House of Commons photo

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

Canada-Jordan Free Trade Act March 29th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I apologize to my friend that I did not hear the first part of his speech, so I am not really sure if he declared whether the NDP is going to be voting for or against this bill.

I make note, however, that he has had to do a lot of research, and I commend him for that, in order to find something negative in this bill to talk about. If I understood the latter part of his speech, he was basically going through a shopping list that he or his researchers managed to uncover so that he could say something negative about this bill.

No matter whether it is a Conservative government or a Liberal government that attempts to open up opportunities in the world for increased trade or open up opportunities for new markets for Canadian businesses, it is really regrettable that the NDP will find any old way to find excuses to say we cannot do that, to say we have to have a closed shop kind of idea.

I regret that I did not hear the beginning of my colleague's speech. Did he state at the beginning if the NDP is going to vote in favour of this bill or not?

Liberal Party of Canada March 22nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, later this week the Liberal leader will be holding his so-called thinkers conference in Montreal to try and scare up some new policy ideas for the tired old Liberal Party.

Sadly, this conference will be more like a spenders conference. It will only dream up big expensive ways to raise Canadian taxes.

What is more though, this event reveals a lot about the Liberal leader. It is a closed door event and if one does not get an invitation, one cannot attend. The event is so elitist that the Liberal leader did not even bother to invite his own MPs. Does that mean he does not believe his MPs can think? The location of the conference does not even show up on its website.

Clearly, the leader does not want average Canadians to attend; his thinking being, what would ordinary Canadians be able to bring to a so-called thinkers conference?

The Liberal leader had better rethink his conference. After 37 years away, the Liberal leader is clearly out of touch with Canadians.

Treaties March 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, under section 32 of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons I have the pleasure to table, in both official languages, four treaties.

First, an Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters, signed in Ottawa on August 14, 2007.

Second, an Exchange of Notes constituting an amendment to the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Mutual Administrative Assistance on Customs Matters, signed in Ottawa on August 14, 2007, signed on March 30, 2009, and on April 28, 2009; extending the Agreement to the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

Third, an Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania concerning Youth Exchanges signed in Vilnius on November 19, 2009.

Fourth, an Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of Estonia concerning Youth Exchanges signed in Tallinn on December 14, 2009.

An exploratory memorandum is included in each treaty.

I am also tabling the “Global Partnership Program” report in the House of Commons.

Pursuant to section 32(2) of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, I have the honour to lay upon the table, in both official languages, the “Report on Canada's Contribution to the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction”.

March 15th, 2010

Madam Speaker, the longer I am in the House, the more I realize we have a tendency to talk past each other. I do not think the member was listening to my comments, which were simple and straightforward.

All of the organizations that I listed have applied for and received funding under the current criteria, under the current criteria, under the current criteria. I say it three times so that he might possibly hear it. KAIROS did not apply under the current criteria. It did not meet the criteria and therefore did not receive the funds.

With respect to the small $75,000 grant, any human being would have compassion for this woman and her situation, but there are six billion going on seven billion people in the world, most of whom can use Canada's aid and assistance. We need to be focused, effective and accountable to the people of Canada.

March 15th, 2010

Madam Speaker, our government is committed to making Canada's international assistance more focused, efficient and accountable. We have made huge strides in implementing our aid effectiveness agenda. We have fought long and hard about how to improve aid and we have brought in some important changes that will help to ensure we deliver on our aid promises both to developing countries and to the Canadians we represent.

Our aid effectiveness agenda will concentrate our resources for a greater impact and will leverage the work of our development partners. CIDA is focusing a portion of our aid on 20 countries and has adopted three priority themes: increasing food security; securing the future of children and youth; and stimulating sustainable economic growth. The priorities we have identified reflect the interests and challenges faced by our partner countries and are consistent with the principles that guide other donor countries' approaches.

I will now turn to the funding question regarding KAIROS.

Setting priorities is about making choices, and sometimes choices are difficult. The recent Speech from the Throne stated that we are a country and a government that stands up for what is right in the world. We will not pursue the easiest path. We do what is right.

CIDA thoroughly analyzed KAIROS' program proposal and determined, with regret, that it did not meet the agency's current priorities. This is important.

KAIROS is a faith-based organization with a base of seven individual organizations, also of faith. Many of KAIROS' members, as individual organizations, continue to receive CIDA support for their work in developing countries. Why? Each of them properly followed the application process and put forward proposals that met with our efforts to focus and improve foreign aid.

For example, we continue to support the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, which is working in Bangladesh, Mozambique, Burundi and Tanzania to improve the health care for women and prevent and treat HIV-AIDS and malaria. We provide funding to the Mennonite Central Committee because it is providing food security through small farmers, as well as income generation activities and meeting basic human needs.

Allow me to list some of the church organizations that receive CIDA funding: United Church of Canada; Adventist Development and Relief Agency; Canadian Baptist Ministries; Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Canadian Lutheran World Relief; Christian and Missionary Alliance; Christian Reformed World Relief Committee; Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada; Mennonite Central Committee of Canada; Nazarene Compassionate Ministries; Presbyterian World Service & Development; Anglican Church of Canada; and the Salvation Army. That is not the complete list.

As previously mentioned, and as the Minister of International Cooperation has said in this House, this was a difficult decision to make, but decisions like this are necessary to improve our aid.

CIDA simply cannot fund every proposal. Without a doubt, our foreign aid needs will be focused, effective and accountable. Our government has made some difficult decisions, but they were the right decisions.

Allow me to list some proof that the Conservative government is the best government Canada has seen with respect to aid. We doubled our aid to Africa. We are doubling our foreign aid. We are bringing our aid to a record $5 billion. This is more foreign aid than ever before.

Clearly, our government delivers on our commitments. We get real results. The opposition parties can play politics and throw as much mud as they would like, but the facts remain in our favour.

Business of Supply March 15th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I was quite entertained in listening to my friend from the Bloc. I went out to the lobby just before this intervention and I picked up copies of some of the ten percenters that the Bloc sends out. They talk about the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Although I am somewhat deficient in my capacity to read French, I get the tone and the idea.

In making the intervention, the member was being exceptionally critical of the ten percenter program, if I understood correctly. If that is the case, then what do I have in my hand other than a rather hypocritical approach to the question of ten percenters on the part of the Bloc Québécois?

Citizenship and Immigration March 12th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I will say it again. The Government of Canada immediately released $85 million for the urgent need at that point. President Préval of Haiti has said:

We must draw the lessons from what occurred in Haiti--the massive, spontaneous, generous help was a good response to the disaster. However, its effectiveness must be improved, because effectiveness depends on the quality of coordination.

That is exactly what we are doing.

Shame on that member for playing politics on this issue.

Citizenship and Immigration March 12th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the member continues to disappoint us with that kind of question.

The fact is that the Government of Canada committed $85 million immediately for urgent relief. In addition to the $85 million, the matching funds are currently being assessed as to the most effective way that they can be distributed.

I regret that the member has decided to play politics on the back of the Haitian disaster.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply March 11th, 2010

Madam Speaker, as you would know and I am sure the member knows, there are many different programs, plans and ways for a government to be accountable. We have everything in place to be accountable to the people of Canada. A government can find about four, five, six or even seven different ways of getting money into the economy at a time that stimulus is required.

I regret that I am not completely familiar with the specific figures that my friend was referring to, but she will note that the level of stimulus money coming from the federal government last year has only been reduced very marginally. It is not until the following year that it drops so that we are no longer continuing to mortgage the future of my grandchildren's grandchildren. We have to be very careful that when we spend money, we are spending it wisely and well, in an accountable way and, above all, that we can afford to do it so that we are not taking money from the economy 10, 20 or 30 years hence.

I would have to take a look at the numbers that she is specifically referring to. I am sure we could have a good dialogue on that.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply March 11th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her very kind comments and respond directly to her question.

If she looks at the Speech from the Throne, it was all about the economy. It was all about making the economy stronger. It was a report of how we as a country have worked our way through these very difficult economic times.

The money the hon. member would have us use to work through the solutions she would have us work toward, vis-à-vis poverty, comes from the tax base. The tax base comes from the economy that is healthy, robust and moving forward.

If the hon. member were to reflect not only on the Speech from the Throne but on the budget as well, she would realize that our government is taking every step possible it can to continue to build a strong economy, so that we can deal with the issues she has stated are very important to her.