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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was fact.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Conservative MP for Kootenay—Columbia (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 60% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada June 7th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberal leader admitted that he would form a coalition government. Last time the Liberal strategy was hidden, but now we know the Liberals will ignore the wishes of Canadians and join forces with the NDP and Bloc Québécois to ignore an election result.

Canadians remember his statement the last time the Liberals tried to form a coalition with the Bloc Québécois and the NDP when the leader said, “I am prepared to form a coalition government and to lead that government”.

However, the Liberal leader's plan is not acceptable. If Canadians reject his party, he cannot ignore the election result and install a coalition rejected by the voters. It is not acceptable to give the NDP co-management of the economy. It is not acceptable to share power with a political party committed to the breakup of our country.

Regrettably the coalition plan is more proof that the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians. He is just in it for himself.

Firearms Registry May 28th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader's announcement that his MPs will be whipped on the long gun registry vote did not just affect the eight MPs who previously voted to abolish the costly gun registry. In my riding of Kootenay—Columbia, it also drove away a prospective Liberal candidate, Brent Bush. He said the Liberal leader has:

reversed his position and stated that third reading of the Bill will now be a whipped (or forced) Party vote.

He continued:

Forcing a sitting MP or prospective candidate to vote the Party position on an issue, knowing in advance that it runs contrary to the interests of the constituents in the Riding clearly runs contrary to the principles of representative democracy.

The Liberals' definition of getting tough on crime is to punish farmers and duck hunters. These eight Liberal MPs need to do the right thing and vote to scrap the long gun registry, or vote to keep it—

May 26th, 2010

Madam Speaker, over the past few months the Minister of International Cooperation met with representatives of our Canadian non-governmental partners, such as CARE, UNICEF, World Vision and Save the Children, who shared their collective experience and knowledge with her and helped plan our initiative for mothers and maternal health.

Canada is also working closely with its multilateral partners, such as the UN; the World Health Organization; UNICEF; the World Food Programme; the OECD; and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

Our objective with this initiative is to eliminate, as much as we possibly can, unnecessary deaths of mothers and children. We are on track to achieve that objective.

May 26th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the opportunity to be hear in the House on this important issue again.

Our government's track record on foreign aid is impeccable. As she noted, we have doubled our aid to Africa, we have doubled our total aid to a record $5 billion, and we are making our aid more effective, focused and accountable. The goal of foreign aid is obvious: to reduce poverty in developing countries. Improving the lives of mothers and children is the foundation to achieving sustainable poverty reduction.

This year the international community will review the progress made in achieving the millennium development goals before the 2015 deadline. Of all the MDGs put forward a decade ago, improving maternal health is the one that lags farthest behind. Our Prime Minister took this fact into consideration and made this issue his. Canada will be the country that leads the world forward to help mothers and children.

According to the World Health Organization, every year more than 500,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth from largely preventable causes, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. These women are giving birth in conditions that are entirely unsanitary. Our initiative is working to change that. I urge the opposition to get onside with the government and with the NGOs.

With respect to reducing child mortality, MDG 4, the situation is equally concerning. Although mortality for children under the age of five has declined steadily worldwide, we have not yet managed to get to the point required to meet the MDG goal by 2015.

Every year three million babies die within the first week of life. Almost nine million children in the developing world die before their fifth birthday from largely preventable diseases, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, severe acute malnutrition, measles and HIV. The tragic fact is there are simple solutions to address all of these problems. That is why the Prime Minister chose to focus on maternal and under-five child health at the G8 summit in June.

A few weeks ago in Halifax, all G8 development ministers unanimously agreed that improving the health of mothers and children was a top priority for the G8. There was a strong consensus that our scope of action would require a comprehensive approach that would include the full continuum of care from pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, delivery and early childhood.

This means integrating high-impact interventions at the community level, such as antenatal care, postpartum care, family planning, treatment and prevention of diseases, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, immunization and nutrition.

Ministers really stressed the importance of improving and integrating nutrition into the development goals. Most important, and in keeping with the Prime Minister's focus on accountability that he set out as a key theme for our G8 presidency, we agreed to a set of principles on which to guide the work ahead.

As the Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon said:

We know how to save mothers' lives. Some simple blood tests, a doctor's consultation and someone qualified to help with the birth can make a huge difference. Add some basic antibiotics, blood transfusions and a safe operating room, and the risk of death can almost be eliminated.

Before the member opposite gets up to respond to the question, she should consider the words of those development ministers from the G8 countries. We want to get the most bang for our buck. I have just finished outlining all of the things that we will be able to do not only in a cost effective way but in the most efficient way possible to be able to positively impact this situation.

May 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, if I heard the member correctly this evening, he was saying that maybe $100,000 to $200,000 would be a good figure for the Canadian government to look at.

In fact, we have contributed $2 million this way: $750,000 to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for the provision of essential non-food items and emergency shelter materials; $500,000 to the Pan American Health Organization toward re-establishing health and medical services, and replenishing emergency stocks of medicines; $500,000 to World Vision for emergency shelter materials and hygiene supplies, improved access to clean water and provision of child protection services; and $250,000 to Oxfam Canada to help improve access to safe water and ensure safe reconstruction of houses and livelihoods.

I think the people of Canada and, upon reflection, I am sure our Chilean Canadians will be very proud of the response that the Canadian government made to this tragedy in Chile.

May 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for the opportunity to elaborate on the quick response by our government for the people of Chile.

As the hon. member knows, not only was the earthquake on February 27 and the aftershocks near Concepcion, Chile very different from Haiti but the context and the capacity of Chile to respond to the humanitarian needs was also very different.

His original question asked when the Government of Canada was going to create a matching fund program for Chile and what measures the government was putting in place to deal with this tragedy. As the member should know, matching fund programs are the exception and not the rule when it comes to providing immediate humanitarian assistance. In all cases, CIDA operates on the advice of the affected government. We also take into consideration what our international partners and the international community as a whole are doing in response to the crisis.

In order to be effective when delivering aid, we must work in conjunction with our partners. We also have to respect the other nation's sovereignty. We respond to its requests. We do not tell it how it should be responding or what it should be asking for.

In the case of Chile, its government assessed the situation and its capacity to respond, and then made a targeted appeal to the international community for assistance. We responded to its appeal quickly and appropriately.

In Haiti, the earthquake decimated the very core of the nation, and as we would know from media reports, it eradicated much of Haiti's infrastructure. It took the Haitian government quite some time to re-establish working order, submit a plan, and work with the international community. The world responded overwhelmingly to this tragic but unique response.

Thankfully, in the Chilean nation, by contrast, the government structure was not critically damaged in the February 27th quake. In Chile, approximately 800 people were reported dead and 1.5 million homes were damaged by the earthquake, which also caused damage to key infrastructure, including water, telecommunications, power, ports, health facilities, roads and bridges.

Naturally, our hearts and prayers went out to the Chilean people, yet our response to the smaller scale disaster would reflect the fact that this was not as devastating as the earthquake in Haiti. This was the largest earthquake in Chile in 25 years and it generated a small tsunami. It would be entirely misleading to compare Chile to Haiti.

On March 1, the Chilean president appealed for international aid and the Chilean embassy requested targeted assistance from Canada for the humanitarian effort there. Chile's president had indicated that the priorities included providing assistance to those affected, ensuring that water, electricity and energy supplies were functional, and maintaining public security.

On the next day, March 2, the Minister of International Cooperation announced that up to $2 million would be allocated in urgent humanitarian assistance to those affected by the earthquake. This support, provided through the Canadian International Development Agency, was targeted toward addressing the priority gaps identified by the Chilean government and our humanitarian partners.

As a leader on the world stage, the Government of Canada stands ready to offer any necessary assistance to the people of Chile and continues to monitor the situation there to ensure our assistance is delivered according to the priorities established by the Chilean government. We will continue to work with the Chilean government.

Tribute to Member's Family May 10th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to pay tribute to my family.

In 1992 when I approached my wife and children with the crazy idea of running as a member of Parliament, they supported me. We tried to understand what we were getting into and did the best research we could, but honestly, we did not appreciate the total all-consuming nature of the job.

Recognition, familiarity and approachability with voters are traits and characteristics after which every MP strives. However, that approachability means that being an MP is not just a job, it is a 24/7 life. Birthday celebrations, family picnics or camping, even graduation events regrettably could end up in conflict with constituency events. This is particularly true in a large geographic area like Kootenay--Columbia.

In 18 years, my immediate family has grown from 5 special people to 14, including 7 wonderful grandchildren. They have always been supportive. I could not have gotten the job done without them. They are all in Ottawa with me today. I say to them, and especially my wife, thank you, I love you.

International Co-operation April 29th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, if the member were to read the budget, she would realize that our aid envelope is larger than it has ever been in the history of Canada. It is now $5 billion, thanks to the foresight of this government.

International Cooperation April 28th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the member what is offensive and irresponsible. It is hearing the same question from all three members of the coalition. It is those members who want to create a debate in Canada that no one wants, no one.

We want to get on with serving 8.8 million mothers and children who desperately need the help that Canada wants to give them, not another debate.

International Cooperation April 28th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to read the ideology of people who are actually involved in this. They say:

With an investment at the community level, where women and children are best able to access health care, the G8 initiative can prevent the deaths and improve the health of millions of children and women. Providing families with access to proven low cost health interventions can ensure healthier pregnancies and prevent illness and death from such diseases as malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia.

That is the ideology we are following.