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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
Rise in anti-Semitism February 24th, 2015
Mr. Chair, yes, I was born and raised in Poland. I was born nine years after the war, not very far from Auschwitz, actually, 120 kilometres more or less. I remember visiting Auschwitz when I was 12 years old more or less. I do not think I fully understood, at that time, the magnitude of what happened there.
Growing up, I visited it again several times. The question I always ask myself, and I do not think I will ever find the answer to it, is how people could do these things to other people. The other question I always ask myself is how it was possible that those terrible things, those atrocities, were committed by one of the most or the most advanced nation in Europe. How is it possible that it used its science and its resources to build a place, an industrial place, to kill and process other human beings?
We all know, or we should know, what we should learn from history and from what happened there. It is that propaganda of hatred and racism can lead to unthinkable things as a result, and we should always remember this, and we should all teach our young generations what can happen when we try to turn people against each other because they are different, they pray differently, they worship differently, they look different. This is something we should never let happen again, in the future.
Rise in anti-Semitism February 24th, 2015
Mr. Chair, I am very honoured to rise in this House to take part in this debate.
Just a few weeks ago, people around the world reflected on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of the most notorious sites of the uniquely sadistic, brutal, and unspeakable atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis. They gathered together to recognize and honour the victims and survivors of this horrific and inhumane period of history. I was honoured to be among them to commemorate this most horrific of crimes.
Auschwitz-Birkenau was originally intended as a large concentration camp primarily for members of Polish resistance and intelligentsia, and in 1941-42 it was expanded for what the Germans called “the final solution”, which meant extermination of Jews. Six million men and women, including three million children, were murdered during the Holocaust for the simple fact that they were Jewish. This was what anti-Semitism had led to in supposedly civilized Europe. It was a time of horrendous nightmares.
As the world saw the end of the Second World War nearing, the enormity of the Holocaust began to be exposed through efforts of people like Jan Karski. It is critical that we continue to reflect on history in the modern context. As our Prime Minister said, our memory of the Holocaust and the suffering endured by its victims and their families:
...helps keep strong the conviction in our hearts to do everything we can—through our actions and our words—to stand firm against the forces of intolerance and remain vigilant against genocide. Only through these continued efforts can we ensure that such atrocities never happen again
To put it simply, we must never forget; we must do all we can to prevent another genocide, another Shoah, from occurring. This is the kind of resolution we must make every day and at every opportunity. This is all the more critical at a time when anti-Semitic incidents and Holocaust denial persist around the world.
Seventy years after the liberation of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the members, observer countries, and permanent international partners of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance collectively reaffirmed our unqualified support for the Stockholm declaration of 15 years ago and our commitment to remembering and honouring the victims of the Holocaust, to upholding its terrible truth, to standing up against those who would distort or deny it, and to combatting anti-Semitism and racism in all its forms.
It is why we also partner with B'nai Brith Canada to invest in the national task force on Holocaust research, remembrance, and education. The task force brings together scholars, legal experts, educators, Holocaust survivors, and community representatives to further Holocaust research and education in Canada. Canada is at the forefront of the international fight against anti-Semitism. We were the first country to announce its withdrawal from the tainted Durban process at the United Nations because we would not lend the good name of this country to a process supposedly to combat racism, which in fact promoted anti-Semitism.
This is what parliamentarians from around the world declared here in Ottawa four years ago in developing the Ottawa protocol, as we hosted the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism. Among its commitments, the protocol called for leaders of faith groups to combat all forms of hatred and discrimination, including anti-Semitism. It called on governments to establish an international task force to identify and monitor hate on the Internet, to record all hate crimes including anti-Semitism, and to express concern over anti-Semitism on campuses.
The Holocaust was a crime against humanity unlike any other in human history, and it fundamentally altered how the world views and treats acts of genocide.
As more and more survivors can no longer share their stories, we have the moral obligation to teach future generations about the horrors of Shoah and to draw lessons from this dark chapter in history, in order to prevent it from ever being repeated.
Rotary Club of Mississauga-City Centre February 24th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to join the Rotary Club of Mississauga-City Centre on February 15 for a special ceremony celebrating Canada's national flag and the one-year anniversary of the extending seniors' horizon program, which offers training to seniors on how to use modern communication technologies and social media.
It is common for seniors to feel isolated, and that is especially true for immigrant seniors. Extending seniors' horizon allows seniors to lessen their feelings of isolation by communicating with their friends and families, often very far away. I have had the privilege of meeting happy seniors who participate in this program. Our government's funding has allowed them to purchase equipment used in special training sessions.
I applaud the Rotary Club of Mississauga-City Centre for this excellent initiative, led by Tim Iqbal, and the work of the volunteers for extending seniors' horizon. Their work is greatly appreciated. I wish the Rotarians in Mississauga, Canada, and around the world congratulations on the Rotary's 110th anniversary.
Lunar New Year February 19th, 2015
Mr. Speaker, last night at midnight, thousands of Canadians across the country, including our Prime Minister, gathered together to ring in the lunar new year.
Over the next two weeks, Canadians of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other backgrounds are marking the arrival of the Year of the Sheep, known to some as the Year of the Goat. They will celebrate the renewal and optimism that comes with a new year, along with family, friends, and their local communities.
The lunar new year brings with it wonderful expressions of tradition and culture, such as the distribution of lucky pockets. It gives families the opportunity to honour their ancestors and pass along beautiful traditions and customs to a new generation.
The lunar new year is also a fantastic opportunity for all Canadians to share in the richness of Asian culture.
On behalf of the Conservative caucus, I wish all Canadians celebrating the lunar new year good luck, prosperity, and success.
Gong hey fat choy; Gong xi fa cai, Chuc mung nam moi!
Taxation February 4th, 2015
Mr. .Speaker, while Canada's economy is better than many, we still remain on the road to recovery. A carbon tax is not a way to deal with economic issues in our country.
Bringing in higher taxes and higher debt is not the path on which we believe Canadians want to be. Canadians cannot afford more of the NDP and Liberals' risky tax hike schemes.
Our government believes in the importance of a strong economy and refuses to weigh it down with another tax on Canadian families. Bringing in a job-killing carbon tax is reckless.
Our Conservative government is lowering taxes for families and putting more money back into their pockets. Keeping taxes low and creating jobs are essential to keeping this economy on the right track. We will never punish Canadians with a job-killing carbon tax.
Auschwitz February 3rd, 2015
Mr. Speaker, I was honoured to be part of the official Canadian delegation to Poland for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp.
More than a million people were murdered there between 1940 and 1945. At the commemoration, we listened to the testimony of three survivors: Halina Birenbaum, who grew up in the Warsaw ghetto and was imprisoned at Auschwitz; Kazimierz Albin, one of the first prisoners at Auschwitz at age 18, who would later escape and join the resistance; and Roman Kent, who issued a strong plea to world leaders that I would like to relay back to the House. He said, “We survivors do not want our past to be our children's future”. I would ask my fellow parliamentarians to remember Mr. Kent's words.
We must all work together to protect innocent people here and around the world. We should never sit on the sidelines when we face evil, oppression, hatred, or injustice.
Black History Month February 2nd, 2015
Mr. Speaker, February is recognized as Black History Month. Black African and Caribbean communities can be traced back to Canada's origins. Throughout February we honour the legacy of black Canadians who have helped make Canada the culturally, diverse and prosperous country that it is today.
Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom in Canada along the Underground Railroad, and Lincoln Alexander, Canada's first black member of Parliament, are examples of great black Canadians in our history.
I extend a special thanks to thousands of black Canadian soldiers who bravely serve and have served throughout our proud military history.
I was very honoured to attend celebrations of Black History Month yesterday at Praise Cathedral Worship Centre in Mississauga. Many thanks to Bishop Lennox Walker and his team for a wonderful event filled with music, singing and great stories.
I encourage all Canadians to learn more about the stories and experiences of black Canadians.
Taxation December 9th, 2014
Mr. Speaker, the Ontario Liberals' new mandatory payroll tax could force a two-worker family to pay up to $3,200 more each year.
A recent study says small business owners believe that the Liberal payroll tax hike could be the greatest challenge they have ever faced. My constituents are alarmed and want the federal government to keep taxes low.
Can the Minister of State for Finance please update the House on Canada's low tax plan?
Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 December 2nd, 2014
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the member opposite to clarify her comment on refugees in answer to the question by her colleague.
First, Canada accepts a large number of refugees every year and fulfills not only its commitment under international treaties but also goes beyond it. All refugees get the proper treatment and all the benefits that are assigned for them. What we are talking about here is people who come to this country, ask for asylum, ask to be determined refugees, and at the end of the process it is determined that they have no grounds for that claim. Those people are eventually cut off from benefits.
Let us not mislead Canadians, the members of the House, or anyone else. The member should clarify it for the sake of the dignity of this place.