House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was justice.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Conservative MP for Wild Rose (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2006, with 72% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Youth Criminal Justice Act November 22nd, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member's speech and on a big majority of it, I would agree with him totally.

The Nunn report, for example, was one of the best reports we have received in this place for a long time. The only comment he made that I might question was his last comment about the capable members in the justice committee, but I will not go there.

I also spent 18 years in a junior high school as an administrator and I can relate to his brother who did the same thing. What his relative would say would agree with a lot that I have seen in changes over the years in how we deal with youth.

I also know that if I held a number of town hall meetings in communities or with people from my riding, I would hear very much the same things about which he has talked. Crime is a very important matter in the minds of many people.

I also agree, when we are talking about young offenders, we are probably talking about 5% or maybe less of the entire youth. The majority of our youth in this nation are great kids, and I experienced that over the many years that I was in the school.

At the same time, one thing disappeared out of the schools over a period of time and it disappeared shortly after the Young Offenders Act and the Charter of Rights came into being. Discipline became less and less of an important factor in our schools. I think lack of discipline in the homes and in the schools is something that could lead to further problems with young people. They must know the meaning of discipline. When I was young, I sure as the devil needed discipline and I am glad I got it, and sometimes in a pretty strong way.

Would the hon. member agree that discipline is not allowed any more under the rights? We cannot do certain things in schools that once upon a time we could do. I am not going back to the draconian age. I am talking about recent years, probably the years the member was growing up, where discipline was a pretty important factor. Does he not agree that the failure of those of us in positions of authority to discipline when necessary has led to some of our problems?

Youth Criminal Justice Act November 22nd, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I quite often listen to members like this one and the member from the NDP, who seems to think that everybody is demonizing young people these days. I keep hearing the message from that member's party that if we cleaned up poverty, we would clean up crime. Do rich kids in Quebec not commit crimes?

Youth Criminal Justice Act November 21st, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member's speech and I do not exactly understand her definition of safety to the public.

I have a difficult time debating with lawyers at the best of times because I am not one. They seem to use legal jargon to a great extent and I just cannot comprehend a lot of it. Mr. Speaker, I am sure you could share that with me with your background.

I quite often hear about reports from a person by the name of Nunn and other reports from the member and other members of her party, usually concerning the legal aspects. I wonder if the Liberals have ever taken a serious look at some of the reports that come in from victims of crime.

I remember the late Chuck Cadman, a member of my party, who passed away recently. He was here because of his son who was murdered by young offenders, which was a terrible tragedy. I remember how hard he worked, the great suggestions that he brought forward, and the reports he presented from the victims' points of view and not the legal quarters. It was ignored. I have a hard time understanding that.

I also have a hard time understanding when the Liberals talk about prevention. There is no one who wants to see crime prevented more than me. It may not come across that way and I will have to do a little better job of communicating that maybe, but I do not understand it when members say we should get to the cause of crime.

Without a doubt, one of the biggest causes of crime are drugs and alcohol, particularly alcohol. How does alcohol get into the hands of young people under the age of 18? It is against the law. When is the last time we have heard of anybody being arrested or charged for providing liquor to a minor? When is the last time we saw police break up a block party or a house party that was full of booze and people under the age of 18?

When it is mentioned in committee or to witnesses that it is a major cause and ask what we are going to do about it, the Liberals do not want to go there. They want to talk about poverty being a major cause. I guess they do not realize that rich kids get into trouble as well. There are excuses for avoiding the real causes of crime and our penitentiaries are full of adults for the very same reasons.

They do not want to hear it and I do not understand. They do not want to hear any real, solid points of view from the general public, from the victims on down. They like to hear the points of view of the legal beagles and they need to change their attitude.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply October 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, as I listened to the member's speech I remembered coming here in 1993 and the first thing that I heard in the throne speech that I strongly recall and found it rather surprising was that there were one million children living in poverty and the government was going to deal with it.

In 2004, Jean Chrétien was gone and the new member for LaSalle—Émard was the prime minister and the throne speech said the government was going to deal with child poverty which was 1.5 million. The number had gone up by half a million. In other words, from the throne speech in 1993 dealing with child poverty the Liberal government did not get it done.

When I look through the throne speeches over the past 10 years, every time the Liberals did not get it done. Dealing with child poverty, why did the member's government for 10 years, from 1993 to 2004, not get it done?

Voter Turnout October 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, Remembrance Day is fast approaching and I would like to honour all members of our armed forces who fought the battles of yesterday and to those currently deployed around the world for protecting the rights and freedoms we enjoy.

One of the most important freedoms is the right to vote. When we say that soldiers have died to give us this right, it is more than just words, it is a fact. This is why I am very disappointed that in recent municipal elections in Alberta voter turnout was approximately 28%. Similar voter turnouts are seen throughout the country. Just last week in the Ontario provincial election only 52% of the people who were eligible voted, thereby setting a record for the lowest voter turnout in Ontario's history.

Many have said that lower voter turnout is the result of growing cynicism of our political process. I say that it is an absolute insult to those who have died and to those who continue to fight to ensure that this freedom is preserved.

If we truly want to honour our veterans of the past and our soldiers of today, we should take the five minutes to mark a ballot on every election day.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply October 18th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, first of all I would like to say to the member who spoke that he alluded to the fact that I, because I am on this side of the House, do not speak for my constituents. I would suggest to him that if he goes to Wild Rose and makes that statement he had better wear a hard hat because that simply is not true.

I want to get to crime and the topic that we started off with today. Specifically, the member talked so much about rights that come under the charter and the protection of people and all that. I would like to ask him if he can explain to me why in 1993, when I came here and my colleague from Calgary Northeast and we began right away on a project of doing things to create legislation to protect children from child pornography, sexual assaults and all the terrible things that were happening to kids, and we wanted to raise the age of consent back in those years, we had to fight with the previous government time and time again?

I sat on the justice committee and I saw what the Liberals and the Bloc did. I have to give credit to the NDP. They pretty well were fighting on the right side for the protection of children. This was a subject that was constantly brought before the House and was never accomplished. For 14 years child pornography was never addressed by the previous government.

Today, 14 years later, legislation regarding the age of consent and the kinds of laws that would protect our kids have been passed by the House. Those laws have arrived at the Senate and have sat there for months, simply because in the Senate there is a Liberal majority.

I ask the member, why are the Liberals objecting to passing legislation that would protect our kids in this country, such as stamping out child pornography and raising the age of consent?

Criminal Code May 17th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I should be honoured because I felt that the entire speech was dedicated to the member for Wild Rose. Although I appreciate the member's speech and his opinion, I could not disagree with him more. I am encouraged more than ever to support these kinds of legislation and I will continue to do so.

The member constantly insists, as do other members, that poverty is the major cause of crime and that if we did not have poverty there would be no crimes.

I would like to remind the member that in all the crime statistics from the dirty thirties, the poorest time on the North American continent, that was when crime was the lowest in the history of the North American continent.

I will not say that poverty does not contribute to crime because it probably does. However, on my tour throughout the country visiting all the penitentiaries, when I asked the inmates how they ended up in prison, I would say that close to 70% to 75% of the inmates said that it was because they drank alcohol and got drunk a lot. They said that if it had not been for booze they would not be there.

Most of the guards and the wardens agreed that our prisons would be quite empty if it were not for booze. Evidently booze is a major cause of crime. What does the member suggest we do about that?

Criminal Code May 17th, 2007

I knew I would get a reaction like that from an NDP. After all, if we would legalize everything that is immoral or evil against society, then it would not be used. I guess that is what he is thinking.

I will use my last three seconds to defend the war on drugs, and I hope we become victorious in that one.

Criminal Code May 17th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, 30 seconds is a tough amount of time to answer a question like that.

I am pleased we are continuing to work on the war on drugs. I have attended at least seven funerals of students of mine who died because they were involved in drugs. It is an activity that needs to be stopped. I do not know how we stop it, but it has to be stopped. If a person starts saying that legalizing it makes it better, that is absolute nonsense. I will not even go there.

Criminal Code May 17th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I understand the question and I would not mind getting into a debate with him some day on the cuts that took place and on the that things we are doing. However, I hope everything that is being done is being done in the best interests of Canadian society. I trust it is, but I am not going there today. We are talking about Bill C-10.

All I am saying is that as part of the justice system, we must provide tools for our courts to allow them to move more toward penalties that Canadian society would expect for the kinds of crimes criminals commit. We will work on all kinds of aspects of preventing crime, and we should at every chance we get. The debates on the cuts will take place and they should take place.

When he compares us to the states, I have been in many of the penitentiaries in the states, visiting and finding out what is going on. They have some penitentiaries that are releasing inmates who are having no recidivism. They are run in a manner that we would not even consider in Canada because it seems to be too draconic.

Maybe our prison system needs to be looked at when we release them. What are we doing in the penitentiaries other than letting the inmates call the shots?