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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was particular.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Conservative MP for Kelowna (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 48% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions May 19th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition according to Standing Order 36 on behalf of constituents in Kelowna--Lake Country.

The petitioners request that two things be done in Parliament: First, that the Canada Health Act and the corresponding regulations be amended to include the IBI/ABA therapy for children with autism; and second, that there be the creation of academic schools at the doctoral level and at the undergraduate level so that the treatment and the therapy for autism be taught at the universities.

On behalf of these constituents and petitioners, I present this to the House.

Quarantine Act May 5th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I would like to refer in particular to the reference made by the hon. deputy House leader of the government when he stated that the bill had been presented to the House, was given third reading, and was before the Senate. That is a matter of fact. We know that happened.

What is being moved here is an amendment to the amendment from the Senate. That is not the same thing as the bill. That is an amendment to the bill itself which changes the bill.

This House did not approve that bill without the amendment. It approved a bill that was presented by the government. The Senate has made some amendments to that bill which is, in effect, to change that bill. It is argued that this is not the same bill simply because the amendment itself changes the bill.

Madam Speaker, it is absolutely in order and you should rule in favour of the amendment.

City of Kelowna May 4th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, may I bring to the attention of the House the 100 birthday of the city of Kelowna.

People from all over the world flock to this beautiful city every year for its mountain skyline, its clear lakes, fine wine and championship golf courses. Others bring their families to stay in the city that offers jobs, good schools, safe streets and a strong sense of community.

From its cattle ranching, grain and orchard growing roots, Kelowna has become the largest city in the interior of British Columbia and the economic and cultural jewel of the Okanagan.

As its member of parliament for more than 11 years, it has been my honour to serve the people of Kelowna. It gives me great pleasure to wish our city and its citizens a happy 100th birthday.

Happy birthday, Kelowna. May growth and prosperity continue to define our future.

Rotary International April 20th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, Rotary International is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, an organization dedicated to supporting local, national and international communities through humanitarian, educational and cultural programs.

I am proud to be wearing the official Rotary International tie in commemoration.

Rotarians live by a simple philosophy and given the current political state of affairs, it is a philosophy to which the Prime Minister and his party might well pay particular attention.

Of the things we say or do: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Truth, fairness, goodwill and working for the benefit of all. These are the keys to Rotary International success and longevity.

I congratulate Rotary International on its 100th birthday.

La planète Terre réinventée

Civil Marriage Act April 19th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it was my delight and fortune a couple of days ago to meet a scholar and person of great skill in the art of communication. She was able to expose some of the most apparently plausible yet false positions advanced by the supporters of same sex marriage against those wishing to retain the traditional definition of marriage.

She is Margaret Somerville, Samuel Gale Professor of Law and Professor, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. She states that the case for same sex marriage is “based almost entirely on equating being against homosexuals, disrespecting them and thereby breaking their human rights”.

The debate about the definition of marriage raises fundamental issues of mutual respect. Somerville asks, “What is required to respect homosexual people and their committed relationship and to respect people for whom marriage institutionalizes and symbolizes the inherently procreative relationship between a man and a woman?”

The least intrusive of both streams of respect response is to legally recognize same sex partnerships and keep marriage as the union of a man and a woman. “Why is this the best approach?”, she asks. “Because it is ethical. Ethics requires taking the least intrusive alternative that is available and likely to be effective in achieving the goal”.

To deny same sex marriage is to show that we have no respect for homosexuals and their relationships is unacceptable from an ethical perspective and discriminatory from a legal perspective. Not only is recognizing civil unions established under the laws of a province with the same benefits, rights, obligations and protection as those who are married, one man and one woman, ethical and legal, it is also consistent with a fundamental Canadian value of equality.

That is a matter of great interest to our current Minister of Justice. In the proposed legislation we are dealing with committed adult relationships. These relationships are different. Men and women are different. Despite those differences, men and women are equal before and under the law. Yet no one would dispute that they are different.

I would argue that same sex couples as civil unions and marriage as the union of a man and a woman while different are equal before and under the law provided the same benefits, rights, obligations and protections are accorded to both. Thus, they are different and equal.

In recognizing same sex unions and according them the same rights, privileges, protections and obligations as heterosexual couples, the equality argument falls away. It is perfectly consistent with the provisions of Canada's Constitution because it shows respect and tolerance and is therefore clearly non-discriminatory. The recognition clearly accepts that while different, same sex couples are and should be treated the same as heterosexual couples.

Petitions April 12th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition on behalf of my constituents who pray that Parliament pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being a lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

It is a pleasure for me to assist these petitioners and support them in their petition.

Canadian Forces Superannuation Act April 12th, 2005

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-362, an act to amend the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (marriage after the age of sixty years).

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of veterans, like Gordon Read of Kelowna and their families, I am pleased to table a bill to amend the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act.

The bill would remove section 31(1) which prevents spouses who marry veterans after the age of 60 from receiving the veterans pension upon their death. It is wrong to penalize veterans and their families simply because they choose to marry later in life. This policy is outdated and there is no rationalization for the disqualification.

2005 is the year of the veteran. Veterans have given our country so much. I hope my colleagues will support the bill, support veterans and their families and show veterans just how grateful we are.

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

Question No. 79 April 4th, 2005

Since October 23, 1993, did Bombardier (and any of its subsidiaries), Nortel (and any of its subsidiaries) and Pratt and Whitney (and any of its subsidiaries) receive any: ( a ) grants, contributions or loan guarantees and, if so, ( i ) what was the source, value, date made and reasons for providing the funding in each case, ( ii ) what is their present status, whether paid, repaid, or unpaid, including the value of the repayment, ( iii ) what was the total amount each company received; and ( b ) contracts and, if so, ( i ) were the contracts fulfilled, ( ii ) what were their source, value, date made, reasons for providing the funding, ( iii ) were these contracts tendered and if the tendering was limited what would be the reason for the limitation, ( iv ) what was the total amount of contracts each company obtained, and what was the total amount of all the funds provided to these companies?

(Return tabled)

Petitions March 21st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I wish to present a petition. The petitioners ask Parliament to amend the Canada Health Act and corresponding regulations to include IBI-ABA therapy for children with autism as a medically necessary treatment, to require that all provinces provide or fund this essential treatment for autism and to contribute to the creation of academic chairs at a university in each province to teach IBI-ABA treatment.

Civil Marriage Act March 21st, 2005

Madam Speaker, the issue of redefining marriage is one of the most significant matters that this Parliament is and will be facing for some time. Its significance lies in the fact that the definition of marriage also defines a social institution that is one of the foundations of our society. It is the institution designed to achieve the conjugal goals of sex bridging, generativity, caregiving and connecting children to their mothers and fathers. The bill before us channels marriage away from these goals. Hence, the redefinition of the word, significant as it is in its own right as a means of clear communication, also contains within it the reorganization of our society.

Given the significance of the matter before us, it is incumbent upon us to apply maximum due diligence in the consideration of the issue at hand. The due diligence requires a careful study of the facts of the matter, seeking knowledge, understanding that knowledge and applying wisdom in deciding the best application of that knowledge.

Wisdom must be sought; it is not achieved automatically. It requires much thought and study and includes the integration of one's beliefs and values into the making of major decisions. For us lawmakers, it also requires the integration of the culture and beliefs of our society. As lawmakers for this land, any decision that involves the redefinition and reorganization of one of our society's fundamental institutions requires the knowledge, understanding and application of the primary source of wisdom for Canada.

What is the primary source of wisdom for Canada? No, it is not the Liberals. It is not the Conservatives. It is not any political organization or person.

In the search for the source of wisdom, I discovered that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the Canadian Constitution Act of 1982 provides the answer.

The charter begins:

Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.

Following these words, the charter specifies the “guarantee of rights and freedoms”.

Consistent with this provision in the Constitution, the Speaker or Deputy Speaker on every day that Parliament is in session reads at 11 a.m. on Mondays, 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays these words:

Almighty God, we give thanks for the great blessings which have been bestowed on Canada and its citizens, including the gifts of freedom, opportunity and peace that we enjoy. We pray for our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth, and the Governor General. Guide us in our deliberations as Members of Parliament, and strengthen us in our awareness of our duties and responsibilities as Members. Grant us wisdom, knowledge and understanding to preserve the blessings of this country for the benefit of all and to make good laws and wise decisions. Amen.

The prayer does not specify any particular law or decision that members are called upon to make. It recognizes that members need knowledge, understanding and wisdom from God. The prayer is not just a ritual. It has meaning, particularly because it is followed by a moment of silence for personal reflection.

I expressed my personal need for wisdom from God in ultimately deciding the substance of Bill C-38. For me, the particular significance of the redefinition of marriage and exercising due diligence is the need to try to recognize and evaluate the implications and possible consequences of such a redefinition.

There is little doubt that it would change the role and function of the institution of marriage in our society. It is not obvious what those changes would be. Among the matters to be considered are answers to questions like this.

First, how will Canadian society fare when it is no longer able to offer any special recognition in law or public to a form of life so central to human experience and, indeed, to human reproduction?

Second, will a transformation of marriage into a close relationship regime continue to erode its social significance for future generations?

Third, will marriage continue to decline as the centre of gravity for men and women seeking to form a stable life together?

Fourth, will these men and women have the social and cultural supports they need to help bring children into this world and to rear a family?

Fifth, will a reconstitution of marriage ratify a reproductive revolution that will kill any public commitment to maintaining relationships between children and their natural parents?

Sixth, will it set in motion new developments that will open the way for further deregulation of marriage and parenthood?

These are some of the questions that Daniel Cere, director, Institute for the Study of Marriage, Law and Culture in Montreal, asks.

There are those who argue, and in fact in the House, that such questions merely complicate an already thorny issue and should not be asked. To not at least debate and try to find answers to these questions and other questions that the redefinition of marriage evokes really means that debate on the matter should be neutered. Such an argument suggests that one should simply take a position without even considering possible consequences of the position taken either for oneself or for society. Such an argument is intellectually dishonest and at best a contradiction and at worst a denial of the very foundation on which the Constitution of Canada rests.

A law that has the potential of eroding one of the foundations of our society must be considered with the utmost gravity and demands that the best thinking of which we are capable coupled with the realization that the wisdom of God must be sought in humility and sincerity.

I believe that seeking wisdom from God with all our hearts will be rewarded. Let us all seek it.

I quote from Jeremiah 29:13: “...you will seek and find me when you seek me with all your heart”.