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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was children.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Conservative MP for Lethbridge (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 67% of the vote.

Statements in the House

University of Lethbridge October 26th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, this year the University of Lethbridge is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

From a small corner on the Lethbridge college campus to a prominent landmark nestled in the coulees overlooking the Oldman River, the University of Lethbridge has grown into an institution which is recognized and respected around the world.

The University of Lethbridge was built on a commitment to the individual student with the goal of providing the most vital and engaging learning environment in the country. Although much has changed over the past 40 years, its goals remain focused on this principle.

In addition to maintaining teaching as its core objective, the University of Lethbridge has also evolved into a major global research institution. This has helped to create an exciting intellectual community for the 8,100 students on its campuses in the Alberta centres of Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton.

The University of Lethbridge stands today because a community dared to dream. It is an exemplary example of what can develop when a small group of people are determined to make things happen and how a learning institution and a country can work together to grow and prosper.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply October 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that members of the NDP continually try to drag debate in this House down to a lower level.

The parliamentary secretary indicated some of the things that our government is doing. It is important that we have a presence in the north, whether it is through our navy, our air force or our rangers. However, the issue of a research station in the north will answer a lot of the questions that we have about the situation that is changing there as far as climate, pollution and issues like that are concerned.

I would just like him to comment a bit further on the proposed research station in the Arctic.

Petitions October 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to table a petition today signed by many citizens throughout southern Alberta and Lethbridge.

The petitioners call upon the government to protect our children by, among other things, ensuring that repeat offenders be designated as dangerous offenders, that compulsory public notification of movements of convicted pedophiles be offered and that it proceed with changes to the justice system and legislation which would result in harsher penalties for convicted pedophiles.

Government Programs October 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, many Canadian businesses are under enormous strain in trying to comply with the mountain of paperwork and red tape imposed on them by government. In budget 2007 our government committed to address the red tape and paper burden on Canadian businesses and individuals by performing a government-wide count of all legislative and regulatory compliance measures by September 2007.

Could the new Secretary of State for Small Business and Tourism inform this House on the status of this important commitment to Canadians?

Aeronautics Act June 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe it will at all. The spirit of the amendment is to allow everyone involved in industry to learn from the reports of other people. Having that ability will create a database and a collective ability to address issues before they arise. If one organization or provider finds a problem, everybody in the industry will be aware of it in a matter of time and will be able to take corrective actions.

I believe, as we move down this road, that Bill C-6 will make the aviation industry in Canada far safer than it has been. As we look over the history of the aviation industry as it grew from the early days until now, a lot has been done to improve it. Canada has one of the safest systems in place and it will continue to be that with this bill when it is enacted.

Aeronautics Act June 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I gave that member a chance to do his ranting and I listened to him. Committee members had to listen to him week after week. I wish he would be quiet and listen to me for a second. After indicating that nobody from the Conservative Party would get up and talk, now he is trying to shout me down. It is very typical of that member.

Witness after witness who came to the committee indicated that safety management systems will create a better system in Canada and that 400% to 500% more reports would be brought forward. Once these reports are tabled and once they are available, all in the industry can access them. That, to me, is the key. That flow of information will allow other people involved in the industry to be able to access it to make the industry safer.

The International Civil Aviation Organization indicated that Canada is a leader in safety in the aviation industry and will continue to be a leader in this industry with the adoption of this bill.

Aeronautics Act June 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this chance you are giving me.

Witness after witness who came to committee, and I would say almost all the witnesses who appeared, said that the safety management systems being considered here will create a far safer environment in the aviation industry in Canada than already--

Aeronautics Act June 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to stand and speak to this as a member of the government. The member who spoke previously said we would be embarrassed to stand and support what we are doing on this bill. I have done it previously on comments directed to the aspects of this bill that deal with national defence and the safety and aeronautics aspects.

It is a pleasure to rise and offer some comments today on behalf of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport.

Bill C-6 is an act to amend the Aeronautics Act. The Aeronautics Act establishes the Minister of Transport's responsibility for the development and regulation of aeronautics and the supervision of all matters connected with civil aeronautics, as well as the responsibility of the Minister of National Defence for military aeronautical activities.

First and foremost, the intent of Bill C-6 is to provide for a modern and flexible legislative framework to further enhance aviation safety and to reflect the needs of the aviation community. The bill will update the act to make it more consistent with other transportation acts.

The standing committee began studying the bill in February and has heard testimony from dozens of witnesses, all of whom have a sincere interest in the safety of Canadians and Canada's aviation industry. I would like to touch briefly on a few of the major issues that were discussed during the study.

One of the amendments agreed to at committee includes a progressive enforcement program, which includes assurances of compliance and notices of violations without penalty. Transport Canada can and will continue to take enforcement action when necessary and audits can still be conducted if required.

With respect to resources, the number one priority within the department has and will continue to be providing effective safety oversight of the industry by allocating resources to those activities that will provide the greatest safety benefit.

It was also made clear at committee that the concept of designated organizations is being considered only for segments of the industry that do not carry fare-paying passengers or are considered to represent a low level of risk in relation to aviation safety. This was covered in an amendment to the original proposal.

Reporting systems were also discussed at length. To encourage voluntary reporting of safety related information, amendments to the act propose a universal, non-punitive, voluntary reporting program, as well as protections for information that may be obtained by Transport Canada when assessing or auditing the internal reporting system of a certificate holder. Data, once de-identified, is available to all for more analysis and distribution.

However, it is important to note that protections will never prevent enforcement action for deliberate and wilful commission of violations for which Transport Canada would have obtained evidence through its own investigations.

Whistleblower protection also formed an important part of this discussion. The amendments put forward are in the spirit of this type of protection, while at the same time holding true to the intent of encouraging the cooperation of employers and employees to proactively work together for safety.

I now would like to take a moment to address the five government motions that we have put forth in order to align Bill C-6. The amendments are all very technical in nature.

First, during committee deliberations, an amendment was introduced to clause 8 to establish a new rule-making authority for safety management systems. However, upon further review, we see that this same authority is already provided for in section 5.39. Therefore, it will create a redundancy in respect to the enabling authority to make regulations regarding safety management systems.

The paragraphs in section 5.39 are much broader and are consistent with the definition of management systems adopted by the committee in the definitions section of the act. It is more logical to keep the enabling authority under section 5.39 because this provision is followed by a series of other provisions dealing specifically with management systems.

Second, there are three motions at clause 12, all of which are editorial in nature and meant to correct inconsistencies between the French and the English. These changes are meant to ensure that both versions have the same meaning and, therefore, equal weight. The purpose of these motions remains consistent with the deliberations at committee.

Our final motion affects clause 49. The intent is much clearer than the proposed NDP motion for this clause and it still meets the intent of the committee, which is to delay by three years the implementation of designated organizations. This motion will also serve to correct the versions of both languages since as presented they do not have the same meaning.

In conclusion, Canada has one of the safest aviation systems in the world. This bill will go a long way toward ensuring that the required tools are in place to maintain and enhance the safety of Canadian aviation systems for the future.

Through due diligence, hard work and cooperation, Bill C-6 is now better than it was when originally introduced to Parliament last year. I want to thank committee members who gave their input and support to this bill. The standing committee has indicated support of Bill C-6 with the recommended amendments.

I would therefore encourage members of Parliament to adopt the motions and recommend the amended bill for third reading.

Business of the House June 18th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe that if you were to seek it, you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing or Special Order, the normal hour of daily adjournment today shall be 6:30 p.m. and when no member rises to speak today to Bill C-31, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Public Service Employment Act, or at 6:30 p.m., whichever comes first, the question on the motion relating to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-31 be deemed put, a recorded division deemed requested, and the vote deferred to 6:30 p.m. today.

Committees of the House June 18th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on National Defence in relation to the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

It has been a year and a month since the Standing Committee on National Defence passed a motion, mandating itself to examine various aspects of the mission of Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Since then, committee members have heard dozens of witnesses and travelled to Canadian Forces' bases in Canada and Afghanistan. The courage, resolve and dedication of our Canadian Forces has been a source of inspiration for the defence committee.

The past, present and future sacrifices of the Canadian Forces personnel and the families they support, or the families that support them, have likewise afforded a profound gravity to this report.

I sincerely hope this report will assist Parliament and the government in their ongoing support for our men and women serving in Afghanistan.

The report is dedicated to the 58 Canadian men and women, who at the time of this report's adoption, have died in Afghanistan serving our country.