House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was chair.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 31% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 19th, 2015

With regard to government funding for the constituency of Sault Ste. Marie for each fiscal year since 2007-2008 inclusively: (a) what are the details of all grants, contributions and loans to any organization, body or group, broken down by (i) the name of the recipient, (ii) the municipality in which the recipient is located, (iii) the date on which funding was received, (iv) the amount received, (v) the department or agency providing the funding, (vi) the program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) the 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?

Taxation June 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on what matters to Canadians, jobs and economic growth. Our plan for jobs is tax cuts, trade and training.

Since the recession, 1.2 million net new jobs have been created, and almost 59,000 jobs in May alone.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance update this House on what the government is doing to make life more affordable for Canadians?

Taxation June 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the hard-working middle-class workers of Sault Ste. Marie reject the Liberal leader's plan to impose a mandatory $1,000 tax hike. By promising to enforce the Ontario Liberals' dramatic hike in payroll tax across Canada, the Liberal leader would hike every middle-class family's taxes and force employers to cut jobs, hours and wages. According to the Meridian Credit Union, the majority of Ontario's small-business owners believe that this could be their greatest challenge ever faced.

Instead of introducing reckless high-tax plans, our government believes in helping families succeed. We lowered taxes to the tune of $6,600 this year for a typical family. We expanded the tax-free savings account so that Canadians can save more tax-free.

Now is not the time for risky high-tax Liberal schemes and untested leadership.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our position is that law-abiding gun owners, hunters and sport shooters are not criminals.

I understand that fully. I am not a licensed gun owner, but moving to northern Ontario, as I mentioned in my speech, I became very aware of the great quality of that industry in my riding. I have tremendous friends who are hunters and sport shooters. This is part of our Canadian heritage.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, on the Liberal Party position, the Liberals are out there saying that because of this legislation, people will be able to bring restricted firearms to grocery stores and shopping malls. They are using that as a donation tool on websites. That is in fact not true. It is a myth that is being spread by the Liberal Party.

There is a myth that the Liberals are stating that this bill would take the power to classify firearms out of the hands of police, the experts in keeping Canadians safe, and put it in the hands of politicians. The fact is that the RCMP does not classify firearms; Parliament does and did so in 1995 under a Liberal government.

The Canadian firearms program interprets this legislation, and sometimes it makes mistakes such as with theSwiss Arms guns. In these cases, the common sense firearms licensing act would allow elected officials to fix these situations.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, there are courses available all over.

I had the opportunity to sit on the public safety committee during the debate on this legislation. That did come up. One of the concerns was that people used to be able to challenge it, and now they could not. The reality is that to even challenge the course, people actually have to travel to challenge that course.

At that time when the question was posed to me in committee, we talked about it. In my mind, as a chartered professional accountant, I sense that there may be a business opportunity here. I am certain the course will be delivered in areas that need it.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, first, we are merging possession only licence and possession and acquisition licence. This will give 600,000 experienced firearms owners the ability to purchase firearms.

Second, we are restricting the authority of the Chief Firearms Officer because the unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats have been exercising their powers willy-nilly for far too long. The bill would bring oversight to these bureaucrats.

Third, we will create a grace period at the end of the five-year licence. This will prevent otherwise law-abiding gun owners from becoming overnight criminals due to an error in paperwork.

We will also end needless paperwork around authorizations to transport restricted and prohibited firearms by making them automatically issued with a firearms licence. If people are qualified to have a gun in their homes, they are qualified to safely transport it.

Last, but certainly not least, we will create an ability for the elected government to oversee the classification of firearms.

As we all remember, in February 2014, tens of thousands of Canadians became criminals overnight when the Canadian firearms program unilaterally decided to reclassify the CZ858 and the Swiss Arms family of rifles. It did this without seeking approval and without so much as a heads up to their elected boss, the Minister of Public Safety. This is completely unacceptable, and we will create a process so this never happens again.

I can confirm that as soon as the bill receives royal assent, we will move to restore these firearms to their previous classification of non-restricted.

This is clearly good legislation, but do not just take my word for it.

The National Post editorial board said that the common sense firearms licensing act was: “good news for responsible gun owners, and good news, as the name suggests, for common sense”

Greg Farrant of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters said:

The changes proposed in Bill C-42 will make life easier for these people because there will be less needless paperwork....Bill C-42 proposes reasonable amendments to sections of the Criminal Code that make sense, that eliminate red tape, and introduce additional public safety measures. It does not make guns easier to get. It does not allow firearms owners to transport them at will wherever they want, and it does not put guns in the hands of the “wrong people”..

Tony Bernardo, the Executive Director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, said:

The Canadian Shooting Sports Association supports Bill C-42. Our members believe it's a positive step toward fairness for lawful firearms owners, and it has absolutely no negative impact on public safety.

Despite this wide range of support from experts, the NDP and Liberals still oppose these common sense measures. Both parties are evidently still dead set on returning to the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

The NDP leader was unequivocal that if he were to form a government, he “We will bring in something that allows the police to track every gun in Canada”. The Liberal Leader has said, “If we had a vote tomorrow, I would vote once again to keep the long-gun registry”.

Clearly, neither party understands the realities of rural Canada. Our Conservative Party will always stand up for the rights of rural Canadians and for the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

I know firearms owners are interested in this legislation and are following these debates very closely. Websites like Gun Owners of Canada are very useful tools for spreading information and these individuals will be judging how they will vote in the upcoming election accordingly.

I hope members opposite can cast aside the orders of their big Ottawa bosses and vote the will of their constituents, and vote for the common sense firearms licensing act.

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I will pick up where I left off.

Second, we will be making firearms safety training courses mandatory for first time firearms owners. Currently, approximately 35,000 people per year get their firearms licence without taking a training course. This legislative change will ensure that all new gun owners have a common understanding of safe firearms handling practices.

Third, we will make a technical change to allow information sharing between CBSA and the RCMP on the importation of restricted and prohibited firearms. This is a change that our provincial partners have been requesting for some time.

I would like to point out that during quorum call there were only two Liberals in the House, and now I believe there is only one Liberal in the House.

We are also making five changes to make our firearms laws—

Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise in the House today to speak in favour of Bill C-42, the common sense firearms licensing act. As its name suggests, it would restore a good deal of common sense to our firearms laws.

For too long, hunters and sports shooters have been treated like criminals for simply wanting to take part in their hobby. These activities are a shared part of our Canadian heritage, and a huge part of my northern Ontario heritage. Although I did not move to northern Ontario until the age of 23, I did not realize how huge a part of the heritage it was until it came time for moose, deer and bird hunting season. Life in northern Ontario really revolves around that, the drive to get that moose tag, and the number of American visitors who come to northern Ontario to take part in that, as well as the number of Torontonians who come to northern Ontario in the hopes of bagging a moose. Therefore, it is an incredible part of our heritage.

It is shameful that decades of previous Liberal governments took steps to try to dissuade people from becoming involved in these activities, whether through needless red tape, the possibility of jail time for good faith errors or processes that stigmatized. These measures did nothing at all to keep Canadians safe. I am proud to be part of a government that rejects this idea and has adopted a safe and sensible approach to firearms policies.

What precisely does this mean? It means that we crack down on dangerous criminals who use guns to commit crimes. That is why we have passed tough new measures to combat drive-by shootings. It also means that we reduce needless burdens for those Canadians who work hard and pay by the rules. That is why we ended the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry once and for all.

It is clear that our approach is working. According to Statistics Canada, the firearms homicide rate in Canada is at its lowest point in nearly 50 years. There has been a 30% decline in the rate of handgun homicides since 2008. In fact, in the year after the gun registry was ended, firearms crime was down by more than 80% in Toronto. This is a strong record of which our Conservative government can be proud. The commons sense firearms act builds on that strong record.

There are three strong measures that will improve public safety.

First and foremost, firearms prohibition orders will be strengthened for those convicted of domestic violence offences. It is clear that having a firearm in a volatile situation like that is dangerous. This change makes good—

Taxation May 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can trust only our Conservative government to help families save more of their own money for their priorities. The New Democrats and Liberals have said that their focus is to raise taxes and kill jobs. The leader of the Liberal Party has even said that “benefiting all families is not what is fair.”

He demonstrated this by pledging to scrap our universal child care benefit, scrap income splitting, and take away tax-free savings accounts. He wants to replace our family tax cut with a family tax hike. Yesterday he even announced that he will hit Canadians with a massive new payroll tax. He said, “We're looking at an expansion and a mandatory expansion of the CPP of the type that Kathleen Wynne put forward in Ontario.”

The Liberal leader's plan would cost someone earning $60,000 over $1,000 in take-home pay. The Liberal leader's assault on the middle class is simply unacceptable.