House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was terms.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Conservative MP for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2 November 28th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is irresponsible. It is disrespectful, quite honestly. We have the second-most powerful individual in the country under investigation. In fact, he was charged and had to pay a fine, because he would not disclose the things that all of us had to. He had an administrative oversight and forgot to mention his villa in France. We do ourselves a disservice by not being honest and upfront. We wonder why people call politicians crooked. It is because we sometimes are not forthright about what we do and what we say. Jim Flaherty was declared the best finance minister in the world. We need that back again.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2 November 28th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, members might remember the tax reform that came out in the middle of the summer and ended just before we came back in the fall. That was small business tax reform. It should have been called “shaft the small business people”, because that is what it was all about. The Liberals made some retractions after they were caught. Do members remember capital gains?

However, they did great things for themselves, especially the leaders, such as the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister. They wanted to make sure that those at the very top were sheltered. In fact, what we have heard is that those in the very elite top are now paying $1 billion less in tax a year. However, the middle class they talk about, which I call “working individuals”, are now paying $840 more than they were before the Liberal government came to power.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2 November 28th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, 94% of announced infrastructure projects have failed to start. That is really moving forward.

Let us talk about jobs. We actually talked about jobs in committee this morning. We talked about a number of things. One of them was Phoenix. The shipbuilding procurement program was another.

In my riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, what is the driving indicator? It is small and medium-sized businesses. Is that not interesting? It is one job in 11. Eleven jobs out of 12 are not private. They are in the government. Who drives the industry?

Across the aisle, they always talk about how important small businesses are for job creation. They give one of 11 the credit for saving the jobs of the other 11.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2 November 28th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to follow a seasoned parliamentarian, who was actually the second-in-command to the minister of finance in the Conservative government, which, through the worst recession, paid down $40 billion and then came out of it faster than any other nation, not by coincidence but by management, and actually gave the government across the road a surplus. That is quite amazing.

However, we cannot forget the election. The group across the way campaigned by saying they were going to have a little $10-billion deficit, which is how they described it, and Canadians bought into it. That is democracy, folks. That $10-billion deficit is now over $20 billion. I mentioned that to folks in my rural riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, which does not often deal with billions of dollars.

Let me provide an example of the Liberal government being irresponsible, disrespectful, and incompetent. Let us say I am a small business guy who has a project, I want to increase my business, and I go to the bank with my business plan, saying I need $1 million. After I make my plea, my lender tells me I have the money for my project. Eight weeks later I go back to the bank, saying I am going to start the project, everything is in order, but I now need $2 million. The bank wants to talk about the changes and I say there actually are no changes, it is just that I did not know what I was talking about in the first place and I now want to increase what I previously asked for by 100%. In the real world, that does not happen. When I walk out through the door of the bank, it would hit me in back.

What happens when the Liberal government has a budget that in incompetent in terms of its projections and irresponsible in terms of what it has done to taxpayers? The banker is now every taxpayer in Canada. That is only the tip of the iceberg. We now have a Minister of Finance and a Prime Minister who are in an elite group. I actually get a kick out of it. Do members remember when they said they were going to take that little deficit from the top wealthiest 1% and spread it among the working class? I think they call it the middle class. We, in our places, actually work. They said it would save taxpayers $2 billion. That worked out well. They took that off the top, did not get the revenues they wanted, and shafted taxpayers for about $3 billion. That is the irresponsibility and incompetence of the Liberal government, which says one thing and does not actually know what it is going to do.

Earlier, my colleague mentioned another great investment, the Asian infrastructure bank, in which we are going to spend $480 million, though we are not sure. We are going to send it to Asia. Liberals have this love affair with China, so I am assuming it is going to possibly go to Beijing, where it can build its infrastructure with Canadian tax dollars.

I know that the folks across the aisle met last week, as I did, with members of the municipal governments in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities who come from rural areas. Rural infrastructure is important, with our vast amount of roads, bridges, and rail that need to be looked after. I do not know what the number is, but what is amazing is not the amount of money that has gone out but the amount of money that has not gone out. We have talked a lot about infrastructure. The new infrastructure plan is a bit like the new housing strategy. When is it going to take effect?

We hear that housing is really important. We hear that we have desperation in public housing, and we need to deal with it quickly. That is what the municipalities talk about. The years 2020 to 2021 meet the urgency panic button. This is 2017. That is four years down the road, by the way. I suspect it will make a good election platform in the next election in the fall of 2019.

Similarly, with respect to infrastructure, most of that has been moved past 2019 into 2020. That happens to be after the election, so it will make another good election platform, I guess. What is happening in our rural municipalities across this country and in Lambton—Kent—Middlesex is a lack of actual dollars to partner with our municipalities that need a partner. In Ontario, our third partner has sort of disappeared in the red tape of Ontario, much like where the Liberal government has taken Canada.

We are now worrying about where we will get the money for the infrastructure, because it is not flowing. They talk about it, but when we talk about something, and I go back to my earlier discussion about businesses going to the bank, we actually have to manage it. We need to have a business plan on how to put it out.

In my riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, agriculture is the main industry. It is the driver of the economy in Ontario, and I might say the driver of the economy, quite honestly, in this great country of Canada. The Liberals came out with what they called the new growing forward 2 agriculture program, and they added a couple of things to it, such as a public trust and money to actually help processors, because we need to vertically integrate this great industry of agriculture from top to bottom, and in this case, from the bottom up. I agree with those.

As a country based in agriculture, we need to make sure that we grow the safest and best products. Just ask anyone in international trade about our agricultural products. We always provide quality. We need to make sure that we have public trust on our side so that people understand what great products we produce in Canada. Because we are great producers, we export a lot. We also process much of the product we have. Where is the money to help do this? The Liberals added two or three components to the Canada agriculture program, but where is the money for it. The Liberals said they would have to shift some around, which means everyone is going to get less, or it will be just like infrastructure, with spending in the earlier part, and maybe even housing. They are just going to talk about it, but they are not going to put any money into it. They might talk about the money going into it in five years. By then, Canadians will be hopeful that they are no longer in government and that the Conservatives will be able to do it.

My time is running out. All I can say to the folks in Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, and across this great country, is that Bill C-63 is a disaster, and I will simply not be supporting it.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities November 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, one of the greatest privileges we have is serving others. Before my election as member of Parliament for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, I helped to represent the people of Lobo Township, Middlesex Centre, and the county of Middlesex.

The directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities are in Ottawa this week, and we have had the opportunity to welcome many amazing municipal leaders. While discussions covered many issues, in my area they raised concerns about legalized marijuana and infrastructure needs outside of large urban areas.

I want to thank Joanne Vanderheyden, the mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc, from Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, and all the municipal leaders for taking the time to meet with us. Working together and listening to municipal concerns, we build a stronger nation.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2 November 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, with respect to economic viability and the direction, the Liberals always said that they would have a small deficit of $10 billion. Now it is actually more than double that. The debt is increasing at a rate not seen before. There is no projection of when they will balance the budget. We now know that the tax laws that have been introduced target the middle class, protecting those who are very wealthy and the friends of the finance minister and the Prime Minister. Eighty per cent of the middle class are paying more tax now, about $840, than they were before you took office two years ago. Why are you taxing the middle class and protecting and sheltering those wealthy Liberal friends?

Business of Supply October 17th, 2017


Contribution of Farmers and Ranchers October 16th, 2017

Madam Speaker, it is always an honour to speak in the House, and particularly today in support of my colleague from Bow River and his Motion No. 108, which reads:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should recognize that the ongoing contribution of ranchers and farmers as stewards of the land and conservationists is part of our history, proudly shared by all Canadians, and should consider establishing policies which would support and encourage the development of private farm and ranch land conservation and restoration projects.

That is quite something. My riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex is all about small, family-run businesses, with agriculture being the dominant industry. Though this would likely be disputed, it is maybe one of the richest agricultural areas in Canada, but certainly in Ontario. We are very blessed in this country to have some of the greatest land this world has given us for our farmers and producers. In Canada and in my riding we are very fortunate to have innovation and technology available to our agriculture producers. They are farmers, but they are much more than that. They are innovators. They not only produce food domestically, they are also recognized around the world for producing some of the best, if not the very highest-quality, products we export. Whether it is crops, horticulture, or livestock, because of the standards our agricultural producers follow, we are assured that we produce the best and safest food in the world. When we sell to markets beyond Canada, we are also recognized for that.

I had the opportunity to be involved in CETA and other free trade agreements, but it did not matter what part of the world we were talking about, whether Europe, the Middle East, Central America, or our U.S. friends, because we were recognized by all for doing what we said we were going to do, and for producing the highest-quality product. We have become part of that demand. Why is that? It is because we are diversified in agriculture.

In Canada, we have diversity in agriculture. Not every country has the opportunity to have such agricultural diversity, but we do it environmentally and with a conservation effort that is beyond reproach. This is about the environment and conservation. It has always bothered me that in agriculture we never look back on what we have done. There are those who always tell us what we are not doing, that we are not looking after things right, or that we are not environmentalists in terms of our soil or not looking after our livestock. However, I wish people would take in the full picture and listen to what we have actually accomplished. We look after our soils in many ways.

When I was younger, we plowed the ground, worked it to death, planted seeds and grew a crop. If we grew 65 bushels of corn we did pretty well, if we grew 75 we did really well, and now 200 is actually the target in my area. Why is that? It is because we have adapted. We work with commodity organizations, soil and crop people, and government agencies to adapt conservationist, tillage, and precision planning strategies and to achieve efficiencies in the equipment we use, including fuel efficiencies, and in the specific placement of the seed and fertilizer.

Now they grid the farms and we have equipment showing that on a screen. They use very low amounts of fertilizer, depending on the productivity of the ground. They know how much spray to put on, and variable amounts of pesticide control are used because we can now tell what sort of weeds and infestations are there. The conservation techniques used by our agricultural producers are amazing. Producers do not always use conventional tillage, but use no till, minimum till, and strip tillage.

There are all of these talks about what is being done in agriculture to be be conservationists and environmentalists. How do we show that to Canadians so they recognize the value of this amazing industry in Canada?

If we do not have a car, we do not drive; if we do not have a house, we can live in something else; but if we do not have food, the other things become less important. That is what our agricultural producers do, not only for this part of the country and the countries we export to, but also in terms of Canada's generosity in the products we provide to foreign countries in terms of aid. Even more, it is about the resources and the intelligence we lend to help developing countries so they can be better producers, conservationists, and environmentalists. Quite honestly, it is a gold plate for Canada that we can come alongside some of our developed countries and allies and be able to share that experience with them.

There is a sign on some of our corn fields, which could be 100 or 200 acres in size, that one acre of corn field absorbs eight metric tonnes of greenhouse gases. That is amazing. It will not do that just this year, but also next year and every year. The same happens with the production of our canola, soybeans, and livestock. The changes to improve our environment and soil have been just outstanding.

I want to let everyone know, as I am sure they may understand, that I am here to support this great motion. It is something that I hope the government will take a turn on, so that instead of trying to tax us to death and to set us back, it will come along encourage this great industry so we can continue to be the environmentalists and conservationists we have always been.

Taxation September 28th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals do not want the small business tax increase debated in this House, so I am going to take this opportunity to stand up for my constituents of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex and voice their concerns.

My riding is made up of small and medium-sized businesses, with agriculture as the main driver. My constituents are concerned, frustrated, and angry about this planned Liberal tax increase. Only 75 days were given, during the busy season of harvest time, for farmers to respond. Here is one of the big questions from my constituents: Why tax us and leave your wealthy Liberal friends untouched? It is called Liberal entitlement and hypocrisy.

To the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, extend the consultation time, and do not lock the doors on ordinary people who need to be heard.

Petitions September 26th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, my petition is a little different from many. In our area and across Ontario where we drive we see this grass, phragmites. It has been identified as Canada's most invasive plant. That happened in 2005, and there has been minimum provincial and federal government action to curb its spread.

Petitioners are asking us to protect our significant wetlands in our provincial and national parks, and other valued areas, and because it grows so strongly in wetlands, that we expedite and streamline the approval of the water safe herbicide glyphosate to control this plant.