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

Goods and Services Tax May 13th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has finally come up with a plan to help Canadians during this global recession: federal taxes must go up, we have to raise taxes. The Liberal leader believes Canadians are not paying enough taxes, and families and seniors should be forced to send more of their hard-earned money to him in Ottawa.

What is the first tax he will hike? The GST. To quote him, “I'm not going to take a GST hike off the table”.

Could the government please comment on the Liberal leader's dated, discredited and dangerous tax plan hike?

Alberta Film and Television Awards May 11th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, on May 2 I attended the 2009 Rosies, the Alberta Film and Television Awards, where two constituents won two prestigious awards.

MacKenzie Porter won the Best Actress award for her outstanding work in the Nomadic Pictures production, The Other Woman. Landon Liboiron was awarded Best Actor for his exemplary performance in the Seven24 Films production, Wild Roses.

MacKenzie hails from Medicine Hat and comes from a talented family. Kalan Porter, Canadian Idol 2004 winner, is MacKenzie's older brother. MacKenzie is 19 years old and has already performed in several cinema and TV productions and undoubtedly has a tremendous career ahead of her.

Landon, from Jenner, Alberta, is a grade 12 student at St. Joseph's Collegiate in Brooks. Remarkably, this is 18-year-old Landon's second Rosie. We will soon see this wonderfully talented and accomplished young man on CTV's Degrassi: The Next Generation.

On behalf of my constituents, I want to extend our congratulations to MacKenzie and Landon. They are an inspiration and we are all tremendously proud.

Competition Act May 11th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada also recently announced the Canadian warranty commitment program under which the federal government committed to honouring consumer warranties on new vehicles purchased from GMCL and Chrysler Canada Inc. for a limited time period while improved restructuring plans are put in place.

Budget 2009 included at least $5 billion in new financing through EDC and BDC that aims to enhance cooperation with private sector financial institutions under the new business credit availability program. EDC has a number of services specifically designed for the auto sector, including financing and insurance capacity in that sector. As can clearly be seen, the federal government understands the urgency of the challenges facing the economy and the auto sector in particular.

In recognition of the auto sector's crucial importance in generating wealth for all Canadians, we need to stay the course and focus on the big picture, and not unnecessarily add further pressures to an industry fighting for its survival.

I would like to congratulate the hon. member for bringing forward the right to repair issue before the House. However, there is concern the bill has some fundamental legal and policy issues. I look forward to further discussion on how to address these issues going forward.

Competition Act May 11th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to discuss this important issue.

The automotive industry in North America is facing major challenges due to the worldwide economic downturn. The automotive sector is a key component of the Canadian economy. More than 2 million vehicles were assembled in Canada in 2008. The auto industry employed over 140,000 workers directly, with another 230,000 in the aftermarket sector. It also provided employment at more than 30,000 service and repair shops across the country.

As for the aftermarket sector, according to data shared by automotive consultant, Dennis DesRosiers, the average age of vehicles on the road in 2008 was over eight years and it is estimated that over the course of a vehicle's life it will accumulate $14,000 in aftermarket repairs and service. The demand for aftermarket services is forecast at $19.2 billion in 2010.

The government agrees with the idea that all aftermarket service providers should have access to the diagnostic information on the fleet of vehicles on Canada's roads and highways. However, the way in which the bill attempts to achieve this is flawed in a number of ways, ranging from jurisdictional questions to the issues of intellectual property and vehicle security.

I want to reassure Canadians that the federal government is committed to fostering a fair, equitable and competitive marketplace, while balancing this with our duty to protect consumer interests.

I will jump right into the crux of the matter that has brought this proposed legislation before us. Independent aftermarket service providers want the manufacturers to provide them with the same information they provide their dealerships. They say that failure to do so threatens the long term competitiveness of the independents. On the other hand, many car makers tend to believe they already share the necessary information for their customers and legislating beyond this affects their dealer networks.

Dealers also have concerns about this issue. They believe that this information sharing will cut into their revenues. In fact, the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, which represents some 3,500 dealers in Canada, opposes legislation on this issue.

The government is working overtime with the auto industry, affected provinces and related stakeholders. A thriving, successful auto industry in Canada means a thriving, successful parts industry and a thriving, successful aftermarket industry. We cannot have one without the other.

We will always have an auto aftermarket industry, even if the assembly business is scaled back. However, a healthy aftermarket starts with a healthy economy. The federal government has a broad approach to assisting the auto sector here in Canada that is built on four key measures: continuing to sustain a fiscal and economic framework that keeps the industry competitive; supporting an integrated North American auto sector; investing in automotive research; and investing through our new automotive innovation fund.

Through Advantage Canada, our long term economic plan and recent budgets, the government is promoting long term investment, innovation and job creation across all sectors of the Canadian economy, including the auto sector. The government has provided more than $1 billion in tax relief for the automotive industry sector through lower federal corporate taxes and higher write-offs for investment in machinery and equipment.

In total, over the six-year period, including 2008-09, the government will have provided more than $12 billion in tax relief to the manufacturing sector. In the recent economic action plan, the government extended the temporary 50% accelerated capital cost allowance rate. This applies to investments in manufacturing or processing machinery and equipment that are undertaken in 2010-11, enabling manufacturers' investments in productivity-enhancing machinery and equipment.

Second, the government is supporting an integrated North American auto sector by increasing the compatibility of automotive regulations with the U.S. and continuing to improve border security and access. Improvements to the Windsor-Detroit crossing remain a priority, where 40% of Canada's commerce with the United States passes across a single, privately-owned bridge that was built in 1928. The goal is to have a new crossing by 2013.

Third, the government is investing in science and technology. Overall, Canada's economic action plan provides for more than $1.5 billion toward science and technology initiatives.

The government is allocating $200 million over two years to the National Research Council industrial research assistance program to enable it to temporarily expand its initiatives for small and medium size companies.

The government has already set aside $34 million per year for new research through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, targeting the needs of key industries, such as the auto sector.

In addition, $23.2 million in federal support has been committed for the auto 21 network of centres of excellence in support of more than 260 researchers and 500 students working on 41 auto-related R and D projects.

Science research and experimental development tax incentive policies and procedures have also been aligned with current business practices to encourage even more business investment.

As a fourth pillar, the government established the $250 million automotive innovation fund, supporting strategic, large scale R and D projects. The automotive innovation fund will help the auto industry retool for a new environmentally conscious fuel efficient age.

We have an integrated North American market and Americans have stopped buying cars. Some are deciding not to buy due to the slowdown in the U.S. economy. With credit markets frozen, those who do want to buy cars do not have access to competitive financing to purchase or lease vehicles, thus further reducing sales. This has led to a serious liquidity crisis for U.S. automakers.

Canada's economic action plan increases Canada's account limit from $13 billion to $20 billion to ensure the government has the capacity to directly provide credit and meet the financing requirements of business and strategic hard-hitting sectors of the Canadian economy.

Canada's economic action plan has also committed the government to creating a $12 billion Canadian secured credit facility to improve credit availability for consumers to purchase and lease new vehicles. This will help dealerships move cars off their lots and renew demand for the production of vehicles.

The Government of Canada has two established financing instruments that are available to the automotive sector, Export Development Canada, EDC, and the Business Development Bank of Canada, BDC. I would also like to add that both the federal and Ontario governments confirmed their overall commitment to ensuring the viability of the automotive industry by making up to $4 billion in short-term interim loans available to both GM and Chrysler while they continue to restructure their long-term business plans.

Last week the governments of Canada and Ontario provided General Motors of Canada an interim loan of $500 million. We also recently provided funding to Chrysler as part of the holistic approach we have adopted for the industry to enable it to restructure toward a viable, sustainable future. We asked for a significant commitment from all stakeholders, and we are pleased they made the tough decisions necessary to put the company on a more steady footing. A new restructuring plan, including new labour agreements with the CAW as well as completion of a deal with Fiat, gives us the assurances needed to commit taxpayer dollars to help Chrysler--

Canadian Forces April 22nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, Canadians across the country continue to show their appreciation for the dedication, courage and hard work that our men and women in uniform perform on a daily basis. Whether it is wearing red on Fridays or attending red rallies, Canadians want our military and veterans to know we support them.

Last summer, VIA Rail showed appreciation for Canadian Forces members and veterans through free travel. Could the minister tell us whether our veterans and men and women in uniform will have access to a similar service this summer?

Citizen and Junior Citizen Award March 10th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2009 Brooks citizen and junior citizen of the year awards ceremonies.

Mr. Joe Yarrow was the citizen of the year recipient. Since arriving in Brooks 48 years ago, he has dedicated 45 years to the Brooks Fire Department, 49 years to the Royal Canadian Legion, 42 years to the Elks, and has donated over 400 units of blood. Joe is truly a remarkable man whose dedication and commitment to his community and its citizens are second to none.

Jessie Wang was the recipient of the Brooks junior citizen of the year. Jessie's community involvement includes organizing a student exchange trip and volunteering at the Brooks Health Centre. She is involved with over half a dozen local, national and international organizations, all while attending high school and tutoring some of her classmates. She is an outstanding and accomplished young lady.

On behalf of my constituents, I offer Joe and Jessie our sincere congratulations on their awards.

Budget Implementation Act, 2009 March 3rd, 2009

Madam Speaker, I listened intently to the hon. member from the Bloc Québécois speaking about all the problems he has determined with the economic action plan presented by our government.

I find it really strange and hard to imagine, since the budget would provide many billions of dollars to his province in various aspects, both in economic structure development and also in equalization.

My question to that member is this: why would he keep blocking the passage of Bill C-10?

Canadian Forces Reserves February 11th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Forces Base Suffield is in my riding of Medicine Hat and I am pleased to inform the House that in my home province of Alberta, the first bill being introduced into the new sitting of the legislature is a bill to amend the employment standards code to protect jobs of Alberta reservists.

The federal government acted on this a year ago when we brought in historic legislation to protect jobs of Canada's reservists, who work in the federal public sector and in federally regulated industries. We took action on this issue because our government recognized the vital role reservists played. We will do everything we can to ensure that the men and women of our Canadian Forces reserves never have to worry about being penalized for serving their country.

Today, I am proud to stand and congratulate the Alberta government for doing provincially what we have already done federally. Together, we are ensuring that the Canadian Forces reserves have the support they need when they return to their regular working life.

BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION ACT, 2009 February 10th, 2009

Madam Speaker, I understand the member for Nickel Belt has several projects in his riding that are shovel ready and are very important to his riding. I am really interested to know why the member would not support the budget with the infrastructure funding the government is providing in the economic action plan. Why would the member not support the budget? Maybe he should stand up for his constituents and support the budget.

The Budget January 29th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, anywhere I go in my riding and I talk to people about funds, they continue to tell me that they would rather have a dollar in their pocket than a dollar in the hands of a politician. Therefore, everyone here needs to pay attention to constituents across the country, who want to have money in their pockets rather than in Ottawa.