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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

Business of Supply April 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have sat here most of the day. I have listened to the debate on the Liberals' opposition motion on advertising, yet I have not heard one single member of the Liberal Party who stood up to speak apologize to Canadians for the sponsorship scandal, not one.

The member who just spoke is her party's whip. She is in a senior leadership position of the current Liberal caucus in the House of Commons. I want to ask her if she will stand in the House right now and apologize for the $40 million that is gone, wasted, finished, that we will never see again. Will she apologize for the sponsorship scandal, and apologize for what Liberals put Canadians through in the 1990s under the Chrétien and Martin governments in their attempt to spend advertising dollars?

I think the Liberal Party owes this House an apology.

Business of Supply April 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am sure my good friend from Kitchener—Conestoga would agree with me that regardless of the stripe of party that is in government at the time, there is a fiduciary responsibility for governments to communicate, to advertise and to make sure that Canadians are aware of government services and programs. It is the height of hypocrisy that Liberal Party of Canada members bring this motion forward in the House today. There is no way they can possibly suggest that while they were in government that none of their advertising was “partisan” whatever that means.

However, my residents in Mississauga—Streetsville appreciate the fact that they are informed of exactly the programs and services the government is delivering, and how they can take advantage of programs, services and benefits that they need. I want the member to clarify that he agrees with me that this is an important role of government, that we do advertise, we do make sure Canadians understand the programs and services that are available to them.

Business of Supply April 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, this has to be the day of the greatest irony in the House of Commons since I have been here. We are actually hearing the Liberal Party of Canada bring forward a motion on government advertising. I will tell members the difference between the Conservative government and a Liberal government when it comes to spending advertising money. On this side, we actually spend it on advertising. On that side, they blow $40 million out the door to support their buddies. That is the real difference.

The member for Kings—Hants also does not have a very good track record of picking the right party at the right time that actually forms the government. He could actually be in government and have an effect on these kinds of policies.

I want to ask the member what type of advertising he believes is appropriate. Is it appropriate, as an example, that we run ads to recruit men and women to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces? Is is appropriate that we run ads to recruit men and women to serve with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police? Is it appropriate that the Government of Canada informs Canadians about specific programs and services they are entitled to receive, which is the bulk of the advertising the government spends on. On that side, when they were in government, the money went to their buddies.

Genocide Recognition April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to specifically thank my colleagues, the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie and the hon. member for Mount Royal, for also speaking on behalf of their parties to this motion. I would also like to thank the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, who also indicated to me that her party supported this motion as well.

It is a great day for Parliament when we see all political parties working together for such an important motion, important commemoration that we can have in our country by establishing April as our genocide remembrance prevention and condemnation month in Canada.

I appreciate the comments of the hon. member for Mount Royal about Bosnia. I would be prepared to work with him, and there is certainly no reason why that situation could not also be included in the commemorations within the month of April.

I simply want to thank all members of the House for the support for this motion, and I look forward to it being approved.

Genocide Recognition April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, even today, just a short couple of hours ago on the lawn at Parliament Hill, we had a commemoration for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. I had an opportunity to speak at that, which I am honoured to have done. When I looked into the crowd and saw the people's faces, I could see their pain and sadness for their relatives, friends, and ancestors who were affected by these acts.

There is an old saying that time heals all wounds. I am not always sure that is completely true. If we do not continue to recognize these events that have taken place in the history of our world, which have been our darkest moments in what human beings have done to one another, we are unfortunately doomed to repeat them. Therefore, we must continue to recognize these events each and every year.

Genocide Recognition April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friends in the NDP, the Liberal, and Green parties who have all indicated their support for this motion. It is great to see Parliament come together over an issue like this. That is a credit to the fine men and women who serve in this chamber.

In the motion, I specifically referred to four genocides. However, it is obvious that should this motion pass, the month of April would be known as the genocide prevention remembrance month. It would include all genocides, including Bosnia and the others that have taken place. I would expect that this would cover all of those, and that we would find an appropriate way to commemorate these horrific events in human history and include all of those other organizations that would also like to be part of this in the month of April.

Genocide Recognition April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to be a world leader and continues to play a very effective role in the international community in speaking out and making sure that we are honouring our international commitments and treaties.

Right now, of course, we are playing a very significant role in making sure another genocide does not take place in Iraq and Syria by committing Canadian Armed Forces and providing humanitarian aid and assistance to Iraq and Syria to protect religious minorities in those countries, Yazidis, Christians, Chaldeans, and Syrians who are being slaughtered at the hands of ISIL.

Canada will continue to play its very strong role where we are recognized internationally as standing up for vulnerable people in the world and speaking the truth about these tragedies at all times.

Genocide Recognition April 24th, 2015

moved:

That the House: (a) re-affirm its support for (i) the Holocaust Memorial Day Act, (ii) the Armenian genocide recognition resolution adopted on April 21, 2004, (iii) the Rwandan genocide resolution adopted on April 7, 2008, (iv) the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act; (b) call upon the government to honour the victims of all genocides by recognizing the month of April as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month; and (c) acknowledge the associated commemorative days of (i) Yom ha-Shoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), as determined by the Jewish Lunar calendar, (ii) Armenian Genocide Memorial Day on April 24, (iii) Rwandan Genocide Memorial Day on April 7, (iv) Holodomor Memorial Day on the fourth Saturday in November.

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to present Motion No. 587 before the House today. I would like to thank the hon. member for Don Valley East for seconding the motion.

I would like to thank the House for the opportunity to start off this important debate on a motion that would reaffirm the support of the House for the recognition of historical genocides. It would also call upon the government to recognize April as genocide remembrance, condemnation and prevention month.

In August, 1941, shortly after British intelligence broke the Enigma code and began intercepting first-hand Nazi reports of mass slaughters and remorseless brutalities in occupied Ukraine and Russia, Winston Churchill spoke to an international audience in a live radio broadcast. He said, “We are in the presence of a crime without a name”. In the United States, the noted legal scholar, Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish refugee from Nazi-occupied Poland, heard Churchill's words. In the hope that naming the crime would help to prevent it, two years later, Lemkin coined the word “genocide”, defining it as “the systematic destruction of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group”.

He tirelessly campaigned for its recognition in international law. Finally, in 1948, after the systemic nature and horrific scope of the Nazis' mass crimes had been more fully grasped, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Canada has been a party to this convention for more than 60 years, and its resolve to combat and prevent genocide around the world continues to be strong and steadfast.

Some seven decades after the liberation of the Nazi death camps, our country remains committed to helping to prevent future atrocities by combatting oppression, hatred, and xenophobia, and teaching future generations about the lessons of genocide around the world. Canada has been profoundly shaped by survivors of genocide who have had first-hand experience with the horrific crime and have resettled across our great country. That is why this Parliament has officially recognized the historical genocides that have affected many Canadian immigrants and the ancestors of many Canadians. Those genocides include the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor, and the Rwandan genocide.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Act, which was passed in 2003, recognizes the unique atrocities of the Shoah, during which 6 million European Jews, including 1.5 million Jewish children, lost their lives. Millions of other European civilians were slaughtered because they belonged to groups deemed expendable, according to the Nazis' heinous ideology.

The Armenian genocide resolution, adopted 11 years ago this month, recognized the terrible suffering and loss of life endured by the Armenian people in 1915 as a genocide, condemning it as a crime against humanity.

The Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act was passed in 2008. It established the fourth Saturday in November as an annual day to remember one of the greatest tragedies of the last century, the deliberate starvation of millions of men, women, and children in Ukraine, between 1932 and 1933, by the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin.

Finally, in 2008, Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution commemorating the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans, targeting ethnic Tutsis and political moderates, including ethnic Hutus, and designating April 7 as a day of reflection on the prevention of genocide. Parliament had previously declared April 7 a day of remembrance for the victims of the Rwandan genocide in 2004.

With the designation of April each year as genocide remembrance, condemnation and prevention month, we would be specifically remembering those unfathomable, tragic, historic events. At the same time, we would be more broadly acknowledging that genocide betrays the fundamental value of human dignity.

Genocide does not begin with the mass murder of a people. Its seeds are planted with hatred, racism and a denial of human rights. We must be vigilant and never allow such horrific crimes to be forgotten or repeated. We have an obligation to remember and to learn from some of the darkest events in human history. By doing so we renew our commitment to do everything we can to prevent such events from happening ever again.

In the words of author, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel:

An immoral society betrays humanity because it betrays the basis for humanity, which is memory…. A moral society is committed to memory.

As time passes, it becomes even more imperative for moral societies such as ours to remain firm in our commitment to memory. Without active efforts such as those proposed by this motion, there is always the risk that the memory of historical genocides could be lost, minimized, or even denied.

Indeed, in recent years, we have seen an unfortunate rise around the world in the heinous practice of Holocaust denial and in the denial of other genocides. The only appropriate response is to strongly reaffirm our collective commitment as a society to remember and commemorate genocide, to educate future generations about the poisonous effects of hate and intolerance, and to uphold the importance of preventing such atrocities from ever reoccurring.

Indeed, while the nation at the centre of any genocide holds the primary responsibility to protect its people from such atrocities, the international community also has significant responsibilities.

Canada has been a world leader in genocide commemoration and education. We have opened the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, supported resolutions on the prevention of genocide at the Human Rights Council, and served as the 2014 chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, among many other recent recent initiatives.

The motion we are debating today is in the spirit of ensuring that our country continues to set an important international example. I call on all members of this House to support Motion No. 587.

I have appreciated the opportunity to address the House on this very important matter.

Taxation April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, while our government has balanced the budget while lowering taxes, both opposition parties would reach into the pockets of hard-working, middle-class Canadians and reduce their take home pay with a forced CPP hike.

My constituents in Mississauga—Streetsville are concerned with the new Liberal pension payroll tax that could force a family of two workers to pay as much as $3,200 more per year.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please inform the House of our government's view on a mandatory expansion of CPP?

The Budget April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2015 is great news for the people of Mississauga—Streetsville.

First, our government has tabled a balanced budget. We are increasing the annual contribution limit to a tax-free savings account to $10,000. We are supporting seniors by reducing the minimum withdrawal requirements for registered retirement income funds. We are introducing the home accessibility tax credit to help with renovation costs so seniors and disabled persons can live independently and remain in their homes.

We are increasing and expanding the universal child care benefit and introducing income splitting that benefits every single family in Mississauga—Streetsville with children. Members of the Streetsville Business Improvement Association will benefit from a reduction of the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019. We are creating the public transit fund and providing over $5 billion per year for infrastructure through the new building Canada fund.

People in Mississauga—Streetsville are better off because of this Conservative government.