House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was indian.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River (Saskatchewan)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

First Nations Elections Act December 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am wondering if my colleague from Churchill is aware that this bill was led by the first nations in her own province.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, under the leadership of former grand chief Ron Evans, was instrumental in this first nations elections act. Chief Evans led an extensive engagement exercise in Manitoba and visited almost all the first nations in the province that hold elections under the Indian Act, to discuss his recommendations and obtain feedback, but he also appeared in committee just last week on this very bill.

Ron Evans also met with first nations organizations in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia and wrote a letter to every chief and council in Canada that holds elections under the Indian Act to explain the recommendations for electoral reform. He remains supportive of this bill and recently wrote to the minister, saying that the proposed first nations elections act would change the way first nations are governed, create stability and credibility, strengthen self-governance and allow first nations to move forward.

Could the member for Churchill please explain why she is opposed to this important first nations-led initiative?

Northwest Territories Devolution Act December 5th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, this morning I got to sit on the aboriginal affairs committee where we had the NWT provide testimony. It was quite interesting to hear some individuals, especially the member for Western Arctic who is astonishingly out of touch.

The devolution with the negotiations were 25 years in the making. With regard to the regulations it required five years of negotiation. However, when I look at the report that was released by the member for Western Arctic, I believe early this week or last month, it says, “Resource extraction does little to address the increasing cost of living and socioeconomic inequalities faced by Northerners”. The report also recommends changes at the federal level that would redistribute wealth in the NWT.

The member is asking for taxes. However, if we look at northern Saskatchewan, resource development has created a unique area. Saskatchewan is now a “have” province. Here we have a member who does not want to see resource development create wealth for NWT.

Why would the member across the aisle not support economic development, which would help first nations, aboriginals and non-aboriginals prosper?

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 December 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, what we see is what Canada is doing to lure businesses to the country, or to have more individuals hired in.

What this Conservative government is doing is extending and expanding the hiring credit for small businesses, which will benefit an estimated 560,000 employees. We are also increasing the indexing of the lifetime capital gains exemption to make investing in small business more rewarding. Also, we are expanding the accelerated capital cost allowance to further encourage investments in clean energy generation.

One of the most important things here is freezing the employment insurance premium rates for three years, leaving $660 million in the pockets of job creators and workers in 2014 alone.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 December 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, it is kind of ironic, listening to my colleague across the floor ask the same repetitive question over and over again. This is the same official party that rejects any type of economic stimulus to help Canada grow.

We are seeing the government doing just that. I would like to point out a couple of things that we have done. I hate to be repetitive, but since 2006 we have cut taxes over 160 times, reducing the overall tax burden to its lowest level in 50 years.

We are seeing this take place and we are seeing the economic benefit assisting Saskatchewan, my home province. We are seeing it flourish. We are seeing it become an economic driving hub across Canada. We are seeing jobs being created. We are seeing individuals leaving other provinces and coming to Saskatchewan to work, because the jobs are there. We are seeing economic development take place.

That is why the government is reducing taxes, to help people create a better, more financial and fiscally responsible lifestyle.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 December 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to add my comments to this debate.

Today I will focus on ways in which economic action plan 2013 helps strengthen Canada's economy in these uncertain times.

Let me assure the House that our government remains committed to what matters most to Canadians: job creation and economic growth. Indeed, just last week Statistics Canada announced that Canada's economy expanded in the third quarter of 2013. This is the ninth consecutive positive quarter of economic growth and this is just the most recent example that our economy remains on the right track.

What is more, Canada continues to have the best job growth record among all of the G7, with over one million net new jobs created since the depth of the global economic recession.

However, Canada is not immune to the challenges beyond our borders. The global economy remains fragile, especially in the U.S. and Europe, our largest trading partners. That is why our Conservative government is working hard to grow the Canadian economy with positive measures such as tax breaks to help small businesses create more jobs, freezing employment insurance premium increases to allow Canadians to take home more of what they earn, and introducing new tax relief to help our manufacturing sector grow.

Indeed, implementing the job-supporting measures in economic action plan 2013 will help Canada's economy continue to grow. It is these job-supporting measures that I would like to discuss today.

Our Conservative government recognizes the vital role small businesses play in the economy and job creation. That is why we are committed to helping them grow and succeed. We know that we have been growing. We see the results in that Canada is leading the world in job creation with more than one million net new jobs since the recession. However, while the Canadian economy is improving, uncertainty remains.

We heard the concerns of business owners. That is why Bill C-4 would extend and expand the hiring credit for small business. By expanding this credit over 560,000 employers will benefit, helping them hire new workers and grow. This would provide an estimated $225 million in tax relief in 2013.

Bill C-4 would also increase the lifetime capital gains exemption to $800,000 from $750,000. This would increase the rewards of investing in small businesses and make it easier for owners to transfer their family businesses to the next generation. Today's legislation would also index the exemption to inflation for the first time. This would ensure the real value of the lifetime capital gains exemption is not eroded over time. Overall, this measure would provide an estimated $5 million in tax relief in 2013-14, and $15 million in 2014-15.

As Dan Kelly of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said:

...they've expanded the lifetime capital gains exemption to $800,000. That's really good news, with a promise to index it each year going forward. That will help a lot of entrepreneurs.

There is still more. Bill C-4 would freeze employment insurance premium rates in 2015 and 2016. This tax relief would help support Canada's continued economic recovery and sustained business-led, long-term growth. This would build on our government’s recent announcement to freeze EI premium rates, bringing more stability and predictability to employers and workers. What is more, it would save them $660 million in 2014 alone.

Diane J. Brisebois, president and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada, agrees. She stated, “This freeze on premiums will mean more money for employers to invest in other important areas such as employment, training and infrastructure”.

Furthermore, the employment insurance freeze would enhance Canada's globally competitive business environment. The freeze would help to attract foreign investment into Canada, create jobs for Canadians and foster long-term economic growth.

Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, stated:

...payroll taxes like EI are particularly challenging for small business, [the] announcement of an EI rate freeze is fantastic news for Canada’s entrepreneurs and their employees.... This move will keep hundreds of millions of dollars in the pockets of employers and employees which can only be a positive for the Canadian economy.

Bill C-4 would also extend tax relief to manufacturers, by expanding the accelerated capital cost allowance to include the equipment used in the production of biogas and equipment used to treat gases from waste.

Unlike the opposition, our government understands that tax relief is important to Canadians and families. In fact, as a result of our government's low-tax plan, in 2013 the average Canadian family now pays $3,400 less in taxes. This includes reducing the GST from 7% to 5%, putting an estimated $1,000 back into the pockets of the average Canadian family; introducing and enhancing the working income tax benefit; introducing the tax-free savings account, the most important personal savings vehicle since RRSPs; and eliminating consumer tariffs on babies' clothes, sporting goods, exercise equipment and more.

Having said that, our government is under no illusion that our work is finished. The global economy remains fragile with the growth in advanced economies slower than expected, and Canada is not immune. That is why Canada's economic action plan actively pursues new trade and investment opportunities, particularly with large, dynamic and fast-growing economies. Indeed, our government recently completed negotiations on a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union. This agreement alone has the potential to add more than 80,000 new jobs. In fact, John Manley, president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives agrees, “the [comprehensive economic and trade agreement] will create jobs, spur investment and promote economic growth.”

Unlike the members of the opposition, we understand that the pursuit of free trade is beneficial for the economy. Our government trade agenda has already made Canada one of the most open and globally engaged economies in the world. Since 2006, we have reached free trade agreements with nine countries and are currently negotiating with many more. Canada has also joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and we are actively pursuing new trade and investment opportunities in large, dynamic and fast-growing economies, such as South Korea, reflecting our belief that freer and more open trade is a key stimulus for global economic recovery.

Our government remains firmly committed to supporting Canadian jobs and fostering long-term prosperity for Canadians and their families. Canada's low-tax approach continues to be a beacon to other nations around the world in a time of global economic uncertainty.

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed. Indeed, KPMG's Competitive Alternatives 2012 report concluded that Canada's total business taxes are more than 40% lower than those in the United States, and confirmed that Canada has the lowest tax burden on business in the G7. Along with growing investment and our support for free and open trade, our government continues to support the low-tax environment that is required to create jobs and economic growth.

Canada is now one of the top five destinations in the world to start a business. Colleen McMorrow of Ernst & Young remarked that:

Canada has emerged as a real leader in fostering an entrepreneurial culture... Canada also offers a supportive tax and regulatory environment for entrepreneurs. All these factors are combining to really promote the growth of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship from coast to coast [to coast].

She concluded by saying that Canada’s government has been highly supportive of entrepreneurs, providing regulatory and tax regimes that have enabled start-ups and growing companies to flourish.

Clearly, Canada's competitive tax system plays a crucial role in supporting economic growth. These tax reductions would leave more money for job creation, to hire more workers and to invest in new machinery, equipment and other technology that will further strengthen Canada's economic partnerships.

With that in mind, it is shocking that just last week the Leader of the Opposition again confirmed that he would increase taxes on Canadian job creators in a time of global economic uncertainty. Clearly, when it comes to the economy the NDP cannot be trusted. With no economic action plan, the Liberals cannot be taken seriously as well. When it comes to the economy, there is a clear choice. It is our Conservative government that will keep Canada's economy strong.

Member for Scarborough—Agincourt December 2nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party has decided to keep his veterans' spokesman even after that Liberal MP slammed veterans as recently as last week. In the latest gaffe he said:

A lot of the veterans were in the army. We taught them one skill: to kill or be killed, to survive in order to be able to kill tomorrow....

Who could forget the same Liberal MP going on national television on Remembrance Day, saying that giving money to injured veterans was: hanging a case of beer in front of a drunk.... They get the lump sum, they go and spend it,...on booze or addiction.

As a veteran of the RCMP who, like many other military veterans, struggles with PTSD every day, I find these comments to be disrespectful and uninformed.

This may be how the Liberal Party feels, but Canadians know veterans can be, and should be, trusted to manage their own finances. Canadians also know veterans have remarkable skills and experiences that organizations across all sectors would be lucky to have. Why does the Liberal Party not know it?

I call on the leader of the Liberal Party to remove his spokesman immediately.

Drug-Free Prisons Act November 25th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. French is not my first language. I just want further clarification. The member used the word “merde”, which is a profanity in French. Hopefully, my colleague could clarify that for me.

Health November 4th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, over the past few years head injuries have dominated sports headlines. Concussions suffered by a young athlete or a child's accident while playing hockey can take an emotional toll on families and communities. As a hockey dad to a son named Kobey, who plays goal, I know first-hand that safety is a priority for our children when playing sports.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health please inform the House what our government is doing to prevent and treat these serious injuries for children and youth?

RCMP Commanding Officer in Saskatchewan October 28th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to honour a much-decorated member of my constituency.

Russ Mirasty, a Lac La Ronge Indian Band member, joined the RCMP in 1976 as a first nations member and Cree-speaking person. He served the RCMP in six divisions in a variety of positions, including general policing, the police dog services, highway patrol, and divisional aboriginal policing services in posts across the nation. He briefly left the force to serve as executive director of his first nations home, the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. Upon his return to the RCMP, he worked as operations officer for the north district in Prince Albert, before moving to Ottawa in 2009 to oversee national aboriginal policing and crime prevention services. In 2010, Russ Mirasty made history by becoming the first aboriginal commanding officer in “F” Division, an appointment that made him Saskatchewan's top-ranking officer.

In August 2013, Russ announced his retirement from the force. I am sure the entire nation joins me in thanking Commanding Officer Russ Mirasty for his service to our national police force and our country. I would like to also thank Mr. Russ Mirasty for giving up his safety to serve others in the community.

Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act October 25th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I have listened to my colleague on the other side of the House, and it is the same paternalistic approach that New Democrats are taking to dictate to me, being a first nation and having lived under the Indian Act. I am listening to this individual criticize without having had to experience what effect the Indian Act has on an individual from the time one is born until the time one dies. The decisions are still made by the minister.

Having gone through Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia to meet with individuals and ask for their input, I started with a draft back on September 7, 2011. The bottom line was to repeal the Indian Act. However, listening to individuals and first nations across the country is how it arrived at the current stage; that is, to amend the Indian Act, repeal outdated sections, and basically start a new process of consultation that legislates the government to work closely with first nations.