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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

Petitions December 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by many British Columbians.

The petitioners are calling on our government to increase the penalties for impaired driving, specifically those that cause death.

Holiday Celebrations December 5th, 2014

On a lighter note, Mr. Speaker, as we approach the holiday season, Canadians across this great land will be celebrating Christmas and a variety of other holidays. This is a special time of year to spend with family and friends, to remember the memories of the past year, and to look forward to what 2015 will bring. For many Canadians this involves many trips to stores for Christmas lights and ornaments to create a festive atmosphere.

Could the President of the Treasury Board please update the House on what the government is doing to spread the holiday cheer?

Respect for Communities Act December 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear a question in there.

I know this: for all of the heroin users, and for that matter any person who is addicted to drugs, there is not one who does not want to get off of that drug. They would all like to live clean and be healthy. The fact of the matter is that safe injection sites do none of that because a person still brings an illegal drug into a safe area to inject that drug, which they know is illegal.

I would rather see recovery centres and treatment centres that can encourage people to get off of the drug rather than encourage them to continue with the drug.

Respect for Communities Act December 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, InSite in Vancouver was created because there was a significant problem that had evolved in east Vancouver, and that was the use of heroin and the fact that there were a lot of overdoses.

InSite has not prevented overdoses. In fact, it has encouraged people who use the illegal drug to use it in the facility. The problem I have with that is that there is not one point or one-tenth of a gram of heroin that is purchased anywhere in the world that is legal. As a result, we are encouraging illegal drug use in a facility that will protect them from having any recourse. That is the problem.

We should not encourage people to use the drug; we should encourage them to get off of the drug. The only way to do that is to intervene through means other than a safe injection site.

Respect for Communities Act December 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to support Bill C-2, the respect for communities act. As I do this, I reflect on the Governor General's words in the Speech from the Throne that opened the second session of the 41st Parliament of Canada, where he spoke of parliamentarians' abiding concern for the common good of our neighbours in each community. It is this abiding concern that is the driving force behind the respect for communities act. Put simply, Canadian families expect safe and healthy communities in which to raise their children.

The respect for communities act would give local law enforcement, municipal leaders, and local residents a voice before a permit is granted for a supervised injection site. A key priority of our government is the protection of public health and maintenance of public safety, and I am very proud of the many measures that we have already put in place and will continue to put in place to improve the health and well-being of all Canadians.

Today I want to highlight the government's specific actions against illicit drug use in Canada and describe how the respect for communities act is a vital component in achieving these objectives. Most importantly, I want to drive home that communities deserve to have a say if someone would like to have a drug injection site where illegal drugs are used in their neighbourhood.

The national anti-drug strategy, as many of us in the House know, guides the government's actions against illicit drugs. Through this comprehensive strategy the government continues to support and protect Canadians, their families, and their communities by implementing measures that reduce or prevent the use, production, and distribution of illicit drugs.

Since its launch in October of 2007, the federal government departments of justice, public safety, and health have been working collaboratively to achieve the three main objectives set out in the strategy, which include contributing to safer and healthier communities by reducing and contributing to the elimination of illicit drug use in Canada, reducing the supply of and demand for illicit drugs, and addressing the crime associated with illicit drugs.

Our government has since invested over half a billion dollars implementing activities under this strategy in three priority areas: prevention, treatment and enforcement. This represents an unprecedented level of funding for anti-drug initiatives and reflects our government's commitment to addressing the issue of illicit drug use in Canada.

In a moment I will share some of our success stories to date, but first I would like to highlight how the national anti-drug strategy continues to evolve in response to emerging trends and changing needs.

In the Speech from the Throne, our government committed to expanding the national anti-drug strategy to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. This commitment was reaffirmed in economic action plan 2014, which allocated almost $45 million over five years to expand the focus of the strategy to also address prescription drug abuse in Canada.

As we move forward, we can build on the success of our past activities in prevention, treatment, and enforcement. Take for example our accomplishments to date with preventing drug use. When the strategy's prevention action plan was established in 2007, our government was responding to some disturbing trends, particularly among young Canadians. We were seeing an increased level of drug crime and increased substance abuse issues at earlier ages. Drug use among our youth was clearly identified as a real concern, and for many Canadian communities it still is. These dangerous and addictive drugs tear families apart, foster addiction, and destroy lives.

It has long been recognized that prevention is best achieved by the coordinated efforts of multiple players. With this in mind, the government invested over $70 million in community based prevention initiatives under the drug strategy community initiatives fund. This contribution fund program directly supports community-based programs aimed at preventing illicit drug use. I am proud to say that under this program, the government has launched over 130 such projects across Canada. Going forward, these projects will also respond to the issue of prescription drug abuse.

Just last December, the Minister of Health announced $11.5 million in funding over five years for a health promotion and drug prevention strategy for Canada's youth. This is a national project led by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse as part of the national anti-drug strategy. The goal of this project is to prevent drug abuse among Canadians between the age of 10 and 24, through education, national prevention standards, and the building of sustainable partnerships.

We are now a couple years further into the strategy, but even by 2012 an evaluation indicated that it was increasing awareness of illicit drug use and its consequences. It enhances supports for at-risk populations and improves community knowledge. In particular, the mass media campaign, DrugsNot4Me, and the RCMP's organized crime awareness services showed a major impact in increasing awareness about and understanding of illicit drug issues.

A second key priority has been treatment. Back in 2007, the strategy's treatment action plan under the national anti-drug strategy was established to address the lack of treatment capacity for those in need of support, and the need for innovative and relevant approaches to drug treatment. As part of that action plan, this government invested in the drug treatment funding program to support provincial and territorial governments and other key stakeholders in their treatment efforts.

The strategy has provided over $145 million to the drug treatment fund. Evaluation findings from 2007 to 2012 show progress in a number of areas, including increasing the accessibility and availability of early intervention treatment services for at-risk youth. I am pleased to say that the scope of the drug treatment funding program has been expanded to address the issue of prescription drug abuse.

The third and final priority I want to highlight is this government's enforcement capacity. In 2007, the enforcement action plan was established to address the illicit production and distribution of marijuana and synthetic drugs, as well as the diversion of precursor chemicals. Efforts were made to target organized criminals and others who profit from the manufacturing and distribution of drugs that endanger Canadian youth and communities.

When the national anti-drug strategy was evaluated in 2012, it showed that the enforcement action plan had increased the capacity of drug enforcement and prosecutors to gather and share intelligence, to analyze evidence, and to control and monitor controlled substances. In addition, the enforcement action plan has raised awareness of illicit drugs and precursor chemical issues among enforcement officers in Canada and abroad through workshops, training, and information sessions, as well as joint law enforcement efforts.

The enforcement action plan has also contributed to increased safety in dismantling illicit drug operations. It should be noted that addressing the manufacturing and production of illicit drugs will require a long-term concerted effort, and this government will sustain its efforts on this important work.

The bill that we are debating here in the House today, the respect for communities act, is aligned with and strengthens the government's approach to addressing illicit drug use as initially set out in the national anti-drug strategy. This government is addressing the causes of drug addiction by implementing measures that seek to prevent Canadians from using dangerous and addictive drugs in the first place, and by supporting efforts that provide treatment options to those who have developed addictions. In addition to this, our government will be working to reduce the drug-related issues that organized crime seeks to perpetuate in our communities.

By supporting Bill C-2 we are demonstrating our abiding concern for the common good of our neighbours across Canada. I encourage all members to vote in favour of this bill.

Petitions November 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition which is signed by a number of people from Kootenay—Columbia.

The petitioners call upon the government to pass the common sense firearms licensing act.

Municipal and Regional Elections in Kootenay—Columbia November 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, on November 17, the people of British Columbia went to the polls to elect mayors, municipal councillors and directors for the next four years.

In my riding of Kootenay—Columbia, that included 14 municipalities and 3 regional districts. They are tasked with everything from water and sewer service to snow removal, road maintenance, and recreational facilities. They are the front-line politician. They cannot walk through their local grocery store without being told how to do things better.

I want to wish the best of luck to all the municipal and regional politicians elected in the riding of Kootenay—Columbia. I look forward to working with them in the near future.

Petitions November 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by many people from my riding calling on the government to pass Bill C-356, an act respecting a national strategy for dementia.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) October 23rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have mentioned several times in my speech police service animals that have been murdered since 1965. On very few occasions, if any, was there a charge laid with regard to the actual killing of the animal. It has always been a subsequent charge to whatever the police were investigating, but it had nothing to do with the animal itself.

The fact of the matter is that this is a murder of a police service dog that has been a huge investment and that is very near and dear to the handler. It takes a long time to replace the animal. I strongly believe that there must be a mandatory minimum sentence.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) October 23rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, certainly, through the court process, there are restitution orders that can be applied for. As with any restitution orders that come forward, I would strongly suggest that they could be in place with regard to this without an amendment to the bill.