House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was nations.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Madawaska—Restigouche (New Brunswick)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 17% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary, whom I want to thank for his strong support, is absolutely right when he said that it is an undeniable fact that no other government in the history of this great country of ours has done as much for northerners as this Conservative government.

Bill S-6 is just the latest example of how we are delivering on our northern strategy. This bill is about enhancing and strengthening the social, economic and environmental assessment process in Yukon, as well as the water licensing process in Nunavut.

The bill builds on two pillars that the parliamentary secretary mentioned and is intended to both protect the environment and promote economic development in these two regions.

It also ensures that northerners are equipped with an effective, timely and predictable regulatory system that is able to contribute to attract investments into their regions for generations to come.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we have here another member who is getting all worked up about the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, which we did not invent. I had the privilege of being an MP over 20 years ago, and the same rules were in place then. Canada is still seen as a vibrant democracy that serves Canadians well.

As my colleague said, there is going to be an election this fall. However, Canadians will have been served by a serious government that is committed to creating jobs in our country, growing our economy and making sure that Canadians' quality of life continues to improve.

Thanks to all of the measures that this government has put in place, Canadians have the lowest tax burden in 50 years. Since the depths of the recession, we have created over 1.2 million good jobs. Were it not for this tool that allows us to close debate when an issue has been debated enough, Canadians would not be reaping all of those benefits.

Bill S-6 is important because the people of the Yukon deserve to be on a level playing field with the other northern regions and the rest of Canada.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her comments, and I will tell her and tell the House that the Government of Canada has maintained an open dialogue with the Government of Yukon, the Government of Nunavut, NTI, the Yukon first nations, industry associations, and other stakeholders.

As a matter of fact, on the consultation issue, maybe she does not know, but financial assistance was offered to aboriginal groups and boards throughout the consultation process for the review of these legislative proposals. The vast majority of these provisions are being endorsed by the Council of Yukon First Nations. It is true that it has expressed concern about four particular amendments, but it is important to state that these four particular amendments do not take away from the spirit and intent of the umbrella agreement. These amendments are in full compliance not only with the letter but with the spirit and intent of the umbrella agreement.

I want to assure our partners in this treaty, the first nations, the Yukoners, as represented by the Government of Yukon, that we are going to continue to work with them, in partnership, to implement these changes for the benefit of Yukoners.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the member is saying that the procedures of the House are undemocratic. As far as I know, according to the Standing Orders of the House the government can move this motion if it is in the interest of Canadians.

We know very well that the opposition party's fundamental objective is to prevent the government from moving forward with its political agenda.

If we are creating jobs, if we have reduced the tax burden on Canadian families, and if we have created millions of jobs since the end of the recession, it is because of our political agenda, which translates into legislation. The NDP will rise and try to sabotage our political agenda.

Yukoners' best interests must prevail, and it is for that reason that we must adopt this motion. The bill must pass so that the people of the Yukon can benefit from it.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, let me thank the hon. member for his question but mostly for his work on behalf of Yukoners. He is always at work to ensure that Yukoners do indeed participate in Canada's prosperity.

As I said, our government's top priority is creating jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity, and this is no different in the north. The reason we must allocate time to pass Bill S-6 as rapidly as possible is that it will establish conditions in both Yukon and Nunavut that will encourage continued investment and ensure that Canada's north remains an attractive place for industry investments in an increasingly competitive global market.

For example, Bill S-6 introduces timelines that will create consistency and predictability in environmental assessments and the issuance of water licences. Another piece of the bill makes sure that once a project has been assessed once, it will not require another assessment unless there has been a significant change to the project, reducing duplication.

Provisions like these will attract investment to Yukon and Nunavut, which will act as a major driver of jobs across the territories.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, juste en passant, I would like the hon. member to acknowledge that this is not about amendments to just the Yukon process. Important changes to the regulatory system in Nunavut are also contained in Bill S-6, and all Nunavummiut have endorsed these holus-bolus. I would invite the hon. member to consider that aspect of the bill also.

On the issue of consultation, the member is totally wrong. That is the leadership of the Liberal Party. The Liberals follow the crowd. Wherever the wind blows, that is where they go.

We are a principled party and a principled government. This is about job creation. This is about economic growth. This is about protecting the environment. This is about long-term prosperity.

At the moment, there is an imbalance. The government of the Yukon has asked us to pass this bill, because it wants to get to a level playing field with the other territories and with the provinces south of 60. This is about creating certainty. This is about securing investment in the natural resources sector, where first nations, I wish to remind the House, are co-managing the YESA Board with the Government of the Yukon and the Government of Canada.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, a serious parliamentarian, a serious party, and a serious government do not inform their agenda by headlines in newspapers. They inform their policy agenda by the needs of Canadians.

This government is creating jobs, creating economic growth, and ensuring the long-term prosperity of not only Canadians south of 60 but of all Canadians from coast to coast to coast. That includes Yukon, that includes Nunavut, and that includes the Northwest Territories.

The regulatory changes from the action plan this government has put forward are designed to achieve four fundamental and beneficial objectives. The first is making reviews of development projects more predictable and timely. The second is reducing duplication in the review process, something that we know the NDP does not believe in. It strives for duplication. The third is strengthening environmental protection. The fourth is achieving meaningful aboriginal consultations.

This is what Bill S-6 is all about. Throughout this process, we have fully engaged with the first nations, who are our partners under the umbrella agreement. It is with those signed first nations and the Government of Yukon that we will continue to work in partnership to create more wealth, more jobs, and long-term prosperity for all Yukoners.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the comments of the hon. member betray his lack of understanding and knowledge of what led to Bill S-6. He says there was no consultation. Improvements to the regulatory system have been contemplated since 2007, and they were informed by a review by Neil McCrank, the federal government's special representative for the northern regulatory improvement initiative. In his review of the regulatory systems across the north, he consulted widely with aboriginal groups, governments, and industry. These consultations resulted in his 2008 report, entitled “The Road to Improvement”.

In 2012, the Government of Canada subsequently announced the action plan to improve northern regulatory regimes, which drew upon recommendations in this 2008 report.

The short answer as to why we have this motion today is that it is to give the northerners the benefit of its impact.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, if this is the 98th time that such a motion has been proposed to the House, it means that this Parliament, our party, our government will have accomplished a lot of work for the benefit of all Canadians.

Bill S-6 is the final legislative step to fully implement the action plan to improve northern regulatory regimes. The bill would complete the northern regulatory improvement legislative agenda. The agenda has included the passage of the Northern Jobs and Growth Act, Bill C-47, and the Northwest Territories Devolution Act, Bill C-15.

I understand the member for the Northwest Territories wanting to keep Yukon on a different playing field than the Northwest Territories. He should be more generous. The bill would level the playing field for all the territories in the north. The regulatory regime would be the same as south of 60, so northerners could benefit from the certainty this would bring to their regulatory regime in that territory.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand before you to reaffirm our government’s commitment to advancing reconciliation with aboriginal people who suffered from the residential school system.

This week marks the closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This event marks a significant milestone in the successful implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, and in meeting the goal of moving towards healing, reconciliation and resolution of the sad legacy of the residential school system in Canada.

Today, to all former students who have come forward to speak about their experiences, to all who have shown extraordinary courage and resilience, to their families, and to everyone who has suffered from the impacts of this very dark chapter in our history, I would like to offer a statement of reconciliation.

The strength, determination, and resilience they and many former students I have met shared in discussing their experiences and in talking about the legacy of the Indian residential schools is admirable. These qualities are necessary to ensure that Canadians have a greater understanding of the long-standing harms caused by the Indian residential school system for aboriginal people across Canada.

On June 11, 2008, the Prime Minister apologized on behalf of the Government of Canada, and all Canadians, for the forcible removal of aboriginal children from their homes and communities to attend Indian residential schools.

In this historic apology, the Prime Minister recognized that there is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian residential school system to ever prevail again.

The apology affirmed Canada’s commitment to joining aboriginal peoples on a journey of healing towards reconciliation.

The commission was mandated with a unique opportunity to educate all Canadians on the Indian residential schools to forge a new relationship between aboriginal peoples and other Canadians. While this is the commission's closing event, the work to heal the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians must continue.

On this day, let us commit to taking one more step together to rebuild the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians. This renewed relationship requires sharing the truth.

Compiled through the work of the commission, the historical record of Indian residential schools made possible by the thousands of individuals who courageously came forward to tell their stories is an achievement of national significance. This profound and lasting record will help Canadians toward renewed relationships based on understanding and respect.

Reconciliation is a goal that will take the commitment of multiple generations, and the Government of Canada understands the importance of transforming how it works with aboriginal people and shifting attitudes and perceptions among all Canadians.

Reconciliation is an active process that requires ongoing engagement. The government looks forward to continuing dialogue with all Canadians, aboriginal and non-aboriginal alike, about advancing reconciliation.

To that end, Canada is committed to working toward reconciliation, building on the Prime Minister's historic 2008 apology to former students of Indian residential schools, their families and communities. This will be achieved by acknowledging, learning from and addressing past wrongs, being responsive to aboriginal peoples' expressed needs and priorities, actively engaging Canadians in reconciliation efforts, and commemorating the significant contributions of aboriginal peoples and cultures to Canadian society.

The stained glass window installed in the Centre Block of Parliament is a poignant reminder of the true meaning of reconciliation, not only for the members of Parliament who enter through the door above which it sits, but for all Canadians.

I am confident that we will be able to continue healing as a nation, building on the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It is in this spirit that Canada pledges that it will continue its efforts to advance reconciliation.

To that end, Canada is committed to working towards reconciliation.