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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

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

Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of concerns about the opposition to the bill. A lot of the opposition is based on the assumption that the current status quo is full legalization.

In the sex worker's letter he quoted, the lady was describing activities that are already illegal. Advertising, soliciting sexual services, and doing it both online and in public are already illegal activities. If these people are already willing to give their information during this illegal activity, I am not sure why they would not under this new legislation.

This legislation actually does meet the spirit of the Supreme Court ruling. It was clear in its ruling that it was not only open to it but was requesting that Parliament seek legislation around prostitution. To just decriminalize it or legalize it all we would have to do is let the year go by. It was clear that it wanted to do something more than just get rid of all legislation.

I would like the member to comment on this and explain how this does not meet the spirit of the Supreme Court ruling.

Divorce Act May 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am speaking in support of Bill C-560, which is the bill to amend the Divorce Act to make equal shared parenting arrangements for children following the divorce of their parents, except in proven cases of abuse or neglect.

I must admit that when this bill was first tabled and started to get some public attention and I started to pay attention to it, I was a bit surprised to see how controversial it became. I expected that most people would be in favour of it. That is part of the reason we have debate. It is because sometimes assumptions are challenged. I will say that the arguments against the bill seem as sincere as the arguments in favour of it.

I do not want to say anything about the intent of people who disagree with me on this bill. However, I will say that at home, when I have the occasional constituent come to talk to me about divorce law and family law problems, without exception, the problems have been fathers feeling that they are not getting fair representation through the courts and that the whole system is stacked against fathers having access to their children.

I want to make very clear that my support for this bill is not about preserving fathers' rights. It is not about mothers' rights. It is about the children's rights. It is not just about their rights but about the good of the children. When we talk about the good of the children, sometimes I wonder why we always say, “it is for the good of the children”. Why do children get this emphasis that other human beings do not get? It is not that children are more important. It is that children have not done anything to cause the grief they receive because of the mistakes adults make. Also, children just happen to be the people who will turn into adults who run the world, and if we have the children's best interests at heart and in mind, and we actually look after the children's best interests, by extension, we cannot fail in looking after the best interests of society as a whole.

Beyond children in and of themselves, when we have the best interests of families at heart and the best interests of families in our minds, we look after the interests of society, because family is the fundamental unit of society. When we do harm to the family, we cannot avoid doing harm to society. Decisions we make in this place, or any other place where we make decisions for all of society, must focus on children, and not just on children as individuals but on children as parts of families.

We live in a time when most men and boys are essentially fatherless. If men and boys are fatherless, so are the daughters. We live in a time when we lament violence against women, when we lament irresponsibility. Without fathers, we cannot teach our boys to treat women properly, and it is more difficult for daughters without their fathers to have a sense of who they are as well. Whatever the circumstances, when children do not have a father in the home, they find themselves on their own to figure out life, and they find out that it is a lonely place to be. They will often be ruled by their fears and anger and boredom, when lots of times all they seek is the affection of a father. There are many addictions that come from this fatherless place within them, a fundamental uncertainty in the core of their being.

In our art, our literature, our poems, our movies, our novels, there are so many written about children seeking out their parents, and in particular, their fathers. Lots of real life stories are about adopted children who at a certain age have an inner angst in their soul to find out who their parents are. They love their adopted parents and see them as their parents, but there is something inside of our souls that seeks to be connected with our fathers and our mothers.

The bill is in response to the fact that in today's current divorce law, it is fathers who are usually left out of the children's lives, and by extension, the children are left out of the fathers' lives.

What does fatherhood do? What does it teach people in general, kids in general? It is the new-found position as a requirement of the good life. It shows people how to fulfill duty. It binds us to other people in general. It binds us for real to a woman or to another adult. It is the only thing that still can do this.

Nowadays, marriage is instantly reversible and a negotiable contract, but fatherhood is not. Through this law, we will bring fathers closer to the hearts of the children and the children to the fathers.

The bill may not be perfect yet, but it is on the right track. We need to bring it to committee so we can examine it more closely. The concerns people have brought up about the bill can be addressed at committee. We cannot let it die at this point. We need to bring it to the next level. I encourage everyone in the House to vote in favour of the bill to bring it to committee.

Extension of Sitting Hours May 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member of Parliament for the past 20 minutes has talked about all the work that the NDP does through talking. In that same 20 minutes, he said “we spend all our work talking”. In the same 20 minutes he said, “we spend all our work talking and in the meantime, we want to get things done”.

My constituents never ask me how much talking I have done, or how many times I have repeated myself in the same hour to convince the inconvincible.

Kidnapping of Girls in Nigeria May 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's discussion on the history of kidnapping and human rights atrocities by terrorist groups in Nigeria. This is not the first incident. I appreciate her call upon Canada and the rest of the world to respond to these things sooner, to realize how terrible these situations are. If something like this happened here at home, it would not take two weeks for us say that this is a problem.

One of the things I appreciate about her historical approach is that in the 1990s Canada had a major role to play against the military regime in Nigeria. We called upon other countries to use diplomacy against that regime. Even though that was an illegitimate government, it was a government. This is a terrorist group and we need to treat it as such.

I would ask for the member's comments on this being not just an issue about bringing these particular people home, but part of an overarching war on terror.

Kidnapping of Girls in Nigeria May 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have a letter from a Nigerian-born Canadian in my riding who is a founder of a charity that sets up rural schools in Nigeria. He and the Nigerian community in my riding and people from neighbouring countries are very concerned.

My colleague is a champion of human rights and is especially against human trafficking. He calls upon Canada to continue its influence, not just in Nigeria but with neighbouring countries, such as Cameroon, Niger, and Chad and the international community, such as the United Kingdom and the United States. He is calling on us to use our influence to inspire these countries to help us, because it is such a major issue.

Could the member please comment on why human trafficking, the kidnapping of these 300 girls, is worthy of this international attention?

Mothers May 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I had a great kindergarten teacher, but I can honestly say that everything I ever needed to know to be successful in life, I learned from my mother.

She taught by example. She taught by instruction. She taught through love and patience. I have found these same qualities of selflessness, compassion, hard work, laughter, and love, in my wife, the mother of my four children.

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother and to teach them to treat her with the utmost respect and reverence.

Violence against women is not compatible with respect for mothers. True honour and respect for mothers translates into respect for girls and women, daughters and wives.

I stand today to honour the two most important women in my life, my mother and my wife.

Petitions April 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, petitioners in my riding are not happy that there is a chance that Canada will have no laws around prostitution and human trafficking. They call upon the House of Commons to criminalize the offence to purchase sex with a woman, man, or child, and to make it criminal for pimps, madams, or others to profit from the proceeds of that sex trade.

Petitions March 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this petition calls on Parliament to respond to Canada's Supreme Court, which says that we have a responsibility to enact abortion legislation. Therefore, the petitioners call upon us to speedily enact legislation that restricts abortion to the greatest extent possible. The petitioners are mostly from my riding in southern Alberta.

Petitions February 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition calling upon Parliament and the government to make a change to the Criminal Code of Canada with respect to drinking and driving. The petitioners wish the charges to be more severe, moving up toward vehicular manslaughter.

The Budget February 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today is budget day. The economy remains our top priority because it is the priority of the vast majority of Canadians. It is their priority because things cost money.

We all love our health care system. We love our education, our roads, our libraries, and parks. Most Canadians understand the inescapable truth that everything eventually must be paid for, that they cannot get something for nothing. So, they support our commitment to eliminate the deficit and balance the budget.

If difficult decisions are not made now, even more difficult decisions will be unavoidable in the future.

The message is simple: keep taxes low; reduce redundant red tape; and get rid of government waste; and yes, invest in infrastructure, education and training; open up trade with other countries and create a business friendly environment; and then get out of the way, let the Canadian people continue to create jobs, opportunities and wealth, and then let them keep their own money and decide for themselves how to spend it.