House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was regard.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Kootenay—Columbia (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, he hit the nail on the head. The fact of the matter is that if we can provide the security detail in this place with the best equipment, the best technology, and the best communication so that they can work as one, we will find this to be a very well-oiled machine.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that the motion that was put forth last week is very clear. It recognizes the importance of this place and how it should move forward.

I believe that the motion put forward by the member opposite does not reflect how the government needs to move forward and I am very comfortable with what the government whip had to say.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the problem is not the sergeant-at-arms; the problem is that we have multiple silos of security. We have two in here, one outside, and one beyond the gates, but the main ones are the three.

The fact of the matter is that we need one person in charge of all of the precinct, both inside and out, to better reflect how security needs to be completed in this day and age. We cannot live with history and the past. We have learnt from October 22. Let us move forward, recognizing how important it is to have security both inside and out and recognizing the expertise of those both inside and out.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak on this topic tonight.

House of Commons Security Services preserve a delicate balance between protecting Parliamentarians and the functions of Parliament, and respecting the right of Canadians to have access to the Precinct and their legislators.

The development and implementation of a long-term plan is an important opportunity to address requirements for efficient and effective security, in particular a Parliamentary Precinct with clear physical boundaries. The plan must allow for a layered system of access control and a solid infrastructure for security systems that lays the groundwork for current and future requirements.

The quote I just made is from the explanation of Parliament security on the government website.

I started my speech from that because of the last nine words on laying the groundwork for current and future requirements.

Before I go any further, I will be sharing my time with the member for Don Valley West.

Security for this place dates back to the 1860s. The site itself was chosen because of its natural topography along the east, north, and west parameters. The wrought iron gates that are found to the south of the Precinct and still stand today were built for security. The large lawn area was in itself a security feature. Inside the buildings, there is a layered approach, with lobbies and vestibules acting as buffer zones between outdoor spaces and the important meeting rooms and offices.

Since that time, the need for security in and around government buildings has increased substantially, responding to new challenges in Canada and to events and circumstances around the world.

There have been a number of security breaches over the years at this place, and a review is done after each one of them to determine how this place could better enhance security. One of the recommendations throughout the years has been communication protocols to ensure coordination of security efforts among the various jurisdictions, which I think is important here.

This place is known as the people's place. It has a high risk of vulnerability, and none was more evident than that on October 22, 2014, when a lone gunman was able to enter this place, and, in my opinion, show some of the glaring problems because we are unwilling to enhance security for the sake of history.

Again, the government website on precinct security says the following:

The boundaries should have a clear physical definition, which can serve as an intrinsic part of security measures;

There should be an adequate buffer zone around the buildings and the Precinct; and

There should be clearly defined and easily accessible zones for the public and the media.

Further in the same document is a reference to infrastructure, which says:

There should be an adequate technological infrastructure to meet current and future security needs. This infrastructure should:

Integrate and standardize systems across the Precinct;

Be simple to use and unobtrusive to occupants and visitors;

Provide internal security forces with external viewing capability;

Provide communication infrastructure that allows for immediate links with primary response partners;

In my opinion, not one of these has been accomplished, because we have been in a multi-silo security detail. Let me explain why we must, as soon as possible, create a single, overarching security team in what is referred to as the precinct. We have to remember as well that the precinct is not just this building; as everyone knows, it goes from the justice department on Kent Street all the way up to Wellington Street. It is a significant area.

I want to speak a bit about the RCMP, because it has come into this conversation a lot.

The RCMP has been a national police force since 1873 when it was created under an act of Parliament in this place. The RCMP is unique because it encompasses federal, provincial, and municipal policing bodies. It provides total federal policing services to all Canadians and police services under contract to three territories, eight provinces, more than 190 communities, 600 aboriginal communities, and three international airports.

RCMP protective services are responsible for over 125 embassies and high commissions in the national capital region, the protection of 500 resident foreign diplomat missions across approximately 500 foreign consulates across Canada, the security of approximately 500 visits by foreign dignitaries and international protected persons per year. It responds to approximately 600 demonstrations a year on average.

The RCMP has a highly integrated intelligence system and an extremely efficient communications system, but most importantly, it has manpower that can be mobilized very quickly. Creating that efficiency in this precinct is a progression of security. In my opinion it has nothing to do with picking sides, as the opposition would like to portray it, but rather with creating an elite team charged with protecting this place both inside and out.

Let us make no mistake: it is not a matter of “if” the next incident occurs here, but rather a matter of when. An integrated unit overseen by one body would be able to communicate much better and react much more quickly. We have to learn from the events that took place here, and October 22, 2014, provided us with a valuable lesson to which we must react. Most importantly, an integrated unit would be provided with the best equipment, technology, and communication available to work as one, and that, as parliamentarians, is what we owe them.

I listened and I want to provide some context to where I believe this needs to go.

It is clear in the motion that was put forward by this government last week, which said at the bottom, “...while respecting the privileges, immunities and powers of the respective Houses, and ensuring the continued employment of our existing and respected Parliamentary Security staff.”

I do not believe it needs to speak any louder than that itself.

National Day of the Midwife Act February 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member opposite on this bill. When she came to the health committee with the witnesses, they did a fabulous job. It was very honourable of her to get to this point, and I am looking forward to it going to the Senate.

I have a significant speech I prepared, but I am going to stray from it a bit and highlight some of the points on midwifery.

In August 2013, the Cochrane review, which involved 16,242 women in models of care, including where midwives provided care through pregnancy, during labour, and after birth, and which has one of the highest standards of evidence, confirmed the safety and efficacy of midwifery-led care. It is very important to understand that there is a lot of data on this in Canada, and we are starting to get a lot better at what we do.

Certainly midwives save lives, some 300,000 women each year and 10 times as many infants. That is important to understand too. As midwifery evolves and we get far better at it, we are going to be able to save millions of lives around the world. It is thanks to members opposite and others who have brought this to light that we will be able to do much more in years to come.

According to the Canadian Association of Midwives, a little over 1,300 midwives attend approximately 10% of births in Canada. While these numbers may seem small, it represents tremendous growth.

The practice of midwifery is relatively new in Canada, with the first midwives regulated to practice in 1994. We are only 20 years out since it started. As of 2014, midwives are recognized to practice in eight out of 10 provinces and in two of three territories. We still have a little work to do, but I am sure with the collective work in the House, as well as with the members opposite, we can make that 10 out of 10 and three out of three.

While the government recognizes that primary responsibility for the provision and delivery of health care services in Canada rests with the provinces and territories, we remain committed to a strong, publicly funded, universally accessible health care system for all of Canada.

An evaluation of the midwifery approach to maternal health care in Ontario noted that midwives have lower rates of invasive procedures, fewer re-admissions to hospital, and shorter hospital stays. This translates into a cost saving of $800 per midwifery-attended hospital birth and a saving of $1,800 for home births when compared with family physician care for women with low-risk pregnancies.

Federal recognition of midwives will help to increase the value of this profession in providing maternal care services to women and their families as well as the potential role of midwives in promoting a high-quality and sustainable health care system.

Maternal, newborn, and child health care remains Canada's top international development priority, and we are committed to working with Canadian and international partners toward the goal of ending the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns, and children under the age of five.

In June 2010, under the Right Honourable Prime Minister's leadership, the G8 launched the Muskoka initiative on maternal, newborn and child health, which aims to save the lives of mothers, newborns, and children. As part of this initiative, Canada committed $2.85 billion between 2010 and 2015 to help women and children in the world's poorest countries.

Midwifery training and service provision is also a key component of our government's support through the G8 Muskoka initiative. Thanks in large part to the Muskoka initiative and subsequent global action, maternal mortality rates are declining, and millions more children are celebrating their fifth birthdays. Access to health care and nutrition is up, and millions of lives continue to be saved each year. This important work will continue.

In May 2014, the right hon. Prime Minister hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arms's Reach summit. At that summit, Canada committed $3.5 billion for the period of 2015 to 2020 and renewed global momentum to advance maternal, newborn, and child health as a global priority beyond 2015.

Canada will continue to work with our country's partners to advance progress on international maternal health by investing in improved service delivery at the local level, training more health workers, increasing access to adequately equip local health facilities, and expanding access to services.

Since 1991, the International Day of the Midwife on May 5 has been recognized by organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization, to raise awareness of the importance of the role midwives play and the careful care they provide. A national day of the midwife would help to increase awareness of the value of the profession in providing maternal care services to women and their families, both domestically and internationally.

Therefore, I support Bill C-608, which seeks to designate May 5 of each and every year as the national day of the midwife. I invite my hon. colleagues to do the same.

Parliamentary Precinct Security February 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, going back to the integration part of the issue, I hear what everyone is saying here, but at the end of the day, this is about sharing information. It is a real challenge as we sit here today with the multitude of different silos available to us to share information quickly and efficiently. That is the challenge here.

From the perspective of the communication difficulties between the different silos, does the member not believe that would improve in the future if the motion moved forward today, not taking away anything from what is in existence today?

Citizenship and Immigration February 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we understand that our immigration system must be fast, flexible, and adaptable to Canada's labour market needs.

On January 1, our government introduced express entry, Canada's next-generation approach to managing and processing applications for our most popular economic immigration programs.

Can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration please explain how this new apparatus will benefit the best and brightest would-be newcomers?

Veterans Affairs January 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, when I think of veterans, I am often reminded of many of the elderly men and women who march proudly on Remembrance Day in my riding of Kootenay—Columbia.

Many of our veterans now include young men and women who also have sacrificed for our country. The age of a veteran now spans from 19 to 100, with the majority being younger. That is why our government has cut red tape and worked to accommodate our younger veterans by making access to many of the Veterans Affairs benefits easier.

We have moved to digitize veterans' medical records. We have sped up adjudication and access to benefits. We have launched the My VAC Account, an online portal giving veterans more information than ever before.

These are some of the ways our government is cutting red tape, and under the current Minister of Veterans Affairs, we will continue to do so.

Business of Supply January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, clearly the Prime Minister meets with premiers of the provinces. He has met with the premiers of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta. He meets with them to hear their individual concerns and moves forward with those concerns when he meets with cabinet so that everyone understands what those concerns may be.

I will also add—and the member for Trinity—Spadina should know this as well—that when municipal leaders get together with provincial leaders, they are collectively told in advance to show up with a group solution and not individual solutions, because if they do, they are going to fail. That is the way it works. As a former mayor, I know that we work better collectively than we do independently. The fact of the matter is that the Prime Minister, in all likelihood, would want to meet with all of the ministers, but clearly all of the ministers must have a group consensus on what they want to move forward with.

What I would like to know from the member is this. From the perspective of first ministers, can he tell me of one instance when first ministers collectively came together with one sole purpose? I know they never have.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, if you seek it I believe you would find consent to see the clock at 1:30 p.m.