House of Commons photo

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was concerned.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Independent MP for Nanaimo—Alberni (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House March 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to draw to the attention of the Chair the fact that we had a vote to go back to a very important concurrence motion here. It is the report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development recognizing the Jewish refugees in the Middle East and North Africa.

With all due respect to the member, I know that Canadians are concerned about Ukraine. We had a delegation visit there just recently and we had an emergency debate a couple of nights ago.

I was wondering if the member would like to address the issue of the debate today, the concurrence motion.

Search and Rescue Volunteers February 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, across coastal B.C., thousands of volunteers train hard, sacrifice their own time, and put themselves at risk when someone is missing or in peril. It was September 2012 when the Alberni Valley Rescue Squad was called out when our personal outdoor excursion on Mount Arrowsmith went wrong. Two members of our group were in trouble, and darkness was descending.

Budget 2014 would provide a volunteer search and rescue tax credit. It would benefit qualifying members of teams, such as the Nanaimo, the Mount Arrowsmith, and the Alberni Valley, as well as the West Coast Inland Search and Rescue Society and the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue squads.

I want to pay a special tribute to Mark Livingstone. A professional with our MCTS centre in Ucluelet, he was the driving force in establishing Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit 38. Mark's passion was safety of life at sea. The more rough it was, the more likely it would be to find him on the water directing SAR efforts. Tragically, Mark passed away in an industrial accident in 2007.

I am sure that all members would like to join me in thanking all of our search and rescue volunteers for their selfless service.

The Budget February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member's speech and intervention was excellent, as was her response to that ill-informed question from the member opposite about transfers to the provinces, in particular.

Health care transfers to my province of British Columbia were a record high at $5.3 billion, and $3.4 billion of that was the Canada health transfer, the highest transfers ever. I want to thank the parliamentary secretary for pointing that out.

I wonder if she would address an another important issue, and that is our Canada jobs grant. In fact, we have a surplus of jobs in Canada in certain areas and we have skills shortages. We have a plan to address that.

Would the parliamentary secretary address how important that is to Canada’s future?

Petitions February 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by hundreds of people from my riding in communities like Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Coombs, Errington, and Nanaimo. They are drawing the attention of the House to what was exposed by a CBC documentary, that being that in Canada ultrasounds are being used to tell the sex of an unborn child and then expecting parents may choose to terminate the pregnancy if the unborn child is a girl.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to condemn the discrimination against females that is occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.

Consumer Protection January 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families work hard for their money and every dollar counts. On this side of the House, we have taken decisive action to put Canadian families first by cutting taxes an incredible 160 times. That amounts to over $3,200 more every year for the average Canadian family because of our Conservative government's initiatives.

We have consistently put consumers and families at the core of our decisions. We will continue to do so by reducing wireless costs, increasing choice for television packages, and increasing high-speed Internet access for rural Canadians. We know that Canadians want more choice and lower prices, whether for their cellphone plan or TV package at home. That is why we welcome the Competition Bureau's action this week to defend consumers against skyrocketing roaming fees that increase wireless prices and lead to less wireless choice.

While the opposition continues to call for job-killing carbon taxes and legalizing marijuana, we will continue to put Canadian families first.

United Church of Canada December 4th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, a recent campaign by the United Church and others targets Israeli products sold in Canada that include West Bank labourers.

Yesterday, activists harassed and insulted a Jewish person in front of a retail store in Toronto. The individual was accused of being a religious fanatic for disagreeing with the boycott.

This initiative, which purports to target goods produced in whole or in part in contested areas, is both misguided and misinformed.

This past September I visited an industrial area near Ariel, which employs about 7,000 people. Roughly half are Palestinians who pay taxes to the Palestinian Authority and earn the same wages and benefits as their Israeli counterparts, as prescribed by Israeli law. That is two or three times the wage prospects elsewhere in the disputed territories.

Do these anti-Israel activists care that if their misguided efforts were successful they would ultimately hurt the very people they claim to be supporting; or as the incident in Toronto suggests, is the real root simply old-fashioned anti-Semitism?

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 December 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, this member was gracious enough to stand up and ask me a question when I gave a speech earlier in the House, so I want to return the favour.

The member talks about the Conservatives squandering a surplus. This is Liberal revisionism. I want to ask the member a question. We paid down $37 billion—let me repeat that number: $37 billion—on our national debt from 2006, 2007 and 2008.

By what definition could this member possibly suggest that paying down $37 billion, to the lowest level of national debt in 25 years in the pre-recession period, is squandering a surplus?

Furthermore, I would like to know if the member would have balanced the budget, which will be balanced very soon, in fact by 2015, by slashing transfers to the provinces?

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 December 2nd, 2013

Yes, billions, but in fact we managed the economy so well in 2006, 2007 and 2008 that we paid down $37 billion on our national debt. That actually took us to the lowest national debt in 25 years at about $458 billion.

The member would probably like to acknowledge that the economic downturn was worldwide. It did not start in this nation and so we had to respond. We had to keep people employed and we had to do something that this government was reluctant to do, which was to run a deficit in order to keep Canadians on track. Unlike the government opposite when it was faced with a deficit, we did not slash transfers to the provinces for health, social services and education.

We are determined to balance the budget by growing the economy and without increasing taxes. We are on track to do that to keep Canada going in the right direction.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 December 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, frankly, the member also has selective memory it appears. He says that we inherited a great surplus.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 December 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, in trying to balance the budget for a country the size of Canada and with an economy like ours, there are many measures that have to be kept in balance.

As I mentioned in parts of my speech, there are measures to close developing situations where tax loopholes have been exploited by certain individuals. Also, there are investments that are strategically designed to help certain sectors advance their interests, but times have changed. For example, there are changes to measures that were brought in the 1970s to help credit unions in the country. Now, with advances and changes in the budget over the years, those measures are no longer needed and so they are being phased out. There are measures for the mining sector that are being phased out, some by 2015 and some by 2017.

The measures the member has referred to are part of the ongoing evolution of shifting to ensure our tax plan remains balanced, fair, representative and that it delivers the kinds of benefits to keep our economy moving in the right direction.