House of Commons photo

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

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act December 3rd, 2018

Madam Speaker, there are things that are in the national interest, and we have to ensure we have consultation and ensure everyone is at the table when making a decision. However, when it comes to a national interest, like energy east, that means jobs for Canadians. Right now we are buying the majority of our oil from Saudi Arabia for the east coast here. We have practically zero Canadian oil.

When it comes to Canadians, every decision should be based on what is best for Canada, what is best for the community and for the indigenous community. We all have a voice, but when we make a decision it should be after consultations with everybody involved. Our approach is to use science and make sure that whatever we do is better for all Canadians.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act December 3rd, 2018

Madam Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories and indigenous peoples should be responsible for their own development. We do not need Ottawa there to determine whether a project goes ahead or not. As I said earlier, industry can jump through all the hoops, back and forth, doing everything the government wants, but at the end of the day, the government can say yes or no, based on a whim.

I would like to rephrase your question by asking this: What can we do to give the rights back to the indigenous peoples and the Northwest Territories?

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act December 3rd, 2018

Madam Speaker, Bill C-88 would have a negative effect on Canadians in northern communities, who are already struggling to survive. When will enough be enough? Northerners are struggling to access basic resources like affordable groceries, water, high-speed Internet, safe roads and health care. Why is the Liberal government making life even harder for northern Canadians by restricting some of the largest sectors in the north, Canadian energy and, indirectly, the mining industry?

I regret to inform the House that Bill C-88 would repeal and reverse the land and water board restructuring changes the Conservatives passed in the Northwest Territories Devolution Act. It would also further polarize and politicize the regulatory and environmental process for resource extraction in Canada's north by giving the Liberal cabinet ultimate power to stop projects as it suits its political agenda. Northerners deserve increased autonomy over their natural resources sector. The Liberal government needs to stop meddling in the affairs of the north for its own gain.

Bill C-88 is an unnecessary and paternalistic blockade of oil and gas development in the Arctic and other northern regions. I must say that Bill C-88 fails on all fronts. It fails to respect workers in the oil and gas sector, fails to protect investments in the development of remote areas, fails to protect Canadian aboriginal communities on the path to reconciliation and, most disturbingly, fails to give northern communities the autonomy they deserve.

Bill C-88 would be particularly hard on the oil and gas sector. The government's failure to get key energy projects completed and to invest in the north is threatening expansion of the oil and gas sector, putting tens of thousands of good-paying, high-quality jobs at risk. While big American oil companies are getting discounts of over $100 million a day on Canadian oil, Canadian oil still needs to reach international markets.

Bill C-88 is yet another anti-energy policy, making getting and keeping jobs in one of Canada's largest economic industries nearly impossible. Canada's Conservatives will continue to fight for Canada's resource sector and the hard-working Canadians whose livelihoods depend on energy. They can count on us to stand up against a government determined to phase out their jobs.

On another note, Bill C-88 fails to take into consideration economic development in remote indigenous and non-indigenous communities in the north. The north is a key driver of economic activity in Canada. There is no doubt that Canada's north should be treated with the respect it deserves. Conservatives know that economic prosperity in the north does not mean ruining landscapes or harming the environment. Economic investment in the north means finding jobs for Canadians in some of the most remote areas of our country, it means economic prosperity for our economy as a whole and, most importantly, economic investment in the north means food on the table for thousands of Canadian families currently struggling to get by.

The Liberal government is hiking taxes on over 90% of middle-class families in the north. Despite the government's lavish spending, Canadian northerners are no further ahead. We need to promote effective investments in important areas in the north, such as health care, housing and quality drinking water. It is also important to spend money that translates into tangible results for northern Canadians.

Bill C-88 is nothing more than a ploy to win votes in urban centres rather than actually reduce poverty in the northern regions of Canada. We need to put Canadians first, not politicians and their concealed agendas. We need a government that will take the right steps to create sustainable economic opportunities for northerners in Canada. It is time that we started investing properly in the north so we can reap the rewards of economic prosperity for decades to come.

Bill C-88 also fails to adequately support the economic needs of indigenous peoples in Canada. It would significantly impact Canada's northern indigenous populations. Representing a rural riding with a large indigenous population, I know that the rights and sovereignty of Canada's indigenous people must be respected. We must work collaboratively with the indigenous populations in the north to put forward policies that make real and measurable improvements in the lives of Canada's indigenous people.

The Liberals failed to take the necessary steps to create sustainable economic opportunities for indigenous people in remote communities. By cancelling key energy projects, delaying offshore oil and gas projects in the Arctic for five years and imposing out-of-control taxes on rural populations, the future for Canada's northern indigenous populations is not looking bright.

Conservatives support advancing the process of reconciliation but also realize there is no lasting reconciliation between the Canadian government and indigenous populations without economic reconciliation. We must empower indigenous communities through job opportunities, industry and economic growth, rather than take valuable opportunities away.

Last but not least, northerners deserve a greater say in their own regional affairs. Canadians do not want Big Brother. The government needs to establish a plan to both respect northern sovereignty and promote economic prosperity in the north. The Liberal government's plan to impose restrictions on the northern economy will have serious long-term effects on the people living in remote communities.

We need to give autonomy back to people living in the north. Political elites in Ottawa should not get the final say on what energy projects get approved and which energy projects get denied. We need to consult workers and other stakeholders in the north before deciding to scrap potentially valuable energy projects. If we take away northerners' voices on these issues, the communities that can least afford these dangerous polices will be the ones most impacted.

Looking to the future, we need a government that will respect the autonomy of the north, provide economic opportunities for Canada's indigenous populations, invest in northern economic prosperity and protect Canada's oil and gas workers.

Conservatives do not support Bill C-88 and the Liberal government's anti-energy policies. Together, we should change this legislation to better support Canadian industry in the north, and protect the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of workers in northern Canada.

The Northwest Territories has vast underdeveloped oil and gas reserves. It is estimated that the Northwest Territories potentially hold as much as 37% of Canada's marketable light crude oil resources and 35% of its marketable natural gas resources. Like Bill C-69, Bill C-88 will have Ottawa pick the winners and losers. Even if northern industries jump through all the hoops and meet all the criteria, Ottawa can simply say, “No, game over.”

We should have Canadian oil in every refinery in Canada, and jobs for Canadians, not for Saudi Arabia, and support made, produced and manufactured in Canada.

The Liberal government record is shameful. It killed northern gateway by putting a tanker ban on the west coast. Then it created a moratorium on offshore oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea, an announcement made in December 2016 without even consulting northerners.

The government killed energy east by changing the environmental assessment process almost monthly and then added upstream and downstream emissions, which is not applied to any other industry in the world. The list goes on.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act December 3rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is really concerning. We talk about consultations, but when it comes to the oil and gas industry, we saw no consultation on the west coast tanker ban. There was some on the moratorium on offshore oil on the Beaufort Sea. It was less than an hour before it was announced.

Could the member explain to me exactly when consultation is important and when it is not?

Fort McMurray Housing Rebuild November 27th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, during the 2016 fires in Fort McMurray, over 80,000 people were forced to evacuate. Sadly, thousands lost their homes.

I regret to report that many of these people are still without their homes. Many homeowners have been scammed by home builders who have taken deposits, never to be seen again. Members of the Hillview community are particularly struggling, with condo fees having escalated from $300 to over $800 per month, in addition to special assessments that have added over $50,000 per unit. The condos are still under construction.

These families pay for their home mortgages and temporary housing, and these are all unforeseen costs. Some have lost their homes, and many are at risk of losing their homes. Many have received assistance, but many, through no fault of their own, have not. These families simply fell through the cracks in the system.

I request that the government investigate this travesty and work with the Red Cross to ensure that everyone who needs assistance gets assistance.

Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities November 2nd, 2018

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank everyone who spoke today in support of private member's Motion No. 192, a motion to create equity for Canadians living with episodic disabilities. I am so blessed to have the support of such incredible colleagues in the House of Commons today.

Over the past few weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I have received from tens of thousands of Canadians across Canada. I have heard from mothers, fathers, siblings and friends of Canadians suffering from episodic disabilities. I heard from countless organizations, like the MS Society of Canada, pledging their support for this motion. I have heard from so many of my fellow members of Parliament, senators and senior government officials, which shows how far-reaching this issue truly is. Most importantly, I have heard from thousands of sufferers of episodic disabilities in Canada, all of whom have inspired me to push even further on this incredibly important issue.

As members know, my wife Kathy suffers from multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, affecting the brain and spinal cord. It causes symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems and the list goes on. Like most episodic disabilities, MS changes the lives of all of those impacted.

Episodic disabilities are also known as hidden disabilities. They are not easily seen, but are most definitely felt by the sufferer. These disabilities affect the vision, hearing, memory, mobility, flexibility, dexterity, pain and psychological conditions of an individual. Episodic disabilities include, but are not limited to, cancer, HIV, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, diabetes and the list goes on.

For too long, Canadians with episodic disabilities have not been properly recognized by government legislation. The unpredictable nature of their disabilities has made it almost impossible for these Canadians to have equal access to jobs, resources, treatments and even basic equality in government legislation. According to Statistics Canada, there are more than five million Canadians living with some form of disability. These disabilities affect the freedom, independence and quality of life of those who are affected and, sadly, over 200,000 of these disabled persons are children and youth.

I will do everything I can to advance the quality of life for those living with episodic disabilities with this motion and in the future. Once again, I thank everyone here today who has supported this motion and all Canadians who have reached out to tell their stories. We all know it is time to take action. It is time to vote yes and pass private member's Motion No. 192.

It is time to stand up for Canadians everywhere who are suffering from episodic disabilities. Together, we can build a stronger, more inclusive Canada where our compassion breaks down barriers for people living with disabilities of all kinds.

Petitions October 23rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I also stand today to present a petition regarding Bill C-350 regarding the international harvesting of organs.

Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities October 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, time is important for a lot of reasons. There are many people who do not have access to treatment. They cannot afford it. I will give an example from our circumstances, which I can relate to. When my wife needs a certain treatment, every time we have to go back to a specialist. It takes six months to a year to get her in. She cannot get the treatment she requires unless we pay for it ourselves, which we do. There are other people out there who do not have the ability to get that money to pay for these services on their own. I am here for those people, the people who are struggling to put food on their tables while trying to deal with their episodic disabilities.

We need to help those people now, not tomorrow, not next year, and not five years from now. We need to do it now, and the faster the better. Let us get a move on this. Let us make sure that we are looking after our fellow Canadians.

Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities October 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, MS is important, as are all the other episodic disabilities. We have to make it a priority. On being flexible, well, how flexible? Is it two, three or six months? For me, it is about now and making a change to better the lives of everyone who is suffering from an episodic disability.

I am open to suggestions, but let us get this done.