House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was projects.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Edmonton Mill Woods (Alberta)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Trans Mountain Expansion Project April 16th, 2018

I hope she will stop heckling, Madam Speaker. I would respect that.

My question for the hon. member is this. How many pipelines did the Harper government build to tidewaters?

Trans Mountain Expansion Project April 16th, 2018

Madam Speaker, our government cares deeply for Alberta, Alberta families, and Alberta workers. We are working hard to build the Trans Mountain extension. Could the member tell the House how many pipelines the Harper government built to take our resources to international markets?

I hope the hon. member from Alberta will show some respect and listen to the question. When she is not listening, she is showing disrespect to Alberta workers and Alberta's industry.

Trans Mountain Expansion Project April 16th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I can understand the anxiety and concerns of British Columbians around oceans protection and marine safety. For the last decade, the government run by Mr. Harper did nothing to protect the environment or provide protection to coastal communities.

We are working with the municipalities. I can share one example, which is somewhat related to cleaning up the oceans. We are working with the city of Victoria, where raw sewage was being dumped into the oceans, to provide the necessary support to clean up the water so it is not dumped into the ocean. There are $1.5 billion in the oceans protection plan. It is an historic investment. The previous government neglected that for almost a decade.

We are there for British Columbia. We will ensure that we provide the necessary support. We will not punish British Columbians for the actions of their government. We need to make that distinction. If Mr. Horgan is creating this uncertainty, he is eroding confidence in our economy and investor confidence.

We are here to serve Canadians, including British Columbians.

Trans Mountain Expansion Project April 16th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have a tremendous amount of respect for my colleague. We worked together on the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.

I can assure the hon. member and every person in Alberta that the federal dollars allocated for infrastructure projects only go to infrastructure projects and nothing else.

I am proud to say that we were able to sign a bilateral agreement with the Province of Alberta a couple of weeks ago, investing $3.2 billion of federal funding to help grow our economy, create jobs for the middle class, and also provide opportunities for those Canadians who work hard each and every day to be part of the middle class, provide more affordable housing for families that are struggling to pay high rents, or to build more early learning and child care facilities so our young people have opportunities to learn and succeed.

Those are the investments we are making in Alberta, British Columbia, and throughout the country to ensure that people are able to succeed.

Trans Mountain Expansion Project April 16th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Edmonton Centre.

Let me start by sharing an experience I had meeting with the oil workers in Fort McMurray. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Natural Resources, and I visited that community a couple of weeks ago. We ran into a number of workers who take pride in the work they do. They come from all over Canada. They are from the Atlantic provinces, from Ontario. I sat down with some of the workers who come from British Columbia who work in the energy sector. They take pride in the work they do. They take pride, because the work they do helps them feed their families and put their children through school to get a better education. They take pride that the work they do helps them save enough for retirement.

The workers also take pride because the work they do generates revenues for the government so that it can provide the services Canadians rely on, such as better hospitals, better schools, a public transportation system, clean water for communities to drink, affordable housing people need to succeed in their lives, and shelters for women who face domestic violence so they have a safe place to live. They help us build better infrastructure and welcoming and inclusive places for all of us to call home. I experienced that pride. I experience that pride each and every day when I interact with workers throughout this country on my visits from coast to coast to coast.

I am a proud Albertan, and I am proud that after extensive consultations, our government approved the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline. I want to reaffirm and assure everyone watching today that we will get this pipeline built. We will get it built, because this pipeline is in the national interest and because this pipeline will create thousands and thousands of well-paying jobs for Albertans, for British Columbians, and for Canadians. This is a pipeline that will allow us to take our resources to non-U.S., international markets so we can get a proper price for our natural resources to help pay for the services and programs that those working for the companies, the workers I interacted with, are so proud to have.

I would like to remind the members opposite, the members of the previous Stephen Harper government, how they failed to advance the interests of Alberta's resource sector. For 10 years, the Harper Conservatives talked a good talk but failed to build a single pipeline to take our oil resources to non-U.S. markets. I would also like to remind them that the struggles Alberta families and workers have faced over the last number of years started when Harper was in power. More than 25,000 resource sector jobs were lost in the last year of the Harper government. What did the Conservatives do to help those workers? Absolutely nothing. They even held back the infrastructure investment of nearly $1 billion that would have made a difference in people's lives at a time of need.

When we took office, we started changing that. Our government immediately started looking for solutions to support Alberta's workers and families and to help the provincial economy rebound.

In March of 2016, we provided $252 million in fiscal stabilization funding to the Government of Alberta. At the same time, we significantly extended EI benefits for Alberta workers who needed them the most.

In February 2016, Export Development Canada provided $750 million in financing, guarantees, bonding instruments, and insurance to oil and gas companies.

In July 2016, Business Development Bank of Canada and ATB Financial partnered to provide $1 billion aimed at making more capital available for small and medium-sized businesses in Alberta.

In March 2017, our government announced $30 million, which unlocked $235 million to accelerate the cleanup of orphaned wells over the next three years.

My department, Infrastructure Canada, has provided support to more than 150 provincial, municipal, and indigenous infrastructure projects, which are leading to over $4 billion in joint investments in infrastructure in the coming years for Alberta communities.

These measures have helped the Alberta economy rebound. In the last 12 months, Alberta has gained 50,000 full-time jobs and the unemployment rate is at the lowest point in almost three years.

We know that more work needs to be done and we know that the oil and gas sector has an important role to play in keeping this momentum going. That is why our government approved two oil and two gas pipelines, including the Trans Mountain expansion, which will help get more of our resources to the markets we already have and open up new markets so we are not so reliant on our neighbours to the south to buy our oil.

Our government supports the Trans Mountain expansion, as well as the Keystone XL pipeline because we know they mean a better price for oil and more well-paying jobs for Canadians. However, we also know that TMX is not just important to Alberta. We approved this pipeline because it was in the national interest of Canada. It is in the national interest of Canada to create thousands of well-paying jobs, not only for Albertans but across the country.

It is in the best interest of Canada to find more efficient and safer ways to transport natural resources to the markets. It is in the interest of Canada to receive a fairer price for those resources than is possible when we essentially have only one customer. It is in the interest of Canada to partner with indigenous communities with respect and recognition of their rights, and ensure traditional knowledge is integrated into our decisions. It is in the interest of Canada to develop our natural resources in a way that does not compromise the environment.

In fact, in the 21st century, the only way to have a dynamic economy is to ensure a sustainable environment. That is why our government introduced the $1.5 billion ocean protection plan. This plan to safeguard the health and safety of our coastal communities and sensitive marine areas is the most significant investment Canada has ever made in protecting our oceans. It is also why Canadians feel confident that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would not jeopardize B.C.'s beautiful coastlines.

There are first nations that are going to benefit from this, but most important, this project is necessary because it is in Canada's national interest.

Let me remind Canadians that the leader of the official opposition today mentioned to the media that he did not believe that taxpayer money should be used to fund infrastructure projects. We cannot agree with that statement. As the Minister of Infrastructure, I can assure people that there are a number of projects in the official opposition leader's riding that are being funded by public sector investments, that public dollars are being used to build transportation systems in our cities, and public dollars are being used to build waste water and clean water systems and other infrastructure that our communities need.

Finance March 21st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, we do have a plan, and that plan is to invest in communities to build the infrastructure they need, to help grow our economy, and to create jobs. We are unlocking $40 billion of investment into affordable housing, something about which the Harper government cared less or not at all. This is the investment we are making so people have an affordable place to live, and women fleeing domestic violence have a decent place to go to seek protection. Those are the investments we are making to build healthier communities.

Finance March 21st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, let me talk about one of the components of our historic infrastructure investments. We are investing $33 billion to improve public transit systems in our communities to reduce pollution. We are investing in green infrastructure to make our communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change. We are investing in cultural and recreational community infrastructure to build healthier and inclusive communities.

I am also proud that, for the first time, we are investing $2.4 billion in rural and northern communities to support them in a way they have never been supported—

Finance March 21st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, our government understands that infrastructure is the foundation of building a strong economy, creating jobs for the middle class, and providing opportunities for those Canadians who work hard every day to be part of the middle class. That is why we are making historic investments in infrastructure to support communities. We are putting forward $180-billion long-term, sustainable, and predictable funding for our communities, something communities have been asking for, and something that, for a decade, the Harper government denied them.

Infrastructure March 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the opposition may find it funny, but it is very important for people in Halifax and people in Red Deer and to understand that those buses are improving their quality of life. It is helping to reduce gridlock in those communities, helping to get students from home to university or colleges, and getting workers home safely to their families. That is the importance of those investments.

It is so sad to see that the opposition members do not understand that critical transportation infrastructure is for communities.

Infrastructure March 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite would not understand what an infrastructure plan is, because they never had one. We put forward a plan that is helping us build a better public transportation system. The City of Halifax has purchased 20 buses with our plan, buses that are improving service in that community. For the first time in the history of Red Deer, we are investing in that community to improve the public transportation system. In communities that have been ignored by the previous government, we are building—