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  • His favourite word is regard.

Conservative MP for Flamborough—Glanbrook (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Motorcycling May 19th, 2017

Madam Speaker, with the beautiful spring weather sweeping through Flamborough—Glanbrook and across the country, we can be sure that motorcyclists will hit the streets to enjoy the open roads.

There are close to one million motorcyclists in Canada today, including grandmothers, grandfathers, youth, and young adults. Riders come from every walk of life and every profession. Some ride alone, while some ride with family and friends.

Motorcyclists are among the most generous members of our communities. They raise and donate more than $13 million every year. I see this generosity first-hand every year, serving as the honorary chair for the JNF Correctional Officers Motorcycle Ride and the Liberty for Youth Eagle Ride, and taking part in the National Memorial Ride here in Ottawa.

The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada has launched a campaign that notes that motorcycle safety is everyone's responsibility. Motorcyclists, passengers, motorists, and friends and family members can go to motorcycling.ca and take the motorcycle safety pledge today.

Since May is motorcycle safety month, I ask all motorists to keep an eye out for motorcycles and I bid all motorcyclists a happy and safe riding season.

Foreign Affairs May 11th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, this week at committee Professor Irwin Cotler lamented the ongoing suffering of Baha'is at the hands of the tyrannical Iranian regime. His assertion is that the wrongful imprisonment of seven of their leaders by the Iranian regime should be viewed as a litmus test of its commitment to human rights and regional security.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs heed the advice of this former Liberal cabinet minister and demand the release of the seven Baha'i leaders before deploying any permanent diplomatic mission to Iran?

Ethics May 10th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, “a new day”, “sunny ways”, “a new respect for Parliament”, “answering every question of every member”, “we are going to respect Parliament more”: these are all things the Prime Minister said when he was campaigning. Today, as you said, Mr. Speaker, Canadians will be able to judge the veracity of those words.

Could you please tell the House how many times you have met with the Ethics Commissioner?

Bahá'í Seven May 10th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, being terrorized, persecuted, beaten, imprisoned, and killed is too often what faces Iranian citizens of the Bahá'í faith. The Khamenei regime continues to carry out coordinated efforts to eliminate this religious community.

During this Iran Accountability Week, I rise to call for the release of the seven wrongfully imprisoned Bahá'í leaders who have become known as the Bahá'í Seven. In 2008, the Iranian regime arrested Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mahvash Sabet, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaei, Vahid Tizfahm, and Behrouz Tavakkoli. These leaders faced trumped-up charges for nothing more than their religious beliefs and were sentenced to 20 years in prison.

With the Iranian presidential election next week, I invite the government to join the official opposition in calling on each Iranian presidential candidate to commit to the release of these innocent men and women. After nine long years, their release cannot come soon enough.

Liberation Day May 5th, 2017

Madam Speaker, in spite of so much rain in this our 150th commemoration of Confederation, we can see hundreds of thousands of bright, blooming tulips throughout Ottawa.

While the tulips are beautiful, we must remember that they commemorate important events in our shared history with the Netherlands.

Today, May 5, is Dutch Liberation Day, this being the 72nd anniversary. On May 5, 1945, the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands finally ended. Courageous Canadian troops pushed the Nazis back into Germany in the later months of the war, liberating the Dutch people from five years of tyranny.

Terrorized by bombings and starving, the Dutch people were overjoyed. The Canadians were welcomed with truly open arms. It forged a bond between our two nations, which has endured ever since, and will for generations to come.

Many Dutch Canadians in Flamborough—Glanbrook lived this experience first-hand. They have passed on the memories and stories of heroism to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchiIdren.

I am proud of this history. I am proud that the Dutch Royal Family was provided safe refuge here during the war. I am especially proud that Canadian flags are flown throughout the Netherlands each May 5 on Liberation Day.

Ellie Voortman May 4th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, my hometown of Ancaster, the greater city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and, indeed, the world lost an incredible force for good a couple of weeks ago with the passing of Ellie Voortman. Ellie had many accolades and community recognitions to her credit and her reach was far beyond our community.

The John & Ellie Voortman Charitable Foundation supported numerous projects and humanitarian causes from the inner city of Hamilton to the far corners of the globe. John and Ellie were successful in business and in life. She was John's strength and love. Together they founded Oakrun Farm Bakery and raised a beautiful, loving family, championship dogs, and lived every day to make the world around them a better place.

It would take hours to describe the many causes they supported and honours bestowed, but the recognition did not matter to Ellie. She generally eschewed the limelight. With humility, poise, and grace, she lived the words of her favourite quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.” All I can say is this is an understatement in describing the extraordinary impact of Ellie Voortman. She will be sorely missed by all.

Points of Order May 2nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Over the 11-plus years I have been in this House, I have witnessed all kinds of heckling from all corners of the House, and depending on the subject, some with more volume and some with less. I would hazard to say that if everyone looked in the mirror, members would see that they are guilty on a continuum in some way, shape, or form.

Certainly one of the people who has been the least guilty of that has been the member for Thornhill. In fact, the only thing I can remember is that the member for Thornhill was the victim of one of the most egregious heckles, calling him a piece of waste, from the other side of the chamber. Therefore, I would ask you to maybe reassess that judgment with respect to taking a question from the fine member for Thornhill.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns May 1st, 2017

With regard to the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, which ended in June 2016: (a) what rationale was used in the decision to not extend the plan; (b) was there a formal review of the plan prior to its cancellation; (c) if the answer to (b) is affirmative, what were the findings of this review; (d) which groups, organizations or individuals received funding under the plan; (e) which groups identified in (d) (i) continue to receive funding from the government, (ii) do not continue to receive funding and for what reasons; and (f) what actions outside of the plan are being taken to combat human trafficking both (i) domestically, (ii) internationally?

Petitions April 3rd, 2017

Madam Speaker, I have a petition from Canadians across Ontario who call upon the Government of Canada to instruct Canada Post to add postal banking with a mandate for financial inclusion and to release the secret study it conducted on postal banking.

Privilege March 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add my comments to the question of privilege raised by the opposition House leader earlier today.

Caught on video was the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs' attempt to intimidate the opposition House leader. This outburst was intended to prevent the opposition House leader from doing her job.

The House Leader of the Official Opposition moved a motion that put into the spotlight of the nation waiting to hear the presentation on budget 2017 the fact that the government was attempting to use the budget presentation as a shield to hide its underhanded attempt to change the rules of this House, changes that would cripple the opposition's ability to hold the government to account, give backbenchers an extra day off a week, and require the Prime Minister to only show up in the House once a week. She was successful in exposing the government's skulduggery, and I understand why the minister would be angry.

It should be noted that responding to threats is the first matter of parliamentary privilege dealt with in Canada. Page 198 of the second edition of Joseph Maingot's Parliamentary Privilege in Canada tells us of an incident in 1758, where the Nova Scotia House of Assembly proceeded against someone who made threats against a member.

In a ruling on September 19, 1973, by Speaker Lamoureux, at page 6709 of Debates, stated that he had:

...no hesitation in reaffirming the principle that parliamentary privilege includes the right of a member to discharge his responsibilities as a member of the House free from threats or attempts at intimidation.

Mr. Speaker Bosley, on May 16, 1986, at page 13362 of Debates, ruled that the threat or attempt at intimidation cannot be hypothetical but must be real or have occurred.

On March 24, 1994, at page 2705 of Debates, Speaker Parent stated:

Threats of blackmail or intimidation of a member of Parliament should never be taken lightly. When such occurs, the very essence of free speech is undermined. Without the guarantee of freedom of speech, no member of Parliament can do his duty as is expected.

I can go on and on, but the point is that, just because a government is given a majority, it does not mean that cabinet ministers have the authority to intimidate members of the opposition. The Liberal backbenchers should grow a backbone and understand that cabinet is subordinate to this House and there are more of us than them. We could actually do something about their dismissive view of Parliament.

Liberal prime ministers are notorious for describing members of Parliament in quaint ways: Pierre Trudeau with his “nobodies” slur and Jean Chrétien with his insult about terracotta soldiers. Almost immediately after the slogan “sunny ways” was out of the box, the passing of Parliament's role into the shadow of the Prime Minister's agenda began. We had Motion No. 6 last—