House of Commons photo


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

Safe Streets and Communities Act September 27th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-10, Safe Streets and Communities Act. This bill takes nine previously introduced pieces of legislation and combines them in one comprehensive crime bill.

The proposed changes in the safe streets and communities act are part of our government's ongoing action to make Canada a safer place for law-abiding Canadian families. I have listened, with a great deal of interest, to comments from several hon. members during the debate on the legislation. I certainly appreciate the opportunity to speak of the many benefits that the changes proposed by our government will bring.

It has been five years since our government first took office. In that time, we have worked to bring forward legislation that would hold criminals accountable, put the safety of Canadian families first and deliver the kind of justice that victims of crime expect. It has now been over five years and through many consultations and conversations with people across our country, including with constituents in my riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore, it could not be clearer that Canadians are concerned about the safety of their communities. They have long been calling for our government to focus on ensuring that their communities, playgrounds, streets and homes remain safe.

They have asked us to provide our law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools and modern laws that they need to make our communities safe. We have delivered.

They have asked us to increase offender accountability and to hold offenders accountable by being made to serve sentences that reflect the seriousness of those crimes. We have delivered

Canadians have asked us to be proactive by taking preventive measures to reduce crime before it happens. Again, we have delivered.

I want to touch on just a few of the examples on which our government has delivered for Canadians in these areas.

As an example, we are proud to have increased our country's law-enforcement ability by providing $400 million toward a police officer recruitment fund. In just two years, this fund has enabled us to increase the number of police officers in Canada by more than 1,800. This goes a long way to helping us increase law-enforcement presence in communities both large and small.

We have also passed many pieces of legislation that address the concerns we have heard from victims and Canadians across the country.

For the past five years, we have been fully engaged in promoting healthy, safe communities for Canadians. We have introduced many measures to tackle crime, particularly violent crime and gun crimes. For example, our government took action to crack down on drive-by shootings as well as other shootings that demonstrate reckless disregard for the life or safety of others.

For example, our government has taken action to crack down on drive-by shootings and other intentional shootings that demonstrate a reckless disregard for the life or safety of others. We have taken action to eliminate the shameful practice of granting two-for-one credit, and sometimes three-for-one credit, for time served before sentencing. With this important change, we are now ensuring truth in sentencing.

We have also extended the time period that a person convicted of a serious personal injury offence, including manslaughter, must wait before applying for a pardon.

We have also passed legislation to strengthen the national sex offender registry and the national DNA data bank, marking another tremendous step forward for the protection of vulnerable people from sex offenders. Importantly, the legislation allows the police to use the national sex offender registry proactively to prevent crime.

We have also passed legislation to restore the faith of Canadians in the corrections and conditional release system by ensuring that offenders can no longer be released at one-sixth of their sentences. The Abolition of Early Parole Act abolished the practice of accelerated parole review, which allowed those convicted of first time non-violent white collar offences to obtain day parole after serving one-sixth of their sentences and full parole after serving only one-third.

In addition, the government has also taken action to prevent crimes before they happen. In the last year, our government funded some 160 community-based crime prevention programs through its national crime prevention strategy. These programs had an impact on the lives of nearly 10,000 at-risk youth. Crucially, we have also ensured that the youth gang prevention fund continues to help at-risk youth by including an investment of $7.5 million annually as part of the next phase of Canada's economic action plan.

These are only a few of the measures we have taken to help make our streets and communities safer for law-abiding Canadian families.

However, there is more to do. That is why I am proud to be here today to talk about the safe streets and communities act.

Last May we told Canadians that if re-elected we would move quickly to introduce the past law and order legislation that would crack down on crime, gangs and terrorism. We said that we would do this within 100 sitting days of the new session of Parliament. Our government has pledged to finish what we started and move forward with this legislation to better protect Canadian families. We believe the legislation is a fair and reasonable response to ensure the safety of our communities.

Three departments are responsible for the elements found in the legislation, legislation that impacts Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Public Safety Canada is responsible for four provisions under the safe streets and communities act. The first measure amends the International Transfer of Offenders Act. We propose to include public safety as an express purpose of the act. We also propose updating the decision making criteria used by the Minister of Public Safety when making the decision to transfer Canadian offenders back to Canada to complete their sentences.

The second Public Safety Canada measure will move to enact the justice for victims of terrorism act and to amend the State Immunity Act to deter terrorism. What this means is that victims of terrorism will be able to launch a law suit in Canadian courts against the individual or organization that carried out the attack.

The third element falling within Public Safety Canada is a proposal to strengthen the legislation governing pardons. First, very important, the legislation would change the name from “pardon” to “record suspension”. We have heard from victims and victims rights groups that the word “pardon” indicates that somehow the government has forgiven the person for their crime. Forgiveness is not the government's to give. No one can forgive an offender for a crime except the victim, or the victim's family. This proposal will also change the legislation so that repeat serious offenders and those who commit sexual offences against children are no longer eligible to apply for a record suspension.

Finally, we propose to strengthen the management of offenders during their incarceration and conditional release and highlight the importance of correctional plans in the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.

There are several components within Bill C-10 that fall under the responsibility of the Department of Justice. It will increase the penalties imposed for sexual offences against minors.

As a father of young children, I welcome these changes to protect the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society. Bill C-10 would bring forward changes that create tougher sentences for individuals found guilty of the production and possession of illicit drugs for the purposes of trafficking. It would strengthen the laws that deal with young offenders, making sure they are held accountable for their actions and that their sentences fit the crimes that they have committed. It would also bring to an end the use of conditional sentences or house arrest for violent and property crimes.

In addition, there is legislation that falls under the responsibility of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. Bill C-10 would amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to protect foreign workers who could become victims of human trafficking or exploitation. This is a very real problem in my city of Toronto. Finally, we will be able to pass legislation to deal with it.

None of this legislation is a surprise. Just as Canadians have been clear in supporting our efforts to improve safety and security in our communities, so too have we been clear that this legislation would be a priority in the early days of this new Parliament.

For these reasons, I urge all hon. members of the House to work with the government to ensure the swift passage of Bill C-10.

The Economy September 22nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that, once again, our Conservative government has proven that we remain focused on what matters to Canadians: creating jobs and promoting economic growth.

The figures released by Statistics Canada this morning indicate that the number of people receiving regular employment insurance benefits fell by 22% compared to July 2010. That number has been dropping for 10 consecutive months now. The number of Canadians filing an initial or renewal claim dropped by 3% compared to the same time last year.

This is because nearly 600,000 jobs have been created since July 2008, including 29,000 full-time jobs in August alone. This only proves, once again, that Canadians made the right choice during the last election when they chose our low-tax plan for job creation.

Ukraine September 19th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, recently we have seen some very troubling events take place in Ukraine. The persecution, arrest and continued detention of Yulia Tymoshenko, along with many others, are cause for great concern both in Canada as well as in the international community. Also, we deplore the murder of the journalist Georgy Gongadze and the harassment and intimidation of Ukrainian historians who draw attention to Ukrainian national resistance during Soviet rule.

These apparently politically motivated actions undermine the rule of law and human rights, which are at the core of all democracies. The Ukrainian people, having long lived under the rule of regressive and undemocratic Soviet policies, will not accept a return to darker times. Ukrainians deserve to live in a peaceful and prosperous society, where they can enjoy the same freedoms and safeties seen across other western nations.

I stand with the 1.25 million Ukrainian-Canadians, many of whom reside in my riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore, who urge the Ukrainian government to strengthen judiciary independence free of political interference.

Slava Ukrainia.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for our colleague on the other side of the House regarding profits for small and medium-sized businesses. As we know, the present lockout has caused problems for SMEs.

I will share with the House an email from an entrepreneur in my riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore.

Here is the statement: “As an owner of a small business who employs a dozen people, I can tell you that the impact on our cash flow is crippling. The flow of money into our company from our many customers, most of whom are independent retailers, has basically stopped for two weeks while our suppliers, who are large businesses, are stopping shipments because cheques have been caught in the backlog of mail. We, and many other small businesses I interact with, are facing the reality of having to lay off employees, which is the very last thing that should be happening.”

What does the member opposite have to say about how his proposed solution will help small business?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his contribution to the discussion this afternoon.

I just want to inject some facts into the discussion. Some facts were given earlier. It is good to have passion about these issues. It is important that people have a good living and a good pension. I want to talk briefly about the Canada Post pension plan and ask a question.

Canada's pension liability in 2011 is $14 billion. Currently Canada Post Corporation employees receive a fully indexed defined benefit pension by age 60, including comprehensive health benefits. Good for them.

Close to 22,000 employees, about a third of the workforce, will retire in the next 10 years. Canada Post employees and the corporation pay into that pension plan. The employees contribute about 40% and the corporation contributes another 60%. Currently there is an unfunded liability in that pension plan of $3.2 billion.

I would like to ask what helpful advice the member opposite can give to Canada Post to find that $3.2 billion to ensure that those workers have a viable pension going forward.

Small Business June 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time I rise in the House, I would like to thank the constituents of Etobicoke—Lakeshore for having placed their trust in me.

I also want to congratulate you on your election. You are a breath of fresh air for the House.

I rise today to speak to an important measure announced by my colleague, the finance minister, when he brought down the budget on Monday. Our government is giving small businesses a hiring credit of up to $1,000. More than half a million businesses will be able to benefit from this credit. That is a concrete measure to help create jobs across the country.

Our government is a firm believer that small businesses drive our economy and we will always support them.