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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 March 25th, 2020

Madam Chair, one of the measures that we put forward is an increase in the GST low-income credit.

This increase in the GST low-income credit helps a very large number of seniors who are challenged, some 80% to 85% of individual seniors and 40% to 45% of seniors who are in a couple. This will have a significant impact on helping them through this challenging time. Recognizing that their sources of income, such as the old age security and the guaranteed income supplement, stay along with their situations, they are not experiencing a decline in revenue, and the large majority will experience an advantage through the one-time GST low-income tax credit that we are doing in the month of May.

COVID-19 Pandemic March 25th, 2020

Madam Chair, this is an important question.

We want to assure Canadians that we are creating this benefit with the goal of making sure that the people who are directly impacted by COVID-19 are supported. Again, whether someone is a travel agent, or whether someone is in a small business or in any form of the gig economy, if they have had $5,000 of income over the past 12 months and if they do not have any income as a result of COVID-19 and their income goes away, they will, in fact, be able to go forward and get that benefit to support themselves based on this new situation. We are ensuring that this is the case. We will continue to make sure that we consider other issues as we move forward to protect Canadians.

COVID-19 Pandemic March 25th, 2020

Madam Chair, it is absolutely the case that a number of our provinces are facing significant challenges immediately. I would say that all provinces are facing challenges because of the reduction in income that they are going to see. We have done numerous things to help. We have been working together with the Bank of Canada to make sure there is access in the capital markets for provincial debts. That will help them to fund their finances during a difficult time.

Of course, we are working more directly with provinces. One of the advantages of the bill we have put forward is that it would enable us to continue to do so.

COVID-19 Pandemic March 25th, 2020

Madam Chair, we are obviously in unprecedented times. We are dealing with this emergency immediately, and that is why we have moved forward with this plan.

We will be coming forward with some details about when we can move forward on an economic and fiscal plan. In a very dynamic economic situation, we want to carefully make sure that we have the appropriate information to make those plans. We are looking forward to doing that when the House resumes.

COVID-19 Pandemic March 25th, 2020

Madam Chair, again, the conditions under which people would be able to get the new Canada emergency response program aid are that they need to satisfy just two simple conditions. They need to have had $5,000 of income in the last 12 months and they need to find themselves in a position where their income has gone to nothing as a result of COVID-19. Those are the conditions. It will be available to Canadians across the country.

COVID-19 Pandemic March 25th, 2020

Madam Chair, there are a number of ways.

First, of course, we are helping by supporting employees so that small businesses can actually have their employees off, if they have employees. That is critically important.

Second, we are helping with a wage subsidy for any employees who stay.

Third, we have also said that we are going to defer any taxes owing up until August 31, which is important.

We are supporting small businesses in multiple ways and we remain open to considering things that we might need to do in the future to ensure that we have businesses that are able to bridge this gap.

COVID-19 Pandemic March 25th, 2020

Madam Chair, we are obviously making sure as we move forward with our plan with the business credit availability program that access to those funds is on a commercial basis. That is the way the BDC works. We will be working to make sure that happens while supporting credit guarantees behind it to ensure that the credit actually gets out to the market.

COVID-19 Pandemic March 25th, 2020

Madam Chair, the conditions that we are laying out are very simple. If someone has been in a position where, over the last 12 months, they have earned $5,000 or more, and if they find themselves with no income as a result of COVID-19 because they are at home, or perhaps, for example, their business does not have any revenue, they will be able to go forward and get that benefit. That means that an individual who runs a business that has no revenue now, but did have revenue before, will be able to apply for that benefit.

COVID-19 Pandemic March 25th, 2020

Madam Chair, we recognize that sectors across Canada are facing challenges as a result of COVID-19. That is the why, with respect to the Crown corporations, we have changed the policy so that we can actually remove the limits. That will mean that Farm Credit Canada has more access to capital so they can put that out to work in the agricultural sector, which we know will be very important. We will be working with them to make sure that they have that access to capital immediately.

COVID-19 Pandemic March 25th, 2020

Madam Chair, we are doing everything we can to make sure that our economy is resilient in a time of challenge. I think it is important to recognize that as we look to putting money into the economy and into people's hands, we need to make sure that we are doing things in a way that makes sense. We are adding government resources into the economy where appropriate.

I think what everyone in the House knows and what we need to continue to remind Canadians of is that the approach we have taken toward the pricing of carbon means that while people do put some money into those carbon prices, they do get that money back, meaning that that money actually stays in the economy.