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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was years.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Conservative MP for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 51% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Criminal Code May 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the member mentioned that he was very confident that the majority of his constituents would support his position on Bill C-14. I actually sent a survey to every one of the 45,000 homes in my riding and got the opposite result. As a matter of fact, 65% of the respondents are opposed to Bill C-14 and 35% are in favour of it.

I wonder if he would be willing to do that in his riding just to confirm what he is stating in the House of Commons.

Criminal Code May 3rd, 2016

–Madam Speaker, I agree with my colleague. Her question is very relevant.

I am going to do a little self-disclosure here. My first wife passed away from cancer. Cancer is not a pleasant disease to die from. When she was dying, the specialist called us in and said that they were not going to give her any more treatment. My wife said that she did not want to die. The doctor said that the truth of the matter was that nobody ever wants to die.

My wife and I had talked about this. I spoke up and said that Carol was not afraid of dying. She was a very spiritual lady and she knew where she was going in the next life, but she was afraid of the pain, as I was afraid of watching her go through the pain. I expressed that to the specialist.

He took my wife's hands in his hands and said, “Carol, I promise that you will not feel any pain. There is no need to have pain if the medication is proper. I promise you, and I promise your husband that there will be no pain in this death.”

That put her at ease.

Criminal Code May 3rd, 2016

Madam Speaker, with all due respect to the member across the way, I would like him to show me the cash.

There was a $3 billion commitment in the Liberals' platform, and all of a sudden it is not in the budget. The member is asking us to trust them, that they are going to have an agreement with the provinces and it is going to be there.

Quite frankly, we should not be passing Bill C-14 until we have palliative care in place. We heard about the gentleman lived 60 years. Imagine if he would have taken advantage of Bill C-14, assisted suicide. However, we have to talk about Bill C-14, which is a different case.

With all due respect, as I said, I would like to see the cash.

Criminal Code May 3rd, 2016

Madam Speaker, I arrived here a very fortunate man 12 years ago, elected by the electors of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry. I really believe that since that time this is probably the most complex and sensitive issue I have ever witnessed come before Parliament, for me personally anyhow.

As far as disclosure goes, I am a practising Catholic. As a result of that, I will definitely be voting against Bill C-14. For me, this is a moral issue. I strongly believe in the sanctity of life. In fact, ever since I can remember, I have taught that life is precious, especially a human life, but also an animal or an insect's life. All through my life I have been taught that life is a gift from God and we should respect it as such.

That is not the only reason I will be voting against Bill C-14. Because this is such an important issue, I thought I should get input from my constituents. I took the trouble of sending a survey to 45,000 homes in my riding. The results were: 65% of the constituents of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry were against Bill C-14, and 35% were in favour of the bill, with conditions. I read many of the comments of the 35% and those conditions were rather strict. They called for very limited assisted dying.

I want to thank the joint committee. I wish I had been on the committee, but in other respects I am glad I was not. It must have been a very emotional committee on which to serve. I want to thank all the members for the hard work they put into it, especially the members of the Conservative Party, because they issued a dissenting report. Thank God for that dissenting report.

I must give the government credit for accepting some of the issues included in the dissenting report. They were things like limiting it to competent adults 18 or over. That is so important. If we are to have this legislation, at least we should have that as one of the criteria. The other one was safeguards for vulnerable persons. My colleague, the member for Brantford—Brant, spoke about that. He has a son who is in that category. There was also protection for physicians who disagreed. I have had so many physicians in my riding say that they cannot support this and believe they will be in trouble if they do not support it.

As many of my colleagues said, we have to do this. The Supreme Court of Canada has told us we must. However, if we must do it, let us minimize the damage. There is a way to do that. It is called palliative care.

During the campaign, the Liberal Party promised $3 billion for long-term care, including palliative care. However, in the budget, as my colleagues have stated, there was no hint of any money for long-term care and certainly no money for palliative care. It is nowhere to be found in the budget.

The special joint committee and most of the stakeholders who appeared before it, including the Canadian Medical Association, spoke of the need for a pan-Canadian strategy on palliative care, with dedicated funding. They suggested that there be dedicated funding for palliative care if we were to enact Bill C-14.

My Liberal colleagues are in the House. They are going to have a caucus meeting tomorrow, as will we. Money for palliative care should be brought up at that meeting.

I spoke with the manager of the Cornwall hospice today. Cornwall hospice is in my riding. About eight to ten years ago the community came together. We thought we needed a hospice so we raised funds. Now we have a wonderful 10-bed facility that deals with 100 to 150 patients per year.

I had heard through the grapevine, and through reading, that sometimes people left palliative care. I called the manager of this hospice directly and asked if this had ever happened. He said, “most definitely”.

On average, three to four people leave palliative care in a year. Sometimes they are gone for 6 month to 24 months. Imagine if some of those people had chosen the route of Bill C-14.

I was doing some reading on this issue, and it really struck a chord in my heart. I would like to quote something that I read, which is from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. It says:

Yet of the millions of mis-diagnoses every year, many are terminal mis-diagnoses. We know this because of the thousands of people who “graduate” from hospice each year.

People leave hospices not only in Cornwall, but right across North America and the world. There are so many examples of people outliving terminal prognosis, from Ted Kennedy living a year longer than predicted, to John Norton from Florence, Massachusetts, who testified before the state legislature. When he was diagnosed with ALS, he would have definitely used assisted suicide were it available. Luckily for John, his family, and everyone who has come to know him, assisted suicide was not state policy. He went into remission, and 60 years later he is urging people to reject assisted suicide. I rest my case.

Income Tax Act March 11th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend my colleague for a wonderful speech which, as my other colleague on this side of the House said, was very entertaining. It certainly was entertaining, but it was also very informative and very accurate.

I have a lot of respect for the wisdom of my colleague and I would like him to shed some light on this.

We have heard a lot of talk from both sides of the House about deficits. There is a deficit projected this year in the upcoming budget on March 22 of close to $30 billion. In previous governments, and in our government, we did have deficits. We think there was a deficit for a reason. I am not sure about this current deficit being projected at $30 billion in 2016.

I wonder if my colleague could shed some light on the difference between the projected deficit we will have this year and deficits of past governments.

Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry February 19th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I have had the honour of serving as Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry's federal voice for nearly 12 years.

I am most proud of the work done by my top-notch staff and volunteers in the riding. We are one of the busiest constituencies in the country. In the past 12 years, our team has processed over 57,000 passport applications. We have handled over 9,000 files. We have helped over 1,500 families receive $12 million through the disability tax credit program. Last year, we partnered with local volunteers through our CRA community volunteer income tax program to complete 4,000 income tax returns for lower and fixed income residents.

I am sure all members here will agree that our staff are the backbone of our success. That is why I am so grateful to Eric, Francine, Denise, Nicole, Sue, Stephanie, Claire, Rosemary, and all our income tax clinic volunteers for the fantastic work they do.

Canada's Contribution to the Effort to Combat ISIL February 19th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am perplexed at the Liberal position. I cannot for the life of me understand their position. On this side of the House, we have a lot of folks who have served admirably in our Canadian Armed Forces, as they have on that side of the House.

When I go through my riding, I speak to veterans, and they are asking how the government can pull these jets out of the sky. There are 75 troops on the ground now, when there has been cover for them, but they will not provide any cover. That is incredible. The Liberals are tripling the boots on the ground. That is their rationale. They will triple the boots on the ground, with no cover, which is going to make the problem even worse. We are going to have so many casualties as a result.

I would like the parliamentary secretary to explain that contradiction in the Liberals' position.

Canada Labour Code February 5th, 2016

So are you against it?

Canada Labour Code February 5th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, members will recall that Bill C-377 was around for a long time. It was sponsored by one of our colleagues, Jeff Watson. Jeff worked tirelessly to bring it to fruition and make it law. I once asked Jeff why he was working so hard for this. He used to be a very enthusiastic union member in the auto industry. He said that he was doing it for his colleagues who were on the line, his fellow union members.

I used to be in the PSAC union. I understand guys on the line, the people doing the actual work. They wanted Bill C-377. As I said, Bill C-377 was around for a long while. In my own personal personal experience, I had two people come to see me about Bill C-377 and tell me we should not endorse it. I also had 33 people come to me and say that we needed Bill C-377. They said that they needed it for their organizers.

How could that member and that party go against the rank and file of our great labour movement?

Income Tax Act February 1st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to welcome my colleague and my neighbour from Glengarry—Prescott—Russell to the House. I am not sure if this is his maiden speech, but it was certainly a good speech, and I appreciate that. I welcome him, and I am sure that we will be doing much business together.

As members know, we have been debating Bill C-2 all day. We on this side have been looking for the definition of middle class. It seems like a rather simple question, and we have asked it a number of times to some of my colleagues on that side, but we have not really gotten an answer.

As a good neighbour and hopefully becoming a friend, maybe my colleague opposite could tell me exactly what his party means by “middle class”.