House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was farmers.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Liberal MP for Bay of Quinte (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2021, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House June 19th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, entitled “Mental Health of Canadian Veterans: A Family Purpose”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Bay of Quinte Educators June 7th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I offer sincere congratulations to two Bay of Quinte teachers, Sheryl Parker and Susan Sewell-Charles, who are two of the 37 recipients of the 2016-2017 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence and Excellence in Early Childhood Education.

The Bay of Quinte has tremendously engaged educators operating from public and private institutions at all grade levels. Our educators consistently point their students ahead by creating dynamic climates of learning that allow them to test their own ideas, understand the world around them, and determine the best course of action for their own future.

Sheryl and Susan as a team work very hard to encourage the talent, ideas, and engagement of our local students at Queen Victoria Public School in Belleville. Together they have provided a dynamic and inclusive environment for students to acquire the innovative knowledge and skills required for their long-term success in life. These two remarkable teachers, like so many others, are helping us all to take another step toward a brighter future by investing so much into our children.

Albert College May 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, today I offer a warm congratulations to Belleville's own Albert College, which celebrated its 160th anniversary as a renowned international university prep school. As Canada's oldest coeducational boarding and day school, Albert College has provided an enriched and comprehensive education to many students throughout its history. Currently, its campus focuses on a close-knit connection between the over 300 students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 and post-graduate levels, who are representatives of 20 countries.

Albert College's commitment to fostering academic excellence has been recognized for developing driven and engaged global citizens who confidently tackle diverse challenges beyond their educational attainments. The college emphasizes cultivating foundational values for character building and goal-setting, which are qualities that last a lifetime. In attending this ceremony, I was privileged to meet many Albert College alumni who were eager to return to join in the celebration of this milestone anniversary.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1 May 4th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately I do not sit on the committee the member referred to. I feel that the answer was given today by the hon. government House leader. In the sense of the member's question, she answered that suggestions are coming forward and we offer her suggestions on how we can make our policies and legislation better.

It is about how the House reacts. I have listened to everybody being so negative on the budget, and I know that is the role of the opposition, but I like to look at positive things. Together, as leaders and as members of both parties, we could co-operate more and make better public policy.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1 May 4th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, lots of money is going to those areas through budgets. There is always more money that could go to other things.

Highway 401 goes through my riding. The member talked about electrically powered cars. I feel that as the community goes and how things are, we as leaders should look at alternative technologies. The member referred to millionaires driving electrically powered cars. Some of my family members drive electrically powered cars but they are not Teslas.

In general, the member's question is valid, but having said that, we have to look at the big picture.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1 May 4th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as some of us here are aware, being a former mayor of a small municipality, I would say it is important for us to have suitable funding and programming so that our mayors can plan forward. When we made the transit announcement in the city of Belleville, the mayor was so happy because this allowed him to update the transit system, not only in technology but in bus shelters and technology in hand-held devices so we can tell when the transit is more efficient. This is going to increase ridership in my community.

It is also important for my college. My riding is the home of Loyalist College. We are all well aware of students and their transportation needs. It is important to run an efficient transit system to our college. It is also important for our industrial park. We all know that many industries in our industrial park need seven-day transit services, and this enables the mayors to plan forward.

The mayors in my constituency are excited about infrastructure money that they can depend on, money that has been coming, money that is making projects in their communities to determine growth.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1 May 4th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to speak to Bill C-44, the budget implementation act.

I would first like to thank the hon. member for Fleetwood—Port Kells for sharing his time with me. He was a teenager when Canada celebrated its 100th birthday and I was a day away from my fifth birthday, so I can learn from the member and all that he has done for his great riding.

Bill C-44, the budget implementation act, and its unprecedented investments in infrastructure represent more than $180 billion over 12 years. Infrastructure, quite simply, is the providence of the most basic and necessary foundations of all our lives. There is a direct correlation between the condition of our travel and trade corridors, our roads, trade corridors, energy transmission, utility or public transit services, and our ability to thrive, excel, and innovate.

Budget 2016 sets the focus for the first phase of our government's plan to recapitalize and modernize our existing infrastructure assets. By keeping our foundational systems in the best possible repair, we are making it easier for Canadians to navigate their larger life ambitions, whether that is to protect and study our country's diverse environments, to develop our key resources, to build, manage, or expand on existing services, or to connect with friends and family in this immense and beautiful country we live in.

That is why I am so proud that budget 2017 ensures that our infrastructure, as a national foundation for the diverse and vibrant lives that Canadians lead, is strong. Budget 2016 initiated upgrades to long-neglected critical infrastructure. It also enabled us to sign bilateral agreements with all provinces and territories, as well as partner with indigenous and municipal stakeholders to plan and deliver infrastructure projects. Phase one of Canada's new infrastructure plan included $11.9 billion over five years that started in 2016.

Since November 2015, we have approved over 2,000 projects for a combined investment of over $21 billion. As part of the fall economic update, we are investing $81 billion over the next 11 years, starting in 2017-18. We have also proposed the creation of the Canada infrastructure bank, an arm's-length crown corporation, which would allow us to attract and mobilize private capital funding from world-leading institutional investors.

Funds held by the bank would be released to our provincial, territorial, and municipal partners after successful and innovative financial negotiations in order to supplement our wider public investment toward infrastructure projects. In doing so, our government is encouraging an innovative process of delivering key investments for our most vital sectors, including $3.4 billion for public transit, $5 billion for investments in water, waste-water, and green infrastructure that supports a clean growth economy, and $3.4 billion for social infrastructure that promotes affordable housing

As for public transit, we all know that when it is easier to reach our destinations, it increases our productivity in our workplaces and also the enjoyment of our leisure time. This is why budget 2017 has enabled us to approve 744 public transit projects for federal funding.

I am thrilled that my local riding, the Bay of Quinte, has received over $1.4 million for transit in the city of Belleville, $169,000 for Quinte West, and $22,000 for Prince Edward County, respectively. I was proud to read in today's paper that transit in the city of Belleville is up about 10% this year already. It proves that these investments build our economy and create better lives for the people who live there.

This federal funding will enable upgrades and expansion of existing transit services across the Bay of Quinte region. These investments will generate feasibility studies on existing transit usage, modernization of vehicle storage facilities, creation of additional bus shelters, and expansion of coverage as well as the transit services offered. Across Canada, 132 transit systems will receive similar funding to help build and connect public transit across our communities. By offering more reliable, accessible, and connected public transit options, we are allowing our communities to lessen their ecological footprint, but simultaneously take larger steps toward improving the ways we live, move, and work.

I will now turn to the clean water and waste-water fund. We all know that when we can trust our sources of water or the practices associated with processing all the residential, commercial, and industrial forms of waste that we make, we are able to rest easier knowing that our health and safety are not in question. This is why budget 2017 has set aside funding to expand 219 waste-water systems and to rehabilitate another 328. Few of us like to think of what exactly is hidden, treated, and recycled through these systems, but none of us can ignore the importance of these crucial arteries of infrastructure. Without proper sewer, air venting, and water intake mechanisms in place, we are unable to deal practically or safely with the most basic aspects of human life.

Notable projects include the Bragg Creek flood mitigation in Alberta, and the sanitary servicing to reduce phosphorus to Lake Simcoe-Royal Oak, Bay, Cottage in Barrie, Ontario. This reminds us all that our rural, remote, and urban communities need clean water for their residents, for their agriculture, commercial, and industrial processes, and especially for emergency services like firefighting. These projects and others can encourage efficient water use and assist the key gatekeepers of our rivers, streams, and watersheds and waterways to provide safe water intake and treatment for all Canadians.

Regarding green technologies, all across Canada other projects that generate the use or development of clean and sustainable products or services have also received funding as part of our wider initiative to build safe, inclusive, and sustainable communities. With the support of a low-carbon green economy, projects like upgrades to the Red Rock waste system treatment plant in Red Rock, Ontario, illustrate the success of budget 2017 in supporting the acceleration and adaptability of our communities, whether urban, rural, or remote.

These projects are just a few of the strong examples of our plan to encourage intergovernmental stewardship of existing resources or energies and use of emerging technologies, and draw from multi-faceted expertise of Canadians going forward. We know that in order to generate and share the very best practices, ideas, and innovations in products, culture, or agricultural fare and connect with our fellow Canadians, whether locally or over long distances, we must ensure that our infrastructure is greener, accessible, and technologically equipped to offer the highest levels of service to our citizens, residents, and visitors. We owe this as much to ourselves as we do to our future generations. The stronger our infrastructure is, the stronger our own capacity to shape our future becomes.

Petitions April 13th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table e-petition 627 on childhood cancer submitted by my constituent, Wayne Reil. There are 4,641 signatories who have shared their concern and passion for increasing the supports available to children with pediatric cancer.

Committees of the House March 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs entitled “Supplementary Estimates (C), 2016-17: Votes 1c and 5c under Veterans Affairs”.

Also, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs entitled “Main Estimates, 2017-18: Votes 1 and 5 under Veterans Affairs, and Vote 1 under Veterans Review and Appeal Board”.

Literacy Challenge February 24th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, today I am proud to highlight a program in my riding, which is helping our community members celebrate our nation's 150th birthday by encouraging literacy and instilling a love for reading.

Students from JK to grade 8 are participating in our own Bay of Quinte Canada 150 Literacy Challenge. Through this challenge, we are inspiring our children to build personal connections to our proud Canadian heritage and culture by reading 150 pieces of Canadian literature, or written by a Canadian, or emphasizing Canadian content.

Many of our most notable civic figures have accepted the Bay of Quinte Canada 150 Literacy Challenge with enthusiasm. Schools, libraries, and community centres have also participated and hosted public reading events.

I encourage all of my hon. colleagues to consider joining the Canada 150 Literacy Challenge and bring the same joyful celebration of our nation to their communities.