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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was actually.

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

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act February 13th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, definitely we see a disconnect. We hear it constantly on the streets. I hear it in my riding. I hear this question at least once a week as to what the purpose of this long gun registry is and has it had any effect or impact.

We also hear it from police officers. I have friends who are police officers, who can very clearly attest to the fact that they have no trust or confidence in the registry. It does not give them the feeling that they have some information they can rely on when they go to a door. In fact it scares them because the information is so unreliable it actually works counter to what they are trying to accomplish.

There is definitely a disconnect between what citizens are saying to us and what we are hearing from the other side of the House.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act February 13th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the impact the gun registry has had is to deal with looking at citizens, our farmers, our sports shooters, and our hunters, as if they created a problem with the long guns. To tie in these members of the public and say that they are part of the problem with suicides is a very unfair thing to do. They are not part of the problem. They are not contributing to the problem.

We need to understand that the safeguards are in place already, as we have said, with the registry, the background checks. Those are the things that really, truly deal with the issues of people who may be prone to using guns in an inappropriate manner. That has already been covered off.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act February 13th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, that is very much the reason behind why the long gun registry is so wasteful. I talked about waste. It is a duplication of a process that is already in place. There are measures to protect Canadians. There are measures to make sure that those who have guns should be able to have them. They have to go through a licensing process. They have to go through a background check, as I mentioned in my speech.

Those processes are already there. Why would we add a very costly, to the tune of a billion dollars, system to enhance something that is already there? That is the reason we need to scrap the long gun registry.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act February 13th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Huron—Bruce.

It gives me great pleasure to speak in support of Bill C-19, the ending the long gun registry act. I would like to thank my hon. colleagues who have presented strong arguments in favour of the legislation that will finally end a measure that has had no clear benefit and many downfalls.

The legislation before us, as with many bills we have introduced, is straightforward and to the point. We tell it like it is, plain and simple. There is no confusion as to what the bill will do. Just to ensure that my hon. colleagues are clear, however, I will briefly explain what the bill is all about.

First, it would eliminate the requirement to register long guns. Second, it would allow for the destruction of the registration information for non-restricted firearms that is in the Canadian firearms registry and under the control of the chief firearms officer. This is the extent of Bill C-19.

With the countless hours of debate and discussion that have taken place regarding this legislation and proposed bills that have come before it, one would think it is a far more complicated issue. In fact, I would argue that of all the words that have been written, spoken and perhaps sometimes even yelled in this House and in the media on this topic, the most important one is “wasteful”. This is a strong word, but it is the only accurate word to describe the long gun registry.

What do we mean by wasteful? The dictionary defines wasteful as using or spending too much. That is the perfect way to describe the long gun registry. It has used up a tremendous amount of time and energy for millions of Canadians. This includes the time wasted by millions of law-abiding long gun owners to go through the unnecessary registration process.

In fact, up until 2006 when our government made amendments to the rules, Canadians were expected to provide physical verification of their rifles and shotguns. We can only imagine what this adds up to in terms of wasted time and energy on the part of these individuals.

Even with the changes put in place in 2006, individuals registering their rifles and shotguns must still answer a series of questions by phone. We must ask ourselves, is this truly an effective form of gun control? Do we really believe that criminals will go through the registration process, diligently sitting through a telephone conversation to ensure their non-restricted firearm is properly registered? The answer is no. The individuals wasting their time registering their firearms are the law-abiding hunters, farmers and sports shooters in Canada, in other words, ordinary Canadians who are doing their best to comply with the heavy-handed registration system.

The long gun registry has also proven to be a waste of time for the police officers it was originally purported to protect. We have heard the testimony of several police officers who appeared before committee and told us the registry is inaccurate and unreliable. One Saskatoon police officer who testified in committee put it this way:

For officers using the registry, trusting in the inaccurate and unverified information contained therein, tragedy looms around the door.

Knowing what I do about the registry, I cannot use the information contained in the registry to swear out a search warrant. To do so would be a criminal act. Thus I cannot in good conscience tell any officer, junior or senior, to place his faith in the results of a query of the Canada firearms registry online.

This is a chilling indictment of the long gun registry. Not only is it a waste of time for police to rely on the data contained in the long gun registry, it also creates a false sense of security that could lead to deadly consequences for our brave police officers.

It is impossible to put a price tag on the amount of time Canadians have wasted on this long gun registry over the course of the last 16 years. What we can do, however, is put a price tag on the second part of the definition of wasteful, that which refers to spending too much. The state broadcaster has done just that. The CBC has estimated that the long gun registry has cost Canadians in excess of $2 billion. This is an affront to Canadian taxpayers.

Worse still is the fact that despite our government's ongoing efforts since 2006 to pass legislation that would eliminate the long gun registry, it still remains in place today, costing millions of dollars each and every year. This wasteful spending is an insult to ordinary citizens who place their trust in their government to spend their taxes wisely on policies and actions that keep them safe.

We know that Canadians are willing to pay for effective crime prevention measures. They understand and accept the need to follow reasonable and fair regulations as part of a nation that adheres to the rule of law. In return, they deserve nothing less than a government that is careful with their money, while taking into consideration the need to invest in areas that will build a better, stronger and safer Canada.

It has always been our government's commitment, first and foremost, to keep our streets and communities safe. In the matter of gun control, this responsibility translates into making the right decisions on how to best prevent violent gun crimes. It has been shown empirically that the current gun licensing system is one of the best tools at our disposal, and it is a system that is widely accepted by gun owners as a necessary and fair measure. That is why Bill C-19 will not make any changes to this system. Obtaining a valid firearms licence will still require individuals to undergo the Canadian firearms safety course and background checks to determine their eligibility to own a firearm. Further, we will make no changes to the regulations in place regarding restricted and prohibited firearms.

This legislation is the work of a responsible government that is committed to focusing our resources and efforts on what works rather than pouring money into an ineffective measure that does not. It is the work of a government that stands by its commitment to Canadians.

When we first came to power more than six years ago, we told Canadians that we would crack down on crime, put the rights of victims first, and strengthen our police forces. We have delivered on that pledge. Over the past six years we have introduced legislation that gives victims a voice at parole board hearings and which ensures that offenders cannot pull out of their parole board hearing at the last minute. We have passed legislation to crack down on violent gun crimes and to make sure that those who commit serious crimes face serious consequences. We have passed legislation that gives our police officers better tools to do their jobs, tools that are actually effective. Even if we had a well run long gun registry that remained within its estimated budget, it still would not prevent violent gun crimes. It still would not change the fact that criminals do not register their firearms.

In conclusion, the time for endless words and debate is over. Now is the time that we must take action and eliminate the long gun registry. I call on all hon. members to look at the facts and listen to their constituents, particularly those in rural and remote areas of Canada. I call on all members to make the responsible choice and support this bill.

Foreign Affairs February 1st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the firing of rockets by Hamas into Israeli communities has been and continues to be a regular occurrence. These attacks strike police stations, coffee shops and even elementary schools are done without remorse. Hamas' goal is simple: the total destruction of Israel and the slaughter of all Jews.

In Canada, Hamas is rightly listed as a terrorist organization. Unfortunately, Canada's official opposition does not see this anti-Semitic organization as all that bad. Last night on Power and Politics, when given multiple opportunities to say that the NDP would not work with this terrorist organization, the NDP member for Newton—North Delta refused to do so. Sadly, this NDP policy should come as no surprise from a party that includes a member who has said that Israel has been an occupied territory since 1948. This irresponsible position is further proof that the NDP is not fit to govern.

Infrastructure December 14th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I thank the House for the opportunity to speak to the motion put forward by the member for LaSalle—Émard.

Part (f) of the motion states that “the government should”:

acknowledge its exclusive financial responsibility for, and immediately announce its intention to replace, the Champlain Bridge.

I am happy to report that the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has already announced that our Conservative government is proceeding with the construction of a new bridge across the St. Lawrence River in Montreal to replace the existing Champlain Bridge.

The Champlain Bridge is the busiest bridge in Canada. Each year, approximately 11 million transit commuters and 60 million vehicles cross the bridge. It is a part of a trade corridor that is vital for both the regional and Canadian economy and especially for Canada-U.S. trade.

The economy continues to be the number one priority for our Conservative government, as it is for Canadians. Each year about $20 billion in international goods cross the Champlain Bridge. The bridge is an important trade corridor that meets the objectives of Canada's gateway strategies.

However, any infrastructure deteriorates over time. This is why our government has decided to construct a new bridge. This new bridge will ensure the continued effectiveness of this important trade corridor. It is a key component of our new continental gateway strategy.

We did not make this decision lightly. We took time to fully examine the analysis of the current condition of the bridge and its potential for renovation, as well as to review the results of the feasibility study on options for replacing the current bridge. The analysis revealed that, because of its design, the current Champlain Bridge cannot be renovated.

The feasibility study also looked at different scenarios for the construction of a new bridge or tunnel. As a result of this study, we were able to rule out building a tunnel because the construction and operation of this kind of infrastructure would be much more costly and impose operating restrictions with respect to the transport of hazardous materials and to any changes required in the future.

Obviously the process for a new bridge will take a number of years. The Minister of Transport has already begun important discussions with stakeholders in Montreal. One of the key stakeholders in this project is obviously the Government of Quebec. Given the strategic importance of the corridor that will be served by the new bridge, we need to know how Quebec plans to integrate the bridge into its roads and infrastructure strategy. Likewise, we need to discuss the inclusion of transit into the new bridge design.

As members may know, the Champlain Bridge is an essential part of the transit system in Montreal. Approximately 30,000 transit riders use the dedicated lane of the Champlain Bridge every weekday, the same amount as those using the metro line between the Island of Montreal and Longueuil. Therefore, options must be discussed for including a modern transit system on the new bridge to link downtown Montreal with the south shore. Our discussions on the subject with the Government of Quebec, which is responsible for transit, are consequentially crucial for the future of transit in the region.

We also have a lot of work to do in order to determine governance and funding models for the new bridge. We are committed to completing this project while minimizing the financial impact. This means that we are seriously considering developing this project as a public-private partnership and financing it through tolls.

Our government will continue its work and preliminary studies over the coming years. Obviously, it will fully consider the views of stakeholders and ensure that all decisions are made in a fiscally responsible manner.

With respect to tolls, I would like to draw members' attention to a survey conducted by Leger Marketing that was released on October 17. This survey indicates that 60% of Quebeckers, including those living in the Montreal area, support tolls on the new bridge. Sixty per cent also support the project's development through a public-private partnership. This is excellent news and proof that Quebeckers support our position on the renewal of this important corridor's infrastructure.

Until construction of the new bridge is completed,our government will continue to ensure that the Champlain Bridge remains safe, as it has always done.

Since 2009, our government has announced significant investments totalling $380 million to keep this important bridge safe for all who use it. This includes a major reinforcement program extending over 10 years. We will continue to perform the work needed to preserve the structural integrity of the bridge.

On October 5, with the new bridge announcement, we started a project that is quite exciting for all of us and that will change the transportation network in the Montreal area for the next century. We already have the support of a number of stakeholders and we will continue our discussions with them.

I can assure members that we take the responsibilities that come with this project very seriously and that we will continue to make the right decisions for the people in the Montreal area and for all Canadians.

Labour December 12th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the collective agreement between Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, representing locomotive engineers, and CN Railway will expire on December 31 of this year. A work stoppage at a national railway would have a significant impact on the economy and on local communities.

Could the Minister of Labour please give the House an update on the status of the labour negotiations at CN?

Elmwood Curling Club December 12th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Elmwood—Transcona, there are many celebrations of anniversaries happening this year, for museums, organizations and community clubs.

Today, I want to bring to the attention of the House the Elmwood Curling Club, which recently celebrated 100 years as part of the community of Elmwood.

Community centres and facilities are the backbone to a healthy community and so, today, I want to acknowledge how proud I am that there are facilities like the Elmwood Curling Club celebrating a long and healthy relationship with the community.

To all those who took part in the celebration, congratulations. It really is a service that is greatly appreciated by all of Elmwood.

I also want to quickly pass on a warm Christmas wish to all the constituents of Elmwood—Transcona. I hope they enjoy this season with family and friends, and have a blessed new year.

Justice December 6th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are concerned about crime, which is why they gave our government a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe.

Anyone who has witnessed gang activity knows that those who produce, import and traffic illicit drugs are a major threat to the safety and security of Canada's cities. Police chiefs, fire chiefs and victims agree that those who engage in this kind of activity should receive sentences which reflect the serious nature of their crime.

Could the Minister of Justice please inform the House about what measures he is taking to ensure that Canadians can be confident in our justice system?

Infrastructure November 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, this week the Auditor General released a second report that gives our government strong marks for the delivery of Canada's economic action plan. During the global economic recession, Infrastructure Canada played a key role in stimulating our economy to create jobs for Canadians right across the country.

Can the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities please inform the House about the Auditor General's findings as to how Infrastructure Canada administered the infrastructure stimulus fund under the economic action plan?