House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was environmental.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Conservative MP for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa (Manitoba)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Firearms Registry October 26th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. My constituents have told me repeatedly that they want to see an end to this measure, which needlessly and unfairly targets law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters. We see the long gun registry as no less than an attack on our way of life.

Could the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on what our government is doing to address this important issue?

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Madam Chair, the Prime Minister was very forthright and principled in his comments. There was no equivocation, no hesitation at all. Canada is clearly on the side of the Ukrainian people.

I have a comment about the Taras Shevchenko medal. Taras Shevchenko is the heart and soul of Ukrainian culture. Indeed, in my own little community of Sandy Lake we have a Ukrainian museum and there are the poems of Taras Shevchenko. The common thread of freedom, democracy and the rule of law permeate Ukrainian culture from the littlest communities to the largest cities, and our Prime Minister's remarks reflected that.

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Madam Chair, a few months ago I had the honour to be elected chair of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group, an all-party group dedicated to improving relations with Ukraine. Personally, I would have no difficulty with the suggestion that he had.

This is one of those issues that transcends partisanship. I know that all of us strive to get our place in the sun as political parties and MPs, but there are issues which I think transcend partisanship, and this may be one of them. I think that is something we could consider through the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group.

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Madam Chair, my hon. friend has asked an excellent question. A thriving trading relationship is probably the best way to promote democracy and human rights. Canada will, and should, express outrage at what has been happening in Ukraine, but at the same time Canada should help move Ukraine toward a stronger and better relationship with the western world. It has to be a two-pronged approach where we express our concern for what is happening to Yulia Tymoshenko and at the same time increase our trading relationship with Ukraine.

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Madam Chair, Canada has a strong history with Ukraine. This year we celebrated 120 years of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. To date there are about 1.3 million Ukrainian Canadians in this country.

In 1991, Canada was the first country to recognize Ukrainian independence. The government has such a strong focus in terms of its dealings with the Ukrainian community that on October 14 the Prime Minister received the Shevchenko medal from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

One activity the government has undertaken to cause it to earn this great award is the passing of the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide Memorial Day Act in 2008. I thank my colleague from Selkirk—Interlake for his great work on that. Another is our government's support for democratic reforms in Ukraine. We sent over 200 election observers to Ukraine for the 2010 presidential election. We are also entering into historic free trade agreements.

It is because of this relationship that the case of Yulia Tymoshenko is so troublesome for all members in the House. She is an extraordinary person. Before she became the first female prime minister of Ukraine she co-led the Orange Revolution. That was a time of unprecedented hope and progress in Ukraine where the world thought freedom, democracy and the rule of law would prevail. It is a country with magnificent potential. It has a strongly educated workforce, terrific farmland resources and abundant natural resources. The country seemed to be on the verge of greatness.

However, in May of this year Yulia Tymoshenko was subjected to a trial on a trumped up charge and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. Officials in the United States and the European Union called the prosecution of Tymoshenko “selective prosecution of political opponents”.

Our own Minister of Foreign Affairs in May of this year stated:

Canada is troubled by the manner in which the arrest, prosecution and conviction of Yulia Tymoshenko were carried out by Ukrainian authorities.

Interestingly, because of the seven-year sentence she received she is obviously precluded from running in the 2012 and 2015 elections. Yulia Tymoshenko is a very popular person in Ukraine but her very popularity appears to be her undoing in terms of dealing with the current Ukrainian judiciary.

There has been an international protest and what is now occurring in the House of Commons exemplifies the concern that the international community has. I have been informed that there are a number of demonstrations occurring in Ukraine itself where the citizens are protesting against this travesty of justice.

In a speech given by our Prime Minister on October 14 at the award ceremony hosted by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, in terms of his letter to President Yanukovych, he said:

I let him know that I am deeply concerned...

That the conduct of Tymoshenko's trial does not reflect accepted norms of due process or fairness.


Canada will support Ukraine whenever it moves towards...democracy and justice.

However, our foreign policy is rooted in principle, and in the defence of freedom.

I am proud to be part of a government that exemplifies such principled foreign policy at home and abroad. We will always stand on principle. We will always uphold the rule of law. We will always defend Canadian values here and around the world. We are a valued and trusted friend of Ukraine and many of our other allies. We will always stand up for freedom and democracy.

The Prime Minister also said in his speech to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress on October 14:

The Ukrainian people can count on Canada to stand-up for their liberty.

It is time for the Ukrainian justice system to be fair to Yulia Tymoshenko.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act October 6th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my friend, the hon. member for Don Valley West, who was a very successful entrepreneur in his own right, a fairly simple question. What does it take to create jobs and wealth? Why does the NDP not understand the principles of wealth and job creation?

The Environment October 6th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Canada's oil sands and energy sector drive the Canadian economy. The benefits for Canadian families and workers are simply overwhelming.

The Keystone pipeline and northern gateway project will help power our economy and deliver jobs for Canadian working families.

Employment resulting from these projects is expected to reach 1.6 million jobs by 2035. In the next 25 years, the effect on Canada's GDP will be over $2 trillion, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute.

By 2035, the investments and revenues from the oil sands will be close to $5 trillion. Canada's working men and women will receive $1.5 trillion in wages as a result of oil sands investment during this time.

The economy and jobs are our government's top priority, and Canada has some of the strongest environmental standards in the world.

Therefore, why is the NDP working with environmental extremists who want to destroy the livelihoods of thousands of Canadians who work in the oil sands and live from coast to coast to coast?

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act October 5th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, a couple of years ago, I had the honour to work in the oil sands in Alberta and live at an oil sands camp with many workers. I got to know many of them personally. What I learned from my time in the oil sands is what an incredible job creator the oil sands industry is for this entire country, not only providing direct jobs but many indirect jobs right across the country in manufacturing, sales, marketing and so on. The number of jobs and the value to the Canadian economy is almost incalculable. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the oil sands as an industry is almost carrying the entire country.

Given the economic track record of the oil sands, why is the hon. member's party trying to kill the oil sands?

Business of Supply September 29th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I listened to what the NDP said with great interest and it reminded me of what the sainted Margaret Thatcher once said that, “socialism works until you run out of other people's money to spend”.

That side of the House is really good at spending other people's money. In fact, I think the saying is “spending ourselves rich”. When one looks at what is happening in the eurozone, that is obviously a strategy that simply cannot work. A sound economy is built upon the enforcement of property rights, the rule of law and a climate for business investment.

I would like to offer the House a quote, and members will be very curious as to where it came from. The quote is, “If the federal government reduces corporate taxes, it will make a difference for our businesses and certainly they will take advantage of those cuts and if it means more jobs we would be very happy with that. Do I think it will make a difference for Manitoba if the federal taxes are cut? Yes, it will make a difference for businesses and that is--

Ukraine September 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Ukraine has undergone a considerable transformation since the beginning of the Orange Revolution. However, what originally seemed an unstoppable wave of democratic freedom has since gone sour with the news that former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is being politically persecuted.

Would the Minister of Foreign Affairs please make crystal clear for the House Canada's concerns with Ukraine's political situation?