House of Commons photo

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was fact.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Simcoe North (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Points of Order June 18th, 2021

I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for his additional comments, and thank the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby, who always frames his arguments in a well-informed way. I have the utmost of appreciation to my predecessor as well, Mr. Comartin, who I greatly admired in the House. He was a great chair occupant.

For the familiarity of the House, there is a two-step process for a unanimous consent motion. The first part is indeed to seek consent for the member to move the motion, thereby waiving the usual notice requirement to put the motion before the House. Then, as members all know, if the waiving of the notice is accepted, the member can propose the motion for the consideration of the House. However, the unanimous consent motion process was only ever intended to be for taking an immediate decision in the House, and can in no way interrupt the daily proceedings of the House. This is why all of the rules say that for members to properly consider business, debate and take votes on questions, they must be put before the House in an orderly manner.

The unanimous consent process is an immediate reflection of the House. It is an up or down, yea or nay. It is two steps. If the second step does not succeed, in other words, if the second time around the House says no, it does not want to accept the motion that has been proposed, then that is the end of it.

Admittedly, the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby has found a precedent, an absolutely valid one, and there have been three other occasions when the same decision has been put before the Speaker. However, we have decided, in keeping with the comments that I just reflected upon, that unanimous consent requires an immediate decision to be taken, and if there is a no on either of the two steps, the matter is finished until such time as another member may wish to propose it in a different way or indeed use other rubrics of the House to bring it before the House. That is where we stand on this.

Now we will go to the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

Members Not Seeking Re-election to the 44th Parliament June 15th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult to believe that this is my last official speech in the House of Commons. Since 2011, I have generally participated in the debates in this august House only as the Chair occupant.

What a journey these last 15 years have been. My interest in politics started about a year or so after I graduated and joined the family business. As a young man I attended this huge nomination meeting for local federal Conservatives. There were more than 2,000 members in attendance, seven or eight candidates, speeches, placards and a political buzz that I had never seen or experienced before. After that, I was hooked.

That nomination event replaced the retiring member of Parliament, Philip Rynard, who had been the MP for my riding for eight consecutive terms. The candidate they chose to carry on after him was the Hon. Doug Lewis, who would go on to serve in former Prime Minister Mulroney’s cabinet until 1993. Doug remains a valued supporter and confidant, and I thank him for blazing the trail and being a great mentor to me.

Oddly enough, only one MP separated Doug and me. That was the Hon. Paul DeVillers, who served here from 1993 until just prior to my election. I quickly learned that the high standards of service they all provided set the tone for what kind of work would be expected of me.

I say all this because I am only the fourth member of Parliament for Simcoe North in my lifetime. The next MP for this amazing riding would be well advised to heed the lessons that Rynard, Lewis, DeVillers and I learned from the great people of Simcoe North.

May I take this moment to thank them all profoundly for the honour of being their voice in Parliament these 15-plus years.

I would now like to make some other acknowledgements. One of the things that I am very grateful for is having the opportunity to learn French. Since 2006, I have taken courses from the language training service, here, in the House of Commons. I have spent two hours per week to keep up my comprehension and vocabulary as well as to improve my language skills over time.

Thanks to Roseline Lemire, my teacher for 15 years, I can speak and understand this beautiful language. I thank her and the entire language training team very much.

I also want to thank Lorraine Bergeron, who was my part-time teacher in my riding.

They opened my heart to the richness of the francophone culture in my riding and across the country. I will always be proud of this particular life achievement.

I want to properly thank the people of my riding who helped me win these five consecutive elections. All of us, as MPs, can look back to the volunteers who helped fundraise, put up signs, knocked on doors, phoned and got the vote out.

I salute the hundreds of them who helped me win. I want to give special mention to several who led those efforts with extraordinary commitment: Wayne Edgett, Rod Williams, Phil DeBruyne, Steve McFadden, Claire and Dave Dusome, Charlene Anderson, Avery Bassett, Diane Bell, Kirk Farquhar, Alison Stoneman, Frank Takacs and Jim Hutchinson.

After serving these many years, I have inevitably had exceptional volunteer leaders in my campaigns who are no longer with us. I think, in particular, of George German, Edna Parker, Scott Macpherson, Andy Durnford and my eminent adviser and counsel, Dave Anderson. There is a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln that says, “I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down.”

As I reflect on these amazing women and men who gave their valuable time and energy to my success in politics, I am moved beyond words by their unfailing support.

When it came to the essential work of being a member of Parliament, I do not have to look any farther than the talented people in my riding and my parliamentary offices. For my constituents, these were the first people they would see: They were the first smiling faces, the first voices that would greet them and the first impression they would take of the courtesy and services of our office.

They earned the praise, the kind notes and the small gifts of chocolate and candies that constituents would leave for them, whether after solving a tough case or even for their simple courtesies. They are the best, and I am going to miss working with them.

I have to name some of them. Here in Ottawa right now is Connie Kennedy-Pearsall. Prior to Connie were Ashley Peyrard, Sarah Pendlebury and Linda Rudd. All of them helped me here on the Hill immensely. In the riding, Kurtis Schlueter, Christine Elsdon, Judy Fulsom, Kelly Banks, David Dalrymple and Diane Bell have been doing yeoman's work these past years and building upon the outstanding work of former staff members James Nicol, Judy Forma, Brooke Leishman and the volunteers and interns who helped along the way.

Mr. Speaker, you will realize that working as a presiding officer in this chamber teams you up with an impeccable group of professionals always on the administrative aspects of the House. I thank you, Mr. Speaker, and our fellow Chair occupants, the hon. members for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing and Brossard—Saint-Lambert, for their advice and friendship. What a pleasure it has been to work with you all.

Since 2011, we have had the honour to work with these remarkable clerks and table officers of the House. Their learned counsel, their deference to parliamentary traditions and practices and their untiring devotion to their work provides a constant source of confidence and integrity to the operations of the House. It is unbelievable each and every day what they do.

To the pages and page supervisors, you are an irreplaceable support to the work of presiding officers. I thank you for your kind and capable service, not just to us but to all members of the House.

To sergeants-at-arms, interpreters, TVOs and journals staff, who are not here but down below, I thank you for your quiet and meticulous attention literally to each and every second of our proceedings. While I am at it, may I finally salute all those in the operations of the parliamentary precinct, food services, maintenance, security and administration, who make this a safe and proficient workplace, even when the unusual or the perilous threatens to disrupt our work.

However, I could not have done this work without the support of family, especially my wife and best friend in the world, Heather. When we started, she was just finishing her teaching degree at York University. We did not know really what we were getting into, but we managed as best we could. Thank you, honey, for your love and devotion and for assuming the role of, by the way, a superb public servant by association these last 15 years, and for the support of your parents, Ian and Joan MacDougall.

Our kids have been incredibly patient and kind of proud of their old man in some ways. They helped us on campaigns, accepted weekly absences and busy weekends and were always completely supportive of the work that often put some distance between us.

Valerie and Lauren were age 10 and 7 when we started here, and now they are off on their own careers. Our older children, Stephanie and her husband John, and Jason and his wife Amanda, have families of their own, and we can hardly wait to spend a bit more time with them. To Carter, Sienna and Vivian, and to Lyla, Jack and Leo, nana and granddad are going to be around a little more in the years ahead, and what a blessing that will be.

My brother, Doug, and sisters Sandra and Dianne may be watching this. I want them to know how much I have appreciated their constant encouragement. They will know that our dad, Ron, was the inspiration for my entry into politics. Dad passed away in 2014, and I know he was immensely proud of my work and service. They know that his legacy lives on in us, and my mom has continued that interest and affection for public service that he taught us so well.

Now, as the late Jim Flaherty would say, I have probably gone on about as long as it seems, so let me finish by simply saying what an incredible privilege it has been to serve here since 2006, to work alongside and learn from the energy and dedication of members of Parliament from across our country, to be in our parliamentary caucus with Prime Minister Harper and party leaders since, Rona Ambrose and the honourable members for Regina—Qu'Appelle and Durham, and my fellow members of caucus who leave no task wanting when it comes to keeping our rather intricate Conservative coalition united and ready to serve as Canadians call upon us to do.

I will be taking my leave when the next election comes, whenever that may be, but I will always remember the friends that we made along the way and the special honour it has been to be a humble servant of this House and the member for Simcoe North.

Business of Supply May 31st, 2021

Tonight's debate is a general one on all votes under the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. The first round will begin with the official opposition, followed by the government, the Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party. After that, we will follow the usual proportional rotation.

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 25, within each 15-minute period, each party may allocate time to one or more of its members for speeches or for questions and answers.

In the case of speeches, members of the party to which the period is allocated may speak one after the other, but the time allocated for speeches must not exceed 10 minutes. The Chair requests that each member who speaks indicate how that time will be used.

The order also specifies that when the time is used for questions and answers, the length of the minister's response should approximately reflect the time taken by the question. In addition, the Chair will receive no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent.

Pursuant to an order made on Friday, May 28, the time provided for the debate tonight may extend beyond the usual four hours as needed to assure there will be a minimum of 16 periods of 15-minutes each.

I also wish to indicate that in committee of the whole, comments should be addressed to the Chair. I ask for everyone's co-operation in upholding all the established standards of decorum, parliamentary language and behaviour.

Before we get going, I have one further comment. Since the ministers will be joining the debate this evening online, it may be a bit awkward for the chair occupants to assure, when they interrupt, that they guard the amount of time being used. We do not have the usual connection we have in debate in the House. As chair occupants, we will do our best this evening to try to assure that the time taken by the minister in response to a member's question will be similar and equitable to the time the member took to pose the question. We appreciate the patience of hon. members in ensuring this back and forth goes as smoothly as possible, as we have all been doing in this hybrid Parliament.

We will now begin tonight's session.

The House in committee of the whole, pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), consideration in committee of the whole of all votes under Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022.

The hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills.

Petitions April 14th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present e-petition 3034, which has been signed by 1,585 residents, most from the County of Simcoe. The petition concerns the SS Keewatin. Built in 1907 and the world's last remaining passenger steamship of the Edwardian era, it is of the same ilk as another famous vessel that members will know of: the RMS Titanic.

Keewatin is a beautifully restored museum ship in Port McNicoll along the south shore of Georgian Bay. This is the port from which she sailed between 1912 and 1965 as a CPR ship and gave passage to tens of thousands of residents and new Canadians making their way to Canada's west. Keewatin is a touchstone of our region's marine history, a major tourist attraction and a community treasure of national significance, but the petitioners point out that she is at risk of being moved away from Port McNicoll on a technicality.

The signatories are calling on the Government of Canada to work with the community and the friends of Keewatin foundation to ensure SS Keewatin remains in the port to which her history and service are most accounted and celebrated.

Colonel Robert Douglas March 22nd, 2021

Madam Speaker, late last month we lost a man who served his country and community with honour and distinction.

Colonel Robert Douglas grew up in Toronto. The son of a father who served in both world wars, he took up a military calling of his own, enlisting with the Royal Regiment of Canada and serving with the SAS of the British army in Malaysia in the 1950s. After returning to Canada, he made his way to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and became commanding officer of the Royal Regiment.

His career outside of the military took him from Toronto to Montreal with NCR and Merrill Lynch. It was a career generous in community service, from the World Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to St. John Ambulance, and as honorary colonel with several Canadian army regiments including the Grey and Simcoe Foresters and the Toronto Scottish Regiment.

Two years ago, he lost Anne, the love of his life of 61 years. To their children, Cameron, Katherine and Robert Gray, I send our deepest sympathies and our most profound thanks for the life of Colonel Robert Douglas.

Business of Supply February 25th, 2021

The hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît wishes to rise on this point of order.

Business of Supply November 24th, 2020

Today's debate is a general one on all votes under Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The first round will begin with the official opposition, followed by the government, the Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party. After that, we will follow the usual proportional rotation.

Pursuant to order made earlier today, within each 15-minute period, each party may allocate time to one or more of its members for speeches or for questions and answers.

In the case of speeches, members of the party to which the period is allocated may speak one after the other, but the time allocated for speeches must not exceed 10 minutes. The Chair would appreciate it if the first member to speak in each period would indicate how that time will be used, particularly if the time will be shared.

The order also specifies that, when the time is used for questions and answers, the minister's answer should approximately reflect the time taken by the question. I would note here that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will be joining the debate remotely. As such, there will be pauses from time to time for connecting to the debate. In addition, the Chair will receive no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent.

I also wish to indicate that in committee of the whole, comments should be addressed to the Chair as they always are in normal debates in the chamber. I ask for everyone's co-operation in upholding all the established standards of decorum, parliamentary language and behaviour.

We will now begin tonight's session.

The House in committee of the whole, pursuant to Standing Order 81(4), consideration in committee of the whole of all votes under Department of Fisheries and Oceans in the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

COVID-19 Pandemic November 23rd, 2020

Madam Speaker, in recognizing the stark and unusual period we have been facing since March of this year, I would like to pay tribute to the incredible efforts of the people in my riding who have stepped up to help our community in remarkable ways, supporting local charities, shopping local, adapting their small businesses literally on a dime to help deliver much-needed services and products safely.

I salute the eight municipal governments, the two first nations councils, the Georgian Bay Métis Council, the four chambers of commerce and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for their leadership and great work on keeping the people of my riding informed and supporting them during this pandemic.

Finally, I salute the front-line health care workers of Simcoe North, whose care for their patients in the face of crushing demands and great personal risk has been steadfast and unrelenting. They deserve our deepest gratitude each and every day.

October 29th, 2020

Before we move on to private members' business, the Chair wishes to make some brief remarks.

This week, the House has begun debate on items sponsored by private members. I would therefore like to make a brief statement regarding the management of Private Members' Business.

As members know, certain constitutional procedural realities constrain the Speaker and members insofar as legislation is concerned.

Following the establishment or the replenishment of the order of precedence, the Chair has developed a practice of reviewing items so that the House can be alerted to bills which, at first glance, appear to impinge on the financial prerogative of the Crown. The aim of this practice is to allow members the opportunity to intervene in a timely fashion to present their procedural arguments.

The order of precedence having been established on February 27 and reinstated after prorogation, I therefore wish to inform the House that there is one bill which preoccupies the Chair. That is Bill C-214, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (qualifying environmental trust), standing in the name of the member for Calgary Centre.

The understanding of the Chair is that this bill may need to have been preceded by a ways and means motion.

As members know, there are certain constraints on changes to taxation measures in the absence of a ways and means motion. If a bill requires such a motion and one has not been adopted, according to our rules, the bill cannot remain on the Order Paper.

I therefore encourage hon. members who would like to make arguments regarding the requirement of a ways and means motion for Bill C-214 to do so at the earliest opportunity.

In this case, there is some urgency, as a bill requiring a ways and means motion cannot be debated and would be dropped from the Order Paper. The Chair would like to deliver a ruling on this bill as soon as possible. If a ruling has not been given when this bill reaches the top of the order of precedence, I will ask that it be dropped to the bottom of the list, in order to allow the member for Calgary Centre to substitute a new item in the event Bill C-214 is found to be out of order.

I thank hon. members for their attention.

I will not be taking any time away from the usual hour that is permitted for the taking up of Private Members' Business.

Health October 26th, 2020

I would remind the hon. member to direct her comments to the Chair. The member spoke in the second person instead of the third person. The word “you” is what usually tips us off to that. It is not meant as a criticism.

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health.