House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was jobs.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley (Nova Scotia)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Safe Streets and Communities Act September 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I think we all owe a great debt of gratitude to those people who work in our prisons day in and day out rehabilitating criminals who are in there and protecting our people and keeping them safe.

I share the member's concern about making sure that we protect these very brave Canadians who work in our jail system. That is why our government is investing in an expansion of jails. I have two in my riding, one in my hometown of Truro and one in Springhill. We are investing in an expansion of both those prisons, making sure that we have enough personnel in those buildings and the physical space to make sure those people can conduct their jobs safely.

We are going to continue to invest in our prison system. We are going to continue to invest in the human resources, the people who work in the prison system.

Safe Streets and Communities Act September 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we also listen to front-line law enforcement officials across this country, officials like union president Tom Stamatakis, who said:

Whether it is by keeping dealers and producers off the streets and out of business, or by serving as a deterrent to potential dealers, this proposed legislation will help our members in doing their jobs and keeping our communities safe. In simple terms, keep these criminals in jail longer, and you take away their opportunity to traffic in drugs.

We are going to continue to listen to our front-line law enforcement officers. They are the ones who are dealing with this every day. We are going to stand and support our police across the country.

Safe Streets and Communities Act September 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it is important to remember that our government is investing in the expansion of federal prisons. We are also supporting our provinces with investments in their justice systems. No previous government in this country has done as much to invest and support the provinces in the area of justice as the Conservative Party of Canada has done.

We will continue to do that. We will continue to work with our provincial partners and ministers of justice across the country to make sure our communities and our people are safe.

Safe Streets and Communities Act September 28th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we can always listen to people across the world who comment on the laws and legislation we pass here in Canada, but the member might have noticed today that Canada was selected as the top nation in the world. People have a positive feeling about our country.

We can listen to what people around the world say, or we can listen to the victims of crime in this country. That is whom our government listens to. We are going to stand and fight to protect the families of this country.

Safe Streets and Communities Act September 28th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to join the debate on Bill C-10, the safe streets and communities act. I have been very glad to see the vigorous debate that has taken place in this House over the past few days and, of course, over 79 hours of debate in the previous Parliament.

As we know, the safe streets and communities act is a piece of comprehensive legislation, a piece of comprehensive legislation that is made up of nine separate bills. I have heard my hon. colleagues from the opposition question the rationale of bundling this important piece of legislation together, so I would like to speak to that point.

Since taking office, our government has made no secret of the fact that we will stand up for the safety and security of Canadian families. We have been clear that we will ensure that victims are heard and that victims are respected. We have been clear that dangerous criminals belong behind bars and not in the streets, where they can harm law-abiding Canadians.

The safe streets and communities act, and every piece of legislation within it, is about fulfilling those commitments to Canadians.

This is not the first piece of comprehensive legislation that our government has introduced. We were proud to have delivered the Tackling Violent Crime Act back in 2008, an act that has now been law for some period of time.

Members will recall that the Tackling Violent Crime Act strengthened the Criminal Code in a number of ways. It delivered tougher mandatory jail time for serious gun crimes; it established new bail provisions, which require those accused of serious gun crimes to show why they should not be kept in jail while they are waiting for trial; it protected youth from adult sexual predators by increasing the age of protection from 14 to 16 years of age; and it ensured more effective sentencing and monitoring to prevent dangerous, high-risk offenders from offending again and again and again. It also made new ways to detect and investigate drug-impaired driving, as well as stronger penalties for impaired driving.

Much like the safe streets and communities act, all of the provisions had been pieces of previous legislation that had been blocked in political games by the oppositions prior to 2008. However, our party and our government believed so strongly in this action that we did what was in the best interests of Canadians: we bundled them into a comprehensive package known as the Tackling Violent Crime Act. On top of that, we made that act an issue of confidence in this House.

Now we find ourselves, after the May 2 general election, in a similar position with Bill C-10, the safe streets and communities act.

As we know, this past spring Canadians gave us a strong mandate to move forward with our law and order agenda. As part of the Conservative election platform, we made a commitment to move quickly to reintroduce legislation that had been blocked or opposed by the opposition.

It has always been a point of pride that this government delivers on the promises we make to Canadians. That is why we have done as we have promised and why we are here today debating the safe streets and communities act.

Now I would like to talk a bit about the principle of protection of society.

What exactly does that mean? In short, it means that when courts and government officials are making decisions, the first thing they would now consider is how those decisions would affect the greater society.

It may come as a surprise to many Canadians that when it comes to the transfer of offenders, the protection of society is not currently the principle of consideration. We are currently in a situation in which the Minister of Public Safety is compelled to look at a number of factors when considering whether a prisoner should be transferred back to Canada. In fact, currently, the minister is restricted in the considerations that can be taken into account when he is looking to transfer offenders.

Bill C-10 would change that. This bill provides additional factors that the Minister of Public Safety may consider when determining whether to grant an offender's request to serve his or her sentence back in Canada. In doing so, it clarifies one of the key purposes of the International Transfer of Offenders Act, which that is to protect the safety of all Canadians. This would ensure that Canadians and their families are safe and secure in their communities and that offenders are held accountable for their actions. Canadian families expect no less.

Let me give members a few additional examples of what the minister could consider when considering whether an offender should be transferred back to Canada.

As examples, he could consider whether the offender is likely to endanger public safety, he could consider whether the offender is going to keep engaging in criminal activities, and he could consider whether the criminal would endanger the safety of Canadian children.

This legislation would also allow the minister to consider, among other things, whether the offender was co-operating with rehabilitation and local law enforcement, and whether the offender accepted responsibility for his or her actions. This means that when a minister makes a decision as to whether an offender is transferred back to Canada, he or she has the ability to look at a broad range of factors that go beyond what is simply in the best interests of the offender to ensure that protection of Canadian society comes first.

These proposed changes to the International Transfer of Offenders Act are among important changes contained within the Safe Streets and Communities Act. Others include better protection for our children and youth from sexual predators, increasing penalties for organized drug crime, and preventing serious criminals from serving their sentences in the comfort of their own living rooms by ending house arrest for serious crimes. It also would protect the public from violent young offenders and would eliminate pardons for serious crimes. It would increase offender accountability. It would support the victims of crime and would protect vulnerable foreign nationals from abuse and exploitation.

These are all measures in which our government strongly believes. We promised Canadians we would bring them forward swiftly after the election. That is why we have introduced the Safe Streets and Communities Act. It is also why we are hopeful that members of the opposition will do the right thing and support this important legislation.

Libya September 26th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to the speech by the member opposite and I appreciate her position, but what she needs to appreciate is that in order to deliver humanitarian aid to the people who need it in Libya, they must first have security, and that is one of the things we are putting forward here. We need to ensure there is security so that people on the ground can deliver the humanitarian aid that is sent from other countries. That is one of the important reasons we are extending this mission in Libya. If we do not first have security, we cannot have the humanitarian aid getting to the places where it is needed.

For example, in many of the remote parts of Libya, pro-Gadhafi forces are interfering with humanitarian aid getting to the people who need it. If the member wants to have humanitarian aid reaching out to people who need it across the country of Libya, she must first acknowledge that security is a necessary factor for that to take place.

Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit September 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, our government and in fact all Canadians appreciate the tremendous service provided to us all by our first responders.

This year in budget 2011 we created a new non-refundable tax credit in the amount of $3,000 for certain volunteer firefighters, a well-deserved initiative by this Conservative government.

Fire chief Rob Simonds, the president of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, said it best when he lauded this move by the Conservative government. He said:

The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) commends the federal government for reintroducing a $3,000 tax credit for volunteer firefighters in the 2011 Federal Budget.

We would like to recognize the government for following through on its campaign commitment to pass this important initiative into law.

Our Minister of National Revenue travelled across the country all summer, promoting the awareness of many new and important tax credits which benefit all Canadians. While in Fort McMurray, I believe she said it best:

On behalf of the federal government and all Canadians, I want to thank you very much for your dedication and your selfless service. You are part of what makes Canada the best place in the world to live.

Sir Robert Borden September 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today, “100” is not just associated with Nova Scotian Sir Robert Borden because his image graces the front of the $100 bill. Today is the centennial anniversary of the Conservative Party's 1911 general election victory, a victory that saw us form government for the first time in 15 years.

Prime Minister Borden led Canada through the Great War. It is said that it was on the battlefields of Europe that Canada came to age as a country. It was for those efforts that Sir Robert Borden fought with British Prime Minister Lloyd George to ensure that Canada would be a signatory at the Peace of Versailles, which was a very important step in Canada emerging as a key player in the Commonwealth.

Prime Minister Meighen said it best, when describing this proud Nova Scotian prime minister, when he said that Sir Robert served Canada well.

Public Safety September 20th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, on May 2 Canadians gave us a strong mandate to keep the streets and communities safe.

As part of that mandate, we made a promise to re-introduce important law and order legislation that would keep Canadians safe from coast to coast to coast, legislation that was opposed by the NDP and the Liberal Party. We said we would pass it within the first 100 sitting days.

I am very proud to say that today the Minister of Justice tabled the Safe Streets and Communities Act, a comprehensive piece of legislation that will keep Canadians safe, legislation that will protect our children from sex offenders, eliminate house arrest and eliminate pardons for sex offenders and give law enforcement officials, courts and victims tools they have told us they need.

We promised Canadians that we would be taking this action, and today we are delivering on that promise. I call upon members of the opposition to support these important law and order measures.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act September 20th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently as my friend opposite made his presentation.

We have heard a lot of opposition members complain that Bill C-4 discriminates, that it puts children in detention and that it denies asylum seekers due process, but when we drill down into the bill, that is not the case at all. It currently takes 48 hours to review someone's detention, and there would be reviews in 7 days, 30 days and 30 days after that. In Bill C-4 there is an advantage for people seeking asylum. There is ongoing review. As soon as people can establish they are legitimate refugees, they are released from detention, from wherever they are held. That is an advantage in this bill.

Does the member opposite not see that as an advantage? Why does the NDP focus on the hyperbole instead of looking at the facts and advantages in this bill?