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  • His favourite word is chair.

Conservative MP for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 29% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Christmas in Rivière-du-Loup November 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, today, I am proud to acknowledge the work of the organizing committee and the volunteers behind the 13th edition of Noël chez nous à Rivière-du-Loup.

Every year in early November, the town of Rivière-du-Loup becomes the Christmas capital of the world. There is a Christmas market featuring over 60 vendors under a tent in the very centre of town, a long parade of floats, fireworks, and many other events.

There are many winter markets in the area that promote local products. Last week, markets were held in Saint-Philippe-de-Néri, Sainte-Hélène and Sainte-Apolline-de-Patton. A winter market will take place on November 19 and 20 in Saint-Denis-De La Bouteillerie; from November 25 to 27 in La Pocatière; and on December 10 in Kamouraska.

Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup is understandably brimming with pride and Christmas joy. I would like to congratulate all the volunteers.

Canada Pension Plan November 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I have a very simple question for my colleague.

Why is Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio so good? Can he explain that to me?

Ethics November 4th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, over 10 years after the Gomery Commission exposed for all Canadians to see the culture of corruption that pervaded the Liberal government of the day, a central figure in the sponsorship scandal and close friend of the Liberal Party has been found guilty of influence peddling, forgery, and money laundering.

Will the government learn from the past and finally follow the ethics rules imposed by its own Prime Minister when it comes to fundraising?

Business of Supply November 3rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question.

When a minister participates in an event that people pay $1,500 to attend so they can have access to that minister, how does the minister get to that event? Does he spend his own money, his riding association's, or his party's, or does he use taxpayer money?

For example, if a minister travels from Ottawa to Toronto to attend a fundraising activity, is the plane ticket paid for by taxpayers, does he use the travel points we get, or does the riding association or the Liberal Party cover travel expenses?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 1st, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her excellent question.

I have already mentioned a number of times that I am a businessman. Business people have decisions to make. Sometimes, when their business' very survival is at stake, they are forced to make extremely difficult decisions. When more and more taxes are piled on, there comes a point when they just cannot pay them anymore. The first thing they have to do, in the majority of cases, is not sell their equipment or buildings, but cut their staff. That is how they can reduce their expenses.

I would like to again thank my colleague for her question because it is very important to talk about Canada's economic development.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 1st, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

To the best of my knowledge, carbon emissions in British Columbia have not necessarily gone down in recent years. Our government committed to reducing emissions with very clear targets. For years, environmental organizations all over the world regarded us as a laughingstock on environmental issues. The reality is, the current government adopted exactly the same targets as the ones we had set.

British Columbia supports putting additional pressure on all Canadian businesses to meet the targets that we ourselves had set.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 1st, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for those good questions.

Ms. Lagarde does not live in Canada, so she does not have to pay the taxes that we Canadians have to pay plus the new taxes that are on the way. I believe Canada was also held up as a model of very sound management during our nine years in power. Our very meticulous plan enabled us to balance the budget while making massive infrastructure investments.

I would like to remind my colleague that, unlike the current Liberal government, we had a plan to balance the budget. They are spending like crazy and saying yes to everyone. The fact is, sooner or later, we will need a plan to balance the budget, and I am not sure my colleague will still be in his seat when the time comes to implement that plan.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 1st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I feel it is important for me to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-29, which implements the measures announced in the budget presented back in March.

This budget was supposed to have a deficit of about $10 billion, but that figure is not even close to reality. The Liberal government is therefore not keeping the promises it made during the election, because it said that it would run deficits of about $10 billion a year for three years. In just the first year, it will run a deficit of $30 billion or more. The amount will probably be announced this afternoon in the government's economic statement. Not only is the government adding to the Canadian debt and placing the burden on future generations, but it is also failing to meet its commitments. More importantly, the desired results are not being achieved. Economic growth is weak at this time. Job creation targets are not being met. We have heard that the shortfall in terms of the job creation target and the actual number of jobs created is 50,000.

The economy has ground to a halt, despite the government's budgetary measures. The government spent and then spent some more. The Bank of Canada, economists at the IMF, and the OECD have all downgraded their economic forecasts for Canada for the next two years.

The current unemployment rate is 7% and has remained unchanged since the Liberals came to power. The parliamentary budget officer's report entitled “Labour Market Assessment 2016” indicates that 6,000 net jobs were lost over the past year. The government projected that 43,000 jobs would be created during that same period. That is a shortfall of 50,000 jobs, which is just terrible because we are here to create jobs. The government is spending money with no job creation to show for it.

The government should have immediately realized and admitted that it was and is going down the wrong path and changed tack. There is nothing wrong with recognizing one's mistakes and correcting them. There has been no indication so far that the government is going to fix its mistakes.

The government thought it could authorize the deficit with the stroke of a pen, but it has to answer to the opposition. The economic situation speaks for itself. It seems like the government cannot balance the budget. What I said yesterday during my three-minute speech is that the government thinks that budgets balance themselves. Anyone who manages a budget, whether it is a family budget or a business budget, knows full well that budgets do not balance themselves. There needs to be a plan to return to balanced budgets. Yesterday, not a single member was able to project a balanced budget in any way. The government seems to think that wishful thinking will balance the budget, but that is just not so.

I am still an entrepreneur. I am the co-owner of a business that employs 25 people. One thing I know for sure is that the government plans to impose new taxes. It has said as much. It also broke its promise to lower the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%. This would have helped businesses innovate and invest in new equipment to improve productivity.

I understand very well what that means because in the last few years that the Conservative government was in power, there were many tax cuts. This made it possible for us to continue to invest more and to create jobs. That is the complete opposite of what the government said it would do and, unfortunately, it did not follow through. In fact, it made an election promise to lower the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%, which it has broken.

That is making things difficult for businesses and it is really detrimental to job creation. The government increases taxes and does not lower the business tax. In a sense, that is tantamount to double taxation.

Then there is the carbon tax. This tax will be devastating for job creation not just for me, as an entrepreneur, but for all Canadians. On top of that, we have the mandatory increase in CPP contributions to look forward to.

This will have a negative impact on SME start-ups like mine. Actually, my business is not all that new. It is 25 years old. That being said, all of Canada's SMEs will have to pay higher CPP premiums for all of their workers and they will feel the effects. For me, this measure will mean that I will have to pay $1,000 a year per employee, for a total of about $25,000 a year. That represents most of one of my employee's salary. It is perhaps a little less but it is around there. That means that I might have to cut jobs. Given that SMEs are the backbone of the Canadian economy, imagine what will happen if they are all in the same situation as me.

I may be unable to absorb the cost of the CPP hike from my business profits, and I might eventually have to cut jobs. If all of Canada's SMEs have the same reaction, there are going to be job losses. Some economists already think that at least a hundred thousand jobs will be lost. What is worse is that the benefits of the CPP hike will not even be felt for 30 or 40 years.

This is a major problem for SMEs, and businesses are very concerned to see all these taxes adding up.

I would like to come back to the carbon tax. Businesses will not be the only ones affected. All Canadians will be. The cost of the carbon tax that companies have to pay will inevitably be passed on to consumers. The price of all consumer goods, including gas, will go up so that businesses can continue to offer the same products.

Many of the measures that the Liberals have put in place are contradictory, and unfortunately, Canadians will be the ones who pay the price.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 November 1st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I will continue the speech I started late yesterday evening.

It is important to me to rise in the House—

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2 October 31st, 2016

Madam Speaker, I have been in the House most of the day and have had a chance to hear the remarks of the members on both sides of the House.

One thing is crystal clear: this government has made decisions in its budget to create an annualized deficit, which is what it promised during the election campaign, specifically, a $10-billion deficit a year for about three years. Scotiabank issued a statement today, on top of all the others it has issued over the past few weeks, to inform Canadians that the deficit will not be $10 billion, as it had previous announced, but rather somewhere between $32 billion and $35 billion. That is three times higher than planned. In just one year, the Liberals will have created the deficit that was supposed to be spread over the next three years.

The government tells Canadians that it is going to invest, say yes to everyone, and hand out money like candy. However, at some point, someone has to pay for all this.

The difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives is that we managed to make many significant investments, in infrastructure among other things, without running a deficit.

During the election campaign, the Liberals said they would run small deficits of $10 billion. This is year one and we already have the deficit that was projected for year three or four. The fundamental problem with all this is that there is no plan to return to a balanced budget. I have heard that a number of times here today. No government member has talked about returning to balanced budgets. None of them have.

Later I will ask how it is that these members and this political party can run a deficit with no light at the end of the tunnel, because there is nothing to indicate an eventual return to balanced budgets. I am sure that my colleagues will continue to ask the same question tomorrow. This is an extremely dangerous road we are going down.

I heard my colleague across the way say that the government was giving an extra $900 to seniors. When the government says that it is going to hand out money left and right, the problem is that it gives with one hand from its own pocket and takes with both hands from the taxpayer's pocket. The carbon tax is a good example. It is a $2,500 tax. The government is giving $900 with one hand and taking $2,500 with the other.