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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

The Budget April 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to hear about the individual who passed away, and our condolences to the family.

It is a difficult situation, and I understand that the police need to ensure that they continue to work. The resources will have to come from the provinces and communities they are in and from the taxes paid by the citizens of Surrey and by Canadians across the country. I certainly hope they will be able to resolve those issues in terms of crime.

I do not know whether the gun violence the member is talking about is because of weapons coming in from other countries. Under Bill C-42, I know that CBSA will be able to work with the RCMP to ensure that if illegal guns are coming into this country, they can follow them, track them down, and stop that.

The Budget April 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Prince Albert for sharing his time with me today on the budget speech. I also want to congratulate him for all of his hard work on the agriculture committee. He was a very good support for me, as well as a great inspiration. I would also like to thank him for his work on the international trade file. He has done an outstanding job.

It is a privilege for me, as a member of Parliament, to get up and speak to Canada's economic action plan, 2015, entitled “Strong Leadership: A Balanced-Budget, Low-Tax Plan for Jobs, Growth and Security”. I want to thank our hard-working Minister of Finance, the hon. member for Eglinton—Lawrence, for the long hours and late nights spent working on this outstanding budget. I also want to recognize the hard work of past years by the late beloved hon. Jim Flaherty. God rest his soul. We got here, in part, thanks to Jim's vision and talent.

As promised, and as the Minister of Finance so proudly pointed out with reason, this economic action plan, 2015, is a balanced budget written in black ink. Indeed, I believe we will soon be faced with similar choices when we go to the next federal general election campaign later this year. I urge all Canadians to choose wisely between the risky economic plans and plans to increase spending and taxes by the NDP and the Liberals, and our Conservative government's proven track record of delivering on economic promises and our low-tax plan.

Our economic action plan contains a number of initiatives that will be particularly beneficial to the people of the Medicine Hat constituency, whom I have had the tremendous honour and privilege of representing here in the House of Commons since 2008. I will talk a little bit about all of them.

A very important part of this plan encourages investment in Canada's manufacturing sector. It will do this by maintaining a low tax burden on business to encourage investment in Canada by providing manufacturers with a 10-year tax incentive to boost productivity-enhancing investment, among other things. This will come in an extension of the accelerated capital cost allowance for investment in machinery and equipment used in manufacturing or processing for 10 years until 2025. I know that this will be an important initiative in my constituency, as I have met with stakeholders who have continually pointed out the necessity of such incentives to grow their businesses here in Canada, thus creating more jobs right here in Canada for Canadians.

The 2015 budget also proposes to lower the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019. This is good news for small business owners.

Another major section of the economic action plan is the plan to lower the EI premium by 2017. This is expected to result in a substantial reduction in EI premiums from $1.88 in 2016 to an estimated $1.49 in 2017, a reduction of 21%.

One of the big beneficiaries, of course, will be our farmers. My colleague talked about farmers. I have many farmers in the constituency of Medicine Hat, and they will be very pleased to hear that we will increase the lifetime capital gains exemption to $1 million for those who own farm property and meet the criteria. This will be very helpful to our farmers, who are the backbone of our rural communities and are certainly critical in making sure that our cities are fed. It is estimated that the measure would reduce capital gains taxes for owners of farm and fishing businesses by about $50 million over the 2015-16 to 2019-20 period. Also, to support agriculture and grow our exports, our budget will boost agriculture marketing by $12 million.

The economic action plan will help to train the workforce of tomorrow by supporting provinces and territories to facilitate the harmonization of apprenticeship training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades. It will help by providing $1 million over five years to promote the adoption of the blue seal certification program across Canada, and by making a one-time investment of $65 million to businesses and industry associations to allow them to work with the willing post-secondary institutions to better align curricula with the needs of employers.

Our action plan also will support Canadian workers. I know that this is important to many of my constituents. It will do this by investing $53.8 million over two years to extend the employment insurance working while on claim pilot project to August 2016.

We will continue to pursue negotiations with provinces and territories on the $1.95 billion per year labour market development agreements to reorient training toward labour market demand. Economic action plan 2015 will provide $35 million over five years to make permanent the foreign credential recognition loans pilot project.

The government recognizes that the skilled trades are essential to Canada's economic prosperity. To reduce barriers to accreditation in the skilled trades and to improve labour mobility, our action plan proposes to extend further support to the provinces and territories for implementing recommendations made by the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship to harmonize apprenticeship training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades. For example, the jurisdictions will work toward adopting common sequencing for technical training curriculum content and similar total hours for training both in class and on the job.

Our economic action plan proposes to reallocate $35 million over five years starting in 2015 to make the foreign credential recognition loans pilot project permanent to support internationally trained workers in their pursuit of foreign credential recognition. I know this will be beneficial to many of my constituents in Medicine Hat.

To build on the achievements to date, our plan also promises $18.1 million over two years starting in 2016-17 to expand the activities of the market access secretariat to introduce new agricultural trade commissioners abroad and play a more active role in setting international science-based standards and build on the opportunities created by our trade agreements.

I would also like to point out that the transition of the Canadian Wheat Board to a private competitor on the world stage is complete. With this deal it certainly opens up more opportunities for our grain farmers in western Canada. I thank the Minister of Agriculture, the hon. member for Battlefords—Lloydminster, for his hard work in delivering marketing freedom for the many grain farmers in my constituency.

Our action plan will help families make ends meet and will help our seniors.

In October 2014, the Prime Minister announced further tax relief and benefit increases for all families with children. These proposed measures include enhancing the universal child care benefit, increasing the maximum dollar amounts claimable under the child care expense deduction, and introducing the family tax cut. The government has also doubled the children's fitness tax credit amount and has made it refundable.

Our economic action plan builds on this record of support for Canadian families by proposing to increase the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit to $10,000.

Our action plan also proposes to extend employment insurance compassionate care benefits from six weeks to six months.

This budget will also implement a new home accessibility tax credit for seniors and persons with disabilities. The proposed 15% non-refundable income tax credit would apply on up to $10,000 of eligible home renovation expenditures per year, providing up to $1,500 in tax relief. Eligible expenditures will be for improvements that allow for seniors or a person who is eligible for the disability tax credit to be more mobile, safe and functional within their home.

Our action plan also confirms funding to create a new retirement income security benefit for moderately to severely disabled veterans who receive income replacement under the earnings loss benefit or the service income security insurance plan. This new benefit will provide additional financial security by guaranteeing that the income of eligible recipients after age 65 does not fall below 70% of pre-65 income provided through National Defence's service income security insurance plan and through Veterans Affairs Canada's earnings loss benefit, permanent impairment allowance and permanent impairment allowance supplement. This will ensure that moderately to severely disabled veterans have the necessary financial resources to maintain their quality of life in their retirement years.

Starting in 2017, our plan will increase the amount of money for the Department of National Defence by $11.8 billion over 10 years. This is good news for our Canadian Armed Forces and our ability to keep our country safe. It also enhances national security by investing $292.6 million over five years in intelligence and law enforcement agencies for investigative resources to counter terrorism; by providing $12.5 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, and $2.5 million ongoing thereafter, in additional funding to the Security Intelligence Review Committee to enhance its review of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service; by providing $58 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to further protect the Government of Canada's essential cyber systems and critical infrastructure against cyberattacks; by investing $36.4 million over five years to support the operators of Canada's vital cybersystems in addressing cybersecurity threats.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I encourage all Canadians to visit online to see the details.

The Budget April 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to my colleague across the way and I was quite disappointed when I heard her talk about income splitting, saying it was detrimental for women. That is very interesting because I do not think anywhere in the budget it talks about income splitting being only for women. It talks about the higher income spouse. My recollection is that this could be either partner.

I would like to point out for clarification that it should be up to mom and dad to decide about income splitting and whether they want to stay home with their child.

One more point is that my son and daughter-in-law decided one of them would stay at home, and it was a stay-at-home dad. He looked after the kids. Therefore, I do not see how this is against women

World War II Veterans April 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to speak about local World War II veterans from the community of Bow Island in my constituency. In December, I had the great honour of presenting these veterans with certificates of recognition and commemorative pins noting their service for King and country. Veterans Jim Wallwork, Vic Selvig, Ivy Williams, Les Chambers, Peggy Haugen, Kathleen Foss, and Art Anderson were the recipients of the certificates and pins. It is a small way of remembering their brave actions all of those decades ago.

We thank these and countless other veterans who went to fight tyranny in Europe, Africa, and Asia to ensure our freedom. They fought for freedom, liberty, and the democratic values we believe in so strongly in our hearts and minds. All Canadians thank them for their service, and we know that without their commitment to our freedom, we would not live in the greatest country on Earth.

We are so proud of them.

Business of Supply March 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, to correct the hon. member for Halifax, jojoba beads are not microbeads; they are natural. Where is the hon. member getting her facts from?

Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 February 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that is too funny, actually. Did she say “secret police force”? I wonder if the hon. member has actually read that CSIS is strictly prohibited from undertaking threat disruption activities against individuals engaged in lawful protest or dissent.

She obviously has not read the legislation and she would like to twist it so that it fits her narrative, so what can I say?

Members opposite need to read the legislation and understand what it really means, which is that we will protect Canadians in their right to lawfully protest and demonstrate.

Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 February 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Langley has eloquently described New Democrats' slow voting and their obstruction to all kinds of legislation. I well understand that.

I also listened to their leader talking about principled stands on this issue. In that vein, I know New Democrats voted for keeping travelling for terrorist purposes legal. They voted to allow convicted terrorists to keep their citizenship. They voted to stop security agencies from co-operating with our allies. It appears to me that at every step of the way, New Democrats are trying to stop legislation, and it appears that they want to hug terrorists. I do not know for sure, but maybe they could tell us.

Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 February 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where the member would have heard me say that it is unelected people who have the power. I am totally lost by this question.

I do not recall ever saying that. The member has not given any specific information in terms of which of my colleagues or where he heard that comment. It sounds like a lot of fabrication to me.

Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 February 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note that the member refers to an individual. I have an individual I like to refer to, the mayor of Montreal and former Liberal cabinet minister Denis Coderre, who said that he expects Parliament to rapidly pass the anti-terrorism act, 2015.

I am wondering if the member opposite and his party will obstruct this important legislation from moving through the House quickly.

Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 February 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank my outstanding hon. colleague for Richmond Hill for sharing his time with me and also for his hard work on this file. It is an important file, and I am pleased to be on the public safety committee. It is also my pleasure to rise today in the House to debate Bill C-51, the anti-terrorism act, 2015.

We find that the world we live in today is a dark and dangerous place. This was most brutally demonstrated by last October's attacks in Ottawa and in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. We are not immune to the threat of terrorism, nor are our allies. We have tragically seen this in Paris, Sydney, and Copenhagen, beacons of western civilization struck by jihadist terrorists. Let us make no mistake: the international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada and her allies.

The legislation before us today would provide Canadian law enforcement and national security agencies with additional tools and the flexibility to keep pace with evolving threats and better protect Canadians here at home.

However, that is not all we are doing. It is important to fight terrorism at home, but we are also fighting it abroad. Our brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces are engaged in a battle with the barbaric so-called Islamic State.

In line with the measures taken by our allies, the government is taking additional action to ensure that our law enforcement and national security agencies can counter those who advocate terrorism, prevent terrorism from travelling, prevent the efforts of those who seek to use Canada as a recruiting ground, and disrupt planned attacks on Canadian soil.

The proposed legislation includes checks and balances to ensure it respects the rights of Canadians and complements other legislation passed by our Conservative government in order to better protect Canadians and secure institutions. These measures include the Combating Terrorism Act and the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act. However, I would be remiss if I did not note that the Liberals and the NDP have consistently voted against these types of measures for increasing our national security.

We have heard from both the Liberals and the NDP that they believe more money ought to be invested in CSIS and the RCMP. I find it interesting that when our Conservative government brought forward more funding for these agencies for parliamentary approval, on seven separate occasions the Liberals and NDP voted against this funding.

I would like to look at the facts. The fact is that our Conservative government has increased funding to both CSIS and the RCMP by over one-third since forming government. We will hold that record up any day of the week.

Much has been made by the NDP of portions of the anti-terrorism act that relate to disrupting terrorist threats. I would like to give some concrete examples of how these powers would help keep Canadians safe.

One example would be if a 21-year-old Canadian citizen had become disenchanted with his home life due to videos of sermons given by radical imams. He has additionally sought to acquire copies of Inspire, the English-language magazine published by al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula. Individuals with this local mosque have advised CSIS that he is planning to travel overseas to engage in terrorist activity.

Currently, CSIS can investigate but cannot do anything to stop the individual from travelling. The furthest CSIS could go is to advise the RCMP that it believes he is about to commit an offence, and the RCMP could launch its own investigation. However, under Bill C-51, CSIS would be able to engage with a trusted friend or relative who could speak to this individual and advise against travelling for terrorist purposes. Further, CSIS would be able to meet with the individual to advise him that they know what he is planning to do and what the consequences of taking further action would be.

Another example would be if CSIS learned that a planned shipment of chemicals might be used in a terrorist attack on a Canadian business operating in a foreign country, but the exact timing was not known. Currently CSIS can share that information with the foreign government and other foreign partners. A travel alert could potentially be issued by Foreign Affairs. Under Bill C-51, CSIS could engage in a joint operation with a foreign partner to disrupt the shipment. For example, the shipment could be rerouted so that it would not be delivered into the hands of terrorists.

Lastly, let us say a Canadian ally warns CSIS that foreign spies are planning to meet with a Canadian avionics firm. CSIS investigates and determines that the spies are posing as businessmen in order to purchase telemetry equipment. This dual-use technology has a civilian application in test programs, but it is also used in ballistic missile targeting.

Currently CSIS, as part of its investigation, can interview officials from the Canadian company to gather information. CSIS can ask the CBSA to check the parts' paperwork at the time of export to determine if there are customs violations.

Under Bill C-51, CSIS could seek and receive a warrant to intercept equipment and alter it so that it would not have any suitability for non-civilian applications.

With this new mandate, CSIS could take measures at home and abroad to disrupt threats when it had reasonable grounds to believe there was a threat to the security of Canada. These threats to the security of Canada are defined in the CSIS Act and include espionage, sabotage, foreign-influenced activities, terrorism, and domestic subversion, which refers to activities directed against the constitutionally established system of government in Canada.

CSIS would only be able to take reasonable and proportional measures to disrupt threats. To do this, CSIS would consider the nature of the threat, the nature of the proposed measures, and the reasonable availability of other means to disrupt the threat. The intelligence services of most of Canada's democratic allies have had similar mandates and powers for many years.

It is important not to misconstrue definitions under the security of Canada information sharing act and the CSIS Act. The threat disruption mandate covers threats as defined in the CSIS Act, namely espionage, sabotage, foreign-influenced activities, terrorism, and domestic subversion.

CSIS is strictly prohibited from undertaking threat disruption activities against individuals engaged in lawful protest or dissent.

I know my time is probably running short and I would like to end my remarks today with a question. Opposition members like to say that this bill will somehow take away rights from Canadians. I would like someone on the other side of the House to explain to me where this legislation authorizes that. As far as I can tell, the only people this legislation will impact are those engaged in terrorist activities, those planning to become engaged in terrorist activities, and those who are advocating terrorist activities. If those are the types of individuals the NDP and Liberals are choosing to defend, I suspect Canadians will have a strong message for them in the next election.