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Conservative MP for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 51.30% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Public Safety January 28th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, my constituents, and indeed all Canadians, are concerned about the short sentences received by some individuals convicted of heinous crimes. When terrorists and murderers are handed a life sentence, they should not be back walking among law-abiding Canadians a few short years later.
Canadians know that change is needed and are shocked to hear the Liberal member for Malpeque advocating for the early release of dangerous criminals and sticking with the status quo.
Could the Minister of Public Safety please tell the House what our Conservative government's position is on this issue?
Red Tape Reduction Act January 26th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate the speech from my colleague from Niagara West—Glanbrook. In fact, one of the things about this chamber that is regretful is that often we do not hear about the actual resumés, the curriculum vitae, of individual members, which sometimes are very robust. This particular member has one of those.
Rather than talk about the program at the level he was speaking of in regard to government, municipalities, and provinces, I wonder if he would share personally, because he was a very successful small-business owner prior to being elected, what it is like for an entrepreneur who has narrow margins, who is trying to find the right people to work for him to be effective, to deal with municipal, provincial, and federal regulations. How tough is it when there is an extra layer of burden on an entrepreneur? What does it mean to an entrepreneur who may or may not be able to balance his or her books at the end of the month, end of the quarter, and end of the year?
Petitions December 12th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in my hands from dozens of Canadians, who ask the government to increase, with the greatest possible urgency and sacrifice, Canadian efforts to help the Yazidi people, as well as Kurds, Chaldo-Assyrians, Mandaeans, Baha’i, Shabak, Turkmen, and other religious minorities under attack by ISIS.
International Trade December 12th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, as 2014 draws to a close, Canadians will be able to enjoy their holidays all the more, knowing that their government is focused on their priorities: economic opportunities and creating jobs. Our government's global markets action plan is a pro-job, pro-export plan that is delivering results.
Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade please inform the House why this was such a historic year for job-creating trade and investment in Canada?
Points of Order December 11th, 2014
I do not think this is a debate. I think it goes along with what is appropriate parliamentary language. If you will check the video, Mr. Speaker, you will see that is in fact the case.
Points of Order December 11th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, although I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and happy new year, my point of order is on a much more serious note.
Although my colleagues across the way from the NDP like to wrap themselves in the cloak of moral superiority, as far as the level of debate here today, they took it to quite an all-time low in personally attacking the Minister of Veterans Affairs. I am talking specifically about the comments from the Leader of the Opposition, who said, “for the first time in your life, do something right”.
The Minister of Veterans Affairs is a multiply decorated police chief from the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force and the Ontario Provincial Police. I do
Takeover of Stelco December 4th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, in response to the motion from my colleague regarding the acquisition of Stelco by U.S. Steel in 2007 under the Investment Canada Act, I rise today to make a couple of points.
The current set of challenges that U.S. Steel faces are not unique within the North American steel industry, nor a result of government policy. In fact, competitive pressures have been changing the types of markets that the Canadian steel industry serves and the types of specialized products it makes for decades now.
My second point is the importance of foreign investment and strategic investments such as those our government has made under the economic action plan to Canada's continued prosperity, the kind of growth that we continue to see in my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario.
This motion implies that U.S. Steel's current situation is indicative of a flawed foreign investment policy. I profoundly disagree.
Before I get into some more facts, on this side of the House, we are very concerned about anyone who does not have employment or is concerned about their employment or their future. That is the heart throb of every kind of initiative that we have taken to try to ensure we create jobs, growth and prosperity.
It was our government that took U.S. Steel to court in 2011 to ensure it fulfilled its commitments under the Investment Canada Act. It is the Minister of International Trade and our government that has been charging hard against the protectionist buy American legislation we are seeing south of the border, which has impacted the Canadian steel industry, as well as many other sectors of the Canadian economy.
This government is engaging the Obama administration on all levels because we know, and we always point out to the Americans, that these buy American policies are short-sighted and harm the economic interests of both countries. I should add that the Canadian Steel Producers Association has acknowledged the Minister of International Trade and his work on this issue.
For the purposes of debate on this motion, I should also note that in October, members of Local 1005 of the United Steelworkers in Hamilton voted 86% to accept a new 30-month contract from U.S. Steel. Both the union president and the U.S. Steel president cited stability as the key reason for the favourable vote and long-term contract. This stability is what the company and its workers need as they restructure in the face of serious competitive pressures with which the entire steel industry is dealing, so it can continue to do business in Hamilton and safeguard those good jobs
It is also important to the context of debate on this motion to talk about the renaissance that is currently taking place in Hamilton, at least before we get into the nuances of trade and foreign investment policy.
The greater Hamilton area has transformed itself in the past few years. It is now a much sought after place to live, work and raise a family.
I have known for many years that Hamilton is the place to be, and my colleagues opposite know that is the case as well. Now the secret is out. The Hamilton economy is on a roll. New jobs are being added to the Hamilton market every month. People are moving from Toronto to Hamilton. There is an unprecedented amount of construction taking place, including much of it in the hon. member's riding of Hamilton Centre.
Notwithstanding the global pressures that the steel industry faces, there is no reason to be down on Hamilton. Here are some facts.
Hamilton has the busiest Canadian port on the Great Lakes and it is growing. The Hamilton Port Authority has an aggressive strategy to diversify the cargo in and out of this port. In fact, the port is a driver of almost $6 billion of economic activity and 38,000 jobs for the Hamilton area. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.6% in October, a full percentage point lower than the national average. The value of building permits in Hamilton has topped $1 billion more than once in the past few years. Business magazines have pointed to Hamilton as a great place to invest.
To sum it up, the economist with the United Steelworkers Union was quoted in the Hamilton Spectator on October 11 saying, “Overall the numbers are pretty good for Hamilton”.
Why is this? Why the strong employment picture, busy and growing port and commercial investment that is taking place in Hamilton? Because this government is getting the economic fundamentals right, including an economically sound trade and investment policy. The fact is that trade and investment, both in and out of Canada, provide the foundation for Canada's continued economic growth, wealth and job creation.
Yes, there are significant competitive pressures weighing against some of our industries, but I have every confidence in Canada and Canadians to rise to the challenge to compete with the best in the world. That is why we believe in free trade, and it has benefited our country and economy greatly.
Investors have recognized that Canada is open for business under this government and have been attracted to the opportunities provided by a strong, dynamic Canadian economy.
We have created a transparent, stable, and predictable economic climate that benefits Canadian business, foreign investment, and frankly, Canadian workers.
In 2013, Canada leapt from sixth to second place in Bloomberg's ranking of the most attractive destinations for business, and Canada currently holds one of the strongest job creation records in the G7.
Our government is committed to creating the market conditions that will continue to attract international capital, technology, and innovative ways of doing business.
The positive benefits of foreign investment are well recognized.
First and foremost, foreign investment creates high-paying jobs for Canadians that contribute to our overall economic productivity.
Second, foreign investment provides new capital, which Canadian firms need to fuel growth and make the investments needed to thrive in an increasingly competitive global economy. This includes introducing new technologies and innovative business practices to Canadian enterprises, which as a result, can prove crucial to the expansion and development of important sectors of the Canadian economy, including our domestic manufacturing base.
Third, foreign investment also provides Canadian businesses with valuable access to new markets.
In order to reap the benefits, Canada must maintain the economic conditions necessary to attract investment, in the first place, and foster a welcoming environment for such investments to thrive.
In a global marketplace with strong competition for foreign investment, it is crucial that Canada provide an economic climate in which Canadian and international companies can succeed and thrive. Our government has worked hard to create the necessary conditions for Canadian businesses and workers to succeed. We have kept taxes low for Canadians and Canadian businesses, to support job creation, growth, and investment in all sectors of the economy.
Our government's economic action plan has resulted in significant investments to promote innovation and to foster research and development, and measures to ensure that Canadians are equipped with the skills and training they need to succeed in a globalized economy.
In Hamilton, the federal CANMET labs are one such example of a strategic investment in research, because the research there in new metals technology represents the competitive advantage the steel industry needs to compete on a global basis.
History has shown that trade is the best way to create jobs and growth and boost our standard of living. Our government and our Minister of International Trade have worked tirelessly to open new markets, increase exports of Canadian goods and services to global markets, and provide new and diverse opportunities for Canadian companies.
The government will continue to bring the benefits of foreign investment to Canada by maintaining favourable economic conditions.
At the same time, the government recognizes that not every foreign investment will benefit Canada. The foreign investment review regime under the Investment Canada Act is a key part of Canada's economic framework. It promotes investment and ensures that Canadians reap the benefit of those investments.
Under the Investment Canada Act, Canadian businesses can capitalize on international trade opportunities, tap into deeper pools of global capital, and obtain greater access to the resources and markets they need to expand, innovate, and create.
The foreign investments that have been reviewed and approved under the Investment Canada Act have boosted Canada's productivity, created jobs, and enhanced research and development. Once again, they have also demonstrated to the world that Canada is open for business.
In conclusion, our government has demonstrated its commitment to ensure that Canadian businesses can compete in both domestic and international markets.
In order to prosper, create jobs, and maintain a high standard of living for Canadians, it is important to adopt policies that encourage trade and investment.
Please allow me to quote the president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, Ron Watkins, who wrote in an opinion editorial in The Globe and Mail this week:
We support the government’s efforts at international trade liberalization, including fair competition and increased market access in government procurement.
Through our trade agenda, overall economic policies, and foreign investment review regime under the Investment Canada Act, we are working to ensure that foreign investment continues to contribute strongly to the economic well-being and long-term prosperity of Hamiltonians, Ontarians, and all Canadians.
International Development December 3rd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, Canada is a steadfast supporter of the World Food Programme. All Canadians are proud that Canada is the third-largest contributor to this program, and we pay what we pledge. We applaud the organization's indispensable work in fighting global hunger, especially in conflict zones such as Syria and Iraq.
With that in mind, I rise today to express my complete dismay at the acclamation of Iran as a member of the World Food Programme executive board.
Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights please comment on this development?
Lincoln Alexander Day December 2nd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the past, he had this extraordinary capability to face the prejudices that were held against him, and he did so in a way that was very respectful and dignified, yet strong and forceful, because it was wrong.
Through his entire career, from the time he was a lawyer to when he was a member of Parliament—and I hazard to say that it was probably the same when he was serving in the Canadian Forces—he always made time for youth. I never asked him this, but we can intuit from his behaviour that he felt that he had an obligation to pay it forward. He had some great opportunities that he capitalized on and wanted to make sure that every young person had the necessary ability, if he could encourage them and make a way for them.
He did that throughout his career and he carried it on right until the time he was lieutenant-governor. He certainly continued that practice even in his retirement years, when I interacted with him mostly on the streets of Hamilton, Ontario.