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

James Kelleher June 4th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the passing of one of Sault Ste. Marie's former members of Parliament, Mr. James Kelleher.

Senator Kelleher practised law in the Sault before being part of the Conservative sweep to power, in 1984, under the Mulroney administration. He was appointed to cabinet as the international trade minister in 1985, becoming Canada's solicitor general in 1986. In 1990, he was appointed to the Senate and served until mandatory retirement, in 2005.

Jim was instrumental in setting the two nations of Canada and the United States on a course that would, ultimately, lead to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, in 1988, the success of which continues to harness the prosperity-generating power of free and open trade. Jim was the face of the Conservative Party in Sault Ste. Marie for years, always listened to the grassroots people, and was a dedicated family man, known for his integrity and honesty.

I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his wife Helen, daughters Martha and Sarah, sister Patti, and all family and friends. May he rest in peace.

Veterans Affairs May 31st, 2013

Mr. Speaker, our government is standing up for veterans. Under the leadership of our Prime Minister, our government has implemented double funding for funerals and burials and has expanded eligibility for the war veterans allowance in economic action plan 2013.

Unfortunately, members of the leader of the NDP's own caucus have disdainful remarks for our own veterans. Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs please update the House on the NDP's stance on World War I?

Canada Revenue Agency May 23rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to cracking down on crime and rooting out corruption in our tax system. Can the Minister of National Revenue please update the House on the government's action to clean up the Montreal tax service office?

Passport to Unity May 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Passport to Unity festival, hosted by the Sault Community Career Centre and held in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie this past weekend.

For the past seven years, the Passport to Unity festival has had a direct impact in creating Sault Ste. Marie's cultural mosaic. This year, the festival touched nearly 5,000 people in just three days, setting the stage to learn and embrace the ever-growing multiculturalism that is present in our northern Ontario city. Through various entertainment acts, dance and food exhibitions, my constituents were able to celebrate their ethnicity and values, while being united with other Canadians of different race, religion and creed.

I am proud to represent a riding that embraces cultural participation. Special appreciation goes out to all participants, volunteers and our community for making Sault Ste. Marie's signature multiculturalism festival possible.

Business of Supply May 9th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, my challenge here is that, in the normal process, what would happen with the Auditor General's report, in all likelihood, because apparently it contains a little controversy according to the opposition, is it would go to the public accounts committee.

Undoubtedly when the resolution fails, which it will, this is going to go to the public accounts committee. So my question to the member is, does he not think that the public accounts committee is capable of doing its job, bringing forward witnesses and reviewing this report? Considering the public accounts committee is chaired by a member of the opposition, I would think it would be able to.

That is my question. Does the hon. member not agree that the proposed resolution is redundant because there is a committee in place that will undoubtedly look at this report, and report back to Parliament?

Business of Supply May 9th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am really not sure what that question has to do with this. I am surprised you are not bringing it to the member's attention, because that is not at all what we are talking about today.

I can state that we, as a government, have spent significantly less on advertising than the former Liberal government and we will continue to do so.

Business of Supply May 9th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, one of the challenges I have with this motion is that it asks for a forensic audit. A forensic audit is an examination of an organization's or individual's economic affairs, resulting in a report designed especially for use in a court of law. It is ridiculous that the opposition would bring forward a motion that speaks to having to do something in a court of law.

Forensic accountants may be involved in recovering proceeds of crime and in relation to confiscation proceedings concerning actual or assumed proceeds of crime.

The NDP is talking about crime. However, no crime has occurred. The Auditor General has been very clear in terms of what he stated. Specific to reporting, one of his quotes is that the departments are responsible for accounting and reporting their spending through the Public Accounts of Canada. He says, “The spending within the departments would have undergone normal control procedures in those departments; so there are internal controls in departments about spending and they would go through all of those normal processes. We didn't identify anything that would cause us to say that we felt that anything was going on outside of those processes”.

To ask for a forensic audit is unbelievable.

Business of Supply May 9th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to respond to the concerns expressed by the hon. member opposite about the funding for Canada's public safety and anti-terrorism, PSAT, initiative.

The Auditor General has been very clear on this issue. When he released his report on April 30, he indicated that he “didn’t find anything that gave us cause for concern that the money was used in any way that it should not have been”.

He had access to all available documentation on this issue and found there were some reporting deficiencies. The Auditor General recommended that our government improve our reporting practices.

I am a CGA. I sat on a finance committee with city council for years and have had financial reports presented to me. Certainly, from time to time, reporting mechanisms and reporting procedures differ. Ultimately we will find that this is simply a reporting practice and the money will materialize. It is in the public accounts.

We agreed with that recommendation and the government is already improving the way it reports on whole of government projects.

We recognize that Canadians are concerned about how their government invests in their safety. The first job of any government is to keep its citizens safe from harm.

Since the tragic incidents of September 11, 2001, the Government of Canada has taken important steps to increase and strengthen security in the air, on the ground and at sea.

One of the things we did, and it is something many Canadians have experienced first hand, was to create CATSA, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

CATSA plays a critical role protecting travellers at Canadian airports by screening passengers and their belongings before they get on the plane, screening checked bags to look for explosives and other objects that would pose a threat and screening people who enter restricted areas at airports. The government has also been working on improving the infrastructure for air travellers.

On planes, that means we have reinforced cockpit doors to prevent unlawful intrusions. We have also introduced highly sophisticated detection equipment to screen travellers and their luggage. We have redesigned the sections of flight attendant training that deal with air security.

In airports, we have increased the number of screening officers. We have also enhanced requirements for airport security plans and have introduced the restricted area identity card for Canadian airports. The card strengthens airport access control. It is the first dual-function biometric card, using both iris and fingerprint identification.

However, air travel is only one part of it. We are also working to improve security for ground travel.

Our Conservative government has been working since May 2007 with major rail, transit and intercity bus operators from across Canada and their primary associations, including the Canadian Urban Transit Association and the Railway Association of Canada. We have developed a series of voluntary security standards and security guidance documents with these associations.

We also changed some of the laws to better respond to threats. For instance, the International Bridges and Tunnels Act came into force in April 2007. The act provides the government with the legislative authority to ensure effective oversight, including safety and security of the existing 24 international vehicle bridges and tunnels and 9 international railway bridges and tunnels, as well as any new international bridges or tunnels built in the future.

Thanks to this legislation, the Minister of Transport has the authority to issue an emergency directive in response to a potential threat to the safety or security of any international bridge or tunnel.

Under amendments made to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act in 2009, the federal government has the authority to ensure effective oversight, including security, over the transportation of dangerous goods on our roads and rail lines.

In November 2007, the Minister of Transport and the Railway Association of Canada signed a memorandum of understanding that reflected the core principles of a good security regime, including regular updates to risk assessments and security plans, drills and exercises, training and awareness and incident reporting.

Beyond land and air, the marine security program protects Canada and Canadians by safeguarding the integrity, efficiency and security of Canada's marine transportation system against unlawful interference, terrorist attacks or use as a means to attack our allies.

Marine security program personnel conduct inspections, review and approve security plans and work with stakeholders to assist them in meeting the requirements of the Marine Transportation Security Act and its regulations.

Established in 2004, coastal Marine Security Operation Centres, MSOCs, have the authority and capacity to support a national response to perceived and real marine security threats to our country. MSOCs are located in Halifax, Dartmouth, Victoria and Niagara.

We rely on the skills and knowledge of federal government departments and agencies responsible for marine security, asset support or maritime expertise to ensure that MSOCs are effectively protecting our marine borders. These centres have the authority and capacity to use all the civilian and military resources necessary to detect, assess and support a coordinated response to a marine security threat or incident.

In addition to these investments in air, ground and marine transportation security, the government continues to work closely with international partners and allies, sharing information of interest such as threat assessments, best practices and mitigation strategies to help develop harmonized and compatible security systems. This information is shared bilaterally as well as with international forums such as the International Civil Aviation Organization.

In addition, the aviation and marine transportation security clearance programs reduce the risk of security threats by preventing interference with the aviation and marine transportation system through background checks on employees who perform certain duties or who have access to certain restricted areas of airports and ports.

These comprehensive background checks better protect Canada's transportation infrastructure, employees and passengers against insider threats and reduce the risk of having individuals linked to organized crime working at airports and ports. The government also conducts and participates in government and industry-led exercises on air, marine and surface security to ensure the government and industry are ready to react in emergency situations.

These are wise investments protecting Canada from threats, investments that began under the PSAT initiative.

Before I conclude, I cannot support this motion. The Auditor General reviewed all available documentation during his audit and concluded, “We didn’t find anything that gave us cause for concern that the money was used in any way that it should not have been”.

Natural Resources May 6th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the Ring of Fire is a mineral discovery located in the centre of northern Ontario. Through the development of these vast deposits, the Ring of Fire presents potential benefits to all groups: first nations, municipalities, the mining industry and in fact all northern Ontarians. The government has taken a pragmatic approach to this process by appointing a federal political lead to maximize the potential of the Ring of Fire for Canadians.

Would the President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario please tell this House how he has thus far engaged stakeholders in the development of the Ring of Fire?

Veterans Affairs April 15th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, while the New Democrats are busy trying to rewrite Canadian military history, our government remains focused on highlighting and celebrating the incredible achievements made by Canadian veterans. I am sure many Canadians recognize images of the Lancaster bomber and recall stories of great Canadian pilots who flew so bravely during impossible missions over Germany throughout the second world war.

With the 75th anniversary of World War II just a few years from now, would the Minister of Veterans Affairs please update the House on any new efforts to recognize and pay respects to our great pilots?