House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was jobs.

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

Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada's Economy Act June 15th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I listened quite carefully to my friend, who sits in front of me, from the great riding of Welland, and I thank him for his comments.

I was not a member of the House in the previous Parliament, but it seems to me that members of the official opposition were instrumental in ensuring that the budget that the minister re-presented in the House a week or so ago was not passed originally on March 22, and that, in fact, the leader of the official opposition delayed the increased cheques for GIS to seniors in a greater way than perhaps any other group in the House.

I would like the member to respond to this question. Why was it more important to bring this House down on March 25 rather than implementing the budget when it was presented at that time?

Budget Implementation Legislation June 15th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, while Canada has seen over 560,000 net new jobs created since July 2009 and seven straight quarters of economic growth, too many Canadians unfortunately are still looking for work and the global economic recovery remains fragile. That is why we need to stay the course and move forward with the next phase of Canada's economic action plan.

Indeed, our Conservative government did that today with the introduction of the supporting vulnerable seniors and strengthening Canada's economy act.

Could the Minister of State for Finance please inform the House why swift passage of this legislation is critical for Canada--

The Budget June 9th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, one of the things we campaigned on and told Canadians was that after we wound down the federal infrastructure program we would start to look for ways to reduce the costs of government. We were very clear with Canadians. I certainly was when I knocked door to door and my constituents were clear with me. They wanted to make sure that they were getting value for money and that government was spending every dime wisely.

I sat in the House yesterday and listened to the answers from the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with respect to that one issue. He made it very clear that safety would not in any way be compromised by the centre being relocated. I believe it is being relocated to Halifax to serve along the Atlantic coast.

I take the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans at his word. He is doing his job, which is to review the expenditures of his department, as all ministers of the crown will be doing and that they were able to find some operating efficiencies in the department which will continue to allow us to have a low-tax environment and respect the safety, security, health and welfare of Canadians.

The Budget June 9th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to talk with seniors about the increase in the GIS while campaigning door to door. Many constituents said they thought it was a significant increase. At one of the lowest incomes in the country, seniors would not belittle $50 a month. It makes a huge difference in a low-income senior's life and there would be slightly more for a senior couple.

There is no question that we are all under increased pressure for costs, many of which are out of this government's control. If provincial governments decide to raise taxes, there is not much we can do about that.

As a government, we have made major commitments to seniors in many different ways. We have given them many tools and opportunities to save and support them in retirement.

I look forward to our government continuing to have this focus. We have a very strong Minister of State for Seniors. I am very much looking forward to working with her and talking about how we can continue to help seniors across the country.

The Budget June 9th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to the federal budget that was tabled by the Minister of Finance in this place on Tuesday.

Before I get to my comments, congratulations to you, Mr. Speaker, for your appointment as our very capable Acting Speaker, and I thank my colleague from Kelowna—Lake Country for yielding some time to me this afternoon.

As this is my first major address to Parliament, I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to the residents of Mississauga—Streetsville for their confidence in me and in our government.

I would also like to thank my wife, Rhonda and my children, Sarah and Megan for their unwavering support of me during the campaign and now as a husband and father away from the family while we are all here in Parliament.

None of us would be here without our fabulous campaign teams and volunteers. While it can be dangerous to single out any one person for their help, I do want to pay particular thanks to my campaign manager, Jodi MacDonald for her tremendous efforts in our successful campaign.

Finally, congratulations to all members who were either elected or re-elected, and also to the thousands of women and men who placed their names on ballots for the same opportunity we all have to serve our communities as members of Parliament. No matter what party, riding or area of the country, everyone should be thanked for participating in our democratic process.

Now to the budget. I feel like I have this budget memorized. Like all hon. members, I spent 36 days knocking on thousands of doors talking about this budget because it was presented already on March 22, and of course not implemented because of an election that no one wanted. However, given the results, it was not such an unnecessary election after all.

I want to talk from my community service perspective about some of the very positive initiatives in this budget. When I listened to my neighbours at the doors about the March 22 budget, there was very strong support for these initiatives. I consistently heard from people that this was a good budget in tough times, that it was reasonable and it was affordable. My constituents were clear that they wanted us to focus on jobs and the economy and I am delighted to report to them that this is still our number one priority.

I have served two terms on the Mississauga Arts Council board of directors in recent years and I cannot tell the House how thrilled I am about the new children's arts tax credit. Mississauga is home to the Living Arts Centre, and many times I see young people actively participating in music, dance, art and other creative activities. In almost all cases their parents or caregivers have paid a fee to the city of Mississauga to enrol their child in that program, allowing the family to claim up to $500 a year to offset that cost. It is not only a cost saving for the family, but I suspect it will also make it more affordable for more children to enrol in these programs.

I have just completed a three year term on the board of Safe City Mississauga and was appointed its founding chair. Safe City is Mississauga's crime prevention association and we work very hard on local crime prevention initiatives. We have also been in touch and met with the National Crime Prevention Centre and are very well aware of our government's strong commitment to fund prevention initiatives across the country.

I was very pleased to see the increased funding in the budget for youth crime prevention programs of $20 million over the next two years. I suspect that organizations like Safe City Mississauga might come up with creative local initiatives to help prevent youth crime and gang recruitment through this new and very important funding.

This budget provides increased support to students in post-secondary education. We know that in order to succeed in the 21st century's knowledge-based economy we need highly skilled and educated people to be the workforce of the future.

Our government is helping full-time students by doubling the in-study income exemption, helping close to 100,000 students. We are also helping part-time students through eligibility changes to allow more students to qualify for a Canada student loan.

Mississauga is getting its first full community college this fall as a direct result of the federal infrastructure grant to Sheridan College through Canada's economic action plan. This new institution is a much needed new educational facility in our fast growing city.

In the last campaign there was considerable talk about corporate tax rates. I want to let the House know that those low rates are important, not just to create jobs in cities like Mississauga but to keep jobs there too.

My riding consists of many small business operators but also some large companies that employ thousands of people in very good paying jobs. I want those jobs staying in my community. These employers tell me that Canada's tax rates are very important in their business decisions.

Further, as a long-time member of the Mississauga Board of Trade I can say that it is its position that raising corporate tax rates will have a significant impact on Mississauga's business community. It has submitted many briefs on that tax rate issue.

That is why I am delighted to see that we have a new tax credit for new hires for small business and that this budget commits to maintaining one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world.

As well, when knocking on doors I did encounter a number of older workers who had lost long-time jobs as a result of the worldwide economic recession. The very interesting thing that I heard from these people was not that they were bitter or blaming anyone, it was that they still wanted to work and make a contribution. They understood the very difficult situation that many firms found themselves in and some of the very tough decisions that had to be made.

Although these residents no longer had work, they were willing to do their part to retrain and re-enter the workforce. I will be thrilled to report back to those people and others that we are extending the targeted initiative for older workers to support training and employment programs.

I have also had the opportunity to speak with and meet many seniors at their doors or through a number of very active seniors' clubs and associations in my riding. We know that many seniors need our help and support because of low incomes and their need for support services.

I am very pleased that this budget makes the largest increase in the guaranteed income supplement in decades of up to $600 more a year for single seniors and $840 a year for senior couples. Our government is helping to lift thousands of seniors out of poverty through this very significant increase to the GIS.

In my previous life I had a very significant interaction with municipal government. This very important order of government does deliver many services that directly affect the lives of all of our constituents. Generally, however, there has been a view that the federal government does not have a direct relationship with municipalities. There are some that take the view that municipalities are still children of the province and that any federal funding should go through the provincial parent.

I am very pleased that not only have we, as a federal government, continued to live up to our commitment to flow the gas tax money directly to municipalities for transportation and infrastructure, but that this budget commits to make that transfer permanent. If it is one thing I hear from municipalities, it is that they want long-term, predictable funding.

The next phase of Canada's economic action plan may be the most democratic budget ever presented in this House. That is because the members of the Conservative majority government campaigned on it in the last election. Canadians who elected us knew exactly what they were getting when they gave us their confidence.

They voted for strength and stability. They voted for a measured approach as we continue to emerge from the worldwide economic recession. They wanted us to keep taxes low, invest in priorities, and they wanted us to be responsible. This budget achieves all of those goals.

Streetsville Bread and Honey Festival June 6th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, first let me express my congratulations to your on being elected as our Speaker.

This past weekend I participated in the Streetsville Bread and Honey Festival, which is a very popular local event in my riding. Founded in 1973, it has become an annual event celebrating the historic backbone of Streetsville's economy, which was its five major mill sites along on the Credit River. Honey was included to reflect the many small apiaries existing at the time the festival began.

The festival was run by over 300 volunteers over the three days. Thanks go to local business, community groups and service clubs that donated thousands of hours of their time for this event.

I give special thanks to David Mosley, Sandy Pitts, Lucie Muldoon, Kathy Dineley, Gary Clipperton, Greg Landry, Kevin Little, Christine Simundson, Suzanne Tierney, Bill Vautour, Reg Vertolli, Duncan Wilcock and Al Yoemans for their outstanding leadership of this great event.