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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was safety.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Elmwood—Transcona (Manitoba)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canadian Armed Forces June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to acknowledge and thank the Royal Canadian Legion Zone 64 and Transcona Branch No. 7 for hosting their annual decoration day services in recognition of those who have served and those who continue to serve in our Canadian Armed Forces. Events like these ones serve as powerful reminders of the sacrifices made by our veterans, sacrifices they made to assure not only our freedom here in Canada but also the freedom of many other countries in the world.

Being the son of immigrants from the Netherlands who came to Canada after being liberated by Canadian Forces, I am forever indebted to Canada's veterans who defended Holland's peace and security.

As Canadians, we were very proud to join the Dutch people as they celebrated the 70th anniversary of their liberation earlier this spring. I was tremendously honoured to meet their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Kingdom of the Netherlands last month in recognition of this important milestone.

I wish to recognize Canada's men and women in uniform, past and present, for all they have done in serving our country.

Taxation June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has balanced its budget while helping families balance theirs. All families with children in Elmwood—Transcona are benefiting from the family tax cut and universal child care benefit, and do not want to give the Liberals the chance to take it away.

Could the Minister of State for Finance please update the House on the government's efforts to keep taxes at historic lows?

Digital Privacy Act June 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure whether it is a question. It sounded like quite a long rambling commentary of somebody who has been in this House for a long time and should have a clear understanding of the rules and how the rules in this House and in Parliament work.

If he still has not understood that after these many years, I do not think that in the minute you have given me, Mr. Speaker, I am going to be able to educate him on that.

With respect to the bill, though, this is a bill that is very important. I did outline in my statement some of the great things it would do to protect our young people and the vulnerable in our society, and I will continue to support any legislation that would protect the vulnerable in my riding of Elmwood—Transcona

Digital Privacy Act June 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is very important that we have this protection and the mandating of organizations to inform their clients when their information has been lost or stolen. It is critical that Canadians know if their personal information has been lost or stolen, so they can take the necessary actions to protect their privacy going forward.

Organizations would have to tell individuals what steps they need to take, and would also guide them through the process and the actions they need to take to make sure of their credit card PIN, for example, or email password, if that had been compromised. They would not only have this ability but would be walked through the steps necessary to protect their privacy. This is very important.

It should also be noted that organizations that do not comply with this measure would face some very significant penalties—up to $100,000 for every individual they fail to notify. Obviously, this would make corporations and organizations very aware of the fact of keeping this information private in the first place, because they do not want to be facing fines of $100,000 each. That can add up very quickly if they have the data or information of many Canadians compromised in their system.

Digital Privacy Act June 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in my place today to express support for Bill S-4, the digital privacy act, which was first introduced in April of last year. The digital privacy act would make important changes to Canada's private sector privacy law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA, to better protect the privacy of Canadians.

I would like to spend my time highlighting the measures in Bill S-4 that are designed to better safeguard the privacy of minors and protect vulnerable members of our society. In our modern digital economy, it is absolutely critical that we make sure our children have safe and secure access to online resources.

Being digitally literate is no longer merely nice to have; it is now a necessary prerequisite for young Canadians, whether to be successful in school or to find their first job. In fact, a recent survey revealed that in 2013, 99% of Canadian students were able to access the Internet outside of school.

While there are many benefits to being digitally connected, going online can also expose our children to risks. As we have unfortunately seen, young people can become targets of online intimidation and abuse. Our government has acted to protect our children from cyberbullying and other similar threats through Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act. This bill, which came into force on March 9, 2015, ensures that all Canadians can freely access the Internet without fear of victimization.

Bill C-13 protects children and adolescents from online predators and exploitation. Provisions of the bill permit and empower the courts to penalize those who harass, intimidate, exploit, or threaten others online or through telecommunication devices. In other words, Bill C-13 serves to counter cyberbullying in Canada.

The Government of Canada takes cyberbullying very seriously and supports a no-tolerance framework. In January 2014, our government launched the anti-cyberbullying national awareness campaign called Stop Hating Online, which raises awareness of the impact of cyberbullying and how this behaviour amounts to criminal activity.

We have also taken further steps to protect children from online predators. Our government has invested $14.2 million a year through the national strategy for the protection of children from sexual exploitation on the Internet. In addition to Bill C-13, our government has implemented other concrete measures to keep young Canadians safe online and in their communities. Such measures include increasing the maximum penalties for luring a child online, strengthening the sentencing and monitoring of dangerous offenders, and strengthening the sex offender registry, to name only a few. All of these initiatives align with our government's commitment to stand up and protect Canadians.

Bill C-13 was introduced to provide a safe and secure environment for Canadians online, and the digital privacy act seeks to accomplish this as well. In this rapidly growing digital world, we must be aware that going online can expose vulnerable Canadians to privacy risks. For example, minors can be subject to aggressive marketing tactics or can have their personal data collected and shared without them truly understanding what is being done and the potential long-term privacy consequences.

To address this concern, the digital privacy act includes an amendment to clarify requirements for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. Specifically, the bill clarifies that when a company is seeking permission to collect, use, or disclose personal information from a group of individuals, such as children, it must take the necessary steps to ensure that, as a group, these individuals are able to understand what would happen to their personal information. In practice, this means that the organization's request for information must be presented in a clear and concise manner and must be appropriate for and easily understood by the target audience. This includes making sure the wording and language used in the request are age-appropriate.

Let me take a minute to give an example explaining to the members of the House how this would work. Let us say that an online service designed for children wishes to gather information about who visits their site. In order to seek consent, the company would be required to design and present its request to collect, use, and disclose information using language that a child could reasonably be expected to understand. If a child could not be expected to understand what the website seeks to do with their information, the child's consent would not be valid. As a result, consent from a parent would need to be sought.

The Privacy Commissioner expressed his strong support for this amendment when appearing before the standing committee. This is what the Privacy Commissioner said:

I think with the clarification that Bill S-4 provides, it is a useful clarification of what consent is, and it has the potential of improving the situation for the issue of consent sought from children....

There are additional amendments in Bill S-4 that are also designed to better protect the interests of other vulnerable individuals. I would like to bring to the attention of hon. members two particular amendments that would allow information to be more easily shared in emergency situations.

The first of these amendments would allow organizations to share personal information in order to contact a family member of an injured, ill, or deceased individual. The importance of this amendment was well summarized by the representative of the Canadian Pharmacists Association in her appearance before the standing committee when she said:

Pharmacists, as well as any health care provider, may find themselves in the difficult situation of having to deal with patients who may be severely ill, unconscious, or incapacitated for any number of reasons. In such circumstances it may be imperative for the pharmacist or other health professional to immediately contact family members or next of kin to inform them of the patient's condition, or to seek valuable information on the patients' medical history. But seeking permission or consent to contact those individuals in advance may simply not be reasonable nor in some cases possible. This clause would provide pharmacists and other health care providers with the comfort and knowledge that in the case of a severe health emergency they will not be in contravention of PIPEDA for acting in the best interests of their patients by contacting next of kin or authorized representatives.

The second of these amendments would allow information to be shared in situations such as accidents or disasters, in order to assist in the identification of injured, ill, or deceased individuals. For example, this would allow dentists to provide an individual's dental records to authorities in order to identify victims of a natural disaster.

These two amendments are clearly in the public's interest and are long overdue.

The government is committed to protecting the privacy of Canadians. The digital privacy act would take necessary actions to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, including children.

Taxation May 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government has brought in multiple measures to help middle-class families. Could the Minister of Employment and Social Development please update the House on the impact of our universal child care benefit and the family tax cut?

Taxation May 7th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister understands that small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. Small businesses in my riding of Elmwood—Transcona know that the Conservative Party is the only party in the House that supports them. For instance, we introduced the small business job credit, lowering EI premiums for over 700,000 small businesses across Canada to help them create jobs.

Could the Minister of State for Finance please tell the House what new steps the government is taking to stand up for small businesses?

Foreign Affairs April 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government, under the leadership of this Prime Minister, has been unequivocal in our support for Ukraine.

Whether it takes 5 months or 50 years, we will never, ever recognize the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea, which is sovereign Ukrainian territory.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs please update the House on the most recent measures our government has taken to support Ukraine and its territorial integrity?

Ongoing Situation in Ukraine April 29th, 2015

Mr. Chair, I have been listening intently tonight and I hear ideas and concepts of nuance and diplomacy. I think we all agree that we want to do things in as diplomatic a fashion as we can, and as the son of parents who were liberated from the Netherlands, it is actually apropos that we are talking on the celebration of the 70th year of that liberation of my parents.

Things like nuance and diplomacy play a role, but we also need to understand, and I hope the opposition will get on board with us, there is a point in time when we have to call a spade a spade and be willing to go forward in a strong fashion and speak strongly, and do the things that need to be done in order to liberate a country that has been invaded by another country to the point that its freedoms and ability to rule itself have been taken over.

We can talk about all these things, but I would like to hear the other side say that we need to be very direct at certain points in time.

Taxation April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Finance tabled a balanced budget in this House. Now that we have balanced our budget, we would help hard-working Canadian families balance theirs through our new family tax cut and enhanced universal child care benefit. These measures would benefit 100% of families with children, leaving every family with more money in its pocket to spend on its priorities.

Sadly, the Liberals and the the New Democrats have a different plan, and it is a simple one. They want higher taxes on middle-class families, higher taxes on middle-class seniors and higher taxes on middle-class consumers so those parties can afford their plans to expand their control on the finances of Canadian families. They philosophically believe that government is better suited to handle the finances of Canadian families than the hard-working people of Canada.

That is the wrong plan for hard-working Canadian families. That is why our Conservative government is reducing taxes on the middle class.