House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was great.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2021, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Energy Efficiency Act May 6th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, a tax credit that is good for all Canadians does not become bad because it fails to apply to some Canadians. In both cases, the parties opposite were invited to provide input in prebudget consultations. In neither case did we get that.

Our government has produced a tax credit that is immensely popular across Canada. Next time around, I would hope the hon. member for Halifax West and my other colleague would present creditable comments during the time for consultation.

We also heard that the Conservatives had done nothing and had—

Committees of the House March 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that ringing declaration of freedom, something for which Canadians can stand up and be proud, and that is protecting voiceless people around the world. It is exciting to be in this chamber to hear that.

Could my colleague answer the following question? I see in the very large, robust and dynamic Persian-Iranian community in Canada, many of whose members I represent from the north shore of Vancouver, has similar concerns for these issues. I know, for instance, that on April 17, a great member of this community, Nazanin Afshin-Jam of Persian background, will speak in front of over a thousand people on human rights issues in Iran and around the world.

Could my colleague help me understand how we can uphold the Persian and Iranian people in Canada who are struggling to make known their condemnation of those abuses and ensuring that we, as parliamentarians, distinguish between our condemnation of the government of Iran and its abuses on the one hand from the wonderful contributions that the Persian-Iranian people are making in Canada on the other hand?

Committees of the House March 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I listened to that moving address with great interest. I wonder if the member opposite would care to comment on a distinction that needs to be made between his condemnation of the Government of Iran and the respect he may have for the people in Canada of Persian and Iranian background and the contributions they have made to Canada?

Norouz March 23rd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, with the coming of spring, millions of people around the world have observed the Persian New Year, Norouz. The people of Iran have celebrated Norouz, the first day of spring for over 3,000 years. In recognition of this occasion, and as the government liaison to the Persian and Iranian community in Canada, I am delighted to extend my warmest greetings to all those in Canada who are celebrating this new year holiday.

In Canada, this gives us an occasion to embrace our brothers and sisters of Persian background and to learn more about the proud Persian culture, history and language. We in Canada draw tremendous strength from the rich history and diverse heritage which shape our lively cultural landscape. We acknowledge the contribution to Canada of people of Persian background.

This is a celebration that makes all of us in Canada happy. To repeat those words in Farsi, Jashnay Norouz dar Canada mojebay shadiay hameeay maas. Norouz Mobarak.

Paralympic Games March 12th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, today marks the one year countdown to the Canada's Paralympic Games.

Our venues are built on time and on budget. Our athletes are ready and are gearing up for the games. They are winning medals on the world stage and are making Canada proud.

Would theMinister of State for Sport update the House on how Canada is ready to host the world at our Paralympic Games.

Infrastructure February 25th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, throughout the last month this government has made significant investments in infrastructure in all corners of our great country. Communities small and large will benefit from our unprecedented commitments.

Can Canada's Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities please remind the House of the great work that our government has been doing to improve infrastructure nationwide?

Business of Supply February 24th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I admire the member's dedication to her community.

The national regulatory regime brought in with the budget has two aspects to it.

First, having had a career in international law and business, I have seen how hard it is to compete for international investment and international business. Having one regulator which can be understood by foreign business people as well as Canadians is bound to improve ultimately our whole securities system.

Second, consolidating resources at the national level would not, by any means, exclude the ability of provinces to participate in regulating this very--

Business of Supply February 24th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, if there is a difference between the Bloc Québécois and the Government of Canada, it is that the Government of Canada hears what Canadians are saying, whereas the Bloc Québécois does not hear the people of Quebec. There were many consultations during the few weeks leading up to the tabling of the budget in this House. That is why we now have a budget that is not a Conservative budget, but a Canadian budget that holds the promise of a healthy future, with a robust economy for all Canadians, for Canadians from Alberta, British Columbia and also Quebec.

That is not surprising, since that is the very reason for the Bloc Québécois's presence in this House. That is why the motion before us is so lacking in credibility. And that is why I call on my fellow members to oppose this motion.

Business of Supply February 24th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, several reasons have led me to take part in this debate on the motion tabled in the House by the hon. member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain, calling on the government to remove two measures contained in the latest budget.

I would first challenge the relevance of this motion, the wording of which is perfectly unintelligible. The budget was passed democratically by this House. Yet the Bloc Québécois—which is never lacking in imagination—is now calling on the House to revisit that debate and remove certain aspects that it believes ill serves Quebec's interests, which it purports to defend tooth and nail, hand on heart.

I do not believe that the Bloc's attitude, as reflected in this motion, serves anyone's interests. Quebecers, like all Canadians, are pleased with the passage of our government's economic action plan. And like all Canadians, they understand all too well how the current economic situation impels the Government of Canada to take strong, targeted measures in response. And that is exactly what we have done.

What is more, we have done so in a spirit of consultation and cooperation. We have consulted extensively with Canadians, governments, municipalities and First Nations. Contacts have been established and meetings have taken place with all governments. The opposition parties have also been a part of that process.

On December 17, the Minister Finance met with his provincial and territorial colleagues in Saskatoon. I would point out that the provinces were informed at that meeting of the changes to the equalization formula. On January 16, our Prime Minister met with the premiers and territorial leaders to reach agreement on measures to stimulate the Canadian economy.

At that meeting, the country's political leaders agreed to work on carrying out a number of those measures with the main objective of strengthening the domestic economy and making new, substantial investments to ensure ongoing access to credit and protect Canadians' pension plans. For workers and job seekers, they agreed to change two aspects of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), thus enhancing labour mobility. On infrastructure, they agreed to take immediate measures to get projects up and running and to fast-track funding for projects starting in the 2009 and 2010 construction season.

The economic action plan tabled by the Minister of Finance reflects the intentions expressed by the premiers and territorial leaders on January 16, notably by making new, substantial investments in the budget to support the economy in the short term and also prepare it for longer-term challenges. Through that budget presented by the Minister of Finance, our government is firmly committed to the path of economic recovery, and we hope that our partners will be as well, in light of the results obtained at the meeting with the premiers and territorial leaders.

That was the spirit in which the budget was designed and prepared. So I am astonished that the motion by the honourable member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain talks about, for example, an unacceptable intrusion into Quebec's fields of jurisdiction, in the case of a national securities commission. What does that mean, exactly?

The budget clearly states that the government will first set up an office to plan the transition towards the new system. In addition, it will consult participating authorities on tabling a securities bill later this year. Moreover, the government is working with willing provinces and territories to establish a more efficient, streamlined system for regulating securities, reflecting regional expertise and interests.

You will note that I referred only to the provinces and territories “willing” to take part in this process. Those that are unwilling will not have to do so, as they are invited on a voluntary basis. And a voluntary basis in no way means an unacceptable intrusion into a field of provincial jurisdiction.

I hasten to point out our Prime Minister's renewed commitment to respect provincial fields of jurisdiction, which has always been a cornerstone of our government's relations with the provinces. So much for the first part of the motion.

The second pertains specifically to equalization. Equalization payments have increased by 56% since 2003-04, and they were already increasing at an unsustainable pace, given the recent volatility of natural resources markets. The government is acting to ensure that increases in equalization payments are more in line with economic growth, so as to ensure the viability of the program and protect the provinces against any overall decrease in equalization payments.

Transfers will continue to increase, at a rate of 6% a year for the Canada health transfer and 3% for the Canada social transfer. Equalization payments will continue to increase at the same pace as the economy. Total assistance to the provinces by the Government of Canada, including for infrastructure, will reach a record $60 billion in 2009-10.

Under this budget, Quebec will continue to receive substantial federal transfers in 2009-10, to the tune of $17.6 billion, up $700 million over last year and roughly $5.2 billion more compared with 2005-06. That longer-term support is increasing. And that means that Quebec has the resources it needs to provide key public services and contribute towards common national objectives, including in the fields of health care, post-secondary education and other key components of Canada's social safety net. With respect to equalization, Quebec will receive over $8.3 billion in 2009-10, an increase of $3.5 billion, or 74%, since 2005-06.

One of the criticisms in this motion regarding the equalization calculation suggests that Quebec would be treated unfairly with respect to Hydro-Québec dividends. The difference is that Hydro-Québec, unlike Hydro One, which is mentioned in the motion, is a corporation that produces hydroelectricity. That is why it is included in the natural resources revenue base.

With respect to the Canada health transfer, Quebec will receive $5.8 billion, $279 million more than it did last year. Quebec's share of the Canada social transfer amounts to $2.5 billion, up by more than $373 million, or 17.4%, since 2005-06.

I could talk at length about the support that the Minister of Finance's budget provides Quebec in other spheres of activity. Quebec will receive $1.9 billion for skills upgrading, $1.9 billion more in employment insurance benefits and $4.5 billion to keep down employment insurance contributions in 2009-10 forecast at the national level.

The province will obtain its fair share of the $4.5 billion. That is a lot.

Olympic Winter Games February 12th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, February 12, 2009 marks the one year countdown to the official opening ceremonies of the 21st Olympic Winter Games.

In exactly one year, Canada will welcome the world. Canadians from every corner of our country will be able to participate in this once in a generation opportunity as we showcase our athletes, artists, culture and heritage.

Today, in Whistler, the Minister of State for Sport unveiled the made-in-Canada torch that will be carried across our country. Communities from coast to coast to coast will be able to welcome and celebrate this record-setting journey.

Olympians, like Jennifer Heil and Clara Hughes, are a few of our Olympic champions. Just last weekend our Canadian athletes won an amazing 28 medals, including 14 gold.

Among the exciting new signature venues is the Richmond Oval.

Thanks to the government's strong support for elite athlete development and increased investment in sports infrastructure, I am certain that the 2010 Canadian games will be a smashing success.