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

Petitions March 30th, 2012

Madam Speaker, I have a petition from 27 members of my community.

The petitioners state that Canada is the only nation in the western world, in the company of China and North Korea, without any laws restricting abortion and that Canada's Supreme Court has said that it is Parliament's responsibility to enact abortion legislation.

Therefore, they call upon the House of Commons and Parliament assembled to speedily enact legislation that restricts abortion to the greatest extent possible.

Petitions March 2nd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I stand here today to present a petition from 35 of my constituents.

In the spirit of global solidarity, they call upon Parliament to take collective action by signing and implementing a binding international agreement replacing the Kyoto protocol, that commits nations to reduce carbon emissions and to set fair and clear targets to ensure that global average temperatures stay below a 2° Celsius increase from pre-industrial levels.

They also call upon Parliament to demonstrate national responsibility by committing to a national carbon emissions target and national renewable energy policy to achieve sustainability; and to play a constructive role in the design of the green climate fund under United Nations' governance and to contribute public funds to assist the poorest and most affected countries to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Digital Economy February 3rd, 2012

Madam Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to stay focused on what matters: creating jobs and economic growth. Part of this plan involves creating jobs in Canada's digital economy.

I am very proud today to announce that soon the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus will expand its master of digital experience innovation program to allow a part-time option for those students who must continue working, while they strive to upgrade their education. Not only is this program strengthening Canada's digital economy, it has helped Stratford to receive the recent honourable distinction as one of the top seven intelligent communities in the world.

I am very proud of all who have helped make this campus a reality. The expansion of this masters program at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus is good news for Canada's digital economy at home and Stratford's recognition around the world.

Safe Streets and Communities Act November 30th, 2011

Madam Speaker, over the past weekend, on my way home last Friday, I did an interview with our local paper on Bill C-10. The article came out on Saturday. On Sunday at church I had already had two calls to my house, and very seldom do I ever get a call on an article.

On Sunday after church, a couple I respect very highly took me aside. They do not talk business at church, but the gentleman said “Gary, I'd just like to say thank you so much for standing up for the victims and standing up for people. I think this bill should go through right quickly”. He said he recognized he was doing business after church, but he wanted to thank me for getting this bill through.

With that, I would like to ask the minister if he has had any responses like that?

Harvest for Hunger October 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, this week, in Perth—Wellington, 120 combines will harvest 160 acres of soy beans in less than 10 minutes. If all goes as planned, not only will the participants break a world record, but they will also raise over $200,000 for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. What is more, CIDA will match these funds four to one, making this Harvest for Hunger event worth close to $1 million.

As hon. members know, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of Canadian churches and church-based agencies working to end hunger in developing countries.

I am very proud of the hard work that the Harvest for Hunger organizers have put into this event. This is a fun and exciting example of government, community organizations and individual Canadians partnering together to change the world.

Ray Walter and Ken Rea March 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to two fallen firefighters, Ray Walter and Ken Rea. These two brave men were killed in the line of duty last Thursday while battling a fire in Listowel, Ontario.

Ray and Ken were not just firefighters, they were also community leaders. Ray was vice-president of the Listowel Kinsmen and a second generation member of the North Perth Fire Department. Ray leaves behind his wife Holly.

Ken was a founding member of the Atwood Fire Department and active in the Atwood community. He leaves behind his wife, Louise, three children and three grandchildren.

Ray and Ken showed true courage and dedication as firefighters by entering a burning building to protect their friends and neighbours. Let us hold their example as an inspiration as we mourn their loss.

I know that all hon. members will join me in honouring these two brave men who gave their lives while serving their community.

Committees of the House March 22nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs.

In accordance with its orders of reference of Tuesday, February 8, 2011, your committee has considered votes 1c and 5c under Veterans Affairs in the supplementary estimates (C) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, and reports the same.

Committees of the House March 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs in relation to Bill C-55, An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act and the Pension Act.

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Protection of Insignia of Military Orders, Decorations and Medals Act March 2nd, 2011

Madam Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak today to my private member's bill, Bill C-473, An Act to protect insignia of military orders and military decorations and medals that are of cultural significance for future generations.

I also want to thank the members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs for the steps they have taken to strengthen the bill.

As I have said at each reading of Bill C-473, and will now say again, it is time for our modern medals to receive the same protection accorded to our historic medals. This bill is about continuity and ensuring protection for modern military insignia.

Thanks to amendments adopted at committee, the bill will clearly protect those military orders, decorations and medals that are less than 50 years old. This and other amendments made to the bill would ensure that together it and the existing act work in concert to provide comprehensive protection for our military heritage.

I also respect the right of recipients to decide for themselves what to do with the medals, decorations and other honours that have been awarded to them. This is one of the difficult issues that the committee grappled with during its consideration of the bill. These insignia are given to recipients and they belong to them.

If recipients give away or sell any of their possessions, from a house to a car, that is perfectly legal. There are thousands of medal collectors in Canada and around the world. There is a legal domestic and international market for military insignia. Countless medals and other military items are bought and sold daily. Much of our military history would have been lost without medal collectors and dealers.

As the committee heard from witnesses, many collectors, in fact, are veterans who are driven by the honourable desire to protect heritage rather than collecting for financial gain. They have saved thousands of medals from being discarded. They have traced their history and they have carefully safeguarded them.

The committee took the approach of addressing the need to keep these important medals in Canada while still respecting the rights of recipients and their families. The bill now refers to export instead of transfers to non-residents. It continues to exempt transactions among close family members from its provisions while amending it to include spouses, common-law partners, and the children's spouses and common-law partners, which had not been included in the bill as originally drafted. It continues to have no effect on the transfer of medals that takes place inside Canada.

We should ensure that we are protecting the history we are making today as a proud nation sharing the struggle for international freedom and democracy with others on the world stage.

My inspiration for this bill comes from the veterans and future veterans from my riding who serve or have served our country. This bill will ensure that the accolades for their acts of bravery will remain on Canadian soil and will continue to honour them as part of our Canadian heritage.