House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was medals.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Perth—Wellington (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 55% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Stratford Festival June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to congratulate the Stratford Festival on the opening of their 2014 season. The festival is an integral part of the economy of Perth—Wellington. It creates thousands of full-time jobs and generates more than $130 million in economic activity.

Since 1953, people from around the world have come to Stratford for unparalleled performances from North America's leading theatre company. The fine list of productions this year includes King Lear, Crazy for You, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Man of La Mancha, and so many more.

Aside from world-class theatrical productions, the festival will host countless musical and cultural events.

I congratulate the Stratford Festival on its continued success and thank the festival for its enormous contributions to the city of Stratford, the surrounding area, and Canada.

Situation in the Republic of South Sudan April 29th, 2014

Mr. Chair, I know a group from London, Ontario, that is quite involved in South Sudan and in an agriculture venture there. It was just getting things to a point where it was able to produce more than enough grain to feed its people and sell some of the other products. I am quite sure that we have people on the ground. These people are not really NGOs, but they are doing it on their own with no government support. It has been a great situation that has been working well.

I do not know whether they are affected. They are near the Nile. I do not know if they are affected that far away, but I am sure that the minister and our government will be putting as many resources and as much of a push on the issue in South Sudan as we can.

Situation in the Republic of South Sudan April 29th, 2014

Mr. Chair, I do know that it has been put very plainly that Africans like most problems in Africa to be solved by Africans. I have heard that over the last number of years. They want to see African forces, or African forces want to go in to some of these situations to help them make them work. As our parliamentary secretary said, he sits with the African Union at various times. He goes to its meetings to help give guidance and to make sure that we can perhaps work together to make these atrocities go away.

It will not happen overnight, I am quite sure, but I feel that our government is working very hard, along with the people in the UN and the African forces to make sure that we can try to bring an end to this violence in South Sudan.

Situation in the Republic of South Sudan April 29th, 2014

Mr. Chair, I will answer that the best I can. I know that we have recently put more money into the UN and as time goes on we are monitoring the situation very closely. I am quite sure, along with our allies and UN commitments, we will be there for the people of South Sudan.

Situation in the Republic of South Sudan April 29th, 2014

Mr. Chair, Canada is concerned with the humanitarian situation in South Sudan. We all know that. We are deeply concerned by the reports of ethnically targeted violence. Canada calls for the perpetrators of those crimes to be identified and brought to justice.

The government is providing life-saving food, water, sanitation, medical assistance, emergency shelter, and protection for those in need. Canada is providing emergency food assistance to 2.3 million food-insecure people throughout the country, providing access to over one million people across South Sudan to improve sanitation and safe water, helping 80,700 pregnant women access antenatal care, and building a new maternity ward in eastern South Sudan to provide 24-hour emergency obstetric and newborn care services.

Canada is very concerned by the deteriorating situation in South Sudan. Canada condemns these acts in the strongest possible terms. We call on all parties to immediately allow for the safe passage of humanitarian assistance to those to whom it is intended. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.

Situation in the Republic of South Sudan April 29th, 2014

Mr. Chair, I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in this debate.

Canada has always played an important role in responding to global crises and tragedy. With appropriate, timely, and effective assistance, our contributions aim to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain the dignity of those affected by conflicts and natural disasters.

As we know, politically motivated violence and ethnic conflict have gripped South Sudan for more than four months. If the poignant images alone have not been enough to make us want to help, the number of casualties and victims makes it clear that we must.

It is estimated that between 10,000 and 40,000 people have died in the violence. Today some 817,000 South Sudanese are displaced within the country, and over 270,000 have fled as refugees to Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda.

It is impossible for us to understand what it must be like to be so afraid and so desperate that the only hope is to flee one's home and leave everything behind, yet that is reality for thousands of South Sudanese civilians, people who just three short years ago voted overwhelmingly for independence and rejoiced in the birth of their new nation.

South Sudan's new beginning formally ended 22 years of civil war that caused the country to have some of the worst development and humanitarian indicators in the world. An estimated 90% of the country's 10.8 million people live below the poverty line. An estimated seven million people in South Sudan are at risk of food insecurity. The maternal mortality rate is among the highest in the world: for every 100,000 births, over 2,000 mothers die. The child mortality rate is no better, with 106 deaths for every 1,000 live births.

These are some of South Sudan's regular development challenges, the challenges that made Canada want to invest development dollars there in the first place. They are among the reasons that our development programming in South Sudan centres on saving the lives of mothers and children and on improving agricultural capabilities so that people can get the food they need and earn a living off the land.

Now South Sudan faces challenges of another kind. The conflict has caused the country to plunge deeper into instability, and that concerns us.

We worry for South Sudan's political and economic health, already fragile to begin with. We worry for its people, already struggling to overcome the challenges they face.

In response to the dramatically increasing needs and the international humanitarian system that has ranked South Sudan among the highest priorities, United Nations agencies and international NGOs have ramped up their presence and widened their operations considerably throughout the country.

Overall, despite being hindered in their efforts to assist people by the continuing insecurity and looting, humanitarian agencies are increasing their capabilities and responses to the crisis. They are particularly focused on strengthening responses outside of the capital, Juba, where there have been considerable unmet needs.

During this crisis, Canada once again stepped up its humanitarian efforts as part of the international community. On April 1, the Minister of International Development announced nearly $25 million in new funding in response to 2014 appeals from the United Nations, the International Red Cross movement, and Canadian non-governmental organizations. The money will help to get people the food they need, put a roof over their head, give them increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and, for the ill or wounded, access to emergency medical care.

We hope that our efforts, in co-operation with those of our friends and partners, will contribute to putting an end to this spiralling violence and ensure a calm and peaceful transition process in South Sudan.

Recipients of our funding have included the United Nations World Food Programme, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Humanitarian Air Service, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Relief Canada, Médecins Sans Frontières Canada, and World Vision Canada. Based on assessments, these organizations are best positioned to ensure that people are physically safe and receive proper health care, and that they have food, water, and shelter. It is worth pointing out that their work is not easy. A humanitarian mission never is, particularly not under a black cloud of violence as is the case in South Sudan.

In January, Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that thousands of South Sudanese were going without help because of interference in humanitarian activities. That should never happen. Intentionally preventing access to life-saving assistance is deplorable, much like acts of violence against those working to keep civilians safe. Since the conflict began, three humanitarian workers have been killed, caught in the crosshairs of a conflict had that nothing to do with them or with an overwhelming majority of South Sudanese. Canada condemns such cowardly attacks, and calls for full, safe, and unhindered access for humanitarian organizations in South Sudan and in all other places where humanitarian workers are engaged in life-saving activity.

Few places are more challenging for aid workers than South Sudan. In another few weeks, the rainy season will begin, cutting off up to 60% of the country. Road access in key locations of humanitarian response is minimal or impossible from May until November. Canada has offered considerable support since the conflict began, and will continue to pay close attention to ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep South Sudan civilians safe from this crisis.

Situation in the Republic of South Sudan April 29th, 2014

Mr. Chair, I congratulate the member on her presentation tonight.

We all know that the situation in South Sudan is terrible. With a war raging and atrocities taking place, it is hard to imagine. The safety of those delivering humanitarian assistance is in peril. What would the member suggest we do, right now, while these hostilities are taking place?

We know what has happened in Syria. We cannot get into Syria with humanitarian assistance.

Are those offering humanitarian assistance in peril? How would the member suggest we get that assistance there right now?

Canada-Honduras Economic Growth and Prosperity Act March 6th, 2014

Build a pipeline.

PED Virus March 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Perth—Wellington is among the greatest pork producing regions in the country. Pork producers are rightly concerned about the PED virus, which has spread throughout southern Ontario. I commend the pork producers for their strong efforts to contain the disease.

Our government-supported strong biosecurity measures on farms remain the best line of defence against PED. As provincial veterinary authorities continue to lead in investigating and tracing the cause of this disease, our government has instructed the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to support these efforts.

In addition to the iPED+ vaccine, approved last month, the CFIA is leading an investigation into any possible links to animal feed.

I thank our pork producers, the Minister of Agriculture , and our government's ongoing efforts, vigilance, and dedication to protecting our farms, an integral part of our economy.

The Budget February 14th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, many communities in my riding of Perth—Wellington have benefited substantially from our Conservative government's actions. Can the Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Communities inform the House of what our government is doing to support communities across the country, especially small communities like many in my own riding?