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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was senate.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia (Manitoba)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Privilege March 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, there are some people who are starting to cry. I am not sure why, but it might be because they believe in Canada and they believe in our democracy. It might be because they cannot believe that a member of the House would compare our country, our democracy, our freedoms, to those of Russia, especially when Russia is violating the sovereignty of another country. It is just outrageous that the member said so during a debate in which the NDP is refusing to accept a member's correction of what was said earlier.

I really hope that the member does the right thing. He does not even have to apologize. He could just stand up and say that Canada's political system is far to superior Russia's system. That is all I would need, but he probably will not do that. If we used NDP logic, we would rise on a point of order and bring forward a motion for contempt of Canada because he thinks Russia's political system is better than Canada's. Everyone can read that in the blues. People will be really disappointed that the member said that. I hope he does not believe it but maybe he does. He will have an opportunity to correct the record.

We could be having a discussion about public policy, things that affect Canadians, but instead the NDP wants us to talk about this.

They want us to go to a committee and spend committee time talking about a non-issue, and that really would be a waste of time. We have already wasted this afternoon on this, thanks to the NDP. To waste the committee's time on top of that not only shows disrespect for this place but also disrespect for the Canadian taxpayer.

What is more NDP than that: no respect for the taxpayer. Nothing costs anything, and we can do and say anything, as long as we are the New Democrats. We did not really mean it, or we did mean it but we did not really say it. We want to nationalize everything and move on. Maybe that was the root of that member's Russian comment; he wants to nationalize everything.

Let us accept the member's apology and move on. He corrected the record. Let us get to business. That is what Canadian taxpayers, Canadian citizens, have sent us here to Ottawa to do. It is not to play these juvenile games we see across the floor.

Privilege March 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, is that not grand? The member gets up, has an opportunity to apologize or to correct the record, and he does not do it. Now it seems that he actually believes what he said. It was not a mistake; he actually believes that Canada's political system is just like Russia's system. The member had an opportunity to correct the record but he did not take it. That is the NDP's hypocrisy on this issue.

It is just ridiculous that we are being forced to spend time talking about this when there are so many more important issues to be discussed. I would like to thank the member for his interruption because it illustrates the ridiculousness of this situation. The member made a statement. Through his body language, I think he may be regretting what he said but I do not know. If I played the NDP game that those members are playing with us today, I would pursue that member relentlessly until he started to cry to mommy. I am not like that.

Privilege March 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my point is that there are more important issues to discuss.

If the translation is correct, the member just compared our democracy to the totalitarian regime in Russia. The member should apologize. What he said is a condemnation of everything we hold dear. How could the member stand up in this chamber and compare our system of government to that of the totalitarian regime of Mr. Putin? It is a disgrace. That is the very country that is invading other countries and that has abused the human rights of individuals.

The fact is that the member completely dismisses our democracy and the men and women who fought and died for our nation to protect the rights in this place. Is it not ironic that, on this trivial point of order, the member gets up and denigrates this nation? I hope the member will apologize for that when he has the opportunity. When he apologizes, we will move on, as we should.

This place has more important things to talk about, like the economy and public security. Today, we were going to talk about food safety, but now we cannot, because the opposition has decided to throw stones. If the opposition really cared about this institution, about our democracy, and about our ability to present and debate ideas, it would focus on legislation or supply day motions that make our democracy great.

Of course, the only comments we have heard so far from the opposition during the time I have been speaking are that we are just like Russia. How arrogant. How naive. How disappointing.

It does a discredit to all those in Russia who have their human rights violated. I am talking about everyone from people in visible minorities to individuals in the gay, lesbian, and transsexual community who fear for their rights in Russia. The member says that Canada is just like that. It is just outrageous.

The member should be ashamed and he should apologize as soon as the opportunity arises. When he apologizes or corrects the record—

Privilege March 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am going in a different direction. What I was going to point regarding the quite irrelevant comments made by a member of the House is that in the big picture, what else could this Parliament be doing? We could try to represent the people who sent us to Ottawa by passing laws or debating issues that matter to Canadians. There are many people outside of this room or, I will bet, even half the people in this place, who are not paying attention to what is happening here because the debate is insignificant. It is not worthy of this chamber because it is not important enough.

A member made a statement and realized it was not correct. He corrected the record, and we should move on. However, the opposition wants this to go to committee and use valuable committee time to debate this correction. If we were to do this every time, we would have committees only examining what other members of Parliament say. This is a slippery slope that we are on. We have to accept one another's apologies when we misspeak. Again, Mr. Speaker, you and I do not do that, but when others do, it is a parliamentary custom.

We have the fair elections act, which I sometimes call the awesome elections act, which needs to be dealt with. However, rather than dealing with that, members of the opposition would like to debate an apology from a member on a relatively minor issue. There are other things going on in the world, like the economy. Canadians would like us to focus on the things that matter to them and their families, such as their security and the sovereignty of our nation. Thank goodness we live in Canada. As we all know, there are some nations that are presently having their sovereignty violated, and there are some nations violating the sovereignty of other nations.

We in the House of Commons have all agreed that what Russia has been doing in Ukraine is wrong and very serious. What does the opposition want to talk about? It wants to talk about whether someone corrected the record within a certain period of time. That is what opposition members want to talk about. They should look outside or watch cable news. They will see—

Privilege March 3rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the discussion this afternoon. I usually do not get involved in these types of proceedings. In fact, this is the first time in 10 years that I have presented my point of view on this type of issue, which comes up from time to time. This is my observation.

I hope the people at home watching this will see it for what it is. Somebody made a statement that was not correct. That person corrected the statement, and we move on. That is how this place works. Many people, except for maybe you, Mr. Speaker, and myself, have misspoken during their time here and have regretted what they have said. In that case, members can stand and say they are sorry or stand and just correct the record, and we move on like adults.

However, what we have witnessed here today was a lot of finger-pointing and exaggeration. If people live in glass houses, they should not throw stones. If we really wanted to nitpick what the opposition members have said over the years or over the last hour, we could find all sorts of flaws.

We could do that. We could go to committee and go through all this. We have an important—

The Budget February 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like the member to expand on the infrastructure program as well as on how our home province of Manitoba benefits from transfers from Ottawa and why a Conservative government is great for the entire country.

The Budget February 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today we are debating the budget. Canada Post is an arm's length crown corporation. The budget is quite separate from Canada Post. I wonder if the member could keep his comments to the debate at hand, which is the budget.

The Budget February 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this budget deals with virtually all the challenges, one way or another, that we face as Canadians. There is money for students, there is a job creation program, and there is money for infrastructure; and it is the infrastructure that I would like to talk about.

The day after the budget was announced, more details came out about the building Canada fund and the fact that it was the largest sum of money invested in Canadian infrastructure in Canadian history. In this fund, there are different components. Contrary to what this member and other members have implied, the municipalities were thrilled with this budget, in particular the gas tax transfer, which is going straight from Ottawa to the municipalities. It is permanent and indexed. Why is the member against such as a great program?

The Budget February 26th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member is correct when she points out that the Liberals cut $25 billion in transfers in the 1990s and that the cuts caused the provinces a great deal of difficulty in providing the services that fell within their jurisdiction. However, the member is equally making a mistake by not acknowledging the fact that under the new Conservative government, transfers to the provinces are at record highs. In fact, we will balance the budget in a way that does not affect those transfer payments in a very difficult economic environment. We are also investing huge, history-making sums in infrastructure.

Why is the member against the infrastructure investments when everyone else is in favour of them?

The Budget February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, to the leader of the Green Party, this is a budget, and as we go through the year, there are supplementary estimates (A), (B), and (C), which also allow us to reconcile some of the differences the member was referring to.

This budget I think is a very positive budget.

There has been a lot of talk today about infrastructure. We have the largest infrastructure program in Canadian history, with tens of billions of dollars. We consulted the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, its sister and brother organizations, and all the provincial associations. What they asked for was a 10-year term, and that is exactly what they got. They asked for a permanent transfer of gas tax money. That is what they got. They asked that it be indexed. The gas tax is indexed and goes directly to the municipalities. This government listens to what Canadians have to say.

Since taking office, the Canadian tax burden per family has decreased by $3,400.

In my home province of Manitoba, transfers are at a record high of $3.4 billion. With a $9 billion provincial budget, that works out to about 40% of the provincial budget being reliant on federal transfers. I do not think that is great, because I would much rather see Manitoba in a position to contribute to the transfer formula, but right now it is in a situation of needing to accept the transfers. That is why public policy is important.

The infrastructure program included billions of dollars for projects of regional significance, that is, projects that cross provincial boundaries. The infrastructure program, like John A. Macdonald's railway, will help bring our country together.

I have but a moment to finish my remarks, so let me just say that it was reported today that at no time in Canadian history has the Canadian family unit been more wealthy. The value has increased by 44% in the last seven or eight years. For the first time in our history, the average Canadian family is worth more than the average American family in dollar terms.

We live in the best country in the world at the best time in human history. May God keep our land glorious and free.