House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was terms.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Ending the Long-gun Registry Act February 7th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I will mention some things that police officers are really saying about the gun registry.

A.B.J. “Ben” Beatty, a 23-year veteran of the Ontario Provincial Police stated:

I must point out, Sir, that the firearms registry did not assist in solving one, nor obviously in deterring one [single crime]. The reasons that the firearms registry is so highly ineffectual are, I believe obvious, but basically it affects the wrong people, law abiding citizens and not criminals.

Retired RCMP staff sergeant Len Grinnell said:

As a retired member of the RCMP, who supervised police officers in Canada's largest Detachments, I have grave concerns about the reliance on the registry for data which could result in the death or injury of a police officer.

Ending the Long-gun Registry Act February 7th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address Bill C-19, the ending the long gun registry act. The bill is a clear and straightforward piece of legislation which would bring an end to the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

Our government has been very clear with Canadians that we have long opposed the long gun registry. We said we were going to scrap it. We promised during the last election that if elected we would get rid of it once and for all. On May 2 Canadians elected a Conservative government and gave us a strong mandate to continue to carry out the priorities they asked for, including finally doing away with the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

I am proud to say that we are delivering on our promise to law-abiding hunters, farmers, sports shooters and taxpaying Canadians. They will no longer be burdened with this costly, wasteful and ineffective registry. This bill would bring an end to the era of targeting these law-abiding citizens who legally own firearms in Canada. I believe it would help us refocus much needed resources, energy and effort on tackling crime in Canada.

Gun crime prevention is an important issue to me, as well as all members in the House and all Canadians. We should never forget the tragedies that have resulted from the commission of gun crimes in Canada.

However, the long gun registry does absolutely nothing to stop crime. If a deranged person is intent on inflicting harm, a piece of paper will not stop him or her from doing so. Frankly, it is doing nothing to protect our communities. Criminals do not register their firearms. We see the proof of this day after day. We see front-line police officers fighting gun crime on the streets. The criminals they are up against are using handguns, not registered long guns. In some jurisdictions handguns are used in 97% of the crimes and the majority of those, some 93%, are smuggled across the border into Canada illegally. That is a staggering statistic, one which flies in the face of any argument supporting the long gun registry.

The state broadcaster, CBC, has estimated that since it was foisted upon Canadians, the long gun registry has cost in excess of $2 billion. Taxpayers continue to throw money into a registry that is wasteful, ineffective, and most importantly, inaccurate. We heard testimony at committee from front-line police officers that confirmed what we already knew. They said anyone who would bet their life on data contained in any database, let alone one as inaccurate as the long gun registry, is not someone they would want to be partners with. Police officers would rather see time, money and resources go toward apprehending criminals who smuggle handguns and the individuals who use them for committing crimes as opposed to law-abiding citizens who simply like to do a bit of hunting on the weekend.

There are numerous reasons why the long gun registry needs to end and why members on both sides of the House need to represent their constituents' wishes and stand with us to end the long gun registry once and for all.

Officers are on the street dealing with dangerous criminals every hour of the day. We need to listen to what they are saying about tackling crime in Canada and give them useful tools, not ones that put their lives on the line.

I encourage all members across the floor to follow the example of their colleagues from Thunder Bay—Rainy River and Thunder Bay—Superior North and stand up and vote the will of the men and women who elected them. In my riding of Sault Ste. Marie, I represented the will of my constituents, which is in part why I am standing here today as opposed to a member of the opposition who was previously in this position.

When the long gun registry was introduced 16 years ago by the Liberals, Canadians were told that the cost would be in the range of $1 million. What we know now is that the cost has ballooned to over $2 billion and continues to grow. As the former auditor general, Sheila Fraser, said in 2006, it is impossible to tell where the ceiling of these costs will be because so many of them are hidden.

There is another cost borne by law-abiding citizens in this country, not only in dollars and cents, but farmers, hunters, sports shooters and other firearms owners are made to bear the high cost of the challenge to their integrity in being called criminals if they do not comply with the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

Many opponents of the long gun registry have expressed deep concern over the years about their private information getting into the wrong hands and the registry becoming a shopping list for thieves and gangsters instead of a tool to protect Canadians. An access to information request to the RCMP showed that the registry had been breached over 300 times, and this was back in 2003. I can only imagine how many more times this has happened since then.

Canadians put their trust in this government on May 2 in large part because of our commitment to get tough on crime and to make our streets and communities safer. Our government believes that the right gun control laws do save lives. Bill C-19 would continue the strict system of controlling restricted and prohibited firearms. As well, a requirement for a valid firearms licence would remain in place.

We will continue to provide legislation that gives police real tools to apprehend criminals and keep them off the street, such as the safe streets and communities act, which was shamefully opposed by the NDP. Unlike the opposition, we do not support punishing law-abiding Canadians and rewarding criminals.

Instead of defending the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, the opposition needs to stop stalling and hindering these important pieces of legislation our government has introduced so that we can pass them, see them become law and ensure that criminals are where they belong: behind bars and not on our streets.

I am asking for the support of all members of Parliament, no matter their political stripe, to pass Bill C-19 and to work together to eliminate the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all. Let us take this opportunity to refocus on tackling real crime in Canada.

Canada-U.S. Relations December 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked a historic day in Canada-U.S. relations. Canada shares the most successful relationship in the world. More than $1.5 billion worth of goods crosses the border each day. Millions of jobs in both countries depend on the trade and investment that flow daily across our borders.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs please update this House on the announcement yesterday by the President of the United States and the Prime Minister?

Aboriginal Affairs December 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, our government has acted to ensure that the residents of Attawapiskat have access to safe and warm shelter for the coming months.

We delivered urgent funding to renovate five houses and are working with Emergency Management Ontario and other partners to deliver necessities to the residents, like compost toilets, wood stoves and building materials.

Could the minister please update the House on our efforts to assist the residents of Attawapiskat?

Essar Steel Algoma November 30th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to express my gratitude for the generosity of Essar Steel Algoma.

Yesterday, Essar created a community investment fund of $5 million to help support community development in Sault Ste. Marie. This is a great example of how our government's low-tax policy is helping corporations to invest in their local communities. I am proud to be part of a government that encourages job creation and economic growth, instead of penalizing productivity through high corporate taxes.

Hard work in the private sector is the backbone of this country. The CEO of Essar put it best when he said:

Our community's ability to attract and retain qualified professionals and highly skilled personnel is dependent upon the city's economic vitality and social fabric.

Essar put its money where its mouth is and invested in the community of Sault Ste. Marie. We thank Essar Steel Algoma for leading the way in job creation, corporate responsibility and unbridled generosity. Sault Ste. Marie is grateful for its presence and activity in our community.

Firearms Registry November 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the ad claims there are “no more safeguards” for dangerous firearms.This is a laughably preposterous and illogical statement, as firearms licensing remains unchanged.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety please comment on these misleading advertisements?

Firearms Registry November 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today the NDP unveiled a new ad campaign targeting our government's commitment to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all. The ad claims that there are “no more safeguards” for dangerous firearms--

John Rhodes Scholarship Dinner November 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I recently attended the John Rhodes Scholarship dinner in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie in honour of Dr. Lou and Mae Lukenda.

Dr. Lukenda is a dentist, philanthropist and citizen extraordinaire. He donated the Windsor Park Hotel to Algoma University, which has been converted into a student residence, assisting the recently accredited university to grow and prosper. He also donated a corporate office he owned to our sister city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, for conversion to its new city hall.

When our local OHL team, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, were in danger of being moved from Sault Ste. Marie, he bought the team, preserving a high level of athletic competition, an economic benefit for Sault Ste. Marie.

He excelled in dentistry for 38 years and as a distinguished member of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, Dr. Lou and Mae Lukenda have increased the well-being of many who live in my riding through their philanthropy, civil engagement and professionalism. They have demonstrated what it means to be good citizens.

I congratulate Dr. Lou and Mae Lukenda and thank them for truly serving their community.

FedNor November 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada proudly announced new funding for the cyclotron medical research facility in Thunder Bay. This $4 million investment will go towards creating long-term jobs in that great city and will help to bring private sector investment to a growing high-tech industry in northern Ontario.

Can the minister responsible for FedNor please rise and give an update to members on this important investment?

Ending the Long-gun Registry Act October 27th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the member spoke of domestic violence against women and that somehow women would feel safer because of the registry. I am trying to understand how many of the domestic violence incidents were specific to long guns and if the long guns were registered, how that might actually reduce domestic violence. I would like some clarification on that please.