House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was transport.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Essex (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

World War II Veterans March 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be part of a government that honours and stands with our veterans by implementing the new veterans charter and its comprehensive review as well as by enhancing benefits and services.

In further honour, our veterans affairs minister went to Washington, D.C., with Devil's Brigade members like our own Ralph Mayville, where they received the Congressional Gold Medal in addition to their earlier Canadian award.

Sadly, we have lost many from that greatest generation and are losing our living legacy with increasing frequency as each year passes. As a Delta Company member and friend of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment, I joined the regiment and others at the recent Hochwald dinner, where we honoured those who passed in the last year. They are Marshall Dejaegher, Art Deschamps, Gordon Fralick, Howard Large, Jim McArthur, Roy Rogers, Arthur Rossell, and Hank Thiessen.

They may now be gone, but they will never be forgotten.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act March 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Minister of State for Social Development for her important intervention in this debate.

Obviously, both men and women have a beautiful inherent dignity. It has always caused me consternation that people could be deprived of this dignity through certain cultural practices, and even more insultingly, under words like “honour” when applied to honour killing, for example.

I would like the minister of state to comment on how this bill and its measures would enhance and call forth the inherent dignity particularly of women and young women in this country.

Respect for Communities Act March 13th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, one of the conditions is the important input from the community itself. Does the member think opposition parties want so-called injection sites, where people are shooting up heroin and other drugs, to be done quietly, or should the community be involved?

Rail Transportation March 13th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we are obviously very concerned about the number of incidents that have taken place in the area of Gogama. We do not yet know the cause of the derailments, but expect that the company should and will fully co-operate with the Transportation Safety Board in its investigations.

In the meantime, we continue to take a number of very important actions to increase rail safety. We have brought forward new legislation that I hope the member will support as it comes before the House, which will hold railways to account and give inspectors the ability to actually order specific fixes on their problems.

Rail Transportation March 13th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would have expected the member to be excited about the news that there are solid new tank car standards in the country. They include thicker steel. They include top fitting protection, better protection on the valve, and of course, full head shields, among other important features.

Those are proposed standards, obviously, and that is a commitment we are moving forward on to ensure, among all the measures we have taken to support rail safety, such as better oversight, more inspectors, and all those actions, that Canadians remain safe.

Yukon and Nunavut Regulatory Improvement Act March 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I should point out with reference to consultation that a duly elected government in Yukon that is responsive to Yukoners is behind this particular measure.

Mining is a long-term investment. It requires due diligence in looking at the factors that would make for a stable investment or a worthwhile investment, so the regulatory environment is clearly very important.

The fact that Yukon is out of sync, if you will, with other jurisdictions right now in being able to have these types of important, straightforward, simple, single-window reviews is critical for them.

I think the member mentioned that Yukon is losing ground in terms of its desirability as an investment location for mining. I wonder if he could comment on that. Is it possible to quantify how much investment is either at risk or has been lost as a result of potential delay in getting to that regulatory environment?

Quebec Bridge March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, there is a bridge between the city of Windsor and the city of Detroit that is called the Ambassador Bridge. It is privately owned, and when it needs repainting, it is the owner who is responsible to paint the bridge. In this circumstance, there is nothing different about the Quebec Bridge in that regard. CN owns that bridge and is responsible for painting that bridge.

However, notwithstanding that, the federal government, the provincial government, and their municipal partners have stepped up anyway to provide a partnership model to cover half of the expected cost of that repainting job, according to CN's preliminary estimates. We expect CN, which owns the bridge, to step forward and become part of that partnership to make sure that job gets done.

Quebec Bridge March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, if I understood correctly through the translator, the member opposite said that those responsible for the bridge should pay for it. CN is responsible for the bridge. Notwithstanding that, the government has announced that it would play a significant partnership role in seeing the Quebec Bridge repainted, as did the City of Lévis, Quebec City, and the provincial government.

We have certainly stepped up to the plate. It is time for CN to do so.

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be here in the House today with a minor amendment to support the motion before us, which I will move before the expiry of my time.

I will be supporting the motion because it aligns with the guiding principle of the government's economic action plan to protect Canadians and support jobs and economic growth across the country. The motion is also consistent with our government's risk-based approach whereby security funding is targeted to areas of highest risk.

I am glad to be given the opportunity to talk about the work that has been accomplished on this file over the last year and what we intend to do in the future. However, at the outset, I would like to reiterate that creating jobs and securing economic growth is and will remain our government's top priority.

The aviation industry is a fundamental pillar of our success as a nation. It is a key contributor to our standard of living, economy, connectivity to the world and prosperity. Further, a vibrant aviation sector also supports the prosperity of other industries, such as commerce and tourism.

There are roughly 100 million passengers who travel through or within Canada annually, with nearly 2,500 international flights each and every day. The vastness of Canada's geography and the dispersed nature of our population have directly contributed to the development of one of the largest and most sophisticated civil aviation systems in the world. Transport Canada's national civil aviation security program is among the best in its class, and our government continues to be committed to the promotion of safe and secure air travel.

Canada has over 200 airports that operate commercial flights. Fewer than half of them are regulated to require mandatory passenger and baggage screening. This represents about 99% of all air passengers in Canada.

The mandatory presence of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, CATSA, at all airports would not make sense either from a security or a financial perspective. However, CATSA is and should remain the sole screening authority in Canada. The original version of the motion before us could be construed as opening the door to the establishment of new screening authorities in Canada. For this reason, we will be asking that the proposed motion be amended so as to make it clear that CATSA is and remains the only authorized screening authority in Canada.

This is an important element, because our government believes there is real value in consolidating aviation security under a single authority. Having a national centralized organization perform screening enables greater consistency across the country and more effective responsiveness to security issues. It also ensures that Canada meets international standards and retains the trust of its partners.

The list of airports for regulated mandatory screening was developed in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the terrorist attacks, and it captures those airports where screening was already taking place before the creation of CATSA. The screening services received at these airports are financed by air travellers through the air travellers security charge.

Over the last several years, a number of airports not regulated for mandatory passenger screening have expressed an interest in obtaining screening services to improve their economic and development opportunities. Many of them indicated that the absence of these screening services constituted the only barrier to the establishment of new commercial routes at their airports.

While security is always the key consideration when allocating government resources to the prevention and mitigation of threats to the transportation system, our aviation security system must also support rather than hinder economic opportunities. We must strive to strike the right balance between supporting the competitiveness of the air sector while minimizing the impact of this support for Canadian taxpayers. This is why our government is proposing a risk-based approach for any changes to the current list of airports receiving security screening funded by the government.

So far, none of the airports interested in receiving screening services currently meet the risk threshold that would warrant mandatory screening. Nevertheless, I believe it is important that we provide these smaller airports with the necessary tools to foster the economic growth that would come from the establishment of new commercial routes.

In June 2014, the Minister of Transport sent a letter to all the airports that had expressed an interest in procuring screening services to inform them that departmental officials were in the process of exploring and assessing various mechanisms that would allow them to obtain services on a cost-recovery basis. Transport Canada officials will soon be contacting the interested airports in order to gather additional information about their operations. This will help determine the level of service and equipment that the implementation of passenger screening services would require.

Transport Canada will also be working with CATSA and airports to assess the costs of implementing screening services at smaller airports depending on the number of flights they expect to attract, as well as other factors such as the frequency and destination of flights. Our government will work closely with airports to ensure that the potential benefits of implementing these screening services outweigh their costs.

While we are pleased with the progress that has been made on this initiative, there are various legal and financial challenges that still need to be addressed. The government is currently reviewing the legislative and regulatory changes that would best support this initiative. Beyond this, we also need to ensure that any solution takes a long-term approach with respect to the operations of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority in order to enable it to continue to respond to industry needs.

In closing, I would like to point out that industry has increasingly been linking passenger screening services to economic development. Many airports have expressed a willingness to invest resources into such services. Transport Canada will be working closely with our industry partners to make all the necessary tools available to provide a safe, secure, and efficient transportation system for all Canadians. In order to align the intent of this motion with the approach that the government is pursuing and based on discussions with the mover of the motion, I would like to propose the following amendment.

That the motion be amended by (a) deleting “2004”; and (b) replacing the words “CATSA-recognized” with the word “CATSA”.

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority March 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have a point to clarify in the discussion, that the designation of airports relates to the security risk posed at airports to the network. That is why, in the case of a select number of airports, the government has made it mandatory to have the security screening there and therefore the air transport security charge to fund that.

In this particular case, not only for Sherbrooke, but for for several airports where it is an economic driver, and where airline companies as a condition of service have imposed the requirement to have security screening, there is a need to find a funding mechanism to support the uniform CATSA screening and extend it to other airports.

I want to commend the member for bringing this motion forward, and for initiating a discussion, an important discussion with the government. The government, as he has noted, is open to finding a mechanism like that.

I will signal at this point that the government will be supporting the motion with a slight modification, amendment, which I will raise in my comments later. I want to thank the member for his co-operation in that process, in finding language that achieves the aim he is looking for but also satisfies the clarity that the government needs in moving this issue forward. I want to thank him for that, which is more of a comment than a question.