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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was important.

Last in Parliament August 2020, as Liberal MP for Toronto Centre (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 57% of the vote.

Statements in the House

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters August 12th, 2020

Mr. Chair, the challenge around getting rid of interprovincial trade barriers is a long-term challenge. It has been the challenge of this government and governments before us.

We made enormous strides with that agreement, and of course it has had a positive impact on our economy, but we do know there is more work to be done in this regard. We look forward to working together with provinces in order to ensure our economy is buttressed because of the effective ability to bring down barriers within our country.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters August 12th, 2020

Mr. Chair, we continue to believe that working together with the provinces to bring down interprovincial trade barriers is critically important. We made enormous progress on this issue over the last number of years, but of course we do need to continue these efforts. It will require the provinces to step forward in this regard.

Our government is committed to working to ensure we have freer trade in our country, which will help us economically today and in the future.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters August 12th, 2020

Mr. Chair, I want to make clear that we recognize how important it is we address this pandemic, and that is exactly what we have been doing. We have been supporting individuals and businesses. That is the right thing to do during this time period. Certainly, as we move forward we will be considering how best to have a recovery, making sure we have—

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters August 12th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I know this is very important. The wage subsidy and the extension of this program will be offered to every company in the country that is seeing a drop in revenue.

This way, we will have more work and more workers right across the country. This is an important approach during a pandemic.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters August 12th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take us back to where we were in mid-March and talk about the things that we have focused on for Canadians over the course of the last number of months.

In mid-March, we obviously found ourselves in an unprecedented situation, where Canadians were asked to stay home to protect themselves, their families and other Canadians. Obviously, that was the right decision from a health standpoint, but it had real implications from an economic standpoint too.

As a government, we took the reins at that time and said that we needed to think about how we could ensure that we supported Canadians through this extraordinarily challenging time. The first thing we set out was the reality that we had so many Canadians who would not be receiving a paycheque. That is how we came up with the Canada emergency response benefit. We know that over the course of the last months, this benefit has helped literally millions of Canadians to be able to have enough money for groceries and rent in order to keep their families surviving during a time of immense challenge. That was first and foremost our initiative.

We moved forward with a wage subsidy because we recognized that we needed businesses to have a connection with their employees. They needed to have an incentive to keep their employees, even though in many cases they would not actually have the kind of work that they might normally have because they had been asked to stay home. The wage subsidy has helped millions of Canadians to keep their attachment to their jobs, to keep their ability to make money for themselves and their families through this challenging time.

We did not stop there. We knew that we needed to deal with all of those people who were going through enormous stress. We recognized, for example, that seniors were facing higher costs than they had historically experienced because they might have needed to use delivery services. They might have needed to get their medications or food delivered in a way that they didn't previously have to deal with, so we found a way to support seniors during this time.

We recognized that students would not necessarily have been able to get the jobs they needed during the course of the summertime, so we put in place a benefit that would help students because we knew that we wanted to get them back to—

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters August 12th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to speak on behalf of the Prime Minister to say that he continues to view his role, and our role as a government, as one to support Canadians.

We continue to be in an emergency time. The work that we're doing, not only on the extension of the wage subsidy but in thinking about how we can get our employment insurance system back up and running, is our area of focus because we know this is what Canadians are concerned with as they think about how they can continue to support their families.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters August 12th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to have our focus, as we have over the course of this pandemic, on Canadians and on the work that needs to be done. What we have done over the course of the last number of months, by putting out the CERB, which has supported millions of Canadians, and by not only putting in place the wage subsidy but extending it, has given the support necessary for Canadians to face this challenging time.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters July 22nd, 2020

Madam Chair, we are in fact trying to listen both to members, like the member's question here, and to small and large businesses. This program has been elongated. We have added a month to it, which has provided more security. We have looked at how we can best deliver other supports to small and large businesses. This does include a concessional part of loans, as well as expanding the wage subsidy, which will have a very important impact.

We will continue to consider changes and improvements, and we appreciate the member's insights and ideas in that regard.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters July 22nd, 2020

Madam Chair, we certainly recognize that there are important programs that have been put out, including the CECRA program to support small and large businesses. The CECRA program is increasing in terms of the firms that are using it.

Of course, the thing we all agreed to yesterday, the expansion of the wage subsidy and the lengthening of that program, will have an enormous positive impact on businesses trying to hire back employees. We see that all these programs have to be looked at together and we do continually look at these programs—

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters July 22nd, 2020

Madam Chair, again, we know from the work we have done that this will significantly expand the number of employers able to use the wage subsidy and significantly expand the number of employees who will be able to get back to work. We will continue to work with employers to make sure that we understand how this can best be utilized by—