House of Commons photo

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

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister of Labour, who is an orthopedic surgeon, and obviously a highly educated individual, what the budget offers to help improve skills in the labour force at the post-secondary university or college level.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the building Canada plan will be active in the spring of 2014. That has always been the plan for the plan. Certainly that is what the stakeholders expect.

In regard to the statistics the member rhymed off, we are the only G7 country growing at the rate that we are. We are the only G7 country that has a GDP-debt ratio that can be dealt with. We are the only country in the world, maybe with Australia, that has weathered the economic storm and come out of the great post-war depression stronger than when we went in.

Over a million jobs have been created. The new free trade agreement with Europe will bring in hundreds of thousands of jobs. The prosperity will be wonderful.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry is a storeyed regiment. It is celebrating its 100th anniversary next year. Manitoba is proud to have it with us.

I believe it left the Kapyong Barracks in Winnipeg under the Liberal regime. Therefore, perhaps the member has a better understanding on how to reduce the armed forces.

The Conservative government is improving the armed forces so it does the job that we have asked it to do. We are investing in defence, in our sovereignty and in our freedom.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the new building Canada plan offers more money for infrastructure across the board. There will be an opportunity to use the gas tax fund in the way each municipality wishes. It is a direct transfer. The P3 Canada fund will have a threshold, but the red tape associated with it has also been looked at and any hiccups have been fixed.

The big picture is that there is a lot more money for infrastructure than there ever has been from the federal government in Canadian history.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak today on our government's actions vis-à-vis the budget. I will focus my comments on my home province of Manitoba as it is obviously a very broad topic. I would like Manitobans to know what is involved in the budget as far as their concerns.

First, Manitobans have to realize that we receive a significant amount of support from the federal government. In fact, transfers have increased to $3.4 billion in 2013-14. That is a huge sum of money and there has been an increase of about $62 billion in this last year, almost a 50% increase in transfers since the last Liberal government, across Canada. We are talking about major investments.

When it comes to Manitoba, of the $3.4 billion, $1.8 billion is through equalization, which is an increase of $191 million or almost 12% since 2005-06, $1.1 billion through the Canada health transfer, an increase of $336 million, or a 43% increase since the last Liberal government, and $443 million through the Canada social transfer. That is an increase of $109 million or almost 33% since the last Liberal government. Manitoba benefits greatly in general from the federal government.

Now I will talk about some other specific great initiatives in the budget that will help Manitobans.

The Canada jobs grant will be a way of transforming skills training by providing up to $15,000 per person in Manitoba with the combined support of the federal and provincial governments and the employer. It will bring the student, the employer, the funding and the job together. Therefore, up to 130,000 Canadians will benefit and many will benefit in Manitoba.

We are also be creating opportunities for apprenticeships, supporting the use of apprentices in federal construction and maintenance contracts in Manitoba, such as investments in affordable housing and under the building Canada plan, which I will speak about in a few minutes.

We will encourage students to study in high-demand fields, including the skilled trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The fact is that we will also invest $70 million to support an additional 5,000 paid internships for recent post-secondary graduates in Manitoba and across Canada.

We will extend support for Pathways to Education Canada to assist students from low-income communities in Manitoba and across Canada from dropping out of high school.

First nation youth is a priority for our government and is a great resource in the province of Manitoba. We will be providing $241 million to help first nation youth in Manitoba and across Canada to access skills and training they need to participate in large economic projects like those in the resource sector near their communities.

We also provide $10 million to grants, scholarships and bursaries to inspire and help first nation and Inuit students in Manitoba and across Canada.

This budget brings forward a landmark in infrastructure investments.

The new building Canada plan will invest $70 billion over 10 years. I was quite happy to be involved in the development of this plan with the former minister of transport before the last cabinet shuffle. We were able to consult stakeholders, meet with individuals, meet with municipalities, provinces, territories and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and we listened. They asked for stable, reliable funding for infrastructure. That is what they received.

We have created a new building Canada fund, which is, as I mentioned, $70 billion over 10 years. It is comprised of three main parts.

First, will be the community improvement fund of $32.2 billion over 10 years, which will include the federal gas tax fund, which is indexed, as well as the incremental GST rebate, to help municipalities in Manitoba and across Canada so they have stable, predictable funding to support community infrastructure projects.

Then we have the building Canada fund, which announces $14 billion over 10 years to support major new economic infrastructure projects in Manitoba and across Canada that have national or regional significance.

Finally, we have announced the renewal of the P3 Canada fund, which will continue to find innovative ways to build infrastructure projects faster through private-public partnerships in Manitoba and across Canada. It will enable us to have a vehicle to leverage private sector moneys for the public good.

I wish I had more time because there are so many great initiatives in this budget.

We will be supporting the commercialization of research by small and medium-size enterprises. This will be an investment of $20 million in Manitoba and across Canada to access research and business development services. There are $37 million for post-secondary education in Manitoba and across Canada and $325 million for clean energy projects. We are supporting aerospace and defence projects, investing almost a billion dollars in the strategic aerospace and defence initiative. In my riding those beneficiaries could include Bristol Aerospace, Magellan, StandardAero and Boeing. We have the third largest aerospace industry in the country.

I wish I had more time because this is a good budget and I cannot name all of the great initiatives. However, it is good for Canada and good for Manitoba.

God keep our land glorious and free.

Business of Supply October 22nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the report the member refers to, which came out of Manitoba, actually has a very interesting section on how to elect senators using senatorial districts based on federal boundaries, for those policy wonks who might be watching.

This is the first day back we have had as a Parliament to discuss issues that are important to Canadians. If we look at what happened over the summer, we saw the financial crisis in the States. We saw the United States shut down. We had issues around the border. We saw war in Syria. We saw many things that are of profound importance to Canadians. Yet the opposition picks the Senate. How Ottawa-centric do they have to be?

Will the member agree that this is not a Canadian priority and that the economy is the number one priority for Canadians?

Business of Supply October 22nd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member's comments with interest.

The NDP, by advocating abolition, is advocating for the status quo, no changes, and the reason is that, right now with the Constitution as it is, it is too difficult to abolish the Senate.

Are P.E.I. or Atlantic Canada going to give up their seats?

A more practical solution is one that the government introduced when I was minister of state for democratic reform a few years ago, and that was non-renewable term limits. Would the NDP support an initiative like non-renewable term limits of, say, eight years?

First Nations Elections Act June 17th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am amazed that the NDP members seem to oppose for the sake of opposing.

There is a recognition that there are positive items in this bill. It is an opt-in situation. However, the NDP members oppose it. They oppose matrimonial rights, and if they had their druthers, they would deny rights to aboriginal women that every other woman in the country has. They always fall on the issue of process.

However, is not right right? Sometimes are things not just self-evident and we can move forward, such as having equal rights among all Canadians?

First Nations Elections Act June 17th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I have noticed a pattern with the official opposition. That is that those members seem to oppose all the reforms we are trying to bring forward, from what we are talking about today to matrimonial rights for first nations women and children.

It just seems that the NDP is opposing for the sake of opposing and is not being very helpful in working with the government to come up with solutions. Perhaps the member can explain how his party's members could possibly have voted against the matrimonial rights bill, and it seems as if they are going to vote against this one too.

First Nations Elections Act June 14th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Churchill for her comments. Churchill is certainly a beautiful part of the world. I have had good fortune to work in the mining industry in that riding along with many first nation individuals.

I am disappointed, though, in the tone of the remarks and the accusations made that are not based in fact. In fact, this government is comprised of many people of aboriginal background. They are helping in cabinet and in committees, all voting in favour of the improvement we are talking about today. There is a perception and reality that many first nations, not all but many, are male-dominated and that there is a problem with the election system. We are trying to at least improve that.

If we look at our bill on matrimonial rights to give moms and children the same rights as every other Canadian, the NDP voted against it and used the same kind of rhetoric on that bill. The NDP is ideologically opposed to any kind of change. It is for the status quo. We are trying to empower first nations.