House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was officers.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Conservative MP for Okanagan—Coquihalla (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 58% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to my friend, I cannot believe he accepted it, without any complaint, when that scripted diatribe was handed to him. I just cannot believe he accepted it.

The cases that she did not look into were looked into by the Auditor General. The Auditor General has made certain recommendations, which are being followed. We took immediate action to put in place an interim commissioner, who is doing a full review of all of those cases.

The former commissioner is going to be before the standing policy committee this week.

Former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the government sought legal advice in this matter and it has followed that advice. That individual, quite rightly, reports to an all party committee, the same committee that approved her original hiring. The committee has asked for and has received all the details related to this matter.

The former commissioner will be reporting to that committee this week and I would expect that members of Parliament, who have all the information, would pose the questions. That is where this should be taking place.

Former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the individual in question was selected with the approval of all parties in this House. Furthermore, that individual will answer the members' questions at the meeting scheduled for Thursday afternoon. The members have all the information, and I believe they will have some questions to ask.

Former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, in this situation, the government sought and received legal advice, which it followed.

I also understand the person referred to by my colleague will answer to the committee this Thursday. The members on the committee will be able to ask questions, for they have all the information.

Government Communications March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, there has been no change of policy or practice. It is not uncommon at all to see governments use various terms. A quick search of the various Internet sources show at least 109 references used by the Liberals. As a matter of fact, a term was used by the leader of the former government, a term that was endorsed by the clerk of the Privy Council, Mr. Mel Cappe, and also the president of the Privy Council.

Government Communications March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, there has been no change. This is a practice used by many governments. We will continue to use the term “Government of Canada”. It is not uncommon for governments to use this practice.

Former Public Sertor Integrity Commissioner March 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Ouimet herself decided to leave. According to the information I have, she will now attend a committee meeting to answer questions. That will be the appropriate time for asking questions.

Former Public Sertor Integrity Commissioner March 3rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the appointment of that individual was something that was approved of and taken part in by all parties, including the leaders. We have had some reasonable comment from members opposite that they are in charge of that particular file, as they rightly should be.

Also, I would note that the Auditor General thoroughly reviewed all of the cases that should have been reviewed. We have an interim commissioner in place who is doing a very aggressive review of those files right now.

Business of Supply March 3rd, 2011

Madam Speaker, our leader said that if Canadians clearly are showing that they do not want it, then that may be the only thing that is left. I would add, that would have to be demonstrated. Let citizens know what they are giving away. They would potentially be giving away protection from highly-populated areas always out-voting them. By going with a senatorial election act, there would be no constitutional change requirement.

I do agree with my friend, but eventually we will get to the question: Should there be an equal number from every province? We will then get into some good debate, but let us improve the thing before. That would be the perfect system in some people's eyes, but do not let perfection be the enemy of getting something better. Allow it at least to move where we are electing those people.

To look at the formation of this process in the United States, the Americans had the exact same arguments. We can look at other countries that have bicameral institutions, they had the same arguments, and they worked toward improving the system.

So it is not going to be perfect, but it will be an improvement, and we can do it with a senatorial election act without having to go through that constitutional morass that my friend is talking about.

Business of Supply March 3rd, 2011

Madam Speaker, that is a fair question.

I alluded to it initially in my remarks and I will just touch on it again. Being really honest here across the floor, the public chafe at the thought of senators being appointed because they understand that the senators have legislative authority.

Let us be honest, whether it was the Liberals doing the appointing or whether it is the Conservatives doing the appointing, when we are in the opposition we say that we do not like that. Now that the Liberals are there, they are saying that they do not like the appointment process. The people of Canada do not like it.

That is why the Prime Minister has proposed, and we have proposed, this ability. We have encouraged provinces. We have not even been all that prescriptive. We have allowed some room and imagination. We have said, “Please, come up with a way then that you, as provinces, would elect the people you want to see in the Senate”.

Then we have to have a prime minister who will make the commitment to appoint them, as our Prime Minister has. In this way, it would avoid a constitutional battle. It simply makes a provision.

Just using Alberta as a case, there would be a municipal election, the names would get added on, there is some cost to it, of course, and then Albertans would be saying to the prime minister of day, whoever it is, “Here, this is our choice, not your choice, Mr. Prime Minister, here is our democratically-elected choice”.

I think that would go a long way. It is one of a number of steps that would go a long way to bringing some public confidence back into that process.