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

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my colleague and I have worked very closely over the years on the fisheries and oceans committee. I certainly enjoy working with him.

With regard to his question, I think I outlined it very specifically in my speech when I said that we have invested $31 million over the next five years when it comes to world-class tanker safety systems. That is what we are committed to. We are committed to ensuring that the Coast Guard has the tools it needs to do the job that we ask of it. We would not ask it to do any more than it can do without having the proper tools in place. We are continuing to invest in that purpose.

Business of Supply October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette.

It is a pleasure to rise today to speak to the motion put forward by my colleague across the floor.

In my comments today I want to focus on a particular part of the member's motion. The member talked about how the proposal will constitute an unacceptable environmental threat. I want to talk about what our government has done to mitigate any of the concerns that might come from the environmental threats that the member talked about.

Our government, in support of a world-class tanker safety system, has announced $31 million over five years for the Canadian Coast Guard to establish an incident command system, which is commonly referred to as an ICS, across the Canadian Coast Guard. This forms a crucial part of the world-class tanker safety system initiative by offering standardized on-scene, all-hazard management methodology, which is designed to ensure the effective command, control and coordination of response efforts to all maritime incidents.

Implementation of the incident command system will increase the Canadian Coast Guard's ability to work collaboratively with other emergency responders who currently use this system. Therefore, it will allow multiple stakeholders to participate in important decision-making processes simultaneously and also for effective planning and response initiatives in order to address all marine pollution and all hazard incidents in a predictable and structured fashion.

By 2018 the incident command system will be fully implemented, strengthening the existing response regime. Simply put, the Canadian Coast Guard and its partners will be better positioned to respond to oil spill events and other marine emergency incidents in co-operation with key partners and other departments and agencies in a timely and effective manner. The incident command system is another example of how Canada's world-class tanker safety system is being strengthened to protect Canadians and our environment.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, including the Canadian Coast Guard, is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Transport Canada, Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada on a suite of important initiatives that are being implemented to support our world-class tanker safety system.

Under Canada's marine pollution preparedness and response regime, the polluter is responsible for cleaning up and paying for its own marine spills. Private sector response organizations play an important role by maintaining effective response plans and an inventory of equipment to respond to spills from ships in Canadian waters south of 60.

In May 2014 the government announced the implementation of area response planning, which will provide a new and improved method for preparing and responding to marine oil pollution incidents.

Area response planning is a new and dynamic risk-based model that allows for spill preparedness and responses to be tailored to the level and types of risk in a given region based on certain factors such as marine conditions, environmental sensitivities, tanker size, and traffic levels.

This new and improved response planning approach will replace the current regime where private sector response organizations are mandated to maintain the same response capacity across Canada. Our government is seizing an opportunity to ensure the appropriate frameworks and safeguards are in place and enhanced to protect our environment now and for generations to come.

This new area response planning process will be piloted in four initial areas: the southern portion of British Columbia; Saint John and the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick; Port Hawkesbury in Nova Scotia; and the St. Lawrence Seaway from Quebec City to Anticosti Island, Quebec.

As one can imagine, transitioning to an area response planning approach is a significant undertaking. This is why we are focusing significant effort on the planning process to ensure the pilot projects successfully demonstrate the future of our world-class tanker safety system.

The Canadian Coast Guard and our federal colleagues acknowledge that we cannot develop the area response plans alone. To this end, beginning in 2015, a series of engagement activities will be planned to ensure stakeholders' views are reflected in the process.

The Canadian Coast Guard is the lead federal agency in developing the local area response plans, using a collaborative approach to involve aboriginal communities, other levels of government, and a broad range of local stakeholders.

Safety is the top priority of the Canadian Coast Guard. In fact, Canada has one of the most advanced and comprehensive search and rescue systems in the world and is regularly consulted by other countries seeking advice and training on how to establish and maintain a system as effective and efficient as ours. The Canadian system is made up of multiple layers that provide an effective response capacity to any search and rescue incident within Canada and our surrounding waters.

The Canadian Coast Guard and National Defence are the principal pillars of the federal system. They provide the primary response to aeronautical and maritime emergencies with specialized equipment and highly trained professionals who remain ready to respond to incidents 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

The Canadian Coast Guard continues to maintain a maritime rescue sub-centre in Quebec City which provides bilingual search and rescue coordination services for mariners in distress. The search and rescue system can be activated by the professional search and rescue coordinators at any of the three joint rescue coordination centres in Canada. These search and rescue coordinators are highly trained and can coordinate additional response capacity from other government resources, the highly committed volunteers of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, and commercial vessels and aircraft in the vicinity of mariners in distress.

The final but no less important piece of the search and rescue system is the multitude of plans and exercises that ensure that all the layers of Canada's search and rescue regime are ready to respond effectively and efficiently to real-life distress situations. The federal government continues to invest in the assets and the modernizing of systems to ensure the ongoing high level of service that Canadians expect and deserve. Billions of dollars have been invested in new Coast Guard, naval, and air force assets that will not only ensure the present level of service but also improve our capacity and capabilities to respond to incidents anywhere in Canada well into the future.

Finally, the federal search and rescue system regularly reviews and re-evaluates Canada's capacity and capability in relation to the risk. This entails working closely with our provincial and private partners to ensure that our plans are up to date and as comprehensive as possible to serve and protect all mariners in Canadian waters.

In closing, the Government of Canada will continue to support the brave men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard by equipping them with the resources required to protect Canadians and our environment.

It is exactly because of initiatives like these that I cannot support the motion brought forward by my colleague today.

The Economy October 8th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on what matters most to Canadians: jobs and economic growth. Over 1.1 million net new jobs have been added since the recession, one of the strongest job creation records in the G7. On top of that, our low-tax plan is making Canada a more attractive place to invest. In fact, Bloomberg has named Canada the second most attractive country in which to do business.

Could the Minister of State for Finance please update the House with the latest good news on the economy?

New Brunswick Election September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to draw the attention of my colleagues to the importance of the opportunities that lay ahead for Saint John and New Brunswick.

There has been a lot of progress made in the last few years, whether it is moving forward with local projects, such as resolving the long-outstanding water treatment issue in the city of Saint John, or building a new YMCA, or removing the tolls and refurbishing the Saint John Harbour Bridge. The co-operation between the three levels of government has been refreshing for my constituents, and the results speak volumes.

I know that many are aware of the huge potential that will come with the energy east pipeline and the development of our natural resources, but even as the future looks so promising, it is surely not guaranteed. The people of our province have a decision to make. We can accept not developing our natural resources, or we can take steps toward prosperity. We can continue to depend on support from outside of our province, or we can stand on our own. The decision belongs to New Brunswick, and the answer on September 22 is to simply say yes.

Shootings in Moncton June 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Moncton, New Brunswick, five RCMP members were senselessly shot by a dangerous person who seems to have no regard for human life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the three RCMP members who gave their lives serving their country and protecting their fellow Canadians. We wish a speedy recovery to the two RCMP officers who remain in hospital.

Tragedies like this are a stark reminder of the dangers faced every day by front-line police officers. Dangerous criminals like this must be stopped to ensure communities like Moncton remain safe and secure places. We look forward to the police bringing the individual responsible for these crimes to justice.

As we mourn the loss of the three members of the RCMP, for all of our front-line police officers, I would like to say a heartfelt thanks for the work that they do.

I would also ask that all members and Canadians please keep the people of Moncton in their thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my colleague across the way can stand and talk all he wants, but I am talking about what is important to my riding. I am talking about what is important to New Brunswick. If the member does not want to hear it, that is too bad.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I heard my colleague across the way comment earlier to one of my colleagues here in the House about how my colleague spoke without notes. The member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley said my colleague talked about the budget implementation act without using talking points or notes from the Prime Minister's Office.

I laughed when I heard him say it, because I can tell members the Prime Minister's Office did not write my comments. The Prime Minister did not write my notes. Well, he might have. They are handwritten notes.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, yes, I did mention the $28 million that would go the National Energy Board to review the energy east pipeline project. One of the things that I am excited about in that regard is that our government has ensured that there would be a firm timeline attached to this review process.

When I talk about these projects or a project of this nature, we want to ensure that we can get to it and have a definitive answer very quickly. We also want to ensure that the review process is done thoroughly. That is what this bill would do. It would enable that review process to be done thoroughly and within a definitive timeline. That would work well for my constituents, because they are anxious to see this process move forward so that they would be able to take advantage of the opportunities in this pipeline project.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member asked if I have read the bill. Of course I have looked at the bill. I have read through the bill.

As I said in my comments tonight, I want to talk about how the bill would impact my local area and the benefits that would come to my local area through this bill. I am very pleased about the opportunities that would be there for us to take advantage of in Saint John and in New Brunswick as a whole, because we need those opportunities and we look forward to them.

I have been very clear that the situation in New Brunswick has not been the best in the last few years. However, the outlook is very positive, and that is what we are looking for. We are looking for the opportunity to take advantage of that rosy outlook.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand and speak tonight in support of this bill.

Before I start, I want to take a moment to mention that there is a dangerous situation unfolding as we speak here tonight in the city of Moncton in New Brunswick, my home province. I just want to let the people of Moncton know that they are definitely in our thoughts and prayers this evening. I ask that they listen to the authorities and stay inside and stay safe until the situation is over. Thank you for the opportunity to say that, Mr. Speaker.

I want to echo the words of my colleague from Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley when he paid homage to our good friend and former colleague, the Hon. Jim Flaherty, because what we are talking about tonight are the fruits of the former minister's labour.

He worked very hard over his time as Minister of Finance to bring us back to balance. This budget, this economic action plan 2014, puts us squarely on track for returning to balance. It does exactly what the minister set out to do. I am very pleased to be able to stand here tonight to speak to this bill, because it speaks very firmly to what is so important to my riding.

I truly believe that all politics are local. That is why, when I speak about this bill this evening, I want to speak to how it impacts my riding and my province and what it will do to enable our province to take advantage of the opportunities that are there in front of us today. I say this because the Province of New Brunswick, not unlike a lot of other provinces, has been having a rough time, to be frank. Our fiscal situation and fiscal outlook have not been very rosy.

This budget does exactly what it should be doing: it respects the provinces, it does not cut transfers, and it does not try to bring the budget back to balance in the same way that previous governments did. It does not do that. It does not balance the budget on the backs of the provinces. It respects the provinces for what they have to do. It respects the taxpayer. It respects Canadians. That is what is important. It is important that we do that.

It is not just words that I am echoing here tonight. Our government has been solid on respect for the provinces and on growing the transfers to the provinces. To a province like New Brunswick, those transfers are very important. In this fiscal year, those transfers will total $2.6 billion for the Province of New Brunswick. Of that $2.6 billion, $1.7 billion will be through equalization. There will be $682 million under the Canada health transfer and $267 million will be through the Canada social transfer. Those dollars are extremely important, and those dollars have been increasing over the life of our government.

Since 2006, our government has increased those numbers. In equalization alone, those numbers have increased by 24%. In health, they have increased by 37%, and for the Canada social transfer, they have increased by 26% since 2006. That is important.

I talk about these numbers and about how important they are because I have a background with the Province of New Brunswick, which many members in this House have heard me speak about different times. I was a provincial member of the legislative assembly. I know how important these transfers are and I know what they do for the work that the province does on an ongoing basis.

The fact that we have been able to bring our budget back to balance without doing it on the backs of the provinces is laudable. We have done it by providing tax relief to Canadians and we have done it by providing new investments to provinces such as New Brunswick. Those new investments are very important, and that tax relief is so important to a province like New Brunswick.

As I said, our fiscal outlook is not very good. Our fiscal situation is rough, although there are some good signs on the horizon. There are some good things happening in New Brunswick. There are some real opportunities, and this budget allows us to take advantage of those opportunities. There are opportunities out there, such as our resource sector, which remains undeveloped for the most part. We talk about a resource sector that is just waiting for us to develop it.

I talk about shale gas development. I talk about potash. I talk about some of the things we have within my own city. I talk about the port and the opportunities that lie with the pipeline from western Canada. That energy east pipeline will come to Saint John, New Brunswick. Something that puts us in an enviable position is our deepwater ice-free port. Not only do we have a deepwater ice-free port, but we have the largest refinery in North America, and we are anxious to see the pipeline come to Saint John, New Brunswick, so that we can support and grow our industry and take advantage of some of those opportunities.

I talk about having the largest refinery in North America. I talk about our ice-free deepwater port, but we also have an LNG terminal that is anxious to transform itself from an import LNG terminal to an export terminal. Those opportunities come from the fact that we have this port.

The market is craving energy, and the people of New Brunswick have been waiting for some time to see their economy transformed. We have been waiting to see this happen. Unlike most New Brunswickers, I was born there, I was raised there, and I have watched a lot of my friends and relatives have to leave there for the opportunities that are sitting on our doorstep. They have to leave our province. Many of them go to western Canada. Many of them go to Newfoundland on a weekly basis.

I travel here to take my seat in the House of Commons to represent the people of my riding. I sit on airplanes with many people leaving my city and province to go to Newfoundland or western Canada as they look for opportunities. Those opportunities are right there at home for those people; we just need to take advantage of them.

The economic action plan gives us the tools to be able to take advantage of those opportunities. It invests in job creation. It gives us the opportunity to develop the skills and develop the workforce. Through the Canada job grant, we will be able to work with the provinces to develop our workforce so that when these opportunities come forward, people will be able to take full advantage of them.

We talk a lot in the House about temporary foreign workers. We have to bring temporary foreign workers into New Brunswick, and one might wonder why. It is because a lot of our trained workforce has left the province and there are situations that need temporary foreign workers, but we want to see our people come back home. We want to work with the province to bring our citizens back to New Brunswick to take advantage of these opportunities. They want to come back to do the same thing they are travelling west to do, the same thing they are travelling to Newfoundland to do: they want to develop our natural resources, and they want to do it at home. They want to contribute to the economy. They want to see their families, and there is nothing wrong with that.

We want to give them the opportunity. We want to give them the ability to do that. It is so important for this budget to move forward so that we will be able to do those things. We have to have a strong economy in the province. We have to have the tools in place to do it, and this government has done that through economic action plan 2014.

We provided funding of $28 million over the next two years to ensure that the National Energy Board review process goes smoothly. It is important that we put our money where these opportunities lie. There are many opportunities out there. We have supported these things and we want to see them move forward.

I could talk for quite some time on the budget and what it means to the people of New Brunswick and to the people of Saint John. Most of all it means that we will have the opportunity and the ability and the tools to take advantage of what lies in front of us, and that is all we are asking for.

We are asking for the chance to do that. We want members of the House to help support us and give us the ability to do that.