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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was communities.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Natural Resources February 25th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, oil and gas projects are being built all over world, except in Canada.

With Teck being forced to cancel, 14 indigenous groups lost out, and 10,000 new jobs are gone. I would call this a failure, but we know the Liberals view this as a win.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that Teck Resources' Frontier oil sands project was killed as a result of his government's anti-oil and gas policies?

Natural Resources February 3rd, 2020

Mr. Speaker, the project being proposed by Teck Resources would create 9,500 jobs for Canadians and generate tens of billions of dollars for our economy. While the Liberals are eager to meet with foreign-funded environmental activists, they have not yet had meaningful consultations with stakeholders in the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Will the Prime Minister agree to meet with the municipality of Wood Buffalo and the key stakeholders regarding the pending decision on the Frontier project?

The Environment June 17th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, it was interesting to hear the minister mention that she wants to phase out coal. Does that include our exports? As she is aware, Vancouver exports 36.8 million tonnes of coal a year. Are we going to phase out coal exports also?

Criminal Code June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today in support of a very important piece of legislation, private member's bill, Bill C-206, an act to amend the Criminal Code to expand powers ensuring protection against the abuse of vulnerable persons, such as the elderly and people with various disabilities, put forward by my friend, the member of Parliament for Yellowhead.

Our criminal justice system needs to be strengthened to protect the most vulnerable in our society. This legislation looks to close some of the gaps in our system that negatively impact vulnerable Canadians across our country every day.

The physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse of a person over the age of 65 or a person with a mental or physical disability should be considered an aggravating circumstance. This legislation would ensure criminals who take advantage of vulnerable persons get stricter sentences for their crimes.

First, I would like to discuss elder abuse. Elder abuse can take many forms, and both the mental and physical impairments seniors face increase their vulnerability in our society. Roughly 8% to 10% of seniors in Canada experience elder abuse. This means over 750,000 seniors have been subject to unfair physical, financial or psychological abuse. Elder abuse is severely under-reported in Canada, with an estimated 20% of abuse victims never coming forward and never receiving the justice they deserve.

Looking for the appropriate care in their later years, our elderly often unknowingly entrust their finances, health and futures into the hands of individuals who do not have their best interests at heart. I have heard stories of caregivers stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the purses of their wards. I have heard of physical abuse cases going largely unreported. I have heard of elderly couples afraid to report their injustices for fear of losing their homes and their independence.

In my riding, an elderly gentleman living alone in a remote area had his home broken into. The robbers stole his precious belongings and beat him to the point where he had to be hospitalized. Though the perpetrators were later caught, they were released after only serving part of their sentence. After their release, those same criminals went back to the elderly man's home and beat him again to within an inch of death. That elderly man will now spend the rest of his life in a nursing home, as the injuries he sustained took away his independence entirely.

Our broken system does not have strict enough sentences for criminals, and it is failing victims. It is not just individuals perpetrating crimes of elder abuse. Studies show abuses are taking place in over 99% of care homes across the country. These bonds of both necessity and trust are too often taken advantage of by ill-fitted caregivers.

We need to put more legislation in place to protect our most vulnerable, as our elderly are our family and friends. Some victims are dependent on their caregivers, some fear retaliation and social shaming, some fear they will not be believed by resource providers and others do not nave the right tools at their disposal to report elder abuse, being impaired by their own disabilities to an extent to which they cannot reach out.

One day we will all be in their shoes. We need to act today to ensure a better future for all Canadians in their golden years.

Canadians who suffer from various mental or physical disabilities are also at risk of abuse. Imagine people living their lives, unable to fully care of themselves, having their independence stripped away at no fault of their own, and being forced to entrust their lives into the hands of others.

People with disabilities are twice as likely to be abused than any other group. In fact, people with disabilities are more likely to experience workplace, domestic, medical, financial and sexual abuse than any other demographic. Instances of abuse against Canadians with disabilities are on the rise. Forty per cent of incidents of violent crime happen to people with disabilities.

Much like elder abuse, people with disabilities are most often abused by people they know. Caregivers, spouses, common-law partners or other family members are the most common perpetrators of this crime.

Alberta's human services website provided testimony from a man living in an apartment building for persons with disabilities. He spoke on his experiences with assisted care. He wrote, “When the person who is supposed to be my care aide came in the morning to help me get up and dressed, we had a disagreement. We argued for a while. And then the care aide looked at me and said, 'So did you want to get out of bed today?'” Too many caregivers are using a victim's independence as a bargaining tool to ensure they get what they want, rather than providing the best care possible.

There needs to be stricter punishment for the mental, physical and psychological harm this abuse leaves its victims. The abuse of vulnerable persons is too often overlooked at the national level and the signs of abuse are easily missed. Anyone can become a victim of abuse, including our mothers, fathers, children, neighbours and friends. We need the right tools to recognize abuse and put a stop to it now.

Aside from changing the culture surrounding the treatment for our most vulnerable, we also need stricter laws and punishments surrounding these heinous crimes. Often victims of abuse are forgotten and overlooked by our bustling society, as we are so consumed with the here and now. It is time we pause and recognize these largely forgotten victims.

My colleague and I in the House today are determined to get vulnerable persons the support and services they need to stay independent and stay safe. I am grateful for the member for Yellowhead's bill, which will hopefully shed more light on this important issue. It is time we give a voice back to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been silenced by the injustice of our broken system.

These vulnerable persons feel isolated and alone and often these caregivers are their only connection to the real world. However, we, the Canadian government, are also their caregivers and we have a duty to stand up and protect these people when they cannot protect themselves. Abuse can happen to anyone at any time, but it is far more dubious to commit abuses against individuals without the means to protect themselves.

As our society changes, our government needs to equip itself with the right legislation to confront our current issues and provide a safer future for all. Bill C-206 would provide just that: a method to provide a safer future for all Canadians, especially Canada's most vulnerable.

In closing, I would like to thank the member for Yellowhead and everyone who spoke today in support of this bill.

Multiple Sclerosis May 30th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, today I recognize World MS Day. World MS Day is a day of global advocacy in the fight against multiple sclerosis. It brings together the global MS community to share stories, raise awareness and campaign for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians. As many members know, my wife Kathy suffers from MS, and since her diagnosis, my family has been active in the fight against MS and other episodic disabilities.

That is why I put forward my private member's motion, M-192, to make life easier for people living with episodic disabilities.

Today, I would like to thank the MS Society of Canada and especially Julie Kelndorfer for all of their hard work on my motion and in the fight against episodic disabilities.

One day we will find a cure, but in the meantime, we need to band together and support all Canadians suffering from MS.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns May 3rd, 2019

With regards to legal advice for either the Prime Minister, current staff or former members in the Office of the Prime Minister: what are all the amounts budgeted in 2017, 2018, and 2019 for outside legal advice, broken down by (i) how much each firm is charging per hour, (ii) the total expected cost, (iii) any details released in the contracts signed, (e.g. the nature of the work and other such details)?

Petitions May 3rd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to present petitions signed by thousands of Canadians urging the government to support the energy east pipeline. It is time the Liberal government supported hard-working men and women in our energy sector. The jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Canadians depend on pipeline projects to tidewater. The Liberal government needs to start listening to Canadians and support the energy industry from coast to coast to coast.

WestJet April 2nd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, so often we hear about the airline industry not meeting the needs of costumers and its lack of compassion. Today, I would like to give 15 out of 10 to WestJet for going above and beyond.

A senior with mobility issues travelled to a WestJet destination. Unfortunately, the resort could not meet all his needs and the senior wanted to go back home the next day. Not only did WestJet refund the majority of the senior's money, it flew that senior back home, first class.

This senior is a decorated veteran who served our country overseas with pride. To quote the veteran, “WestJet should be the official airline for veterans. They had my back.”

I thank WestJet for being a leader in compassion and customer service. Once again, I thank WestJet and God bless.

National Defence December 10th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have a long history of attacking rural communities in Alberta. First they moved jobs from Vegreville and now they are taking aim at Cold Lake. Last week, we learned the Liberals are planning to move the aerospace engineering test establishment from Cold Lake to Ottawa. Will the minister cancel this plan to kill jobs at CFB Cold Lake?

National Defence December 4th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, talking about jobs, yesterday we learned the Liberals are planning to move the aerospace engineering test establishment from Cold Lake to Ottawa. This would severely impact the community of Cold Lake and our defence capability.

Will the minister cancel any plans he has of moving these jobs out of CFB Cold Lake, or is this yet another example of the Liberals compromising national security and attacking Alberta for their own political gain?