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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was thanks.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Palliser (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 47% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions March 11th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present petitions on behalf of two ridings. I would like to table these petitions today on behalf of the constituents of my riding of Palliser and on behalf of the constituents of the riding of Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre.

The petitioners note that one billion people around the world rely on animals for their livelihood and many other rely on animals for their companionship. They feel it is important that animals be considered during relief efforts and emergency planning. They call on the Government of Canada to support a universal declaration on animal welfare. I am pleased to table these petitions on their behalf.

Agriculture and Agri-Food November 20th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. and Canada are each other's largest agricultural trading partners.

In 2008 bilateral agricultural trade totalled approximately $37 billion. However, the country of origin labelling measure created by the United States imposes an unfair and unnecessary cost on our integrated North American supply chains.

Could the Minister of Agriculture inform the House and Canadian farmers on where the government is going next in fighting COOL?

Snowbirds May 5th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, May 1, I was fortunate to witness the Snowbirds demonstration team, Squadron 431, performing their acceptance show at 15 Wing Moose Jaw. The next day I was able to see them perform again in celebrations for Canadian Forces Day.

Spectacular. Amazing. Unbelievable. I am not sure that any of these words are strong enough to describe the performance of the Canadian Snowbirds. The show is truly a ballet in the sky, and the skill and expertise of the pilots is something to behold.

The Snowbirds are a Canadian icon. They showcase our armed forces throughout North America in a unique and exciting way. They are ambassadors as well as entertainers.

I encourage all of my colleagues and all Canadians to take in a Snowbirds show. Their schedule can be found on website snowbirds.forces.gc.ca.

I ask all members to join me today in wishing the Snowbirds a great 2009 show season.

Notre Dame Hounds April 28th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League.

In Selkirk, Manitoba on April 26, the Hounds shut out the Calgary Buffaloes 4-0 to capture the TELUS Cup, Canada's National Midget AAA Hockey Championship. A 43-save shutout by goaltender Chris Gibson, two goals from forward Drew George and a strong game from forward Brad Cuzner helped give the Hounds their first title in 23 years.

The Hounds play out of Wilcox, which is in the Palliser riding. Many NHL stars, such as Curtis Joseph and Wendel Clark, have benefited from the Notre Dame hockey program. As the team's head coach, Del Pedrick, said Sunday after the game, “This group of guys wore our jersey proudly and represented not only our school but all of Saskatchewan”.

I wear the team's jersey proudly today in the House of Commons. I thank the Notre Dame Hounds for representing so well their school, the Palliser riding and all of Saskatchewan.

Corner Gas April 20th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, April 13 marked a milestone in Canadian television. The lights went out in The Ruby and the pumps were turned off at Corner Gas, and Canadian audiences said goodbye to Brent, Wanda, Lacey, Hank, Emma, Oscar, Davis and Karen. After six years of enormous success, Corner Gas has become a part of Canadian history.

I am proud to say that Dog River is actually Rouleau, Saskatchewan, and that Rouleau is in the Palliser riding, the constituency that I represent.

Corner Gas brought rural life and philosophy to our television screens and did so with great humour. The recipient of six Gemini awards and now syndicated, the show attracted many celebrities, including our own Prime Minister.

I am sure that this program will be in our hearts and minds for many years to come. I would invite all members to help me recognize Brent Butt and the truly comical Canadians who made Corner Gas such a huge success.

Canadian Forces Superannuation Act March 25th, 2009

Madam Speaker, the bill before the House today touches upon an issue that is very important to our government: supporting our men and women in the Canadian Forces and the RCMP.

My remarks today will focus on the Canadian Forces. Our military serves our country proudly and with honour. Many risk their lives daily, whether it is on a search and rescue operation, such as we saw off the coast of Newfoundland, or in the theatre of war in Afghanistan or in the skies above Canada. They are called upon to face situations and make sacrifices that most of us can only imagine. They do what the government asks of them, carrying out their duties with the utmost professionalism and skill.

Our government supports them. In return, we have a responsibility to take care of those who risk so much for us, a responsibility to support members of the Canadian Forces and their families at all stages of their careers. We have recognized the unique stress on military families and have pledged to do more.

The Canadian Forces family covenant unveiled last fall makes good use of this promise to enhance family services. We recently announced the establishment of joint personnel support units across the country. These units will give current and former Canadian Forces members a one-stop shop when accessing National Defence and Veterans Affairs programs and services, including pensions.

Our government has also rectified long-standing issues, including agent orange compensation and atomic veterans recognition. Our support is also reflected in the provisions of a generous pension plan offered to retirees, the Canadian Forces pension plan.

I will take a minute to look at that pension plan. This pension plan is tailored to the needs of the military forces and the military members it serves. For instance, the plan features low contribution rates for Canadian Forces members. Canadian Forces members contribute about one-quarter of the cost of the pension plan while the government covers the remaining 75%. The plan is available to reserve members, as well as regular forces members.

It also ensures a predictable and stable pension for the entire duration of retirement. It is a plan that accommodates the career patterns of our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen. Members who often suffer long separations from their families, who are uprooted from their home towns and communities and whose jobs are demanding, both physically and emotionally, not surprisingly then, these military members often retire earlier than we on civilian street.

The Canadian Forces pension plan has features that recognize and facilitate early retirement. It is important to note that pensions are also indexed to the cost of living, maintaining their worth over the decades our veterans may rely on them. Provisions have been made that is a bridge benefit to cover the period from the time of retirement until the age of 65 when members normally begin to draw on their benefits from the Canadian pension plan.

Let us look at those bridge benefits. The bridge effect acts as a link to ensure our veterans receive a relatively stable income prior to the income of their CPP payments. It is not, however, intended to continue after the age of 65 when CPP generally begins. In effect, the CPP takes over from the bridge benefit. There is a transition from source of income, the Canadian Forces pension plan to the CPP and Canadian Forces pension plan.

In many cases, a veteran's pension income will remain essentially the same prior to and after the transition. However, there are two primary reasons why the pension amount could change when the retiree reaches 65.

First, the individual may have chosen to continue working after retiring from the Canadian Forces. This would actually result in higher pension benefits starting at age 65 because of the additional CPP contributions that had been made.

Second, the CPP allowance paid would be less if the retiree chose to draw on it at age 60 rather than at age 65. When the bridge benefit ends at age 65, the veteran who was already receiving a CPP allowance would notice a drop in income.

It is important to note that the decision to start drawing CPP early is a voluntary one on the part of the individual. Either way, Canadian Forces members can rest assured that they are receiving the full benefits that they are entitled to and that they have paid for. There is no deduction.

Veterans receive the generous pensions they deserve. The cessation of the bridge benefit is not unfair or unjust. Rather, it marks a change in the source of pension benefits from CP pension to CPP.

Let us turn for a minute to the government-assisted clarification pension issues. The government realizes that the provision laid out in the pension plan and its interaction with CPP are complex. That is why the government is being proactive in explaining pension provisions. Information about the pension plan and, in particular, the bridge benefit, is available to all members of the Canadian Forces.

For example, second career assisted network seminars are held on bases across the country. These seminars include information about pensions and are offered to the men and women of the Canadian Forces throughout their careers.

Livestock Industry February 26th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Palliser livestock producers are having a tough time. The government's economic action plan will help cut taxes for small business and build the infrastructure that is so vital to our rural communities, but mandatory country of origin labelling, high-priced inputs and low returns have hurt the bottom line for many of these farmers.

What is our government doing to help these working producers?

Justice February 13th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the influence of organized crime and gangs in our society continues to grow at an alarming rate. Criminal gangs disrupt our society and represent a real threat to the safety and well-being of all Canadians.

I am pleased to report that, yesterday, our law enforcement agencies struck a huge blow to organized crime and gang activities in Montreal. This massive effort was the result of more than three years of investigation as part of Operation Axe. I would like to commend all those officers involved and congratulate them for their great work.

Under this Prime Minister and this Conservative government, we have made significant investments to support law enforcement. We are now giving them the tools they need to take action and shut down these gangs.

We promised to get tough on crime and we are making good on that promise.

The Budget January 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, first, allow me to thank all of those in the Palliser riding who helped put me in this seat in the House of Commons. I thank my wife, Sandy, my campaign team, and, of course, the voters of Palliser.

I rise in the House today as a rookie member of Parliament. I consider it a privilege to serve my country as a parliamentarian. In this role, Canadians trust me and all of us as parliamentarians to behave in a professional manner and to act in the best interests of Canadians.

On January 27, faced with enormous global economic challenges, the government delivered an historic budget. This economic action plan is critical for our country. As such, I call upon all members to work together to ensure that this document passes quickly.

I was elected as a parliamentarian to act in the best interests of our great country and I intend to do so. I hope and expect that all members of this House will do the same.