House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was countries.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Edmonton East (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 53% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program November 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize 33 youthful delegates who have visited with us for the past seven weeks. They are here, in members' offices, to gain a valuable perspective on Canada's most important democratic institution: the Parliament of Canada.

These young people, representing the Canada-Ukraine parliamentary program, embody the highest ideals of achievement and community service. They are the future leaders of Ukraine. They are young people like Mykhailo Oleksiienko, in my office.

Canada and Ukraine are inextricably linked forever by prior migration. Fully one in 30 Canadians are of Ukrainian descent, as are my wife, daughters, and granddaughters. Ukraine holds a special place in the hearts of Canadians. Canada was the first country in the western world to accord diplomatic recognition in 1991 to an independent Ukraine.

As the young emissaries depart, we wish them well and say to them, Mnohaya Leeta.

Bill Diachuk October 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Bill Diachuk, an alumni of the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company and a former member of the Alberta legislature who represented Edmonton-Beverly for 16 years, until 1986.

Born in 1929, Bill attended the University of Alberta and was very active in community affairs, which led him to serve as an Edmonton Catholic School District trustee for years. For 25 years, Bill volunteered full time with the Ukrainian Canadian Social Services, tirelessly advocating for others in Canada and contributing to community development in foreign countries.

I met with Bill many times in my office, where he was a consummate humanitarian, advocating for others' well-being. I recall his attendance in full Knights of Columbus regalia at every Remembrance Day ceremony at Alberta's oldest cenotaph in Beverly.

My sincere condolences to Ollie, Bill's wife of 62 years, their children, and grandchildren. Bill set a standard of excellence and service toward his fellow man. Bill will be dearly missed by all.

Memories eternal.

40th Wedding Anniversary October 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I pay tribute to a vibrant, selfless woman with whom I am blessed to be sharing my life as a partner, confidant, and husband. From earliest anxious days in constructing our climb to success, then ever increasingly being propelled through life's twists and turns to countless exhilarating heights, temporal regrets are so few.

Some 19 years have flown by as partners serving as one for our Queen, our country, and the unity of Canada. Most memorable, though, in our journey to this day are the births of daughters Corinna and Kristina, the growth of our family with son Tom, and granddaughters Katelin, Alexandra, and Eleanor, who we cherish so.

On this, the 40th year of our voyage together through life, I again proclaim my enduring devotion and love to my wife, Lorraine.

To quote T. Tolis, “To love is nothing. To be loved is something. But to love and be loved, that's everything!”

Housing June 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, to reduce the plight of the chronically homeless, our Conservative government champions an evidence-based model called Housing First, saying the most effective way the government could support the homeless is to find them a place to live. Housing First recognizes that without a home, it is extremely difficult for anyone to move forward to overcome other challenges, then to aspire to total independence.

Would the Minister of State for Social Development please explain what the evidence shows about Housing First?

Community Service June 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to one of Edmonton's tireless community leaders.

Norm Aldi knows everyone on 118th Avenue, also known as Alberta Avenue. He has been a driving force in the revitalization of the avenue, helping transform a rather drab street into an architecturally designed cityscape of multicultural boutiques and ethnic dining, a delight for those who want to experience the breadth of Edmonton's cultural mélange.

A great Albertan and a proud constituent of Edmonton East, Norm has been instrumental in organizing the Eastwoodfest annual summer festival. He has been a director of the Alberta Avenue Business Association and president of the Eastwood Community League. Norm is sure to volunteer, whether It is organizing the successful Taste of 118th Food Festival or establishing an off-leash dog park.

I thank my friend, Norm Aldi, recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his years of community service.

Prohibiting Cluster Munitions Act June 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question directly to the details of the bill.

Some of our allies have adopted the exact interoperability language that is found within the convention. Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs advise us why the government has not done this also?

70th Anniversary of D-Day June 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, 70 years ago, dawn broke over Normandy with the silhouette of war painted across the horizon. D-Day had arrived to tranquil shores, bearing witness to history's largest invasion, 1,000 ships of allied might prepared to strike the heart of Nazi tyranny, to free Europe from its grasp.

More than 100,000 stormed ashore, earning their place in history under horrific enemy fire. Many did not reach the beach, slipping beneath the channel's cold water. Fathers and sons were driven from peaceful pasts to take up arms for their God, King and country, testing the mettle of their fortitude and soul. Canada's soldiers truly triumphed on D-Day, a crucial day on the road to victory and to a free world.

The price of peace in Canada today has been the high cost of lives lost in the wars of the past.

Lest we forget.

Homelessness May 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank all my colleagues for their interventions today and on the previous day as well.

I would close by simply stating a couple of things that I do not want to be misconstrued. There is nothing simple about homelessness. There is nothing simple about the difficulty in analyzing and assessing what the true needs really are.

Doing a point-in-time count and coming up with certain specific definitions would bring it in line with the United States. They have been doing this throughout the United States for a number of years.

I believe what epitomizes the necessity of doing this is the last two counts that were down, one in Calgary and one in Edmonton. Calgary counted in January, and in the Calgary count, they came up with something like 60 people. They were counted by still being out on the street. The Edmonton count, done in October, counted something like 1,100 people who were out on the street.

We can see that the difference in the number of people had largely to do with weather. As a young person, I used to do a lot of camping out. There are a good number of people who will be visiting the cities, and they will camp out in the parks in the River Valley area. They would be like me. I had a home. I just was away from my home, because I preferred to visit Montreal, Toronto, and different parts of the country.

We have to be careful of statistical analysis. In the tent city set up in Edmonton, there would have been a substantial number who really were visiting the city and camping out there while they are visiting.

It is a very complex issue. Certainly there is no one simple answer. I think we can get to the bottom of the issue statistically by doing a thorough definition of who we want to count. I believe that January would be a common point in time to be counting across the country to come up with statistics.

This does not mean that the count methodology cannot include other local conditions and issues, such as health issues or other things they may wish to include in their particular counts. However, the national count that is turned over to the federal authorities should have the statistical information that is done throughout the United States. It should be done across Canada so that we can have some basic formulated statistics to work from.

I have been following this issue for 14 or 15 years and have visited some 120 or 130 homeless shelters in Canada and the United States. I have been to the shelters in January, late at night. Certainly cities like Edmonton can do far better in their planning for emergency shelter than opening the floors of LRT stations and putting out Red Cross blankets to emergency house people because it is January and they desperately need a place to go for their safety. Surely we can do better than that.

Ukraine April 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the crisis in Ukraine continues, with distrust on all sides. There seems to be no political willingness to legislatively address the issue of linguistic and cultural inclusivity in the present or for the future.

Leadership is needed to guarantee linguistic rights for minorities, be they Romanian or Russian, to counter the fermenting linguistic discord and restore unity to Ukraine. Such action must come from those most trusted by the majority of Ukrainians: their religious leaders.

The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, which brings together the leadership of Ukraine's faith groups, could craft an instructive proclamation for future direction and governance of Ukraine, reflecting the desire for linguistic and cultural inclusivity and easing tensions and concerns.

Orthodox church leaders and diplomatic representatives are in agreement that such an approach offers hope, and certainly it is an effort that would be constructive. The time for doing is now.

Homelessness March 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, at present there are homeless counts done across the country, some every year, and most of them every two years. Therefore, they are already funded. I cannot see where there would be any difference with this type of methodology in doing a count that would cost any more money. If the funding is already being provided by the federal government, I could see that this would cost very little to implement across the country, because counts are being done and funded now.