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

Citizenship and Immigration October 4th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, last week, Conservative and Liberal members of Parliament dealt U.S. military deserters a crushing blow. No longer can American deserters look forward to automatic permanent resident status. Instead, if they are here illegally there will eventually be a cold, hard knock on their door by agents of the Canada Border Services Agency telling them that their time in Canada is up and that their deportation is imminent.

Could the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism explain why this is an unmitigated victory for the rule of law?

Employment Insurance September 30th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our Conservative government voted against Bill C-308, which includes costly and irresponsible proposals, such as a 45-day work year. The Liberal leader yesterday called the bill fiscally irresponsible, yet he did not vote against it. In fact, the Liberal EI spokesperson voted in favour of it.

Could the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development please inform the House of the devastating impact the coalition's irresponsible EI plans would have on Canadian workers and businesses?

Firearms Registry September 20th, 2010

You never co-operate, Jack.

Business of Supply June 17th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I have been listening to the hon. member across the way and her well-spoken words about prorogation and how terrible the government has been. I would like to ask the hon. member about prorogation by the Liberal Party.

As I understand it, the former prime minister, Jean Chr├ętien, prorogued Parliament for some four months. It was during the Gomery inquiry I believe, which related to $40 million stolen by the Liberal Party. I am wondering if the member could comment on the prorogation by the former Liberal prime minister as he shut down Parliament.

Citizens of the Year June 9th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to two outstanding constituents of the Medicine Hat riding, Albert Zagorsky and Talon Chandler.

Albert Zagorsky was recently named citizen of the year by Grasslands Regional Family and Community Support Services. For over 40 years, Mr. Zagorsky has devoted his time and expertise to teach music to thousands of students in the Grasslands area. Albert is an accomplished ambassador to Brooks and the Newell region, which have gained recognition across western Canada thanks to his dedication to music.

Talon Chandler was named junior citizen of the year thanks to the leadership he has taken on at his high school where he serves on the student council as co-president. Talon volunteers his time refereeing local volleyball matches and was recently elected grad class president by a group of 170 students. Positive and outgoing, Talon is constantly looking for ways to lend a helping hand.

Congratulations to both of them.

I also want to welcome the Friendship Force of Medicine Hat, who are in Ottawa today.

Business of Supply May 27th, 2010

Mr. Chair, while Canadian Olympians and Paralympians were setting new records during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, some 4,500 Canadian Forces personnel were quietly working behind the scenes in support of civilian agencies to ensure the security of all those who flocked to beautiful British Columbia to be part of the extraordinary games.

I understand the scale and complexity of the Canadian Forces' contribution to Olympic security, Operation Podium, was unprecedented. It involved maritime, land and air forces, which together monitored the 10,000 square kilometres joint operational area and helped secure specific venues. In short, the Canadian Forces helped to ensure that the Olympics would be remembered as an incredibly successful sporting event.

Could the minister give us a sense of how the various parts of Operation Podium came together to secure the games so successfully?

Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act May 25th, 2010

Madam Speaker, as a member of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, we heard testimony from the commissioner on clause 9 of the bill. As I understood it, this was an extremely important piece that needed to be included in the bill. If we do not include it, this item will be open to litigation by who knows how many people and this will put some first nations people in a position where they may be sued, thereby causing great harm to first nations treaties already in place and to the Government of Canada.

It is important that we understand this would have a major effect not only on the Government of Canada but on first nations people themselves and the registrations that they have, which might be challenged in a court and open to some very heavy financial penalties.

Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act May 25th, 2010

Madam Speaker, as the minister indicated earlier, as part of the overall process with respect to Bill C-3 the Department of Indian Affairs had a consultative process with some first nations individuals and organizations. It is really important that we understand they are looking for something much broader. That consultative process will continue once we pass this bill.

It is important to recognize that we will be able to work with first nations on this issue of discrimination and other larger issues particularly around registration.

Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act May 25th, 2010

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak today at report stage of Bill C-3, the gender equity in Indian registration act.

As my fellow members are well aware, Bill C-3 proposes to amend the Indian Act and to eliminate a significant and long-standing case of gender discrimination. To appreciate the logic behind the proposed legislation, however, we must understand the problem that Bill C-3 aims to fix.

Last year, the court of appeal for British Columbia issued a decision in McIvor v. Canada, which is now known commonly as the McIvor decision. The ruling required the Government of Canada to amend certain registration provisions of the Indian Act that the court identified as unconstitutional as they were inconsistent with the equality provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The court initially suspended the effect of the declaration until April 6, later granting a short extension until July 5 of this year. In other words, if no solution is in place in just a little over a month, paragraphs 6(1)(a) and 6(1)(c) of the Indian Act dealing with an individual's entitlement to registration for Indian status, for all intents and purposes, will cease to exist in the province of British Columbia. This would create uncertainty and, most important, this legislative gap would prevent the registration of individuals associated with bands in that province.

Even though we have been granted a brief extension on the implementation of the court's decision in McIvor v. Canada, we must continue to work toward resolving the issue now. This extension should not be perceived as an opportunity to delay the process of Bill C-3 as this bill would rectify a long-standing case of gender discrimination. I want to emphasize that Bill C-3 offers a solution to the specific issues identified by the court by amending the Indian Act to eliminate the language that gives rise to the gender discrimination identified in section 6.

The impact of this bill would be important. We expect 45,000 people to be newly entitled to register as status Indians as a result of Bill C-3. In anticipation of the influx of requests, the Indian registration program has developed an implementation strategy to effectively deal with the new applications for registration under the Indian Act in accordance with the proposed amendments.

The Government of Canada is also carefully examining the program and financial impacts associated with the implementation of the bill. An internal financial impact working group has been established to examine all the costs associated with the implementation of the proposed legislation.

The legislation now before us proposes to change the provision used to confer Indian status on the children of women such as Ms. McIvor. Instead of subsection 6(2), these children would acquire status through subsection 6(1). This would eliminate the gender-based discrimination identified by the court.

As I mentioned earlier, it is important to recognize that Bill C-3 offers a solution to the specific issues identified by the court of appeal for British Columbia and does so in a tightly-focused fashion in order to respect the looming deadline. We can all appreciate the need to act quickly to respond to the court's ruling and provide new entitlement to registration in a timely manner.

I am convinced that this is a wise approach. As parliamentarians, we know the importance being placed on us by the British Columbia Court of Appeal to provide a legislative solution to a recognized case of gender discrimination. As a compact piece of legislation, it is my hope that Bill C-3 can make swift progress through Parliament.

The proposed legislation has much to recommend. It proposes a timely and direct response to the ruling of British Columbia Court of Appeal. In addition, it would eliminate a cause of gender discrimination. In essence, Bill C-3 represents a progressive step by a country committed to the ideals of justice and equality.

I urge all members to join me in support of Bill C-3.

Fairness at the Pumps Act May 10th, 2010

We will.