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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was report.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Elgin—Middlesex—London (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 58% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House April 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 35th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier today, be concurred in.

Committees of the House April 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Orders 104 and 114 I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 35th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding membership of the committees of the House. If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 35th report later today.

Committees of the House March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 34th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs concerning the question of privilege regarding the free movement of members within the parliamentary precinct.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 23rd, 2015

With regard to government funding in the riding of Elgin—Middlesex—London, for each fiscal year since 2005-2006 inclusive: (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group, broken down by (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency providing the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan identified in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline, (iii) file number of the press release?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 23rd, 2015

With regard to government funding in the riding of Haldimand—Norfolk, for each fiscal year since 2005-2006 inclusively: (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group, broken down by (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency providing the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan identified in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline, (iii) file number of the press release?

Removal of Imprisonment in Relation to Mandatory Surveys Act February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the constituents of Elgin—Middlesex—London for helping me come up with this idea for a private member's bill, the member for Chatham-Kent—Essex for seconding it today, and members of all parties who have suggested they are in favour of it, some reading a lot more into it than there is. I would like to thank them all.

It would be good that Canadians could no longer go to jail for not filling out census forms.

Removal of Imprisonment in Relation to Mandatory Surveys Act February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his kind comments about some of the better legislation that our government has been able to bring forward; some of it has been very large in structure. I thank him for suggesting that we can put anything we want in any of those pieces of legislation. I would be happy to quote him the next time somebody from his party gets up and talks about omnibus bills.

I ran in 2011, and I ran in three elections before that, but this was an issue in the 2011 election with many of the members in my riding. I made a promise that we would get rid of it. As the member knows, we use a lottery system to pick when private members' bills come forward. It is my time. It is my topic. It is what we need to do.

Removal of Imprisonment in Relation to Mandatory Surveys Act February 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the member started off by saying she is confused, and I can hopefully help with that just a little.

This bill, as I have said more than once, would remove jail time and the chance that anyone could ever go to jail for not filling out a survey for Statistics Canada. She may be right that it is not an oft-enforced piece of legislation, so it should not be hard for us to collectively decide to remove it. A great compassionate government like the one that Canada currently enjoys would of course never use that legislation, but why leave it in place to provide an opportunity for bad governments that might follow in the far distant future?

On top of the other statistical data that she asked about that comes from the long form census, the short form census, and the other pieces of information collected by Statistics Canada, we currently have the household survey, a volunteer form, that complements the short form census. Ridings like Elgin—Middlesex—London, where I come from—and many members in the House have ridings exactly like it—run on volunteerism, on people being able to voluntarily help their government by supplying information or doing other things in their communities that are voluntarily driven. The national household survey would continue in that long practice.

Removal of Imprisonment in Relation to Mandatory Surveys Act February 27th, 2015

moved that Bill C-625, An Act to amend the Statistics Act (removal of imprisonment), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, today, I have the privilege of rising in the House and speaking for the first time to private members' bill, Bill C-625, an act to amend the Statistics Act.

The bill would amend the existing law and address two very important issues. First, it would eliminate the threat of jail time for those who refused to complete the census and all mandatory surveys. Second, it would ensure that historians would have the access to census related records, where permission had been granted, 92 years after the information is collected.

Our government recognizes the importance of collecting quality statistical data. Census data serves as a key resource for government departments and agencies when designing their programs and services. It is also important information for businesses in the private sector when planning ahead for future growth and success.

However, Canadians should not be threatened with jail time in order to take part in this important civic exercise. Back in 2010, our government committed to removing the penalty for jail time for anyone who refused to complete the census or any mandatory survey administered by Statistics Canada.

With this bill, I am proud to say that our government is again delivering on its commitments. My bill would remove the jail time provision from under two sections of the Statistics Act, sections 31 and 32. First, we would remove jail time for those who personally refuse to complete the census and mandatory surveys by failing to provide Statistics Canada with their personal information. Second, it would remove jail time for anyone who denies access to any administrative records that Statistics Canada may require. It would also eliminate the threat of jail time for those failing to pay a fine under those two sections.

The threat of jail time in these scenarios is simply inappropriate and it must be removed. Our government has a strong record of being tough on crime and standing up for victims. We have taken decisive action in pursuing measures that combat serious crime and ensuring that penalties and sentences reflect the gravity of the crime committed.

Our record since 2006 includes establishing the youth gang prevention fund, which provides support for successful community programs that assist youth at risk.

We have introduced mandatory prison sentences for serious gun and organized drug crimes. We have implemented mandatory prison sentences for drive-by or reckless shootings. We have toughened bail provisions and penalties for crimes that are committed with guns and linked to organized crime. We have passed new offences to target auto theft and the trafficking of property obtained by crime. We have cracked down on street racing and drug-impaired driving.

We have also announced that we are taking action so that a life sentence will truly mean life behind bars for the worst of the worst criminals.

We have established the anti-drug strategy to help prevent illicit drug use and support access to treatment for those with drug dependencies.

We have included the tougher penalties in the child predator act, which will ensure that those convicted of multiple child sexual offences serve their sentences consecutively.

We have strengthened the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank to better protect our children and our communities from sexual predators.

We have established the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime to provide information on victims' rights and the services for victims. We have strengthened the sentencing and monitoring of dangerous, high-risk offenders. We have introduced the Canadian victims bill of rights, giving victims of a crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system.

Jail time is a punishment for the most serious and heinous offences. We should reserve jail time for those who truly deserve it. It is meant for real criminals, terrorists, child predators and murderers, not for Canadians who fail to complete mandatory surveys. When Canadians are asked to provide their personal information and to participate in any survey, they should be able to do so without threat of imprisonment.

Our government is committed to re-establishing Canada as a country where those who break the law are held accountable for their crimes, where punishments are proportionate to the crime committed and where we defend the rights of our most vulnerable citizens.

The changes in my bill would ensure that Statistics Canada's programs reflect an appropriate balance between the collection of useful information and guaranteeing that the privacy rights of Canadians are upheld.

With that said, I come to the second purpose of the bill. The second major change to the act that I am proposing in Bill C-625 would deliver on another government commitment. An amendment would ask Canadians for their consent to release their personal information in statistical records. Once their consent is given, 92 years following the collection, Canadian information would be released to Library and Archives Canada. It is important to leave a record of present-day Canada for future generations, researchers, historians, and genealogists. The information from today will be valuable for our children and grandchildren, who will contribute to the future growth and prosperity of our great nation.

This change mirrors a 2005 decision that was debated and passed into law by the House to release census records after 92 years. My bill before the House today would simply extend this provision so that it applies to all surveys related to the census of population.

However, I will reiterate that this would not change the consent provision. It would ensure that Canadians continue to have the right to privacy and are able to decide whether their private information should be made available. With this amendment to the Statistics Act, we would be giving Canadians a choice.

In closing, I will say that this bill is good old-fashioned common sense legislation. I would encourage my colleagues from all parties to join me and our government in showing Canadians the respect and confidence they deserve. By removing jail times and maintaining records for future generations, our government would be fulfilling its commitment to continue to collect reliable statistical data while maintaining the privacy of everyday Canadians.

I hope all members will support this piece of legislation.

Committees of the House February 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 33rd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs entitled “M-428, Electronic Petitions”.