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

Government Spending November 24th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, with the global economic recovery still fragile, Canadian families are taking a hard look at their budgets, tightening their belts and making tough choices about how they spend their money. They expect the same of their government. Controlling spending is key to a balanced budget, whether running a household or governing a country.

Today we are continuing to show respect for taxpayer dollars by toughening the rules on spending by bureaucrats. These new actions include ensuring that all spending by bureaucrats on travel, conferences and hospitality are approved by deputy ministers and reported to the public each year. We are also restricting all spending on alcohol and entertainment.

Today's action is another example of our efforts to eliminate waste, to ensure the government lives within its means and to keep taxes low for hard-working Canadian families.

Business of Supply November 18th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, sometimes I wonder if the opposition parties think we can defend Arctic sovereignty with this century's version of a Sopwith Camel.

The F-35 is the only plane that can meet those requirements. No one has to be believe me or my party, all one has to do is listen to Liberal Senator Roméo Dallaire, who said in the Toronto Sun that the F-35 stealth fighter is an excellent plane and Canada should be buying more of them.

He also commented that the main competition for this plane, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, is old and hailed the government's $9 billion military investment as essential to defending Canada's sovereignty. He said, “It's an excellent plane that's built in North America”. He also said, "We need more than that but we can only afford 65" now. That was a Liberal senator.

My question is, does the hon. member agree or disagree with the Liberal senator?

Pope John Paul II Day Act November 16th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak today about Bill C-573 that seeks to designate April 2 of each year as Pope John Paul II Day.

Pope John Paul II had influence that extended well beyond the doors of the church. He was revered and admired by people of many different faiths, and the impact of his actions is still being felt around the world.

During his lifetime, John Paul II worked to further understanding and co-operation among people of different faiths. His legacy is a new global movement of interfaith dialogue. People of different religions are focusing on the values they have in common while forging new ties and lasting relationships.

In his years as pope, he visited 129 countries and redefined the papacy for a modern age. Three of those trips were taken here to Canada. He was in fact the first pope to visit Canada, and one of his many gifts was his ability to reach out to people of other faiths and inspire reconciliation after centuries of hostility and suspicion.

Pope John Paul II was a man of action as well as a man of words. He was the first pope to enter a Jewish synagogue. He was the first pope to enter a mosque. He initiated and participated in many events and conferences and promoted a message of peace and harmony among different religions.

In October 1986, the pope convened and led a multifaith service involving leaders of the world's religions. During this conference he said:

I wish to make an earnest call to everyone, Christians and the followers of other religions, that we all work together to build a world without violence, a world that loves life, and grows in solidarity and justice.

The event led to interfaith activities all over the world and to yearly interfaith prayer on the annual feast of Saint Francis.

In 1994, the pope gave the inaugural address at the World Conference on Religion and Peace, an organization led by a UN-accredited global movement dedicated to co-operation among the world's religions for peace, all the while maintaining respect for the religious differences contained within this group.

In January 2002, following the terror attacks of 9/11, Pope John Paul II convened a multifaith service that united 200 religious leaders from all over the globe so that we could have a day of prayer for the world in crisis. During that day-long retreat, these leaders agreed on a joint 10-point pledge that proclaims that religion must never be used again to justify violence on this planet.

These are only a few examples of his efforts for interfaith dialogue. His ground-breaking overtures towards other world religions were unprecedented. Complemented by his efforts to achieve unity among Christian denominations, these efforts have spawned a variety of organizations that promote further dialogue and common action.

On the world stage, Pope John Paul II was a diplomat of peace and a supporter of diversity. Canada continues to build an inclusive society that values differences and fosters a sense of belonging. Pope John Paul II lived by and advocated these same principles that we treasure in Canada.

Pope John Paul II made a lasting impact on our country. During the first of his three official visits, in 1984, he made a 12-day pilgrimage across Canada. He visited eight provinces, and this tour was the longest he made to any single country on the planet.

His second visit to Canada was in 1987. The primary purpose for this visit was to fulfill a promise he made to visit Fort Simpson, a remote community, showing that he cared not only about large historic cities but also about small villages where the common people live.

The pope's third visit to Canada was in 2002, when he attended the 17th World Youth Day festivities in Toronto. World Youth Day assembled more than 350,000 pilgrims from across the globe to Canada. The concluding outdoor mass in Downsview, Ontario, attracted one of the largest gatherings in Canadian history. The crowd numbered more than 800,000 people. The response of the young people was full of enthusiasm, love and respect for the man and the office. This would be the last time that Pope John Paul II attended World Youth Day events.

Throughout the pope's travels, people were very taken by the man himself, for this man exuded warmth and a generosity of spirit and he was genuinely concerned for all people on this planet.

The world's reaction to his death is a strong indication of the esteem in which he was held and how he reached people from all religions and backgrounds.

Upon his death, Pope John Paul II was mourned by people around the world, and it is estimated that two million people made the pilgrimage to Vatican City to pay their respects. From presidents and prime ministers to kings and queens, dignitaries from 138 countries were present at his funeral. This is a true testament to the pope's global impact and reach.

Another testament to his global impact is the presence of many national and municipal public projects, airports, parks, squares, schools, roads and avenues that are all named in his honour. There is even a peninsula in Antarctica that is named after Pope John Paul II for his contribution to world peace and understanding among people.

We are very fortunate that in this country Canadians of all faiths are encouraged to follow the religious practices of their own choosing. We are a country of many faiths. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and many others are free to celebrate their holy days without fear of persecution. Our calendar reflects many of these holidays. Days like Good Friday, Easter Monday and Christmas Day are statutory holidays. But in more recent years here in Canada, other faith holidays like the month of Ramadan, the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and the festival of Diwali in the Sikh and Hindu faiths are now recognized and observed by an ever-expanding number of Canadians.

Declaring Pope John Paul II Day in Canada would recognize a leader who advocated understanding and acceptance of people of all faiths and backgrounds, a man who initiated a global movement of interfaith dialogue, who had a lasting impact on Canada and the rest of the world, and a man whose message mirrors Canada's own experiences with diversity, both cultural and ethnic.

Canada has a history of recognizing outstanding world leaders. Raoul Wallenberg, who was instrumental in ensuring the safety of more than 100,000 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust, was granted a special day of recognition and was also granted honorary citizenship.

Honorary citizenship has also been granted to other world leaders, including Nelson Mandela and Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. In 2007, Aung San Suu Kyi, while still under house arrest, was awarded honorary citizenship for her fight for democracy in Burma. On November 13, 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi was released after 7.5 years of house arrest. Upon her release, her message to her followers was not one of revenge. It was one seeking national reconciliation. She embodies the same values that Canada promotes and, much like John Paul II, she is a world leader who advocates non-violence and equality for all.

By recognizing Pope John Paul II Day, we can encourage Canadians across this great nation to embrace diversity, respect people of other faiths and celebrate what truly unites us as Canadians.

Protection of Children November 4th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, sexual exploitation of children is a serious crime. Our Conservative government is getting tough on those who take advantage of our innocent children.

Today we introduced legislation that proposes mandatory jail sentences for those who commit these deplorable and heinous acts.

Can the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada please inform us on this serious and important new bill?

Immigration October 21st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that our government is delivering on its commitment to crack down on human smugglers and those who seek to abuse Canada's immigration system. We are taking fair, reasonable and tough action to prevent the abuse of Canada's immigration system by human smugglers.

The legislation introduced today will send a clear message: while Canada will open its doors to those who work hard and play by the rules, we will crack down on those who seek to take advantage of our generosity and abuse our fair and welcoming immigration system. We will ensure that law enforcement officers have the tools they need to crack down on human smugglers, help ensure the safety and security of Canadian communities, and deter illegal immigrants from using human smugglers to come to Canada.

The measures introduced today will send a clear message to human smugglers who are planning to come to Canada: do not do it.

Veterans Affairs October 7th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, veterans across Canada are concerned that the Department of Veterans Affairs has mishandled their confidential files. One veteran approached the Privacy Commissioner to investigate how his file was handled. Today, the Privacy Commissioner tabled her report.

Can the Minister of Veterans Affairs please inform the House of the steps that he will take to ensure that the recommendations contained in that report will be implemented, so that our nation's greatest heroes will have their private information properly protected?

Veterans Affairs October 5th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, over the past weeks allegations have surfaced concerning the misuse of veterans' private information.

There are many veterans across Canada who are now concerned that their private files have not been protected by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs please inform the House of what he is doing to ensure that the private information of our veterans will remain confidential?

Firearms Registry September 22nd, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the decision facing MPs on the long gun registry is crystal clear. MPs can either support the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry or vote to scrap it.

The member for Churchill has stated, “A lot of people in northern Manitoba feel the gun registry does not work for us”.

Could the Minister of Public Safety update this House on the long gun registry and why it is important that all members of Parliament, including the member for Churchill, vote with their constituents on this issue?

Veterans Affairs September 20th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government strongly supports our troops. Since we formed government in 2006, we have drastically increased support for our brave young men and women in uniform while they are abroad. We also provide more assistance to help them reintegrate in civilian society when they return home to Canada.

Could the Minister of Veterans Affairs please tell the House what our Conservative government has done to stand up for our young veterans?

Justice June 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals continue to show how out of touch they are with the average Canadian, particularly the Canadian farmer. They continue to advocate for the continuation of the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry and the prison farm system.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety please explain to the Liberals that Canadians expect their programs to be run effectively and efficiently?