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  • His favourite word is environment.

Conservative MP for Oshawa (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Fiesta Week June 17th, 2016

Madam Speaker, this Sunday kicks off the 42nd annual Fiesta Week celebrations in Oshawa. Oshawa will spend the next six days celebrating our amazing cultural diversity with traditional foods, dance and activities.

The vibrant cultural communities that make up Oshawa will proudly share their unique heritage with visitors from across the province. With 18 unique pavilions, Fiesta Week offers the opportunity to experience some of the finest Polish, Ukrainian, Caribbean, African, Greek, Portuguese, German, Romanian, Italian, French, Serbian, Filipino, and Hungarian cuisine in Canada.

Over the past four-plus decades, Fiesta Week has proven to be one of the most popular summer events in Oshawa, as it appeals to every age, background, and cultural group. It is living proof that there is room for everyone to have fun in Oshawa.

I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers who have made Fiesta Week an annual success for more than 40 years. I encourage everyone to stop by Oshawa and check out pavilions during the 2016 Fiesta Week celebrations.

Health June 16th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, last night the Liberals had the opportunity to support a bill that would have helped save hundreds of Canadian lives. Canadians were shocked that the Liberals defeated Bill C-223, which would have established a national organ donor registry.

The Liberals should be ashamed that they chose to play petty politics over the well-being of those who need an organ transplant. Can the Liberals explain why they chose to defeat a bill that would have saved so many lives, for absolutely no reason other than partisanship?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 14th, 2016

With respect to any department or agency, from November 3, 2015, to April 22, 2016: (a) what are the details relating to any advertising campaigns done with (i) Facebook, (ii) Twitter, (iii) Google, (iv) Yahoo, (v) Huffington Post, (vi) YouTube, (vii) Bing; (b) for each campaign identified in (a), (i) how long did the advertising run, (ii) what was the total cost of the advertising, (iii) how many people were reached by the advertising, (iv) what did the advertising consist of, (v) what was the purpose of the advertising, (vi) what were the keywords, demographics, and other targeting items included in the ad, where applicable, (vii) who was the desired target audience of the advertising, (viii) was a third party advertising agency used to purchase the ads and, if so, what is the name of that agency?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 14th, 2016

With regard to government costing, assessments, or analysis prepared by the Department of Finance or other departments or agencies of the Liberal Party of Canada’s election platform, and prior to the 2015 federal election: (a) what were the details of these assessments; and (b) which policy positions proposed in that platform were assessed?

Business of Supply June 13th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I again want to thank the NDP for bringing this up, because it really highlights what a disaster this legalization program is that the Liberals want to bring in.

I want to ask the member a very important question. Anything that is done has to be done responsibly, and I want to ask him about the tools that are in the tool box today. We see dispensaries popping up all over the place with edibles. The Liberals put absolutely no money in for inspections, so we do not even know if the marijuana used to bake these edibles is laced with anything, like angel dust. Where are the profits going? They are going to organized crime.

Most importantly, he mentioned the Colorado experiment. There are no tools in the tool box for police to check for impaired driving. In Colorado there was an increase in death and disability due to impaired driving and an increase in the hospitalization of kids due to edibles. The NDP motion today is calling for immediate decriminalization.

Could the member please say what he is aware of and what tools are in the tool box today? I am not aware of any tools in the tool box that would alleviate the issues that I have just brought forward in my question.

Business of Supply June 13th, 2016

The science is clear, Madam Speaker. For our youth, especially those under the age of 25, there are serious mental health considerations, a more likelihood of schizophrenia. This is what really concerns me right now with these illegal dispensaries. They are putting out kid-friendly products such as cookies, brownies, gummy bears, jujubes, and this is proliferating around communities that have never had this issue before. It is exploding.

I would like to see the Liberals take some responsibility for this. They should not wait a year. They should start putting things in place right now so this stops immediately because it is affecting our kids.

Business of Supply June 13th, 2016

Madam Speaker, again, there was a motion passed at the convention, and the reality is that no matter what motion is passed anywhere, what Canadians expect is a government to be responsible.

I am disappointed that the Liberal members are not moving forward in trying to get their ministers to pay attention to what is actually happening on the ground. In Vancouver, for example, there are more of these illegal marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks. What is the Liberal government doing? It is totally ignoring it, and it is downloading the enforcement on to local municipalities.

With respect to any movement forward on this file, what Canadians expect is that a government takes responsibility and has a responsible approach, not the irresponsible approach that has been advocated for today and also by the Liberal Party, which is doing absolutely nothing to address the questions coming from our municipalities and ordinary Canadians.

Business of Supply June 13th, 2016

Madam Speaker, this really is a big difference between the Conservatives and the NDP. In the motion, the NDP is asking to decriminalize immediately. As I said at the beginning, our focus, always, is the health and safety of Canadians. Even when the Liberals brought it forward, they said to keep the proceeds out of the hands of criminals and to keep our kids safe.

What Canadians expect us to do, even if they are supportive of an action, is to make sure that we have all the things in place to ensure that Canadians will maintain their safety. I mentioned so many things that are wrong with the current situation. I am in full agreement with the NDP that the Liberals have made a disaster out of this. I was very saddened to hear that they did not put any money aside for inspecting these illegal dispensaries. Most important, nobody wants kids to be able to eat these gummy bears, cookies, and brownies, or bring them to their schools.

These are things that we have to address before moving forward with anything.

Business of Supply June 13th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I would like to start by saying that I will be sharing my time with the member for Durham.

I want to start by thanking the NDP for bringing this motion forward today. It is indeed an important issue that the Liberals are refusing to deal with. The Liberals continue to state that their plan to legalize marijuana is to “keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals”, but the exact opposite is true.

I have numerous concerns and questions about the lack of marijuana policy by the Liberals. I know that many Canadians across the country do as well. The Liberals are providing no direction, and they continue to avoid answering important questions when it comes to their inconsistent drug policies. For example, who is monitoring these illegal marijuana dispensaries that are popping up across the country by the hundreds? How do we know where these illegal dispensaries are getting their marijuana from? Who is ensuring that these illegal marijuana dispensaries are not producing laced marijuana?

How can we be sure that these dispensaries are not selling or diverting marijuana to children and that they are not targeting children by promoting kid-friendly edibles? How much marijuana will an individual be able to possess without consequences? If legalized or immediately decriminalized, will dispensaries be allowed to sell edibles, which are known to be harder to monitor for THC levels? Will they be allowed to advertise these kid-friendly edibles?

I could go on and on, which is why I believe that decriminalizing marijuana immediately is not the solution. As of right now, the distribution of marijuana is illegal unless a licence by Health Canada has been issued and the producer complies with the marijuana for medical purposes regulations.

Recently at the Standing Committee on Health, we learned from Health Canada officials that the Liberals have allocated no money, zero dollars, for the inspection of these illegal marijuana dispensaries. In my riding of Oshawa, an illegal marijuana dispensary has recently popped up. The issue is that it is illegal. Law enforcement agencies are unclear as to whether or not they should allow these dispensaries to continue to operate because the Liberals have announced an apparent plan to eventually legalize marijuana.

The fact of the matter is that the Liberals have been contradicting most of their campaign promises since forming government. They have said they were going to legalize marijuana, but they also said they would run modest $10-billion deficits. They said they would run an open and competitive process to replace the CF-18s. They said that they would lower the small business tax rate. They also promised $3 billion of an investment into palliative care, and that was nowhere to be found in the Liberals' budget.

Clearly, Liberal campaign promises are cheap. We do not even know if marijuana is going to become legal, so why would decriminalizing it immediately be the solution? At this time, the only responsible solution is to enforce the law.

On our side, our top priority needs to be the safety of all Canadians, especially our youth. The Liberals are doing a lot of talking, saying that marijuana is illegal until the Criminal Code is changed, yet they are doing absolutely nothing about the abundance of illegal marijuana dispensaries that are producing marijuana with zero oversight. This raises more questions that Canadians deserve to have answers to.

How are municipalities and law enforcement agencies across this country supposed to operate without any guidance from the Liberal government? Are the profits from these illegal marijuana dispensaries going to organized crime? We do not know because the Liberals do not seem to really care. They have failed to provide a responsible thought-out plan, and that is what is unacceptable about this current situation.

As elected officials, it is our job to represent our constituents as well as making sure that all Canadians are safe. Immediately decriminalizing marijuana does not solve the issue of illegal marijuana dispensaries. It does not ensure that Canadians will be responsible while using marijuana.

It is easy for former politicians to advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana when they have no responsibility to represent the good of their constituents. As an elected member of Parliament, I have a responsibility to ensure that my constituents are safe. Now that one of these illegal dispensaries is in my riding of Oshawa, I am concerned that it is operating illegally and that there are no inspections on what is being sold and to whom. I worry that marijuana products such as brownies and cookies might end up in the hands of Canadian kids.

I know that my constituents will have questions, and because of the lack of information from the Liberals, I will not have very many answers for them. This is why the immediate action that the Liberals must take is enforcing the law.

In my opinion, immediately decriminalizing the simple possession of marijuana for personal use does not take into consideration the implications this may have, one, for traffic and workplace safety; two, the health of Canadians, especially our adolescents and our youth; three, international treaty obligations; and, four, Canada's marijuana for medical purpose regime.

We realize that this issue is on the minds of Canadians. Recently at the Conservative Party convention, the following resolution was passed:

In order to expand the means which law enforcement authorities have at their disposal to combat drugs and their negative impacts, particularly among young people, and to reduce the volume of judicial proceedings, we recommend that peace officers be enabled to issue tickets for simple possession of small quantities of marijuana.

While there is so much in the NDP motion that the Conservatives could support, the motion calls to immediately decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana. As members can see, there are far too many unanswered questions by the Liberals, and for that reason I will not be able to support the motion. Just because the Liberals made an irresponsible campaign promise without considering the consequences does not justify the House approving an irresponsible solution.

Business of Supply June 13th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the minister for her speech. Basically, I was back in my riding and one of these illegal dispensaries had popped up in Oshawa. I had a former teacher come up and talk to me about some of the edibles being diverted to kids.

The reason the Liberals brought this forward was that they said it was going to keep the profits out of organized crime and keep it safe for our kids. Unfortunately, because the Liberals have not thought this through and they put no money in budget 2016 for proper inspection and enforcement, the exact opposite is true. We are getting more of these kid-friendly products in kids' hands. As for the money in these dispensaries, I wonder where the minister actually thinks the marijuana is coming from.

I want to ask the minister this. If they are currently illegal, why are the Liberals not cracking down on the illegal dispensaries, and why was there no money put into the budget for this program that they are bringing forward?