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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was public.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Independent MP for Parry Sound—Muskoka (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Justice October 2nd, 2018

Mr. Speaker, upon hearing the outrage of Canadians, Conservatives have introduced a motion today calling on the Liberal government to put eight year old Tori Stafford's killer, Terri-Lynne McClintic, back behind bars. Yesterday, the Ontario legislature, including Liberal and NDP MPPs, passed a motion calling on the Prime Minister to put McClintic back where she deserves to be. Will the public safety minister and the Prime Minister also hear the calls of outraged Canadians, support our motion and reverse this disgraceful transfer?

Business of Supply October 2nd, 2018

Madam Speaker, the hon. member has raised a good point. It is almost like asking why the sky is blue. Why do Liberal members continue on a course of conduct that totally defies common sense and the sense of justice that most Canadians feel?

We saw this in the case of the cop killer who was given veterans benefits until that was reviewed. I saw it in the justice committee when we were reviewing Bill C-75, the omnibus justice bill. Over 136 offences are going to have their sentences watered down because of a Liberal bill.

As sad and as bad as it is about Terri-Lynne McClintic, this is also about a course of conduct by the current Liberal government to water down and ignore the sense of justice Canadians feel. They have a tin ear when it comes to that sense of justice Canadians have. This is yet another example of that.

Business of Supply October 2nd, 2018

Madam Speaker, the situation was clear. McClintic was still behind bars. She was still in a cell, and she was still behind razor wire.

By the way, the victim's family was not informed of the transfer and had to find out about it later. That in itself is a violation of the Victims Bill of Rights.

A lot is wrong with this transfer to the healing lodge. That is the question before the House. That is the issue before the Canadian public. We make no apologies for raising this issue, because people are outraged by her present circumstances as a child murderer in a healing lodge.

Business of Supply October 2nd, 2018

Madam Speaker, what I can say is that we were elected to represent Canadians. We are here to make very important decisions for all Canadians.

We are here to be elected representatives to make the right decisions for Canadians. I make no apologies for that, and the hon. members on the other side should make no apologies for that.

Business of Supply October 2nd, 2018

Madam Speaker, I thank you for the admonishment. I think it is very important that we realize that this is a very emotional debate. However, as the seconder to the Conservative Party motion, I would reiterate how we hope that the Liberal government will hear the outrage that has been expressed across the country over the transfer of Terri-Lynne McClintic, the killer of eight-year-old Tori Stafford, to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan.

It is incomprehensible to me that the Liberals would merely order a review in response to this travesty of justice. The evidence is pretty clear. McClintic is not eligible for parole until 2031. Since her incarceration, she has not been a model inmate, being convicted of beating up a fellow prisoner and then regretting that she had not caused more severe injuries. That is not exactly a model prisoner, so why is she being given a cushy transfer to a healing lodge with no fence?

Instead of ducking responsibility, this should have been a simple matter of doing what is right. Instead, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Safety are hiding behind a bureaucratic memo hastily put together by justice officials. They are failing in their duty to Canadians, who are outraged by this transfer. I put it to members that they need to step up and reverse this transfer immediately.

We know that the Prime Minister has fallen to virtue signalling on many issues, but when it comes to standing up for true justice here at home, when it comes to standing up for victims of crime, he chooses instead to mince words or stay silent, and indeed, his public safety minister is parroting the same unacceptable approach.

The decision to conduct a review of this situation makes no sense, considering the authority of the minister's office and the office of the Prime Minister and the authority they can wield when there is the will to wield it. Clearly, what is required is a firm and immediate directive from the minister to Corrections Canada to put McClintic back behind bars where she belongs.

When a minister of the Crown issues a directive to his or her department, and I was there myself and remember well what happens, the wheels are set in motion. Why would the Minister of Public Safety waste time with this review, when there is a clear injustice? He could have clearly called to reverse the transfer. He could have done the right thing, but obviously, the will is absent.

I wonder if the decision not to immediately reverse the McClintic transfer was his alone. I want to know if the Prime Minister's Office weighed in on this. Who is behind this outrageous order not to transfer the inmate? Canadians deserve to know.

I would like to put before the chamber the basic facts of the minister's powers. Under subsection 6(1) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the minister has the authority to direct the commissioner of corrections in all matters. This would include issuing a directive that a broad class of offenders, such as those convicted of the murder of a child, are not eligible for transfer to a minimum security facility, such as this healing lodge. Under section 96 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the cabinet could pass regulations setting out eligibility for minimum security facilities and healing lodges. This could include prohibiting those convicted of murder involving a child.

Even in the face of this evidence, the Liberals claim that they cannot reverse the transfer. However, previous public safety ministers have reversed decisions through directives to Corrections Canada.

When I served as a member of the provincial parliament in the Ontario legislature, the current Liberal agriculture minister, who was then the solicitor general, stopped the transfer of a cop killer after public outrage. That is the precedent that was set in 2000. I was a member of the Ontario legislature. We passed a unanimous resolution very similar to the unanimous resolution the Ontario legislature passed yesterday in the case of McClintic. Back then, when that cop killer was going to be moved to Club Fed, as it was called then, the outrage in Ontario was just the same. A resolution of the Ontario legislature was passed unanimously. The PCs, the NDP, and the Liberals all passed it, and lo and behold, the agriculture minister, who was the solicitor general at the time, found a way to stop the transfer to Club Fed.

In another example, former minister Toews ended prison pizza parties. Former minister Day mandated that first degree murderers had to spend a specified time behind bars in maximum security prisons. Those were both directives taken during the Harper years.

There is clearly a precedent for the current public safety minister's intervention in the McClintic case. However, last Tuesday night, in an interview with CTV, the minister defended his review of the transfer as “the best way to...rectify [McClintic's] bad practices in the past”. Bad practices in the past? Is that how he characterizes this? It is clearly devoid of humanity and reasoning.

As I am sure many in this House will admit, we have employed bad practices from time to time over the course of our lives. Perhaps even the Minister of Public Safety himself would admit to as much, but certainly, luring an eight-year-old Tori while she was walking home from school, then standing as a lookout while she was violated and then killing her with a hammer and dumping her body is not what the vast majority of Canadians define as bad practices. I make no apologies for pointing this fact out.

The Conservative Party was criticized for describing some of the graphic details of young Tori's murder in the House of Commons last week. In fact, for some media, that seemed to be the bigger story than the outrageous transfer itself. However, it is obvious from the Liberals' inaction that they needed to be reminded of the horrific nature of the crimes committed by McClintic.

Governing this great country of Canada is not always paved with sunny ways. There are times when hard truths need to be confronted and addressed, and this Liberal government remains unwilling or incapable of making hard decisions when the inevitable clouds roll in. I hope the horrific nature of this crime and the grave injustice of this transfer will lead the Liberal government to change course in this instance.

I think I speak for many when I say that we ask the Liberals to stand up and do the right thing, and then perhaps the protest being organized for November 2, just outside this chamber, over the transfer can be avoided. If not, I plan to attend that protest. I will continue to call out this transfer, and I will continue to denounce the Liberal government for its failure to act.

Justice October 1st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the killer was behind bars. Now the killer is enjoying life in a healing lodge after being convicted of the first degree murder of Tori. It is very clear and very simple actually. The government can give a policy direction, and the policy direction can include Terri-Lynne McClintic as the killer of Tori Stafford. When will the minister immediately give that direction in response to this outrageous transfer and reverse it for the people of Canada and the family of Tori Stafford?

Justice October 1st, 2018

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Liberal government has the political, legal and moral authority to reverse the transfer of child killer Terri-Lynne McClintic to a healing lodge. The public safety minister knows the bureaucrats got it wrong, and it is his job to fix their mistakes. When will the minister, and the Prime Minister incidentally, do the right thing and put Tori Stafford's killer back behind bars?

Justice September 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the facility does not even have a fence, but it does have cooking classes.

The fact of the matter is that the Minister of Public Safety characterized the killer's conduct as “bad practices”.

When is the Prime Minister going to do the right thing, admonish his minister, do the right thing for people who care about justice in our society and make sure that the killer is put right back behind bars?

Justice September 26th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I would like to state for the record that the only political games being played in this House today are the word games being conducted by the Prime Minister of Canada on this very important issue. Terri-Lynne McClintic helped lure Tori, hit Tori three times in the head with a claw hammer; she was a look-out while Tori was raped and then helped place Tori's body in a garbage bag. The Prime Minister knows full well that he has the power and authority to change this case in an instant. Why will he not use his power and authority right now to do the right thing for Tori's family and the right thing for society?

Fisheries Act June 12th, 2018

Madam Speaker, indeed, the member for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek is quite correct, and I want to correct the record, although I think Shakespeare did say something about hanging lawyers. They were all on the same track, but maybe one was specific to the profession and one was about the law more generally.

Indeed, although the hon. member suggests that the example of John Crosbie makes his point, it actually makes my point. On large issues, when the fate of a fishery is the gravamen of the issue, then of course the federal government has the right and reason to intervene. However, the problem with this legislation is that it goes far beyond that to every ditch and puddle in the great nation of Canada. That is our problem. Our problem is not with protecting the cod fishery when it is facing an existential threat. The problem is the overreach of this legislation.