House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was energy.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Conservative MP for Saanich—Gulf Islands (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Environment June 5th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I will state this again. We will protect the environment, and that is exactly what our government is doing.

We have imposed the toughest standards. Our government has brought in standards for all new oil sands projects. After 2012, they have to achieve a carbon capture and storage standard. Nowhere else in the world is this being done.

Our government eliminated the tax breaks for oil sands companies, which were brought in by the Liberals. Our government is taking real action to reduce greenhouse gases, unlike all the hot air from the—

The Environment June 5th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, first, I want everyone to know that for every environmental process, every regulation being followed, the toughest standards are being set. Our Minister of the Environment has set some of the toughest standards for oil sands projects. In our “Turning the Corner” plan, he has committed to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020.

I reassure the House that they will have to meet all of these standards, every one of them. Our government is committed to protecting the environment.

The Environment May 29th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the environment, the opposition parties do not have a clue. The NDP talks about a carbon tax and yet our government has already moved to allow the markets to do just that.

Then there are the Liberals. We should keep in mind the comments of the hon. member for Markham—Unionville who admitted that a job-crushing carbon tax on Canadian taxpayers would be highly likely to hurt our living standards.

While the Liberals and the NDP continue to bicker, our government is cutting greenhouse gases by an absolute 20% by 2020, without hurting the Canadian taxpayer. That is called responsible leadership.

Price of Petroleum Products May 26th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, first, the member pointed out the tax issues with respect to oil companies. Our government is in the process of eliminating the subsidies that were given to companies operating the oil sands that were brought in by the Liberals, where the oil companies were allowed to take hundreds of millions of dollars in capital cost allowances and accelerate those deductions. It is our government that is facing those issues. We are eliminating those tax subsidies for large oil companies only after they were brought in by the Liberals.

The member asked about the Competition Bureau. The Competition Bureau has the resources to do the job. It does the investigations in a very transparent manner. It is an arm's-length agency of government and it does these investigations. It has found every single time that there is no collusion. Nobody in this House can say we want new rules because obviously they are getting the wrong answer. The reality is that is where it is at.

In some provinces, including Quebec and some of the maritime provinces, they actually have price controls for gas because of the very issues the member raises. However, what that has shown is that the price of gasoline has gone up in fact--

Price of Petroleum Products May 26th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will know that the Competition Bureau has investigated six different times. During most of those, the previous government was in power. Each and every time it found there was no collusion.

There is a very specific formula on how the price of gasoline is set, but one thing we know for sure, one thing that is a given, is that the Liberal Party of Canada will raise the price of gasoline to historic highs, to $2.25 a litre. The Liberal leader has already announced it. He has floated the idea of a carbon tax. The Liberals are now denying it even though their own members have been walking in the hallways of Parliament grumbling about it for weeks. They need to get a reality check.

Price of Petroleum Products May 26th, 2008

I hope I am wrong and that is not their policy, but that is not what the Liberal leader has been saying for the last two weeks in the media. That is not what he is saying as he is running across Canada trying to sell his carbon tax plan. He cannot sell his carbon tax plan in his own caucus. His own caucus members came out of their Wednesday meeting fuming, let alone selling it to all Canadians. Those are the facts.

Again, we all know that it would have a significant impact on the economy, including manufacturing jobs and forestry jobs. This carbon tax would only compound the problem.

Everyone in this House knows the reality is that the price of gasoline is set by market forces. Members across know that, but there are creative solutions that we can look at. I will get to a few of them.

In fact, the Bloc member who spoke talked about this: conserving energy, using public transit and becoming more energy efficient. I agree with all of those. As well, there can be more renewable energy put on the grid. Those are things that our government is doing. I will get into some of the specifics.

However, as far as the price of oil per barrel, it has doubled since I have been the minister in the last two years. Members are right when they say it has doubled, but that is not because of anything I have done. We all know there are a number of factors beyond the control of anyone in this House.

However, other things we are doing, I would submit, will actually have a significant impact in helping Canadians cope with these higher fuel prices.

We have lowered taxes on families, seniors, farmers and small businesses by over $60 billion.

We passed the toughest anti-corruption legislation in the history of Canada.

We have lowered the GST from 7% to 6% to 5%.

We have introduced the largest tax reduction in Canadian history at $200 billion, with $140 billion of that tax relief directed at individuals.

I went throughout my riding after Canadians had just filed their tax returns. For the first time in 10 years, I had Canadians coming up to me on the street and saying that they appreciated what our government is doing. They said they could actually see the tax reductions on their income tax forms.

I had seniors come up to me who were able to split their pension income with their spouse. Members opposite can laugh, but in some cases that provides as much as $3,000 or $4,000 in additional income tax returns to these members. That is significant. Those are the types of tangible things we can do.

We took 85,000 seniors right off the federal tax rolls.

These are things we are doing. Again, there is $2 billion in gas tax money going directly to municipalities so that they can support initiatives. In my riding, Frank Leonard is the mayor of Saanich. He and I went out and saw how that gas tax money was used. Saanich is putting in dedicated transit lanes. It is putting in dedicated transit facilities to help people get into transit.

There are things that our government is doing.

Let me respond to a few other areas that are specific to my department. Our government recognizes that we cannot sustain ourselves with regard to our current consumption of oil. On the planet, we consume 86 million barrels of oil every day. We should think about that. That is a thousand barrels of oil every second. It is not sustainable.

That is why our government is investing in such things as renewable energy. We have announced $1.5 billion for 4,000 megawatts of clean energy. As for wind, we have the first tidal turbines now being installed on both coasts, which are producing clean energy. We have a significant biofuels strategy in which our government invested over $2 billion, half a billion of which will be going into next generation biofuels. These are tangible things that can make a difference.

We are investing heavily in energy efficiency. I have said many times that the largest untapped source of energy in this country is the energy we waste. Through Sustainable Development Technology Canada, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars on energy saving technologies to help them move from the research side to the development side. These are tangible things. Our government is investing in clean technologies to clean up conventional technology. These are all very important. They can make a difference, and they are.

As for the Liberal plan, the Liberals do not get it. They are laughing and chuckling across the way, but it is their leader who wants to impose a massive carbon tax. That is unprecedented. We have seen this in the press for the last two weeks. We know that is where the Liberals' minds are. We should look at Bill C-288, a Liberal private member's bill that wants to put a 60% tax on gasoline.

At 60% we can do the math pretty quickly at today's prices. That will get us up to $2.25 a litre. The Liberals go on. We know that is their approach.

We understand that high gas prices are a concern for Canadians. That is why we are investing in energy efficiency. That is why we are lowering taxes for everyday Canadians by an amount they can actually realize and feel. We know we can deliver on that.

However, the Liberals are not being honest. They want to impose a massive carbon tax. And now they are saying they do not?

I ask members to just look at the statements the Liberal leader is making. I admit they change from one day to the next, but let us make no mistake about this. Under its current leader, the Liberal Party will impose taxes on Canadians that would dramatically raise the price of energy and put us into a deficit situation.

Price of Petroleum Products May 26th, 2008

They are saying to keep exaggerating. I hope I am wrong--

Price of Petroleum Products May 26th, 2008

They are calling out “rubbish”. The leader of the Liberal Party today is calling for a massive carbon tax.

Price of Petroleum Products May 26th, 2008

They are hollering that no, they do not, but let me say this in a bit of fun. As I walked into the House tonight, the member for Mississauga—Erindale said, “Minister, are you going to raise gas prices or are you going to leave that to us?” In fairness, he is the natural resources critic and he was being kind of funny, but my father once said to me that in everything we say there is a little bit of truth. I would argue that it is not the member for Mississauga—Erindale who wants to raise the price of gasoline, but it definitely is his leader.

Bill C-288, the Liberals' own plan on the environment, wants to put a 60% tax on the price of gasoline. That would raise the price of gasoline today up to $2.25. Those are the facts.

Price of Petroleum Products May 26th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House. I would ask to split my time with the member for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex.

I understand the burden that high gas prices place on Canadian families and seniors and on the cost of living for everyone. I understand the impact of high energy costs on Canadian businesses and all sectors of the economy. Higher gas prices and a higher cost of living affect us all, especially those who are just getting by.

Unfortunately, the opposition does not get it. Not only has the Liberal leader called for a carbon tax that would hurt seniors, farmers, families and everyone else who uses gas, but he has actually called for an increase in the GST. In fact, he has promised to raise the GST some seven different times. He has said he wants to raise it to 7%, but even then that would not cover all of his promises. How can Liberal members stand in this House and tell seniors in their ridings that not only will they increase gas prices by 60%, but on top of it they actually want to raise the GST by at least 2%?