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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 April 11th, 2020

Mr. Chair, I just have to say that we all are concerned with the impacts on multiple sectors that are happening because of COVID-19. This means we need to think about how we can support different sectors.

Most importantly, we have put in place approaches for credit for organizations of all different sizes, and we are continuing to work on that. In the agricultural sector, we have specifically changed the rules around Farm Credit Canada to allow for agricultural sectors to get access to credit to find their way through this. We are going to continue to consider other approaches to ensure the support is there.

COVID-19 Pandemic April 11th, 2020

Mr. Chair, we have worked hard to come up with an approach for the wage subsidy that will deal with the sectors of our economy and individual organizations that are most impacted by COVID-19. The revenue tests we have put in place show us that they have actually seen significant changes in their situations, and they are therefore getting a wage subsidy.

We also know that there are other things we need to do to support sectors that are experiencing challenges, like the agricultural sector. It is one of the reasons we changed Farm Credit Canada's ability to give loans, because we know that sector is going to be a challenge.

We will continue to think about ways to support our food supply, knowing how critical that is at a time like this.

COVID-19 Pandemic April 11th, 2020

Mr. Chair, we did give an interim extension to the Auditor General because we thought that was appropriate at this moment in time. We will consider what the appropriate next steps are, as we have the time to do so, but we do think that the current status allows him to continue to do his important work for all of us in Parliament.

COVID-19 Pandemic April 11th, 2020

Mr. Chair, we recognize that seniors, like all Canadians, are feeling extremely challenged. Seniors maybe more so because of the additional health anxiety that they have. Not only have we lowered the amount that they are required to take out of their registered retirement income fund, but we also know that what we did with the GST low-income tax credit has a very significant, positive impact on seniors, helping far more than the majority, over 80%, of those who are in a single situation and almost 50% in a couple situation. These are important measures. We will be considering other things we can do to support the health sector to support seniors.

COVID-19 Pandemic April 11th, 2020

Mr. Chair, we very much recognize that the sectors the member identified, the hospitality sector, the arts and culture sector and the tourism sector, have been impacted in a very damaging way. There are other sectors as well like the airline sector and the energy sector that are significantly impacted.

What we are looking to do is make sure that we have credit support for businesses of all sizes, from small to large, and we are looking at whether there need to be some specific measures for specific industries as well. As we have more information, we will certainly come forward.

COVID-19 Pandemic April 11th, 2020

Mr. Chair, I want to be very clear. It does not matter how we communicate it; in no way are we trying to use trickery to make Canadians think something is happening that is not. The fact is the money that is going for the wage subsidy will go to employees. There is only one thing employers must do. They must show that the money has already gone to the employees. Therefore, it cannot be used for something else; it must be used for that purpose.

For credit around businesses, we are trying to create credit opportunities for businesses of all different sizes. The Canada emergency business account is meant for the smallest of businesses. We have come forward with larger opportunities for credit for businesses that are larger, up to $12.5 million, half of it through BDC and half of it through EDC. We are looking at further credit support that we continue to work on, which we hope to announce in the not too distant future.

COVID-19 Pandemic April 11th, 2020

Mr. Chair, to be clear, the condition around the wage subsidy is that employers will need to show us, before they actually get the money, that they have actually paid the employees. The up to $847 per week will have already gone to the employees by the time the money actually goes to the company.

There is no way for the business to actually take that money and give it to senior executives or use it for something else. That is very clear. That was one of the things we wanted to ensure was the case, which is why it is designed exactly that way.

COVID-19 Pandemic April 11th, 2020

Mr. Chair, even if the employees are currently on the emergency response benefit, if the employer chooses to put them on the wage subsidy, the employer can do that. People just need to make sure that employees are not going on the response benefit and the wage subsidy at the same time. In that situation, we are hoping the employer will bring people back on staff. That will be very helpful for the employees and will give them a greater sense of confidence. It will help, as we move into the transition, to have that connection with their employer.

COVID-19 Pandemic April 11th, 2020

Mr. Chair, I suspect in the case that the member for Carleton is talking about, there may be an opportunity for the employer to consider the wage subsidy, which in many cases will help them significantly. For those who decide to take the CERB, we are looking at how we can make sure that people who work a small number of hours might be able to continue to be part of that. That work is ongoing and when we have more to say we will say so.

COVID-19 Pandemic April 11th, 2020

Mr. Chair, with the wage subsidy, we need to know that the money will be paid to the employees. That is a very important condition. We will always look at the best way to help the employees, help the people and ensure that the money is not being used to boost the income of CEOs or others.