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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was going.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Conservative MP for Yellowhead (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 72% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada's Oil and Gas Sector November 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I listened attentively to my colleague across the way complaining about all the problems the Conservative Party had trying to bring pipelines to the different coasts. The Liberals have been in government for three years. They changed the regulations. They talk about transparency and their ability to negotiate. What happened with Trans Mountain when it went to the Supreme Court? It was turned down. The court said they did not do a proper job. That is the Liberal government. For the last three years they have been working on that project, so perhaps I would ask the member, what happened with them?

Criminal Code November 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, as I stated earlier, this was brought to us early in the year, a day before we were to go on a two-day break.

Two previous bills, Bill C-38 and Bill C-39, have been thrown into this bill. Why were they not dealt with? If it is so important that this get done, why did the government wait so long to do it?

Criminal Code November 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, that question is very appropriate. Surcharges should be raised.

We had a witness, a farmer from Saskatchewan, appear at the justice committee two weeks ago. He said he really did not care if a guy goes to jail for two months or six months for stealing his combine, but if the guy causes $100,000 damage to the combine from driving it around the field and running it through ditches, he the farmer should be able to sue that person, or the court should be able to place a penalty on that criminal to repay that amount. If it takes that criminal the rest of his life to pay back that $100,000 in damage to the farmer's combine, that would be justice.

Victims in Canada are the ones who are suffering; the criminals are not suffering. We must make the criminals responsible for their actions. That is one way we could it.

Criminal Code November 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, increasing that penalty is definitely one of the ways to go, but if we are changing the legislation, we must also ensure that our prosecutors and court systems abide by the new regulations and follow through on them. There is no use changing these regulations if the prosecutors and courts will not follow them. If they do not, we will again have a revolving-door system, as it is today. The change would not matter much.

Criminal Code November 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-75, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other acts and to make consequential amendments to other acts. This omnibus bill is over 200 pages. It includes major reforms to our criminal justice system.

With a concerning level of rural crime in my riding, the safety of my constituents is a high priority for me. The safety of Canadians should be the number one priority of any government.

While there are some aspects of the bill that I agree will help to reduce delays in the court system, there are several problems associated with it with which I have concerns.

First, I want to talk about the bill itself. As I mentioned, this is a 204-page omnibus bill. I want to remind the Liberals that during the election, they promised they would never table omnibus bills, but here it is. However, 80 other promises have either been broken or have not even started.

This is still on the Liberal web page, which I looked it up the other day. It states that omnibus bills “prevent Parliament from properly reviewing and debating [the government's] proposals. We will change the House of Commons Standing Orders to bring an end to this undemocratic practice.” Yet here we are today discussing an omnibus bill.

It is a mixed bag that amends a total of 13 different acts in various ways. The bill needs to be split into more manageable portions so we can properly study it. What is more is that the government also has thrown in three bills that have already been tabled, Bill C-28, victim surcharge; Bill C-38, consecutive sentencing for human traffickers; and Bill C-39, repealing unconstitutional provisions. Perhaps if the government could manage its legislative agenda more effectively, it would not need to re-table its bills, push through omnibus bills or repeatedly force time allocation and limit debates.

The Liberals are failing to take criminal justice issues seriously. In March they tabled this bill the day before a two-week break period in our sitting schedule. Then they waited a half a year. Now they have returned it when there are only a few weeks left before our six-week break period. This does not give the image that justice is a high priority for the Liberal government.

The government's lack of judicial appointments has resulted in violent criminals walking away without a trial. As of November 2, 54 federal judicial vacancies remained. Appointing judges is an effective solution that is much faster than forcing an omnibus bill through Parliament. I remember in April when the minister talked about 54 more federal judges, yet here we are, almost the end of the year, and still no action.

I also want to talk about what is actually in the bill. Again, some parts of the bill I can support. For example, I agree with efforts to modernize and clarify interim release provisions and provide more onerous interim release requirements for offences involving violence against an intimate partner.

Modernizing and simplifying interim release provisions is an important step that will assist many rural communities across the country that do not have the resources to navigate lengthy procedures and paperwork. For that reason, I support this.

However, I wish the stricter release requirements were not limited to offences involving domestic abuse. With an alarming rate of rural crime in my riding and across Canada, which is often carried out by repeat offenders, we need to make it more difficult for all violent criminals to be released. Otherwise, we have a revolving door where they commit a crime, get arrested, get released and start all over again.

I was at a rural crime seminar in the city of Red Deer last Friday. A former police officer from Calgary city police told us about one of the cases he had worked on recently. An Alberta offender was charged with 130 offences, ranging from break and enter to car theft, equipment theft and possession of stolen property.

At the last sitting in Alberta the judge released him. Out the door he went. Where did he go? He took off to B.C. Now we understand they are looking for him in British Columbia, which has 100 similar outstanding charges against him in a very short period of time. This person should not have been released.

These criminals prey on farmers and elderly people. They know that RCMP resources are lacking in these areas and take full advantage of that. What the government needs to do is to provide our law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to stop the revolving door of criminals in and out of the courts. That is happening constantly.

Victims should be the central focus of the Canadian criminal justice system rather than special treatment for criminals, which is why our party introduced the Victims Bill of Rights. The government, unfortunately, does not agree since Bill C-75 would repeal our changes to the victim surcharge and reduce its overall use and effectiveness.

I believe in protecting victims of crime, which is why I introduced my own private member's bill, Bill C-206, that would ensure that criminals who take advantage of vulnerable people, specifically adults who depend on others for their care, are subject to harder, sure punishment.

Last month, a gentleman from my riding of Yellowhead was a witness before our public safety and national security committee. He shared with us his first-hand experience. It was a terrible story. This gentleman, whom I consider a friend, is aged 83. He heard his truck start up one day when he was having lunch with his wife. He walked outside to see his truck being driven out of his yard. He lives about 70 kilometres from the town of Edson where the local police office is located. He picked up his phone and was about to call when his vehicle returned to his yard. Two youths, one aged 18 and one aged 17, got out, knocked him to the ground, repeatedly kicked him in the face, the chest, the ribs, attempted to slash his throat, and then drove off again. This gentleman is 83. This is still being dealt with in the courts despite the fact it happened a year ago. This gentleman has had to attend court 10 times so far and the matter is still not over.

We on this side of the House will always work to strengthen the Criminal Code of Canada and make it harder for criminals to get out.

I am concerned that portions of Bill C-75 would weaken our justice system. Through the bill, the Liberals would reduce penalties for the following crimes: participating in criminal organizations, various acts of corruption, prison breach, impaired driving, abduction, human trafficking, forced marriage, and arson, just to name a few of many in the bill. Participation in terrorist activities and advocating genocide were deleted from this list only because a Conservative amendment was accepted at committee. Those are just a few examples of more than a hundred serious crimes that could be prosecuted by summary conviction and result in lighter sentencing, or even fines.

The government is failing to take criminal justice issues seriously. Reducing penalties for serious crimes sends the wrong message to victims, law-abiding Canadians and to criminals.

I am also concerned about the wording used in the section that would increase maximum sentences for repeat offences involving intimate partner violence. I support increasing these sentences but I do not support replacing the language of “spouse” with “intimate partner”. I believe both should be included. I understand that not all domestic abuse is within a spousal relationship, so there is a need to have "intimate partner" included. However, it should not replace "spouse". Rather, both terms should be included.

Another problem I have with Bill C-75 is the reversal of protections for religious officials.

When Bill C-51 was referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in January, two amendments were moved by my Conservative colleagues. The first amendment proposed keeping section 176 in the Criminal Code of Canada, while the second aimed to modernize the language of that section. The Liberals agreed to them and that was good, but they need to listen more.

Imagine my disappointment when I read in Bill C-75 that section 176 in the Criminal Code was once again under attack. Assault of officiants during a religious service is very serious and should remain an indictable offence.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my views.

Business of Supply November 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a simple question. The Liberal government talks about its contributions to our military veterans, yet in the last two years, it has spent over $38 million taking our veterans to court. I wonder if the member would speak about that money maybe being better spent somewhere.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act October 29th, 2018

Madam Speaker, the minister just spoke about the significant potential and offers of diverse commercial opportunities for Canadian businesses, but we need to communicate with businesses. We need to ensure small and large businesses in Canada understand what CIFTA is all about.

I wonder if the minister could explain to me what program is in place or is anticipated to be put in place to educate and inform small businesses across Canada.

Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act October 29th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the minister for getting set to renew the agreement.

For 20 years, we have seen the growth of our two nations expand to about $1.7 billion last year. We needed a new agreement. It has been four years in the making. This agreement is important to the economics of Canada and to small businesses.

I wonder if the minister could explain to me if he thinks that we will be as competitive with our neighbours and Israel with the carbon tax placed on Canadian businesses? Does he think that will harm our competitive edge with companies and corporations in Israel?

Petitions October 29th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition calling upon the Prime Minister to defend the freedoms of conscience, thought and belief by withdrawing the attestation requirement for applicants to the Canada summer jobs program.

Royal Canadian Navy October 19th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I spent part of last week sailing on the HMCS Vancouver as part of the leaders at sea program. I would like to thank Commodore Topshee, commander of the Canadian Fleet Pacific, and Commander Kouwenberg, captain of the vessel, and all personnel on board.

This amazing experience gave me the opportunity to experience life aboard one of Canada's major warships, living among and interacting with its crew to gain a deeper understanding of their mission in the service of Canada. I gained a perspective of what life is like at sea, and I better understand the training that each sailor receives for their specific role on the vessel.

I want to thank all our sailors past and present who spend months at a time away from their family and friends in the service of Canada.

Aye aye, ever on guard.