House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was talked.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Medicine Hat (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 72% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Gulf War Anniversary February 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today we mark the 20th anniversary of the ceasefire in the Persian Gulf war. Over 4,000 Canadian Forces personnel served as part of the international contingent that forced Iraq out of Kuwait.

After the war ended, our troops remained as part of the UN peacekeeping mission along the border, monitoring the demilitarized zones between the countries and investigating ceasefire violations and clearing land mines. Canadian warships participated in the operations of the multinational interception force and helped to enforce economic sanctions on Iraq after the Gulf war. CF-18 squadrons performed combat air patrol missions.

Although no Canadian Forces member died in the course of the Gulf war, serving in such dangerous places can have profound and lifelong effects.

These Canadians take their honoured places with their fellow service members from other conflicts, including today in Afghanistan, as people who proudly serve their country.

We must never forget their bravery and sacrifices.

Canada remembers.

First Nations Financial Transparency Act February 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in my place and take part in this debate and voice my support for Bill C-575, the first nations financial transparency act. I support the bill because it would provide a common sense response to a clear need, that being the right of the men and women of first nation communities to have local governments that are completely transparent and accountable. More specifically, they have a right to know exactly how much the elected leaders of those local governments earn in salary and in reimbursed expenses. Nothing could be clearer than that.

Bill C-575 would require that the annual financial statements of each federally funded first nation include a schedule of remuneration, with each schedule providing detailed information on the salaries and reimbursed expenses paid by a first nation to its chief and councillors. Every first nation would be required to make this remuneration schedule publicly available within 120 days after March 31 each calendar year. If any first nation fails to make public its schedule, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development would have full legal authority to make it public.

Some of our colleagues have taken exception to this common sense approach. In their remarks, they have implied that Bill C-575 is an insult to first nation people because the hon. member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar did not develop the bill in close collaboration with first nations' leaders. They have stated that the bill is an abdication of leadership because it is a private member's bill and not one initiated by the government. They have asserted that the bill brands all first nations' elected officials as corrupt. In effect, they prefer to cloud the issue, to rekindle old quarrels, to change the subject and to keep first nation leaders' salaries secret.

I am convinced that I speak for the vast majority of Canadians when I say that I find absolutely nothing controversial, inflammatory or objectionable about Bill C-575. If anything is objectionable, it is the fact that some men and women of first nation communities have been deprived of the absolute right to know how much their elected leaders are paid. If anything is objectionable, it is the fact that we have waited this long to take this step to improve the transparency and accountability of first nation governments. After all, who among us could object to greater transparency and accountability in first nation governments?

We Canadians demand, and are continually taking steps to increase, transparency and accountability of governments at all levels throughout country, municipal, provincial, territorial and federal. We have laws in place throughout these jurisdictions to make the workings and decisions of governments, and the information used by them, more transparent to citizens. We have laws in place throughout these jurisdictions to put tools in the hands of citizens so they can access for themselves vital information used by governments. We have laws in place throughout those jurisdictions to make governments increasingly and more directly accountable to the men and women of the governments we serve.

We have taken these steps because we know, without question and without hesitation, the basic truth and fairness that underpin these laws. We know the truth and fairness of that in our minds. We also know the practical, real life value of laws that promote transparency and accountability of governments.

Laws that promote transparency and accountability lend greater credibility to the actions and decisions of governments. They strengthen the legal and moral authority of elected representatives. They encourage an atmosphere of trust and openness between governments and the governed. They also give Canadians the vital information they need to make informed decisions about their lives, there families, their futures. They lead to consistent government practices and procedures that in turn make the services governments provide more reliable and effective. Laws that promote transparency and accountability also help eliminate needless controversy and enable citizens and their governments to put the focus of public discussion where it belongs, on fundamental quality of life issues, such as housing, health care, education, economic development and jobs.

I want to take this opportunity to salute the first nation governments that have taken the steps outlined in Bill C-575 to promote transparency and accountability in their governments. Representatives of several first nation governments are on record stating that they are committed to making sure that the actions and decisions of their governments are transparent and financial information is made readily available to community members.

Just last month a strong example of a government taking steps to promote greater transparency and accountability was delivered by the Whitecap Dakota First Nation in Saskatchewan. Spurred by Bill C-575, the Whitecap Dakota First Nation chief, Darcy Bear, and the council have created an independent compensation commission that will set the pay for the chief and councillors.

Through their actions, chief Bear and his community councillors have shown that they support transparency and accountability of government and support making public audited financial statements that highlight their government's expenditure decisions and actions. Chief Bear has made it clear that he supports Bill C-575. He did so as he stood alongside the member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar.

Chief Bear supports the bill because he recognizes the practical value to his community of greater transparency and accountability. His actions and support for Bill C-575 acknowledge that greater transparency and accountability of government operations attract investors, spur economic development, create jobs, encourage trust in government and fuel the overall growth, optimism and success of his community. I can think of no more persuasive proof of the value of Bill C-575 than the views and support offered by Chief Bear and the members of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.

I urge my colleagues to heed those views. I urge my colleagues to help bring about greater transparency and accountability in first nations government. I urge my colleagues to adopt Bill C-575.

Sponsorship Program December 9th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the House of one of the worst disgraces in the history of the Liberal Party, the sponsorship scandal.

From 1996 to 2004 the Liberals instituted a program of corruption, the likes of which Canada has never seen. Illicit behaviour by Liberal officials misused public funds intended for government advertising in Quebec. The scandal made the Gomery commission, adscam, Groupaction, Alfonso Gagliano and a briefcase full of Jean Chrétien's golf balls front page news.

Eventually after 13 lost years, Canadians booted the Liberals and their scandal-plagued government from office. They are gone and so are millions in Canadian taxpayer dollars.

The Liberal leader was not back in Canada yet from his 34 years abroad, but let me tell him that the sponsorship scandal was a disgrace for Quebec, Canada and the Liberals.

Canadians still want to know. Where is the forty million bucks?

Special Olympics World Summer Games December 2nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to congratulate my constituent, Christine Sullivan, who will be competing in power lifting at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

Christine is from my riding of Medicine Hat, and she and 108 other athletes are proudly representing Canada. In Greece they will promote the fundamental principles and values of the Olympics. These athletes show us that no matter what the obstacle, through hard work and dedication they can achieve athletic excellence. They are an inspiration to us all.

The 2010 Winter Olympics were a resounding success. There we saw the Olympic spirit as we watched our athletes uphold the values of friendship, respect and excellence.

I am certain that Christine and her fellow athletes will continue to make Canada proud. Sportsmanship is a commendable goal and these athletes are given the opportunity to be role models and teach our kids valuable lessons. The real winners in sports are those who know how to persevere and to behave with dignity.

Let us all unite behind the red and white jerseys of our Special Olympics athletes.

Democratic Reform November 18th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader has repeatedly told Canadians about how he wants to make Parliament work better.

Could the Minister of State for Democratic Reform please tell Canadians what the NDP did yesterday?

Business of Supply November 18th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to my hon. colleague who is on the same committee as I. I find it quite interesting that he talked about Boeing when actually it could not answer any questions. I am flabbergasted by the fact that he suggests Boeing was even in the competition.

However, I would also note that he asked why we would need stealth. He tends to forget, during this debate and in committee, that in fact the Russians and the Chinese also have stealth aircraft.

If Canada is part of NATO, which we are, and we expect our fighter aircraft to be participating in that, and if we do not have the F-35 stealth aircraft, is he suggesting that we put our Canadian military fighter pilots in harm's way? I can assure members that without that stealth, they would be great targets for whomever we might have to go up against. I would like to hear the member's comments on that.

Business of Supply November 18th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I am looking at a letter from the aerospace industry that was sent to all parliamentarians regarding the F-35. In part it says:

However, these IRBs do not always result in the development of new knowledge or more importantly, the application and export of Canadian ingenuity. Moreover, IRBs have a fixed ceiling established by the original acquisition cost and IRB-related sustainment work is performed only on

Could the minister elaborate more on the process that we have currently under way for the F-35?

Peacekeepers November 4th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, since as far back as the late 1940s, Canada has played a major peacekeeping role around the world. Canadians from all regions of our country have participated in peacekeeping efforts. The armed forces, Canadian diplomats, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police forces, and even civilians have all done their part to support Canada's work at home and abroad.

In 2008, August 9 was declared National Peacekeepers' Day. Every year on that day, past and present, Canadian peacekeepers are honoured through events and activities held across this great country. However, our recognition of their service does not stop there.

We as a nation owe these men and women an everlasting debt of gratitude. The significant contributions made by our peacekeepers have helped shape Canada's identity.

This year during Veterans Week I ask all Canadians to recognize the sacrifices and successes of our peacekeepers, veterans, members of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP with whom this important tradition of service continues.

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act October 19th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I was quite interested in the so-called support of the Liberal Party and the NDP in terms of their outrage against crime. We all know they say that here in the House, but when they get to committee, it is a totally different story.

We are the only party that does support the victims, safe streets, safe communities and a safe country. Our party has put forward legislation which in fact will help victims and all Canadians.

I would like to ask the hon. member, where did she find this 70% reduction in funding for the protection of victims? Where are those numbers? How did she arrive at those numbers? Can she give us an actual number and where it comes from?

Small Business October 18th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, this week is Small Business Week which recognizes the entrepreneurial men and women who put their dreams into action and help grow our economy. Could the Minister of Industry please let us know what this government has done for Canadian small business?