House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was program.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Mississauga—Streetsville (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the member has it completely wrong. I have talked to families about income splitting. The families that benefit the most are moderate and low-income families in my riding. The families benefiting from the increase in the universal child care benefit are middle and low-income families in my community.

Most of the people contributing to a TFSA earn less than $60,000 a year. The New Democrats think those people are wealthy, but they are not. Those are middle-income Canadians who are being encouraged to save for their future through the TFSAs.

This is a middle-class budget. This speaks to those families all across Canada, encourages them to save, supports their children and lowers their taxes. They should be supporting this budget.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have been a very proud member of this government for the past four years.

I am proud of the major initiatives we have brought forward, not just on major national and international issues, but major investments that we have made in local communities, whether it be infrastructure, water treatment or the renewal of the affordable housing agreements with the provinces to invest in affordable housing that is needed across the country, an issue I have been extremely involved in since I was elected to this place. We have done a tremendous amount.

One of the most important initiatives for municipalities was making the gas tax transfer permanent and adjusting it for the rate of inflation. Municipalities are a true partner, a true player now in getting direct federal government funding to municipalities to assist them with their challenges around infrastructure, transit and transportation issues.

I am proud of those initiatives. There is more to do, but we have done a lot.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Parliament has been very clear on the long gun registry. The majority of the members of this Parliament voted to scrap the long gun registry.

When a registry is scrapped, it means we get rid of the documents. The RCMP was acting on the instruction of the democratically elected members of Parliament who decided to end the long gun registry and ensure the documents associated with that registry were eliminated. The RCMP is doing its job.

We are ensuring, through one section of this bill, that the appropriate legal protection is in it as we move forward. The RCMP is absolutely acting on the will of Parliament.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure today to rise in the House to speak at third reading stage of Bill C-59, economic action plan 2015 act, No. 1.

At the outset, I would like to congratulate the Minister of Finance, the hon. member for Eglinton—Lawrence, on his first budget, a very comprehensive budget, one that I am very proud to be a member of a team and a government to support in the House. I wish him well for many more balanced and successful budgets in the future.

This bill would legislate key elements of economic action plan 2015, which include measures to support jobs and growth, help communities prosper and ensure the security of Canadians. The bill also includes the measures that were contained in Bill C-57, the support for families act, and Bill C-58, the support for veterans and their families act.

However, perhaps the most significant part of the bill is that it would return Canada to a balanced budget and would enshrine in law balanced budget legislation reflecting our government's responsible fiscal management policy, which is creating jobs and putting more money back in the pockets of Canadians. A balanced budget allows the Government of Canada to cut taxes further for Canadian families, individuals and businesses.

My riding of Mississauga—Streetsville has the second highest number of families with children living at home in all of Canada. That is why our government's family tax cut and benefits plan really hits home in my community.

Our government will increase the universal child care benefit for children 6 and under to $160 per month, and extend the benefit for children aged 7 to 17 by $60 per month. This initiative puts thousands of dollars a year back into the pockets of families in my riding, and allows parents to make their choices for their children on how that money will be spent. It is important to note that the increase to the UCCB is retroactive to January 1, 2015 and that the new benefit will start to flow for families this July.

Further, our government is instituting a family income-splitting program that would allow a higher income spouse to, in effect, transfer $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket, effective for the 2014 tax year. Some families would save as much as $2,000 a year in total family tax paid, yet another example of how we are putting more money back into the pockets of hard-working Canadian families.

Economic action plan 2015 would also increases the child care expense deduction dollar limits by $1,000, effective for the 2015 tax year. The maximum amounts that can be claimed will increase to $8,000 from $7,000 for children under age 7, to $5,000 from $4,000 for children aged 7 to 16, and up to $11,000 from $10,000 for children who are eligible for the disability tax credit.

Millions of Canadians have taken advantage of the very popular tax-free savings account. TFSAs are an excellent way for Canadians to save tax free and have that money available in the future for their personal needs. Many Canadians have maxed out at the old $5,500 a year limit, and many would contribute more if allowed. I am very pleased to report that economic action plan 2015 would raise the maximum contribution limit to $10,000, effective in 2015 and subsequent years.

Bill C-59 would also reduce the minimum withdrawal factors for registered retirement income funds to permit seniors to preserve more of their retirement savings to better support their retirement income needs.

The bill would also create the home accessibility tax credit to assist seniors and disabled Canadians offset renovation costs to make their homes safer and more accessible so they could live independently and remain in their homes.

Mississauga—Streetsville is home to many seniors who tell me they want to age gracefully in place, remain in their cherished home as long as possible and be able to make modifications to improve their living conditions. The home accessibility tax credit is welcome news in my community.

Branch 139 of the Royal Canadian Legion is located in the village of Streetsville. I am a member and I visit the legion regularly to support its initiatives. I have met with veterans there and I was honoured to present World War II “V” pins to dozens of these brave Canadians. That is why I am pleased economic action plan 2015 would ensure that veterans and their families receive the support they need by providing a new retirement income security benefit to moderately and severely disabled veterans. It would expand access to the permanent impairment allowance for disabled veterans and would create a new tax-free family caregiver relief benefit to recognize the very important role of caregivers.

This government values and supports the brave women and men who have served in our Canadian Forces and we will ensure that our veterans get the full support they need and deserve.

During pre-budget consultations and meetings, I had the opportunity to meet with groups like ALS Society of Canada, the MS Society of Canada and others about the compassionate care benefit provided under the employment insurance system.

Bill C-59 would extend compassionate care benefits from the current six weeks of coverage to six months to better support Canadians caring for gravely ill and dying family members. This change would benefit thousands of families across Canada when they need the financial and emotional support the most.

The bill would also implement very important measures for supporting jobs and growth. Our government would reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019, lowering taxes for job-creating small businesses and their owners by $2.7 billion between now and 2019-20. This is very good news for members of the Streetsville Business Improvement Association and other companies operating in Mississauga—Streetsville. Predictable lower taxes each and every year is an important signal to the small business community.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to announce several investments in Mississauga, through the Federal Economic Development Corporation of Southern Ontario. These strategic investments assist leading edge companies grow and expand, create new high-wage jobs, and contribute to research and innovation.

Economic action plan 2015 would see the budget deficit reduced from $55.6 billion during the height of the recession and now with a $1.4 billion projected surplus. All Canadians should be thanked and should be proud for their hard work and their support of this government as we return Canada to balanced budgets.

I ask all members of the House to carefully read Bill C-59 and the important initiatives contained within it, and to rise to support the bill so we can continue to ensure Canada is strong, proud and free.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to be a member of a government that has brought forward various pieces of legislation to make sure those who commit heinous, serious, and violent crimes do serve a minimum amount of time behind bars for what they have wreaked on their community and on the individual victims.

The New Democrats never talk about victims of crime. They always talk about protecting criminals. They voted against every single piece of legislation we have brought forward to make communities safer, to make sure perpetrators stay behind bars longer, and to make sure communities are safer.

I will always be proud to be on this side of the House, standing up for victims of crime.

We may get unanimous support for the bill, but when we talk about service animals, let us remember that it was our government that first recognized the fact that service animals are an integral part of our law enforcement system and need the same rights and protections as the people who serve our communities to keep us safe.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Winnipeg North for his support of the bill and his comments.

Prior to being elected to this place, I was the chair of Safe City Mississauga, which is also known as the Mississauga Crime Prevention Association. I spent quite a bit of time working on crime prevention initiatives. One of the things I know from being a past chair of that organization is that the federal government has invested millions of dollars in crime prevention, victim services, and other issues that help not just local police but organizations like Safe City Mississauga to run programs that ensure young people are not recruited into gangs.

I am very proud to be a member of a government that makes sure we have proper legislation and proper measures in the Criminal Code of Canada to get tough on crime, but also one that invests in community-oriented programs that actually stop it in the first place.

Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to stand and speak in favour of Bill C-35, the justice for animals in service act, or Quanto's law.

I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Northumberland—Quinte West.

This legislation would ensure that those who harm law enforcement service and Canadian Armed Forces animals would face serious consequences. Our government recognizes the special role that these animals play in protecting our communities and improving the quality of life of Canadians.

This bill is aimed at denouncing and deterring the wilful harming of specially trained animals used to help law enforcement officers, persons with disabilities, or members of the Canadian Armed Forces. The introduction of this legislation fulfills our government's promise in the 2013 Speech from the Throne to recognize the daily risks taken by police officers and their service animals in their efforts to enforce the law and protect Canadians and communities.

The legislation honours Quanto, a police dog that was stabbed to death in the line of duty while trying to apprehend a fleeing suspect in Edmonton, Alberta. Quanto had four years of decorated service and had participated in more than 100 arrests prior to his death in October of 2013.

The Prime Minister noted in a press release upon announcing this important bill that:

This legislation honours those faithful animals and emphasizes the special role that they play. Our Government is committed to ensuring that people who wilfully harm these animals face the full force of the law.

In our society, service animals have become an integral part of law enforcement. They assist with search and rescue efforts; tracking criminals; searching for narcotics, explosives, crime scene evidence, and lost property; VIP protection; crowd control; hostage situations; and police community relations.

The RCMP currently has 157 police service dogs in service across Canada. Of these, 135 are general duty profile dogs, and 22 are detection profile dogs. In addition to the RCMP, provincial and municipal police departments across Canada have integrated police service dogs as part of their everyday service delivery in our communities.

Service animal involvement in law enforcement goes well beyond police. The Canada Border Services Agency has 53 dog and handler teams that help to detect contraband drugs and firearms, undeclared currency, and food, plant, and animal products. Additionally, Correctional Service of Canada uses dogs to help stop the flow of illicit drugs and contraband into federal correctional institutions. They have over 100 dog and handler teams across Canada.

As members can see, service animals are active and indispensable members of our society. With their handlers, they work with dedication to ensure Canadians remain safe in their communities. Not only have they been given important responsibilities, but they also have an unbreakable bond with the officers who have the honour to be their handlers. This is something that makes losing a service animal in the line of duty very difficult.

Constable Matthew Williamson of the Edmonton Police Service Canine Unit, who was Quanto's handler, was shocked by the loss of their friend, along with the entire Edmonton Police Service.

Scott Pattison, spokesperson with Edmonton Police Service Communications, noted the strong connection between the handlers and their dogs, saying, “The dogs go home with the members and they're part of their own families, really. These animals perform their jobs every single night on behalf of the citizens of this city with extreme courage.”

That is why our government was extremely proud to introduce this legislation to ensure that harm committed against these dedicated animals becomes a criminal offence.

Bill C-35 proposes Criminal Code amendments that would create a new offence specifically prohibiting the injuring or killing of animals trained and being used to help law enforcement officers, persons with disabilities, or members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Persons convicted of such an offence could face up to five years of imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of six months in prison if a law enforcement animal is killed while assisting an officer in executing the law and the offence is prosecuted by indictment.

In order to ensure that persons convicted of harming police service animals are sentenced properly according to the crimes committed, Bill C-35 contains measures whereby if a law enforcement officer is assaulted or a law enforcement animal is injured or killed while on duty, the sentence for that offence would be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed on the offender arising out of the same event. This will ensure that the punishment matches the nature of the crime.

The justice for animals in service act applies to law enforcement animals, service animals, and Canadian Armed Forces animals. In practical terms, dogs would be the primary animals protected by this new legislation, given the fact that they are the animals most often trained and used to assist law enforcement officers and persons with disabilities.

However, horses are also used by some police forces. Also, other kinds of animals can be trained as service animals to assist people with disabilities. They would all be protected under this legislation.

Our government's tough-on-crime commitment is being met with continued dedication as we work to ensure that our justice system is fair and efficient. The development of the justice for animals in service act is part of the government's plan for safe streets and communities. This plan focuses on tackling crime, enhancing victims' rights, and ensuring a fair and efficient justice.

Enacting this legislation would finally codify an official offence for the act of injuring or killing service animals. We must stand up and protect these animals. They are giving their lives to protect Canadians and ensure that our communities are safe. They deserve nothing less than our gratitude, care, and protection. I strongly encourage the NDP and the Liberals to support this important legislation. I ask them to stand with the government in protecting our service animals from criminals who would seek to harm them. This legislation is something all Canadians can stand behind, knowing that the Conservative government is fulfilling its commitments to make our streets safer and protect the most vulnerable members of our society.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 11th, 2015

With regard to government funding in the riding of Mississauga—Streetsville, for each fiscal year since 2007-2008 inclusive: (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions, and loans to any organization, body, or group, broken down by (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality of the recipient, (iii) date on which the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency providing the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution, or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose; and (b) for each grant, contribution and loan identified in (a), was a press release issued to announce it and, if so, what is the (i) date, (ii) headline of the press release?

Business of Supply June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that was a wonderful speech of revisionist Liberal history as to what has really taken place, coming from a party that had the biggest raid on the EI fund we have seen in a generation. The Liberals talk about their balanced budgets during the Chrétien-Martin years. That was because they slashed transfer payments to the provinces, literally starving the provinces through the Canada health and social transfer reductions that they made. That is how they balanced their budgets.

That is not the way this government has done it. We have increased our transfers to the provinces in a considerable way.

One of the interesting comments the member made was with respect to the Liberal proposal for an EI holiday for new hires. That member was not paying attention for the first three years because that was in our first three budgets. We delivered on that. There was an EI hiring reduction for new hires. The Liberals voted against it.

My question to the hon. member for Winnipeg North is quite simple. He talked about payroll taxes. How is it that he believes a government, under the current Liberal leader, which has offered a huge increase in CPP premiums to pay for an expanded mandatory CPP process, would allow for small businesses to hire more people, when at $60,000 of pay for an individual, they would be taxed an additional $1,000 and their employer would be taxed an additional $1,000?

I think there is a lot of hypocrisy over on that side.

Business of Supply June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, one of the reasons that the EI system is as strong, robust and successful as it is today is because we have had successive governments, and especially this government, that have made sure the system is robust. We have made sure that premiums are at a level that support the system so that people who qualify for benefits receive them.

We have also made some excellent changes. I remember the first bill I voted on in this House, and I was very proud of it, was to extend EI benefits to the parents of critically ill and murdered children. We have done a lot as a government to make sure our EI system is a 21st century employment insurance system.

That is the whole point. This is an insurance system. It is not welfare. It is not a handout. One of the things New Democrats will never understand, because they have never formed a government and they never will form a government, is that this is a system that employers and employees pay into to make sure that when they need to access the system for losing a job due to no fault of their own, there are benefits available to them.

I wonder if the member actually understands how the system works, because I listened to his speech and clearly he does not.