition members propose that Canada acts? When is it appropriate to act? If we cannot act in this situation, then it seems to be the logical conclusion of the other side that there is no situation that is serious enough to act upon.
I believe that Canadians think differently on this for probably two main reasons. They think differently because Canadians are generous people and compassionate people. They understand that there are people on the other side of the world who are under dire threat. In fact they have already been affected by this. There have been murders, rapes and the potential genocidal situations that have already occurred in this environment. They look to help and that is why there is a significant portion of our expenditure that will be in the humanitarian area where we can help.
However, Canadians also expect this chamber, particularly the government side but also a majority of the opposition side to be concerned about potential threats to and against Canadians. Canadians understand that this is not just some faraway place about which they know nothing. They understand that whatever happens over there tends to have an impact over here at some point. They understand that part of our role and responsibility, not only as a government but as a chamber that represents the democratic impulse and pulse of Canada, is that it is our duty to consider these issues, to come to a conclusion that will better protect Canadians from these forces of decivilization, from forces that seek to create some form of caliphate in their own mind, which not only has a dire impact on their own subjects and has the potential of having a similar or greater impact on people in close neighbourhood but also around the world.
This is a time to act. This is a time to take our responsibility seriously and it is a time to heed not only the warnings but the call for others in high power and authority, such as our allies, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, others who are helping in a kinetic and real way, to be part of this coalition. We understand this is not a simple situation, but there is clarity in the activity, the intention, the motivation, and of course, the end result that we would like to see.
This is important, too. This is a carefully calibrated mission. This is not rushing, as fools rush in. This is taking some of our assets, particularly our air and refuelling assets, and contributing to the coalition. Ultimately, we would be assisting in a defined mission for a defined timetable that would have a defined impact.
What would that impact be? The impact would simply be the degradation of the targets' assets, with the targets being this ISIL-ISIS metastasizing organization. It would be the degradation of its ability to attack us, to attack our citizens, to attack our allies and their citizens, and to render anarchy and a truly medieval situation in a part of the world where its neighbours are afraid of it, and for good reason. It would be the degradation of its ability to have an impact on citizens, either of their own religion or of other religions, who simply want the ability to live in peace.
That is the mission. The containment that is possible has been judged by our Chief of the Defence Staff and by our allies to be a doable mission in that period of time.
No one is saying that ISIL or ISIS is going away any time soon or that it is going to be eradicated from the picture any time soon. We understand that, but we also understand activity of the sort that the House is contemplating can have a real impact on ISIL's ability to project itself in an obviously disastrous and horrifying way on citizens in that area and citizens here in Canada.
That is not too much to ask of the House.
Yes, this is a mission that has risk. We take the assessment of that risk seriously and with the forethought that the brave women and men who have volunteered to represent their country and our forces have a very important job to do. Even though we are on different sides of the House, I hope that we are on the same side on this issue. We wish them success. We wish them Godspeed. We wish that the mission can be accomplished as soon as possible and as effectively as possible, with as little impact in terms of tragedy as humanly possible. We wish that.
The burden is great on this chamber. The chamber is debating an issue of Canadian Forces in a place that is far away. However, we have a duty not only to our constituents and fellow citizens but quite frankly to future generations as well to make the right decision, to make a good decision, and to make a considered decision that will have a positive impact for future generations. That is why I will be voting in favour of this resolution.
Military Contribution Against ISIL October 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for sharing his perspective in this place. It is a perspective that is obviously very different from the government's perspective.
I think that when we look at the history of Canadian involvement in situations that require a coordinated effort from the world, Canadians have been able to do things on a multi-tasking basis, if we want to use the modern term. They have been able to provide nation-building support, provide humanitarian support, provide the kind of advice that is important on the ground. These things we can do.
However, this situation, as the hon. minister has pointed out, is beyond that. Now we are at a point, a tipping point, perhaps different from where you were when visiting there in 2009 and 2010.
The question is, why can we not do both? Why can we not answer the call to be there with our forces in the air and do the things that you want to do as well?