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

Lobster Industry June 10th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, for 13 years the Liberal government ignored and refused the requests of fishers for rationalization support. Their request for a capital gains exemption was refused. Their request for more harbour funding was refused. When it came to Liberal support for fishers, it is clear that it just was not there.

This morning my colleague, the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced that our government has delivered for the lobster industry.

Today's investment of an additional $65 million will improve the sustainability of this fishery that is so vital to Atlantic Canada and Quebec. This investment will see the lobster industry emerge from the global economic downturn in fighting shape.

During these tough economic times, this Conservative government is putting Canadians first and getting the job done.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada June 9th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, 34 years after leaving this country, the leader of the Liberal Party has returned with a plan to bring Canada back to the tax and spend ways of the Liberal Party that Canadians know so well. In fact, he even refers to himself as a “tax and spend Liberal”.

He is also the leader of the party that first pushed for a carbon tax, so he should not be at all surprised that on the weekend he became leader of the Liberal Party was the same weekend his party reaffirmed its support for the job-killing tax.

The Liberal leader said, “We will have to raise taxes”. He made this statement during a global economic crisis, when all economists agree that raising taxes is the worst things to do.

The Liberals may want to raise taxes, but Canadians know this Conservative government “will not raise taxes”.

Sealing Industry June 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the hypocrisy of the Liberals is mounting, and Canadians are not falling for it.

Their leader supported a job-killing carbon tax until he realized it was not popular. Now he says he will have to raise taxes, despite being in a global recession.

Can the Minister of Health tell the House about the latest hypocritical attack on Canadians during these tough economic times?

Liberal Party of Canada May 28th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader is leading the Liberal Party down the path of hypocrisy and they are losing credibility with Canadians. On one hand, the Liberal leader is in Toronto saying that he stands up for seal hunters; meanwhile, the Liberal Party's campaign boss is calling the hunt “appalling” and “more trouble than it is worth”.

Our Conservative government believes that seal hunters and their families are worth it. They are worth defending, and our Conservative government will continue to stand up for them.

The Liberal leader's biggest hypocrisy of all is on Canada's economy. On one hand, the Liberals are attacking the size of the deficit, and then on the other, they are demanding billions and billions more in spending. They cannot have it both ways.

While the Liberal leader and his party continue on this path of hypocrisy, our Conservative government will continue to support and help Canadians during these tough economic times.

Taxation May 15th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, during the recession when the Conservative government is focused on an economic action plan that will create jobs, the Liberal Party is focused on increasing taxes. The Liberal leader himself said quite bluntly, “We will have to raise taxes”.

The Liberal Party supports a job-killing carbon tax, and members of the Liberal Party said that they would raise the GST. In fact, the leader of the Liberal Party even refers to himself as a tax and spend Liberal.

Raising taxes is the absolute worst thing to do during a recession. The Liberals should come clean and tell Canadians what other taxes they want to increase. They should tell Canadians who is going to pay these taxes and how much they are going to have to pay.

Committees of the House May 13th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans in relation to the Atlantic lobster fishery and the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation.

Committees of the House May 11th, 2009

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague is quite right. We sit on the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans together. I want to point out very clearly that I appreciate the position of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans and how clear it has been in its commitment to the seal hunt.

As parliamentarians in the House, it is very important that we clearly demonstrate this. That is what this debate is about today. We need to show Europeans and the world beyond our borders how important it is that we stand united on this point. Parliamentarians have taken that bold step. We passed the motion unanimously, condemning the action of the European Union. It is very important that we remain united, go forward united and come up with a plan to challenge this.

The Prime Minister is very convinced in his strategy to go to the World Trade Organization. There has been great leadership by our ministers. I believe we are on the right track, but staying united is number one.

Committees of the House May 11th, 2009

Madam Speaker, if the Leader of the Opposition made those statements, I retract my statement when I said that the member has sat silent on it.

As I said earlier, it takes all voices together. I call upon all parliamentarians to stand united and to take this issue to all Canadians to ensure they and Europeans understand how important this seal hunt is to the families in our communities and to the livelihoods of these families. It is so important that we all speak united today, and that is my point in this statement.

Committees of the House May 11th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague, the member for Tobique—Mactaquac, for sharing his time with me today on this very important issue.

I want again to state unequivocally that I support the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans and the statement that it made:

[T]he Canadian harp seal hunt is humane, responsible and sustainable and should continue for generations to come and the Committee strongly condemns the ban of Canadian seal products by the European Union.

I call on all Canadian parliamentarians to do the same.

Unfortunately, that will not be the case. Liberal Senator Mac Harb has already staked his ground on this issue and it is against the industry and against his fellow Canadians.

Senator Harb has chosen campaigns of fear, misinformation and emotional argument, over his fellow Canadians in the sealing industry. This is very disappointing but not entirely surprising.

Why is it not surprising? It is because this is an issue that the Leader of the Liberal Party has been silent on as well. He has not said a word, not one, none.

While the Leader of the Liberal Party has refused to tell the sealing industry what his position on the seal hunt is, his Liberal senator, Mac Harb, has run amok, working to destroy the sealing industry along with Canada's position and credibility internationally. The only person who can stop Mac Harb is the Leader of the Liberal Party, yet he has not done a thing.

For sealers in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Quebec, this must be tragically disappointing. For generations, sealing has been part of the fabric of Canada's east coast. All that these great men and women can do, who depend on the seal hunt for income, is watch the Liberal senator try to destroy their livelihood to make his European friends happy. After all, Senator Harb called these great Canadians barbaric. Shame on him!

I can tell the House that our government will do everything it can to deny Senator Harb any success on this issue. We are standing with the sealers and their families and we will be resolute in our support.

I am particularly disappointed with this ill-advised decision by the members of the European Union, because they know that it is the wrong decision. European parliamentarians are playing a political game with people's lives, fueled by misinformation and fact twisting by many people, such as Senator Harb. They know perfectly well that public opinion in Europe has been manipulated by radical animal rights organizations to the point where the public believes completely misleading and unfounded claims about Canada's seal hunt.

How do the members of the European Union know deep down that they made a wrong decision? We have told them. Over and over again we have told the European decision-makers that they are wrong to trust the information funnelled to them from Rebecca Aldworth and the Humane Society of the United States. We have repeatedly told them how the Canadian hunt is well managed and well regulated.

Sealers have come with us to talk about the importance of the hunt to their traditions and about how they respect the animals on which they depend for their livelihood and that of their families and their communities.

We have explained further that unilateral measures are not the answer and that the radical animal rights advocates will tell them anything to get this ban in place, whether it is true or not. However, European parliamentarians refuse to listen.

They refuse to listen because the environment has been poisoned by propaganda campaigns mounted by radical animal rights organizations. For over 40 years, radical animal rights organizations have maligned the Canadian sealing industry with vicious propaganda. The worst aspect is their myth about skinning seals alive.

In some circles, this myth is accepted as fact. Their multi-million dollar campaigns against the sealing industry spreads lies and propaganda to a point that no one familiar with the industry knows what is fact and what is fiction.

How do they do this? I will give an example. In 2002 and 2007, two radical animal rights organizations commissioned illegitimate studies on the seal hunt. These studies were in fact no such thing.

The participants went out to find what they were looking for, and lo and behold, they did. One concluded on the basis of an examination of 76--yes, that is right, 76 seals--that the hunt was inhumane.

Other scientists routinely examine thousands of skulls without arriving at such a conclusion. In fact, they conclude the opposite, that the Canadian seal hunt is humane.

The results of these so-called studies are now quoted routinely to perpetuate the myth that the Canadian seal hunt is inhumane. The written declaration of European Union parliamentarians use one of these studies to justify demanding a ban on seal products. Here is where the real irony comes in.

The European Food Safety Authority, which is the organization commissioned by the European commission to study animal welfare aspects of sealing, has said in no uncertain terms that the results of the so-called studies are not reliable. It said:

it is incorrect to conclude that 42% of the seals in the sample were skinned alive....


it is not appropriate to extrapolate from a small sample of 76 skulls collected in the Gulf of St. Lawrence over two days to all the animals killed during the entire hunt, which is conducted over several weeks....

Still the Europeans persist. They refuse to accept the opinions of their own experts. I do not understand it. It is beyond my comprehension.

At this point, I wish to thank my colleagues, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of International Trade and the officials who have worked tirelessly to advocate for Canada on this most challenging of issues. I would particularly like to draw to everyone's attention the efforts of the Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation, Loyola Sullivan, whose record of achievement on this file is both extraordinary and commendable.

Our strenuous efforts to communicate with European decision-makers have included letters, telephone calls, delegations, speeches, an article in the European media, position papers and advertisements. We have written letters, and when I say “we”, I mean the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of International Trade, the Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation and the 28 ambassadors who represent Canada to the European Union and to the member states of the European Union.

We have written to our European counterparts. We have written to the members of the European Parliament. We invited key members to visit Canada. They did not come. Officials of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans emailed all 785 members of the European Parliament an advertisement we had placed in the European media. This was followed up by the diplomatic missions in the member states.

We have made telephone calls minister to minister, official to official. We have made interventions in meetings with European counterparts. Most notably, the Prime Minister has spoken to European presidents and prime ministers on several occasions. We have done everything possible to counter the movement to ban seal products in Europe.

I recently read an article containing an accusation made by some members of the European Parliament. They say that intimidation tactics were used in order to secure a vote in favour of a ban. Disturbing, yes; surprising, no. If this is true, it takes this matter to a whole new level.

These radicals and professional campaigners will do anything, and I mean anything, to achieve their misguided goals. They threaten; they intimidate; they use their vast resources to pound on an unsuspecting public their version of the truth.

What I say next I do not say lightly. These radical animal rights advocates, like Paul Watson from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, advocate the use of violence and terrorist-like tactics in their campaigns. For example, Watson said, “The fact is that we live in an extremely violent culture and we all justify violence if it's for what we believe in”.

In my society it does not. That quote goes to show how deluded and out of touch these people are.

Another is Jerry Vlasak, who has been outright banned from several countries. He is a cohort of Watson and is the biggest proponent of violence of any radical. He said, “You can justify, from a political standpoint, any type of violence you want to use”.

That is sick but yet another example of the kind of philosophy that drives these people. The sad thing is that deep down they all believe it to be true.

I read something that I found quite amusing, and I would like to share it with the hon. members today. During an interview—

Taxation May 11th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, at the annual policy convention, the Liberal Party passed a motion reaffirming its support for a job-killing carbon tax.

Even during these times of economic uncertainty, we should not be too surprised to see the carbon tax back on the front page of the Liberal platform, considering that overtaxing Canadians regardless of the economic situation is encoded in the Liberal DNA.

There is more. Not only is a job-killing carbon tax in the works but the Liberal leader also committed his party to raising even more taxes when he said, “We will have to raise taxes”.

What taxes does he want to raise, a new tax on Canadian families, a crushing tax on businesses? We have no details on this new Liberal tax scheme. What taxes do the Liberals want to raise? Who would be affected? How would the Liberals go about raising these taxes? Why do they refuse to tell Canadians?