House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was brunswick.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Saint John (New Brunswick)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Budget March 9th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to stand in response to the question from the member opposite. If we are going to move the country forward, we have to realize the position we are in. We are dealing with a difficult economic recession. It is the worst of its kind since the Great Depression.

Canadians have faith that our government is moving in the right direction. We have put in place the key stimulus funding programs that will help to keep Canadians working. The projects that we have funded have been well grasped by provinces, municipalities and by businesses alike.

We have been funding research and development and job creation. I spoke about the tariff-free zone that will help manufacturers create and maintain jobs. These all speak to what the member opposite was talking about.

The Budget March 9th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I rather enjoyed the lecture from the member for Malpeque.

The member for Malpeque spoke a lot about borrowed money. He should know very well about borrowed money. When he talked about the surpluses of his government, that was borrowed money all right. It was borrowed from the health care of Canadians. It was borrowed from the education plans of Canadians. It was borrowed from the provinces and the seniors.

The audacity of the member is unbelievable, to stand in the House and lecture our government. We are working with the provinces and the municipalities to fund the social needs of the provinces and the infrastructure needs of the municipalities. For the member to stand in the House and lecture us is unreal and unbelievable.

The member asked about the Atlantic gateway. I can speak to the Atlantic gateway from a New Brunswick context. We have seen many examples of increasing the benefits of the Atlantic gateway.

It was not all that long ago that the Prime Minister was in New Brunswick and we opened the third border crossing, a new border crossing between St. Stephen and Calais. I was pleased to be at that event. Yesterday the Government of New Brunswick announced a program for twinning the highway to that border crossing. These are great examples of the Atlantic gateway.

The Budget March 9th, 2010

Madam Speaker, it is a great pleasure to rise in the House today to congratulate the Minister of Finance for the fine job he has done in balancing the needs of Canadians during this time of global economic recovery with the long-term financial security of Canada.

The second phase of our government's economic action plan sets out a real and achievable plan to solidify Canada's economic recovery. By investing in key stimulus projects, which deliver the necessary infrastructure to our communities, our budget is enabling economic growth and creating jobs for today and tomorrow.

Canada is on track to recover faster than the rest of the world and in better financial condition, with its manageable debt levels and a workforce that is better prepared. Our Conservative government is leading the way in the global economic recovery and our government's insight and understanding of what makes our economy work will be recognized in the future as we move ahead of all other countries.

Canadians have a record of which they can be proud. We have the lowest debt to GDP ratio in the G8. Canada's decline in the real GDP was virtually the smallest of all G8 countries. Our Canadian labour markets have fared much better than that of the U.S., where job losses are proportionally three times larger than Canada's. Canada's banks and other financial institutions were better capitalized and less leveraged than their international peers and we are widely acknowledged as having the soundest banking system in the world. Canada's housing market has not seen the excesses that have caused instability and housing bubbles in other jurisdictions.

Our government has navigated Canadians through the worst global recession since the depression. Now, looking to the future, Canadians are depending on our government to put forward a plan to address the challenges that communities are now facing as our economy begins to recover. That is exactly what the second phase of our economic action plan sets out to do.

Phase two will help solidify Canada's economic recovery by implementing $19 billion in new stimulus funding to create jobs now. It includes personal income tax relief of $3.2 billion, retraining and worker support of over $4 billion, infrastructure funding of $7.7 billion, research and development funding of over $1.9 billion and targeted support to industries and communities of $2.2 billion. Canadians will respond. We will lead the world in our recovery because our government has targeted resources to jobs now and for the future.

The budget creates and protects jobs. It sustains Canada's economic advantage and lays a strong foundation for the future by supporting workers. We are investing $100 million to extend the maximum length for work-sharing agreements. We are helping younger workers by offering over $100 million in support to young workers through internship and skills development to help them find jobs.

We are investing in research and development. We are delivering over $600 million to help develop and attract high-quality jobs, to strengthen our capacity for world leading research and development and to improve the commercialization of research.

We are working with the manufacturing sector, making Canada a tariff-free zone for manufacturing inputs to boost new investment in job creation. We are supporting businesses by establishing a red tape reduction panel to reduce the paperwork for businesses.

The budget did not leave any part of the country out. Our Conservative government's ongoing commitment to strengthen all regions of the country is apparent in our economic action plan.

While the Liberals starved the provinces and municipalities of the much needed support during their time in office, our Conservative government has increased transfers to provinces. In New Brunswick alone, we are seeing $1.6 billion through equalization, an increase of $233 million since 2005-06, $580 million through the Canada health transfer, an increase of $23 million from last year alone, and $246 million in social transfers, an increase of $34 million over 2005-06.

On behalf of all New Brunswickers, we are pleased. We will continue to receive increased federal support through budget 2010. Total transfers will hit $2.7 billion, an increase of $591 million under the old Liberal government. This long-term support will help ensure that New Brunswick has the resources to provide essential public services, such as health care, post-secondary education and many other social services.

New Brunswick has been well served by this budget and will receive many other benefits from it. Local communities and businesses in New Brunswick will benefit from the $28 million provided to support the operations of ferry services in Atlantic Canada, including the route between Saint John, New Brunswick and Digby, Nova Scotia.

Communities and businesses in New Brunswick will benefit from the $19 million per year in ongoing funding for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to support regional growth and innovation through the Atlantic innovation fund and the innovative communities fund, allowing people to earn more income before paying federal income taxes and before being subjected to higher income tax rates. We are working on enhancing the working income tax benefit, which reduces the welfare wall, by making work pay better for many low income Canadians and higher child care benefits for parents and lower taxes for low and middle-income seniors.

There are $32 million per year for federal research granting councils to support advanced research and improve commercialization, $8 million per year to support the indirect costs of federally sponsored research at post-secondary institutions, $15 million a year to double the budget of the college and community innovation program, which fosters research collaborations between businesses and college researchers and the creation of the new Canada post-doctoral fellowship program to help attract the best researchers to Canada.

Forestry companies in New Brunswick could be eligible for the next generation renewable power initiative, which will invest $100 million over the next four years to support the development, commercialization and implementation of advanced clean energy technologies for the forestry sector.

New Brunswick will also receive $12 million as its share of the community development trust and the police officers recruitment fund and $11 million for labour market training as part of the commitment of $500 million a year in new funding to provinces and territories, beginning in 2008-09.

Our government has held true to its commitment of stimulating economic growth and creating and protecting jobs and this is continued in the second phase of our economic action plan.

The budget also sets out to meet another commitment, reducing the deficit. Our government is planning for the future by initiating the three point plan to reduce the deficit once the economy recovers.

The government will undertake a comprehensive review of government administrative functions and overhead costs by winding down extraordinary stimulus spending in Canada's economic action plan on time and as scheduled, restraining government spending through targeted measures and launching a comprehensive review of government spending on administration and overhead.

Canada cannot afford a tax and spend approach to managing government. I am proud to be a member of a governing party that keeps its commitment to fund key projects required by all regions of our country, while planning for the future with job creation and sound financial controls. This budget shows Canadians that we can be the best, that we can manage without mortgaging the future.

The extensive consultations of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance across Canada have proven to be beneficial, with a focused advantageous budget that will help our provinces, municipalities, businesses and, more important, our people. I am very pleased that the Prime Minister chose to come to my riding to gain insight into what Canadians were thinking in preparing the budget and we see a lot of that message reflected in this document.

I am thankful for this opportunity to speak on a budget that will see our country so well positioned for the future.

Committees of the House December 10th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans in relation to the operation and maintenance of small craft harbours.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 of the House of Commons the committee requests the government to table a comprehensive response to this report.

Committees of the House December 7th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary's question asks me to comment specifically towards the content of my speech. I talked about how NAFO was originally ratified in 1979 and I pointed out that many things have changed since that point in time.

I think it is important to note that we need to ensure that we have the tools to deal with the issues that we have before us today. The issues today are not the same as the issues we were facing in 1979. I think the former fisheries minister, when he came before our committee, used an analogy that was very well put. He talked about some of the voices of the past coming forward to criticize this amendment. He likened it to sending the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs team to the Olympics here in 2010 to defend Canada's honour.

I think it was well put. I think it was an analogy that certainly served us very well in our committee proceedings. I think the parliamentary secretary is bang on. We need the tools to deal with the issues today.

Committees of the House December 7th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I am actually quite flattered that the member opposite has taken the time to listen so carefully to my speech here tonight, and actually to go even further and to talk about the letter I sent to the editor of the Telegram and also, certainly, to take note of the details in it.

I only wish the member had taken that same time and given due consideration to the witnesses who came before our committee. During the committee proceedings when we had a witness who did not necessarily agree with his point of view, he would dismiss him out of hand.

As a matter of fact, during our committee proceedings he interjected at one point in time to say the witness had nothing further to add to the debate and that he thought the committee should end its discussions with the witness and move on to other business.

I am really pleased the member opposite has taken the time to listen, finally.

Committees of the House December 7th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, this evening I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member for Tobique—Mactaquac.

The Government of Canada understands the importance of ensuring the sustainability of fish stocks in the northwest Atlantic, in particular, for the benefit of the many Canadians and entire communities whose livelihood and economy depend on these resources.

Given that these fish stocks extend to waters outside of Canada's jurisdiction, we cannot single-handedly and unilaterally ensure their conservation. In this context, international co-operation is necessary for the successful management of these fish stocks.

The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, better known as NAFO, was formed in 1979. A lot has changed since that time. The face of the fisheries has changed, the players have evolved and the organization was badly in need of tune-up, if not a complete rebuild.

Despite knowing the need for NAFO reform, the previous Liberal government did nothing for 13 years. It was only in 2005, in the dying days of their government, that the Liberals turned their attention to this serious problem. The Liberals did what they do best and held a big, showy, international conference in St. John's to discuss reforms. Canadians should know that while the Liberals are now fearmongering on these NAFO reforms, they were singing a very different tune in 2005.

At the conclusion of the St. John's conference, the member for Halifax West, then fisheries minister, felt very differently. In signing a declaration calling for the reform of NAFO and organizations like it, he proudly stated:

The Government of Canada considers the Conference as a positive step toward stronger international fisheries governance. We will continue to press for further progress to modernize fisheries management on the high seas.

Like so many other issues, the Liberals talked a good game, but did nothing to back up their empty words. It took this government, largely under the strong leadership of the former fisheries minister, Loyola Hearn, to deliver.

Our government pressed for action when Canadians voiced their desire for change in 2006 and NAFO members were forced to agree that it was time to modernize the organization. We know we have been forward looking and we need to give ourselves the modern decision-making tools required to deal with the problems we face. This package of reforms does that and has the broad support of those in the fishing industry today.

The Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has heard from numerous representatives of the Canadian fishing industry who are uniformly behind these changes.

Patrick McGuinness, for example, the president of the Fisheries Council of Canada, told the committee:

—in terms of what we're looking at now, from the Fisheries Council of Canada's point of view we do not see any tangible negatives in the document. But we do see specific improvements with respect to the current NAFO regime....Our recommendation to Parliament will be to ratify the document as presented.

Also Bruce Chapman, president of the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council and the executive director of the Canadian Association for Prawn Producers, told the committee, “In our view, it is in our interest to ratify this new convention”.

Ms. Rosalind Walsh, the executive director of the Northern Fisheries Coalition, took the time to write to the committee to express her organization's support for the good work done by our government, “In summary, the amended NAFO Convention is a positive development for Canada and the Canadian fishing industry, and one that is supported by the Northern Coalition”.

There are more. Earle McCurdy, the president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union, and hardly a frequent supporter of our government, also supports the convention because it will be good for his members in the processing sector.

In fact, we have yet to hear from anyone currently involved in the fishing industry who is opposed to the progress Canada has made at NAFO. This fact should be very telling.

We have heard some questions recently about whether Canada is effectively protecting its sovereign rights under this amended convention. The answer is very clear. The changes to the convention recognize and respect Canada's sovereignty over its 200 mile limit.

It is worth mentioning that the first paragraph of the amendment notes that coastal states have established exclusive economic zones consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, within which they exercise sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing living resources.

Nonetheless, the standing committee took the time to invite leading Canadian experts on the law of the sea and ocean governance to discuss the new amended convention. Both gentlemen agreed that the new convention represented real progress in the international management of the North Atlantic and both dismissed the conspiracy theories floated by the opposition.

Ted McDorman, a professor of law at the University of Victoria, told the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans:

By the standards of other organizations, there's actually been some significant progress made here with the NAFO amendments.

He went further and said:

I've looked mostly at the institutional structural issues, and I see there's a positive rather than negative.

Phillip Saunders, the dean of the law school at Dalhousie University, also came before our committee on that same day and stated:

I... tried to look for something that I would consider to be a deal breaker, and I don't think I found one.

He also told the committee that it was difficult to understand the apprehension of the opposition to article VI, paragraph 10, because the government maintains “complete control”. I will quote him further:

I've tried to work through the scenarios in which it would become a real problem, and I find they mostly require an awful lot of steps to take place before something really bad could happen. Because the Canadian government holds complete control....

He went further and said:

I've also tried to think of a possible usefulness for it that the Canadian side might have wanted. One thing I can see is that Canada did want to push for, as an example, a protected area for fishing habitat that straddled the outer limit. This would provide a way of pressing that point and showing good faith, as we want this area, this habitat, protected outside and we want it protected inside, and we're prepared to make it one measure.

Therefore, far from seeing the negatives in the contentious article VI, paragraph 10, leading Canadian experts actually see potential benefits. Indeed, under article VI, paragraph 10, NAFO measures will not be applied in waters under Canadian jurisdiction unless, and I want to be very specific about this, (a) Canada requests that they apply and (b) Canada votes in favour of such measures.

It is clear that the amended convention does not give NAFO the mandate to take management decisions within waters under Canadian jurisdiction, nor does it give foreign fishing vessels the right to fish in these waters.

Fundamentally, the amended convention provides for a more modern decision-making process that reflects the current challenges faced by NAFO. Canadian industry and provincial governments participated extensively in the negotiations on the amended convention and were supportive throughout the process. The amended NAFO convention explicitly maintains the sovereign right of Canada to take management decisions on fisheries within the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. To say otherwise would be incorrect.

We will continue to fight for changes at NAFO that are beneficial for Canada and for those Canadians who depend on the resources in the North Atlantic. These amendments will improve the NAFO convention and Canada's ratification will serve to consolidate our efforts to date to improve oceans and fisheries governance internationally.

Consumer Product Safety December 7th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, Liberal senators, led by the Liberal leader, amended our consumer protection bill last week. These changes significantly weaken the bill and actually make it easier to protect animals than our own children.

Clearly, the Liberal leader has a complete disregard for the health and welfare of Canadians.

Could the hon. Minister of Health please tell us why it is so important to pass the bill as it was passed by the House without these damaging amendments?

The Economy December 1st, 2009

Mr. Speaker, a year ago, as the global recession was hitting our shores, the Liberal Party attempted to overturn the election results of two months earlier by promising cabinet seats to the NDP and a veto power to the Bloc Québécois.

Thankfully, this reckless coalition was rejected by Canadians and our government. The government Canadians actually voted for was able to continue its work of steering Canada through the global recession.

Could the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities please remind the House of all the measures that we have introduced to help Canadians?

Committees of the House November 18th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, pursuant Standing Order 108(2), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans in relation to the amendments to the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization convention.