House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was environment.

Last in Parliament June 2019, as Conservative MP for Langley—Aldergrove (B.C.)

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

Statements in the House

Petitions September 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the second petition highlights that there are physicians and health care professionals who are being coerced and intimidated to participate, against their will, in assisted suicide and euthanasia. The petitioners ask that the conscience rights of health care professionals be protected.

Petitions September 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present two petitions. The first one asks the Prime Minister to appoint a minister for seniors and then to develop a national seniors strategy. We now have the Minister of Seniors, three years late, but a national seniors strategy would be excellent.

Cannabis Act June 13th, 2018

Madam Speaker, I want to ask the member what he thinks about the growing of marijuana in residences. The Senate has recommended that it would be up to the provinces to decide whether it would be legal to grow recreational marijuana, four plants which is actually 12 plants. Would the member agree with the recommendation of the Senate that it would be up to the provinces?

Latin American Heritage Month Act June 13th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently, and I thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful comments made by the member for Edmonton West. I want to thank him for his faithfulness and hard work in Edmonton West. He pointed out that he was the 19th member in the House this evening to speak on this important bill. He also pointed out that we have not heard any comments from the silent majority sitting across the way. Not a single Liberal member has spoken on this tonight. I do not know why they would show disdain for the bill because it should be supported unanimously by every member in the House, including comments of support for Bill S-218. It is not too late for them to stand up and fulfill their responsibilities in speaking in favour of this important bill. Hopefully, that makes a difference.

Bill S-218 began with a vision of support from Senator Tobias Enverga, and we miss him. He did great work. The S in the bill, for those at home watching, means it began in the Senate. If it was a C it would have started in the House. The member who is supporting the bill in the House is another hard-working Conservative member, the member for Thornhill. I want to thank him for his hard work and support for the bill. It is worthy of support. It is at report stage, so that means it has gone through the committee process and now here we are at report stage, and very soon, hopefully, we will have unanimous support in the House.

Bill S-218 acknowledges the importance of Latin American culture in Canada. I am thrilled that there are other cultures in Canada that have already been acknowledged. For example, February is Black History Month. It is exciting that we have acknowledged that. May is Jewish Heritage Month. I am thrilled and want to thank the members across the way and on this side who supported that. May is also Asian Heritage Month. I am hoping that in time for this coming October, we will have Latin American heritage month.

My heritage is Ukrainian. My gido, my grandfather, came from Ukraine in 1906. Canada was very good to our country. We worked hard as a family. We helped build roads in Alberta. That is where the family homesteaded. I am honoured that as a member of Parliament from Canada, I will be able to go back to that little village in western Ukraine, Biliavtsi, just outside of Brody. There is Lviv, Brody, and Biliavtsi. That is where they came from in 1906. My grandfather was 16 years old when he came. Six months later, my grandfather Danello Warawa came. I will be the first from my family to actually return since 1906. I am thrilled to be going back there.

Our heritage is so important. I shared that just a little. I hope one day we will have a Ukrainian heritage month. Alberta has one. It got it right. September 7 is Ukrainian-Canadian Heritage Day in Alberta. Perhaps Canada could step up and do that. Perhaps one of the Liberal members, if they wake up and are ready to speak, could seek unanimous consent for that.

However, we are here tonight to talk about Bill S-218, Latin American heritage month. In Langley, in the constituency I represent of Langley—Aldergrove, every year we have the national cultural festival, and we have all the different cultures represented there, including the Latin American culture. What does that look like? Of course, there is the wonderful music and the costumes, and the wonderful, friendly people. Along with that are the wonderful Latin languages of Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English, all in Latin America. We enjoy the wonderful music and art that comes from that.

One of my favourite parts of the Latin American culture is the cuisine. I am sure I would have great support from each member in the House in enjoying that wonderful food.

When we spend time with people from Latin America and enjoy the culture, the music, the art, the food, and the wine, it is wonderful and we can imagine being there. I was thrilled to go to different parts of Latin America and a very small part of Mexico. Unfortunately, I have not been able to go south of Mexico, which is huge country. It is part of North America, but it is part of Latin America. Latin America goes down to Central and South America. It is beautiful and I have enjoyed the culture there.

Canadians are a diverse people. The majority of us have a history of immigration to this wonderful country. There are great opportunities and I hope there will be unanimous support when we have a chance to vote on this bill. I also want to encourage the government to create an environment where Canadians, particularly new Canadians, can thrive and have an opportunity to share their culture but also to get a good job. That means we need to have investment in this country.

The government has a responsibility to create that environment where people are willing to invest. With the growing taxes and ideologies we see from the government and not even wanting to speak to the bill, it is concerning. How much do the Liberals really care? How much is talk and how much is actually doing it?

The Liberals have a responsibility to speak up on important pieces of legislation like this and to create an environment where Canadians have a future, not only this generation. I have five children and 10 grandchildren. I want to wish all the fathers a very happy Father's Day coming up. We have a responsibility as men and women in the House to create an environment where not only this generation but the generations to come, our children, grandchildren, and their children, have a bright future.

Growing taxes are hurting Canadians. When I go home and enjoy my wonderful community, that is the common message I am hearing. Their concerns are growing that the government is not getting it right. Liberals need to listen to Canadians and they need to keep their promises. They need to respect cultures like the Latin American heritage month. I hope that they comment on this important piece of legislation.

Petitions June 12th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on impaired driving. The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to strengthen the Criminal Code with regard to impaired driving.

They say, one, that the charge of impaired driving causing death should be called vehicular manslaughter; two, that a person arrested and convicted of impaired driving should automatically have a one-year driving prohibition; three, that if the impaired driving causes bodily harm, imprisonment should be for a minimum of two years; four, if it causes the death of another person, it should be for a minimum of five years; and five, if a person flees the scene of a crash while impaired, there should be additional two years of imprisonment added to their sentence.

Petitions June 12th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present two petitions.

The first petition asks Parliament to establish a national palliative care strategy. It highlights that in the last Parliament, a motion was unanimously passed calling for the government to create a national palliative care strategy, and that in this, the 42nd Parliament, Bill C-277 passed unanimously, saying that it is impossible for a person to give informed consent on assisted suicide and euthanasia if palliative care is not available. The petitioners are calling on Parliament to establish a national palliative care strategy.

Fisheries Act June 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member. He is in a neighbouring riding, and I think we live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

It is interesting that we invite the witnesses and often the Liberals will invite people knowing what the answers are likely to be, but he said it was perceived that they had not been consulted. Then he connected the dots and said the previous Conservative government was not interested because there is this perceived lack of interest. In fact, science will show us, if he goes to Hansard he will see the long list of people who actually were called as witnesses, who were given the opportunity to testify over those many years before those changes were made.

There was, therefore, a massive amount of consultation. What we heard often was that sometimes within the process they found it frustrating when a provincial assessment would be done and finished and then there would be a federal environmental assessment. The same witnesses were called twice. They asked to just be called once because they did not like being called twice, and asked if people had not listened to them the first time. That was a common concern.

Fisheries Act June 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, in those nine years from 2006 to 2015, when we were in government, there was consultation. There were these changes, and there was a coast to coast tour on salmon. We started on the west coast and ended on the east coast. There is a problem with salmon. It has not developed over one year. It has been over many years. The previous Conservative Parliament was committed to trying to find those answers. Those answers are not only one issue. It is the whole issue of how we are protecting the environment and enhancing the environment.

Unfortunately, Bill C-68 will not solve that problem through rhetoric, because it is not science-based. I believe everyone on this side is committed to doing whatever is necessary to enhance the environment for the salmon, but it is a problem that may take many years of commitment from all sides to find the solutions.

Fisheries Act June 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak to Bill C-68.

I will begin by thanking the member for Prince Albert for the important points he made to this debate. I find it disappointing that science is being ignored, and the member for Prince Albert reminded us of the importance of respecting science. Rhetoric and false statements being made in the House to make a point really discredits that party, that individual, when they make false statements.

Regarding Kinder Morgan, the member for Prince Albert reminded us that the decisions need to be based on science and not on protesting, making outrageous statements, and carrying out illegal activities. As members of Parliament in Canada, we have to look at what is good for the country. What do we need to do? The Liberal government decided that energy east was a no-go. It ignored the science and made a political decision that energy east was a no-go, that Ontario and Quebec, the eastern part of this country, will have to continue to import oil from the Middle East. It will have to be tanked up the east coast and brought into Canada from a foreign entity.

Canada could be self-sufficient if we had energy east. We could ship our oil out of Canada if we had the infrastructure. Right now what we are hearing from the science base is that we move our oil and gas. We leave it in the ground, which means we destroy the standard of living that Canadians enjoy, or we move it by tanker or train, but we are not going to move it the safest way, which is with pipelines. It is bizarre. It is unscientific. It makes no sense when I talk to Canadians. Again, the member Prince Albert reminded us of the importance of respecting science.

I want to give a little history lesson on how we ended up dealing with Bill C-68.

I will go back to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, CEPA. It is a piece of legislation that a lot of regulations for environmental protection was based on. It passed in 1999, the prime minister was Jean Chrétien, and it came into force in 2000. CEPA needed to be reviewed every five years, which is very common with legislation. It came into effect in 2000, and the five-year review would have been in 2005.

Who was the prime minister in 2005? That was Paul Martin. Jean Chrétien's government went from 1993 to December 2003, and in 2003, Paul Martin took over. There was an election in 2004. I was elected in 2004.

I have served my community for 14 years in local government on city council. However, we had trouble even cleaning and maintaining the ditching system so that we would not have flooding, as that was constantly restricted. We heard from not only the local government that I served on but from farmers, and right across the country. Things were not working. Therefore, I was quite excited when I was elected in 2004 and expressed a strong interest in making sure that on the problems we had in the country we could always do better. We can learn from what is not working. Local governments and farmers need to be able to maintain proper drainage systems; otherwise, they plug up. That was very important.

I was really excited in 2006 when there was another election and Paul Martin was no longer the prime minister. Stephen Harper became the prime minister in 2006. I was honoured to be asked to be the parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment. One of the first things we did was realize that the legislative requirement to deal with CEPA should have been done no later than 2005. It was now 2006.

The past Conservative government kept its promises. It did what was required for good governance. It served Canadians extremely well. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act review was overdue. We began with that and we spent a couple of years of consultation, hearing from Canadians about what needed to be changed. We heard that over and over again. That consultation included experts, scientists, and indigenous peoples. We did not rush it. We got it right. From that we made a lot of changes.

In the discussion that we have heard here, not science-based but rhetoric, where we have the NDP saying that the changes that were made hurt salmon. That is not true. We have heard from the Liberals that the previous government gutted protections without consultation. That is not true. Hansard will support that there were years of consultation to get it right. That is not what we see from the Liberal government where they ram things through using time allocation: “We have heard enough. We have heard from the witnesses who we chose and we wanted to hear from, so now that we have heard what we wanted to hear, we want to move this through.” That is not in the interests of Canada, and it not science-based.

The Liberals have said that they want to restore the lost habitat protection. However, that is not what happened. There were improvements so that the drainage systems across the country could be maintained. People were not being fined. We were being realistic. Yes, we do need to protect our waters. We need to do that.

Those are the changes that were made by the previous government. Now what we have in Bill C-68 is again the rhetoric or statements that are not based on science. The end result will be layers of regulatory uncertainty.

There were over 50 witnesses that came to the committee. Not one of the witnesses could identify any harm that had been done by the previous government. Actually, the committee heard about the good that had happened. There was not one witness who could show by science any support for Bill C-68 and the need for any of the amendments and changes in Bill C-68.

There were over 50 witnesses. One of the witnesses came from the Canadian Electricity Association. With the changes of CEPA, which I spoke of a moment ago, we heard from electricity producers. They said that one of their challenges is that if they put fish into the streams and restock the streams, the habitats change. They want to improve the habitat to make it better and healthier. However, if they hurt any fish by having all of these new fish introduced into the streams and lakes, they will be held responsible for an existing structure. They said if we could provide freedom for them to make those changes, they wanted to do that. It is good for the environment, just like farmers wanting to make things better, so as long as they were not going to be hurt by doing that, they would like to be able to make those changes. That was one of the changes that was made.

Now what the Liberals are saying will restore lost habitats actually will have the opposite effect. That is what the Canadian Electricity Association said, that Bill C-68 represents one step forward but two steps back. Bill C-68 is a missed opportunity for the federal government to anchor the Fisheries Act in a reasonable population-based approach, rather than focused on individual fish, and to clearly identify fisheries management objectives.

What is being proposed creates uncertainty. It puts farmers at risk and it puts infrastructure at risk. What it does, though, is that it keeps a political promise made by the government. That is why we are not hearing science-based information. Rather, we are hearing rhetoric. It is really sad.

It was in 2005, just before there was a change in government, there was a report from the commissioner of the environment. It stated, “When it comes to protecting the environment, bold announcements are made and then often forgotten as soon as the confetti hits the ground”. That is happening again, and that is not in the interests of Canada.

Father's Day June 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, this Sunday is Father's Day. We celebrate fathers and grandfathers by reminding them of their importance in each of our lives. I loved my father and father-in-law. Both were incredible men of God, who lived their faith with integrity and commitment. They loved their families and were role models for good. I am now the role model for my children and grandchildren. I also want to be a man who loves God and his family.

Men's health is also important, and I want to thank Dr. Larry Goldenberg and the Canadian Men's Health Foundation. They are working to raise awareness of preventable health problems. One big health problem for men is prostate cancer. I am a prostate cancer survivor, thanks to answered prayers, and Dr. Larry Goldenberg, one of the best urologists in the world.

I urge men to get their prostate checked every year, and also to check their blood PSA level. Those checkups can save their lives. I wish men a happy Father's Day.