House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was chair.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Kelowna—Lake Country (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

World Immunization Week April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, I was honoured to welcome the Minister of Veterans Affairs to my beautiful riding ofKelowna—Lake Country.

As Rotarians, the minister and I started our day off at the Kelowna Sunrise Rotary Club, one of the many clubs across Canada that partner with government to make life better for people locally and globally. One of those steadfast partners is the Canadian government, which has been, and remains, a global leader with Rotary International and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

April 24 to 30 is World Immunization Week and Rotary International is calling on all countries to “Close the Immunization Gap".

It takes less than a dollar to vaccinate a child against polio. Although the world is 99% of the way there, one in five children still misses out. In 2013, an estimated 21.8 million infants did not receive lifesaving vaccines.

We have a narrow window of opportunity to close the gap. I encourage all members in the House and everyone to support their local rotary clubs and Rotary International and help reach the goal to end polio now.

Taxation April 21st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, families in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country are looking forward to the enhanced universal child care credit and family tax cut.

I am proud to say that it is our government that has introduced these measures because we understand that all Canadian children deserve support. This includes children living with disabilities.

Could the caring and compassionate Minister of State for Social Development please inform the House how our government is helping these children?

Canada Shipping Act March 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Kelowna—Lake Country in beautiful British Columbia, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-628 and share how and why our government is committed to protecting the safety of Canadians and the safety of the environment. It is not either/or, but a balanced approach. We have taken significant action to strengthen the safety and security of Canada's energy transportation system, whether it be rail, pipeline or tanker safety.

Bill C-628 proposes to ban oil tankers off the coast of British Columbia. It is founded on perceived shortcomings of Canada's energy system that are simply not accurate.

Over the next few minutes, I would like to share with Canadians the broad range of concrete measures already in place and the new actions we are taking to build on Canada's strong world-class safety system. That is because members on this side of the House understand they are essential to achieving our goal of energy market diversification, which is itself crucial to ensuring ongoing job creation, economic growth and prosperity for Canadians.

I would like to explain why I believe it is so important that we diversify our energy markets.

In 2012, Canada produced over 3.38 million barrels of crude oil and almost 3.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. All of that activity supported roughly 190,000 direct jobs and an additional 70,000 indirect jobs. Then there are revenues to federal, provincial and territorial governments from the oil and gas industry, which averaged approximately $25 billion annually over the past five years. That money paid for everything from roads and bridges to schools, hospitals in communities from coast to coast to coast. These multi-billion numbers are not surprising given the oil and gas sector accounted for 7.5% of GDP in 2013, and $83 billion of capital expenditures. Industry also represented $117 billion in exports in 2013.

To say the energy sector plays a major role in our high standard of living is an understatement. I believe it fuels the high quality of life of Canadians.

However, it is not something we can take for granted. The reality is that the global energy landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, creating both new opportunities and new challenges for Canada. On the plus side, there is an enormous and growing appetite for our energy supply. Demand for Canadian oil is strongest in the rapidly growing markets of the Asia-Pacific region.

The International Energy Agency predicts that, by 2035, the world will need a third more energy than is being consumed today. Most of this increase is due to the need for energy in emerging economies. Canada can capably meet that need as Canadian oil and gas production through innovation and new technology is expected to grow dramatically over the same period.

If we want to maintain our high standard of living and ensure governments have the resource sector royalties to fund a wide array of social programs, we must diversify our energy markets to have the funds to proceed in this manner.

While it appears the NDP by bringing forward this bill does not appreciate how crucial this issue is to the lives and livelihoods of Canadians, I can assure members that other government leaders across Canada do.

At the 2014 Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference, federal, provincial and territorial ministers recognized that the continued advancement of energy infrastructure was fundamental to gaining access to new markets and generating economic growth. Ministers also reaffirmed the need to coordinate our efforts to reinforce the diversification of Canada's natural resources by ensuring the safe transport of resources by pipeline, marine and rail.

We understand and fully agree that public safety and environmental protection are necessary conditions for energy development to proceed.

As I said earlier, it is a balanced approach; it is not either/or. That is precisely what responsible resource development is all about. It sends a clear signal that our government is determined to protect public safety and the health of the environment, based on sound science and world-class standards.

Between 2000 and 2011, federally regulated pipelines boasted a safety record of over 99.999% We are proud of the action we have taken to ensure Canada has a world-class regulatory framework and a means for the safest form of transportation of our energy products.

Our Government has introduced stringent new safety standards to prevent oil spills from happening and new navigational supports for tanker ships to better protect our coastal waters.

We have nine acts of Parliament governing marine safety, and that is before we factor in the tough new regulatory oversight and enforcement capabilities provided under Bill C-3, the Safeguarding Canada's Seas and Skies Act.

Thanks to tough legislation and technological innovations, there have been no spills from double-hulled tankers in Canadian waters. Nor have there ever been spills from tankers escorted by tugs with a local pilot aboard.

Especially important, we are ensuring that polluters, not taxpayers, will be responsible for costs in the unlikely event of a spill. We have brought in polluter pays legislation for both offshore and onshore, with billion dollar conditions for spill response and cleanup.

These measures underline that when it comes to transporting our natural resources, whether by pipeline, rail, or tanker, our government will never compromise on safety.

Our government has also given the independent National Energy Board the necessary resources to increase annual inspections of pipelines by 50%. The board has doubled the number of annual comprehensive safety audits to identify pipeline issues before incidents occur. Equally important, the National Energy Board now has the authority to impose substantial financial penalties on companies that do not comply with safety and environmental regulations. It can levy fines of up to $100,000 a day for as long as the infractions are not addressed.

It is disappointing that the member who put forward the bill we are debating today and who purports to be in favour of improving safety voted against each and every one of the measures I just mentioned.

Canada's outstanding safety record should assure Canadians that our energy resources can be developed safely and can in turn create good jobs and economic growth here at home. Our government's approach to promoting responsible resource development is the right one.

I believe that Canadians simply cannot trust the New Democrats to protect our economy or our environment. They oppose every form of resource development. They vote against our legislation to increase pipeline safety measures. Then they propose this bill that would hurt the Canadian economy. Bill C-628 risks undoing all the good being achieved under our plan for responsible resource development and would come at a great cost to Canadians. For that reason, we cannot support this bill.

In closing, having spent the first 27 years of my life in Alberta, I understand the oil and gas economy and how important it is not only to Alberta but to all of Canada. Given my last 25-plus years calling beautiful British Columbia home, I understand the value of the energy industry and also tourism, the environment, safety, and the economy. They are all brought together. It is not either/or, as I have alluded to before.

As a father of three daughters and three grandsons, I want a future for our Canadian economy, for our community of Kelowna Lake Country, for British Columbia, and for all Canadians. I believe that if this bill is passed, it would take us backward and would not help create those jobs we want in the future.

This is Easter week, a week of hurt and a week of hope. My hope is that we will work together to manage our resources responsibly. We are called to be good stewards. We have abundant resources across Canada. However, this type of legislation would not help our industry and would not help to create jobs. We want to have a balanced approach. I believe that by working together, we can create jobs and grow the economy to achieve long-term prosperity and a good quality of life for all North Americans

Natural Resources February 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to providing the right conditions so that industry and business can succeed and compete in the global economy. Canada benefits from large reserves of natural gas but has limited capacity to supply it to emerging international and domestic markets, where demand is growing. That is why our government recently announced the plan to support jobs and growth in the emerging liquified natural gas, or LNG, industry in British Columbia.

Could the hard-working Minister of Industry please update the House on what our government is doing to attract business investment in British Columbia?

Volunteerism February 18th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it will be my great pleasure this week to present to Kelowna--Lake Country resident Phyllis MacPherson a Canadian flag in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada.

This tradition recognizes exceptional individuals who make outstanding contributions to our communities and to our country, and Phyllis certainly fits this bill.

A dynamic and compassionate individual, Phyllis MacPherson has been the volunteer manager of the Lake Country Food Assistance Society for over 30 years, helping many individuals and families when they are most in need and giving tirelessly of her time and talents to raise funds for the society to find a permanent home.

In dedicating her life to the others in this way, Phyllis reminds us all that the misfortune of others could be one's own and that in order to call ourselves members of a community, we must look out for each other.

I congratulate Phyllis on this well-deserved honour. May we all strive as Phyllis has to remember to see our neighbours through the eyes of understanding and live with hearts of compassion.

There but for the grace of God go I. I thank Phyllis.

Petitions December 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of numerous British Columbians to table a petition that refers to over 200 million missing girls worldwide. This femicide has created a global gender imbalance and crisis, resulting in violence and the human trafficking of girls.

The petitioners call on Parliament to condemn discrimination against girls occurring through sex selective pregnancy termination.

International Trade November 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in an increasingly globalized world, it is vital that Canadian businesses have access to dynamic and fast-growing markets in order to create jobs and long-term prosperity for hard-working Canadians and their families. Our Conservative government has a proven track record of opening new markets for Canadian exporters.

As we recently heard from the Minister of International Trade, our government has signed free trade agreements with 38 countries. Can the tireless and hard-working Minister of International Trade please update Canadians on our government's latest efforts to create jobs and prosperity through trade?

Municipal Elections 2014 November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, local governments across the province of B.C. held elections this past weekend. I would like to thank all individuals who put their names forward to run for public office.

In Lake Country, congratulations to Mayor James Baker on his re-election and to his new council. In the city of Kelowna, congratulations to new Mayor Colin Basran and the four incumbent and four new councillors. I look forward to working with all of them to make the communities of Kelowna and Lake Country safer, better, and stronger places for all.

I say a special thanks to Sharon Shepherd, Gerry Zimmerman, Andre Blanleil, and Robert Hobson for their years of service.

Last, but not least, I wish to pay special tribute to retiring mayor Walter Gray, a two-term councillor and a four-term mayor of Kelowna. He is a true believer in co-operation and partnership. His infectious energy and enthusiasm and great sense of humour brought people together and brought out the best in all of us. He saw the great potential in our city and the value in investing in its future, and he never failed to give credit to his staff and council for a job well done. May he now find the time to enjoy his number one priority: his family. I wish him and his wonderful wife, Doreen, and of course his dog, Snowball, nothing but the best. Enjoy the journey ahead, my friend. God bless.

Committees of the House November 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I sat on the veterans affairs committee several years ago and veterans are near and dear to my heart and to constituents across our community and across the country. All my colleagues will be at the cenotaph, not only November 11 but throughout the next week.

I know the University of British Columbia Okanagan will be attending a Remembrance Day ceremony with our Legion members of all ages. It is important that we continue to reflect upon the sacrifices that men and women have given and those who are serving today.

We can look at the changes and the positive addition of almost $5 billion that has been earmarked over the eight years since our 2006 budget. We have invested in reorganization of the veterans affairs portfolio. As alluded to, there are 14 recommendations and there is all-party consensus on the committee moving forward.

One of the areas was the veterans independence program. I know for constituents, a spouse of a veteran applying for the program was not eligible if the veteran passed away. We made that positive change so the widow was eligible and the neighbours were eligible based on means. Another area is that they do not have to submit a $35 fee and wait six weeks for an application form and take it down to the office.

Does my hon. colleague think those are some of the positive recommendations, or should we go back to the old way of having to submit the forms in person and not having the money up front for our veterans?

International Trade October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, with one in five jobs in Canada dependent on exports, our government understands the importance of opening new markets. That is why we have launched the most ambitious pro-trade plan in Canadian history.

Before 2006, Canada had free trade agreements with only five countries. Since then, the Conservative government has concluded agreements with 38 countries.

Could the hard-working Minister of International Trade please update the House on the status of the government's pro-trade plan?