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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was respect.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Kitchener—Waterloo (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 32% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Iran November 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a resolution put forward by Canada condemning Iran's deplorable human rights record was adopted by the third committee of the United Nations General Assembly.

Our government is extremely pleased by the adoption of this important human rights resolution. By condemning the deplorable situation of human rights in Iran, we are sending a clear message to the people of Iran that they are not alone in their efforts to promote human rights in their country.

With this resolution, the unacceptable human rights situation in Iran has been brought to the attention of the international community, and the Iranian authorities have been called to account for their actions.

Canada will continue to call on the Iranian authorities to take steps to end the egregious abuses of the most fundamental basic human rights of the Iranian people.

Business of Supply November 18th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this debate this evening.

We have heard a lot of discussion in this House and in public forums about equipping the Canadian Air Force with the F-35 aircraft. Over the past few months, the debate seems to have focused on three key themes: necessity, cost and procurement. I think it is important to be transparent about these themes and I would like to address each of them in my remarks this evening.

I will start with necessity. Since its establishment over 85 years ago, the air force has done tremendous work, often defying the odds and achieving success where it was not thought possible. It is truly remarkable that over 22,000 Canadian air crew served in the First World War. It was the first conflict in which aircraft played a part. Through the valiant efforts of our fighter pilots, especially our famous air aces, like the legendary Billy Bishop, Canada became known for aerial skills and bravery.

During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Air Force, RCAF as it was then known, reached over 200,000 personnel, including, for the first time, over 17,000 total members of the women's division. At the time, it was the fourth largest air force among the allied powers.

More recently, during the 1991 Gulf War, the Canadian Air Force, as part of the multinational coalition force, contributed combat air patrols, sweep and escort missions, and ground attack roles with CF-18s, as well as reconnaissance with Sea Kings.

In 1999, Canadian CF-18s were actively involved in the NATO-led air campaign in Kosovo from bombing missions, combat air patrols and providing close air support.

An independent fighter jet capability has proven crucial to Canada. As part of our security, fighter jets conduct daily domestic and continental operations, including in the Arctic and through NORAD.

As part of Operation Noble Eagle, NORAD's mission to safeguard North American skies, CF-18s maintain a constant state of alert, ready to respond immediately to potential threats to continental security.

North American Aerospace Defence Command launched three pairs of fighters on September 28, 2006, from the Command's Canadian NORAD region and the Alaskan NORAD region in response to Russian aircraft that penetrated North America's air defence identification zone.

Fighter jets support major international events in Canada. Of course, the CF-18s provided around-the-clock support during the 2010 Olympic Games in British Columbia, keeping the skies safe for athletes and spectators from around the world. Fighter jets respond to major terrorist attacks. Canadian CF-18s formed part of the immediate response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Just a few weeks ago, Canada worked seamlessly with our American partners to dispatch our CF-18s to interdict a flight suspected of carrying explosive packages designed by terrorists.

Time and time again, events in or close to our air space have shown that Canada needs to maintain a fighter jet capability. The question then is: What kind of plane does Canada need to face the challenges of the decades to come?

We need a robust aircraft capable of handling Canada's geography and harsh weather conditions. We need to be interoperable with our allies. We need to be flexible enough to adapt to whatever challenges Canada may face in the 21st century. We need to provide our men and women in uniform with the best chance to return home safely after confronting those challenges.

A fifth generation fighter aircraft with stealth advance sensors, fusion of central data and external information fits the bill. The joint strike fighter, the F-35, is the right plane for the Canadian Air Force at the right time for our country.

Aerospace Industry October 27th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today, addressing a group of Canada's leading aerospace companies, the industry minister drew a stark contrast between our government's unequivocal support for the over 80,000 people who work in the industry, and the Liberals' promise to cancel the F-35 program, jeopardizing all the jobs that depend on it.

The F-35 program is a win-win for the Canadian Forces and the Canadian economy. The forces will be replacing an aircraft that has reached the end of its lifespan. Canada's aerospace industry will benefit from opportunities that will create highly skilled and well-paying jobs for years to come.

However, there are some in Parliament who are playing political games by threatening to cancel the F-35 program and, along with it, all of the opportunities it brings for the aerospace industry in Canada.

We will not allow the coalition to jeopardize tens of thousands of Canadians jobs. Our government strongly supports these 80,000 Canadians and their families.

Science and Technology October 21st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, CBC's The National highlighted Canada's new brain gain: the fact that many scientists from Great Britain and other countries are coming to Canada to conduct their research because of the strong support of our government.

British neuroscientist Adrian Owen said:

Canada has decided to invest in science...and I am going to a place that is going to support the work that I do.

Would the minister update the House on our government's success in supporting research across the country?

National Defence September 28th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, since 1997, Canada has been a participant in the joint strike fighter program. Canada participated in an extensive competitive process to determine who would produce this next generation fighter. The ultimate selection of Lockheed Martin as the manufacturer was made under the previous government in 2001.

Today we heard leaders in the Canadian aerospace industry say how excited they were for the opportunity this represented for them.

Could the Minister of Industry please provide an update on the many benefits of the F-35 program?

The Economy September 20th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the economy remains the number one priority of Canadians and of our Conservative government. At a time when our economic recovery is still uncertain, Canadians can count on this government and the Prime Minister to continue to focus on maintaining jobs, security and prosperity for Canadian families and communities.

Our government knows that Canada's long-term prosperity is driven by the creativity, ingenuity and the common sense of entrepreneurs, owners of small businesses and hard-working families across the country. In the coming months our actions will be guided by three bold principles: supporting job creation and economic growth; keeping our communities, our streets, our families safe from terrorism and crime; and mapping the path to economic recovery to ensure jobs and prosperity for all Canadians for years to come.

We urge all members to work together with us during this parliamentary session so we can continue to deliver for all Canadians.

Multiple Sclerosis June 14th, 2010

Mr. Chair, I am aware that venous treatments for other conditions for other parts of the body are well established. We need to continue to keep that in mind, as does the medical establishment, as we continue to push this important public policy issue along as quickly as we possibly can.

Multiple Sclerosis June 14th, 2010

Mr. Chair, as I mentioned in my remarks, it is important for us to find a balance between research and treatment and between science and compassion. It is important that we know the facts. It is important that we advance our research in this area as quickly as we possibly can so that those facts can be known.

As I indicated in a previous response, people who suffer from MS are counting on all of us to move as quickly as we possibly can. This government and all governments also have a responsibility to all citizens to ensure that treatments are safe and effective. We need to find the right balance between those two very important public policy goals and proceed down this track as quickly as we possibly can.

Multiple Sclerosis June 14th, 2010

Mr. Chair, I am not aware of whether Dr. Zamboni has been invited to participate in this important meeting in a few weeks' time. I understand the importance of providing treatment options as we advance this important discussion. Clearly, because of the hope that exists around this new treatment, Canadians are counting on us to make progress as quickly as we possibly can, which is why we need to mobilize resources. We need to gather the best and most capable minds and we need to work collaboratively with our provincial counterparts to advance this very important issue.

Multiple Sclerosis June 14th, 2010

Mr. Chair, it is clear from the attention that CCSVI treatment has received in the media, from the debate this evening and from the interventions by my colleagues on all sides of the House that this treatment does provide hope. It has provided more hope than I have seen in the 10 years that I have been familiar with this disease.

That is why we do need to move and why the Minister of Health has committed to mobilizing resources. That is why we are having this discussion tonight and that is why we need to continue to apply pressure, both federally and provincially, to ensure that we continue to make progress in this very important area.