- His favourite word was aboriginal.
Last in Parliament November 2010, as Conservative MP for Calgary Centre-North (Alberta)
Won his last election, in 2008, with 57% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Resignation of Member November 4th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, after meeting with the Ethics Commissioner today, I have informed the Prime Minister that I am resigning from cabinet effective immediately. Furthermore, I will be resigning as the member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North by the end of 2010.
When I entered federal politics in 2001, I made a commitment that my time in politics would last 8 to 10 years. It has now, remarkably, been 9 years, and it is time for me to pursue new opportunities outside of public life.
I have, therefore, today accepted a position with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce as the vice-chairman of the bank and as the senior executive vice-president of the bank effective January 1, 2011.
This career opportunity will enable me to continue having an impact on Canadian society, but in a different way. My decision to leave was made in part because of the unique opportunity I was offered, and I am very excited to take up this challenge.
My continued support for the Prime Minister and for the government and my lifelong support of the Conservative Party of Canada, like my commitment to our country, is unwavering. I am proud of the accomplishments of Prime Minister Harper's government. I am proud of my contributions as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Minister of Industry and Minister of the Environment.
I want to extend my sincere thanks to the people of Calgary Centre-North for their faith and support since 2004 and to all those who have contributed their efforts to my campaigns.
I thank the Prime Minister, in closing, for the opportunity to have served the people of Canada and to have been in his cabinet. It has been my honour to work with the Prime Minister, with my cabinet colleagues, my caucus colleagues and indeed with all members of the House of Commons.
Questions on the Order Paper November 2nd, 2010
Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), as part of the 2005-2010 St. Lawrence plan, which results from a Canada-Quebec agreement that consolidates the government's long-term commitment to conserve, protect and enhance the St. Lawrence ecosystem, all the investments granted were focused on the protection, restoration and management of the St. Lawrence River. No government expenditure was invested in infrastructure for wastewater treatment.
Federal government expenditures under the 2005–2010 St. Lawrence plan were in the neighbourhood of $72 million and were intended to promote ecological integrity, environmentally responsible economic activities, community commitment and informed, concerted and integrated governance of the St. Lawrence.
On an annual basis, federal government investments in the St. Lawrence plan were in the order of: for 2005-06, $17 million; for 2006-07, $16 million; for 2007-08, $12 million; and for 2008-09, $15 million. For 2009-10 the amount is estimated to be $12 million. The final amount will appear in the 2005–2010 five year report that is being prepared.
The information for the first four years of the SLP is presented in the 2005–2007 and 2007–2009 biennial reports: http://www.planstlaurent.qc.ca/centre_ref/publications/rap_bien_05_07/Rap_biennal_e.pdf http://www.planstlaurent.qc.ca/centre_ref/publications/rap_bien_07_09/Rap_biennal_e.pdf
In response to (b), federal government funds invested in the St. Lawrence plan come from regular programs of the Canada-Quebec agreement partner departments and agencies: Canadian Space Agency; Parks Canada; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Environment Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Transport Canada; and Public Works and Government Services Canada.
In response to (c), since we are currently in a transition phase, we are unable to quantify our investments. Nevertheless, the St. Lawrence ecosystem protection and conservation activities are continuing through regular departmental and agency programs, demonstrating an unequivocal commitment to protecting this ecosystem.
In response to (d), negotiation of the new Canada-Quebec agreement for renewal of the St. Lawrence plan are under way with the Government of Quebec and are going well. The two governments are discussing a long-term Canada-Quebec agreement in order to co operate and coordinate their efforts to conserve and enhance the St. Lawrence in a sustainable manner. They are also addressing the issue of solidifying their efforts through implementation of a short-term action plan and by discussing common goals related to the three priority issues identified for the St. Lawrence: biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and water quality improvement.
The Environment October 7th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, we have all had a visceral reaction to what we have seen in Hungary, but I think that we should be responsible in what we say to Canadians.
First, there were clear indications of long-term instability in the dam that broke. In Canada, facilities are designed and constructed to a much higher standard, the Canadian Dam Association's dam safety guidelines of 1999.
They demand long-term stability. They take into consideration seismic conditions and worst-perceived local conditions. In Canada, these kinds of facilities are safe and we do not have the problems that others have experienced elsewhere.
The Environment October 7th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, I welcome my hon. friend's question. I think she is fully aware that the only abatement technology to actually reduce carbon emissions from, for example, coal-fired electricity plants is carbon capture and storage.
She would surely be aware that over 40% of the carbon in the atmosphere today actually came from burning coal. This is the only technology that holds the promise of reducing these emissions. Canada leads the world. We are spending more per capita on these investments than any other country. This has been acknowledged by the International Energy Agency and many other agencies.
Environment October 6th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, I am tabling Canada's first federal sustainable development strategy.
The Environment September 29th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, there was a spill of oil products at the Suncor facility in Montreal. That is true. Environment Canada promptly arrived at the scene and worked with the emergency response team from the Quebec environment department. I have been assured that the leak has been stopped. We thank them for their co-operation. The exact cause of the spill of 35 barrels of light diesel is not known, but an investigation is under way.
The Environment September 24th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend goes too far, even by the standards of this place.
Clearly, we have to be the most environmentally responsible producer of all forms of energy in this country and that includes the oil sands. To that end, we are taking very specific steps in response to the scientific criticism that has been made about the existing water monitoring.
I have met with Dr. Schindler who authored those reports. I have met with the premier and the minister of the environment of the province. We have initiated a federal panel of federally appointed scientists, the leading scientists in this country on water monitoring. They will ensure that we have a state-of-the-art world-class monitoring regime in place, and if we do not, we will ensure we have one.
G8 and G20 Summits September 24th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, in terms of this report, to which the hon. member speaks, in terms of Environment Canada, I can assure the member that every precaution is being taken to ensure that our staff is drinking safe drinking water.
The steps that have been taken with respect to drinking water relate to circumstances on field trips, circumstances where our employees do not have access to safe drinking water. Every attempt is being made at this point to ensure those costs are reasonable and that employees of the Government of Canada are safe.
The Environment September 23rd, 2010
Mr. Speaker, there is a fair bit of indignation from my friend from the Liberal Party when in fact most of the companies that produce oil and bitumen from the oil sands were approved under the environmental regime of the former Liberal government.
However, this government is dealing with the issue. We have struck a panel of advisers. We have also secured a piece of digital fingerprinting equipment that will allow us to trace any substances in the Athabasca River back to their original source. We are dealing with this. We will deal with it with the best scientists in the country and Canada will stand by its reputation to be the most environmentally conscious producer of energy.
The Environment September 23rd, 2010
Mr. Speaker, I welcome my hon. colleague to his responsibilities, which I understand is as critic for water.
Our objective as a country must be to be the most environmentally sustainable producer of all kinds of energy, and that includes the oil sands. I am well aware of Dr. Schindler's research. I have read his peer reviewed publications. In fact, I travelled via Edmonton last week and met with Dr. Schindler face to face.
As my hon. friend knows, the questions that he has raised relate to the state of the water monitoring regime that is in place in Alberta. Since that time, I have met with the Premier of Alberta and the minister of environment and have expressed my concerns to them. It is for this reason that we are moving ahead with a panel of Canada's most distinguished scientists to deal with this issue.