House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was person.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Northumberland—Quinte West (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 54% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Life Means Life Act June 18th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to advise you that I will be splitting my time.

Mr. Speaker, I say goodbye to this place wanting to thank everyone who makes our life better, everyone from yourself, to the table officers, to the people who make us feel safe, the security personnel around Parliament Hill, to the pages, to the folks upstairs who feed us, and to the folks who clean our offices. Everyone here has made my life better over the last nine years and has allowed me to do my job.

Now to the business of politics and why I am standing to speak to this bill. I had a speech, but it is too long; there is not enough time. However, I credit the Canadian people with seeing past all of the accusations that are being made with respect to this bill. As a government, we have accomplished a lot with the economy, a lot with social justice issues, which is what we are talking about here today.

We heard the other side say that it is a political stunt. This whole place is full of politicians and that is what we do.

In 2011, we had an election. In that election this party promised this piece of legislation, but we also promised other pieces of legislation. There comes a time when we have to put our money where our mouth is and we have to set priorities, something the third party's leader had trouble doing. We hear the opposition talking about all of the negativity. Canadians voted for a strong, majority Conservative government because of things like this bill, because Canadians were promised this legislation and that life would mean life. We heard the members across the way say that it does not meet the constitutional challenge. When we brought in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we opened a Pandora's box of challenges to the Constitution. Before that occurred, we had very few challenges to our Constitution. Now we have all of these challenges. Every Canadian knows that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been challenged from day one, from the beginning of it. Therefore, that is a rather spurious argument to say that it has to be charter-proof. There is no such thing in this country as charter-proof. There will always be someone who will challenge it.

We are delivering what we said we would deliver. We said we would bring in this piece of legislation, and we have. The opposition may by cynical in saying that it is in the dying days of the session. We are earning our keep here. We are doing the business of this country. We are doing things that we promised to do. That is why I leave this place a very proud member of Parliament, a very proud Conservative member of Parliament, because we have lived up to the things we have promised. I know my confreres leave this place knowing that what they said they would do they will do, and that will come true on October 19 also.

Life Means Life Act June 18th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the parliamentary secretary mentioned other democratic jurisdictions in which elected officials provide clemency and have oversight. I can think of governors in various states in the United States, et cetera. This is not a new precedent that we are creating.

We know that this law will be in the Criminal Code with regard to conditional release, et cetera, and we know there will be different public safety ministers. The member across the way may demean someone because the person is an engineer, but that person could even be a lawyer, a former police officer, a former doctor, whatever. It is necessary.

I have been doing some research on this. In one of Clifford Olson's chances at parole, shall we say, in his parole application, he wrote a letter to the mother of one of the victims describing in detail how he abused her son before he killed him. Is this not the kind of person that this law refers to?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 17th, 2015

With regard to government funding in the riding of Northumberland—Quinte West, for each fiscal year since 2007-2008 inclusively: (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group, broken down by (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency providing the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan identified in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline of the press release?

Member for Northumberland—Quinte West June 17th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as the 41st Parliament ends and this great nation prepares for the 42nd general election, it is only right and fitting that this retiring member of Parliament congratulates his riding of Northumberland—Quinte West for all we have achieved together: a billion dollars for the clean-up of low level radioactive waste in Port Hope, a new community centre in Cobourg, countless miles of road improvements, two new bridges to be built, hundreds of millions of dollars in new improvements at CFB Trenton in Quinte West.

These projects and those like them are creating jobs for the good citizens of Northumberland—Quinte West and Canada, proof that this Conservative government, working with our provincial and municipal counterparts, can achieve much together.

While much has been accomplished, our work is not finished. More needs to be done, and the Prime Minister will keep his team working on behalf of my constituents and all of Canada long after October 19.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I tried to answer that, but apparently it is very difficult for some people to understand why we bring in mandatory minimum sentences. It is to send a message to those who would break the law. It is not reducing the discretion of judges.

For the edification of my friend across the way, we have had mandatory minimum sentences in our country for upwards of 15 years. Previous governments brought them in specifically to say that certain crimes, certain actions taken by individuals, require a minimum amount of sentencing. We call those mandatory because we want to impress upon those who would break the law that this is more serious than other crimes. In this case, we brought in some very minimal mandatory sentences.

When my friend says our government has done it, we have actually had mandatory minimum sentences for some time. As a former police officer, I can remember the judgment of several courts saying that the Criminal Code is a living document. It changes. Circumstances change. Societal norms and circumstances change.

It is unfortunate that some people are stuck in a rut somewhere thinking we should not continue along a path of that living document, showing that Canada as a society is changing and we must meet that. I believe our citizens want these mandatory minimum sentences.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I base my comments on some of the to and fro that has occurred in the House with regard to the bill. There was mention of why we need an increased penalty for cruelty and death to these animals. Quite frankly, it is similar to why we have increased penalties for those who act against police officers or other people doing their job, in the execution of their duties. We have those because of the implication of crimes and cruelty toward those people who represent us. They represent law and order in our society.

So it is with animals that are assisting their owners and trainers in the execution of their duties. The bill proposes to impose a greater penalty for crimes against them because of what they represent, which is law and order in our society.

We also heard why there are mandatory minimums and references were made to our neighbours to the south. If we examine why the U.S. is reducing, not doing away with its mandatory minimums, we would see that they are far greater, sometimes three, four and five times greater than our mandatory minimums and it is just bringing them down to where ours are. Why is that? It is because it just makes sense. Therefore, we as a government have made mandatory minimums at the minimum they should be.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand before members today and share with them my support for the justice for animals in service act. I applaud the proposition and creation of Quanto's law made by my colleagues to prevent people from bringing harm to police, military, and service dogs and punish people who do so.

I would like to begin by thanking the member for Richmond Hill, who proposed this amendment to the Criminal Code in 2013. The member has succeeded in bringing this issue to the forefront of our citizens' attention. I would also like to thank the hon. Minister of Justice for tabling the bill, bringing this proposed legislation closer to becoming law, and providing his optimistic public support.

I look forward to the passing of this bill, which would fulfill the commitment made by our government in the 2013 Speech from the Throne. I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes the special role played by these animals in protecting our communities and improving the quality of life for Canadians. The Conservative government knows the daily risks taken by police officers and their service animals. Quanto's law is being brought forth in honour and support of them. It is a tragedy that these incredibly trained and intelligent animals are intentionally harmed by people in our communities.

This legislation would recognize Quanto, a police dog serving in Edmonton, Alberta, who gave the greatest sacrifice, which was his life. The story, as I am sure many members know, is that Quanto was stabbed to death in October 2013 during the process of apprehending a suspect on foot. Quanto had served in an impressive number of arrests during his time in service with the Edmonton police. The accused, in addition to his other charges, only received the insignificant charge of animal cruelty for the brutal killing of this canine officer of the law.

This legislation would also honour the police horse Brigadier, who served with the Toronto police until 2006. He had to be put down after the suspect involved is reported to have deliberately struck Brigadier with his car. The suspect was never apprehended following the hit and run. It was the story of Brigadier that inspired the member for Richmond Hill to put forth this bill.

This proposed legislation is aimed at denouncing and deterring the intentional harming of specially trained animals who serve law enforcement officials, disabled persons with special needs, and the Canadian Forces. Currently, there are well over 100 service dogs working in the RCMP right across this great country of ours. These service dogs help police find lost persons; track criminals; and search for illicit substances, such as narcotics, explosives, and crime-scene evidence. Additionally, service animals participate in integral programs that are part of everyday service delivery in our communities. Canada Border Services Agency employs these animals, Correctional Service Canada utilizes these service dogs across Canada, and they are responsible for vital services to our communities.

One of the purposes of this bill would be to single out anyone who knowingly or carelessly harms a service animal. This includes those people who would injure, poison, or kill a law enforcement animal. To my knowledge, dogs are the primary animal this law would serve to protect, given that they are the animal that is most often trained for service. However, as previously mentioned, there are other animals trained and used to assist in law enforcement and to aid those people with disabilities. Horses and other animals can be trained, and they would all be protected under this legislation.

The law would amend the sentencing of people found guilty of animal cruelty to service animals. A minimum sentence of five months and a maximum sentence of six years is proposed for people guilty of crimes against service animals. The offender must serve the sentence consecutively if found guilty of additional charges arising from the same event. A maximum fine of $10,000 is an applicable charge, should the accused be found guilty of injuring or killing a service animal under Quanto's law.

Many people would like to see bigger penalties, but our government admits that it is possible to get carried away by emotion sometimes and that there is a difference between human life and animal life. The punishment must fit the crime and still be fair.

The development of the justice for animals in service act, Quanto's law, is part of the government's plan for safe streets and communities, another example of how we are dedicated to getting tough on crime.

There are several organizations across Canada showing their support for this bill, like the Alberta Citizens on Patrol Association of Linden, Alberta, which strongly supports this legislation and has started a support campaign within the organization.

I ask all members to join with these fine people who understand what service dogs and organizations that work with them would gain from Quanto's law. As the Prime Minister said: Quanto’s violent death is a powerful and sad reminder of the dangers that law enforcement animals often face in assisting officers to protect Canadians and communities.

We can all agree with the Prime Minister and other supporters of this legislation that this would honour the faithful animals and acknowledge the special role they play in law enforcement. We know the significant benefit service dogs offer people with disabilities to lead a more independent and better quality of life.

This law would serve the important purpose of recognizing and deterring violence toward service animals, to show that violence against these animals will not be tolerated and that those who commit acts deemed to be vicious and careless in nature must pay the consequences.

I thank those who stand with the government in supporting the justice for animals in service act, and I hope the opposition can understand the positive effects this legislation would offer service animals. Please work with us, and please pass this important law.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if my colleague would comment on a previous question of why not other animals.

Would my colleague agree that in the case of other Criminal Code offences, in offences against a police officer, assaulting a police officer, police officers are human beings? They represent law and order and authority in this country. These service dogs and service animals represent law and authority, and I would suggest that is why we have this law. They are service animals in service of not only the individual but also of their community and their country.

We have also previously heard NDP members talking about mandatory minimum sentences and how Republicans in the United States are reducing their sentences. That is because they are about five times what our mandatory minimum sentences are.

I wonder if my colleague could give some examples of how consecutive sentencing provisions would work.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the member and I shared membership on the public safety and national security committee. He has perpetrated and said things that are not quite founded in fact. This government, the Government of Canada, has increased funding to the Canada Border Services Agency to increase the number of people. As far as the RCMP goes, its budget has been significantly increased over the years of this government.

As we get closer to an election, he become so pathetically partisan. Perhaps the member is afraid of losing his seat, although I do not think he has to worry much. The Liberals say that this is the worst possible legislation, that it is bad, that the government is bad, and that there is not enough money. They take a terrible tragedy and make a political partisan comment on it. If it is that bad, then he should not vote for it. However, he should stop saying things that are just not accurate. My fellow member does not have to do that. He should try to be a bit more collegial as we end the 41st Parliament and try to find it in his heart to say something positive for a change.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd Parliament June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, this is a night for “thank yous”, so a lot of my dissertation tonight will be about the people I need to thank for allowing me to be here and for keeping me here.

First, I thank my Lord and Saviour for all the gifts that He has given me, the gifts of family and values.

Speaking of values, I want to thank my mom and dad, Dan and Bernadette Norlock for the values they instilled in me and my five siblings. They are sort of the beginning, and I wish to thank them.

My whole life I have been a person of public office. The first long-term job I had was with the Ontario Provincial Police. I can recall my coach officer telling me, when I thought there were some things that needed to dealt with in the Ontario Provincial Police, that I had to earn the right to have an opinion. I joined our bargaining unit and we got a lot of things done. That was some 40-plus years ago.

In 1999, and I forget the exact date, I came home from work and was taking off my boots at the door. My wife had warmed supper for the second time. The phone rang and a gentleman by the name of Bert Purvis was on the other end. He suggested that I put my name forward as a candidate with the Canadian Alliance, the political party of the day. I can remember putting my hand over the mouthpiece of the telephone, looking up at my wife, who was standing, warming supper, saying, “Can you imagine?”. My dear wife said, “Just say yes”. Therefore, it is her fault that I am here today.

We were not successful in the year 2000 and we chose not to run in 2004, However, a couple of people are responsible in a way. A lot of my electoral district association, being party president for many years, working with it, thought that this unworthy person should put his name forward. The member for Leeds—Grenville made that comment to me, subsequent to the 2004 election, I also had the benefit of knowing the member for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, who also attended a fundraiser and was supportive. Of course Colin McSweeney gave me some great advice.

However, it is our electoral district association and volunteers who put their faith in us and who helped support us throughout the years during the elections.

I cannot forget, nor will I ever forget, the faith that the good citizens of Northumberland—Quinte West put in me in the 39th, 40th and this our 41st Parliament. My fellow citizens of Northumberland—Quinte West and me have done much together. I look across that great riding and I can see all the things this government, working with other levels of government, has been able to accomplish, and I am proud of that. I will be talking to the citizens of Northumberland—Quinte West, in a different venue, with regard to all that we have achieved together.

We cannot do this job without a team behind us. Throughout the nine-plus years that I have been here, we have had quite a number of staff. In the riding, most of the folks there have been with me for quite some time. With your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, I will mention their names because they are the reason why we kept getting elected: Barb Massey, who was there for us from the beginning; Catherine Cole; Stephanie Campbell; Rob Dodd; James Daniels; Sarah Honey; Erica Meekes; Jake Enright; Tom Rittwage, who is one of my trainers; Graham Howell and his wife Nubia; Mark Elton; and Sonia Garvey who was part of that training team; Daphne Gower; and Sally Harris.

I am sure I must have missed somebody and for that I apologize.

I am going to go out on a limb, and I am going to speak to my friends across the way, as well as myself. I can remember telling the member for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock at a barbecue, that during a question period, I thought it was awful to heckle and that I would never do that. I have not been able to live up to his expectations, and for that I apologize to him.

Why do we not have the kind of respect in this place that we should have? It begins with us. We cannot expect others to respect us, unless we respect each other. Question period usually begins with the opposition asking, “Why are you the worst government that ever existed on this planet, on Earth, in this country?” We respond by saying, “We are the best government ever”.

That is where I have to congratulate our forefathers, other members of Parliament, and the rules and regulationd that govern our behaviour, like using the third person to tone things down. This place often, according to many people, does not run very well. It brings to my mind those words of Sir Winston Churchill when he said this about democracy, “it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried”.

I would have to say that about this place. We sometimes look rather slipshod and bad in other people's eyes. but the right thing gets done. Canadians are well served by this Parliament. In the end, Canadians always get the right kind of government, because we are in a democracy. There will be changes, and that is good. Change is good; change is healthy for democracy. I want to reiterate how privileged I have been to be here.

When we get near the end of our time here, we have to recognize, as the first member to speak night did, why we are leaving. One of the principle reasons is because of his family. He mentioned that we needed the support of our family. I would not be here without the support of my family, especially my wife who recognized in me something I did not recognize. She knows me better than I know me. I say this for all the husbands and other life partners. If they are smart, they will listen to their wives. In the end, they are right. She sure is.

I want to spend some time with my family. I have been working 40 years, much less than many business people out there and other folks. The reason I am leaving politics is it is time to spend a little time with my sons. The Liberal member of Parliament mentioned a private member's bill. It is true, not many people in our country get to have a private member's bill pass.

I have a passion, and it is hunting and fishing. My private member's bill, and I will always be able to look at it, is the National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day Act for Canada. I am going to enjoy those pursuits.

I thank the great citizens of Northumberland—Quinte West, once again, for putting their faith in me in three Parliaments. I thank my dear wife for putting up with me. I thank her for having me say yes. It has been an honour and a privilege to be in this place. As the late Mr. MacMillan, the town crier in Cobourg ended all of his cries, I will end my speech with, God bless the dominion of Canada and God bless our gracious Queen.