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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

Ukraine December 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, 20 years ago, the people of Ukraine held a referendum, overwhelmingly choosing democracy and independence.

Their choice was affirmed during the 2004 Orange Revolution, where, from Independence Square, came a wonderful message of a nation's people peacefully demanding and getting democratic reform. However, that democratic light is now fading as the newly-elected regime slips backward toward totalitarianism, abusing the very courts and laws intended to protect citizens, democratic and civil rights. The arrest, show trial, conviction and jailing of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is politically motivated, intended to prevent her candidacy in upcoming elections.

All free nations, along with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, must remain vigilant and continue to speak out against this abuse of rights and democracy. The President of Ukraine must be told that it is not just Tymoshenko he has put on trial but democracy itself.

Interparliamentary Delegations November 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian parliamentary delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the meeting of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region held in the Komi Republic of Russia, September 28 and 29, 2011.

Ukraine November 22nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, for most of the past 80 years the silence has been near complete, stifled behind a Soviet curtain of iron, ne'er to be spoken aloud, the enormity of the deliberate annihilation, unknown to the world, while Europe's bread was made from the bountiful crops stolen by Stalin from Ukraine.

Eight million perished, murdered by forced starvation in the Holodomor, the genocide of Ukraine. Then freedom was ushered in with celebrations of independence, the Soviet yoke of servitude and dictated silence lifted. The world must be told of the Holodomor, of Ukraine's genocide of such unimaginable horror in a land of such great plenty.

Civilization's failure must be put on permanent public display so that all can see the dark side of humanity and hopefully learn not to repeat.

We remember today, and for all time, the Holodomor, the genocide in Ukraine.

Iran November 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, members of the International Atomic Energy Agency, including Canada, spoke with one voice on Iran's nuclear program. Even traditional allies of Iran voted for a resolution that holds the Iranian regime to account for again failing to live up to its international obligations.

Could the government House leader please update us on this situation?

Price of Peace November 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we pause today to reflect on the price of peace. Since Confederation, two million Canadians have served in uniform, 115,000 have paid with their lives, and hundreds of thousands have suffered lifelong grievous injuries to self and soul.

In Ortona's Piazza del Plebiscito is a poignant memorial of two soldiers, one lying dead and one bent over in grief, created by Ottawa artist Robert Surette.

Entitled “The Price of Peace”, it speaks of the supreme toll in the “Stalingrad of Italy”, the battle for Ortona, and for all who have faced their soul in the finality of the theatre of war.

Flowers are laid daily by citizens who know too well the price paid by Canada for their peace. Fourteen hundred sons of Canada rest in nearby Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, never to return home.

The price of peace is paid in war. We ought never to forget those that serve, those who truly pay the price of peace.

Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program October 27th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program for 21 years of excellence.

Thirty-five young emissaries, including Stanislava Tsarkova, embracing the highest ideals of achievement and community service, have journeyed to Canada to gain valuable perspective and experience Canada's most important democratic institution, the Parliament of Canada.

They bore witness to two issues in Parliament this past week: a debate on democracy and a foreign affairs committee meeting exploring the political chicanery in Ukraine.

Ukraine's youthful ambassadors, Ukraine's future, must return with this message: Canada and Ukraine are inextricably linked by prior migration.

Canada was there for Ukraine, recognizing independence in 1991. I was there for the Orange Revolution, giving support to Ukraine's wish for electoral democracy.

Once again democracy is on trial. The people of Ukraine must not let the world-renowned example of democratic resolve of the Orange Revolution slip away.

Ukrainian Day October 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, 120 years ago the first immigrants from Ukraine landed in Halifax, having endured weeks at sea on the first leg of their epic journey, migrating to begin a new life in the wilds of the Canadian prairies, the untamed wilderness and unbroken land then called the Northwest Territories.

With herculean effort and indomitable pioneer spirit they persevered, cleared land, seeded crops and built their first homes from the very sod of the land they cleared. Families grew, churches were built and communities prospered.

Today we celebrate Ukrainian Day on Parliament Hill and celebrate the heritage of those early pioneers, people of resolute, determined will like my wife's great-grandfather, John P. Taschuk, who arrived with his wife Barbara and their two sons, Elia and Theodosie.

The 1.2 million Canadians of Ukrainian ancestry today celebrate the legacy of those first Ukrainian pioneers and the trek that began 120 years ago.

[Member spoke in Ukrainian]

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Mr. Chair, my colleague mentioned earlier that there was a culture of intimidation in some of the old style Soviet regimes.

I have to relate a story about the 2004 failed election that I was at where there was president-elect Yanukovych, the same person, and the supporting regime to support his election and to maintain the election. In the period of time that I was there, I was followed by the secret police. There was a pool of blood in my room to intimidate me. There were bowls of fruit to scare me, with the poisoning scares that were going on. Telephone calls were quitting in the middle of conversations. Telephone calls were going silent at one end. It was constant. Why? It was because I was reporting from Independence Square back to Canada, telling Canadians what the realities of the situation were there.

It was a culture of intimidation then and it looks as though this culture of intimidation is returning once again.

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Mr. Chair, it seems to me that there is a fixation on trade agreements. I would like to ask my colleague this. If the government did put in free trade agreements that democracy and human rights issues would be respected, would the NDP then vote for free trade agreements?

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Mr. Chair, I echo my colleague's comments and will add a bit to them also.

During the Orange Revolution in Independent Square, of all of the Ukrainian flags probably the second most prominent flag was the Polish flag. I interacted with many Polish people during that period of time. Coming back from the Orange Revolution, when it was time to send monitors to Ukraine, I had many meetings with Ambassador Ogrodzinski. We had very good discussions.

I want to underline that Poland was extremely instrumental in helping out both here in Canada and in Ukraine. I believe Walesa was in Ukraine speaking as well. There was very good support.