House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was liberal.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Calgary West (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 62% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Magna Carta June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I rise to commemorate the Magna Carta, first issued and signed by King John on June 15, 1215, in a meadow in Runnymede, England.

British jurist Lord Denning called the Magna Carta, “the greatest constitutional document of all time – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot”.

The Magna Carta laid the foundations for many rights and freedoms. Clause 39 guaranteed key legal rights like due process in trials. It guaranteed the right not to be deprived of property, except by due process. Clause 9 guaranteed certain commercial rights and the rights of guilds. Clause 1 guaranteed the right of the church not to be interfered with by the state. The Magna Carta made the monarch accountable to a council in fulfilling commitments.

Eight hundred years ago, the Magna Carta made the Crown subject to the rule of law. No one was above the law, including the Crown.

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

Mr. Chair, I thank the people of Calgary West for the honour of representing them for the years I have been in this place. I am going to roll through a list of people who deserve thanks.

I thank my parents who taught me to read from a newspaper at the age of three and would let me stay up late watching the TV evening news if I could answer the who, the what, the where, the when, and the why of the stories. Thanks to my grandmother, who baked cookies for my campaigns.

Thanks to the Prime Minister, one of the few parliamentarians who can interpret a 23-variable macroeconomic formula, has cut taxes, and steered our ship of state longer than any other Conservative in my lifetime. My thanks go to Preston Manning, who prophetically said that we come to Ottawa wanting to change Parliament in big ways, but we leave the House of Commons having changed Canadian government in modest ways.

I thank Deborah Grey for inspiring the troops to charge over the hill; and John Reynolds, the alpha male of parliamentarians, who let me have his office in Centre Block.

Thanks to Grant Hill. Like John Hamm, the premier of Nova Scotia, he brought his gentle charm and bedside manner as a country doctor to this place. I thank Stockwell Day for his humour and for making us smile.

None of us can survive in this place without having a board and an association that support us. I have been lucky to have many wonderful people.

They include Stephen and Cynthia Butt, foster parents who have helped raise dozens of little Canadians; Andrew Constantinidis and his daughter Alexandra who was taken door knocking at the age of six with Tony Abbott who is now the Prime Minister of Australia; Colin and Meredith Poole and their entire family; Wilmer and Margaret Doerksen, for cutting short their vacations to help campaign; Gail Pronk for her infectious smile; Bob Tennant, who supported me despite my banging his car with my Chevy Suburban on Crowchild Trail during the first nomination; Bob Caddell and his family's support; the Einarssons for hosting events at their lovely home; the DeRinzy family; Catharine Marshall; the Elliotts for their support and efforts over the years; Linda and Don Coward; Chuck Benedict and George Marks, who wanted to run my sign operation out of my old garage after it had been bought by somebody else in the second campaign; Ron Pearpoint, who always appreciated our door-knocking him; John Bleile; and Phil Underwood.

We also have many staff members to thank in this place, who so many times pull us through scrapes and do so much work behind the scenes to make us look much better than we actually are. They include Trevor Cazemeir; Angela Ford; Jennifer Mcfarlane; Dustin van Vugt; Brian McAdam, for his speech writing; Chris Struc; Russ Kuykendall, also good with his writing.

Thanks go to my roommates over the years, who helped in various campaigns. They include my first campaign manager, John O'Neil, as well as John Carpay, Jessica Maga, Nillo Edwards, and Lanny Cardow.

I thank my friends in the House leader's office, Darlene Stone and Colin Thackery.

I thank my friends from school, Stephanie Kusie and Brian Crowder.

I thank my friends in the Prime Minister's Office: Andrea Smotra, Brock Stephenson, Nigel Hannaford, Will Lymer, Hamish Marshall, Ray Novak, Jenni Byrne, Meredith McDonald, Ian Brodie, Patrick Muttart, and Sean Speer.

I thank the other friends of liberty: the National Firearms Association, of which I am a life member, and Ray Laycock, Mack MacDonald, and Trevor Grover; the Gun Owners of Canada and Nathan Cook; the Firearms Institute for Rational Education and Todd Brown and Wade Myall; the University of Calgary Firearms Club and Henry, Delano, and Adam. As well there is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation with Andy Crooks, Michael Binnion, and Sean McKinsley. I thank the National Citizens Coalition, which was my first real job, and David Somerville, Gerry Nicholls, Mark Poole, Elizabeth Robertson, Miriam Alford, Jeff Ball, and Arthur Finkelstein. Thanks go to the Ontario Landowners Association with Russ Hillier, a great campaign manager. Thanks to the Conservative Leadership Foundation for the best training this country has seen with Karma MacGregor, Mark Spiro, and many others.

I thank those who fought the battle on counter-terrorism: John Thompson of the Mackenzie Institute; those in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, James Cox and the Bewick Family; the Royal Alberta United Services Institute, with Dick Westbury who is the personification of the finest of our British heritage, regaling us with tales of William Pitt the Younger and Lord Mountbatten of Burma; the Governor General's Foot Guards and Will Lymer; the Royal Canadian Air Force with Stan Goddard, Bruce Pultz, and John Melbourne; representing the veterans, Harry James, Travis Smith, Don Leonardo, and Jamie Filstein; and my Jewish friends, the Levant and Bogach families and Barry Bristman.

Over the years, I have reached out to a number of groups that have all been victims of communism, which is something near and dear to my family and our history. There are Ukrainians, like Tony Reznowski, and Tara Katrusiak, now Baran; Hungarians, like Joseph Zamuda; Poles, like Jean Mullen, who is one of those rare volunteers I could give a list to and she would actually phone from home and get it done, and beg for more, bless her, and Artur Pawlowski and his family.

There are the Tibetans who have helped me in my cause: Tenzin Khangsar and his family, the Dorjee family, Chungtak Tsering, Tenzin Lhadon, Tseden Dhongopa. There are a lot of Tenzins and Tsedens in Tibetan, and the reason for that is that is actually the name of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

There are those in the Vietnamese community, like Bich, Peter, and Giao; members of the Falun Gong, like Xun, Grace, and Ian; writers at Epoch Times, like Lucy; and South Koreans Katie Ahn, David Lee, and Young Choi.

I thank those from the Venezuelan community, like Nhora Romero, who helped to sell 61 memberships, Josue Ramirez, and Daniel Rodriguez, and those in the Albanian communuity, like the Mino Family.

From provincial Conservative politics I thank Ted Morton, Rick Mclver, Jon Lord, and Stan Schumacher.

I thank those in the Wildrose Alliance: Tim Dyck, Dustin Nau, Shane McAllister, Greg Schell, and David Price.

From the Sir Winston Churchill Society I thank Randy and Val Iversen, Devin Iversen, and Bill Iversen, who helped me hone and work on my debating skills over the years.

From the Progressive Group for Independent Business I thank Craig Chandler and the people he collected over the years.

I thank those who fought in the battle for preventing the moral decay inside western civilization itself: from the Calgary Police, Service, Art Hanger and Maria; and from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, George Jones, who cast his ballot despite his difficulties with cancer.

I thank victims rights advocates, like George Bears and Stu and Marg Garrioch, who asked me to attend the Parole Board with them.

I thank those in the Family Life Centre, like Elizabeth Shaw and Trassa Van Ommen Kloeke; those involved with My Canada, who were making sure that young people got active in politics, evangelical youth Faytene Grusechl and Valerie Josephine Trudel; those with the Canada Family Action Coalition, Curt Storring and Richard Dur, and those with Campaign Life Coalition, Jack Fonseca, Johanne Brownrigg, and Sharon Rose.

I thank the many Catholic supporters I have had over the years, including Father Leo Boyle, for his Irish mirth; Bishop Fred Henry, for his strength and stands; Father Wojciech Zbigniew Jarzecki; Peter Csillag; Maureen Lawrence, for her insights on the separate board of education; Eva Cain, because she could enter data like the wind; Chris, Debra, and Simon Goldring and their entire family for preserving the Latin mass in Calgary; Nolan Beckie and his family; and Paul Hamnett and his family.

I thank those involved in the Knights of Columbus, like George Wahl and Dan Larabie; my friends inside the Christian Reformed Church, like Margaret Ostenbrink, Hermina Dykxhoorn, Martin Laubser, the Slagter family, and the Coutts family; those in the Latter Day Saints, like Devaughn Fraser, Vance Gough, Emily Ady, David Salmon, who greeted youngsters in politics so warmly at my first Reform Party meetings, Wayne Bourne, for powerfully and wonderfully singing O Canada at our town halls, Randy Thorsteinson, and Kelly Swerid.

I thank those homeschoolers who have helped out over the years, like Tammy Vestrum and Bridget Houston, who with their children stuffed tremedous numbers of envelopes; and supporters of the Ambrose University College, like the Van Seters family and the Striebl family.

I thank my former colleagues in this place, Myron Thompson, Ted White, Darrel Stinson, Lee Morrison, and Ken Epp. I never doubted how they would vote, and they were rocks of men.

Finally, I thank Senator Doug Finley, who was the best soldier for the Conservative cause.

I will wrap up with this:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

National Anthem Act April 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I think there was some confusion. Obviously I was meaning to vote no, and to keep the traditional wording of the national anthem.

Correctional Service Canada January 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, recently we learned that Correctional Service Canada has replaced milk with powdered milk in all of its prisons. This measure will save taxpayers over $6 million per year by reducing the cost for milk by over 40%.

However, this does not sit well with the hug-a-thug crowd in the NDP. The member for Shefford said yesterday that it lacks “decency” to serve powered milk to convicted murderers and rapists.

Can the Minister of Public Safety tell the House if the government agrees with the NDP member for Shefford?

Violence Against Women November 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, over the past weeks we have heard many personal accounts of sexual abuse involving Jian Ghomeshi, and of stories right here on Parliament Hill. In light of these high-profile allegations of sexual violence in the headlines, a national discussion has finally stirred. We must not let this conversation stop.

It is clear now, more so than ever, that changes must be made to Canada's sexual assault laws. My private member's bill, Bill C-570, proposes to make these necessary changes by introducing a mandatory minimum sentence for rape. If we want to stop violence against women, we must put sexual predators behind bars. Victims must feel comfortable going to court, knowing that their perpetrators will face consequences and not reoffend. Only then will more survivors be empowered to come forward, like the brave women who have already done so in these past weeks.

Petitions June 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the last petition I have is from people across Canada who want the worst cases of sexual assault to be prosecuted more heavily. The petitioners do not want to see us coddle sexual predators, but to see us respect the plight of victims. As a result, the petitioners want to see us give sexual predators the punishment they deserve.

Petitions June 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I also have a petition on behalf of Canadians who are disturbed by the crisis in Venezuela. The petitioners are concerned about human rights being violated, and people detained and tortured for merely non-violent protesting.

The petitioners call upon our government to take an active role against the tyranny of the Maduro government and call attention to the dangers facing Venezuela, which will not disappear by turning a blind eye. They want us to implement economic sanctions against those authorities responsible for human rights violations.

Petitions June 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of citizens concerned about firearm reclassification, which aims to devalue and deprive them of their private property. The petitioners want all of Bill C-68 repealed, not just the billion-dollar long gun registry.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to eliminate the bureaucratic chief of firearms officers.

Venezuela March 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, these petitioners are asking for economic sanctions and the freezing of the Maduro government's assets unless the use of water cannons stops. They are also asking for a delegation to monitor and report on human rights violations in Venezuela.

Furthermore, I call upon the Maduro government to release all those detained during the protests, to immediately cease all government interference with peaceful protesters, and to ensure those people who are perpetrating the violence bear the full weight of the law.

A democratic government not only respects but protects its citizens' rights of expression and assembly. Hugo Chavez has passed away, and Venezuelans want to turn the page. Like many, Venezuela yearns for freedom.

Venezuela March 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I met with a woman whose young niece was a beauty queen in Venezuela. Her 22-year-old niece was shot in the head and died from her wounds at the hospital.

Genesis Carmona was an unarmed student protester. Her grieving aunt and others are calling for an emergency debate by the Organization of American States to discuss the crisis in Venezuela. These petitioners—