House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was aircraft.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Vaughan (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

National Defence May 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada and Canadians are being targeted by this death cult simply because these terrorists hate our society and our values. We are joining our allies in supporting the international coalition in the fight against ISIL. As of May 13, our CF-18 Hornets have struck 80 ISIS fighting positions, 19 vehicles and 10 explosives factories and storage facilities.

We are grateful, indeed, to our serving men and women for their valuable efforts in fighting this jihadist death cult.

Ongoing Situation in Ukraine April 29th, 2015

Mr. Chair, the aid that Canada has been providing is that which will enable the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian military to elevate their ability to deal with a very aggressive and brutal regime that is endeavouring to take over not only Crimea but that whole area of the world in terms of their actions. The aid that we provided is what we feel is appropriate at this time. Certainly it has been helpful and in fact very much appreciated. We will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people going forward in whatever needs are identified as appropriate under the circumstances.

Ongoing Situation in Ukraine April 29th, 2015

Mr. Chair, one thing is for sure. We have not buried our heads in the sand. Some of us happen to know what is going on and we are happy to understand, realize and admit that there are some issues that need to be addressed and the challenges are there. I should also enlighten the hon. member that it is not only about what I have said, but it is also about what the Canadian government has done.

Certainly, Ukraine is a top priority of ours. It is critical that Ukraine seize the current opportunity to undertake deep and lasting reforms. It cannot do that on its own. It cannot do that with a gun to its head, and it certainly cannot do that with people avoiding dealing with reality. It is a threatened country by a very determined, aggressive foe, an adversary, and denying or ignoring that does not solve the problem.

Ongoing Situation in Ukraine April 29th, 2015

Mr. Chair, I will be sharing my time with the member for Selkirk—Interlake.

As we discuss Canada's ongoing and expanded contribution to NATO and Ukraine, it is vital that all members of the House understand that the many steps taken by Russia over the last few years have brought us to this point in time where we are now in a period of conflict, steps which now threaten the safety of the Ukrainian people, a key ally of Canada, and indeed a people integral to Canadian society.

Russia has used force to change borders in Europe, violating international laws and damaging Russia's relations with the west. Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea is a violation of the 1994 Budapest memorandum, which provided assurance for Ukraine's territorial integrity. Whether it takes 5 months or 50 years to liberate Ukraine, we will never recognize the illegal Russian occupation of any Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.

In response to this challenge, Canada has provided assistance worth $578 million, including loan guarantees, for economic stabilization, humanitarian aid, non-kinetic military equipment and other support, including developmental assistance. We have also led the way in economic sanctions against over 210 individuals and entities in Russia. We now propose sending Canadian Armed Forces personnel to Ukraine for training purposes.

Last month, the leader of the NDP stated that his party would not support the expanded mission, since it was not led by the United Nations or NATO. Our government does not plan to go along to get along. We will do what is right, with or without the support from the opposition.

The crisis in Ukraine is simply the latest and most visible in a series of trouble provocations and actions taken by Russia, all of which have demonstrated the Putin regime's blatant and dangerous disregard for international law and the security of Europe. In fact, we now call into question Russia's willingness to engage in meaningful dialogue on issues of European security or the de-escalation of aggression against the Ukrainian people.

Vladimir Putin makes no secret about his disdain for the post-cold war security architecture, making a series of provocative anti-western statements in the press. In recent months we have seen Russian bombers flying through controlled airspace without transponders. We have seen bombers over the English Channel. Right here at home we have seen a sharp increase in Russian activity and aggression in the Arctic in an effort to challenge our Arctic sovereignty. While our military is ready to respond to any and all threats to our northern borders, we have seen a rapid increase in the frequency and size of Russian military exercises in the north. Although the battle rages far away, the effects and consequences are felt right here at home.

Canada hosts a proud Ukrainian community of 1.2 million strong. It is one of Canada's largest ethnic communities, and has been vital in contributing to our social and economic progress. Through hard work, dedication and perseverance for over 100 years, Ukrainians have established themselves at the highest level of government, business and sport and culture throughout the whole of Canadian society. Canada was the first western country to recognize Ukraine's independence. Canada was also the first western government to recognize the genocidal nature of the Holodomor, the famine genocide imposed by the Soviets from 1932 to 1933.

In support of democracy and transparency, Canada sent the largest election observer missions in the last two Ukrainian elections.

The record is clear. Our government has been, and remains, steadfast in our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine. It is therefore vital that we continue to stand together as allies, the Euro-Atlantic security.

I am proud to support the government's ongoing commitment to the alliance and Canada's expanded bilateral support to Ukraine.

National Defence April 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we are in fact the only party in this House that takes our responsibility to the Rangers and our north seriously, and we are acting on it full bore.

Canadian Rangers injured in the line of duty are eligible for benefits and services from the Canadian military. Canadians expect no less.

Of course, we will continue to take action so that the Canadian Armed Forces can defend our territorial sovereignty in the north and count on the Rangers to continue doing the great job they are in fact carrying out for Canadians.

National Defence April 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the government has led efforts in support of the Canadian Rangers, our eyes and ears in the north. The Rangers demographic faces the same health challenges faced by the northern communities they represent. Our government has taken action to provide additional medical resources for Rangers deployed in the north.

Canadian Rangers who are injured during active duty have access to a suite of benefits and services provided by the Canadian Armed Forces, and any other health care needs are the responsibility of the provinces or the territories where they reside. We will continue to support our Rangers in all of their needs.

Military Contribution Against ISIL March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, none of these things are mutually exclusive.

As I indicated earlier, we are operating on the humanitarian front very actively and every effectively, to the extent that we can. However, until such time as the threat of terrorism and the atrocities and inhumanities that are taking place in that part of the country are stopped, the effort and impact will be greatly diminished.

We are not alone. From what I understand, most Canadians are on side. Let me read a quote:

The Conference of Defence Associations welcomes the government's decision to extend the military mission against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

They go on to say:

ISIL represents a direct threat to Canadian national security since it has singled out Canada as an enemy and urged its members and supporters to kill Westerners, military and civilian alike. The group also serves as an inspiration for lone-wolf terrorist attacks, such as those committed....

here in Ottawa and of course in Quebec.

Military Contribution Against ISIL March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, if the NDP is really serious about fulfilling the responsibilities that we as Canadians have toward countering this very serious threat that is in fact also targeting Canada and Canadians, they should join with us and champion this work. We could all feel that much better for our collective involvement here.

Just to be specific on the issue of humanitarian aid, Canada is already doing a great deal of work in that particular area. It is a two-pronged approach, involving both military support and humanitarian aid. The military components allow for the aid to flow to more areas and allow for more accountability and security. That, of course, is what aid workers need. We cannot help these people in need with this threat looming over their heads.

Military Contribution Against ISIL March 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand in the House to speak on an issue that is of grave importance to Canadians and to free and democratic societies.

Today's debate on Canada's role in the international effort to combat ISIL is, indeed, an important one. As we all know, ISIL is, simply put, a group of inhuman barbarians. It exists to create havoc and to infringe on global security from the Middle East to right here at home. It is a threat to basic humanity and is a murderous threat to even innocent children.

The opposition does not want to stand up to this barbaric organization motivated by a culture of brutality and murder. Listen to the words of the NDP leader only last week on this very issue. He stated:

[T]here's no reason for us to be involved....

Although no one’s trying to understate the horrors of what’s occurring there, the question is, “Is that Canada’s fight?”

I take exception to these comments from the opposition that pay more lip service than actual contribution to dealing with the horrors ISIL has wrought, especially on the most innocent of them all, that being children.

Canada cannot simply stand by as ISIL barbarians slaughter innocent men, women, and children. As it collects women and children as sex slaves and breeds terrorism globally, as we have seen right here on Canadian soil, the leader of the NDP loudly proclaims that this is not Canada's fight. However, throughout our history, Canada has stood up when peace, safety, and security were threatened. As a nation, we have always been deeply committed to defending freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

I know it will be uncomfortable for some to hear, but I want the House to fully understand the evil we are actually dealing with. It is all too easy in this debate to consider a mission against ISIL in the abstract, to forget the unspeakable crimes against humanity committed by this radicalized group. That is why I am going to speak of the unspeakable. For that, I will refer to the February 2015 report of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child entitled, “Concluding observations on the combined second to fourth periodic reports of Iraq”. I will quote from that report, which states:

The Committee abhors and condemns the targeted and brutal killings of children by the so-called ISIL and in particular: (a) The systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities by the so-called ISIL, including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings and crucifixions of children and the burying of children alive....

The report further goes further to state that there are a high number of children who have been abducted by the so-called ISIL:

...many of whom are severely traumatized from witnessing the murder of their parents and are subjected to physical and sexual assault.

Let those words sink in: beheadings, crucifixions, and burying children alive. Again, I ask the opposition, should Canada simply stand by on preventing these horrendous acts committed against children and not consider it Canada's fight?

I ask the opposition to read this United Nations report. I ask it to fully grasp the inhumane and deplorable acts ISIL has committed, acts such as, quoting again directly from the report:

...the continuing sexual enslavement of children since the emergence of the so-called ISIL, in particular of children belonging to minority groups who are held by the so-called ISIL. It notes with the utmost concern the “markets” set up by ISIL, in which they sell abducted children and women attaching price tags to them; and the sexual enslavement of children detained in makeshift prisons of ISIL....

Renate Winter, the well-respected international judicial expert who founded the International Institute for the Rights of the Child, is an expert who helped draft the United Nations report. I ask the opposition to hear her words. She stated:

We are really deeply concerned at torture and murder of those children, especially those belonging to minorities, but not only from minorities. The scope of the problem is huge.

Ms. Winter went on to say:

We have had reports of children, especially children who are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding.

Mentally challenged children have been used as suicide bombers and other children have been tortured mercilessly. I know that many members of this House have been blessed to have children of their own, and some, like me, have grandchildren. We must think of our own children and our own grandchildren being tortured, sold as slaves, forced to be suicide bombers, raped, and murdered. That is the stark reality of what ISIL is doing as we speak.

We can look at what ISIL did in places like Ar-Raqqah last May. We can look at the photos of people being crucified or decapitated. We can think about the Yezidis, a peaceful religious minority group in a mountain town that was targeted and surrounded by ISIL until its members faced starvation, dehydration, and eventually death. Some escaped, but many did not.

We can look at the many videos of the beheadings ISIL has produced and posted widely for all to see, such as of James Foley, a freelance journalist, who had his head sawed off as the ISIL barbarians cheered. We can watch the more recent videos of ISIL beheading 21 Coptic Christians on the shores of Tripoli. This is the reality of the ISIL terror we all face.

Does the NDP not think this is Canada's fight? I suggest that it is. Everyone is disgusted and repulsed by these acts performed by a death cult of barbaric thugs with no moral compass. Why would the NDP have Canada stand by and do nothing?

Even though I have spent over 40 years in law enforcement combatting the worst criminals and witnessing horrific crimes, I can only begin to grasp the destruction and havoc created by ISIL. Families have been murdered and destroyed. Mothers' hearts have been broken. Children have been buried alive.

Canada has a duty, and indeed a responsibility, to confront this evil alongside our growing list of allies from all regions of the globe, a coalition, of which Canada has been very much a part, that to date has halted the advance of ISIL, regained strategic territory, and significantly degraded ISIL's capabilities.

The opposition would take an isolationist stand. The opposition has claimed that this is a distant threat, not Canada's concern or problem. However, that is not the case here. From the great wars to the Canadian peacekeeping missions in places like Rwanda, the Congo, and elsewhere, Canada has stood up to terror.

I would also remind Canadians of the attacks and threats made by ISIL against Canada right here at home. Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was killed by a violent jihadist in Quebec, and Corporal Nathan Cirillo was murdered point blank here in Ottawa.

Make no mistake: the international jihadi movement, ISIL, has declared war on Canada. As a government, it is our moral duty to protect Canadians from those who would do us harm. To sit on the sidelines is to let evil thrive.

I hope the opposition will join our government in support of this mission. However, with or without the support of the Liberals and the NDP, we will confront this evil and protect the safety and security of Canadians. Our government is proud of the work done by our brave men and women in uniform. We will continue to support them as we continue to fight this evil.

Victims Bill of Rights Act February 20th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I find it strange that on such an important issue that transcends all political spectrum that we would get caught up in a bashing kind of rhetoric. I understand the hon. member opposite has certain passions about doing that. The reality is that it takes away from the integrity of what we are endeavouring to do, and also the importance of the bill in this context.

I have been on this page for a good long time through various governments. I can remember the days of the Liberal governments when, as a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, we pleaded for adjustments to legislation to better deal with things like victims issues, and for the most part, we were discounted, so this is not a political issue. We need to get our collective act together and start thinking about why we are here and what we are here to do.

Does the hon. member have any recollection of the days of Paul Martin, then prime minister, when the police pleaded for these kinds of issues and we were totally discounted?