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

Olympic Athletes February 9th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, over the weekend, our athletes, both overseas and at home, had a record-shattering medal haul, winning 28 medals, including a dozen gold.

Some of those medals were won in the Olympic venues at Cypress Mountain and Whistler in the riding I have the honour to represent.

With just over one year until the 2010 Canadian Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, would the Minister of State for Sport update the House on the status of our Olympic athletes?

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act February 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, thank you for saying the name of the riding, because if I did, I would use up all my speaking time.

I listened with considerable interest to the last several speeches. Certainly the plight of the workers in this industry is one we should all care about.

However, I would like to ask the Liberal member opposite who just gave his speech to reply to a question. We have heard his colleagues chiding the government for not dealing with the “buy American ” policy that could result in the loss of Canadian jobs. As he advocates a “buy Canadian” policy, how does he rationalize that position with the need for us not to spark trade wars that would hurt not only Canadians but also our trading partner friends?

The Budget January 29th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I do believe this is a time to abandon partisan games and to participate together in fighting for a strengthened economy.

This is the Prime Minister who prepared this country to be the top of the heap of the G7. This is the Prime Minister who is the toast of the G20. This is the Prime Minister who helped pay down $37 billion in debt. This is the Prime Minister who has, albeit reluctantly, put our country into a short-term deficit from which we will emerge by 2013, stronger and more robust than ever.

The Budget January 29th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I share the concern of the member opposite for social justice.

First, I would like to thank my colleague opposite. Personally and professionally, I have invested a lot of time in helping those less fortunate, here in Canada and abroad.

Like my colleague, I was very interested in what this budget proposed to do for less fortunate men and women, particularly the homeless.

I believe that this budget strikes an excellent balance between the needs of the homeless and the importance of economic stimulation. For example, according to page 124 of the English version of the economic action plan, the government will invest $1 billion over two years in renovating social housing. This kind of measure will promote cooperation between the federal government and its provincial and territorial partners.

This measure will also encourage more effective—

The Budget January 29th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, two days ago, we members of Parliament gathered to hear the historic economic action plan for Canadians. This plan is not only what Canadian federalists were hoping for, it is also a plan that provides hope for all Canadians.

Our nation is suffering the effects of a global recession. We are a trading people who could not escape unscathed, though we still enjoy the most stable economy in the G7. I would like to address the values that animate this plan, touch on some national implications, and relate how the plan affects people on a local level in areas that are most meaningful to them.

By background, I have spent much of my professional life in the Pacific Rim in roles as lawyer, businessman, and in an unofficial capacity, as diplomat. I have seen the great benefits that come from building bridges between people of different languages, cultures and communities. The plan itself, about which we have heard in this chamber, builds bridges between people of different languages, cultures and communities. It is a plan that unifies Canadians and gives us hope.

I add my congratulations to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the many other MPs who engaged the Canadian public in the most extensive and inclusive consultation process in budget history. At the national level, it has been documented that our Canadian government interacted with Canadians on more than 10,000 occasions, including direct consultations and opinions submitted by email and mail.

Like many colleagues here, I followed the lead of our Prime Minister and actively sought out constituents' opinions on the budget. In my riding, I met or spoke with all twelve local government leaders, three first nations chiefs and the MLAs, and dialogued with hundreds of other constituents.

The meeting that most vividly illustrated the approach of the Conservative government was the town hall meeting convened by the Minister of Finance himself, who attracted 480 people to a meeting in West Vancouver's Park Royal Shopping Mall, where he stood among some of the retail stores hardest hit by the economic downturn. This event provided constituents the opportunity to present their ideas directly to the minister and about 50 people made it to the microphones. Canadians of every imaginable background and political persuasion were present at the meeting.

My riding is known for its vast diversity. It is an almost perfect split between rural and urban. Far-flung geographically, it is the fourth largest in the country and takes ten hours and two ferry rides to travel from North Vancouver in the south to Powell River in the north. The upscale condominiums of West Vancouver contrast with the beleaguered pulp mills of Gibsons and Powell River. Significant numbers of people hail from Persian, Iranian, Chinese, Korean and Punjabi backgrounds. Three first nations are included in our riding: the Squamish, Sechelt and Sliammon.

Given that vast diversity, one might have expected an incoherent array of requests to have emerged from our extensive prebudget consultations, but surprisingly, what we found was a consistency among Canadians. National traits of prudence and discipline, hard work and planning for the future kept coming to the fore. People generally wanted to see immediate fiscal stimulus. Local leaders outlined their needs for improvement to water systems, sewer systems, roads, bridges and harbours.

People like Eric in Powell River wanted relief from setbacks in the forest sector. David, former head of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, sought a lift in the tourism sector. Most of all, people wanted their politicians to serve them, not to get in the way, but to provide a non-partisan answer to their economic needs and their growing sense of anxiety.

What unites us is more important than what divides us. Canadians are committed to working together to face the challenges ahead. The economic action plan provided people in my riding with what they were asking for. It provided practical economic stimulus and hope. The hard work, dedication, generosity and resilience of Canadians will take care of the rest.

Our government is committed to acting in the best interests of the Canadian economy, even if it means running a short-term deficit. Our government's plan of action provides effective economic stimulus to help Canadian families and businesses deal with short-term challenges. As well, there are measures to encourage private spending; new investments in roads, bridges, water systems and sewer systems; measures to protect the stability of Canada's financial system and ensure access to credit for business and consumers; hope and support for industries in difficulty, including forestry, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and automotive; new jobs; and measures to protect the vulnerable, including the unemployed, lower income Canadians, seniors and aboriginal people.

As constituent Steve Brooks wrote me recently:

—we are at a pivotal point for our smaller communities, and indeed for Canada. The current global recession and the realization that governments must now run large deficits to rebuild infrastructure and position their countries for the next wave of globalization is now an incredible chance for Canada to re-assert itself on the global stage...

Ted Milner, a Whistler city councillor likes to say that “politics is local”. By looking at the new economic action plan through the lens of provincial and local communities we can see why this economic action plan is a source of hope for the average Canadian.

The plan provided hope to Premier Gordon Campbell of British Columbia. In his words,

I think the budget was generally positive for the province. It's going to generate investment. It is going to generate jobs.

He also said that it would allow them to become partners with the federal government to build much needed infrastructure.

There is hope for British Columbia, $4.5 billion for road, water and sewer upgrades, including the evergreen transit line and Trans-Canada Highway upgrades, cleaner water, better roads and more transit funding gives municipalities hope.

There is hope for B.C. businesses. The $3 billion in tax relief for the province's businesses will increase cashflow. Unemployed workers and those hit hardest can also have hope. There are $7.5 billion in extra support for the sectors hardest hit, including $170 million over two years for forestry.

We in B.C. have hope because of a plan to stimulate construction by providing billions to build social housing and enhance energy efficiency.

There is hope for new home buyers. In the case of a house purchase, the permitted amount of RRSP withdrawal has increased from $20,000 to $25,000. There is also a new $750 tax saving on the closing cost of buying a house.

For all Canadian homeowners who plan to renovate, there is hope. The economic action plan introduces a home renovation tax credit of up to $1,350 for the year 2009.

British Columbia has new hope because it will continue to receive historically high and growing federal transfers in 2009-10, an increase of $200 million from last year to help the province pay for health care, education and social services.

On Monday, January 12 hundreds of Canadians of all stripes and backgrounds gathered in a shopping mall in West Vancouver. They came from all over the Lower Mainland of Vancouver. They came because their government was listening. They came because they were anxious. They came because they had hope.

Our government has listened to those who gathered on that frosty night in West Vancouver, to Canadians from coast to coast to coast and to all my colleagues in the House who cared to offer suggestions.

This is a plan of hope. There is hope for the unemployed, the manufacturing sectors, middle class Canadians, families, seniors and businesses. In fact, all Canadians can find hope in the fact that their government is listening to them and acting for them to secure jobs, combat uncertainty and boost the Canadian economy.

This is a plan that provides the hope we need to build a stronger, more prosperous Canada together.

The Economy January 27th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, over the past six weeks, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, other ministers and members of Parliament have participated in a series of economic consultations from coast to coast to coast. These consultations have been the most comprehensive and inclusive in Canadian history, laying the groundwork for a multi-year plan.

Canada's economic action plan will help Canada weather the global economic crisis. We have heard the views of thousands of Canadians through round tables, online consultations, by mail, email and through submissions by groups and individuals.

In my riding the Minister of Finance held one of the largest public consultations, with 480 participants. Our government has met with representatives from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and had face to face meetings with numerous municipalities about the bridges and roads they needed for the future.

There were 102 discussions with our provincial and territorial counterparts, leading to a successful first ministers meeting. The Minister of Finance has met four times with his newly established economic advisory council.

I look forward to hearing about Canada's economic—

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country November 26th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, let me first thank the citizens of my riding for putting their trust in me as their member of Parliament.

My thanks go as well to my wife Donna and my children Shane, Jake and Mei Mei for their loyal support.

I thank my colleagues here, in this noble House, for their warm welcome. I hope to make many new friends here, on both sides of this House.

The riding I represent is the fourth largest in Canada in land size, is one of the most spectacular places on earth, and has one of the longest names to match.

One can find productive pulp mills in Powell River and Gibsons; highly sensitive environmental areas in Sechelt and Bowen Island; majestic scenery in West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler; and, throughout our riding, business people, scholars and athletes of international acclaim.

Speaking of athletes, I would like to point out that the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring the world to our doorstep.

I invite my fellow hon. members to come visit us in Canada's Olympic riding.