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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was procedure.

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

Question No. 71 March 9th, 2005

With regard to the government fuel taxes: ( a ) what formula, if any at all, does the government plan to use for sharing the fuel taxes; ( b ) if such formula is employed, how many cents per litre of fuel taxes collected would flow directly to municipalities; and ( c ) does the government plan to set aside any funds for distribution and, if any ( i ) what would be their amounts, ( ii ) how would they be allocated among Canada’s municipalities, ( iii ) when would the money be allocated?

Sponsorship Program March 8th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have heard some strange fishing tales over the years, but this one is a whopper. Jean Lafleur takes Liberal buddies fishing and buys them expensive equipment, but then forgets who he is in the boat with. We might expect a little exaggeration about the size of the catch, but Canadians are on the hook for these trips.

We know that former Liberal cabinet minister Martin Cauchon received gifts from Lafleur. Will the Prime Minister tell us how many other Liberal cabinet ministers benefited from Lafleur's generosity with taxpayers' money?

The Environment February 25th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it has been reported that the Kyoto Keystone Kops are again abusing automakers. Auto manufacturers are being handed all the work in changing consumer behaviour in order to achieve artificial emission and fuel economy targets by 2010.

Does the minister realize that this could lead to catastrophic job losses, while making little difference in emission and fuel economy levels? If the Minister of the Environment cannot write his own Kyoto plan, why is he forcing the auto manufacturers to do his work for him?

Civil Marriage Act February 21st, 2005

Madam Speaker, I listened closely to the talk of how the review came about. I love the fact that we reviewed the governance of crown corporations mostly by asking crown corporations how they would like to be governed. I think if we ask cronies, we might get the answer as to how to get new cronies.

With much respect, the answers remain the same. The criteria for selecting the chairs of our crown corporations and therefore even our CEOs, since they are selected by the boards of these crown corporations, remain virtually the same, with the minister responsible for those crown corporations having a veto over the selections and an awful lot of input into the selection process to begin with.

I ask the parliamentary secretary, how is it that we did not get that far from where we were?

Civil Marriage Act February 21st, 2005

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board for attending tonight to listen to a follow up on a question that I put to the President of the Treasury Board on the rules that were posted last spring on the appointments for board members, board chairs and CEOs of Canada's crown corporations.

The criteria of March 2004, while not perfect, was what the Canadian public was asking for. I want to read from a recently released “Review of the Governance Framework for Canada's Crown Corporations”:

Good governance requires transparency and accountability.

What Canadians are Saying About Accountability

Canadians are seeking the same assurances from all levels of government: that governments willspend taxpayers' money as though it were their own; provide better and more accessible information on how public funds are being used and what outcomes result from public expenditures; keep the promises that they make;

With that asked for, I can only assume that when the following was posted on the website of the Treasury Board, Canadians looking for accountability cheered and said that after years of cronyism in crown corporations, the rules would now prevent the rewarding of buddies and pals and stop the “who you know” from being the only criteria used when selecting the leadership of our crown corporations.

I will read the four criteria established on March 15 and posted on the Treasury Board website. The criteria were as follows:

A permanent nominating committee will be struck by the board of each corporation. If the board so chooses, this committee may include outside eminent persons to support the work of the board. Among other things, the nominating committee will establish appropriate criteria for candidate selection.

A professional recruitment firm will be engaged to assist these nominating committees in the search for meritorious candidates. In addition, public advertisements will be posted in newspapers and in the Canada Gazette for all openings for the positions of chief executive officer and chair of corporations.

The nominating committee will make recommendations to the board of directors, and the board will provide a short list of candidates to the minister responsible for the corporation. Based on this list, the minister will make a recommendation for appointment.

The appropriate parliamentary committee will then review the candidate recommended by the minister.

Those four criteria from March 15, 2004 seem simple enough. While very clear and concise, however, the Treasury Board president who put them forward almost immediately watered them down and put in plenty of wiggle room when it came to the appointment of the chair at Canada Post. Almost immediately the firm accountability words like “will” and “shall” were changed to words like “may” and “if possible”. They are not very accountable words. There is a lot of room to appoint pals and buddies.

When pressed by the committee as to why the rules were softened and weakened, the response was one of denial of a difference between the two and a referral to this upcoming crown corporation governance framework.

It is upon us now and is it the firm and concise criteria of March 15, 2004, the “cronyism” saving criteria? We have received a weaker version. The people of Canada will find it lacking.

If we set our targets low enough, I guess we will always be able to hit them. Is this the standard the government wants to set? I was hoping for better.

Would the parliamentary secretary like to explain how the rules became so soft?

Parliament of Canada Act February 16th, 2005

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-335, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (oath or solemn affirmation).

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a private member's bill to change the oath of office of members of the House of Commons.

I was shocked, when I took my oath and joined this illustrious group, that it did not mention the word “Canada” at all. Therefore, I am adding to the oath that “I will be loyal to Canada and will perform the duties of a member of the House of Commons honestly and justly”.

I feel it is a way of making a commitment to this great country of ours as a member of Parliament.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada February 15th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the attention of the House the great work done by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is a leading child and youth mentoring organization.

In St. Thomas and surrounding Elgin County the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, in operation for over 35 years, has expanded beyond the traditional matching to include couples matching, singles matching, and my favourite program, the Cops for Kids initiative. These unique programs have led to over 60 matches this year, nearly doubling last year's numbers.

I look forward to continuing to work with Big Brothers Big Sisters in my riding to ensure that every child in St. Thomas and surrounding Elgin County who needs a mentor has a mentor. I encourage Canadians from coast to coast to do the same. Canadians can make a difference.

Budget Implementation Act, 2004, No. 2 February 4th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, here we are at second reading stage of the budget implementation act. Citizens will ask if this is the budget already. No, they should not be fooled; this is about the 2004 budget. The government was so concerned about these changes to Canadians' lives and here we are still speaking about them on the eve of the finance minister's next budget. It is important before we get to a new budget that we look back on the old budget and what was not in it.

We Conservatives have asked the government for tax relief for low and middle income Canadians. It has become more evident of late that despite bragging about great reductions in taxation, Canadians continue to say, “Show me the money”. Despite stated reductions in taxation, the hardworking people of Elgin—Middlesex—London and the rest of Canada have less money in their pockets.

We must find a way to offer needed services to the citizens of this great country and to stimulate the growth of our economy. We must also ensure that any and all money taken from Canadians in the form of taxes, in payroll deductions, or in fees by the government is treated with the respect it deserves. We must remember the source of these funds. The money comes out of the pockets, the wallets, the bank accounts and the piggy banks of Canadians. These funds belong to the people, not the finance minister.

It is the job of the government to wisely collect, account for, and prescribe spending that the country needs to support its people, remembering that the money belongs to the people. We must ensure that only the amount needed to accomplish this and the needs of Canada is taken away from Canada's citizens.

The habit of huge surplus budgets must end. We must, as suggested, implement a fully independent process for forecasting the government's financial situation. The government has proven either through deceit or ignorance that it cannot be trusted not to take billions and billions more from taxpayers than is needed to do the job. If we just left these funds with Canadians in the first place, we would save the cost of collection and influence the disposable incomes of all Canadians.

The government must also ensure that the tax dollars and other funds sent to the government are treated with the respect they deserve. We must erase the waste. The government has a legacy of waste and mismanagement.

One of the areas of waste in this implementation act is still the Air Travellers Security Charge Act, which should be renamed the “something really bad happened so we found a new way to take money from hardworking Canadians act”. This tax needs not to be reduced but eliminated. It is a drag on tourism. It is causing our airports to be expensive places to fly out of. We have continually asked for that tax to be eliminated, but we have not been listened to. We were correct that more money was being taken in than was needed for airport security. Thanks for listening and finally lowering the tax. The next step is complete elimination.

This is just another example of wasteful action on the part of the government. Canadians value their earnings, it seems, greater than the government does.

With the waste in the sponsorship debacle, the gun registry fiasco, and budget errors, the waste is permanently set into each Canadian's mind. Many Canadians cringe each time they send money or have it taken from them when they think of the wasteful areas in which the government has spent it.

Canadians are fully aware of the employment insurance fund hoax. Many young low income earners are stolen from on every paycheque with EI deductions for a program they cannot use. Employers are paying matching contributions into a fund that should be used as an emergency income support fund to assist workers who are out of work through no fault of their own. Instead it goes into a government slush fund. The use for which EI was designed is not being followed.

The bill makes some small attempts at small business tax relief, but in true dithering fashion it does not go far enough.

In the next budget we must see more tax relief. This brings me to the third and perhaps most important area of concern, taxes. Canadians are too heavily taxed. This kills jobs and causes our economy to grow at less than potential. Lower taxes must be a priority and the pace of implementation must be increased.

We continue to hear about the largest tax decrease ever given. The problem is that it is in the future. It is similar to having a sale at the store for washers and dryers 10 years from now. It sounds great if we are there to take advantage of the world's greatest tax decrease.

Starting with low and middle income wage earners, we can improve the quality of life and stimulate spending. That is where it can help the most.

We must see bold attempts at substantial tax relief in the small business sector. The government must stop its practice of half-measures and inadequate solutions and go the whole distance to help the economic engine that drives Canada, the small businesses of this country.

Through tax reduction in this sector we can assist in dealing with the rising dollar and the ever-rising costs. Small business has been crying out for tax reduction and all it has received is a substantial reduction in the income of small business owners.

In conclusion, Bill C-33 has arrived too late. It accomplishes too little and sets expectations for the next budget too low. Let us hope the finance minister is listening to us this time.

Ethics February 3rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to struggle with the definition of ethics. We have very sloppy rules allowing cronies to be appointed to high level and high paying jobs. First, we have minister's pals at Canada Post, then we have Transportation Safety Board buddies at the Christmas party of the Liberals.

The Prime Minister said, “Come hell or high water, I will change the way Ottawa works”. Could the Prime Minister answer which of the two is in his way?

Finance February 1st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his great dissertation today on the prebudget, and I would like to ask him a question.

We as Conservatives have asked the government for tax relief for low and middle income taxpayers and all Canadians. It has become more evident of late that despite bragging about great tax reductions, my constituents continue to say “Show me the money”. Hard-working people in Elgin--Middlesex--London have less money in their pockets considering what they have said about this.

We have to ensure that money taken from Canadians is treated with respect. In the member's comments he stated some places where we think, at the end of the day, our constituents could end up with a little more money where it really counts, and that is in their pockets. At the end of this budget process, does he believe that good Canadians and constituents in his riding and mine will end up with more money where it counts, in their wallets?