House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was liberal.

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

Won his last election, in 2006, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Foreign Affairs June 20th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the United Nations Human Rights Council concluded its fifth regular session in Geneva.

Canada has always held that the council needs to live up to expectations to promote and protect human rights around the world through an objective and impartial body. So far, the council is failing to live up to these expectations, but our Conservative government has maintained a principled position.

The main emphasis of the fifth session was institution building, yet Canada did not agree with the final consensus document. Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs say why Canada did not agree with the conclusions reached by the human rights council?

Food and Drugs Act June 6th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member for St. Paul's with great interest.

First of all I would like to take this opportunity to commend her on this effort. I know she has put a lot of work into this private member's bill.

I was shocked to hear in her remarks just how quickly the Canadian drug supply could be depleted if we were to continue to allow bulk exports of pharmaceuticals to the United States. In particular, if the situation were to change in the United States and the Americans were to allow for bulk importation, our drug supply that we need for Canadian seniors and youth, people from coast to coast to coast, could be depleted in as little as 38 days by our huge neighbour, the elephant living to the south of us, the United States.

Bill C-378 is trying to be proactive and take measures to stop our supply from being depleted before it ever happens, to protect the Canadian drug supply.

If the government is not proactive and reacts, if legislation changes in the United States and allows for bulk importation, what tools does the government have at its disposal to react? How quickly could the government act and make those changes? We realize we would not have much time. We would have 38 days until our entire supply was depleted. What tools does the government have and how quickly could the government respond in a crisis situation like that?

Shawn McCaughey May 28th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House of Commons to pay tribute to the life of Snowbird 2, Captain Shawn McCaughey. We lost Captain McCaughey far too soon in a training accident on May 18.

Shawn fulfilled a lifelong dream when he became a Snowbird. He and his teammates received a huge ovation in the chamber last June, one day after they had buzzed the Peace Tower.

The Snowbirds exemplify the excellence of our Canadian Forces. The squadron is a vital recruiting tool for our military. The team also inspires our pilots to hone their skills and to be the best they can be.

Shawn, or “Deuce”, was an elite pilot and yet he was very modest. He is remembered as a really great guy, with his trademark smile and keen sense of humour. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

I know all members of the House and all Canadians join me in extending our deepest sympathies to Shawn's fiancée, Claudia, his parents, Ken and Rose, and sister Jennifer. Also, our thoughts and prayers go out to Shawn's family at 15 Wing in Moose Jaw.

Business of Supply May 17th, 2007

Mr. Chair, our Canadian military has been neglected for a long time. The previous Liberal government irresponsibly allowed the state of our Canadian Forces to decline during its 13 year tenure.

The Liberals left our military's resources and equipment in an inadequate state for our men and women in uniform. It has been left to our Conservative government to correct this problem. As the member of Parliament with CFB Moose Jaw in my riding, this issue is obviously of great concern to me.

It is unfortunate but it is not difficult to come up with an example of deteriorating equipment in the Canadian Forces. We only need to look at the fleet of Hercules aircraft. They are aging rapidly and in urgent need of replacement. Canada's Hercules fleet has logged more flying hours than any other military Hercules fleet in the world. It is considered the workhorse of the Canadian Forces and they have been operating effectively for decades.

However, some of these planes, which have been in service since the early 1960s, will be grounded by the end of 2010. The tactical airlift capability must be replaced.

It is not only the air force that has been damaged by years of neglect. In my riding, the Saskatchewan Dragoons want to know about the tanks, the trucks and the ships. We should not forget that those are aging too. The fleet of Leopard 1 tanks are over 30 years old. We are in a situation now where the support and spare parts that are required to maintain these tanks will soon be obsolete. The tanks must be replaced.

The medium size logistics trucks for the army were fielded in the early 1980s. That was 20 years ago. This fleet needs to be replaced as soon as possible given its age and increasing maintenance problems. The trucks must be replaced.

Let us talk about the navy's replenishment ships. The HMCS Protecteur and the HMCS Preserver have done an exceptional job for the Canadian Forces but they are now over 35 years old and have become difficult and costly to maintain. The ships must be replaced.

We must also remember that this House voted on the mission in Afghanistan and committed our troops until February 2009. We cannot set them up for failure by neglecting their equipment needs. It is our obligation to provide them with the tools that they need to be successful. It would be irresponsible to send them into harm's way without agreeing to give them what they need and everything that they require.

The government needs to ensure that the Canadian Forces are well-equipped, whether or not Canada stays in Afghanistan longer than 2009. Without proper equipment, the Canadian Forces cannot accomplish their tasks at home or abroad.

The Canadian Forces need to be self-reliant. It is the only way we can be more secure at home and have a greater impact abroad. The Canadian Forces have been underfunded, understaffed and underequipped for far too long.

I would like to ask the Minister of National Defence or his parliamentary secretary for an update on the government's commitment to rebuilding the Canadian Forces.

Privilege May 17th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak to the point raised by the member for Scarborough—Agincourt.

I begin my comments by saying that I am a new member of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. This was in fact the first full meeting that I had attended of that committee. What I found at that committee that day was absolutely shocking.

First of all, I believe that both members have not presented a prima facie case for a question of privilege. What the minister has done is to instruct junior officials to be careful witnesses and to be careful in the information that they relay to parliamentarians to ensure that members on that committee get good information. Of course they are going to be very careful witnesses because members opposite made a big production about swearing in those junior officials of the department. It was an incredibly intimidating meeting for the junior officials that appeared before our committee.

The mood of the entire meeting was most distasteful. The junior officials were berated. If anyone is guilty of intimidation of a committee, it is the member for Scarborough—Agincourt. It is also the member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country and also the member for Kitchener—Waterloo.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, if you were to look at the blues from that committee meeting on that day, you would be shocked and amazed at some of the tactics used by members of the opposition to berate junior officials. These officials are good public servants who go to work every day and do their jobs and pay their taxes and raise their families.

At that meeting we dealt with lost Canadians. The only motives of these officials were to deal with this matter and to help to identify who falls within the realm of a lost Canadian. They are doing an incredible job, despite receiving tens of thousands of phone calls. I believe they are down to 75 individuals who are in dispute as to whether or not they are lost Canadians. They are doing an incredible job.

Mr. Speaker, if you were to check the blues from that committee, the word “liar” was thrown out many times by members opposite. The member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country accused the officials of being guilty of a snow job. He said that he knew a snow job when he heard it and they were guilty of creating a snow job that day at committee.

Those poor officials were berated by members of the opposition. I want to commend the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for standing up for these good public servants, for standing up for these officials and saying to them that if they are not sure of their answer, to take some time, make sure they get it right and then get back to the committee.

There were only three people in that room that day that were guilty of intimidation. They are the members opposite that I have already mentioned. I want to congratulate the minister.

This clearly is not a point of privilege.

Petitions May 17th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to present a petition on behalf of a number of citizens in my riding of Palliser, as well as citizens across Canada.

The petitioners call upon the government to proceed with changes to the criminal justice system so that those convicted of serious criminal code offences serve their time consecutively and not concurrently, and that those convicted of multiple criminal code offences have their time served for parole eligibility with those convictions counted consecutively.

The petitioners want to ensure that the victims of violence crime see justice done in our Canadian criminal justice system. I would like to commend the efforts of Lorne Ridgway of Avonlea, Saskatchewan, whose family was touched by a terrible violent crime, who spearheaded this petition.

Justice May 10th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, sex offender Audrey Black of Moose Jaw was sentenced earlier this week to four years in prison for sexual exploitation and making child pornography. Black and her husband, Don, were both convicted of sexually abusing two young children they babysat.

I share the outrage of my constituents regarding these heinous crimes and I support their call for tough child protection laws.

Would the Minister of Justice please advise the House on what our Conservative government is doing to make our country safer for all Canadians, especially our most vulnerable citizens?

Wilma Downing May 10th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the late Wilma Downing, a renowned high school teacher in my riding of Palliser.

Ms. Downing taught English, health and physical education at Sheldon-Williams Collegiate in Regina from 1956 until 1990. During those 34 years, she attended any athletic event featuring her beloved Spartans. She was also famous for baking cookies for her students and fellow staff members.

Besides being caring and conscientious with her students and colleagues, Ms. Downing helped lead the Spartans to 25 city track championships and nine girls' city basketball championships.

Even after her retirement, Ms. Downing continued her important role in Regina's athletic community. In 2004 she was inducted into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame to recognize her tireless voluntary work.

I was pleased to meet Ms. Downing last fall after the Sheldon football team won the provincial championship.

Sadly, Ms. Downing passed away earlier this year from cancer. I am proud to give thanks for her life and her contribution to our community and to wish her family all the best.

Criminal Code May 4th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the comments by the member for Etobicoke North. I agree with many of his sentiments, especially expressing support for Bill C-27 and getting tough on dangerous offenders. This is the way we want to go.

However, I disagree with one comment in his statement. The member was making good sense until the very end when he talked about the gun registry, which everyone knows was a $2 billion boondoggle and has not saved one life or prevented one crime involving the use of a firearm.

I will not touch on that today. I will touch on Bill C-27. I sincerely appreciate the member's support for this legislation. It is important legislation. It is the right thing to do. However, there is no unity within the Liberal caucus on the bill.

Will the member commit today to pushing this issue in his caucus, perhaps organizing some informational meetings to get people of like mind on his side and to join with us in supporting this legislation? Would he perhaps commit today to meeting with the leader of the official opposition to ensure that he is on side with Bill C-27?

While the member has indicated his support for Bill C-27, important legislation to get tough on sex offenders, the reverse onus on sex offenders, his caucus is not united on the bill. Will he commit today to pushing this issue forward and having special meetings on this issue with his caucus and a meeting with the leader of the official opposition?

Privilege May 3rd, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I would like to validate the comments of my colleague from Selkirk--Interlake. I was in my seat and witnessed this exchange exactly as he described it for the record, as was my colleague from Avalon and the member for Niagara West—Glanbrook.