House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was economy.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Nipissing—Timiskaming (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 29% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 February 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my earlier remarks, I go back to 2001 and the first terrorist attack. The member might recall that it was a Liberal government that passed the Canadian Anti-terrorism Act in response to the attacks in the United States on September 11. The expanded powers at that time were highly controversial, due to their widely perceived incompatibility with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in particular the act's provision allowing for secret trials, lengthy detention, and expensive security and surveillance powers. The Liberal government passed that act and the sky did not fall.

This legislation is needed right now, 13 years later. The sky will not fall. We need protection. We need safety and security for Canadians and we need it right now.

Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 February 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly, I am puzzled why the NDP is against safety and security for Canadians.

This is not hard. These measures will make Canada safer. Back in 2001, when we had the first terrorist incident, similar measures to these were passed.

We simply think that third-party, non-independent, expert oversight of our national security agencies is the model. Furthermore, key powers of the new legislation will be subject to judicial review and judicial authorization.

Let us get on with protecting Canadians.

Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 February 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak today in support of Bill C-51, the anti-terrorism act, 2015. This important and timely legislation, as many of our colleagues have said, fills important gaps in Canadian law relating to threats to our national security. This bill is comprehensive and would address, among other things, improved information sharing so that national security and law enforcement agencies can more effectively share information relating to threats, and improved security for air transportation. It would also strengthen the tools available to our intelligence and law enforcement communities.

The anti-terrorism act, 2015, would help prevent, detect, and respond to terrorist threats and activities. There are two important prevention measures in the bill that I would like to speak to today, namely, the terrorist propaganda seizure and take-down powers. Prevention can come in various forms, and this legislation has a number of measures that would support this pillar, including improved information sharing.

As we all know, the international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada and her allies. As we have seen in Copenhagen, Brussels, Sydney, Paris, and even right here at home in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa, jihadi terrorists are attempting to destroy the values that make Canada the best country in the world to live, work, and raise a family. Clearly, Canada is not immune to homegrown terrorist threats. Therefore, the legislation before us today also includes, in support of the terrorism prevention pillar, measures to address the radicalization of these homegrown threats.

Bill C-51 proposes two provisions that would address the proliferation and availability of terrorist propaganda that can contribute to the radicalization of our youth and turn them toward terrorism. These new powers would complement the proposed indictable offence of promoting and advocating the commission of terrorism offences in general.

Specifically, the proposal is to create two warrants that would allow for the seizure of terrorist propaganda. “Terrorist propaganda” would be defined to mean any writing, sign, visible representation, or audio recording that advocates or promotes the commission of terrorism offences in general—other than the proposed new offence of advocating terrorism offences, which I just mentioned—or counsels the commission of a terrorism offence. The effect of this change would be to authorize courts to order the seizure and forfeiture of terrorist propaganda material, whether in a tangible form, such as a poster, or in electronic form, such as a website.

Currently there exists a shocking gap. The Criminal Code does not presently authorize the confiscation of terrorist propaganda produced for sale or distribution in Canada, or that is stored on or made available by a Canadian server. The first new warrant would be similar to the provision in the Criminal Code governing the seizure and forfeiture of hate propaganda in a hard-copy format, such as in books or magazines.

Terrorist use of websites and social media to recruit and radicalize youth to violence is a growing concern. Currently, police can only ask that a website host voluntarily remove the material, which would usually only occur after a conviction. However, when the person who posted the material cannot be found because they are abroad or have posted it anonymously, the removal of such offensive material is very difficult, and it may be available to the public for some time thereafter.

The anti-terrorism act, 2015, proposes to authorize a court to order the removal of terrorist propaganda from Canadian Internet services, even when the person who posted it cannot be found. This proposed power is similar to ones that already exist for other materials that Parliament has deemed harmful, such as hate propaganda, child pornography, voyeuristic material, and most recently with the passage of Bill C-13, the protecting Canadians from online crime act, intimate images.

Some of these provisions have been in the Criminal Code since 2002 and help facilitate the removal of such harmful content from Canadian Internet services, which in turn limits Canadian exposure to such harmful content.

Courts must have the power to order the removal of such terrorist propaganda when posted online. That is exactly what this new take-down provision is designed to accomplish. Under this new provision, judges may order both the person who posted the terrorist propaganda and the Internet service provider to remove the material that is terrorist propaganda. It is focused only on the removal of the material that is available to the public, so that even in the absence of a prosecution, police will still be able to remove this material from Canadian servers.

As I mentioned earlier, these types of warrants are not new to the Criminal Code. They are also not new to the international community. For example, the United Kingdom has had similar powers in place since 2006, and Australia provides for the takedown of restricted online material, such as terrorist propaganda, through its Broadcasting Services Act.

As an additional complementary amendment to these new tools, Bill C-51 also proposes changing the customs tariff to include the new concept of terrorist propaganda. This change would ensure that Canada Border Services Agency officers would be authorized to inspect and seize terrorist propaganda material.

These new tools are not only complementary to the proposed new offence of advocating and promoting the commission of terrorism offences in general, but they are also consistent with Parliament's past approach relating to content that we have deemed harmful to Canadian society.

As I have said, these tools are designed to help address the radicalization of Canadian youth toward violence by assisting in the removal of terrorist propaganda material. I would like to quote Avi Benlolo, the president and CEO of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre, who says:

It is especially significant that this new legislation will enable the removal of websites promoting jihad and related materials on the internet. Jewish communities are a favourite target of jihadis, and the provisions of this bill will do a great deal to help ensure the safety and security of all Canadians as we continue to fight this threat to western democracies.

I hope that all members of the House heed these words and support these proposals in Bill C-51 as a positive step toward making Canada and the world a safer place.

Petitions February 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition from my constituents to the Government of Canada.

CBC Radio 2 is Canada's second-largest radio network. Radio 2 cannot be received in North Bay but is broadcast to other major urban centres all across Canada, including Sudbury and Huntsville. The petitioners ask the Government of Canada to extend CBC radio service coverage to the North Bay area.

Telecommunications February 5th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government's connecting Canadians program will soon connect an additional 280,000 homes in rural and remote communities to broadband Internet services.

Can the Minister of Industry please tell this House what new measures he has taken to expand high-speed Internet services in rural communities?

Taxation February 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government pledged that we would balance the federal budget. Now we are in a position to help Canadian families balance theirs. That is why our family tax cut will give 100% of families with kids an average of more than $1,100 per year to spend on their priorities. Partnered with the expansion of the universal child care benefits, families in Nipissing—Timiskaming and across Canada will receive nearly $2,000 per year for every child under six, and $720 per year for every child between six and seventeen.

The Liberals and the NDP have said that they would take this money away from moms and dads to pay for their expensive and burdensome programs through big government. We will not let that happen.

The Liberal leader seems content to push a typical Liberal tax-and-debt agenda at the expense of Canadian families. Only our Conservative government can be trusted to keep their money where it belongs: in their pockets.

Firearms Registry December 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government was proud to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all. It was a $2 billion boondoggle that did not stop a single crime or save a single life.

The proof is in the statistics. In 2013, the first full year at the end of the registry, gun crime is down across the country. This runs directly contrary to what the left-wing gun ideologues predicted, yet even in the face of these statistics, the NDP leader is pledging to bring back the registry. This pledge has left rural NDP members scrambling. The NDP member for Timmins—James Bay said he pounded his head on his desk when he heard the leader pledging to bring it back.

NDP MPs in Sudbury, Nickel Belt, Thunder Bay, and Western Arctic need to decide whether to stand up for their constituents or obey their out-of-touch leader.

Canadians know there is only one party that always stands up for law-abiding—

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our government has a strong record of standing up for the interests of consumers. Every consumer benefits from our GST cut, and more than 10 million Canadians have opened a tax-free savings account. We believe Canadian consumers also deserve access to credit on fair and transparent terms. That is why we have taken action to protect Canadians who use credit cards by banning unsolicited credit card cheques, requiring clear and simple information, providing timely advance notice of rates and fee changes, and ensuring prepaid cards never expire.

My question is to the Minister of State for Finance. How will this budget help the consumers in my riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming?

Space Industry December 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, members should get their seats now. There is a chance to float in zero gravity, to experience weightlessness, the same feeling Astronaut Chris Hadfield felt on the ISS.

Yes, indeed, in second quarter 2015, these affordable zero gravity flights, the most inexpensive in the world, will be available in Nipissing—Timiskaming right from the airport in North Bay in a modified Airbus 340.

The international tour will include several other locations. North Bay is the sole Canadian location.

In March, Swiss Space Systems, S3, will partner with Canadore Aviation to test and launch the sub-orbital satellites in our region. This is an opportunity to market the company as well as generate interest in space.

Our government encourages private-public partnerships and private sector growth in the Canadian space industry.

I am proud to be a member of a government that is providing great opportunities like this game changer for my region. It is because of our government that Nipissing—Timiskaming, in fact North Bay, is taking off.

Taxation November 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, thanks to our new family tax cut and enhanced universal child care benefit, 100% of families with children in Nipissing—Timiskaming and across Canada will be better off. That includes working, stay-at-home and single parents, and one-earner and two-earner families. Indeed, all families with children will have more money in their pockets.

Every parent will now receive nearly $2,000 per child, but the Liberal leader is committed to reversing our tax relief so that he can spend their money the way he wants. Despite a Liberal leader who has positioned himself against middle-class families, I am proud that our government is giving money back to each and every family with children in Canada.