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Track Ralph

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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is shippers.

Liberal MP for Wascana (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 40.80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Infrastructure September 22nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, at the G20, Canada praises infrastructure, but here at home the Building Canada fund is slashed by 90%. In this entire construction season, the whole thing, the government has made fewer than 10 new infrastructure commitments. The provinces, municipalities, chambers of commerce, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, C.D. Howe, the Canada West Foundation, the engineers, the Canadian Construction Association, urban transit, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Statistics Canada, David Dodge, and now the G20 all say Canada should do much better.

Why is the government so excruciatingly mediocre?

Infrastructure September 22nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, at the G20 meetings, Canada's finance minister has done a turnaround. He is now arguing for economic growth ahead of austerity, at least in other countries, but here at home his EI tax credit perversely puts a cap on jobs, punishes ambition, and creates an incentive to fire people just when Canada has lost 112,000 private sector jobs.

Will the government fix this defective scheme, as every serious economist has recommended, and will it restore federal infrastructure investments at least at last year's level?

Employment September 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the government is said to be investigating Alliance Energy Ltd. in Saskatchewan for possible violations of the temporary foreign workers program. During a slowdown, the company apparently laid off 58 Canadian employees while retaining all of its TFWs on the job. The company says the layoffs were based on merit.

Specifically, is this permissible under the rules? Did those rules change this spring? Is a federal investigation actually under way? Is the provincial government involved, and when will the results be made public?

Taxation September 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, another flawed idea is the government's proposed income splitting scheme. From the C.D. Howe Institute to the late Jim Flaherty, that scheme has been panned as too expensive and unfair to 85% of Canadians. Mr. Flaherty called it an election bauble. Federally, it will cost nearly $3 billion, but the Mowat Centre says it will also cost the provinces another $1.7 billion, taken from health care and education.

Will the government listen to Mr. Flaherty and say no to this costly and unfair bauble?

Employment Insurance September 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the design of the government's EI credit is totally unconnected to more employment. It puts a cap on growth and actually creates a perverse incentive to fire people.

In previous budget submissions, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business proposed exactly what the member for Papineau proposed this week. I quote the CFIB, “an EI holiday on increased payroll”.

For the money the government has already earmarked, this could help generate 175,000 net new jobs, so why not?

Employment Insurance September 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the latest report from Statistics Canada revealed the loss of 112,000 private sector jobs. Through the past 12 months, only 15,000 full-time jobs have been generated in the whole country in a whole year. There are 230,000 more unemployed Canadians than before the recession. Therefore, if the government has $550 million to invest, why not provide an exemption from employment insurance payroll taxes for every Canadian employer who creates a net new job?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With regard to regulations published in the Canada Gazette since the introduction of the “One-for-One” rule, broken down by year: (a) how many regulations have been published; (b) for how many did the rule not apply; (c) how many were carved out from the rule; and (d) how many resulted in an equivalent reduction in regulations due to the rule?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With regard to the Major Infrastructure Component and the Communities Component of the Building Canada Fund announced in 2007: (a) are applications still being accepted; (b) how much of the funding has been allocated; (c) how much of the funding has been spent; (d) for completed projects, how much less was spent than was allocated; (e) how much of the amount referred to in (d), (i) has been reallocated to new projects, (ii) has not been reallocated to new projects; and (f) how much of each component’s funding is forecast to lapse?

Questions on the Order Paper September 15th, 2014

With regard to railway grain transportation reporting requirements: for each week in the current crop year, starting August 1, 2013, how much grain was moved, as reported by each of CN Rail and CP Rail from prairie delivery points, (a) to a port for export, indicating (i) the type of grain, (ii) the port in each case; (b) out of country by rail, indicating (i) the type of grain, (ii) the destination in each case; and (c) to final domestic users, indicating the (i) type of grain, (ii) final domestic user in each case?

Questions on the Order Paper September 15th, 2014

With regard to federal non-refundable tax credits for public transit, children’s fitness and children’s arts: how many Canadians who submitted income tax returns did not have a high enough income to be able to use each in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 tax years?