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

Aboriginal Affairs November 17th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, it is bizarre that the Deputy Prime Minister would claim that this process is a success. Today the grand chief said that the system is biased, it is abusive, it is unequal, and it is going to take 53 years and cost $2 billion in administrative costs. What a success.

Would the Deputy Prime Minister please stand up and tell the House why she did not tell the House that her own officials have admitted that the system is deeply flawed?

Aboriginal Affairs November 17th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the Deputy Prime Minister proclaimed her pride in the residential school claims program. Today the AFN condemned this system, saying that it is deeply flawed and that the government is re-victimizing aboriginal Canadians.

Now it is reported that the government has issued dozens upon dozens of contracts, suspiciously each in the amount of $88,460, for management consulting services. The victims are not getting this money. Who is getting the money? Who are these consultants? Let the Deputy Prime Minister answer.

Supply November 16th, 2004

Mr. Chair, the minister has refused to apologize to aboriginal women but has indicated there is more work to do. Referring again to the Amnesty International report, does the work which has to be done concern the shortage of adequate housing, mass unemployment, high rates of suicide among aboriginal youth, and failure to provide safe and adequate drinking water in aboriginal communities? Is this where the work is to be done?

Supply November 16th, 2004

Mr. Chair, I did not ask the minister if she was reflecting. I asked the minister if she would apologize to aboriginal women tonight. I take it that the answer is that she will not apologize to aboriginal women for the failure of the Canadian government to protect them.

Supply November 16th, 2004

Mr. Chair, the minister has testified tonight that she recognizes the concerns in the Amnesty International report “Stolen Sisters”. That report says that Canadian authorities have failed in their responsibility to protect the rights of indigenous women in Canada. Will the minister apologize to aboriginal women for the government's failure to protect them?

Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act November 16th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the capacity building exercises that my friend has spoken of, but I did not hear any specific response to the recommendations of the external adviser, which are very detailed in nature. In particular, the cooperation plan which my friend has referred to predates the external adviser's report. The external adviser's report is a specific response to the failure of the government to follow up on that cooperation plan.

The Government of Canada has failed in its basic obligation to this point to staff the regulatory authorities of which we are speaking. The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board has no chairman at this point in time. The Inuvialuit environmental review board will have no chair as of February of this year and none of the government's appointees have been named to the board. The consequence of this is that the regulatory authorities in question are not able to proceed in the manner contemplated in the cooperation plan.

Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act November 16th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, on October 22, I asked a question of the Deputy Prime Minister in relation to the Mackenzie Valley pipeline. I queried at that time why the Liberal government had failed in its duty to streamline the northern regulatory process. The question was addressed by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, who declined to answer. Today's question represents a follow-up to that exchange.

In mid-October of this year the Senate and the Congress of the United States of America enacted legislation to streamline the American regulatory process which governs the American stretch of the Alaska natural gas pipeline. The comparison between the Canadian and the American regulatory environment is germane, because there are two competing pipelines at issue. The early approval and construction of either will have a direct bearing upon the economics, the timing and perhaps even the feasibility of the other. This interrelationship has been styled by some as the great pipeline race.

Most respected commentators agree that Canada has more to lose in this particular contest. The proven Canadian gas reserves are smaller than those in Alaska and some fear that the delays in the approval of Canada's Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline could imperil the very feasibility of the Canadian pipeline itself. If that happens, all Canadians will lose the benefits of this project, but the northern community, especially the aboriginal consortium which owns one-third of the proposed Canadian pipeline, will lose an opportunity of immense proportions.

By contrast to the Americans, the Canadian government has created a regulatory framework in northern Canada which has proven so complex, so unwieldy, so fraught with uncertainty and delay that it actually imperils the Mackenzie Valley pipeline project.

The authority for that statement is the government's own external advisory committee on smart regulation which released its report in September 2004. That report criticizes the northern regulatory framework. It describes it as a complex and unpredictable cobweb of regulations involving multiple federal government departments and territorial and aboriginal authorities.

The report highlights the fact that what the government has done in the north has been to create complexity rather than remove complexity. By comparison, the Americans search for an environment of uncertainty. Our government offers confusion, delay, opacity and bureaucracy, all of which jeopardize both the economic and the environmental objectives of northern Canadians.

The report leaves little to the imagination. It puts forward four very specific recommendations. It calls upon the government to create a regulatory framework which is timely, transparent, predictable, clear and certain; to create a single window approach to coordinated regulation with mandatory response timelines; to appoint a federal coordinator with clear decision making authority to get the process moving; and to provide training to build capacity among the 13 regulatory organizations with overlapping jurisdiction.

I therefore ask the minister to respond today and tell Canadians what the government is doing to implement the recommendations of the external advisory committee in relation to the northern pipeline. What is the government doing to clear up the regulatory confusion which imperils the economic future of the north?

Aboriginal Affairs November 15th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal legacy is starting to become apparent: promise a lot and deliver very little.

This performance report completed by the minister's department does not talk about operational costs. It talks about the program being fully operational and operated in the most efficient manner possible. It is bizarre that the minister thinks that this is a success. I ask the minister to look into the eyes of the victims of residential school abuse and tell them she is satisfied that 80% of their compensation is going toward bureaucracy.

Aboriginal Affairs November 15th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, this is a government of empty platitudes and promises when it comes to our country's aboriginal peoples. Three years ago, the Liberals established a program to compensate victims of residential school abuse, but as it turns out, 80% of the $80 million which has been spent has gone to Liberal waste and mismanagement.

Canadians have now learned that for every $5 budgeted and spent on victims of residential school abuse, only $1 reaches those citizens. I call upon the minister to explain this disgraceful--

The Environment November 15th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, last week the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment released its report on the impacts of a warming Arctic.

The report says that the Liberal government has failed in its responsibility to protect our north and Canada's environment. The Liberals are losing sovereignty over the Arctic. The Liberals are losing opportunities for economic and northern development. The Liberals have lost when it comes to managing the environment. If the Liberal government is not careful, its inaction will lead to the loss of a way of life that predates the existence of our great country.

The fact is the government has failed to put into place a realistic plan to address environmental problems. The result is that real damage can now be seen from the remoteness of the Arctic Circle to the smog that hovers over Canada's major cities.

Sovereignty is not about sending a ship through the Arctic waters once a year or conducting some military exercises. Real sovereignty is about working with aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians to ensure that development is done in a responsible manner. That includes environmental protection.

Once again, an independent report has highlighted the failures of the government--