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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is veterans.

Conservative MP for Mississauga East—Cooksville (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 40.00% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague is the father of two young girls, I am the grandfather of three beautiful grandchildren who live not in Mississauga but in Waterloo, and I also want them to feel and be safe. I do not think that any of us here in this chamber would not agree that we want our children and grandchildren to be safe in this country. This is very important.

I mentioned in my speech that the Minister of Justice did a lot of travelling in Canada, organizing and taking part in round tables and getting information from different groups. He came to Mississauga. We had a meeting with the great police force that we have, the Peel Regional Police. They were very supportive of this bill. We also had a great discussion about how to improve the safety of our children, how to protect them, and how to protect our citizens.

I would like to say that this is a truly great police force that works with the community and works for the safety of the community.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, if I can give an example, the spouse's denial of responsibility for child pornography on a shared home computer is necessary to get the conviction of the accused. Therefore, this is a change we are making.

Child pornography is something that is relatively new, and it has grown over the years since we have had the Internet. It has been growing ever since. This is a crime that was not committed as often before this tool became available for the perpetrators. Therefore, it is important that we go after those who commit that terrible crime and that we use all the tools necessary to get a conviction.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned in my speech, the list of exceptions in the Canada Evidence Act making the spouse of a person accused of any of the child pornography offences compellable to testify for the prosecution would help to get the person who commits the crime to receive a sentence and serve the sentence. That is the change in the act that we are introducing.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in support of Bill C-26.

Each day, in Canada, children are the victims of sexual abuse. It causes unimaginable devastation to their lives and it causes lifelong emotional turmoil that profoundly affects victims well into adulthood.

Our government pledged to protect Canadians and keep them safe, especially the most vulnerable among us: our children. This legislation is one way we are fulfilling that promise.

The proposed new measures would help better protect children from a range of sexual offences, including child pornography. Furthermore, they would help ensure that offenders receive sentences that better reflect the serious nature of these crimes.

Over the summer and fall of last year, the Minister of Justice met with Canadians across the country. In those meetings, there was one central theme: victims wanted a stronger voice in the justice system and sentences that truly reflect the crime committed. Today, this legislation illustrates that we listened and that we are delivering for Canadians.

For example, we are seeking an end to sentence discounts for multiple child sexual offences. Sexual predators would receive sentences that take into account each young life that they have devastated.

The legislation would also ensure that those sentenced at the same time for child pornography and for contact child sexual offences, especially those who have victimized more than one child, would serve their sentences consecutively—in other words, one after another.

In general, concurrent sentences are imposed and served simultaneously for two or more convictions that arise out of one continuous criminal act or single transaction. These sentences are based on what is referred to as the “same event or series of events” rule.

Conversely, consecutive sentences are imposed and served one after another for multiple convictions when the offences are unrelated, as they arise out of separate criminal transactions.

The concepts of concurrent and consecutive sentencing predate Confederation. Amendments over the years have complicated the statement of the rule contained in the Criminal Code to the point that it offers little guidance to courts.

To address this deficiency, the proposed amendments would direct a court to consider ordering, where applicable, that the sentences it imposes be served consecutive to a sentence of imprisonment that the offender is subject to at the time of sentencing. Where the court sentences the offender for multiple offences at the same time, the proposed amendments would direct courts to consider ordering that the terms of imprisonment for offences arising out of separate events or a separate series of events be served consecutively.

Bill C-26 would also increase minimum and maximum penalties for certain child sexual offences, and there would be increases in the maximum penalties for violations of supervision orders. Canadians want those who violate the conditions of their probation orders, prohibition orders, and peace bonds held to account.

Moreover, these measures would ensure that the spouse of a person charged with child pornography offences could also be required to testify in court.

Under the Canada Evidence Act and under common law, unless spouses are irreconcilably separated, the spouse of a person accused of most offences cannot testify for the prosecution, even if they want to, as they are not competent, and they cannot be forced to testify against their spouse, as they are not compellable.

The Canada Evidence Act contains statutory exceptions to these rules, permitting spousal testimony for most child sexual offences and for offences of violence against young persons, but not for child pornography offences.

The amendments proposed through this bill would also add child pornography, section 163.1, to the list of exceptions in the Canada Evidence Act, subsection 4(2), making the spouse of a person accused of any of the child pornography offences compellable to testify for the prosecution. In child pornography cases, the evidence of the accused's spouse may be required to prove the guilt of the accused. For example, the spouse's denial of responsibility for child pornography on a shared home computer may be necessary to prove the accused's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

These changes are necessary and have been long in coming. Statistics tell us so, but more so the stories of victims. A report by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics showed that in 2012 more than 3,900 sexual offences against children were reported to police in Canada. That is an increase of 3% from 2011.

As a society, we must do what it takes to protect our children and help them heal. Today, we are standing up for the vulnerable and showing them that their voices are being heard in our justice system. This legislation is in keeping with our commitments in the 2013 Speech from the Throne to punish those who break the law, to match penalties to the severity of the crimes, and to ensure that the rights of victims come before the rights of criminals. It follows up on our previous actions, through legislation such as the Safe Streets and Communities Act, to better protect our children.

Our government also recognizes that bullying and cyberbullying are serious concerns for many Canadian families and communities, and we are committed to doing everything we can to protect our children. That is why, last year, we acted to protect children and other vulnerable Canadians from this degrading behaviour by introducing Bill C-13, the protecting Canadians from online crime act. Our government has also provided funding to create and enhance child advocacy centres across the country to help young victims and witnesses cope with the trauma they have experienced and to better navigate the often-complicated criminal justice system.

Despite our differences in this chamber, I believe we can all agree that nothing is more reprehensible than harming a child. Our government is deeply committed to strengthening the justice system to ensure that sexual offenders who prey on children are punished to the fullest extent of the law. Bill C-26 would send a signal that we as a society do not accept this kind of behaviour in our communities, and it would allow the justice system to better respond to the needs of child victims and their families.

In reviewing speeches from my hon. colleagues across the way, I understand that they have some concerns about mandatory minimum sentences. That said, they have agreed that this bill should go to the committee for further study, and I could not agree more. I hope that the opposition will work with us in giving this bill a thorough examination. I believe, at the end of the day, we can mend our differences for the sake of our children.

Taxation November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it comes as no surprise that the Liberal party is looking to recruit big tax, big spending candidates. The beer and popcorn campaign is up and running and the Liberal candidate for Banff has extended it to cars and TVs.

Our government believes that Canadian families ought to be trusted to spend their hard-earned money as they deem necessary. The family tax cut would help 100% of families with children by putting more money in their pockets and giving families the freedom to spend it as they want. We are proud that over four million families will benefit by an average of over $1,100 per year.

We should all be cheering for that.

Petitions November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition on behalf of Canadians who are asking the government to change the current impaired driving laws in Canada. In the interest of public safety of Canadian citizens, they are asking for tougher laws and the implementation of new mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of impaired driving causing death.

Petitions November 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House to present a petition on behalf of Canadians.

The petitioners are asking for the current impaired driving laws to be changed and made tougher. They are asking for the implementation of new mandatory minimum sentences for those persons convicted of impaired driving causing death.

They are also asking that the Criminal Code of Canada be changed to redefine the offence of impaired driving causing death to vehicular manslaughter.

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

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to have an opportunity to participate with my parliamentary colleagues in the debate on Bill C-43. I will be splitting my time with the member for Newmarket—Aurora.

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.