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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was year.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Markham—Unionville (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2021, with 42% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 11th, 2020

With regard to the government’s purchase of subscription packages for SiriusXM Satellite and Internet radio since January 1, 2016, broken down by department or agency and by year: (a) what are the total expenditures; (b) how many subscriptions were purchased, broken down by length and type; and (c) what was the price of each type of subscription in (b)?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 11th, 2020

With regard to online advertising and digital spending by the government: (a) how does each department or agency currently track and verify the placement of its online advertising or digital spending; (b) what was the total amount spent on online advertising or digital spending last year; (c) of the amount in (b), how much was (i) trackable, (ii) non-trackable or non-verifiable; and (d) for each non-trackable or non-verifiable advertisement placed last year, (i) what was the title or description of the advertisement, (ii) how did the government confirm that the supplier had successfully placed the advertisement?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 11th, 2020

With regard to the government's response to question Q-143, indicating that the $56,000 owed to the managers of the Aga Khan's private island in the Bahamas has been paid: (a) did the government pay the balance, or was the amount owing settled in another way, and, if so, what are the details of how the matter was settled; and (b) as of what date was the payment made or the outstanding amount settled?

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act March 11th, 2020

Madam Speaker, yes, I agree with you that Quebec produces the greenest aluminum. That was left behind because the deal was not negotiated with Canada. The deal was negotiated with Mexico, and we ended up signing the deal for the sake of signing a deal.

As I said, I come from the private sector, where we would rather have this deal than no deal, but the deal was not negotiated with President Trump in good faith and at the end of the day we took what he gave us.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act March 11th, 2020

Madam Speaker, back in 1992, if my memory is correct, when NAFTA was created, most of the unions and many other people said it was a bad deal, that it would never happen, that it would take jobs and many other things. However, at the end of the day, it was one of the best things the Conservatives did back in 1992. In today's deal, as I mentioned, there are many flaws.

I wish the Liberals had asked for advice from the member of Parliament for Abbotsford, who negotiated with the European Union and many other countries. The Conservatives could have given them advice at no cost, but the original NAFTA was the best deal possible for us.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act March 11th, 2020

Madam Speaker, when we talk about the industry, the negotiation, etc., this deal was negotiated by Mexico. The Prime Minister was calling the president names, and vice versa. That did not help. The deal was negotiated between Mexico and the United States. We signed it at the end of the day because we had no choice. There are many flaws.

As I said earlier, I come from the private sector and I believe in private enterprise. Dairy products, the softwood lumber industry, the aluminum industry and many other industries will suffer with this new deal.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act March 11th, 2020

Madam Speaker, I come from the private sector and I am really glad to speak to this very important subject.

For Canadian businesses, when it comes to finding customers, Chicago and Toronto are separated by only 800 kilometres. Vancouver and Toronto are separated by 4,000 kilometres. For businesses in Vancouver, customers in Seattle are much closer than even customers in Calgary.

To put it into perspective, 66% of Canadians live within 100 kilometres of a border. It is closer to ship to the south. Geography is a part of it, but over 325 million potential customers is a powerful reason for businesses to look south before they look east or west. For any growing Canadian company, it is just a matter of time before it looks to expand south.

Business is just one part of this equation. Customers in the United States demand Canadian products and Canadians demand American products.

In terms of trade, no relationship compares to that between Canada and the United States: 75% of Canada's trade is done with the United States and $2 billion worth of goods crosses the border everyday.

Just because trade is mutually beneficial does not mean it is easy. Trade can be complex, with different regulations, safety concerns and government help to the industry in different countries. Free trade is never free of rules. That is why agreements need to be reached.

When Canada and the United States began to trade, we did it piecemeal until 1992. That is when Canada, led by then prime minister Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservative Party, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. That created the world's largest economic trading zone. That agreement was an overwhelming success in growing our trade in both the United States and Mexico.

The deputy prime minister put it into perspective when she said, “Today, Canada, the United States and Mexico account for nearly one-third of global GDP despite having just 7% of the global population.”

The clear benefits of NAFTA have helped establish free trade as a foundation of Canadian conservatism, a foundation that former Prime Minister Harper built on by signing trade agreements with South Korea, Jordan and Columbia, among others. Let me remind everyone that the new European Union trade deal was negotiated almost entirely under the previous government. Simply put, the Conservatives understand that.

I am here to discuss the next stage of our trade relationship with the United States and Mexico, the Canada-United States-Mexico agreement, CUSMA, also known as the new NAFTA.

We all know how we got here. On the campaign trail, President Donald Trump promised Americans a better deal with trade. Millions of Americans were concerned that jobs were flowing south to Mexico because of low wages, little regulation and few rights for workers. President trump told them that they were right. On election night, many analysts pointed to these words as the reason that President Trump was able to carry the rust belt states. That delivered him the presidency.

Unfortunately for Canadians, as soon as President Trump was elected, it became clear that calls for a new deal were more than just hot air. Renegotiating NAFTA was a primary goal for his presidency. That meant Canada would be back at the negotiating table.

The talk around the negotiating table was not comforting. Statements made by the Canadian government made it look like it did not take the situation seriously. The Prime Minister threw personal attacks at President Trump, which showed an interest in scoring political points rather than securing a good deal for Canadians.

On the other side, statements by the President about Canada were often not true. At times, it seemed as if Canada was an afterthought, as President Trump focused on Mexico.

The good news is that the deal is done. After years of uncertainty, businesses can once again begin investing in Canada, and investors can be assured that trucks, ships and planes carrying goods between the United States, Canada and Mexico will not grind to a halt due to the repeal of NAFTA.

Many businesses and industries as a whole have made it clear that they want this deal signed, and they want it signed soon. Premiers across the country have also added their voices to that message.

I have already made it clear that the Conservative Party supports free trade. We understood that billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs, if not millions, were at stake. We wanted the best deal possible for Canadians.

As my colleague from Prince Albert put it, we wanted a good dealt that would last for the next 50 years, but that is not what we got. Instead, Canadians have a deal with new red tape and other barriers that hurt Canadian businesses, a deal that ignores ongoing problems and mutually beneficial economic opportunities.

The barrier I find most disturbing involves trade deals with other nations. Under CUSMA, if Canada continues expanding it free trade network, it will have to seek permission from the United States. This overreach into Canadian sovereignty is a hard pill to swallow. Canada should be free to pursue its trade interests with anyone.

That question of American oversight also made its way into the rules about dairy products. Canada gave up 3% of the market to American suppliers in the deal, but the concessions did not end there. Milk protein exports are now something the United States government has a say over. The Canadian government also negotiated away milk classes 6 and 7. With all these drastic changes, it should not be a surprise that the dairy industry will need help. That help will most likely come in the form of subsidies or payouts for which Canadians will be on the hook.

The new rules around aluminum have also raised concerns. Canada is a massive producer of aluminum. Globally we are the fourth-largest producer in the world. When CUSMA was being negotiated, it was clear we had to protect our market share in the United States, which, according to the Financial Post, is “just over half of it.” The new rules protect our steel industry but do nothing for aluminum.

As I mentioned before, one of the problems with this deal is the issues that were ignored. The issue that comes to the top of mind is the buy America policies. We failed to get rules in CUSMA that would stop the unfair boxing out of Canadian companies from government contracts in the United States. Mexico was able to strike a deal.

As for the lingering softwood lumber dispute, it was ignored and left in the hands of the World Trade Organization, an organization that has struggled to make any progress on the issue at all.

In terms of opportunities lost, a glaring example was not including more professions under section 16. That would have made it easier for companies to bring in high-demand low-supply professionals who they need to grow their businesses.

Instead of the 50 years of certainty, the new NAFTA gives 16 years, 16 years before we are back at the negotiating table, and that is if we can make it past the six-year formal reviews of CUSMA.

While there are many flaws, a deal is better than no deal, and we need to focus on the next steps. The agreement has put many industries at risk. There needs to be discussions on how Canada is going to ensure CUSMA is not a crippling blow for them. Unfortunately, that means Canadian taxpayers are once again facing new costs because of poor decisions by the Liberal government.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act March 11th, 2020

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's wonderful speech.

Perhaps he could speak about the softwood lumber industry in B.C. and about the aluminum industry in Quebec, as people are suffering.

Public Safety March 11th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, across the GTA there are shootings almost daily. We know from the Toronto police chief that the weapons of choice for criminals are smuggled guns. When caught, these dangerous criminals get bail. When convicted, they get a slap on the wrist.

Will the Prime Minister commit today to supporting my bill, which would keep criminals behind bars who knowingly use smuggled guns?

Public Safety February 28th, 2020

Madam Speaker, last Friday, the GTA was shaken by a horrific attack. In Scarborough, a woman was murdered by a stranger with a hammer, right on the sidewalk. The police have now charged the attacker with terrorism. These types of lone-actor terror attacks are common in Europe and elsewhere, but not here.

Could the Minister of Public Safety tell the House what the government is doing to make sure this does not happen again?