House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was system.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Conservative MP for Prince Albert (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 2006, with 54% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Queensway Carleton Hospital October 21st, 2005

You are doing it for golf courses.

Criminal Code October 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, this individual must have gone to a different law school than I did. If a person is caught for speeding, the Crown proves in court from the reading of the car that the driver was going 80 miles per hour in a 60 mile per hour zone. The Crown sits down, having proven its case. If the accused has a valid reason for driving 80 miles per hour, the defence lawyer introduces a case and makes the argument.

If a person is found with a vehicle on which the VIN has been removed, comes into court and it is proven that the offence has been committed and the VIN is off the vehicle, that has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If the individual feels that he has a justifiable reason for having it removed from his vehicle, it is then up to his lawyer then to discharge his or her responsibility and introduce evidence for why it was justified.

What I have heard in this chamber today is truly astounding. If that is the depth of the intellect that is involved in creating the criminal justice system in this country, we are in for a whole lot of problems in this society, a whole lot of problems, because it is thin soup if I have ever seen it. Any law professor in this country giving the diatribe we heard today would be literally laughed out of the classroom.

The Criminal Code is full of provisions that shift the burden onto the accused at certain stages. That is as old as the hills too. It is old as the common law and the Magna Carta.

Forest Industry October 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, a recent $50 million forestry program is restricted to forestry communities in Quebec. The problems of the forestry industry affect hundreds of communities in all regions of Canada.

Excluding hundreds of communities like Prince Albert is just plain wrong. It is not standing up for Canadians.

Why is the Liberal-NDP coalition government designing forestry programs which exclude forestry communities like Prince Albert?

Forest Industry October 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, last week in Saskatoon the human resources minister said the announced closure of the Weyerhaeuser mill in Prince Albert was a provincial matter, yet this past Monday the government announced a plan to invest $50 million to help forestry communities.

I have two questions for the minister. Does the federal government have a responsibility toward forestry communities, yes or no? Second, will the city of Prince Albert be able to access this special $50 million fund?

Softwood Lumber October 5th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, that answer underscores the government's inability to stand up for Canadian communities that are under stress.

I ask the finance minister, who has trouble standing up for communities once in a while too, why he is not introducing the promised tax cuts so large employers, like Weyerhaeuser, can be competitive in a globally competitive market. Is he afraid that he will lose the support of the man sitting in the far corner over there, the leader of the NDP?

Softwood Lumber October 5th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, Weyerhaeuser is one of Saskatchewan's largest employers. Yesterday, Weyerhaeuser announced that it will be closing the paper mill in Prince Albert. Six hundred and ninety jobs will be lost directly and thousands will be out of work indirectly.

Prince Albert now joins a long list of communities that have been devastated by the softwood lumber dispute. The Prime Minister is failing forestry communities across the country.

Why is the Prime Minister ignoring a crisis that is destroying literally hundreds of Canadian communities and now is hitting the city of Prince Albert?

Agriculture September 30th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, farmers in my constituency were preparing to harvest one of their very best crops until flooding completely drowned out any such hope. This is yet another shock to farmers who over the past four years have experienced two devastating droughts, a devastating frost and BSE.

CAIS provides no relief after 12 years. Why does the government not have a program that provides real assistance to farmers when such disasters occur?

Civil Marriage Act June 28th, 2005

Madam Speaker, our mother country, Great Britain, has one principle in its constitution. It is the supremacy of Parliament. Out of that system, every right that is in the Charter of Rights, whether it is fundamental freedoms, criminal protections, democratic rights or equality provisions, all have roots in that British parliamentary system.

I find it offensive that the leader of the NDP would say to have the majority decide issues in this country is somehow wrong. I say that is part of our tradition. That is part of our British system. Almost all of those principles come from a system in which the majority rules.

The old principle of democracy is that a member of Parliament represents his constituents, but the New Democratic principle is members represent the position of the leader come hell or high water and members have no right to represent their constituents or--

Civil Marriage Act June 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the minister has a lot more education in the law than I have. I am a lawyer, a small-town country lawyer, and I guess sometimes we just do not see things as well as the academic people who live in ivory towers do.

If I understand his overarching message today, it is that Parliament must respect the Constitution in every detail and that somehow the Conservatives have this wrong. Last year in the election campaign, the Prime Minister made health care the centrepiece of his campaign. That is what we heard about: health care. Now in his media interviews he says he has accomplished a lot, that he has the cities agenda pushed through and he has early child learning is in place.

Maybe I got something wrong in our law school in Saskatchewan, where Howard McConnell was my constitutional law professor, but it is my understanding that under section 92 of our Constitution and other provisions, municipal government is the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces. Under the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces is health care and the exclusive jurisdiction over education is with the provinces.

I think the minister has to be honest in acknowledging that the government, through its spending power and other means, has invaded those areas of the Constitution. In my opinion, it has violated the spirit of that Constitution by doing so. This government spends more time invading provincial jurisdictions and evading the Constitution of this country than any other government we have had in our country. For the minister to preach about being a constitutional purist in the House of Commons really flies in the face of the record of the government.

Age of Consent June 27th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the member from British Columbia for bringing forward this very timely private member's bill. It is her first year in the House of Commons. She has been a very constructive and active member of the House of Commons and this is just another example of the fine work she has been doing as a member of Parliament.

Some of the Liberal and NDP members and some of Bloc members, I guess, would like to believe that 14 year olds are mature enough to make these sorts of decisions, that they are not children anymore, that they are almost like adults and they are free to make those decisions. What really flies in the face of that kind of logic, or lack of logic, is the whole area of the law. In its wisdom, the Liberal government said a long time ago that if people between the ages of 14 and 18 commit a criminal offence they have to be treated differently, not like the adult population. The government brought in the young offenders legislation and amendments and changes over the years, so that in dealing with criminal offences there are different age categories to be considered.

I noticed the other day in a confectionery that anyone who sells tobacco to someone under the age of 19 will face a $4,000 fine. I think it is the Liberal government in Ontario that put this law in place; someone under 19 getting tobacco is so serious that we have to impose a $4,000 fine on anyone who sells it. In some jurisdictions the age to be able to drive an automobile is now 18. People have to be 18 years old to vote in a federal election. The Criminal Code actually imposes obligations on parents to provide the necessaries of life to a child up to a minimum of 16 years of age and most provincial jurisdictions impose that obligation up to the age of 18.

However, the Liberals, in their wisdom, say it is okay for a person 14 years old to get into a sexual relationship with an adult person, someone in their thirties or forties.

Let us look at a few examples. I think it is always good to look at examples. Members opposite find technicalities; they say this is too complicated, that we do not understand the technicalities.

In my constituency two or three years ago, three young men in their twenties picked up a 12 year old girl, gave her beer, drank with her, went out into the country and apparently had sexual intercourse with her. They were in their twenties and she was 12 years of age.

There were two separate trials. One man was convicted on the first go. The other two had a very prominent lawyer in Saskatchewan to defend them. He is a very good lawyer and he knows about the technicalities the Liberals are talking about. They are made for defence lawyers, who like Liberals because when the lawyers get into court the Liberals give them the cracks in the door to create reasonable doubt and so on so that their clients can walk out innocent.

The lawyer pounded away at one fact throughout the trial: that this girl looked a lot older than 12 years of age, that she could have been taken for a 14 year old or even a 15 year old. The lawyer pounded away at that issue. As well, the boys indicated that they thought she was over 14 years of age. It went to the jury. Let us guess what the jury did. I do not know what kind of reasoning the jury went through, but armed with this kind of law the Liberals have put into place, it came back with a not guilty verdict.

Fortunately, the Court of Appeal in Saskatchewan, in its wisdom, reversed that decision and has ordered a new trial, but where the second trial is going to go, I have no idea. There was a 12 year old girl who was seriously victimized because Parliament did not have laws in place to protect our young people.

Then we have people like the member for Mississauga South saying that this is too complicated, that the Conservatives do not understand the niceties. I can assure members that the prosecutor and the police officers involved in that case would not buy into the arguments presented by the member from the NDP, who was saying that the police, the prosecutors and everybody in this country are solidly behind the arguments those people over there are raising. That is total and absolute nonsense.

I practised law for 25 years in rural Saskatchewan before I came to this House. Back in the mid-1990s, just about everyone knew everyone in those rural communities. An excellent couple in their late thirties come to my office one day in tears; I knew that couple to be a very good family and outstanding members of their community. What was their story? They had come back from the RCMP. The RCMP had spent two or three days looking into their case and had told them they could not do anything for them.

Their daughter, 14 years old, had taken up a relationship with a person in his late forties. The parents were both in tears in my office. I said that the police had to be wrong. I said that I was not an expert in this area but I would look into it that evening, get back to them the next day and tell them that there had to be a remedy, that our lawmakers in this country, even Liberals, would provide parents with a tool or a remedy for that kind of abhorrent situation.

No, there was not. I went through all the law I could find. There was nothing there to help these people, not a single thing. There were more tears when I told them that. I was the messenger. When I practised law quite often I would get upset with the law because I was the messenger, the one always condemned for delivering the message.

However, it is people like the Liberal members of this government who have the power to make laws in this country that could help the police, society, parents and, more important, our young people in this country. The Liberals fail miserably on these counts. They come up with all these technical loophole arguments as their way of getting around this.

I am really disappointed with the member for Mississauga South. He has always advocated being a strong pro-family person, a person who is always strong on these issues. For him to today get up in this House and raise all these technical reasons as to why this bill should not move ahead is just absolutely shameful. I think his constituents should clearly understand where this guy really is coming from.

I want to raise another issue. It goes back to last year's election campaign. Unfortunately in that campaign a media release came out from the Conservative Party which insinuated or implied that Liberals and the Prime Minister were supportive of child pornography. I disagreed with the headline of that media release, but I think that once we take away the headline and read the text of the news release, the shoe definitely fits this Liberal government. It fits this Prime Minister.

This is not the first time that this type of motion has been before the House of Commons. What is the Prime Minister's voting record on this issue? What is the voting record of most of these Liberal members on this issue? They vote against changing the age from 14 to 16. They say that it is too complicated and we are oversimplifying things.

The Liberals supported an NDP budget bill. They just poured $4.6 billion into four nameless programs with no systems or plans for delivery and so on. With the stroke of a pen they just said that they would shell out $4.6 billion on those four programs and figure it out later. They said not to worry about technicalities or complications. However, what about giving parents like the people I am talking about the power to protect their children? What about giving the police that kind of power? I am inviting the Liberals to do the right thing here for once.

This has not been a good spring for anybody. This is one issue I think where right-minded people could get together, do the right thing and help our parents, our young people, our police, our society, our prosecutors and a whole lot more in our society.

We could get away from this neo-Liberal agenda of undermining family institutions and in society. That is the real hidden agenda in our country. It is the neo-Liberal agenda that is undermining our traditions, our long-standing institutions, our families, our police, our parents and our children in our society. That is the danger in our society.

Once Liberals have finished with the marriage bill, then who knows what the next thing is. They probably will go after our churches and take away their tax exemption status. They may even outlaw freedom of speech in those churches, if it has not done that already.