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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was farmers.

Last in Parliament March 2016, as Conservative MP for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 69% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Criminal Code December 8th, 2014

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-616, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (failure to comply with a condition).

Mr. Speaker, the bill would address an oversight in the Criminal Code.

It would probably astonish a lot of people to know that violating parole is not a criminal office. It is not even necessary to report parole violations to judges when criminals are being considered for early release or release in general.

The bill would correct that shortcoming. It would especially target high-risk offenders and repeat offenders. It would make violating parole a criminal offence. It would make it mandatory to repeat these violations to judges so they could be considered in future considerations for sentencing or early release.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the government is taxing people who are dead. It is not only unconstitutional; it is impossible. It is nothing new for estates to be taxed, so I do not think the budget makes a mistake in distinguishing between estates and people who have passed away.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, before question period I got into some of the benefits that are being provided to seniors through this budget. We have also reviewed some of the benefits that they have received over the past several years since the Conservatives formed government. Therefore, I will just finish up on some of the benefits of seniors and then move on to the benefits to farmers and the agricultural sector.

We have established a landmark tax-free savings account, which does not benefit seniors only but which is particularly beneficial for seniors, as neither income earned in a TFSA nor withdrawals from a TSFA affect their federal income-tested benefits and credits, such as the GIS.

We have introduced the largest GIS increase over 25 years, which gave eligible low-income seniors additional annual benefits of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples, thus helping more than 680,000 seniors across Canada.

Our government's low-tax plan has helped remove over 380,000 seniors from the tax rolls altogether. In fact, in 2014 a single senior can earn at least $20,000 and a senior couple at least $40,000 before paying a penny in federal income taxes.

We could go on about seniors, but I want to talk a bit more about farmers.

As everyone knows, family farms are the backbone of our country. For generations, our farmers have fed Canadians and the world, while providing jobs and opportunities across Canada and stimulating the economy in general. We have been relentless in our efforts to halt country of origin labelling, or COOL, ensuring an open and transparent market for Canadian beef. I have met with Canadian beef ranchers and cattle feeders in the last couple of weeks, and they have announced that their industry is better than it has been in decades.

Earlier this year we introduced rail regulations to increase movement of prairie grain to coastal ports for export worldwide. That was welcomed by our local producers.

Economic action plan 2014 includes a number of measures to support Canadian farmers even further, as well as innovations in agriculture. Some of these measures include expanding tax deferrals for livestock to include bees and all horses over 12 months that are kept for breeding but are sold because of drought or excess moisture; supporting innovation and competitiveness in the agricultural sector by modernizing the Plant Breeders' Rights Act, including farmers' privilege, which allows farmers to save, condition, and reuse their seeds for planting on their own farm; and introducing a new pilot price insurance program to provide cattle and hog producers in western Canada with insurance against unexpected price declines within a production cycle.

This builds on our government's proud support for Canadian farmers and the agricultural sector since 2006.

Some of those measures include providing over $11 billion, including provincial and territorial contributions, to farmers through business risk management programs such as AgriStability, Agrilnsurance, Agrilnvest, and AgriRecovery; providing over $3 billion, including provincial and territorial contributions, towards investments in innovation, competitiveness, and market development for Canada's agricultural sector under Growing Forward 2; investing $500 million to establish the AgriFlexibility fund, which helps improve competitiveness and the sector's ability to adapt to cost of production pressures; investing $370 million into the hog industry and supporting debt restructuring to help sustain the industry; providing nearly $350 million to help western grain farmers cover the costs of adjusting to operating in an open market; not to mention the opening up of the Canada Wheat Board, which will allow farmers to market their grain as they see fit; providing over $300 million to support an exit strategy for tobacco producers; investing $50 million to support increased slaughter capacity; making a $50 million investment for the agricultural innovation program to support the development and commercialization of new products, technologies, processes, and services; investing $44 million to transition the Canadian Grain Commission to a stable funding model; increasing and indexing the lifetime capital gains exemption to $800,000 from $750,000; and doubling the current deduction limit under the restricted farm loss income tax rules from $8,750 to $17,500.

These are just a few of the measures for just two demographic sectors: agriculture and seniors.

Since 2006, our government has been committed to ensuring Canadians keep more of their hard-earned dollars in their own pockets, rather than use it to pay taxes. Economic action plan 2014 marks the next chapter in keeping that commitment to Canadians.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, with economic action 2014, our government continues to demonstrate the importance of a strong public financial system for creating jobs, growth, and opportunities for all Canadians. We are on track to balance the budget without raising taxes. In fact, we have reduced taxes, and we have done it while protecting the programs and services Canadians count on.

Economic action plan 2014 projects that the deficit for this fiscal year will decline to $2.9 billion, and a surplus of $6.4 billion is expected next year, as promised. Our plan before the House, through Bill C-43, would build on our record of achievement since 2006, with positive measures to grow the economy, support employment, and support Canadians.

Budget 2014 has broad components that would benefit every segment of our society, but the two I will touch on are Canadian seniors and Canadian farmers. Both of those are major demographics in my Lethbridge riding in southern Alberta. I will start by talking about our support for seniors.

Our Conservative government recognizes that Canada's seniors helped build our country and make it great. That is why economic action plan 2014 would introduce new measures to improve the quality of life for Canada's seniors, including enhancing the new horizons for seniors program by increasing funding by an additional $5 million a year. Seniors organizations within my Lethbridge riding have reaped the benefits of this program that ensures access to lifelong learning and upgrades to facilities used by seniors.

We would also launch the Canadian employers for caregivers action plan to work with employers so that caregivers could maximize their participation in the workforce while also providing care for their loved ones.

We would expand the targeted initiative for older workers by investing $75 million to help unemployed older workers put their talents and experience back to work. We would protect seniors using financial services by requiring enhanced disclosure by banks of the costs and benefits of using power of attorney and joint accounts and would require more staff training related to services used by seniors. This would build on our government's strong record of supporting Canadian seniors.

Since 2006, about $2.8 billion in annual tax relief has been provided to seniors and pensioners, including the introduction of pension income splitting. Seniors have told me that it has saved them taxes every year. They are very appreciative of this tax break. It helps them meet their day-to-day expenses and helps them overcome some of the barriers from fixed incomes. We hear that reported in our office almost every day.

It is interesting to note that in 2006, when we introduced income splitting for seniors, there was not a cry that it only applied to seniors. Most people today recognize that our income splitting for families is just another measure, not a measure intended to cover all bases.

We would also increase the age credit amount by $2,000. We would double the pension income credit to $2,000 and would increase the amount that guaranteed income supplemented seniors could earn through employment, without any reduction in their GIS benefits, from $500 to $3,500. A single pensioner, for example, earning $3,500, would now be able to keep up to an additional $1,500 in annual GIS benefits.

We would increase the age limit for RRSP to RRIF conversions to 71 from 69.

I will stop here and continue after question period.

Petitions October 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have signed petitions calling upon Parliament to consider the purchase of sex a criminal offence and for pimps and madams not to be able to profit from the sex trade.

Petitions October 23rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition with dozens of signatures from people who are calling upon Parliament to legislate that it be a criminal offence to purchase sex or to pimp in this country.

Property Rights October 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, property rights should be included in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Unfortunately any attempts to amend the Constitution through the general amending formula have failed.

However, the fight for property rights is still a fight worth fighting. More important, it is still a fight worth winning.

I have taken on the giant of constitutionally protecting property rights by means of the smooth stone of section 43, which requires only the approval of a single province if the amendment applies only to that province.

That is why on June 11, I introduced Motion No. 520 to Parliament, a resolution that would add property rights to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Alberta.

I am working closely with Alberta MLAs on this Alberta-led initiative. I have consulted with property rights and constitutional experts who agree that this approach is constitutionally valid and would be a major victory for the cause of property rights in Alberta and lead the way for the rest of Canada.

Immigration October 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, last night one of my staff, Colleen Valin, was honoured by the communities she serves, at the annual immigrant achievement awards. Remarkably, she is the first non-immigrant to receive the award, but organizers unanimously agreed that an exception should be made for Colleen.

Colleen is my chief of staff, and she acknowledges that this award honours the entire staff who work together every day to help constituents dealing with life-changing difficulties and access vital government services. They understand that the work they do is not just an administrative job but that each file they help with represents a human being, a life.

A successful immigration story is not simply about one more person coming to Canada. In many cases it unites families long separated during some of the most difficult conditions in the world. That is why Colleen is often referred to as a beacon of hope by the people she assists.

I would like to thank all of my staff, who show that politics can really be about making the world a better place.

Petitions June 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have several hundred signatures on this petition, which calls upon the government and Parliament to criminalize the purchase of sex with a woman, man or child, and to criminalize pimps, madams, and others who profit from the sex trade.

Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act June 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like the parliamentary secretary to comment on the opposition to this on both sides of the spectrum. One side thinks it is not strong enough because it would decriminalize the prostitutes, while the other side thinks it is too strong because it would go so far as to criminalize the purchasers.

In regard to the people who are against decriminalizing the prostitute, if it is the case that the person being prostituted is not a victim and is one of the perhaps 10% of the cases of people who want to be prostitutes and feel fulfilled, would the parliamentary secretary say that since no one is being victimized, there is no need to criminalize them?

On the other hand, if they are being victimized, should it be that they would not be criminalized either, but that the purchasers should be criminalized because they are clearly exploiting someone?