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

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry I cannot relate to the member's experiences in 1976, because at that time I was three years old.

My generation are first-time homebuyers. My generation are young parents and owners of small businesses. My generation and constituents are northern, rural, and vast, and my generation is pleading, “I hope this strike ends somehow, soon, because it's killing small businesses like mine”.

The key to ending this strike is not a key held by anybody but the opposition, and it is by supporting this legislation.

I ask the member to stop fighting the legislation and to support it so that Canadians can get their businesses running again and get back to work.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I was certainly encouraged to hear the member talking about evidence-based solutions. We are hearing this now in the wee hours of the night. When we ask that question of the NDP opposition, it is only going to be their solutions that are satisfying to them.

We heard much earlier in the evening about talking from the heart, and new members of Parliament being here. I, as a new member of Parliament, would rather talk from my heart and not from scripted notes that we had a feverish debate on earlier.

I would like to say that back in 1910, Inspector Fitzgerald of the RCMP led a group of RCMP officers from Fort McPherson to Dawson City to deliver the mail. That became famously known as the Lost Patrol. That issue, that commitment to deliver the mail, was done because they understood the needs of communication and commerce in the north. They did so on December 21, four days from Christmas.

They were not battling pensions. They were not worrying about wages. They were doing this because they understood how important commerce and communication was to the north and to the people of Canada.

Can the member please tell us, where have we lost that idea that this service to the north is so important? What is so wrong with a Conservative government trying to protect that and re-instill that for Canadian people?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, a quick letter from a constituent tonight. It reads:

We operate an art business in the Yukon that ships art to over 50 galleries in North America. With the current postal strike, our shipping costs have become insane. Our business is not viable without Canada Post.

With most of our business occurring in the summer, we will soon be realizing significant financial losses that we will not be able to recover from.

Could the minister please assure Shadow Lynx Artworks that the Conservative government is standing up for all Canadians and small business across this country?

Business of Supply June 20th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have a quick question so the record is clear to me and I did not misunderstand anything that the member said. He said $700 million would be sufficient to bring all seniors out of poverty. Is that his accurate statement? The reason I ask is because our costing is about $2 billion, so we see a discrepancy in costing of about $1.3 billion. I just want to clarify that for the record. I wonder if the member could speak to that. Is he sufficiently satisfied that $700 million would bring all seniors out of poverty?

Business of Supply June 20th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the position of the member opposite, who is the member lateral to me now on senior care. I really do appreciate her ideas that removing politics and looking for solutions is a great idea to move forward.

However, I did hear her mention sound bites not being the mechanism to solve the problem but did not miss a number of sound bites that were injected into her speech as she went on to criticize the plans of both the opposition and the government.

If her concern for seniors is so genuine, why in the past have the Liberals voted against pension income splitting, voted against increasing age credits, voted against raising GIS exemptions from $500 to $3,500 and voted against additional money for the new horizons program, including funding to raise awareness for financial abuse of seniors?

I would appreciate it if she could answer that and acknowledge that there are more plans than the Liberal plan that are beneficial.

The Budget June 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I did not mention that the 15% mineral exploration tax credit will be continued for an additional year into 2012. This will help our companies raise capital for mineral exploration.

I am proud to say that the Yukon territory is currently enjoying a 4% unemployment rate because of Conservative government job creation. That is the lowest in our country for consecutive months. We used to have the highest unemployment rate in Canada. The Conservative government's action plan has allowed Yukoners to work.

We will continue to work on poverty issues, but I am very proud of that fact.

The Budget June 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we first have to start working on identifying some of the root causes of global warming and climate change. Investments in research and development will permit us to understand where we best spend the money and invoke the greatest initiatives to reduce climate change and the effects, which we are certainly aware of across the Arctic and the northern territories.

This is an area of key importance to the citizens of Yukon. I will be working with my riding and climate change experts in the territory to hear solutions and ideas to bring forward to this government to ensure that climate change remains an important issue.

The Budget June 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, that question is one that came up in Yukon while we were talking with our constituents.

The Conservative government has a plan in budget 2011 to offer an equalization on part-time and full-time student loans. We are looking at modernizing the Canadian student loan program to help students realize savings. Tied into health is the forgiveness of loans for doctors and nurses. This would be a tremendous benefit across Canada in attracting people to remote regions, such as our north, and would make it a more attractive career for students to pursue.

The Budget June 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, congratulations on your new role in the House. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our Prime Minister for bestowing upon me the great honour to stand before you today to deliver this my maiden speech in the House of Commons.

I want to say congratulations to all members of Parliament on both sides of this House and, in my co-operative nature, would like to say that I for one am agreeable and committed to working with members sitting on the opposite side of the House.

Finally, I would like to offer profound thanks to the citizens of the great Yukon Territory, the land of the midnight sun, for placing their support in me. I wish to express the tremendous pride I feel as I stand here today representing one of 13 provinces and territories that collectively make up the greatest nation in the world.

This is an exciting time of year for young Canadians. I wish to congratulate Yukon College graduates. I encourage them to embrace the college's guiding brand “Start Here Go Anywhere”. I wish to congratulate Yukon High School graduates for their accomplishments and the exciting new chapter in their lives.

I am proud to tell our Yukon students that because of the solid leadership of our Prime Minister and the continuation of Canada's economic action plan, they will have jobs to go to; they will have options to pursue a career; some will have savings to travel and explore this magnificent planet; and others will seek new skills and opportunities through post-secondary education.

It is through the strength of our economy and governance, and the continued implementation of Canada's economic action plan that these options are there for them, where other youth in the free world are not so fortunate. They can look forward to the modernization of the Canada student loans program and grants program. They can enjoy a more vibrant and accessible post-secondary education system through annual support to students and families.

Our government is committed to promoting enrolment in key disciplines related to the digital economy, fields which are important for meeting a range of social and economic challenges in health, the environment, natural resources, and national security.

I am especially proud to state that our government has made Canada's north a cornerstone of our agenda. I firmly believe that the land and the people of the north are, to some degree, a greater image of all Canadians. We are proud of the culture and history that is guarded daily by first nation, aboriginal and northern Canadians. We rest easy knowing they are determined, adventurous, and proud individuals who define the essence of community, co-operation and a true north strong and free.

From that perspective, I say to all members of the House that a budget and a plan that is good for the north is a budget and a plan that is good for all Canadians.

Federal support for the territories totals just over $3 billion in 2011-12, an increase of $847 million since 2005-06. This long-term growing support helps ensure that the territories have the resources required to provide essential public services and contributes to shared national objectives, including health care, post-secondary education, and other key components of Canada's social programs.

Connecting our country by road, from sea to sea to sea, is one such example of how diverse, yet how Canadians are and must be. The completion of the Dempster Highway from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk will support the northern communities through better access to public supplies and services, decreased cost of living, promotion of tourism, and reduced costs related to onshore oil and gas exploration.

It is the position of this government that increasing first nations community and government participation in the Canadian economy is the most effective way to improve the socio-economic conditions of first nations people.

I look forward to working with Yukon first nation governments and communities as they pursue emerging economic development at local levels. Opportunities that ensure a balance between the development of the environment and a connection between first nations people and the land, water, fish and wildlife of their traditional territories, so that it remains strong for generations to come.

The protection of the environment across Canada, and indeed Yukon and within first nations' traditional territories, will be supported through promoting the development of clean energy technology through an $8 million investment in aboriginal and northern communities, technologies and clean energy projects designed to ensure the reduction of greenhouse gases, which have national and regional impacts.

We are providing nearly $870 million over two years to address climate change and air quality, including the extension of the eco-energy homes program that will help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient and reduce the burden of high energy costs.

The Government of Canada has committed more than $3.2 million in funding to improve housing conditions for first nations in Yukon. Of this, Tr'ondek Hwech'in First Nation will receive close to $755,000 to retrofit 67 housing units and $630,000 toward the construction of 2 new units.

Education is key to the success of individuals, their families and communities and improving educational outcomes for first nations will benefit Canada as a whole. We believe first nations students should have an education that will see them graduate with the skills they need to enter the labour market successfully and participate fully in Canada's economic opportunities.

The next phase of Canada's economic action plan invests $9 million over two years to expand territorial colleges, adult-based education programs, particularly in remote communities, to enhance their ability to take advantage of economic opportunities in the north.

An additional $1.7 million for labour market training will be added as direct, targeted support for the territories. Families of children enrolled in artistic, cultural, recreation and development activities will benefit from the introduction of a children's art tax credit, an opportunity for children across Yukon, such as those at Robert Service School in Dawson City, with the School of Visual Arts only a few blocks away.

This tax credit builds on actions to help parents and children, such as the children's fitness tax credit, so energetic youth like the ones I know so well at Hidden Valley School can enjoy the positive benefits of a healthy and active childhood. The tax free savings account, universal child care benefit, the child tax credit and the first-time home buyers tax credit will all translate into assistance specifically for northerners who realize a higher cost of living in remote and isolated regions in Canada.

Eligible seniors across Canada, and indeed in the north, will receive an additional annual benefit of up to $600 for single seniors and up to $840 for couples.

Attracting doctors and nurses to remote communities through a loan forgiveness initiative is a critical step forward in improving the lives of family physicians, nurse practitioners and the clients they serve in these regions.

The territories will also benefit from continued direct targeted support in 2011-12, including $800,000 for the wait time reduction fund as part of the 10-year plan to strengthen health care. They will also benefit from the two year extension to the territorial health system sustainability initiative, which will provide $60 million over two years to consolidate progress made in reducing the reliance on outside health care systems and medical travel.

I am excited that budget 2011 will allow communities in the territories to benefit from a legislative permanent annual investment in the municipal infrastructure through the gas tax fund. The permanency of this fund will give communities the confidence and stability in their ability to access and utilize long-term infrastructure funding to meet the individual communities' specific needs.

Last but not least, I, along with many other new members of Parliament, may very well be standing in the House today because of the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. I am pleased to speak to Yukoners especially but to all Canadians, farmers, trappers, sportsmen and women, athletes, aboriginal and first nations peoples who have abided by the rules, contributed to our history, culture and to our economy, citizens like Yukon legend, Alex Van Bibber born on the banks of the Pelly River in 1916, who still lives off the land and at 95 years young still teaches Yukoners essential wilderness skills.

For fellow Yukon citizens, fellow Canadians, we will introduce legislative amendments to eliminate the requirement to register non-restricted long guns. In doing so, this government will not allow billions to be wasted or responsible, law-abiding Canadians to be affected, but will rather find more effective ways to keep our communities and neighbourhoods safe, our youth active, healthy and educated, our citizens assisted and employed, our homeless sheltered, our crime prevention strategies focused, criminals accountable and victims of crime supported.

In the words of Yukon's outdoor writer and columnist, Murray Martin, “I'll say Amen to that brother!”