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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was money.

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

Won his last election, in 2004, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions June 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition entitled “Health Freedom”. Canadian constituents, primarily from the south Okanagan, desire to have an updated Food and Drugs Act created by Parliament that is consistent with the inherent rights of Canadians to informed freedom of choice and access to non-medicinal drugs products of their choosing as protected by sections 1, 2, 7 and 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

They call upon Parliament to repeal outdated prohibitions against making truthful health claims for the prevention, treatment and cure of health challenges with non-drug approaches by enacting Bill C-420. They are right to be concerned. It has been a constant battle to keep access to these natural health products.

I hope Parliament, and particularly the government, will stop this attack on people's freedom of choice and agree to the speedy enactment of the private member's bill.

Sponsorship Program June 3rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, if after three years there are no results of such blatant money laundering it seems that it was only the bad publicity that troubled the minister. The Minister of Finance was at the time in charge of public works and is now in charge of the nation's finances. He should have been more concerned about the operation of public works then and about the theft of taxpayers' money now.

Given this incredible example of the ad scam at its worst, will the government commit to returning its proceeds from this theft of taxpayer money now, today?

Sponsorship Program June 3rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I previously asked a question in the House regarding the laundering of ad scam money through VIA Rail, where Lafleur Communications Marketing was paid $112,000 to carry a cheque from public works to VIA Rail. It then turned around and donated half the money back to the Liberal Party of Canada.

The question was answered by the then public works minister, now in charge of Canada's finances, who stated that he too was troubled by this file and had referred it to the RCMP. That was three years ago. What results do we have from this three year investigation that so troubled the present finance minister?

Marriage June 2nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the question on redefining marriage is extremely divisive, but Canadians are fair minded and reasonable. Most do not oppose a recognized union between same sex couples. They simply object to those couples using the same name for their union that traditional families around the world have used throughout history.

Recognition of the union of same sex couples is a new consideration and as such should have a new name to better describe this newly recognized relationship.

If the Prime Minister is not sure whether Canadians support his proposal to expand the traditional definition of marriage, I suggest he put his trust in the good judgment of the Canadian people and hold a referendum on the issue of definition of marriage. I have done this on a number of issues in my riding and, on occasion, I have voted contrary to the position of my party and even my own personally held beliefs when directed by those I represent.

Collectively, we are sent here to represent all Canadians and they should all have a say when considering such a major change to a defining aspect of Canadian life.

Privilege May 31st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear on this. I want to give due consideration to the hon. member if he has a legitimate complaint. In his last presentation he said that the people who were faxing him were doing it deliberately to block his ability to communicate.

I heard my colleague talk about something totally different. He talked about the right of people to communicate with elected representatives across the country. If I were trying to jam the hon. member's fax machine, I would do it with one continuous feed of nonsense stuff anonymously sent so that it would not stop because if it did, then someone else could send something.

Maybe he could clarify this. Is this a single continuous stream of nonsense or are they legitimate letters signed by individuals asking for something that is the appropriate business of the House?

Supply May 31st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have listened to not only the hon. minister who just spoke but other Liberals who have spoken on this motion throughout the day. They seem to keep raising the same theme. On the one hand, they are saying Gomery has the powers for which we are looking. On the other hand, they are saying that it will be wrong to give him the powers for which we are looking. Clearly, what it says is that Gomery cannot recommend charges be laid.

Let us say a bank has been robbed. Let us call it the Bank of Canada. Let us say it has been robbed a number of times. Sometimes it has been robbed by groups of people together. Then other smaller groups not connected with those and various individuals have all gone in at various times and robbed the bank.

Police officers do an investigation. They find some people they think are the culprits in one or more of the robberies. They say, “Here is who we think robbed the bank and we are charging them”. It is then up to the crown to prove or not prove their guilt. It is not the police to prove guilt. It is the police officers who recommend that charges be laid based on evidence they have gathered.

We are asking no more than that of Gomery, to be allowed to recommend charges be laid against certain individuals, companies and organizations which is specifically prohibited under the mandate given to him by the Liberal party.

I would like the hon. minister to tell us why Gomery should not be able to do the same thing that police officers do, without interfering in any criminal cases, and to recommend that charges be laid against specific individuals, groups of individuals or organizations and to do that without any interference. Also after some charges have been laid, police may find that more people are guilty and recommend charges be laid against them as well.

Why can Gomery not do the same thing? Of what is the Liberal Party afraid?

Airports May 30th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the government is destroying Canada's air industry by treating airports like cash cows. It has already collected far more than the value of the airports it turned over to airport authorities, and those authorities have invested billions in infrastructure long neglected by the government. The transport committee rejected the recent government announcement as inadequate, and called for deeper cuts and faster.

When is the government going to implement the needed rent reduction recommended by all committee members?

Airports May 30th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, last year the transport committee unanimously passed a resolution calling for a freeze on airport rents until the committee could complete a study on the subject and make recommendations. The government ignored it. Now the government has announced adjustments that do not begin to address the problem it created and ignored the tabled recommendations of the committee.

Why is the government ignoring the needs of the hard hit aviation industry and the position of its own committee members?

Civil Marriage Act May 3rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken at times with some of the Liberals across the way and they have asked me what exactly my problem was with this, why it would make a difference and what it would do to marriage.

One of my constituents recently published an article that very adequately summarizes the issue being discussed here today. I am grateful to Phil Johnson of the Osoyoos Baptist Church for his gracious agreement to allow me to read his submission which I now read in its entirety. The article is entitled, “Marriage is not a 'Living-together-thingy'”:

Recently, my wife and I were looking for some new furniture for the living room. Fortunately, the English language is rich enough to have more than one word to describe the different pieces we can sit on. They are not collectively referred to as 'The sitting-on-thingies'.

If our language was not so rich, to become more specific in our speech we would have to refer to the 'single-sitting-on-thingy', the 'double-sitting-on-thingy' and the 'three-or-more-sitting-on-thingy'. Wonderfully, the English language has provided us with single words that accurately describe a chair, a loveseat and a sofa.

Marriage is the same way. It is not a 'living-together-thingy' where any two or more people living together is called 'Marriage'. God has defined marriage as a man and a woman committed to each other for life. Any other relationship outside this is not marriage. This is not a matter of cultural preference. This is a definition that has been around 1000's of years.

Surely, the English language is rich enough to furnish another word or term to describe a same sex or other union. Why must the term marriage be used? The word we use to describe the union between one man and one woman is Marriage.

If you are going to come up with a new type of union, come up with a new term to describe it.

Just like we have a 'single-sitting-on-thingy' as a 'Chair' and 'three-or-more-sitting-on-thingy' as a 'Sofa', so we need to have a whole new word to describe this new type of union.

We could even run a nationwide competition to create a new word, that years from now could invoke warm and sentimental feelings, just as they do now about marriage. The chair does not feel discriminated against because it is not called a sofa.

Why is the term 'Civil Union' unacceptable? Perhaps, it has nothing to do with the recognition of a lifetime commitment between two people, and everything to do with the destruction of the idea of what marriage truly is? Why did the lesbian couple that took their cause to the Supreme Court apply for a divorce only five days after they were married? Hmmm.

New definitions will not destroy the institution of marriage, but it will drastically dilute its meaning and we will all lose in the end. A chair is a chair and a sofa is a sofa. For thousands of years, the English word to describe one man and one woman in a committed relationship to the exclusion of all others has been marriage. It does not mean, a 'living-together-thingy', however you want to define it this week.

I think the article Mr. Johnson sent in sums up very well the concerns that a lot of people have. I would like to tell members about my riding and the concerns people have in my riding.

As members might well imagine, coming from rural British Columbia, the government's Bill C-68 firearms registry bill was a huge issue. As the costs went from an estimated $2 million to almost $2 billion and still rising, their outrage became even more pronounced, However, as big as that is, it is dwarfed by the way people feel in my riding about this particular bill.

I have had over 4,000 letters and e-mails from constituents. I have even taken the trouble to stir the pot a bit to suggest that not many people are writing in supporting this and, if they are out there, I am not hearing from them. Out of those 4,000 letters that generated a total of 15 people who support this. There might be some support for this somewhere but it certainly is not in British Columbia Southern Interior.

As far as how this is being handled in the House, it is very interesting. It is a free vote, say the Liberals who introduced this bill. Well it is not quite a free vote. It is a free vote for the people on the backbenches but the members of the cabinet were told that it was not a free vote for them. They must vote the way they are told or they will be kicked out of cabinet and have their shiny new cars taken away.

It is a free vote for the people on the backbenches, except that I happen to know some of them quite well and quite a number of them do not support the bill. The pressure on them to comply with the way the government tells them to vote, even though it is a free vote, or, alternatively, to make sure they are absent when the vote is taken, has been intensified.

Members of another party, the NDP, the kissing cousins who live down the street and who dream of grandeur they will never realize on their own, do not have a free vote. They have been told that they must vote in support of their Liberal cousins. Even though the Liberals themselves have said that it is a free vote, the NDP have said that its members must support the Liberals in this because it dare not ever allow this to be a free vote.

When the Prime Minister was asked about having a referendum on this he said no, that he would never allow a referendum on an issue like this because he had little doubt that the majority of Canadians did not support the bill and he would not allow the majority to dictate to a minority. Is that not a wonderful process we have in the House of Commons where the majority does not rule?

I hear the Liberals yipping and yapping across the way wondering why we would expect in a democracy that the majority would ever rule or even have a say that they would listen to.

This is a very unfortunate bill. I had a lesbian couple come into my office to verify something I had said. I said that I had no quantitative evidence for this but that I believed that a lot of gay and lesbian people did not want or ask for this legislation. They did not want the notoriety. They are just people like everyone else. They have their jobs, their friends and their recreation. They want to go about their lives like the rest of us do. However along came the Liberals saying no, that they had to elevate them to something they had not asked for because they have very strange ideals. The couple who came in said exactly that. They said that they had never asked for this. They said that their lives were just fine until the Liberals came along and that now all of a sudden they were under a spotlight. Maybe that is what the Liberals intended but who knows.

In closing, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the Liberal Party of Canada because this is the kind of issue that will help me in the next election. It will help me to be one of the Conservatives who come back to replace the government. We will not play around with bills that very few people ask for. We will not arbitrarily rule on things where the majority is not allowed a say. We will bring in the kind of good legislation this country has waited for. It will be interesting to hear what kind of yipping and yapping the Liberals do once they are sitting over on this side of the House.

Committees of the House April 19th, 2005

If the hon. member had listened, he would have heard me say that it is over five years. He probably was talking over me and that is why he did not hear me say the very thing he wanted me to say.

Twenty-seven million dollars over five years is a lot more than the $3.3 million the government is spending now. I wonder if the hon. member could tell us if we heard witnesses suggest that this money could be well spent on education as opposed to the enforcement of a labelling program.