House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • 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

Lighthouses June 17th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to have a question from the Liberal Party about the environment. I was puzzled about why its members rose today, but upon reflection, it is because this is, in fact, the anniversary of the expansion of the Nahanni National Park sixfold by this Conservative government.

Perhaps that is not the real reason. I think the member rises because this is also the day that the order in council creating the Galapagos of the north, the Gwaii Haanas marine reserve, Canada's first marine national park, was finalized two hours ago.

The Environment June 17th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the opposition is attacking the government while respected international organizations are applauding our efforts. For instance, the March 2010 Pew report ranked Canada sixth for investment in green energy. In April 2010, the International Energy Agency congratulated Canada on its commitment to increase its clean electricity production. Yesterday, the same agency recognized the major efforts Canada is making to develop carbon storage.

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas June 7th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I had the honour a few moments ago to table an order in council to formally establish the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and the Haida Heritage Site, both of these under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act.

This is a remarkable achievement, one that this House envisioned some 23 years ago when it passed at that time a unanimous resolution supporting the protection of the lands and the waters around Gwaii Haanas. The House also called for the participation of the Haida in this conservation initiative.

Canada will become the first country to protect a region from the alpine meadows of the mountaintops, to the depths of the ocean floor beyond the continental shelf. For the Haida people, the land does not exist independently of the sea. By protecting some 5,000 square kilometres of water and land, we acknowledge that sacred connection.

We are working with the Haida to protect some of the world's most abundant and diverse marine habitats, home to over 3,500 kinds of marine species alone. It is known by many in the conservation world as the Galapagos of the north.

For hundreds of generations the Haida Nation has lived in harmony with this environment and today this wealth of marine resources continues to sustain local communities as well as recreational and also commercial fisheries. This new national marine conservation area reserve will ensure that this can continue.

With today's tabling, we take a significant step forward, the penultimate step forward, in protecting the incredible biodiversity in the reserves of Gwaii Haanas and we demonstrate world-class leadership in integrated oceans management.

I especially would like to acknowledge the strong and visionary leadership of my good friend, Guujaaw, President of the Haida Council and the many others within the Haida community, the Haida First Nation, who have done so much to make this marine conservation area a reality.

Together the Government of Canada and the Haida are demonstrating remarkable international leadership in protecting the lands and the waters of Gwaii Haanas for future generations, for our children, our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

I also want to acknowledge the oil and gas companies that voluntarily relinquished their petroleum rights in this special place: Petro-Canada, now Suncor Energy, Shell Canada, ExxonMobil Canada and Chevron Canada. Finally, I want to thank the Nature Conservancy of Canada for subsequently surrendering those rights to the federal administrator on behalf of the companies.

Tomorrow, nations around the world celebrate the oceans. It is a time for Canadians to reflect upon our remarkable marine heritage, from the Atlantic to the Arctic to the Pacific. This year we also celebrate 125 years since Canada created its first postage-sized national park, the Banff National Park at that time. What better way to celebrate World Oceans Day than to create a marine protected area that is unique in Canada, in North America and in the world? It is the first time on this planet that we have protected an ecosystem from 2,000 feet below the surface of the ocean to 4,000 feet above it on the mountaintops.

What better way to celebrate the legacy of our park system than by designating Canada's first national marine conservation area under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, a piece of legislation that is now 10 years old?

This year the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity, Canada is bestowing another remarkable gift to the world. With Parliament's support, which started here 23 years ago, Canada will now provide opportunities for visitors to develop their own personal connections with the wilderness area and opportunities to experience and learn the Haida culture, a truly unique experience in the world. Through these experiences, all Canadians can develop a greater appreciation of the inseparable nature of the land, the sea and our people.

Twenty-three years ago, the House unanimously called for action to protect Gwaii Haanas. Parliament responds today with the finalization of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and the development of a collaborative relationship with the Haida.

Today, on the eve of World Oceans Day, we honour and renew the call to action through an order-in-council to formally establish the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and the Haida Heritage Site. I thank everyone in the House who makes this possible.

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act June 7th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today I am honoured to table in the House, in both official languages, an amendment to the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act that would create the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and the Haida Heritage Site.

The Environment June 7th, 2010

I am not sure, Mr. Speaker, who the under, under, undersecretary is. Perhaps my hon. colleague has met that person.

We have negotiated the Copenhagen accord. Over 120 countries internationally have now associated themselves with that accord, accounting for in excess of 90% of the world's emissions. This is the way forward. The international community is now translating that accord into an international treaty.

Here in Canada, we are taking all of the regulatory domestic actions that we need to achieve the North American standards that we have agreed to. All of these are efforts that the former Liberal government never did, never achieved and never could.

The Environment June 7th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. member would have the temerity to raise the subject of climate change inaction by the government in the House.

In 2008, when the Liberals signed their coalition document, they called upon the government to sign an international agreement to reduce emissions and to work with the United States.

Since that time, we have signed an international agreement, the Copenhagen accord, and we signed the clean energy dialogue with the United States. We have actually reduced our emissions by 2%. We brought in a series or regulatory actions for light vehicles, trucks and heavy trucks. We are working on all sorts of other emissions, doing all of the things that they asked us to do. What is the problem?

Points of Order June 3rd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order relating to allegations made in this House by the member for Outremont during question period on June 1, 2010.

During question period, the member for Outremont posed a question. I will not repeat the entirety of the question, but he concluded by saying:

If the minister truly believes that Canadians want less environmental protection, why does he not have the courage to remove environmental assessments from Bill C-9, the dumpster bill, and submit it to a vote?

I rose to respond to that question, and I said, just for reference, if I might:

[E]very year for the last 10 years the premiers and The Council of the Federation--

I began. At that point, the member for Outremont began yelling words that were taken to be:

Liar. I was one of those ministers. You're lying.

I carried on to say:

[The Council of the Federation] have called for a streamlining of the federal environmental assessment process. The External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation called for the same changes

And I carried on to quote from the Commissioner of the Environment.

The member for Outremont, when asked by the Speaker to withdraw his remarks, replied:

I withdraw the words, but I will repeat them outside of this chamber, because what I said is true: he misled the House.

I want the record to be absolutely clear, and I think in response to the submissions I am making it is appropriate to ask the hon. member to completely withdraw the comments that he made.

If I might be generous in my comments, it would seem that he felt I was implying that he had in some way, as a former minister of a provincial government, voted in favour of changing our environmental assessment.

That is absolutely not what I said. In fact, I did not make any reference to the member for Outremont in relation to this issue in the House, or anywhere else for that matter.

What I said and what is the fact is that the premiers and the Council of the Federation have called for a streamlining of the federal environmental assessment process. The point that I was making to the House was that over the last decade, premiers, the Council of the Federation, have consistently made recommendations to the federal government to make changes to the federal environmental assessment process.

This is fully substantiated by a host of documents, which I am prepared to table in both official languages, in the House here today. I would be happy to take the step of doing that.

I refer, first, to an April 2000 report, which is 10 years ago, entitled the “Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Five Year Review--Provincial and Territorial Input”, recommendations for “changes to certain provisions and aspects of the implementation of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act”, including “cooperative scoping” and “delegation to the province”.

I will table that in the House.

I will also table an excerpted portion of the September 2004 report of the External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation. I will not quote from that at this point, but I will table that document.

I will table a document of October 2006, a letter from the Council of the Federation chair, Premier Williams, to the Prime Minister, requesting, substantially, these changes.

I will table a letter from October 2006 from the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, their official communiqué asking for these changes.

I will table an August 2007 Council of the Federation shared vision document, which identified deficiencies and called for changes.

I will table a January 2009 first ministers communiqué, asking for the cutting of red tape on infrastructure projects.

I will table a June 2009 western premiers communiqué, which said substantially the same thing.

I will table the fall of 2009 report of the Commissioner of Environmental Sustainability.

And in closing, I will table the October 2009 Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment communiqué and the January 2010 letter from Premier Campbell to the Prime Minister advocating these changes.

All of these substantiate precisely what I said in question period, that there have been requests from premiers and from the Council of the Federation, from the smart regulator, and from the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to make the very changes that have been incorporated into the budget implementation act.

I ask the hon. member to withdraw his comment.

Bill C-9 June 1st, 2010

--have called for a streamlining of the federal environmental assessment process. The External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation called for the same changes in 2004. Last year the Commissioner of the Environment said:

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency should propose to the Minister of the Environment options for resolving serious, long-standing federal coordination issues, including the scoping of projects....

That is what needs to be done and that has been done. Why will the NDP not support this legislation?

Bill C-9 June 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, every year for the last 10 years the premiers and The Council of the Federation--

The Environment May 31st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can be proud of the actions of this government relative to the environment.

In the last three years our Conservative government has negotiated the Copenhagen accord, harmonized our targets with the United States, introduced tailpipe emission standards for passenger cars, light trucks and now regulations for heavy duty trucks, established biofuel content regulations for diesel and gasoline, introduced historic national waste water standards for sewage and expanded our national parks by 30%. That is our Conservative legacy.

Mr. Diefenbaker and my colleague can be proud of our larger parks, cleaner water and lower emissions.