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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 February 27th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, following the tragic attacks here in Ottawa last year as well as in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, we are reminded of the magnitude of the threat that terrorism poses to us and all Canadians. Today the international Financial Action Task Force that combats terrorist financing has announced that it will be pressuring governments that are failing to combat the flow of cash to the ISIL death cult.
Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please update the House on the steps the government has taken to combat terrorist financing in Canada?
Rise in anti-Semitism February 24th, 2015
Mr. Chair, I want to thank my colleague for being the chair of the Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism. We had many early morning meetings in the administration of developing that coalition. I was very appreciative of his efforts.
My question will be short so that the member can spend the time developing it.
The boycott, divest and sanction movement actually targeted professors academically in Canada who supported Israel. I want to give my colleague a chance to deal with that subject, as well as his subject matter about international policy versus domestic policy.
Rise in anti-Semitism February 24th, 2015
Mr. Chair, one of the ways is to get involved in the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism. Another way is what I have mentioned already, to take every opportunity to speak out and make sure that people understand where we stand on anti-Semitism.
Another way is to support people like Madeleine Levy in my community, who spends tireless hours going to high schools, trying to recruit students to join the March of the Living, to get teachers who will accept curriculum about the Holocaust, teach students about anti-Semitism, and help them at a young age to understand what racial hatred is about, and how pernicious and seductive anti-Semitism is.
The minister mentioned earlier the fact that even Canadian policy, years ago, was such that one Jew was too many. This is a terrible blot on our history and I am glad that we built a monument on the east coast called the Wheel of Conscience to make sure that we could do our part, say never again, and educate people. This even captured a free country like Canada.
Supporting private initiatives of individual Canadians who are trying to make a difference and educate people on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust is another way that we can help educate future generations.
Rise in anti-Semitism February 24th, 2015
Yes, Mr. Chair, I have not only taken it up with the administration at McMaster, but I have actually gone on campus to confront some of the people who spew their hatred. Some good news, frankly, is that a lot of the comments I hear in response from the students passing those spewing the hatred and anti-Semitism are to go home, shut up, get off the campus, to take their hatred some place else. It is very heartwarming. However, we always need to be vigilant.
I mentioned earlier how much I appreciate having this debate tonight and my colleagues for standing up and speaking out against anti-Semitism here in the House, but I would also encourage my colleagues to be part of the education process too and to make sure that in our communities, and across the country and internationally when we travel, we take every opportunity to speak out against anti-Semitism and racial discrimination.
Rise in anti-Semitism February 24th, 2015
Mr. Chair, I am honoured to rise today to address the concern that all those who value human rights and dignity share, and that is the current and very troubling rise around the globe of anti-Semitism. This re-emergence of anti-Semitism is such that I believe everyone should be troubled by this most virulent of all forms of prejudice.
What is also very troubling is that anti-Semitism is like the proverbial canary in the mine, as my colleague from Mount Royal has already said today, warning of a broader poison of racial hatred that is at work in some hearts and minds in our society.
That is because when people find it easy or palatable to hate Jews simply because they are of Jewish ethnicity or faith, it is not a stretch for discrimination to then metastasize to include more and more faiths and more and more ethnicities, with worse and worse consequences. As free people, we should make sure we stand up most vigilantly and say absolutely no to this.
Other members have talked about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe as witnessed by the Paris attacks and the proliferation of websites and blogs that make horrendous fabricated allegations against the Jews and Israel. This is most disturbing and worrisome.
Unfortunately, this echoes the testimony that I and other members of the House heard in 2010 during the hearings conducted by the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism, as well as the International Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism Conference that was held right here in Ottawa in November 2010.
It is why we approved the Ottawa protocol at that summit.
What we identified in 2010 and what we witness continuing in Europe and North America today is a diabolical new strategy employed by those who perpetrate anti-Semitism in the 21st century. Their strategy is not to attack people of Jewish descent directly, but rather by stealth, to launch illegitimate criticism against the Jewish homeland, Israel.
Please allow me to be clear. In a free society such as Canada, legitimate criticism of any nation and debate of policy concerns is perfectly acceptable, in fact, even encouraged. Goodness knows we put up with plenty of it here. However, when the intent is to systematically demonize a nation, not for the purpose of disagreeing with its policies but out of racial hatred, then that is illegitimate and must be called out for what it is.
I think this is what we are seeing on Canadian campuses, called Israel Apartheid Week, not a reasoned debate on policies and actions of a country, but a concerted effort to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel to exist and the Jewish people to have a safe homeland therein.
Why would there be those who would drive support of a movement to boycott, divest, and sanction every dimension of the Israeli economy and development? Why would there be those who attempt to sanction and censure Canadian academic professors who are simply supportive of Israel?
I believe that most people caught up in these activities are either too busy to check the facts about Israel—after all, this is a democracy on a tiny sliver of land in a troubled region—or are simply naive.
However, I also believe there are some of those in these movements whose motives are prejudicial, racist, and hateful. They are using these vehicles to promote anti-Semitism. What other conclusion could one derive from these actions that only demonize Israel and the Jewish people?
Why is there no boycott initiative or apartheid week against Angola, Iran, Congo, or North Korea? Again, this is the essence that is documented in the report by the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism, released in 2011.
Anti-Semitism's rise around the world concerns me, but here at home it is a much bigger worry for me. In my constituency, there has been anti-Semitic graffiti on homes and synagogues, and at McMaster University an annual Israel Apartheid Week.
We know the recommendations of the coalition's report said that the best way to combat this ignorance and prejudice is through education and the courage of all Canadians to speak out. Certainly that includes all members of the House who are speaking out tonight.
This fight requires the courage of Canadians to be vigilant when anti-Semitic words and deeds are perpetrated. They cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. It is that courage to stand up to the racist bullies who bluster insults and threats that can intimidate even the hardiest of souls.
While this is always easier said than done, if insults and threats are the worst that we have to endure, then so be it, because in other countries that are not as free and tolerant as our own, we can understand why it might be a very slippery slope to harassment, perhaps even loss of property, and in some extreme cases, torture and worse.
We saw how the seeds of discrimination sown in Europe some 80 years ago manifested into something far more sinister. I am not suggesting that it will happen here in Canada. However, what I am suggesting is that when we say "never again", it is because we are always mindful that we must stand by those words with action. We must stop any anti-Semitism in its tracks. We must never allow it to escalate.
Human Rights February 24th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, this evening our Parliament will be debating the troubling rise of anti-Semitism worldwide. It is an important issue that I will be speaking on this evening. I encourage all of my colleagues to get involved in the debate this evening.
I would like to ask the Minister for Multiculturalism if he would give us his update on why this debate is so important at this time.
Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 February 23rd, 2015
Mr. Speaker, in his speech the member alluded to the fact there is no immediacy with this and that we should take a year to debate this kind of bill. I wonder how many incidents have to happen before a bill like this is necessary. How many threats does this country have to receive, how many incidents have to happen, how many times does it have to happen internationally before this House should be vigilant, take action, and make sure the legislative tools are in place for our security forces to ensure that the next incident is not one of catastrophic proportions? That is what this government is trying to do right now. Why would he want to delay that?
Parliamentary Precinct Security February 16th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, first, it is important to note that this is a motion, not a bill. It has been repeatedly mentioned that it is some kind of bill that needs to be debated and sent to committee.
Second, when it was first introduced, I made it very clear, and all the opposition have said this as well, that it did not diminish our feeling of gratitude and pride for the security forces of this building who were heroic in ensuring that we were safe, not only on that day, but continuing right up to this day. This is about integrating a number of services.
My colleague from Yukon mentioned that with the Ontario Provincial Police there could possibly be at one point in time five law enforcement agencies or security services that have to be dealt with.
I wanted to make that clear and perhaps have the government whip speak to the issue that this does not diminish your capability, Mr. Speaker, but simply causes us to look at the necessary integration of security forces to work more efficiently together.
Employment February 6th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, thanks to the leadership of our Prime Minister, Canada has had the best job creation record in the G7 since 2006 when we were elected. While our focus is on creating jobs, the Liberal Party has the same old high tax, big government, high debt agenda that will threaten jobs and set working families back.
Given our government's unprecedented focus on the economy, could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please update us on the job numbers for Canada today?
Parliamentary Precinct Security February 6th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, all of us lived through the October incident. All of us watched the video afterward, because many of us were locked in rooms and felt that our lives were threatened and heard the gunfire that we thought was actually from multiple shooters coming after us. We found out that it was the brave people of both our own security force and the RCMP.
It is repugnant that the opposition members would imply that to try to enhance and make a force more effective by integrating it would in any way, shape, or form disparage those brave people who protected us on that day. I just want the chief government whip to confirm that as being exactly the case.