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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is know.

Conservative MP for Huron—Bruce (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Latin American Heritage Month Act June 13th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise this evening. First, I would like to recognize a former Huron—Bruce resident and former classmate of mine in high school, Shauna Hemingway. She is Canada's ambassador to the Dominican Republic and has been a tremendous public servant for many years.

October is the month that would be designated. In the areas I hang out, and for baseball fans around the world, October has always been known as the month of the fall classic. I am going to take a little lighter look at the bill tonight and look at the Latin American contribution to Canadian culture and its impact from a baseball perspective.

First, we will start back in 1954 in Montreal with the Montreal Royals. Who played for the 1954 Montreal Royals? It was not Jackie Robinson. It was a young Puerto Rican player by the name of Roberto Clemente, who would go on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, with 3,000 hits, a .300 batting average, and many illustrious years in the major leagues, until his untimely death in the seventies. That was really a great beginning for the Latin American impact on Canada and sports. I should also mention Roberto Clemente was the first Latin American World Series champion.

After that, a few years passed and we had the Expos in Montreal in the late sixties. Of course everyone loves the Expos now. Who was perhaps one of the most famous Montreal Expos pitchers of all time? It was El Presidente, El Perfecto, Dennis Martinez. Dennis played for the Expos. Dennis is from Nicaragua. He was the first Nicaraguan to play in the major leagues. He played for the Expos from 1986 to 1993. Dennis Martinez had 245 wins. He had a 13th perfect game in 1991. His nickname out of that was El Presidente, El Perfecto. In 2016, he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, Ontario, which is, of course, in the riding of seatmate here from Perth—Wellington.

Years later, who came along? Vladimir Guerrero from Dominican Republic. He played for the Expos from 1996 to 2003. He probably had the best outfield arm of all time. Sorry, Jesse Barfield. Expos fans will remember a throw that Vladimir Guerrero made against the Blue Jays in 2001, where he picked the ball right out of the air, threw it home, approximately 300 feet, and got Alberto Castillo out at home plate. It was probably one of the best outfield throws of all time. Vladimir Guerrero went on to have a .318 batting average, 449 career home runs, 2,590 hits, and was inducted into the hall of fame in Cooperstown, unfortunately with the L.A. Angels, but of course some of his best years were with the Expos, obviously.

Another famous Expo who was there for a short period of time was Pedro Martinez. He played from 1994 to 1997. He was the 1997 Cy Young Award winner. Of course, he is a hall of famer as well.

Then there is the Big Cat, Andrés Galarraga, the big first baseman from Venezuela, maybe a precursor to Melky Cabrera. He played from 1985 to 1991 and had a couple of great seasons at the Olympic stadium.

A couple of other well-received and well-thought-of Dominican Republic players were Moisés Alou. He had a great swing, and was a right-hander. There was also Felipe Alou. A lot of people do not know this, but Moisés actually played for the Montreal Expos and was a coach in the Montreal Expos system for many years. He was likely their best coach. From 1992 to 2001, he had over 1,000 career wins. That was a great era. Moisés is still alive today in Dominican Republic.

A couple of other Latin American Expos I should mention are Javier Vázquez and, because it is after nine o'clock I think we can say this, Big Sexy, Bartolo Colón. He is a five-foot 10-inch, 280-pound pitcher, and he is still throwing, at 45 years of age, for the Texas Rangers.

In the 1970s, in Toronto, that was really the epicentre of where Latin American influence came in Canadian baseball, and probably in North American baseball. There was the expansion. We had the Toronto Blue Jays. There was a new GM, from the New York Yankees, Pat Gillick, and an exceptional scout, Epy Guerrero. It was really he and another scout, from the Los Angeles Dodgers, who started the first Dominican Republic baseball academy, which really put the Dominican on the map.

The Blue Jays first team had three Latin Americans: Pedro Garcia, Hector Torres, and Otto Velez, two from Puerto Rico and one from Mexico. Does anyone remember the 1979 co-rookie of the year? It was Alfredo Griffin. This will be trivia some day.

Damaso Garcia was a second baseman for the Blue Jays from 1980 to 1986.

We then get into the glory years, with Jorge Bell, later to be known as George Bell, who was a little crusty, but a great player. He was plucked from the Philadelphia Phillies. He played in 1981 and from 1983 to 1990. He was the 1987 MVP, had 47 home runs in 1987, with a 308 batting average and 134 RBIs that year. It is the only reason a guy from Clinton knows where San Pedro de Macoris is in the Dominican Republic. He is in the Level of Excellence for the Blue Jays.

A sweet fielding shortstop came along around the same time from the Dominican Republic, Tony Fernández. He threw sidearm from shortstop, was a leader in hits, played two times. He is in the Level of Excellence and a great guy.

Probably the best Blue Jay of all time to ever play was Robbie Alomar, from Puerto Rico. He was a hall of famer from 1991 to 1995, had 10 Gold Gloves, 12 All-Stars. He is in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. He is in Cooperstown. He hit 300 for a career, with over 27 hits and almost 500 stolen bases.

Does anyone remember Bam Bam, Carlos Delgato, from Puerto Rico? He was Level of Excellence. He should have been in the Hall of Fame as well. He had over 400 homers and 1,500 RBIs.

The latest two or three were José Bautista and Edwin Encarnación. Who can forget those two? Honourable mention: does anyone remember Juan Guzman, Manny Lee, Alex Rios, and Junior Felix?

Today's excellent Latin American Blue Jays include Teoscar Hernández, Marco Estrada, when he can get the change-up over, and Jaimie García, when he remembers to throw strikes. Who is the crown jewel of Latin American baseball today? It is Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. Who can forget the walk-off home run in Montreal in April, one of the most memorable home runs in Canadian history? Maybe it was not quite as much as Joe Carter's, but Joe was not born in Latin America.

I think back to some of the journalists who have covered the Jays through the years: Stephen Brunt, Jeff Blair, Richard Griffin, and Bob Elliott. I would love to hear all their thoughts.

Some of the all-time greats from the Dominican Republic are David “Big Papi” Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Adrian Beltre, and Julio Franco.

From Colombia are Edgar Renteria and Orlando Cabrera.

From Panama is Mariano Rivera.

From Mexico, does anyone remember “El Toro”, Fernando Valenzuela, who is 60 years old, and Fernandomania, from the 1980s?

I want to go through a few more.

From Venezuela there is José Altuve, Elvis Andrus, Félix Hernández, Victor Martinez, Bobby Abreu, Andres Galarraga, Miguel Cabrera, and Adrián Beltré.

From Cuba, because they are able to come across now and play, there is Jose Abreu, Aroldis Chapman, and his 106-mile-an-hour fastball, Yoenis Céspedes, and Yasiel Puig. How is my pronunciation in Spanish?

I should also mention that I played a couple of years of collegiate baseball in Tennessee, and many of my teammates were from Puerto Rico. There was Alex Colon and Ramon Lopez. I forget some of them now, it has been so many years. This haircut is a dead giveaway. There was Danny Alvarez and Enrique Lazu. I have so many great memories.

Let us make no mistake, some of these were the greats of all time. They put Canadian baseball on the map. God bless Latin America.

Impact Assessment Act June 6th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, to follow up on the comments by my colleague from Alberta, with all due respect to the minister, does she believe that a municipal drain made by an excavator or a backhoe is either a navigable water or a fish habitat? I ask that with all due respect.

Impact Assessment Act June 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I know the member remembers a time when we were in government and we streamlined and fixed the problems. DFO was getting involved in municipal drains. There were navigable water issues in my riding, where there are no boats going up any rivers. There were double environmental assessments for infrastructure projects, which created duplication and waste. It was 10 years to get a hydroelectric project completed, with environmental screenings for cedar benches in Parks Canada. We made improvements to get rid of that waste and redundancy. I wonder if the member could talk about that for a minute.

Presence in Gallery May 3rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I understand that during debate in this House, sometimes questions may be asked and answers may come out not exactly how ministers would hope. During question period today, though, I think you will find, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, when giving an answer, provided a few reasons why the emissions numbers dropped during our time. One of the claims the minister made during that answer was that it was the Canadian government that was the cause of the worldwide economic crisis and depression. I would like to give her an opportunity to set the record straight and just say that maybe she was wrong in her facts.

Oil Tanker Moratorium Act April 30th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have a high level of regard for the member. He sat on the committee for many of the meetings while we were studying the bill.

I began my speech by saying that I am not a scientist and I would never proclaim to be. Although there are many members in the House who think they are scientists, I would probably want to check their degrees and make sure they are in fact scientists.

I know for a fact that the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley is not 100% pleased with this bill. He and I respectfully have different views on this bill and what it should do, but from his perspective, too, he probably has questions about consultation, questions about the schedule, and many other questions. Here is a member who would like to see the bill go further, and he has issues with it. That is fair. He has not had his questions answered, either.

Oil Tanker Moratorium Act April 30th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, we are at a very significant period of time in Canada's history. Can we get big projects done? Do we have the will, not just from the business side but also from the environmental side, to lay out in clear terms what it takes to get a project done? The Liberals have taken that and destroyed all certainty. No one knows. There are projects that have been under environmental assessment for over a decade, very complicated and complex environmental assessment, and because of the changes the Liberals have made, it does not work. I know of a gold mine that was almost through the environmental assessment process, and then the Liberals changed the process and now it has to start over again. That is not good for business. It is a waste of time.

We are at an important point in this country's history. Do we have the intestinal fortitude to get these projects done, get people back to work, and continue to make this the greatest country in the world?

Oil Tanker Moratorium Act April 30th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the Haida Nation came to committee. I do not know if anybody who attended that meeting is in the House, but I asked the representatives and they said that they were not consulted either. That is on the record as well. It is from committee testimony from 2017. I did not say that. I just asked them if they felt they had been consulted, and they said no. Here is a nation that obviously supports the bill, but its members do not feel like they have been consulted.

In my area, Huron—Bruce, with Bruce Power, OPG, the Port of Goderich, and others, there is a lot of consultation taking place with members of first nations. The Saugeen First Nation would be a great example. One, two, or three meetings is not consultation. Until the entire community feels as though it has been properly informed, until the people know the science and know everything there is possibly to know about the project, up to and including the legal opinions they get from their own lawyers, truly only then is that what they would consider consultation. They could probably tell a lot better than I can, but a couple of meetings with some ministers in British Columbia is not consultation. If that is the Liberals' only consultation, they will find in the court of law that they will have their hats handed to them.

Oil Tanker Moratorium Act April 30th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House to talk about this bill.

I sat on the transport committee while this bill made its way through committee. I know this has been labelled by many as hypocrisy, but the number one thing I want to talk about today is consultation. It is interesting that it was brought up by the last speaker from Edmonton and the minister mentioned it as well.

The minister made a key point that I think will be proven wrong in a court of law. He mentioned it at committee as well. I asked him about the duty to consult. He responded to that question with a long list. He will remember full well the list he provided me. However, when he asked his question just now, he said that he had a meeting or that he met.

That is not consultation. I asked people whom he had on his list when they appeared before committee if they had met with the minister. They said, “Yes, we did.” I asked if they called that consultation. Whether they approved of the ban or opposed the ban, they all snickered because they all know it was not consultation. In fact, a number of the people who were there also said, and members can check the record because it is all recorded, that when they sat down with the minister, they told him that it was not to be considered consultation, that it was just a meeting.

The question constitutional experts, and I am not one, will ask is, “Do you need to consult to impose legislation?” Well, we might find out.

The flip side of this is, let us say another government gets in in another period of time and wants to do away with Bill C-48 and eliminate the tanker ban. Will it need to consult? We may find out the answer to that question as well.

The key point is, and I think we will see this in the court case that is being brought forward, whether the federal government has the right to impede on resource development on lands where it is clearly stated in their nationhood? Will the government have the ability to eliminate any possibility for them to develop resources, to transport resources across the area? Will it be able to tell them whether or not they will be able to develop a deepwater port along the coastline of their land?

I think most constitutional experts would say that as long as it passed all the regulatory requirements of an environmental assessment, etc., they probably should be able to. We will see.

I just wanted to make that point, that from the very beginning of when the minister appeared just down the hallway here on Bill C-48, I asked him the question, and all the way through the process of the bill going through committee, I asked the question. Each and every time, people felt they were not consulted. They had a meeting, but true consultation is not a meeting. We will see on that one. It will be an interesting court case.

I will also mention that there were a few comments that really raised my eyebrows on the reconciliation and rehabilitation between first nations members and government. Again, this is on the record. One of the main objectives of the government was to improve relations with first nations, and they made the comment, “We don't need a trust fund prime minister telling us what to do.” They also looked at this bill as “further colonialism.” We are talking 2017-18. These are their words. These are not my words. These are the words of first nations members.

Eagle Spirit Energy took five years to work on a project where members of first nations could come together to develop resources from Alberta to the coast of B.C. and to do a project. One of their comments, which I also thought was great, was that they were not looking for a handout, that they were looking for a hand up to further the economic ability and the economic development within their own communities to give their people, their children, and their grandchildren an opportunity to have a better life.

These are regular Canadians who just want a chance to develop resources in a safe manner and transport resources in a safe manner. They love their country, they love their environment, and they would not do anything if they ever thought it would have a negative impact on them.

I know hypocrisy has been mentioned before, and probably every speech has mentioned it in one form or another. We are banning tanker traffic in this area, yet we are not banning it in an area south of this area. We are not banning it in an area on the east coast. We are not banning it in an area along the St. Lawrence. It is just one specific area. Oil will be coming in from different countries that certainly have less stringent environmental regulations on the development of resources than we do. This has even been written about by former Liberal members of Parliament as well.

To show members the kind of crisis we are at and the situation we are in, instead of creating a pipeline to transport oil to a port and transporting it from that port on a safe vessel to a market and actually getting a fair price for it, we are now forcing companies like CN Rail and other technology companies to use this product called CanaPux. They are actually adding polymer plastic to oil so they can ship it by rail through the two CN rail lines on the northern coast. They ship these CanaPux on vessels that would normally handle coal. This is what we have been forced to do. Diesel locomotives are travelling thousands of kilometres of rail line up and down interesting terrain just to ship it along the way. As a guy from Ontario, I sometimes question what we are doing in this country.

Another thing I thought troublesome, and I think the minister and department officials would agree, is the schedule. Using the CanaPux example, I asked government officials if CanaPux would be put on the schedule. Well, nobody has an answer, and I am not sure anybody will have an answer. Also, if we get on that schedule, how do we get off the schedule? There are no answers to that. Before any proposed legislation comes into force, I think that needs to be clearly defined and clearly set out. The industry has a right to know.

A constituent of mine mentioned that there is a consortium of clean tech people who have the technology and ability to clean up spills. They have been on a contract to provide cleanup services on the west coast. Their project or their submission to public works was flatly declined in favour of a solvent that was an American technology. I do not think we have anything against America, but when we have a Canadian technology that has been proven to be able to clean up oil spills—not dissolve oil, but actually clean up oil spills—then we have to question exactly what we are trying to accomplish here. I feel fairly safe about what technology can do to deal with vessels exporting oil products to this country, China, and parts in between, but what are we doing?

The final thing I will add is that yes, there is a ban on oil, but there is no ban on diesel fuel. Obviously I am not a scientist and I realize that the two have different properties, but there is no ban on diesel fuel. That is further to the hypocrisy point. I would say that if we had a diesel spill, it would cause a lot of damage to the environment, marine life, and marine plants, yet there is no mention of that in the bill. Each side is making is making their points, and the bill will get passed, but I would like to mention that there will obviously be court challenges and perhaps quite a bit of hypocrisy as well.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 21st, 2018

With regard to overpayments by the government, since January 1, 2016, and broken down by month: what is the total amount of (i) salary overpayment (ledger code 10315), (ii) salary overpaid not recognized in Phoenix (ledger code 10321), (iii) overpayments to be recovered (ledger code 10324)?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 21st, 2018

With regard to the website of the Government Representative Office in the Senate: (a) did the government provide resources or support for the set-up, preparation, and launch of the website; (b) does the government provide resources or support for its ongoing maintenance and content updates; (c) if the answer to either (a) or (b) is affirmative, what are the details, including the cost or fair market value, of the resources or support, including (i) funding, (ii) physical assets, (iii) human resources, (iv) access to technical support or advice, (v) access to or use of computer resources (e.g., servers, internet connections), (vi) provision of cyber security; (d) what are the titles of all individuals who are involved in providing the resources and support for the website; and (e) what are the titles of all individuals who were involved in negotiating, preparing, and approving the arrangements for providing resources or support for the website?