This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!
House of Commons photo

Track Mark

Your Say

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is seniors.

Conservative MP for Langley—Aldergrove (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions April 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is in regard to vehicular homicide. The petition sadly informs the House that 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius was tragically killed by a drunk driver, a person who chose to drive while impaired.

Families for Justice are Canadians who have lost a loved one, killed by an impaired driver. They believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is, vehicular homicide.

The petitioners are calling on the Prime Minister to honour his letter and to support legislation to condemn this. The petition also highlights that 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by a drunk driver.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to wish you and all members of this House a wonderful blessed Easter as we remember the great love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Petitions April 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present two petitions. The first addresses gender-based violence. It is very appropriate with yesterday's visit from Malala.

It highlights that ultrasounds are being used to tell the sex of an unborn child, so if it is a girl the pregnancy can be terminated. It highlights that there are over 200 million girls missing in the world due to the use of sex selection.

The petitioners are calling upon Parliament to condemn discrimination against girls occurring through sex selection.

Public Services and Procurement April 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I have a report from the Library of Parliament that I seek unanimous consent to table. It is a report that clearly shows that the carbon tax is not federally revenue neutral.

Taxation April 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, a new report reveals that the Prime Minister will take $130 million out of Alberta and B.C. this year by charging GST on top of their provincial carbon taxes. It is shocking. That is $130 million in federal taxes, despite the Prime Minister's promise that carbon pricing would be revenue neutral for the federal government. It is yet another broken promise that will take more money out of the pockets of hard-working Canadians.

Will the Prime Minister stop increasing taxes, keep his promises, and immediately eliminate this unfair tax on a tax?

Instruction to Committee on Bill C-243 April 11th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, that is a very relevant question. I have been here since 2004. I have been honoured to be elected five times to represent my community. I have never seen such a top-down approach right from the Prime Minister's Office involved with our committees and directing a desired outcome. We have a scripted response from a number of the Liberal members in the committee. They are told what to say: “Here are your questions. Here are your statements. Here are the desired outcomes.” They have meetings ahead of time.

Unfortunately, committees under the Liberal government are not permitted to do their work. It is disappointing and it needs to change. There are still two and a half years in this Parliament. There is hope that the Prime Minister will stop his manipulative and dictatorial approach at committees. Committees need to be allowed to do their good work.

Instruction to Committee on Bill C-243 April 11th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, my NDP colleague has worked very hard with us in the HUMA committee and I want to thank her for her good work. I also want to thank her for being a mom. Mother's Day is not that far away. If we did not have moms, we would not be here. We need moms and we need to protect moms.

The member has brought up a very important point. It is not just welding. That is what Bill C-243 is focusing on: women who are in high-risk vocations like welding and the contaminants in the air involved with welding. We heard testimony that any strenuous job could jeopardize a pregnancy.

The Liberal way is to create optics of a narrow list of people who would qualify for this extra protection, but the committee heard that it is not just welding, that it can be any job where there is strenuous activity involved. We need to protect moms no matter what they are doing. If a woman is pregnant, she is at risk. We need to protect and help her.

Instruction to Committee on Bill C-243 April 11th, 2017

moved:

That it be an instruction to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities that, during its consideration of Bill C-243, An Act respecting the development of a national maternity assistance program strategy and amending the Employment Insurance Act (maternity benefits), the Committee be granted the power to travel throughout Canada to hear testimony from interested parties and that the necessary staff do accompany the Committee, provided that the travel does not exceed five calendar days.

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Sarnia—Lambton, a very hard-working member of the House. I appreciate her participation.

It is really important that we give Canadians an opportunity to be consulted. Since the Liberal government was elected, we have seen a lot of smoke and mirrors and heard a lot of announcements about consultation and a lot of plans and strategies have been laid out, but people are not listened to. We see that in the House and we also see it in our country.

Bill C-243 deals with maternal health. It also talks about listening to Canadian women who have chosen to have a baby and the challenges that they face. We have had two meetings so far, and the witnesses we heard from gave us a lot of important new information. We heard about the challenges that women face while pregnant. We also heard once from departmental officials, which is quite normal, and then in two following meetings we heard from other witnesses.

It is important that we expand that meeting to include travel. The motion that we are debating now is important.

What we heard from the officials was that the maternal health programs are not working. Women find themselves in need of that support, but they cannot apply for maternal health benefits until the actual delivery of their baby. Women told us that if they could fill out the forms ahead of time, it would greatly help them, but the government has said they have to wait, and this causes a delay.

The Liberal government, which is famous for delay, is okay with that, but Canadians are not happy. They want women and families to be protected, and if women qualify for these benefits, they should be able to get them without any delay, so it has been suggested that they be able to apply for those benefits before they deliver their baby.

The benefits would not take effect until the child was delivered. This would not cost the government anything. The government would face no additional costs. However, the benefits would be provided in a timely fashion to the mothers.

Many of the women that we heard from were new mothers who had gone through their first pregnancy, but we also heard from mothers who had gone through many pregnancies. One mother we heard from had gone through five pregnancies.

Women do not qualify for these maternity benefits unless they have been working. My wife and I have five children, and I asked the mom with five children if each of her pregnancies had been the same. She said no. We know all pregnancies can be different. The challenges and the expenses associated with a pregnancy can be different, so we need to be flexible with respect to the help we can provide.

We heard from many moms that finances are a barrier to many women considering having children. We heard from the trades, the welding trade in particular, that more women are needed in these trades, but because of the financial barriers, they are not considering that trade. Women in the welding trade told us that the first trimester is when the unborn child is at the highest risk, and in some cases, the women may not even be aware that they are pregnant.

We need to make sure that women are protected and that their unborn children are protected, and that will only happen if we give Canadian women the opportunity to testify at committee.

We also heard from the experts that if we do not make the workplace safe for women, and if we do not adapt and listen to them, then women will not be able to be engaged in these other vocations, which they are very capable of doing. We need to listen to Canadian women. This will only happen if we give Canadian women an opportunity to speak.

We also heard about some of the challenges Canadian women face especially in the last three months of a pregnancy. We heard that they have to buy a new car seat. We have five children and 10 grandchildren. When we had our children many years ago, there were not the associated costs that there are today. When we brought our first child home from the hospital, the hospital gave us a nice little cardboard box with decorations on it. That is not the case anymore. People have to buy a brand new car set, not a used one, because without knowing the history of the car seat, it may not be safe. Everybody has to buy a car seat. There are different types of car seats, and in very short order one goes from the snap-in, carriage-type of car seat to a rear-facing car seat. It is not just one car seat that is needed, because in very short order another type of car seat will be needed, as well as a stroller, a crib, and all the supplies. We heard from some Canadian women that maybe the child benefit should start in that last trimester.

We heard of women who needed physiotherapy in that last trimester because they were very uncomfortable. If they did not have insurance to cover the costs of that, it was a very expensive experience. There are women who have multiple children. One witness had five children and was unable to get full benefit of the maternity benefits.

If we are to truly help Canadian women who have decided to have a baby, we need to give them the opportunity to speak. The only way that can happen is by having them engage with the human resources committee, HUMA. Strangely, it was the self-proclaimed family-friendly cabinet that voted against Bill C-243. Fortunately, the bill is at HUMA and is proceeding because the majority of members in this Parliament supported Bill C-243. A number of the Liberal caucus members felt that it was a good bill and disagreed with the Prime Minister and thought that it should go to committee. It is at committee and is proceeding, which is what Canadian women want, and it will proceed for a very short period of time. Women should not be denied the opportunity to be involved with what the Liberals call conversation or dialogue, which will only happen if we make it available to them. We know the cabinet does not support it and does not want it to happen. However, I believe that a majority of the Liberal caucus members will support this, and will support giving Canadian women the opportunity to speak and educate us, because most of us do not know what it is like to be pregnant and to have a child. I was just an observer and supporter of my wife through those pregnancies. We need to listen and to be involved. We need to engage.

I think it is a good motion. It promotes true dialogue and true listening, which will only happen if we give Canadian women this opportunity by travelling to different cities. Often the west coast is ignored. I am from British Columbia. I encourage us to travel, to travel to Vancouver and its outlying areas, and from coast to coast to coast in Canada. We need to listen to Canadian women. If we listen and understand how we can help them, it will help Canadian women who are giving birth to have those opportunities and not have the financial barriers they have now. By listening to them, we can make it possible for them to have a wonderful pregnancy, and a wonderful time raising their children. In that first year after delivery, it is so important that the child experience the nurturing that can only come from having a parent there.

I hope the House will support this motion. I think it is a reasonable motion.

Business of Supply March 21st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am trying to listen to the member and I am hearing a lot of chatter from the other side. Perhaps the member could ask his colleagues to calm down so we can all listen.

Petitions March 20th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present this petition on impaired driving.

Families for Justice is a group of Canadians who have had a loved one killed by a drunk driver. They believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is, vehicular homicide. It is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada. More than 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers.

The petition calls for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for this Parliament to support Bill C-226, impaired driving act, and Bill C-247, Kassandra's law.

Excise Tax Act March 20th, 2017

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-342, an act to amend the Excise Tax Act (carbon levy).

Mr. Speaker, I am so honoured to present in this Parliament my private member's bill. We will begin debate next month on it. I would like to thank the hard-working member for North Okanagan—Shuswap. It turned out that we were both very interested in the same important issue. The issue is that Canadians are willing to pay their fair share of taxes, but Canadians are being tricked by the government.

The Prime Minister said that we must all pay a new carbon tax on everything. He said that the provinces and territories may make this revenue-neutral, but he said that his new tax on carbon would not create any new taxes for his federal government. However, that is not the case. It has been revealed that the federal Liberal government will be collecting billions of dollars of new taxes by charging GST and HST on top of the price on carbon, which is a tax on the tax. That is not fair. It is not what the Prime Minister promised.

I have introduced this bill to prevent the federal government from collecting GST or HST on the carbon tax. It is a good bill. It is not fair to charge a tax on a tax. I call on all members in this House to support this excellent bill.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)