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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was forces.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Ajax—Pickering (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Official Languages June 18th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of the progress made by this government in nine years with respect to creating an infrastructure to welcome thousands of francophone immigrants across the country. There are francophone immigration networks in every province and territory, including northern Ontario, where we are working with the Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario to attract more immigrants.

Thanks to the express entry program and all the enhancements we have made to our immigration programs, we expect to see a growing number of francophone immigrants in the years to come. That is important to us and to all regions of Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration June 17th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as the member well knows, we cannot speak about individual cases in this place. The Privacy Act forbids it. Decisions are made by highly trained and highly professional public services.

However, the member would do well in this near-final question period of this Parliament not to politicize the cases of individuals, not to politicize the suffering of families, and to answer to the House why the NDP was unable to support a bill yesterday at third reading that would protect women and girls from early and forced marriage, from polygamy, and from honour-based violence.

Why has the NDP done nothing to protect Canadians from abuse in our immigration system?

Citizenship and Immigration June 17th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we are closely following the situation in Burundi. Decisions about that country, or any country in conflict, are always carefully considered by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. We intend to continue reuniting families and welcoming Burundians to Canada, to the extent possible.

Citizenship and Immigration June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the NDP’s position is already known. If we listened to the NDP, we would have given health care to failed refugee claimants, to fraudulent claimants. We would be providing asylum to people from safe countries, such as those in the European Union.

We are not going to do that. We are going to focus on genuine refugees and the truly vulnerable, such as those coming from Iraq, Syria and war-torn countries. That is exactly what we are doing, without any support from the NDP.

Citizenship and Immigration June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, why does the hon. member not join us in promoting refugee resettlement and supporting our programs to help refugees from Iraq and Syria? Why does she insist on insinuating that refugee claimants who are eligible for Canada's protection do not receive health care? They receive health care, without exception, and we are going to continue to protect their interests, the interests of refugees and the interests of Canadian taxpayers.

Citizenship and Immigration June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, once again, the hon. member is completely wrong. The member countries of the European Union resettle almost no refugees. They do have large numbers of asylum claims these days, and we salute some of those countries for accepting asylum seekers from the troubled Middle East and other regions.

However, the member is totally out of line when he says at this late date in the House, contradicting some of his own party colleagues, that refugees in our country are not receiving health care. The reverse is true. They receive the best health care in the world, every one of them. We will continue to stand up for refugees and Canadian taxpayers.

Citizenship and Immigration June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we do have a proud history of refugee resettlement, and it never included accepting large numbers of refugee claims from the European Union, from other democracies, and from countries that have the rule of law. That was what was starting to happen, up until recent years, under the broken Liberal system we inherited in 2006.

We reformed it. The number of claims from safe countries is down. The number of claims from countries of conflict, where there is real persecution, like Iraq, Syria, and Somalia, is way up. That is allowing us to resettle a record number of refugees.

Our record in this respect is second to none. Canada is standing up for refugees in the best tradition of our humanitarian programs.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member forEtobicoke Centre for his great work in the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and for his dedication to these files along with many other members on our side, without whom bills like this, Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act and Bill S-7, the zero tolerance for barbaric cultural practices act, would simply not have seen the light of day.

Let us draw the contrast. Let us take the case of Shafias, multiple murders, tragic case from Kingston, Ontario. The member for Pierrefonds—Dollard asked what would have been the effect on them of this bill if it had been in place say under a Liberal government, say 10 years ago when we came into office. The amendment to IRPA would have deemed Mohammad Shafia and his wife inadmissible in the first place. They might not ever have gotten here. The amendment to the Criminal Code would not even have allowed the defence of provocation to be used at that time. The amendments to the Civil Marriage Act would have protected the children from early and forced marriage. As we recall, there were multiple cases in that tragic chapter.

Finally, the requirement for dissolution of previous marriage would have protected people like Rona Amir who were not protected when a second marriage took place and the previous one had not been annulled or dissolved.

These actions, which, if we had taken them earlier in Parliament, would have saved lives and would certainly have reduced the misery of women and girls. They are not the majority. They are not even a large share of those who come to our country as immigrants or who live in our country, but they are hundreds and indeed thousands who have suffered from these terrible practices that lead to lifetimes of violence.

The Liberal Party did nothing about it in its time in office. The NDP still opposes these measures today. It is very clear who in this Parliament is standing up for the protection of women and girls at home and in our immigration system.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that is obviously nonsense. It has been only nine and a half years, but this government has presided over the most dynamic period of reform in Canadian immigration history. The Liberals over a generation cheapened our citizenship. They opened our economic immigration programs to abuse and to backlogs, and they left open the door to the forms of abuse to which they are not even prepared to face up to today.

The first question from the Liberal Party on the bill at third reading makes no mention of forced marriage, underage marriage, honour killings or polygamy. These are all criminal acts, phenomena that exist in our immigration system, unfortunately, which the Liberal Party over its many years in government did absolutely nothing to oppose or eradicate.

The Liberals opposed this bill until they realized which way the wind was blowing, until they spoke to some women and girls, perhaps even to those who were victims of these acts. They understood that opposition to the bill was absolutely reprehensible, unacceptable in this day and age in a world where hundreds of millions of women and girls face forced marriage.

Canada is very active on behalf of them to seek to address their plight. We even accept many of the these women and girls in Canada as refugees fleeing that kind of misery abroad.

The Liberals would have us do absolutely nothing to address these phenomena when they show up in our own immigration programs. It says a lot about their time in government and the legacy they left us.

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I regret to inform the hon. member that she is wrong. She probably has much more formal training and legal knowledge than I, but she is wrong in this case when she says that we are criminalizing anyone who could be considered a victim.

What is new in this bill is that it will criminalize those who facilitate forced marriage and early marriage. Yes, those who marry will have to dissolve previous unions and give their free and informed consent. However, the only other criminal penalties are for those who facilitate forced or early marriage.

We certainly want to encourage greater respect and better protection for victims through various measures in this bill and the other reforms we have brought about in recent years.

Let us remember what people like Kamal Dhillon, who testified at committee, wrote in her own account of the violence she faced as a result of forced marriage:

I was violently raped by him on our honeymoon night. From the wedding night onward, I was subjected to emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse that occurred several times per week, and he even attempted to murder me several times.

As a result of his beatings and his rage, I now live in constant pain with an artificial jaw....

All of the people who facilitated the forced marriage of this woman should be brought to justice and face criminal penalties.