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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is going.

Conservative MP for Huron—Bruce (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

June 5th, 2017

Madam Speaker, this is coming right out of the Gerald Butts-Katie Telford playbook. They nickel-and-dime us to death. We have seen that in Ontario. Now we are going to see it here.

With respect to passports, low-income Canadians would love to have passports. Maybe they could go on a little trip. Especially where I am from, we can go over to Port Huron or into Ohio for a little visit if we like. If passport fees are going to go up, it sure would add a lot for a fixed-income person, especially a fixed-income senior.

Another one I would like to talk about is the agriculture and agrifood food side. Agriculture and agrifood is the biggest driver in the province of Ontario. The CFIA makes it difficult enough for small butcher shops, abattoirs, feed mills, and other things to stay open. We should be looking to decrease, not increase, fees. It is the same thing other members have talked about with excise taxes. It is so bizarre to hear the finance minister stand in the House of Commons and say that we need to continue to raise taxes so businesses understand, or whatever he said today in question period. I cannot believe it. It should be reducing taxes.

June 5th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to be here tonight to debate Bill C-44, the budget implementation act. I thought I would start my speech by laying out a little context, at least from my perspective, about how the finance minister and the industry minister have it wrong, and how some other members I have heard speak here tonight have it wrong. They talked about economic growth. They talked about their last two budgets, their plan for the economy and how it is working so well, and that they have this terrific economic growth.

One thing we would agree on is that the economy is growing. What we would disagree on is why that economy is growing. In a $2 trillion economy, the budget they have put forward and so heavily back loaded has not moved the dial at all. What has moved the dial for the Canadian economy is a strong U.S. economy, a low Canadian dollar, and strong consumer spending, basically around the housing industry, which is by and large completely financed by debt.

If we read any economic publication about economic growth, we would see no mention of the Prime Minister nor the finance minister's plan, and definitely nothing about the Liberal Party of Canada. Those are the facts. We are lucky. We all root for a good economy, but we have to be realistic about why we have strong economic growth.

The other points where I would like to lay out some context is that in spite of that strong economic growth, the numbers have been revised from where they were before. They were pegged around an annualized rate at 4.1%, which is way up from a couple of years ago, and certainly since last year, but they have been revised down to 3.7% annualized.

Other possibly troubling pieces in these economic numbers are inventories being back loaded, which they are currently, and that exports to the United States have slipped mildly. The annualized rate now, which everyone is projecting realistically to be 2.2%, not surprisingly, is behind the United States in economic growth.

Everyone in this room should know that when the U.S. economy goes well, we do well. When the U.S. economy goes bad, we do not do so well. There are 75% of our exports going to the United States, so it is no surprise. Exports to the United States were up 5.4% in April, and we will see where it goes for the rest of the year.

Another troubling fact that all parliamentarians should have, and Canadians in a broader sense should have, is that if we compare the deficits that we experienced in 2009, 2010, and 2011, for example, it was in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the great depression. With the deficits that we have and the debt we are going to be accumulating over the next four years, for sure to 2019, but if the Liberals somehow manage to get re-elected in 2019, which is looking more doubtful every day, we are trending towards 2055 for deficit and debt repayment.

My point is that the deficits we are adding today are at a time of economic growth, at a time where the economy is actually moving well in the U.S. and here. It is a little less well with the other G7 countries, but it is not too bad. If we compare that to the times of 2009, 2010, and 2011, those were terrible times. It is never a good idea to accumulate debt while times are good. It is never a good idea to accumulate debt at any time.

I am from Ontario, and we have another big problem. Her first name is Kathleen. We have some problems. We have a lot of instability with some of the policies she has put forward. Her cousin Dalton caused us a lot of trouble too. We have had 13 years of provincial Liberal government in the province of Ontario. They have accumulated more debt than all the other provincial governments combined. They might get out of deficit at some point, but they have sold the furniture to pay off the short-term financial issues. We have electricity rates that are absolutely ridiculous, that businesses cannot afford, seniors on fixed income cannot afford, and low-income Ontarians cannot afford.

The province that I live in has the same leadership, with Gerald Butts and Katie Telford guiding the Prime Minister's ship in the same direction that the Province of Ontario has been going for the last 13 years. The only thing that is saving us at this point in time is the U.S. economy. We are thankful for its strength and we are thankful that it continues to buy our products. We are also thankful that our dollar is low relative to the U.S. dollar.

The minister of industry talks at great length about his superclusters and all the other stuff he is doing, but it has not moved the needle. The three western provinces are going to show the best growth and the best strength for our Canadian economy, and that is basically led by the oil and gas sector. As much as the Liberal government considers the words “oil” and “gas” as two dirty words that they do not like to use, the reality is that our economy is still successful with the sector, and as we heard from many of our colleagues, it is the most ethically produced oil and gas in the world.

Other members have talked about companies like Procter & Gamble that have announced it is going to be leaving Ontario. That is 500 good-paying jobs in a small city of 30,000. That is a devastating blow at a time when the U.S. is going to reduce taxes, is cutting regulations, and has a number of infrastructure announcements coming out this week that will lay the foundation for its growth.

Contrast that to what we are doing here in Canada where we are adding taxes. We heard about the excise tax. The government is adding other levies and fees. We are revisiting the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. We heard the Minister of Transport talking today about the navigable waters act. These are all things that will slow our progress, slow our growth. If the Liberals are in government long enough, we will once again be doing environmental assessments on cedar benches in national parks, which is what we were doing before we made those changes.

This has been brought up already, but if I heard it once in the last election, I must have heard it 500 times. I am talking about how the Liberals said they would never do omnibus bills. They said, “Not us, if we ever get in.” Bill C-44 that we are looking at tonight is as prolific as any omnibus bill before it. I am sure that if a student in political science anywhere across this country wanted to have a good look at what an omnibus bill is, that student need look no further than this piece of legislation.

The government House leader has said that everything in this legislation is about money. I guess at the end of the day, everything is about money, but that is not what the Liberals were talking about in the last election.

Another topic we have heard a lot about in the House of Commons, and which is a continuation of the anti-rural policies that the Liberals have, is the investment bank. The overall arching sweep of infrastructure money is $181 billion over the next 11 years. The slap in the face to rural Canadians, which I am one of, is that only $2 billion over 11 years is specifically allocated to rural Canada. It is pretty much a given that not $1 in the $35-billion infrastructure bank will go to rural Canadian towns and municipalities.

Canadians should also be concerned about the wording with respect to the infrastructure bank. I apologize if someone else has brought this up today, but it is that the investments may be made in Canada or “partly in Canada”. This basically means that our Canadian tax dollars, which should be going into building infrastructure in this country, can go toward building infrastructure in China, India, and many other places. That is not what Canadians view as an infrastructure bank when they are talking about it.

In addition, other parts in the briefing that was presented are with regard to a significant portion of the risk. The bank could take on debt that allows other debtors to be paid first in order to provide a loss buffer. Those are not words that Canadian taxpayers want to hear, and they are not words we want to hear, especially when Liberal cabinet members are the ones who will be picking the projects.

I have many more pages to go over here, so hopefully the Liberals will ask questions that pertain to what I have in the rest of my speech.

June 5th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I heard the member for Guelph's question, and it is the typical incorrect Liberal rhetoric that they fire away.

The reality of the situation is that there is good economic growth in the United States. We have a low Canadian dollar, and we have a lot of consumer spending here in Canada.

I wonder if the member could provide a little context on the reality of the situation. We have a $2-trillion economy. The Liberals have a deficit. It is a shame of all shames that we are in deficit when the economy is growing and there is a strong U.S. economy.

Would the member shed some truth and some reality and facts on the debate here today?

Questions on the Order Paper May 19th, 2017

With regard to the government’s approval of the takeover of ITF Technologies by O-Net Technology Group: (a) did the government impose any condition on the takeover aimed at preventing the Chinese government from having access to weapon technology; (b) if the answer to (a) is affirmative, what were the conditions; (c) if the answer to (a) is negative, what was the rationale for not imposing any condition; and (d) did the government receive any communication from the Chinese government encouraging the Canadian government to approve the takeover and, if so, what are the details including the (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient?

Foreign Affairs May 9th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, after the Prime Minister spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on his personal travel and $30,000 on Broadway tickets, worse yet, yesterday we found out the Prime Minister spent $2,000 on cardboard cut-outs of himself. What is next, a cardboard cut-out of the defence minister?

The Prime Minister needs to get serious. He needs to cut the waste and he finally needs to get to work for Canadian families

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns May 8th, 2017

With regard to the acquisition of cardboard cutouts of the image of the Prime Minister or any Cabinet Minister, since November 4, 2015: (a) how many cardboard cutouts has the government purchased; (b) whose image is on the cutouts; (c) how much did they cost and what are the expenses associated with them, broken down by individual purchase; and (d) who approved the purchase of the cardboard cutouts?

Questions on the Order Paper April 10th, 2017

With regard to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s approval of the takeover of Retirement Concepts by Cedar Tree Investments Canada: has the government received any assurances that either Cedar Tree Investments Canada or its parent company, Anbang Insurance, are not controlled by factions with ties to the Chinese government and, if so, what are the details of any such assurances?

Charles Mann February 8th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour a true Canadian hero. Charles Mann, a veteran of World War II, passed away this January.

Charles joined the military in 1940 at the age of 18, and two years later volunteered for the Devil's Brigade. He fought bravely in Italy and in southern France, and a few years ago was awarded the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal.

Charles was also one of Canada's first nuclear operators. Charles served the community of Kincardine with distinction for over 20 years on municipal council and 13 of those years as mayor.

He was named the Kincardine citizen of the year and a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal. He was a passionate advocate for veterans, serving on the National Council of Veterans Affairs and his local Kincardine Legion.

Charles was a true gentleman. He loved his family, his two dogs, and his community.

We thank Charles for his lifetime of service to this country. We will miss him. God bless.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act December 7th, 2016

Madam Speaker, that is a fair question. I would say to the member, with all due respect, that the provinces and the federal minister need to get at this immediately. It has gone on for far too long. There is a lack of buying power. The federal government and all of the provinces combined have an opportunity to really get tough on the pharmaceutical companies. They play us for fools, as far as I am concerned, and I really hope the health minister steps up.

Here I will speak about the province of Ontario. It is a disgrace in the province that some drugs are not included, such as the shingles vaccine, and that some seniors are covered and others are not. I cannot even list how many letters I have written to the health minister to try to help seniors and people in vulnerable positions with the high cost of drugs.

I will also mention that in Parliament right now, there is a debate with the Liberals about taxing 13.5 million people's health benefits. It is ridiculous.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act December 7th, 2016

Madam Speaker, we can mark on the calendar that December 7 might be the first time the member and I have ever agreed on anything.

There are many other countries that will need to ratify this through their own parliaments, so I will leave the timing alone. I would say the sooner, the better, as it would be great for all producers.

The economic impact on farms is huge. The processing side, the small abattoir side, the processing jobs that go along with that, the transport jobs, and even the servicing of the transport trucks, are hugely important. All contribute. It could be by a factor of 6:1 or 7:1. Whatever it is, it is huge. The farm gate receipts in Huron County alone are nearly $1 billion. If we multiply that out, it is huge for my area.