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Conservative MP for Mississauga East—Cooksville (Ontario)
Won his last election, in 2011, with 40.00% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure what he is talking about regarding the government giving cash to businesses instead of incentives. Maybe he forgot, but one of the great incentives is the hiring tax credit. That is given to businesses to hire new people. That is an incentive. This is an incentive for the businesses to grow. Therefore, we do not have a policy to throw money at businesses. Yes, our policy is to give all kinds of incentives for businesses, to help them grow, not to burden them with higher taxes.
Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, as I stated in my speech, there is always a concern of my constituents and those of other members, people across Canada, about how efficiently the tax dollars that they contribute are spent. Of course, as I mentioned in my speech, we are working very hard so that the tax dollars are spent wisely, and also that we give our businesses opportunities to grow, that we do not burden them with different taxes and rising taxes, and that we give them a competitive edge on every front.
Of course there is room for improvement, and that is why we will be working every day on improving the way businesses can work and compete on the world market.
Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014
Throughout the past number of months, especially during the summer break, I spent a lot of time going door to door in the neighbourhoods of the riding I represent. Often residents were surprised to see me at the door during a non-election period but appreciated the opportunity to be served by their member. I appreciated the opportunity to listen to the concerns and questions of my constituents and to see if there was something my office could assist them with.
There were some common themes that I heard from my constituents. People are concerned about their families, friends, and neighbours. They want to ensure that they all have a job to go to each day. They want to know if they will be able to afford to feed their families and provide them with a safe home. They want to ensure that the portion of their hard-earned income that goes to taxes is being used efficiently and wisely.
Our government continues to work hard to create jobs, keep taxes low, and help make our streets and communities safer.
With respect to jobs, I would like to mention that we have the best record in the G7, as has been mentioned often but deserves repeating. We have recovered every job we lost during the recession. Better yet, 1.1 million new jobs have been created in Canada since the depths of the recession, over 80% of which are full time. That is progress because every single one of those jobs means something important to someone, fathers or mothers, young people who are starting their career, or new Canadians who are committed to doing their part in their new country of Canada.
We are working hard to help students and apprentices. I recently had an opportunity to visit the Electrical College of Canada in my riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville. The college prepares its students with the hands-on, practical application of electrical theory and safety knowledge to get students started toward achieving an electrician licence. During this meeting I heard from the instructors and leaders about the demand for skilled trades, as well as the need for opportunities for young people to apply their practical hands-on skills. There were a number of young men and woman who were learning a trade, which they were excited about, and they were excited about where it would take them. Economic action plan 2014 would help our skilled trades. Apprentices registered in eligible trades would be eligible for loans that would be interest free until their training ends.
We recently recognized our small-business owners and employees during Small Business Week, those who work hard and take risks in order to create jobs and move our economy. I want to thank the hard-working people in our community who run small businesses. Despite the economic challenges, these business owners are committed to providing jobs and spur our economy. With that in mind, our government recently announced the small business job credit to lower payroll taxes on small business by 15%. The hard-working people of the riding I represent, Mississauga East—Cooksville, can be assured that we will continue to work on the mission of creating the conditions for new and better jobs across all sectors of our economy.
Earlier I mentioned the comments I heard from my constituents who are concerned about their taxes being used wisely, and the costs of living and raising a family.
The cost of raising a family adds up quickly. Our Conservative government understands these challenges. That is why we have worked to lower taxes, cutting the GST to 5% and cutting personal income taxes, and thousands and thousands of Canadians are taking advantage of the tax-free savings account that our government brought forward. Let us not forget the universal child care benefit, the children's art tax credit, and the children's fitness tax credit.
There is an old expression that goes something like this: active children are healthy children. Canada's Minister of State for Sport recently visited my riding for a tour of the Mississauga Valley Community Centre. He had a very good discussion with some of the sports and recreation representatives in the community about the importance of activity to young people. I certainly believe that to be true, and so does our government. Regular exercise is essential to children's development and to get them started on a lifetime of healthy and active living.
With that in mind, our Conservative government introduced the children's fitness tax credit, which provides nearly 1.5 million Canadian families with tax relief, an incentive to keep their children active. Further to this, I am very proud of our government's recent announcement of the doubling of the children's fitness tax credit amount to $1,000.
With all these tax cuts, credits, and supports by our Conservative government, the average family of four now saves nearly $3,400 a year.
Families also want to know that they are safe in our communities. Of course, we must first thank our police and peace officers for all they do. Our government is doing its part to make sure the system puts the interests of law-abiding Canadians and the victims of crime first. We are toughening laws and supporting programs in this regard.
I want to recognize the Minister of Status of Women, who visited my riding in September and joined with Ms. Ashley Lyons, executive director of Safe City Mississauga, for a special announcement.
The minister announced more than $166,000 in funding support to help prevent and eliminate cyber-violence against women and girls in Mississauga and the Region of Peel. This is one example among many of our government continuing to take concrete actions to protect Canadians from all forms of violence.
Locally in Mississauga, we are seeing job growth and infrastructure investment in our community, thanks to our government's focus on reducing red tape while increasing investment in skills training.
The City of Mississauga has received nearly $126 million of federal funding through the gas tax fund since 2006. I will add to this that the Region of Peel gas tax fund is at nearly $213 million since 2006. This is a long-term, predictable, and environmentally stable source of funding that has helped with major projects, including Mississauga's accessible transit fleet and the transit campus.
I want to quickly share an email that I received recently from the City of Mississauga for the opening of the Mississauga Transitway:
As an important partner in the Transitway Project, I would like to personally invite you to...the official opening ceremony. It’s our way of saying thank you for your commitment to the Mississauga Transitway Project.
I am looking forward to joining with my Mississauga and Region of Peel colleagues for this special event. Indeed, this is a government that is investing in our communities, our people, and our future.
Canadians can be pleased that this budget contains no new taxes on families and businesses, while also continuing to ensure government spending is efficient and as effective as possible.
We will always put consumers first, expanding choice and reducing costs and keeping taxes low. We are helping and supporting families. We will always put Canada first, celebrating and defending our country and working to keep Canadians safe in their communities.
These are the priorities of the hard-working people whose doorsteps I visited throughout the summer and fall, and these are also the proud commitments of our government. I would ask all members of this House to vote in support of Bill C-43.
House of Commons Security Services October 30th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the strength and resolve of Canadians was tested by despicable attacks in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, on Parliament Hill and at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. These brutal attacks sadly took the lives of two members of our armed forces, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo.
Thanks to the bravery of our House of Commons Security Services, the attacker was stopped before he could do further harm.
On behalf of the parliamentary assistants, it is a privilege to express to this House how deeply appreciative they are for those who kept them safe in the face of danger. I have been asked to present to you, Mr. Speaker, a special certificate of thanks, signed by assistants from all parties, and respectfully request that this be given to your dedicated security team.
These cowardly acts were an attack against our values and our way of life. However, where these terrorists sought to tear us apart, we became stronger. Canada will not be intimidated.
Petitions October 30th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House to present a petition on behalf of many Canadians.
The petitioners are asking members of Parliament to condemn discrimination against girls occurring through sex-selective pregnancy termination.
Business of Supply October 21st, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak about the motion from the Liberal party on the outbreak of the Ebola virus. I will be using my time to talk about what our government is doing to keep Canadians safe, specifically in our ports of entry.
While there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in Canada, Canada must be prepared for a case to come here. Provincial and local health officials are the lead on any Ebola case in Canada, but the Public Health Agency of Canada continues to assist them to ensure that they remain prepared.
We all have taken notice of the advance of Ebola in West Africa and have followed its spread in that part of the world with great concern. We understand the toll this has taken in the affected countries and we offer our support to the victims of the disease, their families, and the health care workers who are on the scene dealing with this horrible situation.
To date, Canada has committed over $65 million to the global effort to address the spread of the disease in West Africa. In addition, we have financed the deployment of humanitarian and medical experts in support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as well as United Nations humanitarian operations. These are just some of the actions we are taking to address this outbreak.
We take the potential spread of the disease very seriously, and we must rely on the advice provided to us by public health officials who have told us that the virus does not spread easily from person to person. It is not spread through casual contact. It is spread through direct contact with an individual with symptoms.
It is worth underscoring that Canada is well prepared should an Ebola case arise here, though I must stress that there have been no cases of Ebola in Canada to date. That being said, our government is taking all appropriate precautions to keep Canadians safe and to prevent Ebola from reaching our shores.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is the lead government agency responsible for monitoring and screening travellers for the Ebola virus. In doing so, PHAC is working closely with the Canada Border Services Agency to identify travellers arriving in Canada with symptoms of the Ebola virus, or any communicable disease for that matter.
It is a part of CBSA's responsibilities to provide a full suite of border services that support public security and safety priorities. CBSA officers who work at our ports of entry are designated as screening officers under the Quarantine Act. As such, they have received training on how to respond to a traveller displaying the symptoms of illness.
With respect to the current outbreak, CBSA officers, at the recommendation of the Public Health Agency of Canada, are directing all travellers arriving in Canada whose travel itinerary included Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone to secondary examinations for more detailed questioning
CBSA officers are also talking to all travellers entering Canada if they have travelled to one of the affected West African countries or been in contact with someone who has. They also ask travellers if they have been exposed to someone suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus. However, once they have answered these questions, all travellers from these regions will be automatically referred to a quarantine officer for further questioning and examination. This is how the CBSA is working collaboratively with the Public Health Agency in enforcing the Quarantine Act to ensure the safety of Canadians.
In cases where a referral for health reasons coincides with a referral on an immigration or customs matter, the referral to the quarantine officer takes precedence. After clearance by the quarantine officer, any other potential reason for secondary questioning will be taken at that time. The health concern is the number one concern for these travellers.
In addition to this specific questioning of travellers, CBSA officers are acting on their usual health screening protocols with even greater care and vigilance. As part of the regular screening, officers are looking for travellers with signs of illness as they approach the primary inspection lane. CBSA officers are referring any travellers displaying disease symptoms to the Public Health Agency quarantine officers, as per usual protocol.
Along with the extra care being taken at our international airports, the CBSA is also monitoring marine vessel traffic from the affected areas. All vessels are required to supply a maritime declaration of health 24 hours prior to arrival in Canada. The CBSA reviews the declaration, and if there is an illness reported on the vessel, the information is conveyed to the Public Health Agency's quarantine officers for their action.
I would like to say again that, while we are monitoring the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, Canada is well prepared. Canadian hospitals have sophisticated infection control systems and procedures in place that are designed to limit the spread of infection, protect health care workers, and provide the best possible care for our patients.
The Public Health Agency meets regularly with colleagues in the provinces and territories to share information and data and to update and distribute guidance documents on Ebola, including for health care workers to help detect and respond locally.
Examples of these guideline documents include infection prevention and control measures for borders, health care settings, and self-monitoring at home; interim biosafety guidelines for laboratories handling specimens from patients under investigation for Ebola virus disease; and environmental sanitation practices to control the spread of communicable disease in passenger conveyances and terminals.
To date, there have been several patients with Ebola-like symptoms in Canadian hospitals, but thankfully none have tested positive, and we know that our testing is a global gold standard. We also have five Ebola rapid response teams in place, which include epidemiologists, lab expertise to quickly confirm diagnosis, and emergency supplies from our national strategic stockpile such as masks, gloves, and gowns. These rapid response teams would support the provincial and territorial health authorities in their response should a case of Ebola occur.
I would also point out that the Public Health Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade have noted in travel advisories that Canadians should avoid all non-essential travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
The Minister of Health also highlighted that the Department of Foreign Affairs is advising that Canadians in these countries should return home immediately while commercial options remain available to them.
Even so, we are taking additional precautions at our ports of entry to help ensure that this terrible disease does not reach our shores. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency are taking proactive measures to help keep Canadians safe. The CBSA's border operations centre is providing officers with the latest information through regularly updated bulletins so that they can act accordingly. CBSA officers are working 24-7 to protect the border against this threat. For over 10 years, the CBSA has been on Canada's front line, keeping our country safe from threats.
The men and women of the CBSA are dedicated, well-trained professionals who exercise their responsibilities with utmost care. Yes, the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is a cause for concern, but with the efforts being taken by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, and other government departments and agencies, we have the people in place ready to detect and respond quickly, if necessary.
The situation abroad is serious, but it is in hand here at home. Whatever our political affiliations are, I think we can all applaud the work of the Canada Border Services Agency and the Public Health Agency of Canada, who work on the front lines to keep us and all Canadians safe.
Dalai Lama October 20th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to welcome honorary Canadian citizen the Dalai Lama back to Canada.
On November 17, 1950, at the age of 15, Tenzin Gyatso was selected as the 14th Dalai Lama.
His message of peace and compassion has been recognized around the world. In 1989 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work and contribution in the struggle for the liberation of Tibet and the efforts for a peaceful resolution.
In September 2006, while in Vancouver, the Dalai Lama was presented with honorary Canadian citizenship by our government.
While here he will be sharing his message of compassion by speaking in the public school system. He will also be meeting with Canadian parliamentarians to discuss struggles Tibetan people face in their non-violent search for religious freedom and language rights.
The Dalai Lama is a true example to all of us of what it means to live a life of compassion and peace.
St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish October 7th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, October 5, I was very pleased to attend and bring greetings on behalf of our government to the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of St. Maximilian Kolbe Church and the 35th anniversary of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Mississauga.
The church was named after a Polish priest who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz. The church received a blessing by Pope John Paul II while on a papal visit to Canada in 1984.
Welcoming many families and individuals, this parish remains a gathering place for those committed to upholding Christian ideals of faith and service, while preserving a deep attachment to their Polish heritage.
I would like to thank Father Janusz Blazejak and his pastoral team, parish council and many parishioners who have blessed countless people through their community service for the past 35 years. Such service is a true example of the values upheld by Canadians. God bless them as they continue in growth for future generations.
Health October 6th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged to see Canada taking a leadership role in the global fight against the Ebola outbreak in west Africa. Canadian expertise is a valued commodity in this outbreak, and our government is ensuring that the supplies and resources needed are being provided where they are most needed. This includes protective gowns, masks, and gloves that front-line workers need to stay safe.
Could the Minister of Health please update the House on the latest developments in shipping Canada's donated equipment?
Health September 24th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, people in my riding are closely watching international efforts to address the faraway public health threat posed by Ebola and more familiar public health issues closer to home, such as the yearly flu season.
I myself have been very proud to see Canada at the forefront of the world's united response to the Ebola outbreak and the fact that our public health agency has had a significant hand in developing a number of experimental vaccines and treatments. Could the Minister of Health please update the House on the latest developments in Canada's public health agency?