House of Commons photo

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was pilots.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Kelowna—Lake Country (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House June 19th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 17th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence, entitled “Improving Diversity and Inclusion in the Canadian Armed Forces”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response.

It was a privilege and a pleasure to serve as the committee chair in the 42nd Parliament. I would like to thank the members, the clerk, and the analysts for their great work. This is another unanimous report.

Committees of the House May 27th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 16th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence, entitled “Canada's Role in International Peace Operations and Conflict Resolution”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Aerospace Industry April 1st, 2019

Madam Speaker, the Canadian aerospace industry is an important economic driver in every region of the country.

British Columbia, for example, has the third-largest aerospace footprint, with over 200 companies directly or indirectly employing nearly 30,000 workers. In my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country, both KF Aerospace and Carson Air continue to have a growing need for experienced aircraft maintenance engineers and technicians.

In fact, Canada-wide, nearly 5,300 new aircraft technicians will be needed by 2025. As with the current pilot shortage, it is important that public and private sectors work together to engage the next generation of aircraft maintainers.

Aviation connects Canada. The health and well-being of this sector is of critical importance to our economy and deserves our utmost attention.

Post-Secondary Education January 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, Canada has the most highly educated workforce among OECD countries. Last week, in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country, I was pleased to announce nearly $16 million in infrastructure funding for the University of British Columbia-Okanagan.

Can the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development please tell the House how the government is supporting our post-secondary institutions in producing world-class students?

Committees of the House December 12th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 14th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence, entitled “Responding to Russian Aggression Against Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in the Black Sea Region”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109 the committee requests that the Government of Canada table a comprehensive response to this unanimous report.

Committees of the House December 3rd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on National Defence in relation to Bill C-77, an act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities November 21st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the aviation sector serves a variety of crucial roles in Canada and a requisite number of trained and experienced pilots will be required to facilitate a healthy industry.

As I mentioned in my previous speech on my Motion No. 177, Canada is facing a severe pilot shortage and it has lost the ability to generate the pilots it needs today or that it will require tomorrow.

ln fact, Canada will need 7,000 to 10,000 new pilots by 2025, resulting in a projected shortage of at least 3,000 pilots, given the current rate of production. To this point, Canadian flight schools produce about 1,200 commercial pilots each year. Of these, only about 500 join the Canadian aviation industry each year due to international student pilot graduates returning home or international entities that purchase Canadian flight schools and subsequently prioritize their home markets.

Some of the biggest challenges to pilot production in Canada are the high cost of training for new commercial pilots, the low starting salaries and an industry that has evolved a non-linear career path. Those who are fortunate enough to navigate the existing barriers to becoming a pilot are almost always focused on the quickest path to a left seat at a flag carrier. The pilot shortage we face has accelerated that process, leaving the interim paths in considerable chaos.

Traditionally, pilots would spend years building flight time and experience as either a primary flight instructor, a bush pilot or as a military pilot in Canada's Royal Canadian Air Force. All three of these paths service an important purpose in our aviation ecosystem. When the industry faces a pilot shortage, they are usually the first sectors to suffer.

Pilot shortages in these sectors decrease our ability to train the next generation of pilots, reduce or remove air service to rural and remote communities and degrade our country's ability to generate air power with our Canadian Armed Forces. As the pilot shortage percolates up, both scheduled and non-scheduled commercial air service will be negatively affected, disrupting the travelling public, a position that we have already started to see occur.

A further strain that will most certainly exasperate the Canadian pilot shortage is a global one. lt is projected that the international transport industry will double the number of aircraft and the amount of passenger traffic by 2036. This will require 620,000 new pilots to fly large commercial aircraft internationally. Eighty percent of these pilots have yet to be trained and Canadian-trained pilots are an attractive offer to many overseas flight operations.

Motion No. 177 only highlights one aspect of the pilot shortage in Canada. Flight schools and pilot training are a critical component of the pilot generation machine. However, it is certainly not the only issue Canadian aviation is facing from a broader perspective.

The industry also has a growing need for experienced aircraft maintenance engineers. lt is projected the industry will need a minimum of 5,300 new aircraft mechanics by 2025 to keep up with growth and retirements. Occupations with the largest hiring needs in the industry include pilots, mechanics, avionics technicians, flight attendants, assemblers, air traffic controllers, managers, machinists and engineers.

While discussing the Canadian pilot shortage, it would be remiss of me not to mention the importance of our airports. They too play a critical roll, and I encourage the Government of Canada to continue to work with organizations like the Canadian Airports Council to ensure our airports are properly resourced.

Canada has the third-largest aerospace sector in the world, generating nearly $30 billion in annual revenue and supporting 211,000 direct and indirect jobs. Aviation connects Canada and Canadians in ways no other form of transportation does or can. Our country's economic prosperity will be highly influenced by the health and well-being of the Canadian aviation sector.

lt is my hope to receive the support of the House on my Motion No. 177, which would task to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to determine the most effective way to support our Canadian flight schools and pilot production in Canada.

As was mentioned earlier, there was a motion from the NDP. When I last spoke about this, I was asked to consider adding the study of the issue of noise pollution to my motion. I subsequently found out that the committee was already doing it, so although I was agreeable to it at the beginning, I will not be supporting it moving forward.

Committees of the House November 21st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 12th report from the Standing Committee on National Defence in relation to supplementary estimates (A), 2018-19.

Joe lafrancesco November 8th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I rise to acknowledge the passing of Joe lafrancesco from Kelowna, British Columbia.

A steadfast volunteer, Joe was well known for his dedicated service to our community. Joe gave back through many of the clubs he belonged to and was actively involved over the years in Rotary, the Knights of Columbus, the Lions Club and was president of the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club. Joe also served as a member of Crime Stoppers, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Kelowna Association and the Uptown Rutland Business Association.

To the end, Joe always put community before himself. Even in the final weeks, Joe and his wife Bianca made significant financial donations to both JoeAnna's House and the cancer care fund at the Kelowna General Hospital.

Big Joe added big value to our community, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. He will be missed.

Housing October 17th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country and across Canada, homelessness presents a real and constant challenge. Our government has made fighting poverty and homelessness a priority, as we have seen in the first-ever poverty reduction strategy, the first-ever national housing strategy and reaching home, the redesigned homelessness partnering strategy.

Could the Prime Minister please tell this House more about what the government is doing to help fight homelessness in this country?