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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was things.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Etobicoke—Lakeshore (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 32% of the vote.

Statements in the House

New Democratic Party of Canada October 20th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the leadership candidate from Skeena—Bulkley Valley is proposing non-compete deals with the Liberals in government-held ridings.

After seeing the candidates the NDP has run over the years in various ridings, does this show this member's lack of faith in his party's ability to find quality candidates for office?

The member for Winnipeg Centre backed this idea. There has even been support within their caucus for an outright merger.

While our government is focusing on what is important to Canadians—job creation and economic growth—the NDP is looking at who could defeat our members. The NDP is splintered in these difficult times.

This week, NDP spokespersons contradicted one another on the issue of a coalition with the Liberals. These are disturbing examples that show that the NDP is too weak and divided to govern.

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Mr. Chair, the hon. member is right. Even Russia is displeased with the actions and the words of the Ukraine government. Basically, the Ukrainian government was deploring the activities of Russia and saying that it acted in bad faith when it negotiated the gas deal.

I think Ukraine is finding itself more and more isolated in the international community. I think there is a certain need for all countries to be, not just economically engaged but to feel accepted in that community. The more we voice those strong words of disapproval and the more we isolate Ukraine, the more we can bring about judicial independence, freedom and human rights in that country.

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Mr. Chair, absolutely, I think this will help.

I think the eyes of the world are upon Ukraine. I think the government of Ukraine knows that and the people of Ukraine know that. The more we keep repeating that message, the more they will know that we are with them and the more these actions will come to bear.

There are other questions that come about with respect to the trade and investments we are making. However, we need to continue to engage the people of Ukraine and increase those lines of communication. That is our preferred route and we will continue to press those actions.

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Mr. Chair, last week the Prime Minister wrote a letter to the Ukrainian President to express our disappointment regarding the Ukrainian government's actions. The wording of the letter was quite strong. It is important that Ukraine and the entire international community know that we do not agree with the Ukrainian government's actions. It is also important that the people of Ukraine read our comments in newspapers, online and through any other means of communication. The people must know that Canadians stand in solidarity with them. This will give them strength to resist the appalling actions of the Ukrainian government. These concrete gestures, these forms of communication, are, in a way, the most important thing we can do in the short term.

In the medium term, we must commit to take action with our allies, that is, Europe, the United States and other countries that share our values. We need a unified effort with our allies in order to have an influence on Ukraine and its government, which is resisting our country's requests. That is what we will do.

Democracy in Ukraine October 18th, 2011

Mr. Chair, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville.

I am thankful for the opportunity to speak this evening to this matter of vital importance to the people of Ukraine, Ukrainian Canadians and people everywhere who cherish freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

I know that members of Parliament from all parties share my concern over the conviction of Yulia Tymoshenko last week to seven years in prison over allegations stemming from the handling of a natural gas deal with Russia. Fair-minded observers everywhere call into question the charges and the conduct of the trial. The Government of Canada and our western allies have condemned the actions of the Ukraine government, and rightly so.

I have had several discussions with Ukrainian Canadians in my riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore. These include organizations active in the greater Toronto area and across Canada, such as the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the League of Ukrainian Canadians, among others. They ask that the Canadian government work with our allies to press the government of Ukraine to implement fair measures to ensure a fair and independent judiciary.

Much has been said about the flaws of the trial, including: the apparent political motivation of the charges, pressed by President Yanukovych, who narrowly defeated Ms. Tymoshenko in the 2010 presidential election; the jailing of Ms. Tymoshenko during her trial, even though she posed little risk of flight; her lack of access to defence counsel; inadequate time and facilities provided for the preparation of her defence; the judge further denying Ms. Tymoshenko the right to examine witnesses under the same conditions as witnesses for the prosecution; and the additional sentencing that Ms. Tymoshenko be barred from participating in political activity for a period of three years after her sentence.

We should make it clear that the threats to freedom and democracy in Ukraine are not limited to the Tymoshenko trial. Several opposition figures are facing similar charges to those brought against Ms. Tymoshenko. These political trials are incompatible with the requirements of the Ukrainian constitution, the laws of Ukraine, the state's international obligations and generally accepted norms.

We need to be clear that political persecution, in Ukraine or anywhere else, is completely unacceptable. Canada will not stand silent while the proud people of Ukraine have their hard-won rights trampled upon.

On October 14 of this year, I had the pleasure of participating in a tribute to our Prime Minister where he received the Taras Shevchenko medal for his dedication to public service, for his leadership and, in particular, for the outstanding contribution he made toward the development of the Ukrainian Canadian community.

First presented in 1961, the Taras Shevchenko medal is the Ukrainian Canadian Congress' highest honour. The Prime Minister is in good company, joining the first Canadian Prime Minister to receive this award, the Right Hon. John Diefenbaker.

Taras Shevchenko was a great artist and a renowned poet but, most important, he was a voice for freedom in Ukraine. As a consequence, Czar Nicholas I condemned him to live in exile. He was sentenced to live, “Under the strictest surveillance, without a right to write or paint”.

Now even that cruel sentence could not silence Shevchenko. In the decades that followed, his words and conduct would inspire Ukrainians to fight for liberty against not only the Czars, but also the totalitarian ideologies of the Soviets and Nazis.

What binds our two countries are values and principles. When Ukraine declared independence in 1991, Canada was the first western country to recognize its sovereignty. On December 1, Ukraine declared independence and, on December 2, Canada recognized its statehood and government.

Why? We all heaved an enormous sigh of relief when Soviet communism was finally and irrefutably discredited. The communist ideology had purported to be the cure for all that ails humanity. It had one major problem. Before it could implement its program, it had to jail or kill everyone who disagreed. Millions were murdered and millions more were starved. It is a past that must not be forgotten, that must never be swept under the carpet.

We stand with the people of Ukraine to ensure that Ukraine's history is not forgotten. In 2008, at the initiative of my colleague, the hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake, we had the chance to finally do something about it, and we did. We recognized Holodomor as a genocide by Canada's Parliament, so that we may never forget.

Going forward, we must let the government of Ukraine know that we implore Ukraine to respect human rights and the rule of law. We also implore Ukraine to ensure free and fair elections in the upcoming election and going forward into the future.

We look forward to a brighter future for Ukraine. We stand with the people of Ukraine in demanding respect for human rights, a fair and independent judicial system and freedom for all political prisoners.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act October 5th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I heard some questions from the members opposite concerning corporate tax rates and how corporations do not pay taxes. Maybe she could explain to the House who the typical shareholders of a company are. They are perhaps pensioners regular shareholders, people saving for their retirement or people having shares in their registered education savings plans. Maybe she could explain the impact of raising corporate taxes on those companies' abilities to actually have a return on that investment.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act October 5th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I hear a lot of comments about squeezing private sector companies, especially banks and oil companies. Of course, all other companies would get the squeeze too if the NDP tax hikes were to be implemented.

Can the member not appreciate or admit that our plan to reduce taxes on corporations, including banks, oil companies, manufacturers and everybody else, is the way to stimulate growth, stimulate investment and create jobs in this country?

Champlain Bridge October 5th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities made an important announcement for the greater Montreal area, Quebec and the entire country. This morning's announcement is further proof that the Conservatives are delivering the goods throughout the country.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities share the announcement with us?

Safe Streets and Communities Act September 27th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I can respond to the question from the hon. member who is a father like I am, and I can say that his daughter would not be the victim of an offender who is locked up in prison. She would be protected from him.

Many times in the debate I hear members opposite draw false analogies with the situation in the United States and use the term “three strikes and you're out”. This is not “three strikes and you're out” for minor offences. The offences we are trying to deal with are major, violent, aggressive offences against the security and safety of Canadians. This is a completely different situation.

In terms of the question about the prison population, the federal prison population is about 14,000 and there are various models that have been put forward. It is impossible to determine exactly what the outcome will be, but we do not anticipate that this is going to be the bursting at the seams prison situation that the opposition describes. At any rate, it is far safer for Canadians to have those violent and aggressive offenders locked up than on the streets.

Safe Streets and Communities Act September 27th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the honourable member's question.

The legislation is responding to the needs of Canadians, especially victims. Victims groups and individual victims have been saying for a long time that their needs are not being reflected in the current laws and also the sentencing guidelines. That is why we introduced this legislation.

Police officers are very supportive of Bill C-10. Canadian Police Association President Tom Stamatakis said:

As a police officer, and as a parent myself, I can't possibly overemphasize the need for the longer sentences this bill provides, to keep these serious offenders off our streets, but perhaps just as important, the creation of the two new offences, particularly prohibition from using any means of telecommunications, including the Internet, to agree or make arrangements with another person for the purpose of committing a sexual offence against a child, is exactly the sort of modernization of the Criminal Code that our members need to deal with today's technologically savvy criminal.

There is a lack of modernization in our current legislation. We are trying to bring this up to 2011, into the 21st century. It is high time. We have been talking about this legislation for several years. These are not surprises and we urge the--