House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was police.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Conservative MP for Calgary Northeast (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2006, with 65% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House October 24th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

In accordance with the order of reference on Tuesday, June 6, your committee has considered Bill C-9, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conditional sentence of imprisonment), and agreed on Monday, October 23, to report it with amendments.

Justice September 18th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on an issue that should concern all of us: the growing acts of violence that take place in communities and neighbourhoods across the country.

On the morning of July 22, 2006 a vicious unprovoked attack took place in my constituency. A young man was brutally stabbed while walking from his home to a convenience store because he refused to buy drugs from a group of thugs trying to intimidate him. As a result, Tarek Williams quickly became another victim of the increasing gang problem.

Tarek was determined to attend the Canada Bible College, but the assault left him unable to work and save for his tuition. Almost immediately the community and its volunteers came forward and set a goal to raise the required funds to pay for his tuition in hopes that this young man would not have to put his academic ambitions on hold because of this terrible offence. I am pleased to say that thanks to great volunteers and the staff of my Calgary office we are only $440 away from reaching our goal.

On behalf of Tarek and his family, I thank Calgary for its generosity.

Justice June 22nd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, for years now, parents, grandparents, police and other organizations have sought tougher laws to curb the abusive activities of predators, pedophiles and pornographers.

For years these same criminals have escaped justice because of our low age of sexual consent. As a result, our families have suffered imaginable pain as their children were exploited, and authorities were often powerless to do anything about it.

Can the justice minister tell us what the government is doing to protect our children from these predators?

Committees of the House June 22nd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, an interim report with respect to the review of sections 25.1 to 25.4 of the Criminal Code, “Protection of Persons Administering and Enforcing the Law”.

Veterans Walls of Remembrance June 20th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, June 11 I was privileged to attend the unveiling of the Veterans Wall of Remembrance in Calgary.

Arbor Memorial Services and Memorial Gardens have erected 11 such memorial walls across the country. The 1,500 names of deceased and living soldiers that are written on each granite wall represent and honour what these brave men and women of this country have done to ensure our freedom. Not only do these walls pay tribute to our military heroes, they also serve as a physical reminder to future generations of what true freedom costs.

We can never repay our veterans for what they have given to us. Through their courage, bravery and ultimate sacrifice, death, they have won our freedom. These 11 walls across our great nation will be a constant reminder that freedom must be fought for and must be protected.

To the veterans who have fought and died and to the soldiers who are still fighting, we honour them and we will remember.

Criminal Code June 20th, 2006

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-337, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (child sexual predators).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to reintroduce this private member's bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code regarding child sexual predators.

The bill would ensure that the fullest force of the law is brought to bear on those who prey on our children. It carries a minimum sentence of life imprisonment for cases of sexual assault on a child that involves repeated assaults, multiple victims, repeat offences, more than one offender, an element of confinement or kidnapping, or an offender who is in a position of trust with respect to the child.

Those who prey on our children must know that there are serious consequences for their actions. Thus, if the bill passes, no longer will they walk away with a slap on the wrist while their victims are left to deal with a lifetime of hurt and pain. The bill would ensure that they are locked away for a very long time.

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

Elder Abuse June 15th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to stand here today in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the mental and physical abuse and neglect to which an ever growing number of our seniors are subjected.

Too many seniors experience one or more forms of abuse or neglect at some point in their later years from someone on whom they trust or rely. The abuse of this trust leaves them with scars that can never heal.

It is a despicable crime, a crime against one of the most vulnerable groups in our society and a crime that we need to confront head on because it so often takes place in the hidden recesses of our communities' homes.

Canada's seniors deserve the utmost respect and they deserve to live out their retirement years in peace and dignity.

Our response to this offence is also critical. Together we, as Canadians, can strive to better appreciate the traumatic experiences that many of our seniors suffer at the hands of their abusers and to act to prevent it.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply April 24th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the government is preparing a budget that will deal with much of what the member's questions relate to. That will be presented in the House.

The member can be assured of one thing. For years the issue of child care, of dollars being spent wisely, of being distributed into the hands of parents and offering them choice has been debated in the House, and very little movement has been brought about by previous governments.

We want to broaden the field, by far, in allowing parents from all areas, both rural and urban, to benefit from the child care program. Unfortunately, in the past, so few parents really benefited broadly from the programs that were there. The member should wait for the budget.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply April 24th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the member's question is a legitimate one, but I believe that she also knows the answer to at least part of her question. When it comes to the track record of the past governments, which have clearly stated all the moneys they have thrown in to creating child care spaces, just how many child care spaces were actually created. Maybe it is up for debate as to how many, but the fact that there are not the numbers that the Liberals have proclaimed is the issue. There is no doubt that the needs of the families vary. Those living in rural parts of our country will have a need for a different solution than in the urban areas. The bottom line is, with the present level of funding and programming, about 15% to 20% of parents actually use the program that exists to this day.

We want to expand that dramatically. We are going to offer, across the board, a choice for parents. If one parent chooses to stay home, that parent will be able to benefit somewhat from our program of $1,200. Some parents may choose to take part in the 125,000 spaces that we intend to create by sitting down with industry, with employers, with the provinces and with communities. We are going to have a winning formula and many more people will benefit from it.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply April 24th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the Chair that I will be sharing my time with the member for Burlington.

It is a tremendous privilege to speak today in the House in response to the Speech from the Throne, the first for the new Conservative government. I am proud to be here in order to do so.

This is the first time I have had the opportunity to address the House with you in the chair, Mr. Speaker. Let me take the opportunity to congratulate you on your appointment as Deputy Speaker.

I would also like to once again thank the people of Calgary Northeast for giving me the tremendous privilege to once again represent them in this chamber. I would particularly like to thank the many volunteers who gave so much of their time to ensure my re-election.

I would also like to thank my family for their support over the years and especially during the last election. As many in this place will attest, this life can be quite taxing on families. However, we do it because we want to make a difference and we want to make our country better.

At this time I would like to take a moment to extend my condolences to the families, friends and co-workers of the four soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan this past weekend. Corporals Matthew Dinning and Randy Payne, Bombardier Myles Mansell and Lieutenant William Turner. We are all saddened by their loss, but their deaths will, however, not be in vain. They risked their lives to defend Canada's national interest, combat global terrorism and help the people of Afghanistan rebuild their country. We are grateful for their service and mourn their loss.

The Speech from the Throne focused on five priorities, priorities which were laid out to the Canadian public during the election and for which the Canadian public voted: accountability, lowering the GST, choice in child care, cracking down on crime and establishing a patient wait times guarantee. I might point out that all these priorities impact my constituents directly.

On accountability, I commend the government for moving swiftly and decisively in introducing the federal accountability act designed to make the federal government more accountable to Canadian taxpayers by providing them with open, accountable and honest government. This act will, among other things, reform the financing of political parties by banning corporate, union and large personal, political donations. It will toughen the Lobbyist Registration Act by extending the ban on lobbying activities to five years for former ministers, their aides and senior civil servants. I already had an opportunity to talk to some registered lobbyists about that point and they have expressed their agreement with it. They feel it will level the playing field.

On strengthening the power of the Auditor General, this is a key part of the accountability act and one which we have called for in opposition. Now we have the opportunity to make it happen by giving the Auditor General new powers to audit individuals and organizations that receive federal money. That includes crown corporations.

On cleaning up government appointments, contract polling and procurement, key to cleaning up government appointments is the commissioner who will lead the public appointments commission, which the Prime Minister recently announced will be headed by Mr. Gwyn Morgan, former president and CEO of EnCana. Mr. Morgan is known far and wide as a champion of accountability and ethics in the public and private sectors. He wrote the agenda for his own corporation in that area. This is a very significant appointment.

The federal accountability act will also provide real protection for whisteblowers. People need to know that when they see problems in government, they can speak up without fear of reprisal. We have seen that very recently. I want to give praise to Mr. Cutler for his courageous statement doing exactly that, showing the corruption that took place within the government. He stood up and was counted. It was a bold move and a courageous move. It usually comes with a price, but I commend him for it.

The government will give protection to people like Mr. Cutler by making the public sector integrity commissioner an agent of Parliament with the power to enforce the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.

The federal accountability act will as well strengthen the access to information legislation to include seven crown corporations, seven agents of Parliament and three foundations created under the federal statutes.

These are the words of the Prime Minister:

These measures will change the way business is done in Ottawa forever. They will replace the culture of entitlement that took root under the previous government with a culture of accountability.

They are strong words, but I think they are very welcome by the electorate as it ponders what impact the act will have.

On the GST, my constituents along with many others in the country have long complained, and rightfully so, that they are overtaxed. The government agrees and that is why we have come up with a plan that will help reduce the tax burden on Canadian families. This will be done by cutting the GST from 7% to 6% and reduce it further to 5% within five years.

No matter what one's income, the GST is a tax which everyone pays and from which everyone will reap the benefit of reduction. The tax cut will be of particular benefit to those living on fixed incomes and those whose incomes are so low that they do not benefit from cuts to personal income tax. This group accounts for about 32% of Canadians.

Child care is an issue that sticks in the craw of the Liberals I know, but at least this is reality. This is an initiative that will be of particular benefit to many families in my riding who need child care. It will provide a choice. When it comes to child care, we on this side of the House feel the decision is best left to the parents. The one-size-fits-all approach does not work for all families. There are some families who rely on institutionalized day care for their children. Some choose to make more informal arrangements by using a neighbour or a friend to fulfill their day care needs, while there are some families who have made the decision to have one parent stay home to look after the children. As can be seen, the day care needs of families differ.

Under our plan, all Canadian families will be given a $1,200 choice in child care allowance for each child under the age of six. This will be taxable in the hands of the parent with the lower income. In addition, the government has also earmarked $250 million per year for incentives to encourage business, non-profit and community based organizations to create 125,000 new day care spaces in urban and rural communities across the country.

The next point is one that has always been an issue that has been near and dear to my heart, and that is the issue of criminal justice. For once, there is a clear statement from a government that is going to be serious about cracking down on crime. Dare we speak of the violence we see, unfortunately, in so many of our streets. Some of it is committed by gangs. We can just about name everything from murder, down to extortion and prostitution. I think Canadians have a right to feel safe in their own homes and in their own communities.They also have an expectation that those who commit serious criminal acts will be dealt with harshly by the courts.

What we have discussed, and the matter is now before the House and will be voted upon in the very near future, will be to bring tougher sentences against those violent or repeat offenders, especially for those committing crimes with guns, drive by shootings and so on. This is not the kind of Canada we want for our children.

I was going to speak on the wait times guarantee, but I know my colleagues have addressed that issue.

I support the Speech from the Throne and I hope all members in the House will do likewise.