House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was terms.

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

Team Jacobs December 9th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am so proud to stand in the House of Commons today to once again recognize the Sault's Team Jacobs, which curled its way into history last night, shooting at 92% against B.C.'s Team Morris and earning its spot to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Last week, at the Roar of the Rings Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Winnipeg, Team Jacobs remained unbeaten throughout the entire competition, the first team to ever achieve such a record. The team, consisting of skip Brad Jacobs, third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden, along with the alternate Caleb Flaxey and coach Tom Coulterman, has made Sault Ste. Marie and northern Ontario so proud. This was a very well-earned and deserved victory by the entire team.

We will be cheering Team Jacobs on as its represents Canada and Sault Ste. Marie in Russia in February 2014. On behalf of all of my colleagues in the House, congratulations and good luck in Sochi.

Petitions November 8th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a certified petition calling on the Government of Canada to provide stronger control in the form of GPS tracking technology to trace the whereabouts of violent criminals who have been released into the general public.

A failure of policy allowed Andre Denny to be out, unsupervised, from the East Coast Forensic Hospital, which resulted in the tragic death of my constituent's brother, Mr. Raymond Taavel. May he rest in peace.

Christa Lukenda Michaud November 5th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honour of the life of Christa Lukenda Michaud, from my riding of Sault Ste. Marie, who was tragically killed in August, and to read the words penned by her loving husband, Ryan, as follows:

While innocently riding her bicycle, Christa was fatally struck down by a drunk driver, ending her life of 28 years.

Christa will be remembered as a special teacher who would always be there if you needed her, my loving and precious wife, and the youngest in a family of 10 who kept everyone young and playful at heart.

It is senseless that we Canadians must continue to accept these losses of life because this shameful act is tolerated. In honour of all deceased from impaired driving, we must make it our individual duty to raise awareness in our own communities in order to prevent these tragedies that rip families apart.

Christa, you will be missed forever and remembered always by those who love you. Ryan.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 24th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, that was a great question. As a former small-business owner in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie, I cannot say enough about low taxes. They are so necessary.

For major corporate employers in Sault Ste. Marie, such as Essar Algoma Steel, Tenaris Algoma Tubes, G-P Flakeboard, it is absolutely imperative that the corporate tax rate stays where it is. This is a globally competitive economy. We need to compete and we have a government that understands that.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 24th, 2013

Thank you, I'm happy to be here.

Every Canadian had access to pre-budget consultations. In my riding, I held budget consultations. I stood in front of city council and had budget consultations with council members. I gave them the opportunity to speak and listened to their concerns. That is what is incorporated in the budget implementation bill, the concerns of my constituents and constituents across Canada.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 24th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, at that time I actually was not in opposition. I am a new member of Parliament but that is okay, I am happy to be here now.

With respect to this particular budget—

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 24th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that there have been over one million net new jobs since we formed government, since the depth of the recession. That is what is important to Canadians.

We are going to create even more new jobs with the Canada-European Union trade agreement. As a matter of fact, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said, “with the global economy continuing to struggle, such initiatives are more important than ever”. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business applauds the federal government. The Canadian Council of Chief Executives said, “For Canadian consumers, companies and workers, the overall impact [will be] positive”. The Forest Products Association of Canada said, “We welcome this trade deal and appreciate the government’s...push in the area of freer trade”.

This government is working toward jobs. It is positively happening and will continue to happen.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 October 24th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to add my comments to today's debate on Bill C-4, a piece of legislation that would create jobs and economic growth in communities across our country, including my riding of Sault Ste. Marie. Indeed, today's legislation is part of our government's plan to create jobs and economic growth and to secure Canada's long-term prosperity for years to come.

As a matter of fact, since 2006, our government has been taking concrete action to ensure that Canada's economy remains strong. Unlike the high-tax New Democrats and Liberals, our Conservative government believes in keeping taxes low and leaving more money where it belongs: in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families and job-creating businesses. That is why since 2006 we have cut taxes over 160 times, reducing the overall tax burden to its lowest level in 50 years. Overall, our strong record of tax relief has helped remove over one million low-income Canadians from the tax rolls. That is not all. It has also meant savings for a typical Canadian family in 2013 totalling over $3,200.

How did we accomplish this? The answer is simple. We have cut taxes in every way government collects them: personal taxes, consumption taxes, business taxes, excise taxes, and more. This includes cutting the lowest personal income tax rate to 15%; increasing the amount Canadians can earn without paying tax; introducing pension income splitting for seniors; reducing the GST from 7% to 5%, putting an estimated $1,000 back in the pockets of an average family; introducing the tax-free savings account, the most important personal savings vehicle since RRSPs; reducing the small-business tax rate from 12% to 11%; eliminating consumer tariffs on babies' clothes, sporting goods and exercise equipment. The list goes on.

It is measures such as these, which leave more money in the pockets of Canadians, that have helped Canada to emerge from the recession in one of the strongest positions among the developed world. In fact, since the depth of the recession, over one million net new jobs have been created, with most in high-wage industries. This is by far the strongest job creation record in the entire G7. Indeed, Canada's unemployment rate is at its lowest level since December 2008 and remains below that of the U.S., a phenomenon that has not been seen in nearly three decades. Contrary to what the opposition leaders may believe, Canada is on strong economic footing.

However, we are not the only ones who think so. Let us see what others are saying. Moody's report on Canada for 2013 states that thanks to its diversity and solid fundamentals, Canada's economy has weathered the post global financial crisis period better than most of its peers.

According to Fitch Ratings:

Canada has a good track record of prudent fiscal management. Its fiscal credibility was boosted by the timely withdrawal of the fiscal stimulus implemented during the global financial crisis and the roadmap achieve a balanced federal government fiscal position by 2015/16. ...the consolidation path is realistic.

With reviews like these, it is no wonder Canada is one of the few countries in the world to boast a triple-A credit rating from the three major credit rating agencies.

Let us talk a bit about support for job creators. Despite Canada's economic success, we cannot become complacent, and our government understands that. We have repeatedly said that Canada's economy is not immune to economic challenges beyond our borders. We have been and will continue to be impacted by the ongoing turbulence in the U.S. and Europe, among our most important trading partners. That is why the Canada–EU trade agreement is so significant. It will bring an additional $12 billion annually to the Canadian economy, creating 80,000 new jobs and opening up a market of 500 million consumers and a $17-trillion economy.

That is also why economic action plan 2013 focuses on positive initiatives to support job creation and economic growth while returning to balanced budgets, ensuring Canada's economic advantage remains strong today and into the future.

Today's legislation contains a number of measures to support job creation and economic growth. This includes extending and expanding the job hiring credit for small business, which would benefit an estimated 560,000 employers and provide an estimated $225 million in tax relief in 2013. Bill C-4 would also increase and index the lifetime capital gains exemption. This positive measure would increase the rewards of investing in small business by making it easier for owners to transfer their family business to the next generation of Canadians. Today's legislation would also expand the accelerated capital cost allowance to further encourage investments in clean energy generation.

That is not all. Our government is continuing to build on our sound economic position by freezing EI premium rates for the next three years. This action alone would leave $660 million in the pockets of job creators and workers in 2014 alone.

Despite what the opposition may have us believe, this tax relief would help support Canada's continued economic recovery and sustained, business-led, long-term growth. However, do not take my word for it. Let us hear what others have to say. Diane J. Brisebois, president and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada agrees. She says, “This freeze on premiums will mean more money for employers to invest in other important areas such as employment, training and infrastructure.”

Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said the “announcement of an EI rate freeze is fantastic news for Canada’s entrepreneurs. This move will keep hundreds of millions of dollars in the pockets of employers and employees which can only be a positive for the Canadian economy.”

There is more. Joyce Reynolds, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association's executive-vice president of government affairs notes:

Payroll costs have a significant impact on overall labour costs. They are a barrier to hiring, particularly for inexperienced workers.... We are pleased the government is demonstrating commitment to holding the line on these profit-insensitive costs.

Unlike the opposition, our government understands that tax relief is important to Canadian families. I encourage the members opposite to vote in favour of this important measure, which would leave more money in the hands of Canadians.

Canada is leading the world in job creation, with more than one million net new jobs created since the depth of the recession. However, there is work yet to be done. That is why implementing Canada's economic action plan is so important. It is for that reason that I urge all members of the House, and especially the members opposite, to support these job creating measures.

Although, who are we kidding, we all know the opposition will be voting against these measures as they have time and time again. The only thing the NDP seems to support are risky spending schemes and forcing a $20 billion carbon tax on Canadian consumers and job creators. That is more than I can say for the Liberals, who unbelievably do not even have a plan for the economy. They have announced the plan will be released during election mode in 2015. That is unheard of.

It is clear, and Canadians know this, that when it comes to the economy, our Conservative government continues to be the right choice.

International Trade October 18th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister announced today that Canada and the European Union have reached an agreement on an historic trade deal.

We know the NDP will oppose this agreement. The NDP is anti-trade. My constituents will not be fooled. They understand that free trade creates real benefits for hard-working Canadians.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade please tell me how my constituents will benefit from this deal?

New Democratic Party of Canada June 14th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canadians saw the true colours of the NDP. The leader of the NDP did his best Reese Witherspoon impression, shouting, “Don't you know who I am?”

A female RCMP member was forced to chase him around Parliament Hill after he decided security measures did not apply to him. Once he was confronted and given a warning not to repeat this stunt, he moved on to intimidation, threatening that this front-line officer would get “in a lot of trouble”.

Not to be outdone, the member for Timmins—James Bay flippantly referred to our RCMP members as “meter maids”.

This champagne socialist above the law attitude is disrespectful to those who put their lives on the line to keep Canadians safe. It shows a lack of judgment and it shows why the NDP is not fit to govern.