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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was riding.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House June 17th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, entitled “Rural Wireless Digital Infrastructure: A Critical Role”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report.

Fisheries Act June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that we have accepted some of the recommendations from the Senate. From everything we have heard, the fish banking is not ready. There is too much work to be done, and to be included in this would be premature. We need to ensure that this Fisheries Act moves forward.

Fisheries Act June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, with respect to one of the challenges to which my colleague referred, again, this is what I heard on the ground from the people in my riding. If there is no way to effectively enforce any of the policies in place, then we cannot go forward. In effect, it is so important to move forward with the amendments and the Fisheries Act because it will put more boots on the ground, more DFO on the ground. My community has been telling me for the last three and a half years that this could solve the problem.

Fisheries Act June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

One of the challenges we faced was the Fisheries Act was gutted in 2012. Looking back, from 2004 to 2016, 80% of fisheries officers were gone. We went from 73,000 hours down to 14, 885 hours. The one thing that I kept hearing when we were faced with challenges, and perhaps some of the challenges you were referring to, was that—

Fisheries Act June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am going to speak to what I know and what I have seen from working with my constituents, who, as members of a watershed community, really enlightened me on fish and fish habitat.

When I look across our region, waterways that once were connected and are no longer connected and fish are struggling to reach the ocean or to come back. These are the problems we face. The erosion of fish habitat has led to where we are today.

If we want to fix the challenges to which the member has referred, we have to look at a broader range of efforts. This includes taking care of fish habitat.

Fisheries Act June 14th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to speak today to the message from the Senate regarding Bill C-68, an act to amend the Fisheries Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts. Once enacted, this bill will repeal the changes that the former Conservative government implemented when it gutted the Fisheries Act in 2012, and restore lost protections.

I would like to thank the Senate for its work on this bill, as well as the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, who is continuing the great work of the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs, who first introduced this bill when he was at Fisheries. Of course, we hope for his quick recovery.

I will be splitting my time with the member for North Okanagan—Shuswap.

Since I was elected, I heard this message loud and clear. As a new MP, the challenge to find sustainable solutions was daunting. After much consultation, I zeroed in on what I felt should be the starting point, the Fisheries Act, which, as I had been told by the people I work with, had been gutted over the years so that fish and fish habitat no longer had the strong protections that were once there.

For two and a half years, I worked with groups such as the Alouette River Management Society, the Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society, the Katzie and Kwantlen first nations, streamkeepers, the cities of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, as well as people like Julie Porter, Ken Stewart, Jack Emberly, Greta, Cheryl, Lina, Sophie, Ross, Doug, and the list goes on.

These are not political or partisan people; they are folks who care deeply about their community. They all helped me to better understand the importance of these changes, and I thank them very much. Together, over the course of two years, we identified and discussed key pieces of legislation in the Fisheries Act that could be improved. I submitted my report to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, with recommendations on how we can further strengthen the Fisheries Act and restore some of the lost protections, and here we are today.

I would like to speak to the specific changes we are seeking through the motion. We will be accepting a majority of the amendments made by the Senate, including many that were moved by the government through Senator Harder, and we will be respectfully rejecting just three amendments.

The first amendment we are rejecting is an amendment that was made to the definition of fish habitat by Senator Poirier. In her amendment, the senator reduced the scope for the application of fish and fish habitat provisions by deleting “water frequented by fish” from the definition of fish habitat. By narrowing the scope of fish habitat, this amendment goes against the very objective of this bill to provide increased protections.

We are also amending an amendment by Senator Christmas so that the language used in relation to section 35 and aboriginal treaty rights is consistent with the rest of the bill. On this amendment, the minister has received support from Senator Christmas.

The other amendments we will be rejecting were made by Senator Wells, regarding habitat banking and collecting fees in lieu of offsets. These amendments were initially proposed by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, which has since written a letter to support the removal of the amendments, as significant consultations are required and it would be premature at this time to include the amendments.

This motion takes full consideration of the amendments made by the Senate, and I hope all members can join us in passing the bill.

Bill C-68 has many important components that Canadians across the country support. I would like to speak about the fish stocks provisions proposed in Bill C-68, which are aimed at strengthening Canada's fisheries management framework and rebuilding depleted stocks.

The fish stocks provisions would introduce legally binding commitments to implement measures to, first, manage our major fish stocks at or above levels necessary to promote their sustainability and, second, to develop and implement a rebuilding plan for a major fish stock if it becomes depleted. Maintaining stocks at healthy levels and rebuilding depleted stocks are essential to the long-term economic viability of our fishing communities and the health of our oceans.

That is why, in the fall economic statement, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $107.4 million over five years, starting this fiscal year, as well as $17.6 million per year ongoing to support the implementation of the fish stocks provisions.

This new funding will help accelerate the implementation of the fish stocks provisions for the major fish stocks in Canada. As many members are aware, a number of important fish stocks in Canadian waters have shown significant declines over the past couple of decades and some more recently. This new investment will enable the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to implement these strong legislative tools for all key stocks.

As robust science is the bedrock of our fishery management system, the largest share of the investment will go to science activities. We will make targeted investments to increase the number of at-sea science surveys, so we can better and more frequently assess the state of our fish stocks across a broad range of major fish stocks and marine areas.

As well, we will hire additional fisheries scientists to carry out these new survey activities, analyze the data from these at-sea surveys and prepare science advice for our fisheries managers through our world-class peer review process. As a result, we will be more effective at detecting changes in the health of fish stocks and provide more robust science advice to manage these stocks to achieve sustainability goals. We will also be able to develop a better understanding of the threats facing our depleted fish stocks, which will allow us to take a targeted approach in our rebuilding efforts.

This funding will enable external groups, including indigenous groups, academics, industry and non-government organizations, to participate in fisheries data collection and the scientific assessment of Canada's major fish stocks. Additional support will be provided to establish and enhance existing partnerships and help develop scientific and technical capacity within these external groups.

With this funding we will also make investments to increase the capacity in fisheries management to develop precautionary approach management measures and rebuilding plans to meet the fish stocks provisions in collaboration with indigenous groups and stakeholders. It will also enhance our capacity to carry out socio-economic analyses to better understand the potential impacts of proposed management measures and the costs and benefits of different management options that are aimed at rebuilding fish stocks.

Over the next five years, the government has committed to making the majority of the 181 major fish stocks subject to the fish stocks provisions. Canadians have told us that sustainable fisheries are a priority, and we agree. This investment is essential in order to prescribe the major stocks as quickly as possible to the protections offered by the fish stock provisions.

We are also developing a regulation to set out the required contents of rebuilding plans so that all the plans are comprehensive and consistent. Under the proposed regulation, a rebuilding plan must be developed and implemented within two years of the stock becoming depleted.

Our government believes it is our collective responsibility to exercise our stewardship of Canada's fisheries and their habitat in a practical, reasonable and sustainable manner. The proposed fish stocks provisions and other measures in the amended Fisheries Act restore protections for fish and fish habitat, and introduce modern safeguards while facilitating sustainable economic growth, job creation and resource development.

With these stronger legislative tools to help keep our fish stocks healthy, and the funding to support their implementation, Canada's seafood sector, which employs over 76,000 people and contributed a landed value of $3.4 billion in 2017, will have a brighter future.

It is no doubt that this bill will implement changes that Canadians have long been waiting for. These amendments will restore lost protections and ensure that our fisheries are sustainable for future generations. The Senate made a number of amendments, and while we cannot support all of them, I believe we have put forth a reasonable motion that I hope all members can support.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, from what we are hearing, the Doug Ford government in Ontario does not want to co-operate with the federal government.

Having said that, I would like to point out that more than 190 indigenous communities have already received support with new and improved high-speed Internet to 900 rural and indigenous communities. That is what this program is all about. There are many different programs in this country, and I look forward to working toward getting to where we need to go.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. colleague for his question and comments. I have certainly enjoyed spending the last four years on the committee with my colleague. Throughout our term, we did a study on broadband connectivity in Canada. One of the things we heard, time and again, was that Canada is not a one-size-fits-all; different areas require different approaches.

When we look at what we have been doing over our last term, we see there was a $900 million investment in the connect to innovate program to bring in high-speed Internet and $1.7 billion put into a universal broadband fund to target every connecting household in the country by 2030. That is the plan. In order for us to move forward, we must have an end game. When we want to ensure that everybody in Canada has access to those types of speeds in order to hit our target of 2030, these are some of the things we have to do. One of the things that came from our last recommendation in that study was to invest in low earth orbit satellites, LEOs. The government has invested $100 million in LEOs, which help rural communities, especially up north. This is new technology. As we look around, there will be a lot more new technology as it continues to develop.

Business of Supply June 10th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to rise today to join in the debate about telecom service in Canada. I am very proud of the work our government has done on this file and what we have achieved.

Our government is focused on three elements of telecom services that matter most to middle-class families: quality, coverage and price. We are committed to promoting greater competition to give Canadians more choice and better prices. We have been focused on this since coming to office. Solid, reliable broadband and mobile Internet are vital to supporting Canada's vibrant and growing digital economy. Ensuring Canadians have access to the latest technologies is a fundamental part of our innovation and skills plan.

That is why our government is committed to a national target in which 95% of Canadian homes and businesses will have access to Internet speeds of at least 50/10 megabytes per second by 2026 and 100% by 2030. This is an important commitment and one that is perfectly in line with the broadband Internet speed objectives set by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the CRTC, for Canadian households and businesses. To achieve this we are opening up new wireless airwaves also known as spectrum.

Spectrum is a critical resource for wireless communication and to meet these commitments. Whether it is for smart phones, fixed Internet, streaming videos, or GPS, current and next-generation services would not be possible without these airwaves. New spectrum will also be the backbone of the 5G revolution that we are on the verge of.

5G is expected to be a paradigm shift in how wireless services are delivered. It will support more data, more devices and faster speeds than previous generations. To roll this out effectively, our government will ensure the right spectrum and rules are in place at the right time to support the timely introduction of new and innovative technologies in Canada.

Our five-year spectrum release plan lays out our plan for making spectrum available in a timely manner. We are working to pave the way for 5G deployment in Canada to ensure that all Canadians have an opportunity to benefit from this new technology and participate fully in the digital economy. It will be important for providing Internet connectivity to Canadians in urban and rural areas. It is designed to provide both mobile and home Internet services.

For 5G to be delivered effectively, operators need a variety of what are called spectrum bands. In this case, low-band spectrum will help with coverage, mid-band for a combination of coverage and capacity and high-band for significant increase in capacity.

In early April, we completed the first of the auction in our plan. Through the 600 megahertz auction, regional competitors more than doubled their share of low-band spectrum.

The auction raised $3.47 billion, which, as has always been the practice, will be remitted to the consolidated revenue fund administered by the Receiver General for Canada. This money will be used to support priorities for Canadians.

It is important to remember that this revenue is collected over the life of the agreement with providers, which is often decades. In the case of the 600 megahertz auction, it is 20 years.

We are pleased that regional providers more than doubled their share of 600 megahertz spectrum following our auction in March. This will strengthen competition, which will drive prices down and improve coverage.

We are also planning to release more spectrum. In fact, we are planning three more spectrum auctions over the next three years making more spectrum available for mobile services than we have ever before.

Of course, we also understand the need to modernize our rules. That is why we launched a developmental licence playbook to help innovators get temporary access to spectrum which will allow them to test the functions of 5G.

Our government is taking action to empower current and future innovators and entrepreneurs by making it easier for individuals and businesses to test and research leading-edge spectrum devices.

In addition, the new developmental spectrum licence process supports the R and D of new technologies and services that will benefit all Canadians. This includes medical service companies that want to enable doctors to monitor their patients remotely. It will help tech firms working to equip municipalities with automated systems. It will allow research firms seeking to bring connected cars to market to better test their technologies, to improve safety and save lives on Canadian roads.

Officials at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada have noted explosive growth relating to requests to test in Canada and have received positive stakeholder feedback for our efforts to accommodate new systems. In the past two years, ISED has issued over 300 developmental licences that facilitate innovation and experimentation in the wireless industry.

Looking to the future, we are currently preparing decisions on two consultations aimed at improving access to spectrum. This includes backhaul licence fees that take into account future innovative and data intensive uses. The current fee structure, which is based on how much data one sends, can make it prohibitively expensive to move large amounts of data via wireless backhaul. A new fee structure would significantly reduce the cost of offering 5G services in remote locations or where fibre is not yet available.

My colleague, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, is consulting on a new set of smaller spectrum service areas known as tier 5. The intent of these consultations is to meet current and future wireless needs, encourage additional access to spectrum within rural areas and support new technologies and emerging use cases. This consultation responds to a specific concern we heard from small service providers that they face challenges in acquiring spectrum.

By creating smaller tiers, we will recognize the inherent differences in rural areas, make it easier for smaller service providers to acquire spectrum they need to operate and grow their businesses and ultimately lead to improved connectivity for rural Canadians. We are examining new, dynamic and innovative licensing approaches to respond to new service opportunities, including rural and remote connectivity.

We know that the demand for spectrum will continue to grow and we need to adapt in order to meet that demand. This means not just accelerating the pace at which we auction spectrum, but releasing it in innovative new ways. We are developing new innovative and advanced tools to get the most out of Canada's wireless airways. These tools will help us understand the spectrum environment so we can make more and better use of spectrum available in the future, particularly in rural and remote areas.

Our government has achieved a lot already on this important file. Prices are going down and speed and coverage are going up. However, we are committed to encouraging affordable telecom services to help bridge the digital divide, foster inclusivity and support an innovative economy. Our government recognizes that in some cases rural and remote communities can only be served by having access to spectrum, and we are working to ensure that spectrum resources are available for the various services that offer rural broadband connectivity.

Officials are already meeting with small wireless Internet service providers to better understand any challenges they have experienced in accessing spectrum. To date, they have heard back from over 100 small Internet service providers that have shared their experiences and ideas.

Delivering universal high-speed Internet to every Canadian in the quickest and most cost-effective way will require a coordinated effort with our partners in the private sector and across all levels of government.

To meet this commitment, budget 2019 proposed a coordinated plan. This includes a $1.7-billion top-up to the connect to innovate program, a new universal broadband fund and commitment to securing advanced low Earth orbit satellite capacity to serve the most rural and remote regions of Canada. Through this comprehensive and important work, we will deliver on our commitment to ensure every household and business in Canada has access to high-speed Internet by 2030.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge June 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, it has been almost four years since I first took my seat in the House. It has been privilege to serve the constituents of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge. I have loved building the relationships that are so important to understanding the needs of my communities.

There are groups like Pathfinder Youth Centre Society, which supports at-risk youth, and Alisha's Wish Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, which provides services to children and youth who are victims of abuse.

Groups such as Alouette River Management Society, KEEPS and Watershed Watch work hard to restore fish habitat, advocate education on our diverse wildlife and try to find ways to reverse the damage to our fish and salmon stock.

Our Seniors Network is a group of individuals and organizations with a shared goal of providing support and resources for our seniors.

There are all the businesses and non-profits that hire summer students so they can gain valuable experience.

When we both build and sustain relationships with the grassroots people in our communities, we can work together to create better outcomes. From the words of Helen Keller, alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.