House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was territory.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Yukon (Yukon)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 24% of the vote.

Statements in the House

National Seal Products Day Act June 17th, 2015

moved for leave to introduce Bill S-224, An Act respecting National Seal Products Day.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to introduce this piece of legislation recognizing that humans have depended on ocean resources, including seals and other marine animals, for nourishment for thousands of years and that Canada's aboriginal peoples and coastal communities have developed traditional knowledge of how to use these resources. Of course, the traditional, cultural, and heritage practices of Canada's aboriginal people and coastal communities respect these ocean resources, and they should be preserved and recognized. Therefore, this legislation seeks to establish that the 20th day of May every year be known as national seal products day.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Petitions June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to present petitions on behalf of some 30,000-plus Canadians who call on the government to repeal item 2 of part 2 of the schedule to the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

I also have a petition calling on the government to repeal item 3 of part 4 of the schedule to the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

Members not seeking re-election to the 42nd Parliament June 10th, 2015

Mr. Chair, on a point of order, I would first like to thank you for your judicious oversight of all these important and interesting speeches. I was just wondering if you could confirm the allocation of time that the House has tonight to continue to hear all of these amazing tributes and references by our outgoing members.

Business of Supply June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the member talked about one thing that I would agree with, which is that this file requires leadership. This side of the House has demonstrated leadership, but it is not leadership that the opposition is prepared to follow.

He talked about a suite of measures that need to be put in place to ensure food security and nutritional choices for northern families. We have done that through the Growing Forward 2 program, the northern greenhouse initiative and direct investments through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, not only to provide economic opportunities but to provide those nutritional opportunities for communities. They are community-based solutions for community-based challenges. Some of those vary from different regions of the country, from Nunavut to Yukon.

Interestingly enough, however, every time we put forward either a legislative amendment, an operational consideration or a policy direction, the NDP and the Liberals find a convenient way to vote against those measures. That includes significant, record levels of transfer payments to the provinces and territories. The member mentioned the necessary partnerships with those provincial leaders, but every time, yet again, the opposition votes against record levels of transfer payments. The Liberals are voting against those sorts of things.

I am not sure how they expect us to deliver those kinds of investments with their support if they just stand up every time that we provide those kinds of measures and vote against them. It is disingenuous. Canadians know that.

Business of Supply June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am certainly proud that our ministers have embraced the Auditor General's report and have almost instantly engaged in dealing with some of the recommendations that were made.

Earlier in my comments I made note of the fact that there really is not a comprehensive position from the opposition members. The member for Churchill said that there is no question that nutrition north does reduce the price, but then the member for Timmins—James Bay said that the program is not lowering the costs. They have criticized the program but then said that 50 communities should be added to it. It is not a coherent position. Is the program lowering the costs, as the member for Churchill said, or is it not, as the member for Timmins—James Bay said? Is it a good program that we should add 50 communities to or is it not? They do not have a coherent position. Therefore, I am wondering if the member opposite can offer a coherent position from the NDP side once and for all.

Business of Supply June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that is why I said we are proud to invest in a whole suite of programs and services, from cold climate innovation to the northern greenhouse initiative out of the Growing Forward 2 program. These are all things we can do to help sustainable communities develop their own food security and make community-based solutions. We are proud to do that.

I am always surprised, of course, when the opposition votes against those measures that we put in place.

With respect to the hunting and angling piece in the prelude to his question, I am only reflecting back on the comments that were made by the members themselves when they effectively chastised our government for studying and supporting the hunting and angling heritage in our country. Those are not my words. Those are the words of the opposition.

Business of Supply June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I think you highlighted it perfectly. There absolutely is a country food element in this program. Northern Canadians tell us over and over again that country and traditional foods are very critical and very important to their dietary needs.

I am proud to be joined by the chair of the hunting and angling caucus, who is here with me, because we both know and understand the importance of traditional ways of life for the dietary needs of northern Canadians. We will proudly stand up and support them.

I cannot believe the opposition continues to vote against those measures and speaks out against them. It is absolutely not reflective of the needs of Yukoners, the needs of people from the Northwest Territories, and the needs of people from Nunavut, who can count on this government to continue to support them in their traditional ways of life, and we are proud to do that.

Business of Supply June 4th, 2015

What is shameful, Mr. Speaker, is the opposition failing to support all of the very real measures that I indicated.

I can tell hon. members clearly what the reaction is in the northern communities when the Prime Minister and those ministers travel and visit. How can I say that? It is because I have been there with them.

From Yukon to the Northwest Territories to Nunavut, I have been there and I have watched the programs and services that we have delivered. I have watched the community work with our ministers. I have watched the community partners engage in these activities with direct federal spending, and I have watched the pride and the sense of accomplishment and the very real support that they feel when our government is there with them and meeting directly with them.

This government, the Prime Minister, and our ministers will never apologize for actually being in those communities to hear directly from Canadians and to attempt to live the same lifestyle that they do, unlike the opposition.

Business of Supply June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to speak to this motion. Before I commence, I will just mention that I will be splitting my time with the member for Macleod.

As we have heard in earlier interventions today, a lot of Canadians are concerned. They are supportive of the initiatives that need to take place in the north to enhance food security solutions, and not just under the nutrition north program but through an entire suite of programs that our government is delivering.

I can think of constituents in Canada, like Logan Ashley, who would be very interested in learning about the initiatives that our federal government is undertaking.

I am a northerner, and I have seen our government's investments in the north and in the Canadian arctic. I have travelled with the Prime Minister and the respective ministers, and not, as the opposition would coin it, for fancy photo ops but rather for on-the-ground, community-based, real solutions that have been generated by the community. The communities are very much interested in showing these solutions to the ministers, the Prime Minister and those members of Parliament from our side who take the time to go there and meet with mayors and councillors, chiefs and councils, and community members. We listen to what their needs are, and then observe the beginning, in progress and end of initiatives that they have undertaken with federal government resources and federal government investments.

Let me highlight a couple of those. The Growing Forward 2 program and the northern greenhouse initiatives were announced by the Prime Minister last year when I was with him in Hay River. I was joined by the Minister of the Environment, who is also the north regional minister. We were looking at the great work that communities are undertaking with the Growing Forward 2 program to provide real community-based solutions. It is not just about food security solutions. It is about skills development and employment opportunities, making sure that nutritious and affordable food is available. It is about a broad range of skill sets that are undertaken to deliver quality food and multi-year crops in a challenging northern environment.

This is a Canadian success story. This is about Canadians in the north and in the high arctic finding ways to deliver fresh and available foods right there in their own communities.

We are providing the funding for them to do that. We are supporting the technology and innovation for them to be able to do that. At the same time, we are supporting that skill set and that natural connectability to working opportunities and career opportunities. At the same time, we are helping those communities define and meet their food security needs.

In my home, in the community of Old Crow, just a couple of weeks ago, I was proud to be there to open the Co-op store. It was a first nation development corp. community-invested grocery store. It is going to provide co-operative investment for that community. When people shop there, there is going to be a direct dividend return to that community. That store is also going to provide employment and training opportunities for people living in that community. That store is providing access to more affordable foods and more nutritious foods.

What I saw was a store full of fresh fruits and vegetables, a store that had products in it that were far cheaper than in the past. I saw a program and service delivery that our government is investing in that is working. The community was there to celebrate. They see the real results of programs that are working, not one in a vacuum, like the nutrition north program, but a whole suite of programs, like the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, which was created by our government to improve and enhance the working and economic development opportunities for people of the north. Those included food security solutions, like this one, that the development corp. has put forward in Old Crow.

They have been strong advocates of investing in their own community solutions, and we have done that with and for them. We have been strong and proud participants, and supporters of that program.

We hear somewhat of an incoherent thought from the opposition. On the one hand, they stand in this House today and criticize the nutrition north program, but then urge the government to add 50 more communities to it. I am not sure that is a coherent argument, chastising a program while asking that more Canadian communities be added to it. It is a bizarre track of thinking.

Let me talk about a couple of the communities that the opposition has put down on a napkin. One of the communities added is already a full beneficiary of the nutrition north program.

Governing is a responsibility that we take seriously, and it is not something that one can do by just drafting a list of communities, putting that on the back of a napkin, dropping it in Parliament and then asking Parliament to simply add those communities without thought. It is irresponsible.

When we look at some of the communities they have put in place, some already on this list, some of those communities in the design of this program have road accessibility so it is already far more affordable for them to truck supplies into those communities than some of the communities we are talking about in the Canadian high Arctic. Those are the ones that rely on shipping crates and containers to come in, those that rely on seasonal accessibility to their communities, such as the one in the Yukon that is a fly-in only community.

We have members from the opposition, from Toronto, standing up to speak about these things. We appreciate their support and their concern and their attention to the north, but they clearly do not understand the realities of these communities because they have not been there. However, they are willing to stand in this House and chastise our government for having been there. I have been there. I have been there with the Prime Minister and with several respective ministers.

Every single year, the Prime Minister of this country has been across the north. Ten times he has visited since 2006. That is more than any other prime minister in the history of this country. There is more attention and more investment for the people of the north than by any other prime minister before. This is a prime minister who works in and with the communities and who dispatches his ministers on a regular basis to go to the north. He dispatches his members of Parliament to go to the north and work with the members of those communities. There are two members on this side of the House who live in northern Arctic communities and can speak about the very real challenges, and we are seized with those.

We understood the Auditor General's comments. The minister embraced those quickly and, in fact, almost by the date of the tabling of that report had already actioned many of the recommendations and had already moved to significantly improve the recommendations that were made. We have not stopped there because we understand fundamentally that nutrition north is one part of a suite of programs that our government has deployed since 2006 to improve the working and living conditions of aboriginal people. Those include things like our family tax cut so that we are able to leave more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadians. That is more money in the pockets of moms and dads so that they can spend their money on the needs that they define are important for them. The opposition wants to take that away. The opposition votes against that.

Here is another real example. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was joined in my territory by the Minister of Health. We announced $13 million for chronic health management in our territory. As we all know, across the north certain rates of diseases like diabetes are higher than the national average, in some cases four times higher. That boils down to the need to invest in chronic disease management, nutrition, and dietary supports and programs. It boils down to the suite of programs that we are delivering to ensure we can effectively manage chronic disease, which is a challenge in the north. I personally spent time one summer running from the northern part of the Yukon to the southern part of the Yukon to raise awareness and funds for diabetes, and to ensure that people were aware that our government was prepared to continue to invest in that.

We are doing these things step in and step out: policy investments, legislative adaptations, direct or indirect contributions and services from our government, and into the territorial governments for them to outlay their local priorities under their local governance structures. Everything we have done in this massive suite of programs, the opposition stands up and votes against.

It is disingenuous for the opposition members to stand in this House and say the government should do things, and then every time we table bills, policies or investments, they vote against it. I say this. The opposition should get on board and start supporting what we are doing in real terms for the great people of the north.

Business of Supply June 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her intervention. Of course, she speaks about paying attention to northerners. I am a northerner, and I have travelled right across the Canadian north and Canadian Arctic with our Prime Minister announcing investments outside of nutrition north. These investments engage a suite of food security initiatives, like the northern greenhouse initiative, the Growing Forward 2 program, and cold climate innovation, which are enhancing different technologies in the Canadian high Arctic to bring food security solutions to the north.

I have witnessed those things working in communities like Pond Inlet, Hay River, Yellowknife, and Old Crow in the Yukon. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago I was in Old Crow, one of the nutrition program locations, announcing $1.2 million to help stores grow there.

However, the member continues to vote against those. Why would that be?