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Conservative MP for Huron—Bruce (Ontario)

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

Statements in the House

Excise Act, 2001 February 25th, 2016

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-232, An Act to amend the Excise Act, 2001 (spirits).

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce my private member's bill, seconded by the hon. member for Brantford—Brant, to reduce the excise tax on spirits.

Canadian spirits are world renowned, and our nation produces premium products that represent nearly $1 billion in exports each year. Lowering the excise tax rate would allow the Canadian spirits industry to invest and be more competitive in the global market. Canadian agriculture and tourism industries would also benefit from a more competitive spirits sector.

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

Canada's Contribution to the Effort to Combat ISIL February 23rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member could also provide my colleagues opposite a brief history of how this all unfolded. The caliphate spread through Iraq and on to Syria at a pace that we have never seen in modern history. The only option was for the joint forces to align and do strategic air strikes to slow ISIS down. Now the Liberals have this view that, magically, some other things can happen, but we know that is not the reality.

Can the member provide a brief history of how we have gotten to this point and how these air strikes are effective and how Canada's role would be effective with them?

Bruce Power February 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House today and recognize one of the great citizens in the community of Huron—Bruce, Duncan Hawthorne, president and chief executive officer of Bruce Power. He announced a few weeks ago that he would be stepping down at the end of this year.

Duncan has revolutionized the nuclear industry in Canada, in Ontario, and certainly rejuvenated the economy in Huron—Bruce.

Bruce Power has over 3,000 employees. This year alone, it was record production with eight reactors. It provides 30% of the electricity in the Ontario grid, at under 30% of the average cost. It has secured production until 2064.

In the past 15 years, Duncan has set out, met, and achieved every goal he has endeavoured to take. He has taken the nuclear industry on his back and made it world class.

All the best in the future to Duncan and his wife, Leslie.

Canada Labour Code February 5th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I myself was a union member, a CAW worker, a union steward at one time many years ago.

Unifor has its resort on the lake in my riding. It built a million-dollar wind turbine on its property. These are the types of things that need to be uncovered. Locals keep the books and do a great job. The workers who pay their dues are great, hard-working people.

We need to shine the light on the excesses of the national executives. I wonder what my colleague's thoughts are on that.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply January 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, businesses do not have an infinite amount of money and time to decide where they are going to deploy their capital. They have to decide because they are responsible to their shareholders. More times than not, when there is uncertainty created by the government, they will take a pass.

The environmental assessment process is very rigorous. There has been an environmental assessment process going on in my riding since I have been elected, for seven and a half years, and there is still no yes or no answer. That, to me, would seem a very onerous and rigorous system and one maybe in some cases is warranted. However, if the average is that long, that certainly will not work.

If anything, I believe the Liberal government should find ways to make the environmental assessment process work quicker, better, and faster, so companies that are looking to invest in our country know they have certainty. Right now, unfortunately, the Liberal government has raised a multitude of red flags that will have investors scratching their heads and looking to see where else to invest.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply January 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the member would be happy to know that the Conservative government welcomed more refugees than any other government. We are quite happy to have these productive people come to our country and get away from the tyranny in which they were involved.

Unfortunately, in 90 days, the Liberals have created a two-tier refugee system. Over the Christmas break when the House was not sitting, a resident from one of my communities commented on how upset he was because his community was trying to welcome a family from Ethiopia and that application had been put on the back burner. That is unfortunate. The people who the resident was welcoming have to repay a loan. The Liberals have waived the loan for the Syrian refugees and have created a two-tier system.

In 90 days, the Liberals have diminished our place on the world stage to the point now where the Liberal strategy is coats, campfires, and cannabis, the three Cs. Those are the three ways the Liberals have to solve the world's issues and it is a failure and a flop. We used to have a place at the table and now we do not. What a shame.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply January 25th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Sarnia—Lambton.

It is a pleasure to rise in the House this evening. It is my first opportunity to rise in the House for a speech since the election. First, I would like to thank the residents of Huron—Bruce counties for their confidence in me in re-electing me for a third time. It is a tremendous honour. It is an honour that all members of the House, whether they have been here for many years or are just newly elected, will come to understand. This time, it being a 79-day election, or really almost a two-year election, it certainly put a lot of miles on the feet. For those at home who might be interested, we logged about 400 plus miles knocking on doors. That took a few treads off the shoes.

I should also thank volunteers, my staff, and family for the tremendous help as well. I could not do it without them.

This is the first Speech from the Throne that we have heard from a Liberal government in many years. Two of its themes are a strong economy and a strong environment. One thing that investors looking to reinvest in our country, or new investors, look for is certainty. The Speech from the Throne and the actions taken by the government in the first few months certainly would not give any investor certainty or confidence to make Canada a place to invest. It would probably be in spite of the government that they would make those investments.

There are a couple of points that are open to debate. One is the deficit. During the election campaign the Prime Minister talked about a target deficit ratio he had in mind, and almost immediately after being elected the Liberals admitted they would blow right through that and would actually measure their success by a different means, which would be a ratio. That would not give too many investors a lot of confidence. In addition to that was a price on carbon. It has been a longstanding commitment of the Liberal Party to put a price on carbon. This is at a time when the resource sector in our country, and really around the world, is on its knees and looking for a bit of good news. The news of a carbon tax is not reassuring. We are starting to see some themes in these respects.

In addition to that is the review of environmental assessments. We heard the Prime Minister mention them it in the House today and abroad when he was travelling. We can all debate what an environmental assessment looks like today compared to what it looked like just a few years ago, but if we look back to a few years ago at the height of the economic downturn, projects received funding from the federal and provincial governments. They went through two levels of environmental assessment, federal and provincial. We all agreed, and the provinces agreed at that time too, that if the provincial environmental assessment was suitable, we should cut the red tape and stick strictly to the provincial environmental assessment. It has worked out quite well. I know that in my riding it has worked out well. The municipalities, the engineers, and the contractors understand that red tape has been removed. However, when we hear the Prime Minister talk about environmental assessments, we need answers. The economy needs answers. Business needs answers.

When we look at environmental assessments of large projects that would warrant a federal environmental assessment, we hear there is a new day, a new time for these assessments. That is a cause for concern. There are environmental assessments that have already been undertaken, for example, of the northern gateway project. I have the numbers for the latter. There were 180 days of hearings, 80 expert witnesses, on top of many deputizations that took place. As well, the panel had 30,000 pages to review. Any business looking to make investments in our country, whether on a pipeline, opening a mine, or whatever it may be, even a green hydro electric project, is going to look at this and the words of the Prime Minister. If they are looking for certainty and reasonableness and a threshold to satisfy both what they are trying to do and the environmental concerns, they are going to have second thoughts.

When we are looking now at a carbon tax on the horizon and environmental assessments that may not even improve the current system, but just add layers of red tape that were previously eliminated, it is a concern. When we look at what we also heard about in the election campaign, the Navigable Waters Protection Act, it directly affects my riding. We have many in my riding, none of which are navigable except maybe by a kayak or a canoe. Now we would turn back the clock and ask Transport Canada to look at every project that may involve a river that has no navigation, by kayak or raft, and waste valuable resources at Transport Canada to ask them if there are any concerns. This would not improve the environment, the economy, or red tape. This would add layers and burden to the system. For the economy, we are off to a bad start.

In addition to that, we are asking business owners who want to add more staff or set up new shops in this country to increase their payroll taxes via a proposed addition or new form of the Canada pension plan. In my province of Ontario, the premier has talked about this, and it is disastrous. It would get rid of jobs. It is one more thing that would have business owners take a look and say they will take a pass. It is unfortunate to have this pessimistic view, but people are going to be in the board room, likely as we speak, trying to make decisions on where they are going to allocate their capital for the rest of this year and next year and years beyond, and they are going to have a lot of questions.

If we look at Australia, I do not know if the liberal party in Australia has eliminated the carbon tax that the labour party brought in there, but it was certainly one of the policies that they had. Why? It was because they saw what it did to the country.

Another thing I want to talk about is that brain drain. It has been many years since we have talked about the brain drain, but it will be on the horizon again. We know that many of the professionals in this country, especially in small communities like mine, are valued. We value these professions: the doctors and dentists and so on. With the Liberals' proposed increased tax rates on these professionals, and with the way the dollar is relative to the United States currency, this will cause a brain drain once again, something that was corrected over the last decade. We are now going to be having discussions in the near future about brain drain.

In addition, one of the pledges that the Liberals made in their platform was tax relief for the middle class and hikes in the top tax bracket. This was supposed to be revenue neutral. Shortly after that the Liberals took office, they were again shown to be wrong: it was not revenue neutral. It was at least $1 billion to the wrong side of the ledger, which again gives no confidence to the market.

The energy east pipeline is basically turning out to be a bungled mess politically. For the Prime Minister and some of his Liberal mayors throughout the countryside, it is causing issues. I have lots to talk about here. Perhaps in question time there will be lots of questions to bring up.

Another item I want to talk about is Canada's position in the world. In 90 days, the Liberals have diminished our place on the world stage. Now, we are not asked to meet with NATO countries in Paris to work out a plan to rid the world of ISIS, and that is a shame. Hopefully, we will get more questions.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship December 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, this week we are welcoming the first Syrian families of the 25,000 government-sponsored refugees to Canada, so why is the government leaving Afghan refugee James Akam out in the cold? James served bravely alongside our troops in Afghanistan as an interpreter and now needs refuge in Canada. At a time when we are welcoming thousands, why is the government leaving Mr. Akam out in the cold after he has showed tremendous service to our county?

Committees of the House June 17th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Health, entitled “Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation and the Health of Canadians”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

I would also like to mention that this is the second unanimous report this year from the health committee. There has been good work by all members.

Alzheimer's Disease and Other Forms of Dementia June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House again and talk about Motion No. M-575. I would like to thank members from all sides of the House who have spoken to the motion and to what its intents are.

There was a comment in one of the member's speeches about the power of emotion. If we remember just a few months ago there was a motion in the House on thalidomide and we were able to take action collectively as a Parliament and deliver real results for the victims of that terrible issue. There are lots of cases where motions can move and I think this is one of them.

Another example I would like to mention is something that happened last night. We had the Dementia Friends Canada event here to kick off awareness of this campaign to reach one million friends. I checked the website today and there are about 2,400, so there are a few more to go, but that will be our jobs as parliamentarians this summer to help get the word out about what we are trying to do and what the Alzheimer's Society is trying to do as well.

The motion obviously focuses on a number of different issues, a number of different objectives, but the main thing, to boil this down for people at home is that this government is on the world stage working together to try to find a solution to this terrible illness. We are there globally.

At the national level, since 2006, there has been over $1 billion invested in neuroscience. That is an important number. Since day one of this government, we have recognized this huge issue that is facing this country in specific demographics and we have made those investments. We are there locally and on the world stage for research. In Canada we have invested in research with Dementia Friends Canada and other programs like that and are working to break down the stigma. We are working to help other Canadians understand the issues. We are helping not only the person with the diagnosis but the immediate loved ones, extended families, neighbours and friends, possibly co-workers, understand what this disease is and how all the different dementias affect individuals differently.

We are there on the awareness piece as well as on surveillance. In order to really understand if we are making improvements and further understand how we are changing the issue, we need to be able to properly take the information and have a proper surveillance program. That is what we are doing. We are respecting provincial jurisdictions, which is vitally important.

The motion takes a number of different steps. I want to thank all members for taking the time to listen and read about the motion. The motion will likely be one of the last pieces of business we deal with next week before our four-year mandate comes to a close and hopefully for many more years.

Since 2006, the government has taken tremendous actions on the file of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. We are at the table. We are going to continue to push forward. Once again, on behalf of all members of Parliament, our hearts go out to Canadians who have been affected by this terrible disease.

The numbers that are important that Canadians need to remember are: there are 750,000 Canadians who currently have it and nearly 1.4 million Canadians who will have it in a few years. There are over 40 million people worldwide who have the disease. It costs the Canadian economy. It costs Canadians in general $33 billion a year in direct and indirect costs. If this disease is not dealt with, it is going to cost Canadians over $200 billion in the next few decades. We need to take action. We have taken action. We need to continue to push the bar forward. We look forward to the vote next week.