House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was money.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Conservative MP for Edmonton—Sherwood Park (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2006, with 64% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Income Tax Act February 28th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I urge you to seek the unanimous consent of the House to see the clock at 6:30 p.m., even though it really is not.

Petitions February 27th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased and honoured to present another 1,533 names on a petition supporting Bill C-484. This is a bill that calls for Parliament to enact legislation to recognize unborn children as separate victims when their mothers are the object of the commission of an offence.

I am very impressed. These petitioners come from Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and other large cities, but I noticed in my estimate that all of the citizens of Kamsack signed it. Members have probably never even heard of Kamsack. It is in Saskatchewan. We also have a whole bunch of names from the little town where I was born, Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

Petitions February 25th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a large petition with 2,054 signatures from across the country, from Newfoundland and Labrador all the way to British Columbia. The petitioners request that Parliament enact legislation to protect unborn victims of crime.

I thank Mr. Aydin Cocelli, the brother-in-law of murdered Aysun Sesen who lost her life and the life of her unborn child. He was the instigator of this. He has taken great initiative to provide support for my bill. He is collecting literally thousands of names on petitions across the country on that behalf.

Canada Grain Act February 15th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, during the beginning of the member's speech, he mentioned that the bill would in no way affect producers in Quebec but then he proceeded to go on to say that he would be watching it very closely and that he would be defending the good of the farmers.

The fact is that western farmers, I think, have a sense of wanting to determine their own destiny and they are telling those of us in the west that they want to have more ability to market their product freely. They want a choice. They want to be able to use the government agency if it is to their advantage, but there are many times, right now for example, where they could get triple the amount of income if they had some marketing freedom.

How can the member justify saying, out of one side of his mouth, that this would not affect them when, by their own declaration the people in that corner have consistently said over the years that I have been here that they want to get out of Canada, which I feel badly about, but they keep saying it? However, now he seems to be so very interested in what is happening in western Canada. How does he reconcile that?

Canada Elections Act February 12th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment on a couple of the statements the member made.

When one is looking for capable, qualified people, it is a tough chore to automatically exclude everybody who has ever been involved in any form of support of a political party. The fact is that we urge our citizens to be involved.

The member mentioned Mr. Gouk, a colleague of mine who used to sit as a member of Parliament. He was appointed. Jim Gouk happened to have been an air traffic controller. He was more qualified than any of the other applicants. I do not know why anyone would disqualify him just because he happened at one time to have been a Conservative. I know where the member is coming from. It is a tough chore.

What I object to is when the Liberals used to appoint people whose only qualification was that they were members or supporters of the Liberal Party.

However, in this particular case, and it is one on which I have personal knowledge, there is probably nobody in the country as knowledgeable about air traffic control, having worked in that business and kept up to speed with it, than Jim Gouk.

I understand where the member is coming from as I used to sit on that side. One has some sympathy for the perception but in this case the perception is wrong.

Senate Appointment Consultations Act February 12th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I remember hearing a speaker a long time ago who was talking about the plight of hungry children in third world countries. He said that he could not save them all, that he could not do everything, but that he could do something. “I will help one or two if I can,” he said.

I use that as an analogy for this. The Liberals keep saying that“ we cannot do everything and therefore we will do nothing”. I challenge them to ask why we do not do what we can. This particular initiative being undertaken by the government involves no constitutional changes. It is simply an act which will provide for consultation with the people, with a commitment that when the people express themselves in a vote on whom they want to have in the Senate as their representatives, then the current government will appoint them.

It takes nothing. There is no need for a constitutional amendment. Let us do what we can and move toward democracy.

Senate Appointment Consultations Act February 12th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I sure did make my mark in life as the member for Elk Island and I was honoured to have been only the second member of Parliament for that riding. It was a new riding in the previous election and then, of course, the boundaries were changed and it became the riding of Edmonton--Sherwood Park, which is where I now have the honour to serve.

After listening to the member's speech, one thing really puzzles me. How can the member continue to say that we will not appoint the person that is chosen by the people anyway? He quite distinctly said in his speech that if the people do not select someone that the Prime Minister likes that he will appoint someone else.

This whole exercise is about bringing some democracy, in other words the voice and the will of the people, to the selection of senators. There is no justification in our modern age where most western countries have a level of democracy and where the people are heard, whereas in Canada we have one of our houses of Parliament appointed without regard to the will of the people.

Alberta is a perfect example of that. Every member of Parliament from Alberta is a Conservative right now, and we hope that will continue, but only one senator is not a Liberal appointment. The choices made by Liberal prime ministers have been totally political appointments. Until Senator Bert Brown was appointed by the Prime Minister as a direct result of Bert Brown having won an election in Alberta, we had no members of the Senate from Alberta who actually represented the will of the people.

If we are going to have a Senate, how can the member possibly justify speaking against having the people make the choice, rather than some politician in Ottawa?

Senate Appointment Consultations Act February 12th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, a whole bunch of things went through my mind when the member was speaking.

I hesitate to do this because it is not really in my nature to praise Liberals, but I do need to counter one of her statements. She said that she never saw a senator, that he was never in the riding, that he does not work, et cetera. I have an example to counter that.

Even though every member of Parliament from Alberta is a Conservative, every one of them, unfortunately we are represented in the Senate by people from the Liberal Party and the NDP because they are whom the prime minister appointed.

I want to say something about one of the hard-working members from Alberta. His name is Tommy Banks. I see him frequently at functions in the city of Edmonton where my riding is. He appears there. He participates actively in the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies. He conducts music and does many good things there. One day some constituents were here. We went for a walk. I showed them the Senate. This was at about 10 o'clock at night. We went up into the Senate gallery and who was giving a speech? Senator Tommy Banks. I am not campaigning for him, but some of these people do good work and I would say that he is one of them.

The question is, do they have legitimacy having been appointed? I believe that if we gave them the legitimacy of an election, they could do good work and add to the democracy in our country.

Furthermore, I need to say it is just a hard fact that Ontario and Quebec have 60% of Canada's population. They have 60% of the seats in this place and unless we have a counterbalance in the Senate for the outlying regions, everywhere except Ontario and Quebec, we lose the democratic balance in this country in which the views from right across the country are expressed and represented in our houses. We do have to have a Senate. I am quite convinced of that, but I would like to see it as an elected Senate so that it has full legitimacy.

I would like the member's comments on that. I have always enjoyed listening to the member and I look forward to hearing what she says now.

Senate Appointment Consultations Act February 12th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, when I was over on that side of the House, and Mr. Chrétien and his crew were on this side, over and over I asked them, which the record will show, to demonstrate to us that when they were appointing senators from a list, why their list of their partisan people was a better list than the one chosen by the people. That really is the question here today.

The member here talked a little bit about how the senators do good work. That is not problem. Let them do good work. Many of them do good work. Many of them are good, hard-working senators, but in a modern day democracy, is there still room for political patronage appointments to the Senate?

We say no. This consultation will permit a prime minister to appoint senators from a list chosen by the people, so at least we bring some element of democracy into it.

I would like the member's comment on that. How would he have answered if he would have been the prime minister when I asked that question over the last 14 years?

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act February 5th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, she did not answer the question. I asked her how she would handle it if someone were picked up with substantive evidence, enough to arrest them. The evidence is there, but we cannot divulge either the source or the nature of the charges against the person because doing so would put in danger those who are on our side, the informants, the other people who are involved.

I would like to also point out to the member that Bill C-3 does accommodate that by allowing a judge, and in this country we believe judges to be fair and impartial, to hear the evidence in secret chambers, with a lawyer appointed to actually represent the accused and to see the evidence but also sworn to total secrecy so the whole process can be done to protect our citizens. That is in the bill. So she is at the same time supporting the concept of what is in the bill and speaking against the bill. I have sort of backed her into a corner. I regret doing that. I do not like to--