House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was taxes.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for North Vancouver (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 27% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Unemployment Rate April 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Saint-Lambert for giving me this opportunity to once again highlight the extraordinary success we have enjoyed, thanks to the leadership of our Prime Minister.

I stand here somewhat perplexed by the hon. member's insistence that we need to improve our economic record and that we take action with measures we have already taken. To paraphrase the motion, it says that the government has not done enough to create jobs, so we should reduce small business taxes. We just committed to lower taxes by two percentage points, which is about 18%, for small businesses, from 11% to 9%. This is on top of our government's cut from 12% to 11% previously.

The motion goes on to say that we need to extend the accelerated capital cost allowance for manufacturers. This just in: we have extended it for 10 years and have continually extended it since we formed government. That is good news for small business. That is the same NDP that has repeatedly voted against this exact measure.

There is more. The NDP continues to ask for some completely undefined innovation tax credit. It must have had some eureka moment when it decided it liked the words “innovation” and “tax”, so it put them together and sold it as a plan. However, our government has introduced something called the SR and ED credit , which helps companies invest in innovation across Canada.

There is also the capital cost allowance if one wants to invest in innovation-enhancing machinery. We have also given more than $1.33 billion, just in budget 2015, to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. Again, the NDP must be confused, because it is asking for things that already exist.

It then asks us to invest in labour market training, something we have done to a record degree.

Ultimately, this is perhaps the most bizarre motion I have ever been asked to debate in the House. Perhaps this is simply another case of the opposition not even taking the time to read the budget.

Allow me to explain to the member opposite just how well our plan has worked. I thought it would be helpful, therefore, to list a few of these truths for the benefit of the entire House. The facts are clear. Canada's economic action plan is working. Consider the following.

Canada has demonstrated one of the best economic performances among the G7 countries since the recovery. The International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development expect Canada's growth, already ahead of its peers during the recovery, to continue to be strong.

Canada has posted one of the strongest job performances in the G7. Over 1.2 million more Canadians are working now than at the end of the recession. The majority of these net new jobs have been full-time positions in high-wage, private sector industries. Perhaps more importantly, we have achieved this while balancing the budget and keeping taxes low for all Canadians.

Allow me to go into a bit more detail. The task of creating jobs is not a solitary duty. That is why our government works regularly with the provinces and territories on programming to enhance training and education and to improve labour market participation. It is also important to remember that Canada ranks well internationally in developing and educating its workforce at a time when the labour market is shifting toward high-skilled employment.

Canadians are among the most highly educated in the world, placing at the top of all the members of the OECD countries in terms of post-secondary educational attainment. Canada's labour force participation rate also compares very favourably with that of the other OECD member countries.

Through our labour market development agreements, $1.95 billion per year in funding is made available to the provinces and territories to design, deliver, and manage skills and employment programs. We have been actively working to retool the labour market development agreements with provinces and territories so that we can continue to ensure that the skills of Canadians respond to the needs of the labour force. Our government also provides provinces and territories with additional funding in support of labour market programming, including $500 million in 2014-15 through the Canada job fund agreements, which include the Canada job grant.

Collaborating with provinces and territories makes good sense, particularly in areas where interprovincial harmonization can improve job prospects for hard-working Canadian tradespeople. That is why economic action plan 2015 extends further support to the provinces and territories to facilitate the harmonization of apprenticeship training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades. For example, jurisdictions will work towards adopting common sequencing for technical training curriculum content and similar total hours of training, both in class and on the job.

Overall Canada saw a 20% increase in registrations in apprenticeship programs between 2006 and 2012, and the demand for skilled trade workers continues to grow. Job vacancy rates in the skilled trades have surpassed pre-recession levels and are currently above all occupations. In fact, Canadian employers are experiencing increasing difficulty hiring skilled trades workers.

To support entrepreneurial tradespeople, budget 2015 will provide $1 million over five years to Employment and Social Development Canada's Red Seal Secretariat to promote the adoption of the Blue Seal certification program across Canada. Blue Seal certification recognizes business training among certified tradespeople. Currently offered in a few provincial jurisdictions, the certification can help increase the chance of business success for entrepreneurial tradespeople.

We are also providing funding for aboriginal labour market programming, including the skills and partnership fund. We will provide $215 million over five years, starting this year, and $50 million a year thereafter to this fund to help equip aboriginal peoples for jobs in high-demand sectors of the economy, including high-skilled occupations.

I hope I have made plain that our actions to date, focused on helping Canadians find new and better jobs, are by no means insignificant.

Let me quickly touch on our record for small business.

Our government very early on recognized that small businesses make up over 90% of all Canadian businesses and employ two-thirds of all Canadians, which is why we have reduced the small business tax load by almost 50% since we formed government. The NDP has resisted us every step of the way, which makes today's motion all that much more strange.

Economic action plan 2015 improves access to financing for small businesses and reduces red tape for small business owners. This is on top of years of support, such as the small business job credit, which the NDP voted against, increasing the small business limit, which they voted against, and launching the venture capital action plan to help companies grow and create jobs, which again, they voted against.

My time is limited today, but I could speak all day about how absurd this motion is from the NDP, who have zero record of supporting actual job-creating measures, like the ones we have already introduced. We know that all they want to do is raise taxes on Canadians, especially the middle class. That includes small businesses, families, manufacturers, and seniors, and the list goes on. On this side of the House, we know that this is definitely not the way to create jobs.

I hope the hon. member will continue to give us the opportunity to recite even more of the good things we have done to help create jobs. It is truly music to all of our ears.

Unemployment Rate April 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that interesting speech.

The New Democrats talk about debt, but their high-tax and high-spending schemes would hurt all Canadians. We know that. It would burden them with even more debt for our children and grandchildren who would have to pay. Moreover, they would hurt jobs and small business with their payroll taxes.

The Liberal member thinks that budgets balance themselves.

Why does the member opposite opposite the plan for middle-class Canadians that is written in black ink for the first time in a number of years? Is it because the New Democrats are too busy writing the NDP plan in red ink? Could the member please explain that for us?

The Budget April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague mentioned employment insurance premiums and rates and how they were too high. When we introduced the small business job credit, which is a significant reduction in EI premiums for small businesses, in fact, 700,000 small businesses in Canada will benefit from that, why did the member and his party voted against that reduction in premiums?

The Budget April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague opposite why he is so against tax-free savings accounts. Why is he against allowing Canadians to save for their future, for their retirement and for their children's education? This is an opportunity to give Canadians that chance. Eleven million accounts have already been opened.

My next question is regarding his expensive bureaucratic child care program. How does he expect to pay for that? Will it be through a $20 billion carbon tax?

Taxation April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, there are many other options, voluntary options, tax saving options, that we have enhanced to help people save. What we will not suggest is raising taxes on workers, claiming it is for their own good. Under our government, there will be no mandatory job-killing, economy-destabilizing pension tax hike, not for employees, not for employers.

Our government is focused on reducing taxes on the middle class, not increasing taxes like the Liberals and the NDP would do.

The Budget April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is our Conservative government that has fought for seniors. We have increased the guaranteed income supplement by the largest amount in more than a quarter of a century. They voted against it. We have introduced pension income splitting for seniors. They voted against it. Economic action plan 2015 introduces even more support for seniors, such as the new home accessibility tax credit, more compassionate care benefits, and lower required RRIF withdrawals.

They want to raise taxes on seniors. We are putting money back in the pockets of Canadian seniors.

The Budget April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we are proud to leave more money in the pockets of Canadians, which is good for future generations. The TFSA is the most popular savings vehicle since the RSP was introduced, with 11 million accounts and growing, the majority of which are for low-income and middle-income earners.

The Liberals want high taxes on middle-class families, high taxes on middle-class seniors, and high taxes on middle-class consumers. That is their plan: high taxes on the middle class.

Our Conservative government is lowering taxes on the middle class, and we will not apologize for helping Canadians save for their future.

The Budget April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we are proud to introduce a balanced budget and a plan for job creation and economic growth while keeping taxes low. Thanks to our low-tax plan, the average Canadian family of four now has an extra $6,600 in their pockets every year.

Here is what the opposition is not telling people: The Liberals and the NDP want high taxes on middle-class families, high taxes on middle-class seniors, and high taxes on middle-class consumers. That is their plan: higher taxes for the middle class.

Our Conservative government is lowering taxes on the middle class and lowering taxes for all Canadians.

The Budget April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our family benefits will help 100% of families across Canada with kids, with the vast majority of the benefits going to low- and middle-income Canadians. There are 11 million Canadians who have a tax-free savings account, with the vast majority of accounts belonging again to low- and middle-income earners.

The Liberals and the NDP want high taxes on middle-class families, high taxes on middle-class seniors, and high taxes on middle-class consumers.

Our Conservative government is lowering taxes on the middle class and lowering taxes for all Canadians.

The Budget April 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry for that excellent question.

Small businesses make up over 90% of Canadian businesses and employ two-thirds of all Canadians. Since we formed government, we have reduced the small business tax load by almost 50%. We are also providing unprecedented tax relief, such as reducing the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%.

We will not increase taxes on almost 700,000 small businesses and kill Canadian jobs like the Liberal leader, who confirmed that he would reverse tax credits for small businesses. That is their plan. Our government will reduce taxes--