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  • His favourite word is jobs.

Conservative MP for Nipissing—Timiskaming (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 36.70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say, with regard to these particular measures, which he complimented, that the Liberals do have good ideas from time to time. We are not at all hesitant to adopt good ideas.

With respect to the DNA identification for missing persons, the answer is simpler. There is a cost. As a cost, it would have to be budgeted for, and therefore, it is in the budget implementation bill.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my riding is in northern Ontario. It has a host of sports and recreational activities, and businesses are involved in promoting those activities. The sports tax credit will improve that situation. It will make more activities available for children in families that do not have the income. As members know, hockey is our lifeblood in Canada, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for families to have their children involved in it. This measure will help that situation, along with all other sports.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is clear in this budget that we are addressing regulatory impediments. We are reducing taxes, and we are making it easier for families and individuals to live their lives without government interference. We will continue to implement these measures. It is part of our DNA.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to stand in the House and speak in favour of Bill C-43, also known as budget implementation act number 2.

Since 2006, our Conservative government's budgets have consistently delivered for Canadians by always putting their priorities first. Canadians have told us that they want a strong, stable economy and access to good, well-paying jobs.

Each budget has done exactly that. Since 2006, Canada has one of the best economic performances among all G8 countries, particularly during the recession and current recovery. During this period we have created more than one million net new jobs, the overwhelming majority of which are full time. We have accomplished this without introducing new taxes, in direct contrast to the policies that the opposition parties advocate. In fact, Canadian families pay about 10% less in personal income tax. Adding all the various tax reductions we have introduced since 2006, the average family of four pays $3,400 less in taxes each and every year.

Our strong economic performance has come without increasing the deficit. In fact, we have progressively been reducing the deficit and the size and cost of government. We are now in a position to balance the budget in 2015, as well as deliver a surplus.

Our budgets have achieved these goals without sacrificing the quality of federal services or investments. Various federal services have been streamlined over the years to provide the same, if not better, services to Canadians for lower costs. As well, our Conservative government has been carrying out the most ambitious infrastructure investment plan in our nation's history. In 2007, we introduced $33 billion in flexible and predictable infrastructure spending. Recently we committed another $70 billion over the next decade to continue investing in world-class infrastructure. These funds have supported dozens of important projects in my riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming, particularly municipal priority projects.

Therefore, consistent with the successes of our previous budgets, Canadians can be reassured that the 2014 budget will continue to be more of what they have come to expect from their government: responsible, targeted, accountable, and inclusive of the necessary changes to keep taxes low and our economy growing.

Although there are many components to the budget, I will focus on measures most relevant to the needs of my constituents in Nipissing—Timiskaming. One of the important measures is the small business job credit, which has recently been announced by our government. This credit would lower payroll taxes for small businesses by 15% over the next two years.

Overall, it is estimated that Canadian small businesses would save $550 million, thanks to this measure. For the many small businesses in my region, this would mean increased capacity to grow their business, as well as more money becoming available for investments, as opposed to paying employer payroll taxes.

Our government recognizes the fundamental importance of small businesses in fuelling the Canadian economy. ln my riding, small businesses employ thousands of people and are the backbone of our communities.

The introduction of this credit would further build upon our government's strong support of small businesses since 2006. We froze El premiums to provide certainty and flexibility for small businesses. We have cut red tape by eliminating more than 800,000 payroll deduction remittances to the CRA made every year by more than 50,000 small businesses. We reduced the small business tax rate from 12% to 11%.

We also increased the small business limit to $500,000 in taxable income, which had the effect of expanding the number of businesses that could take advantage of these benefits and save costs, costs that could be reinvested in growth and job creation.

The results are clear. A typical small business is now seeing savings of approximately $28,000. Since we took office, small businesses have seen their taxes reduced by 34%.

While we are discussing measures in the budget that would help small businesses, here is another measure in the bill that I would like to highlight, as chair of the clean-tech caucus in Parliament.

Bill C-43 would expand the eligibility for accelerated capital cost allowances for clean energy generation and conservation equipment. Let me quickly outline what capital costs are.

Capital cost allowance is a mechanism by which businesses can lower their taxable income by claiming the cost of depreciation of their equipment. Accelerated capital cost allowances simply allow companies to claim more of their costs. This measure is important because it incentivizes businesses to use cleaner technology and equipment. The health of our environment is very important to my constituents, and I know they will appreciate these measures.

The next measure I would like to highlight concerns families, particularly children. Our government believes that fitness is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and a habit that should be encouraged, particularly in childhood. That is why we introduced the children's fitness credit in budget 2006, which provides non-refundable tax credits of up to $500 annually in fees for the registration of a child under the age of 16 in an eligible program of physical activity.

In October 2014, our Prime Minister announced that our government would double the children's fitness credit from $500 to $1,000 and make it refundable, which would increase benefits to low-income families claiming the credit.

The increase of this tax credit would greatly benefit families in Nipissing—Timiskaming, many of which have very active children. In our communities, it is commonplace for children to enrol in hockey, soccer, or baseball camps. The increase of this tax credit would make it affordable for families to get their children involved in all these physical activities. Ultimately, greater access to physical activity would improve the health of children in my riding, but also their social skills, as very often physical activities are team or group activities as well.

Since 2006, Canadian families have benefited from significant, broad-based tax cuts introduced by our government. For example, we have reduced the GST to 5% from 7%; increased the basic personal amount, the amount that all Canadians can earn without paying federal income tax; reduced the lowest personal income tax rate to 15% from 16%; and introduced the tax-free savings account, which has helped thousands of families save money.

These and other actions have given individuals and families the flexibility to make the choices that are right for them. This is why, as I mentioned earlier, Canadian families pay on average $3,400 less in taxes every year.

Bill C-43 includes an important measure that would assist law enforcement in locating missing persons. Many constituents have expressed concern over various disappearances of Canadians, particularly first nations Canadians.

I know many of my constituents will appreciate Bill C-43's amendment of the DNA Identification Act to create new indices in the national DNA data bank. This would contain DNA profiles from missing persons, from their relatives, and from human remains to assist law enforcement agencies, coroners, and medical examiners to find missing persons and identify human remains.

The bill also includes various changes to the income tax and excise acts and various other statutes; however I will leave those changes for my honourable colleagues to address.

At the outset of my speech, I articulated the intent and record of our government's previous budgets, and I stated that from Bill C-43 Canadians could expect a continued focus on keeping taxes low and improving the economy. From the main measures I highlighted, it is clear that as a result of the budget implementation act, families would save more money through an increase in the children's fitness tax credit. Also, business would benefit from reduced costs through the changes in payroll tax and capital cost allowances. These changes would help businesses invest more of their money in expanding their businesses and, as a result, create more jobs for Canadians.

Whereas our honourable opponents continue to propose various tax hikes and increased intervention into the lives of Canadians and businesses by government, we on this side of the House continue to focus on jobs and the economy in a responsible, pragmatic, and non-intrusive manner. We firmly believe that Canadian families and businesses, not Ottawa, know what is best for them and their interests.

We are, and have been since 2006, able to help remove obstacles, regulations, and unnecessary and restrictive taxes on Canadians and businesses.

I encourage all members of the House to support the pragmatic and necessary measures in Bill C-43 so that we may continue to grow Canada's economy for the benefit of all Canadians.

Pensions October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that in the 2014 edition of the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index released today, Canada's retirement income system maintained its top rating for six years in a row.

Indeed, under our Conservative government, Canada has one of the best retirement income systems in the world.

Our government believes that Canadians deserve a secure and dignified retirement. That is why we cut taxes for seniors and pensioners by more than $2 billion annually, including pension income splitting, introduced the pooled registered pension plan, and introduced the tax-free savings account.

Our government is supporting the Canadians who built this country.

Christopher Stanley June 17th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our community of North Bay is in mourning. On a joyful Father's Day this past weekend, we lost 17-year-old Christopher Stanley in a boating accident.

Chris was a hard-working young man who had a passion for football as a Widdifield Wildcat and a passion for the outdoors. He had just returned from a 5-day canoe trip. This would have been his graduating year and his 18th birthday would have been this Friday.

It is a very painful and tragic event in which this young bright life was lost. He will be dearly missed by his classmates, his family and our community.

I have been moved by the outpour of support for Chris' family, as well as a profound sense of loss for him. Although his time in this world was brief, it was very clear that he enriched the lives of many around him.

I ask members of the House to please join me in extending our dearest sympathies and condolences to Chris' family. His life and spirit will never be forgotten. God bless Christopher Stanley.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my riding is in a mining region in northern Ontario, and the businesses in my area rely on trade throughout the world. They participate in mining activity in South America, the Philippines, and Africa. Without that, my particular area would not grow, and Canada would not have grown into the prosperous nation it is today.

We are expanding that trade by signing trade agreements with the European Union, Korea, and Honduras. These agreements are all very positive for the prosperity of Canadians, unlike the party opposite, the no-trade party.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, there the New Democrats go again, picking apart situations piecemeal.

As I have said, this budget, with the measures that I have talked about—refining the immigration system, red tape reduction, training incentives, the Red Seal program, creating incentives for mineral exploration—are all positive measures that will grow our economy.

The member for Vancouver Kingsway listed a lot of metrics. How about these metrics? Over one million net new jobs have been created in Canada; for the sixth year, the World Economic Forum has ranked Canada's banking system as the soundest in the world; Canada has leapt from sixth to second place in Bloomberg's ranking of the most attractive countries for business to grow; Canada has the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7; Canada is the only country in the G7 to have a rock-solid AAA rating; and Canada's net debt-to-GDP ratio remains the lowest in the G7 by far.

These are overall macro measures that show we are among the best in the world in terms of economic recovery.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 June 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak this evening to Bill C-31, the economic action plan 2014 act. However, before I do, I would like to contextualize this legislation.

During the global recession, our government made the difficult but necessary decision to engage in deficit spending, making record investments from coast to coast to coast in infrastructure projects supporting jobs and putting Canadians to work.

Our investments worked. While the global recession was difficult for many Canadian families, the effects never reached the severity experienced abroad, such as in the United States and Europe.

More important, our investments helped the domestic economy keep moving so that when the recovery began, Canada was much better positioned to rebound, and recover Canada did, the best recovery in the G7. We have led in job creation with over one million net new jobs. We have led in growth of disposal income. We have led the world in debt-to-GDP ratio.

However, this success does not change the fact that we created a deficit. Our government understands very well that long-term deficits, which increase the debt-to-GDP ratio, are toxic for the economy. The more debt a country takes on, the more hesitant businesses become to invest and create jobs. This is because uncertainty is created in the economy and everyone, especially businesses, knows that at some point the debt will have to be paid, and it often takes the form of spending cuts and/or increased taxes.

These cuts and taxes become more severe the larger the debt gets and the longer governments delay to make the necessary decisions. Therefore, once the recovery began, instead of irresponsibly spending money we did not have, our government immediately began passing budget after budget to completely eliminate our deficit, make government lean, spend strategically and responsibly, and create an environment conducive to investment and economic growth.

We have been successful, but members do not need to take my word for it. Canada's number one record in the G7, rock-solid credit rating and international leadership in fiscal responsibility speaks for itself.

On February 11, our dear friend and colleague, one of Canada's longest serving finance ministers, the late Hon. Jim Flaherty, introduced economic action plan 2014. This budget is very important. Since its introduction, I am very pleased to say that our budget is indeed balanced.

However, a balanced budget does not mean that we start spending every extra penny on shiny baubles, which is the strength of economic action plan 2014. It continues to reduce government spending where possible, decreasing the cost to taxpayers without reducing transfers to the provinces or health care transfers.

I want to stress that we balanced the budget without drastic or draconian cuts to important services and funds on which the provinces and Canadians rely on. We instead reduced the size of government and reined in unnecessary spending.

Moreover, the economic action plan continues to focus on this government's number one priority: jobs and the economy. There are still many Canadians looking for work and trying their best to support their families. They are relying on our government to continue creating the right conditions for business to invest and create jobs.

This implementation act, the first economic action plan act, focuses on reducing barriers to employment in both the demand and supply side. Hiring Canadians should not be an administrative burden for businesses. We are reducing unnecessary regulations on job creators and incentivizing them to grow and hire.

Just the same, a lack of education or training should not be a barrier to employment, and that is why we are helping Canadians access trade skills training.

I would like to use my remaining time to highlight a few particular measures in the first economic action plan act that will help further grow our economy, create jobs and improve Canada's prosperity and standard of living.

First, as part of our government's ongoing efforts to refine the immigration system to make sure it works in Canada's best interests, $11 million will be spent over the next two years, and $3.5 million every year afterwards will be invested to provide a more robust labour market option process. This will further help government ensure that Canadians are given the first chance at jobs.

Bill C-31 would help facilitate this by eliminating a backlog of immigrant investor program and entrepreneur program applicants. The elimination of this backlog would help businesses quickly adapt to changing labour markets in Canada by having more efficient access to the most qualified candidates, and enable them to remain productive and profitable and generate jobs and revenue for the Canadian economy.

Second, our government would continue to remove unnecessary regulations on businesses in order to foster an environment more conducive to investment and economic growth. Regulations on businesses are necessary to ensure that they play by the rules, treat their employees well, follow industry standards, and pay their share of taxes.

However, overregulation suffocates businesses as more and more resources are diverted to deal with unnecessary or inefficient administrative obligations. Ultimately, businesses waste money on administration that could have been invested in growing their business and subsequently hiring more Canadians.

Bill C-31 would reduce red tape on more than 50,000 employers. Specifically, the threshold at which small and medium-sized businesses would have to provide remittances for source deductions would be increased. This would further decrease the tax compliance burden on SMEs.

Third, with the resurgence of trade skills, our government would reduce the barrier to employment in well-paying industries by making training more affordable to Canadians. Apprentices registered in the Red Seal trades would be provided with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training.

This measure, like the Canada jobs grant incentive, is part of our government's strategy to connect Canadians with jobs and increase incentives to additional education or training. A more educated and skilled work force would improve the productivity of our economy, make us more competitive, make Canadian goods wanted around the world, and grow economic well-being at home.

Our government will continue investing in the development of our natural resources, particularly in the mining sector. Countries around the world are making the transition to advanced economies, and they are investing in infrastructure and are hungry for energy and raw materials, all of which we Canadians have in abundance.

Bill C-31 would extend the mineral exploration tax credit of 15% for another full year. This tax credit is relied upon by junior mining companies, exploration companies that are making key discoveries and appraisals of new and existing deposits. This is a very important measure to mining firms in my riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming in northern Ontario, close to the Ring of Fire, one of the world's largest mineral reserves.

Having a strong appreciation for the volume and location of deposits in the Ring of Fire will play a key role when we begin developing the resources; excavation will be more efficient, and we will be able to generate more goods for export.

Northern Ontario and Canada will greatly benefit from the development of the Ring of Fire. I am pleased with this measure.

Bill C-31 would continue to build on our government's success of balancing the budget, making responsible and strategic investments to keep the economy on track, cultivating an environment conducive to job creation, and focusing on connecting Canadians with the skills and training they need to participate in the market.

I encourage the members opposite to support these important measures and help empower Canadian businesses and workers.

Anti-Spam Rules June 11th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our government does not believe Canadians should receive emails they do not want or did not ask to receive. That is why we introduced and passed legislation that would prohibit unsolicited text messages, including cellphone spam.

These new rules will effectively protect consumers from spam and other threats that lead to harassment, identity theft and fraud, giving Canadian businesses clarity so they can continue to compete in the online marketplace.

Canadian businesses say that they are concerned about being compliant with the law by the July 1 deadline. All business owners can be assured that although these new rules come into effect soon, they will have 36 months to renew consent with their existing clients.

Our government has taken every step to limit the impact on Canadian business, while continuing to stand up for Canadian consumers.

For more information, consumers and business owners should visit fightspam.gc.ca.