- His favourite word was support.
Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Bramalea—Gore—Malton (Ontario)
Lost his last election, in 2011, with 28.40% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Mr. Speaker, I know of people whose applications have been refused many times even though they have never committed any of the offences listed. I have heard of cases where people who have money, well paid jobs, and family members who are well established in their home countries but are still not granted temporary visitor visas.
The government should listen to Canadians who demand that it establish temporary visa bonds and make the system more compassionate. In Canada we should not rely too much on the discretionary powers of visa officers.
The United States is much more generous in giving out multiple visas than Canada. In Canada we are so tightfisted.
The government should pursue this policy with diligence and not ignore it, as it is doing today. The government should start listening to the people now and increase the number of temporary visitor visas granted to people who want to visit their relatives in Canada for important family events, such as funerals, weddings, anniversaries and other important events.
Mr. Speaker, on November 18, 2010 my question about temporary visitor visas was not properly addressed by the hon. member for St. Catharines. I hear from my constituents that the Conservative government does not give visitors' visas out. For that reason, I am alarmed about the transparency of Canada's temporary visa determination process.
While deciding who should be allowed in Canada is important, I disagree with the government, which places too much faith in the visa officers and gives them unaccountable discretionary powers. It shows that the government does not have in place a clear temporary visa determination process, but relies on random procedures.
A person is inadmissible to Canada if he or she has been charged with a serious crime, or is a threat to Canada's security, or has been involved in crimes against humanity. However, I know people whose applications have been refused many times, even though they have never committed any of these offences. I have seen cases of people who have money, well-paid jobs, and all of whom's family members in their home countries are well established, but they still are not granted temporary visitor visas.
Many individuals have visited their Canadian relatives before for important events such as funerals, weddings, family reunions, and anniversaries, but today for no reason they are being denied temporary visitor visas. They did not break any Canadian laws. They spent their money in our great country. However, now the government denies them entrance for important family events. This is outrageous. The system is obviously contradictory and subjective.
The hon. member for St. Catharines once said that each case is assessed on its own merits and not against any pre-established minimum levels of income, property value, or family relationship. To say that is to say that the visa officers can do whatever they want because they will not be held accountable to any minimal, normal standards. This means that visa officers can exercise their discretionary powers in unaccountable ways. The system is inhumane as it fails to consider the last wishes of Canadians on their deathbeds who want to see their relatives before they die.
The government should establish an accountable process of issuing temporary visas based on compassionate grounds and create visa bonds for these persons. Visa bonds would provide insurance that these people will return to their countries of origin. A visa bond is the only viable solution to the problem of the high rate of refusal of temporary visitor visas by the government.
Government Priorities February 11th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, the government cut $6 billion in taxes for the richest and largest corporations, while it hiked payroll taxes for every small business in the country. It has cut millennium scholarships for students and has wasted billions of dollars on megaprisons. It has cut off spending on affordable housing, but have billions to spend on fighter jets.
Why is this government ignoring the real needs of families?
Taxation February 11th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, despite racking up the largest deficit in Canadian history, the government has done little to help the region of Peel. At Christmastime, I saw, first-hand, my constituents lining up at food banks, while their EI was expiring.
Why did the government increase taxes on every small business in Peel and hurt their efforts to create jobs for the unemployed?
The Economy February 9th, 2011
Mr. Speaker, our economy is underperforming as the unemployment rate for the month of January in Ontario increased to 14.4% among the young adults. Despite giving $6 billion to big corporations, the government cannot create jobs and is killing them by increasing tax burdens in the form of EI payroll taxes on all small businesses. In fact, its $6 billion tax cut ignores 95% of the two million active businesses in Canada.
People in the region of Peel feel that the government is ignoring them too. The unemployment is high in this region but the government does nothing. Six billion dollars in tax cuts will not result in $6 billion worth of economic growth and jobs. Affordable housing and jobs in the region of Peel are much more needed than the corporate tax cut.
The government also needs to take concrete steps to create jobs for youth and give incentives to small businesses so that they can create more jobs for the unemployed families that are starving, under stress and are worrying about their future.
Questions Passed as Orders for Return January 31st, 2011
Within the constituency of Bramalea—Gore—Malton (named Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale from 2000 to 2004), what was the total amount of government funding since fiscal year 1993-1994 up to and including the current fiscal year, itemized according to (i) the date the money was received in the constituency, (ii) the dollar amount of the expenditure, (iii) the program from which the funding came, (iv) the ministry responsible, (v) the designated recipient?
Questions Passed as Orders for Return January 31st, 2011
With regard to temporary residence visas (visitor visas): (a) in each year during the period of 2005 to 2010, for each Canadian High Commission, Embassy, and Consulate around the world, how many visitor visa applications were (i) submitted, (ii) approved, (iii) refused, including the reasons given for each refusal; (b) what regulations are in place with respect to compassionate considerations for visitor visa applicants; and (c) in each year during the period of 1986 to 2005, for each Canadian High Commission, Embassy, and Consulate around the world, what was the total amount of revenue collected from (i) all visitor visa applicants, (ii) applicants whose visitor visa applications were refused?
Questions on the Order Paper January 31st, 2011
With respect to Employment Insurance claims made by residents in the constituency of Bramalea—Gore—Malton (named Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale from 2000 to 2004): (a) how many claims have been made since October 1993, (i) in total, (ii) broken down by month; (b) what is the percentage of claims that have been approved since January 2008, (i) in total, (ii) broken down by month; and (c) what has been the average period of time taken to process the claims made since January 2008, (i) in total, (ii) broken down by month?
Greater Toronto Airport Authority December 8th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.
Since December 1, drivers working at Pearson Airport for limousine provider Macintosh have been protesting their employer's alleged unfair and improper business practices, such as the mandatory purchase of vehicles and insurance from the company at inflated prices.
What immediate action will the minister take to ensure that the Greater Toronto Airport Authority conducts an investigation and takes appropriate action?
Petitions November 24th, 2010
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the following petition from constituents of Bramalea—Gore—Malton.
The petitioners call upon the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to institute a system of visa bonds for temporary resident visa applicants wishing to come to Canada as members of the visitor class, to give immigration counsellors discretion over the creation of visa bonds, to establish minimum and maximum visa bond amounts as a guideline for immigration officials and to allow the visa bond to apply to either the sponsor or the visitor