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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

The Push for Change October 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to Joe Roberts, a man who grew up in Midland in my riding but who, in 1989, was a teenage addict living on the streets of Vancouver.

With the help of family and a caring police officer, Joe was able to turn his life around. He went on to lead his own enterprise. He became financially independent and he has shared his story with audiences across the country.

Five years ago, Joe and his colleagues created The Push For Change, a project to raise the issue of youth homelessness to greater attention from policy-makers and the public. Thirty-five thousand young Canadians face this reality every year.

Last May 1st in St. John's, Newfoundland, Joe started pushing a shopping cart on a 9,000-kilometre trek across Canada, and he is speaking out in every community he visits. Today is day 178, and Joe is here visiting parliamentarians with his wife and campaign director, Marie.

I invite all hon. members to join me in saluting Joe Roberts' campaign and The Push For Change.

Leacock Medal for Humour June 15th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday the Leacock Medal for humour was presented at a gala reception at Geneva Park, near the city of Orillia in my riding.

As members may recall, Stephen Leacock is Canada's most famous author of humour. He kept a summer residence in Orillia, the same town that inspired the fictional Mariposa in his famous novel Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town and the home of this annual tribute to Canadian authors of humour.

This year The Leacock Associates have awarded the medal for humour to Nanaimo's Susan Juby, for her novel Republic of Dirt. This is Susan's first Leacock Medal win and her third time being shortlisted for it.

I would like to thank The Leacock Associates and TD Financial Group for recognizing these outstanding contributions to Canadian literature.

I invite all hon. members to join me in congratulating the 2016 winner of the Leacock Medal for humour, Susan Juby.

Business of Supply May 30th, 2016

The House is in committee of the whole for the purpose of considering all votes under Finance in the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017.

Tonight's debate is a general one on all of the votes related to finance. The first round will begin with the official opposition, followed by the government and then the New Democratic Party. After that, we will follow the usual rotation for the House.

Each member will be allocated 15 minutes at a time, which may be used for both debate and opposing questions. Should members wish to use this time to make a speech, it can last a maximum of 10 minutes, leaving at least 5 minutes for questions to the minister.

When a member is recognized, he or she should indicate to the Chair how the 15-minute period will be used. Members should also note that they will need the unanimous consent of the committee if they wish to split their time with another member.

When the time is to be used for questions and comments, the Chair will expect that the minister's response will reflect approximately the time taken by the question. I also wish to indicate that, in committee of the whole, ministers and members should be referred to by their titles or riding names, and of course, all remarks should be addressed through the Chair. I ask for everyone's co-operation in upholding all established standards of parliamentary language and behaviour.

We will begin tonight's session. As a reminder to all hon. members, they will be recognized at the seat of their choice in the chamber.

The House is in committee of the whole, pursuant to Standing Order 81(4)(a), for consideration of all votes related to finance in the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017.

Business of Supply May 16th, 2016

I would like to open this committee of the whole session by making a short statement on this evening's proceedings.

Tonight's debate is being held pursuant to Standing Order 81(4)(a), which provides for each of two sets of estimates selected by the Leader of the Opposition to be considered in committee of the whole for up to four hours. Tonight will be a general debate on all of the votes related to National Defence.

The first round will begin with the official opposition, followed by the government and the New Democratic Party. After that, we will follow the usual rotation. Each member will be allocated 15 minutes at a time, which may be used both for debate and for posing questions. Should members wish to use this time to make a speech, it can last a maximum of 10 minutes, leaving at least 5 minutes for questions to the minister.

When a member is recognized, he or she should indicate to the Chair how the 15-minute period will be used. Members should also note that they need to have unanimous consent of the committee if they wish to split their time with another member.

When the time is to be used for questions and answers, the Chair will expect that the minister's response should reflect approximately the time taken by the question.

Ordinarily, the time taken for the response should be in line with the amount of time taken to pose the question in the first place. As has been experienced in the past, the person posing the question, though, should not be under any misunderstanding, that a question put in a very short period of time that might require a more complex response, sufficient time will be provided to the minister to provide such a response. However, again, accordingly the time taken to respond should be approximate to the time that was taken to pose the question.

As is the case in any proceeding in committee of the whole, members need not be in their own seats to be recognized. Although members may speak more than once, the Chair will generally try to ensure that all members wishing to speak are heard before inviting members to speak again while respecting the proportional party rotations for speakers.

I also wish to indicate that in committee of the whole, ministers and members should be referred to by their title or riding name, and of course all remarks should be addressed through the Chair. I ask for everyone's co-operation in upholding all established standards of decorum, parliamentary language, and behaviour.

At the conclusion of tonight's debate, the committee will rise, the votes related to National Defence will be deemed reported, and the House will adjourn immediately until tomorrow.

We may now begin tonight's session. The House in committee of the whole, pursuant to Standing Order 81(4)(a), consideration in committee of the whole of all votes related to National Defence in the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017.

The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman.

Public Service Labour Relations Act May 9th, 2016

The Chair would like to rule on the selection of report stage motions for Bill C-7, an act to amend the Public Service Labour Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and other acts and to provide for certain other measures. Specifically I would like to address report stage Motions Nos. 1, 2 and 3, standing in the name of the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands on the Notice Paper.

This being the first report stage debate of this Parliament, it affords the Chair an opportunity to remind the House of the Speaker’s role in selecting report stage motions, and the practice that guides it.

In deciding the matter, the Chair is bound by our established practice in relation to the Speaker's role at report stage.

A note to Standing Order 76.1(5) states:

The Speaker will not normally select for consideration by the House any motion previously ruled out of order in committee and will normally only select motions which were not or could not be presented in committee.

House of Commons Procedure and Practice, second edition, sets out the following general principle with respect to the selection of report stage motions. At page 783, it states:

As a general principle, the Speaker seeks to forestall debate on the floor of the House which is simply a repetition of the debate in committee […] the Speaker will normally only select motions in amendment that could not have been presented in committee.

On June 9, 2015, at page 14830 of Debates, the Speaker in the last Parliament referenced these passages. At the time, he said: “Both these excerpts point to an essential truth about report stage, namely that it is not meant to be another opportunity for detailed consideration of the clauses of a bill. For this reason, the Chair rigorously limits the types of motions that could be considered at report stage. In so doing, the Chair rests on the presumption that a committee's clause-by-clause consideration provides ample opportunity to scrutinize the clauses of the bill and have amendments considered accordingly”.

This principle continues to be applied with due regard to the particular circumstances of each case.

At the time that clause-by-clause occurred for Bill C-7, the committee had not yet adopted a mechanism to allow for the participation of members from non-recognized parties in committee. I am not certain, however, that the Chair would agree with the presumption that, in light of this, report stage would be the only vehicle available to these members to propose amendments to the bill.

Committees have shown great flexibility in the past in how they consider amendments at clause-by-clause. In describing this flexibility, we refer to the much repeated axiom: “Committees are masters of their own proceedings”.

With that said, Bill C-7 was one of the first bills to be considered in committee in the 42nd Parliament, and with committees still trying to determine how members from non-recognized parties could participate in committee proceedings on bills, a certain amount of flexibility is appropriate in this instance.

As such, I will allow the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands to move her Motions Nos. 2 and 3, even though they ought to have been moved in committee.

I would like her and all members to understand, however, that in the future, the Chair will be stricter in exercising his authority at report stage. Unless truly exceptional circumstances arise, the Chair will not select report stage motions that could have been moved in committee. I encourage all members to make efforts to have amendments dealt with in committee, so that report stage does not become a repetition of the committee clause-by-clause study of a bill.

Accordingly, Motions No. 1, 2, and 3 will be grouped for debate and voted upon according to the voting pattern available at the table.

I shall now propose Motions Nos. 1, 2, and 3 to the House.

Business of Supply December 9th, 2015

Order, please. I have a brief comment on today's committee proceedings. Today's debate is a general one on all votes tabled before the House on Monday, December 7.

Pursuant to the provisions in the motion adopted on Friday, December 4, 2015, the total length of time for debate will not exceed three hours. The first round will begin with the official opposition followed by the government and the New Democratic Party. After that, we will follow the usual proportional rotation.

Within each period, each party may allocate 15 minutes to one or more of its members for speeches or 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.

When the time is to be used for questions and answers, the minister's response should reflect approximately the time taken by the question.

Furthermore, no quorum calls, dilatory motions, or requests for unanimous consent shall be received by the Chair.

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

I would also remind hon. members that in the committee of the whole format, members are permitted to take a seat of their choosing in the chamber. They do not have to be in their assigned seat to be recognized to participate in the debate.

We will now begin this afternoon's session. The House in committee of the whole, pursuant to the provisional Standing Order 81(5), consideration in committee of the whole of all votes in the supplementary estimates (B) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016.

The hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill.

Election of Speaker December 3rd, 2015

Mr. Chair, this being the first opportunity I have to speak in the 42nd Parliament, I would like to thank the people of Simcoe North for electing me to a fourth term.

I would also like to congratulate all members on their electoral victory. I would especially like to welcome members who are taking their seats in the House of Commons for the very first time.

We all share the responsibility given us this past October to be the voice of our constituents in this place. It is upon that responsibility that the House provides the rights and privileges, such that all members can fulfill that solemn obligation.

The Speaker is the guardian of those rights and privileges and as such ensures that all members may speak freely.

The rules, practices, and conventions we follow here, which have evolved since our very first Parliament in 1867, are our best, most current means for assuring that members can honour their parliamentary obligations, that the precious time of members is used efficiently, and that the House can reach decisions on the questions before it in a fair and methodical fashion.

It is those same rules that inform the Speaker's rulings on procedural matters and questions of privilege. Those rules are more specifically those you put in place to conduct the business of the House. The Speaker is at the service of the House and its members. As such, he must enforce those rules in a fair and methodical fashion.

Therefore, the person whom members choose for Speaker for the duration of this Parliament should have the experience and know-how to uphold those important responsibilities.

In the 28 years of my career before public life, I worked my way up and ultimately led our successful tourism business, which was built on the durable relations with customers, staff, suppliers, and the broader community.

When I arrived here in 2006, I did not speak a word of French. I signed up for a course and continue to take courses to this day in order to master the language. It was a promise I made during my first election campaign nearly 10 years ago. It is my way of paying tribute to my riding's proud Franco-Ontarian heritage. I will be forever proud of this accomplishment.

The last seven of my nearly ten years of service in Parliament have involved procedural matters of the House, first as the chair of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, from 2008 to 2011, and throughout the last Parliament, when I had the privilege to serve eight to ten hours per week as a presiding officer in the House under the wing of the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle. I thank him for giving me the opportunity to learn and become a competent member of his team. This is a role that demands constant attention during debate; knowing which MPs are trying to get the eye of the chair; allowing members to finish an important thought or phrase before interrupting at the end of their allotted time; making eye contact when recognizing a member to speak; and knowing the names of MPs and also the names of their ridings. These are relatively minor but effective gestures and examples of the approach I take to maintaining decorum and conveying my respect to the members I serve.

It is essential to know and understand the procedures and practices of the House. I earned those skills in the performance of my duties in the last Parliament. I can assure you that becoming Speaker would be a natural progression for me and that I would humbly accept the responsibilities entrusted to me.

With me as Speaker, members will have my undivided attention and commitment in protecting and guarding their privileges and rights as members, and in abiding in the supremacy of Parliament as an institution, Canada's institution, and our foremost voice for Canadians.

I thank hon. members for their consideration today, and I would be honoured to have their support.

I thank hon. members for their consideration today, and I would be honoured to have their support.

Member for Simcoe North June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, today, as we near the end of this 41st Parliament, I pay tribute to the people of my riding of Simcoe North.

From the shoreline of Georgian Bay to the farmlands along the north side of Lake Simcoe, from the thriving city of Barrie to the cusp of cottage country in Muskoka-Parry Sound, my riding is blessed with generous and enterprising people and communities that reach back to the earliest of recorded history in our nation.

I consider it the greatest of honours to represent this region of Ontario, the place of my birth and my family since 1874.

I would like to commend my constituents for the pride they have in their communities, their history and their culture.

It is obvious in every festival, every work of art and every savvy innovation from our business community. To my constituents, supporters and critics alike, one would do well by their example. They make me proud each and every day.

Hepatitis C December 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring attention to the serious health issue of hepatitis C, an infectious disease that, over time, causes significant liver damage, leading to liver transplantation or death.

Unlike other forms of hepatitis, there is no vaccine for hep C. It is estimated that several hundred thousand Canadians are living with hepatitis C and do not even know it, the bulk of them having been born between 1945 and 1975. Prior to the 1990s, they may have contracted the disease through infected blood transfusions or organ transplants, or the use of unsterilized needles or medical equipment.

Thankfully, recent clinical trials indicate that hepatitis C can now be completely cured with new oral therapies, but one needs to be diagnosed and treated early. It is a worthy discussion that anyone should have with their physician, especially if they are in their 40s through to their 60s. For good liver health, it is worth getting this checked out.

Fisheries and Oceans November 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, earlier this fall I joined the co-chair of the all-party oceans caucus, the hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam, in hosting a breakfast where parliamentarians heard from a leading ocean scientist on the issue of ocean acidification. It is a phenomenon that is harming, for example, the shellfish industry in the Pacific northwest, an industry providing an outstanding product, but also valuable jobs and business opportunities for rural coastal communities. Shellfish farmers are working hard to adapt their operations by incorporating water monitoring and treatment practices. It is innovative work to improve knowledge and ultimately help ensure the continued success of this industry for the future.

I welcome all hon. members to join us today after 4:30 p.m. in room 216-N, as our oceans caucus joins with the World Wildlife Fund in presenting our third Oceans on the Hill event for this year on the topic of ocean acidification.