House of Commons photo

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament September 2016, as Conservative MP for Calgary Midnapore (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 67% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Budget March 24th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I have seen a lot of things in this place, but never a finance minister who so blatantly contradicts his own department, which said this week that the government was left a $4-billion surplus for the first three quarters of this year.

The key question is this: why did this government break its solemn election promise to balance the budget during its term and keep the new debt below $25 billion? The Liberals are increasing the federal debt by $120 billion right out of the gate. Why is this government—

The Budget March 24th, 2016

I normally do not have a problem with sound, Mr. Speaker.

My question for the Minister of Finance is why he keeps evading this very key question. He says that the Liberal Party made two commitments to voters in the last election. He has completely forgotten the central engagement for fiscal responsibility for balanced budgets in this term for $25 billion in debt. Instead, he has delivered $119 billion in debt and counting.

The Prime Minister said that budgets balance themselves, that there is an absolute commitment to balance the budget. Why did the finance minister so utterly violate that fundamental commitment to Canadian voters?

The Budget March 24th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, there is a question that the hon. finance minister keeps rather obviously avoiding and debating, which is why he and the Prime Minister chose to violate—

Foreign Affairs March 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, as a member of the former government, I assure the minister that he is mistaken, that I and other ministers did recognize the genocidal nature of what is happening. The five genocides to which he refers were recognized by motions of this House. We are asking the government, as an executive action, to recognize this reality.

The European Parliament, the U.S. Congress, and the Obama administration have done so. Why, then, has this Liberal government reversed Canada's position? Why is it denying the genocide against these Middle Eastern peoples that is happening right now?

Foreign Affairs March 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I hope the minister is not suggesting that President Hollande was making politics in stating that Europe is at war with ISIS.

ISIS is also engaged in a campaign to eradicate the ancient indigenous peoples of Mesopotamia, the Assyrian Yazidis, and other people. The previous Conservative government recognized this as a form of genocide, an example followed by the EU Parliament, the U.S. Congress, and the Obama administration.

Why has the Liberal government reversed Canada's position recognizing the genocide of ISIS against the indigenous peoples of Mesopotamia?

Foreign Affairs March 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the genocidal death cult of ISIL has claimed responsibility for today's terrible attacks in Brussels, leading French President Hollande to say that Europe is at war with ISIS.

Is Canada also at war with ISIS, and if so, why did we end our combat operations against that terrorist organization?

Business of Supply March 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. friend for reminding this place that the Liberal Party actually supported the creation of the Office of Religious Freedom. It did not just support it; it campaigned on that basis. I recall attending events at Coptic churches and elsewhere, where Liberal candidates who are now members of this place, and their former leader, stood up, saying they strongly supported the creation of the Office of Religious Freedom. What a canard to say one thing to those voters then and now to say another because it opposes their ideology.

The member raised a very important point about emphasizing the resettlement of refugees who are victims of persecution on the grounds of their religious convictions. When the previous government announced the creation of the Office of Religious Freedom, it also said that it would be seeking to prioritize the resettlement of vulnerable religious minorities who are refugees. The Prime Minister said that doing so is “disgusting”.

Would the member care to comment on his view that people who have been bombed out of their homes, who cannot return because of their religion, who cannot go to the UN camps because they would be vulnerable minorities in those camps, ought to be considered as priority cases for the purposes of refugee resettlement?

Business of Supply March 21st, 2016

Madam Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member on his comments and on being elected.

Frankly, I find the NDP's position on this rather problematic. I have been in the House for 19 years and I have heard very few New Democrat members speak out about the wave of violence and the persecutions against denominational minorities around the world.

For example, according to the European Parliament, all members of the U.S. Congress, the Obama administration, and genocide experts from the International Association of Genocide Scholars, and according to the facts, a genocide is being perpetrated against Yazidis and Christians in Iraq and Syria.

That is one of the reasons why, in 2008, the previous government developed a program to resettle refugees, focusing on these populations.

However, it is not enough to say that there are all kinds of rights, obviously. Some particularly vulnerable communities, which have no military or political power, are facing a genocide.

Does the NDP acknowledge that a genocide is currently being perpetrated against these denominational minorities in the Middle East?

Business of Supply March 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, this is already done.

As the other members pointed out, we have a number of projects focused on women's rights, for example, which absolutely makes sense. Everything we are doing, we are doing with $5 million.

The millions of members of denominational and religious minorities who are subject to persecution as a result of their religion need an approach adapted to the challenges they face. That requires a certain level of expertise and dialogue with the different religions leaders.

The Minister of Global Affairs will have to examine these issues. This is not a controversial issue. That is why representatives from nearly all denominations in Canada have supported keeping the Office of Religious Freedom.

Business of Supply March 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the member clearly does not understand my track record in this place and falsely asserts that I have never expressed concern about general political freedoms.

I was one of the founding co-chairs of the parliamentary friends of Tibet. I do not need to go through my record and defend myself to that member, but I will say that I do think there are other sets of rights that we ought to prioritize. For example, one of my disappointments with the record of the previous Conservative government is that we did not implement a 2008 platform commitment to create a program for democratic development. I thought we ought to have done that. The government felt that funds were scarce. However, that is a good example of how other sets of rights and concerns can be prioritized and addressed.

The member said I have never really spoken in favour of freedom of the press. I proudly stood in this place and voted for the repeal of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, a motion that the members of the Liberal Party voted against, and in so doing helped to enhance freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Canada.