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  • His favourite word is rcmp.

Liberal MP for Regina—Wascana (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 55% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of the House November 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as a small footnote in history, I used to have the honour of serving as the government House leader. After an absence of 807 weeks, it is my privilege to answer this question once again on behalf of my colleague the current government House leader. Again as a historical reference, members might be interested to know that 807 weeks ago, what we were discussing in the Thursday question was reproductive technologies, public safety, competition legislation, species at risk, and pest control. In some ways, things never change. However, to get to the answer, this afternoon we will continue with the report stage debate on Bill C-45, which is the proposed cannabis legislation.

First, let me associate myself, and I am sure all members of the House, with the comments that the opposition House leader made about the respect we all have, and must have, for our veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

After we return from this constituency week, we will commence debate on Bill C-59, which deals with national security. I would inform the House that, in the interests of transparency, we will be referring this bill to committee before second reading, which will allow for a broader scope of discussion and consideration and possible amendment of the bill in the committee when that deliberation begins.

Following that, we hope to be back to the debate on Bill C-24, which would amend the Salaries Act. Our focus for the rest of the week after we return will be disposing of Bill C-45 at report stage and third reading.

Finally, Thursday of that week will be an allotted day.

Remembrance Day November 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as members know, the Minister of Veterans Affairs was taken ill this past week, and he deeply regrets not being able to be in the House today for the solemn moments of remembrance that are a characteristic of our Parliament every year at this time. The minister asked me to extend his warmest personal greetings to all MPs today and especially to all of the veterans whom we have the collective honour and duty to represent as I say just a few words on behalf of Canada's Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Across this country, millions of Canadians will soon be paying heartfelt tribute to veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, and all the brave women and men who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of Canada over our nation's lifetime.

We understand that our freedom, our prosperity, and the opportunities available to all our children are possible because of their sacrifices and achievements.

One of the ways Canadians recognize this is by wearing the red poppy in remembrance of those who fell in service. Another is by participating in commemorative events that will be taking place from coast to coast to coast. Canadians are also visiting the Remember Them website and engaging in social media with the #canadaremembers.

Some of us have had the incredibly moving experience of walking close to the footsteps of those who fought and those who died to preserve our rights and freedoms and our open, inclusive, generous, democratic Canadian way of life. It hits us powerfully when we walk up Vimy Ridge and touch that soaring monument or travel to Hill 70 or into the town of Ypres and under the arches of the Menin Gate amidst all the names inscribed there of young Canadians who passed that way en route to Passchendaele 100 years ago.

A few miles away but a generation later there were bitter losses for Canadians at Dieppe, 75 years ago in August 1942, and then our triumphant return to that same town two years later after the landings at Juno Beach and on our way to liberate Holland.

On the other side of the world, what Canadian can stand without huge emotion at the top of the steep hill that forms Sai Wan War Cemetery in Hong Kong, and look down to the South China Sea across the rows of white headstones bedecked with red Maple Leaf flags? The same emotion overtakes Canadians at the Canadian Korean War Memorial Garden just below the hills northeast of Kapyong-gun in Korea. More recently, we can trace the footsteps of brave Canadians through Kosovo and Afghanistan, and more than 50 other international missions since Korea, right up to today.

Skill, strength, courage, valour, selflessness, love of country, loyalty to comrades, faithfulness, service, sacrifice, these are the qualities that Canadians in uniform have epitomized.

This year, we especially remember the Canadian Corps deployed to Europe in 1917. They faced unimaginable hardships and incurred tens of thousands of losses on the western front, but emerged as an elite force, victorious where others failed.

Tomorrow, November 10, marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Passchendaele. In the ceremony of remembrance in Belgium, a torchlight procession will go from the Canadian Memorial to the Passchendaele church.

Our colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, is there now.

The Minister of National Defence will be there tomorrow with a Canadian Armed Forces contingent from the same units as fought in that horrific battle, regimental representatives, the RCMP, actual veterans, youth, indigenous people, and the band of the Royal 22nd Regiment, the famous Van Doos. Canadian pride.

Our government is committed to honouring and commemorating our men and women in uniform from every era and every generation.

That is why we were all very proud to sponsor the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, for injured, ill, and wounded military members and veterans. Prince Harry was there, the Prime Minister, the former president and vice-president of the United States, the incumbent first lady, and thousands of Canadians in the stands to cheer on the vets. These games demonstrated how far the dedication of these wounded warriors truly goes. Yes, they gained something from the camaraderie and competition of the games, but we all gained so much more from their inspiration: to persevere in the face of daunting obstacles. Honouring our women and men in uniform is a privilege.

We encourage all Canadians to remember and to express gratitude and appreciation for veterans, the fallen and those who continue to serve.

We should think of Canada's veterans and all those who gave their lives in service. Think of the current members of the Canadian Armed Forces across this country and around the world. Think of men and women from every region of our country, every walk of life, every ethnic, cultural, and religious background, from first nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, francophones, and anglophones. We should think of all those who have put service before self and thank a veteran or a Canadian Armed Forces member when we see them, ask about their stories, and listen carefully to what they have to say.

Most importantly, join the country for two minutes of silence at 11 o’clock on November 11th to honour the memory of all who have served.

On Remembrance Day, I will be in the hockey arena in Regina with the Royal Canadian Legion. The stands will be filled. Soldiers, sailors, air personnel, cadets, Mounties, other police and peace officers, and community groups will march in formation, the bands will play, speeches will be given, prayers will be offered, wreaths will be laid, and the Act of Remembrance will be performed. Then, at the end, the veterans will parade across the arena floor, some in wheelchairs, some with canes, some on their own.

The entire place will rise, and the applause will be loud and long, following their every step, saying “Thank you” to real-life heroes, and also to those who did not come home.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Canada remembers.

Lest we forget.

Human Rights November 7th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, some months ago, appointed the hon. member for Edmonton Centre to consult broadly across the country with the community to make sure that all elements of this issue were properly heard and known and taken into account, so that the apology when given can be thorough and complete and the other appropriate actions around that apology can reinforce the basic message of rights and freedoms in this country.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship November 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, we are working very hard to improve the immigration detention system. I thank the member for Toronto—Danforth for being such a strong advocate.

Today I am announcing a new directive that includes the best interests of the child as a primary factor for the Canada Border Services Agency when making decisions affecting families. The goal is to avoid children in detention as much as humanly possible. We are committed to an immigration system that protects public safety while treating people with fairness, dignity, and compassion.

Public Safety November 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the no-fly list that was designed 10 years ago contains an inherent design flaw that needs to be fixed. To fix it takes legislation and regulation and a new computer system built from the bottom up.

The first step is to pass Bill C-59 to give us the legal authority to do these things. I urge the NDP to support Bill C-59.

Public Safety November 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, we fully appreciate the frustration of law-abiding travellers who can be stigmatized and delayed as a result of false positives on the no-fly list.

However, to be clear, there are no children on the no-fly list, but there is confusion among similar names. That takes new legislation to fix that problem, new regulations, and a new computer system.

The first of those steps is being taken in Bill C-59. I urge the NDP to vote for it.

Correctional Service Canada October 31st, 2017

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. gentleman knows, the situation at the Edmonton institution is under investigation by a number of agencies, including the police. Accordingly, the commentary with respect to that particular situation needs to be careful to avoid any interference with the investigation.

However, I want to absolutely assure him that the concern that he has expressed is shared by the government. I have asked the commissioner of Correctional Services to ensure that this problem is contained and goes no further.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service October 27th, 2017

Madam Speaker, CSIS, indeed all the agencies in the public safety portfolio, know very clearly my attitude with respect to these matters. This behaviour is unacceptable. When it happens, there must be appropriate consequences that follow.

I would simply point out to the hon. gentleman that the legal procedures that are engaged here are at an early stage of evolving, and they need to properly take their course, but they will be followed very carefully by me and my officials to determine an appropriate outcome. This kind of behaviour is simply—

Canadian Security Intelligence Service October 27th, 2017

Madam Speaker, this is an extremely serious matter. The former director of CSIS launched the examination the hon. member refers to. The findings of that examination are certainly troubling.

The current director of CSIS has taken personal charge of this matter and has made it very clear that the behaviour being complained of here is absolutely unacceptable. It should not exist in a federal workplace. The Government of Canada will take the necessary steps to make sure that it stops.

Foreign Affairs October 26th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, no, Canada vehemently disagrees with the Russian government's abuse and misuse of the Interpol listing system. The Kremlin does not determine admissibility to Canada. That is done by Canadian border officers implementing Canadian law. Bill Browder has a strong record of human rights advocacy, and the member for Scarborough—Guildwood has long made that very point. In 2015, Parliament unanimously supported Irwin Cotler's motion recommending the legislation Mr. Browder has been calling for, and we all unanimously adopted that legislation earlier this month.