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Conservative MP for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin (Alberta)
Won his last election, in 2015, with 66% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Democratic Reform June 2nd, 2016
Mr. Speaker, the minister's repeated use of people with disabilities as strategic pieces in her political game is not okay.
My son Jaden has autism and he cast his first vote in October. The Elections Canada folks were absolutely wonderful in helping him through that process.
Having a referendum on which voting system to use will have absolutely no impact on Jaden's ability to vote. Will the minister please call a referendum and let all Canadians, including every Canadian with a disability, have their say on this important issue?
Air Canada Public Participation Act April 20th, 2016
Madam Speaker, I found an interesting quote from a couple of years ago by the Liberal member for Scarborough—Guildwood. This is a Liberal fundraising email. He stated:
By keeping Air Canada’s maintenance in Canada, we ensured a superior level of safety with tight regulations and a highly skilled aerospace workforce. By shuttering Canadian overhaul centres, Canada is losing its ability to ensure that our aircraft meet safety regulations.
Therefore, I have a couple of questions.
The first one is this. Will the government allow debate to continue so that the Liberal member for Scarborough—Guildwood can address his safety concerns to his own government?
Also, I noticed that the Minister of Justice seconded this closure motion today. I am wondering if there were any staff members from Air Canada at a recent fundraiser in Toronto.
Autism Awareness March 24th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, April 2 marks World Autism Awareness Day and 18 years since my son Jaden was diagnosed.
Life with Jaden has not exactly been as we planned. He has never made the honour role or attended university or heard his name called at the NHL draft. In no way is this a disappointment. Those were simply not the right plans for Jaden.
To measure his value by IQ or income or goals and assists would be to completely misunderstand who he is. Jaden has a truly rare and beautiful nature, an immeasurable blend of honesty, authenticity, innocence and genuine love. It is an indescribable joy to witness him grow up with a childlike vulnerability and sense of wonder that the rest of us, sadly, lose over time.
Life with Jaden may not be what we had planned, but we do not celebrate any less; we just celebrate different things. It is a lesson learned through experience and one I would not trade for the world.
Business of the House February 4th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member asks why we would not want to see the government run a deficit. First of all, it is not exactly the same thing. There was a global financial crisis, and leaders around the world took measures to coordinate their approaches at a fiscal level to ensure that, as a world, we were able to pull forward. Canada took a leadership role in that, along with other countries. New Democrats, who were in the House during that time, demanded more spending all the time, as they do almost every day in the House of Commons.
Why is it that we do not want to go down that road today? It is because we saw what happened with Liberal governments in the past. We saw the devastating cuts that they had to make to health care and post-secondary education, and they threw them on the backs of the provinces. Provinces like Ontario and Alberta and others had to respond to that because suddenly the transfers were turned off.
As a government, we were able to get our budget back to balance coming out of the global crisis. We were able to do that while dramatically increasing investments at the same time in transfers for health care, social services, and education, as the member for York—Simcoe so aptly mentioned in his comments. That is important.
As we move forward as a country, and if we are going to avoid the types of decisions that a previous Liberal government had to make and governments around the world have to make in terms of cutting really important services for their voters, balanced budgets are critical. We hope that NDP members will support this important motion.
Business of the House February 4th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I would have to look at the record in terms of the actual numbers for that. The member can check the record on this. It is really easy to find news articles.
If my colleague was to Google the word “coalition” he might find that in 2008 his leader of the day tried to form a coalition with the Bloc and the NDP to take over the Conservative government of the day, because we could not spend enough to satisfy them at that time, immediately after an election campaign.
We took a world-leading approach to the global financial crisis. Organizations around the world, from the OECD to the World Economic Forum to the IMF, praised Canada's approach in that crisis, partly because we delivered the stimulus quickly. We came out of the crisis faster than other countries. We did that despite the fact that Liberal members of Parliament demanded more spending and longer spending. We would still be running deficits today if the Liberals had had their way.
Business of the House February 4th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time I am standing in the House in this new Parliament, I will start by thanking the voters of Edmonton—Wetaskiwin for their strong support in this last election. We got just a little more than 45,000 votes, which was the fifth highest vote total in the country. There was strong support for our Conservative record over the past decade for a balanced budget and significant leadership in navigating our country's course through the global economic slowdown of 2008.
I want to take the opportunity to thank my kids, Jaden and Jenae, who played an increased role in the campaign and also play an increasing role in my position as a member of Parliament, in coming on the road and helping me do a lot of the work that I do on autism. Many people know that my 20-year-old son has autism, and many people in this room have received a high-five from him at some time or another. I thank them for sharing me with constituents and stakeholders, both in the constituency and across the country.
I will also take this chance to thank my mom, Bonnie, and her husband, Dale, for their tireless support. One of the highlights of my week is driving with my mother to the airport. It is our time together. When we do not get any other time to spend together, we get 20 minutes when she comes to pick me up, sometimes at 5:30 in the morning, and takes me to the airport. It is a great opportunity for us to catch up.
I will also take the opportunity to thank my staff in both my Edmonton and Ottawa offices, who do and have done phenomenal work over 10 years in support of what we get a chance to do.
Finally, and I think it is important in the context of what we are talking about today, I want to thank the officials at Industry Canada. I had the opportunity to be the parliamentary secretary for eight years at Industry, and those public servants were absolutely phenomenal during that time in supporting me. I was always amazed at how they could take a complicated topic and within half an hour give a briefing that would help me look sometimes like an expert, which may be debatable from different sides of the House. However, the work they do is phenomenal and it was a great pleasure to work with them in addition to the ministerial staff and ministers that I got a chance to work with.
On the topic we are talking about today, as we went through the election campaign I heard, and have heard a lot since, about the importance of balanced budgets, and the importance of that Conservative leadership that we have shown on the economy over the last decade. I also heard a lot about the strength of the Canadian middle class. There was a recognition of that as I was on the campaign trail. However, there were a lot of things being said during the campaign that were not entirely true. I think we still hear some of that coming from the government side today in the image it is trying to portray.
I will focus today on three Liberal fictions that I have seen over the last several months as we have been going through this.
First, there is a fiction that Canada's middle class is struggling. Certainly we all want Canadians to be better off. We all want to create an environment where all Canadians can succeed, no matter their level of wealth, their job, or position in life. However, the fact is that Canada's middle class is the strongest in the world.
It is not the former Conservative government that is saying that. It is not our Conservative members of Parliament who are saying that. The New York Times reported on the Luxembourg Income Study, which put forward a paper that talked about Canada being number one in the world in terms of income levels at the 30th, 40th, and 50th income percentiles. These are independent organizations that have said that. Notwithstanding that, the Liberals, during the election campaign and even now, continue to talk about the struggling Canadian middle class.
Andrew Coyne put it brilliantly when he wrote back in May that:
Introducing his “fairness for the middle class” tax plan, [the Liberal leader] waxed lyrical about a golden time, still within memory, when opportunity beckoned and the sun shone year ’round.
Of course, there was no such era. It was just something to say--the same myth-making on which the entire plan is based. In Liberal mythology, the middle class is forever to be “struggling”, forgotten, falling behind.
Coyne concluded by saying:
But then, every line of the Liberal story is a fraud. The middle class isn't struggling: the $53,000 the median family earned after tax in 2012 is an all-time high--24% more than in 1997, after inflation. The rich aren't pulling away from the rest of us: the share of all income going to the top 1% has been falling steadily since 2006. At 10.3 per cent, it is back to where it was in 1998.
I will give the final word to none other than a prominent conservative speaker, Hillary Clinton, who said:
Canadian middle-class incomes are now higher than in the United States. They are working fewer hours for more pay, enjoying a stronger safety net, living longer on average, and facing less income inequality.
The fact of the matter is that this notion that Canada's middle class is struggling that the Liberals campaigned on is a complete fiction.
A second fiction, and the one we are debating today, is the fact that they inherited a deficit. I say “fact”. I put quotation marks around that because the fact is that the Department of Finance has confirmed that Canada posted a $1-billion surplus up to November 2015, when the Liberals took office.
That is very important because there have been a lot of things said today and over the course of the last several months. It very important to notice that in addition to the $1-billion surplus, we increased funding for the Canada health transfer by 6% over that year period and a 3% increase in the Canada social transfer over that period. That is a $1.5-billion increase in these two important transfers.
After the 2008 global financial crisis, the Conservative government laid out a comprehensive stimulus plan and a seven-year plan to get back to budget balance.
It was interesting to hear the Liberal member opposite allude to that earlier in his question. I know he is a new member and that he has maybe not had the benefit of doing a Google search before he asked the question, but if he did, he would find statement after statement by Liberal members of Parliament, from opposition members from all sides, absolutely demanding that the government spend more money, that we spend on a broader range of programs, and that we extend that spending. Of course, during that time, members will remember that our plan was targeted, it was time-limited, and our spending was designed to expire and we laid out a solid plan to get back to budget balance. However, time and again, every single day, Liberal members of Parliament stood and demanded more spending and demanded that spending be made permanent.
It is a bit of a mythological world, I guess, that the Liberals live in over there, but hopefully today will clarify some of that record.
Finally, I will deal with the last fiction, the fiction that they will only run $10-billion deficits every year.
First, I underline the word “only”, because only $10 billion in deficit is a ridiculous way of phrasing it in the first place. Clearly, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has looked at the facts and projected that the deficits will be billions of dollars higher over the years. In fact, we are talking tens of billions of dollars higher—so high, in fact, that Liberal members cannot even clarify it. They have no way of quantifying what those numbers will be.
Let me just close by saying that this is my first time in opposition. I very much look forward to holding the government to account. I want to avoid going back to the time when the Liberal government of the day, a former Trudeau government back in the 1970s, took steps to increase deficits and run massive deficits, starting the cycle in the first place and another Liberal government then had to slash spending on health care and social service and education transfers by billions of dollars.
We hope that mistake will not be made by the government. We will oppose those types of measures every step of the way.
On this important motion, we hope that we will have the support of all members of the House.
Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply December 11th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague and good friend and neighbour in Edmonton for his election to the House. It is well deserved. I have seen first-hand the relationship that he has with his girls, and it is something special to behold.
Thinking about his girls and Canadians of that generation, maybe the member could talk about the importance of balanced budgets in Canada in terms of securing their future.
Consumer Protection June 19th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, this is a ridiculous question coming from the NDP.
The NDP ran the last election on a massive carbon tax. It has talked about a massive carbon tax for the last four years. In addition to that, it has proposed increased taxes across the board.
On the flip side, this government has reduced taxes at every turn. Under this Conservative government, Canadians pay less in tax than they have paid in 50 years.
Consumer Protection June 19th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, it was this government that introduced legislation called the Fairness at the Pumps Act.
It is clear that our legislation is working, because companies are complying with the law out of fear of being fined. Canadian families expect that when they purchase gasoline, they get what they paid for.
That is why our government took action and passed this legislation, which ensures gasoline pumps are routinely inspected for accuracy. In fact, the Government of Canada saves Canadian consumers over $500 million every year by tackling price collusion and anti-competitive behaviour.
Telecommunications June 18th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. The facts are that Eastlink has followed the protocol for the agent of the City of Charlottetown Canadian Radiocommunications Information and Notification Service.
Industry Canada requested that Eastlink reach out to the local public so that they could take any feedback into consideration. Eastlink provided an information package to local residents on May 28. Finally, Industry Canada reviewed the technical details of the proposed installation. It will be in full compliance with Health Canada's Safety Code 6 guidelines and thus poses no risk to the public.
These are the facts.