House of Commons photo

Track Ralph

Your Say


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

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?

Employment Insurance September 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the last government in fact reduced EI premiums 12 consecutive years in a row.

Canadians need a break from the $5.4 billion in job-killing EI payroll tax increases imposed by the Conservative government.

The scheme announced last week totally misses the mark. There is no link to job creation and it is capped, going only to firms with up to a dozen employees. If they go over that, they lose $2,200. That is an incentive to fire people.

Will the government simply provide a full EI refund to every employer who creates a new Canadian job? That would generate—

Retirement Congratulations June 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as MPs say our goodbyes to Parliament Hill today, we also say farewell, thanks, and good luck to one Parliament Hill personality who will not be returning in September. I am referring to House of Commons Constable Mike Buzzetti. After 30 years of service, Mike is about to begin a well-deserved retirement.

Originally from Montreal, he learned his craft as a security officer on the police force at Hampstead, and he was good at it. However, once he came to Parliament Hill, he saw his job in these buildings as more than a form of policing. He was a host, a guide and an educator. He took many VIPs on lengthy, personal excursions into every nook and cranny of the Centre Bloc, but what he liked best was the Peace Tower and the Memorial Chapel. He loved to explain the meaning of that solemn room and help visitors find the names of their loved ones inscribed in the Memorial Book.

Mike Buzzetti served us well. He served Canada well.

We thank him and we wish him, his wife Kim and their daughter Andrea every happiness in the years ahead.