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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

Food and Drugs Act September 20th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for this extremely important question, but also for all the work he has done for manufacturers. He is doing something positive by bringing awareness to the actual policies that are killing jobs in his community and in my community. As he said, 39,000 small businesses were lost. There are huge losses in manufacturing.

At the end of the day, this is about Canada's and Ontario's competitiveness. This is where the big contradiction is in the House today. I would like to address three important domestic policies that are killing our ability to compete internationally. Number one is the Liberal changes to the CPP. This is $2,000 more per employee that business owners are going to have to pay, $2,000 more than individuals.

Second is carbon taxes and the uncertainty that is totally the responsibility of the Liberal government. We have this horrible carbon tax in Ontario, increasing the cost of heating, electricity; and just-in-time delivery of fuel, at 5¢ per litre more. Now the federal government wants to add on top of that.

The third thing I want to talk about is the high energy costs. What scares me is that we have lost 300,000 jobs in Ontario because of these irresponsible policies. Moving forward, in the next few months the federal Liberal Party is parroting these exact policies that have killed so many jobs. We are starting to see those effects. We need to ensure that domestic and international policies jive and that we are all working toward the same goal.

Food and Drugs Act September 20th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for the insight of her question. She brought up the fact that one of the things that the Liberals promised was lowering taxes, and it seems to be a promise that the Liberals do not have a problem breaking.

The member asked whether Canada should do more. That is why I am very passionate about moving forward with agreements such as the TPP, because moving forward with agreements such as the TPP gives our businesses and our Canadian reputation the ability to get out there. As for human rights and rights inside the countries that we do these trade agreements with, we have seen historically that one of the best ways to get better human rights around the world is to get involved with these countries, do business, have their people come here and give us a bit of information, and we go there to give them a bit of information. It is a win-win when we have these different types of agreements.

Right now, Canadians have seen the economic challenges brought forth by the new government. We have seen, sadly, that there has been an overemphasis on spending. What was it this year? Was it a $30-billion deficit or something like that? The Liberals like to say they have made certain promises. Let me just see. They were talking about a very small deficit for a very small period of time. I think they said $10 billion. That is their idea of small; I do not know where that came from. However, it is now $30 billion.

My colleagues over there say that during the economic downturn the Conservatives had an increase in deficit; that is true. However, during the economic downturn, the Liberals wanted more. I was here in the House when they were arguing, saying that we were not spending enough. Now, within six months the parliamentary budget officer, not the Conservatives or the NDP, is saying that the way the Liberals have turned the country is unsustainable. Six months is all it has taken.

Should we be doing more? Absolutely, and one of the ways we can do that is with the bill that we are debating here today, but also looking at trade moving forward such as the TPP, and I will also bring up the European free trade agreement. We have to move forward on these things. It does help people when you raise them up. Economic advantages and economic growth to individuals really work toward helping them, but also toward spreading the values of human rights that Canadians hold so dear.

Food and Drugs Act September 20th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is right. The Americans are moving forward with the TPP. Mr. Obama was right here in the House. The Mexican president was here as well. We have an agreement on the table and the current government seems to be happy with just following the lead of other countries.

This is the most important trade agreement in 20 years. It is going to benefit Canada and place Canada in a unique position. The member has seen the recent numbers about the economy. We left the Liberal government with a surplus. The parliamentary budget officer has said that the government's policies moving forward are unsustainable.

I talked about the importance of moving these agreements forward. I do hope that members on the other side agree that we move this agreement forward as quickly as we can. We have been clear. We support the legislation moving forward today but it is not only about today. It is about moving forward over the next few months and the TPP is an important part of it.

Domestic policies are important too and none of the Liberals have addressed this issue, which is important for manufacturing communities here in Ontario. What about the domestic policies that are now making us less competitive internationally? It is all fine and dandy that this agreement is moving forward here today, but the Liberals are dithering on the TPP. We can all see that. They seem to want to consult on this forever, but there are real impacts to real Canadians who work in real industries.

I would like to see the TPP brought forward as quickly as possible. The Liberals are in government now and they like to bring up issues about the past. I would like to see one Liberal today address the domestic policies, which have the exact opposite intention of the trade agreements and make us less competitive because of carbon taxes, high energy costs, and things like doubling the CPP. This really hurts small businesses and their opportunities to be competitive in our country.

Food and Drugs Act September 20th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I appreciate having this opportunity to speak on Bill C-13.

This bill is an important piece of legislation, and I urge all of my colleagues to support the ratification power it possesses, because it brings Canada into the fold with the rest of our World Trade Organization partners, which is vital for Canada as we move forward in the new economy.

Bills of this nature simplify procedures, and as has been said in the House before, help cut red tape, expedite the release and clearance of goods, reduce costs associated with processing, which is extremely important for our competitiveness, and make international trade more predictable for Canadians and more predictable for Canadian businesses that want to make new investments and build our economy.

Most importantly, steps to ratify trade agreements need to be taken to avoid putting Canada on the outside of free trade agreements with our WTO partners. This is a very important point. Many countries, including our largest trading partners and fellow NAFTA members, Mexico and the U.S., have either done so or are actively working toward ratifying agreements, particularly agreements such as the TPP. I am happy that we are having this debate. It is important that we ratify the powers in Bill C-13.

I also want to talk about the overall picture. Right now, the Liberals have a very important agreement on the table. If we believe that today is an important step forward, and we want to believe what the Liberals are saying, we have to look at what they are saying but also at their actions, because actions speak louder than words. The reality is that, to date, the Liberals have made no attempt to ratify the TPP agreement. This lack of action by the government is a large risk for the Canadian economy.

The Liberals must realize that trade has the power to grow our economy without spending billions of dollars. That is the commitment we are seeing from the Liberal government. Instead of moving forward on agreements that are on the table in front of them, they seem to be focused on spending billions of dollars. When we look at the Conservatives' approach versus their approach, much of the work on the agreement we are talking about today was done by the previous government. I applaud and support it, but we are now moving forward at an accelerated pace. The government has to take a big picture view of what is going on with the different trade agreements, whether it is the European trade agreement or the TPP.

The Liberals are standing on the largest trade agreement in over 20 years. Stalling on the ratification of the TPP agreement will only put Canada further behind, when Canada should be moving ahead. It is clear that not signing this agreement will damage our economy and reduce the global supply chain, which will ultimately lead to job losses. We have seen the latest numbers. We cannot afford that.

Signing the TPP would send a clear message to Canadian businesses, and this is extremely important, because, first, it would give our exporters the opportunity to prepare and take advantage of preferential market access. Second, it would lower tariffs. I think everyone is in agreement that this is a good thing. Third, it would remove trade barriers. Fourth, and what is very important for the economy of Ontario, it would further integrate global supply chains.

I am the MP for Oshawa. Trade agreements have a lot of implications for my riding. It is the home of the General Motors assembly plant. Today we got some good news; it was able to get an agreement with Unifor. I applaud GM and Unifor for coming to an agreement, because the reality for the business world and labour is that the world will be doing business in a new way.

A really important point for me, as a local representative, is that our NAFTA partners are moving forward to ratify the TPP. The presidents of Mexico and the United States were here, and one of the things they talked about was how they are moving forward to ratify this agreement. If they ratify it and we do not, it is going to be devastating to manufacturing and our local economies. Consider that 80% of Canadian vehicles are made for export. Having access to new global markets, and over 800 million potential new customers, with the TPP is going to be significant.

To put that in context, the European free trade agreement would mean 400 million new customers. This would give Canada exclusive access to both markets.

It is important to take a moment to explain exactly what that means. It means that Canada will be unique in the world. Unique among our trading partners, it will have preferred access to Europe and preferred access to the Asia Pacific. That is 1.2 billion people. That is huge.

What we are seeing from the government is further dithering on the European free trade agreement, which was ready to go under our government. The TPP is ready to go. We see President Obama and the Mexican president moving forward, and what is happening with the Liberal government? It is dithering.

The numbers involved for GDP are $29 trillion. Access to these markets would give Oshawa a competitive advantage in the production of vehicles at our assembly plants. They would be destined for new and existing markets. We are going to have a unique opportunity to manufacture in Oshawa. We will have access to Europe and the Asia Pacific. Therefore, there is a need to connect Canada with the global supply chain. This would allow Oshawa and all of Canada to grow competitively and to continue to show investors that doing business in Canada is profitable.

With access to new markets, Canada would not only benefit from cost savings but would be on par with our fellow NAFTA countries, and this is extremely important. Ratification of the TPP would allow Canada to have the same preferential market access as other TPP countries. Not signing the TPP would make Canada suffer, as these markets would be accessible to our largest trading partners, the United States and Mexico, and we would be out of the deal. Both the U.S. and Mexico would be more competitive, and investment would be driven away from Canada.

The previous Conservative government laid the groundwork in a negotiation process to ensure that Canadians would prosper as a result of trade relations that were freshly established in these markets, because it is the new way of doing business.

A report released by the Office of the Chief Economist from Global Affairs Canada includes important observations on what the TPP would do to benefit Canada as well as on the consequences if Canada does not sign this important agreement. I would like to take a moment to go over some of the benefits.

First of all, there would be a boost to Canada's GDP of 0.127%, generating a GDP gain of $4.3 billion by 2040.

The TPP would liberalize barriers to trade and provide estimated tariffs savings of $428 million per year for Canadian exporters.

Auto companies, which currently do not have access to Japan on an equal playing field, would now have that access. This is something auto companies have been asking for for years.

The most significant benefit would be a $1.1 billion export increase to Japan, with exports of pork, beef, and wood products leading the way.

Canada cannot afford to remain on the outside. Not signing the TPP would lead to GDP losses of $5.3 billion. Canadian automotive production and investment would both decline by 4%, and the way it would affect our global supply chain would be catastrophic.

Canadian beef exports to Japan would fall by more than 66%, and pork exports to Japan would drop by 13%.

Canada's exports to TPP countries in 2014 accounted for 81.1% of the total value of Canadian exports, totalling $759.4 billion.

In conclusion, my message is simple. Today we are looking at Bill C-13, and that is a great opportunity, but we must also ratify the TPP. Canadians, especially businesses, deserve the advantages and opportunities the TPP can offer. The significance of trade cannot be ignored by the Liberals.

Canada cannot fall behind, especially now, and especially when trade has the power to significantly increase the total GDP of Canada without spending billions of dollars, which seems to be what the Liberals are obsessed with doing.

I want to take this opportunity to encourage my colleagues here in the House to support any of these agreements that facilitate trade.

I want to bring up an important point I have been trying to get the Liberals to address today. On one side, they seem to be talking about increasing business and increasing trade, which I think everyone agrees is a good thing, except maybe the NDP. On the other side, the Liberals are bringing in policies that are hurting our competitiveness internationally. I wanted to talk a little about that.

When we are talking about trade agreements, we are talking about the competitiveness of Canada versus other parts of the world. Recently the government brought in changes to the CPP. This is something I have been talking to my business community about.

What the Liberals are proposing to bring forward would cost Canadian businesses up to $2,000 per employee. Let us put that into perspective. General Motors has 3,000 employees in Oshawa. If we do the math, that is a significant increase in cost for doing business in Canada. It would also mean that individual Canadians would have to match that. Now we are talking about $2,000 for the employer and $2,000 extra that employees would have to put into this plan that many will not have access to.

We want to talk about the competitiveness of our energy policies. I have brought up the example of Ontario. We have seen what the Ontario policies are doing to our competitiveness in the manufacturing field. Right now, Ontario is so worried it has backtracked somewhat on its electricity policy, because it has realized how much of a concern it is.

We are looking at a policy that has basically contributed to the loss of 300,000 good-quality manufacturing jobs in Ontario. The federal Liberals are supporting these policies moving forward in Ontario and are parroting its policies and bringing them into the federal jurisdiction.

That leads to the next issue I need to talk about. I need to get clarification today from the Liberals. I want to talk about the carbon tax.

We know that the people we compete against the most, Michigan for example, do not have a state carbon tax. Texas does not have a state carbon tax. Texas has a cost of energy that is 75% less than it is in Ontario.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change have been very clear that they are actually going to be bringing in a carbon tax federally. I do not think the uncertainty of this can be overemphasized. Companies, when they are making investments in our economy, are making investments over a 10-year or 15-year period. Instead of getting certainty from the government, all they are getting is uncertainty.

The only certainty companies are getting is that it is going to cost more to do business. We are talking about the CPP costs, energy costs, and carbon taxes. It would drive up the cost of everything. What we are talking about in our factories is increased costs for heating factories. We are talking about increased costs for food in our factories. We are talking about the electricity going into these factories. Individual Canadians will be paying more. Basically, this is a tax on everything.

It really affects our competitiveness. On one side, the Liberals are saying that they want to be competitive. As I said, Bill C-13 is a great step forward. However, we need to address the other side. What domestic policies are the Liberals putting in place that are killing our competitiveness? On this side of the House, we think we have to look at these policies in conjunction.

Moving forward, this whole idea of economic policy needs to be addressed. We cannot just farm one section out, and say for trade we are going to move forward on positive things in that regard. Other countries are doing that as well.

It is the domestic side of the equation that the Liberals seem to be ignoring, to the point where this is going to make manufacturers and businesses in our communities less competitive internationally. Even with the good work moving this forward, the Liberals need to take a step back and do some work at the other end on domestic policies.

One of the things I would like to see moving forward within the next couple of months is certainty coming out of the Liberal government. As I said, this debate we are having today is a good thing, but what about the TPP? What is the government going to do to move that important agenda forward? Companies that are making business decisions right now do not have any certainty. That is a major thing and they may not be choosing Canada.

Food and Drugs Act September 20th, 2016

Madam Speaker, my colleague from Brampton comes from a riding similar to mine in Oshawa. Automobiles are manufactured there too. I paid attention to his speech because he really talked about international competitiveness. Regardless of what some people say, this is the new reality for the world.

I asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister to answer this question and he did not answer—he skirted the question—so I will ask this member, because he did actually bring up something very specific in his speech. He talked about just-in-time delivery, which is important to the automotive sector.

I do applaud the implementation of Bill C-13 because I do think it is something like a step in the right direction, but the Liberals are dithering on the TPP. They are also putting in something called a carbon tax, just as the Ontario government has done, and we have seen those taxes and the high cost of electricity. They have also increased the CPP, which will really affect our competitiveness.

I want to ask the hon. member about these carbon taxes, because we know the Ontario carbon tax will increase the cost of fuel by 5¢ per litre. Could he explain the federal carbon tax and what cost that would put on our manufacturers and our just-in-time delivery? How will they implement it? Will it be a tax on top of the Ontario tax? Will it be a blended tax?

There is a lot of uncertainty. We are trying to get new investment into our province. How would this carbon tax affect our competitiveness?

Food and Drugs Act September 20th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I am optimistic to see the Liberals moving ahead with ratification of this agreement, but the parliamentary secretary talked about cross-border trade and decreasing costs, so I was wondering if he could explain a contradiction.

I come from Ontario. We are a manufacturing community. What the Ontario Liberals have done is implement policies that have given Ontario the highest electricity costs for industry in North America. They are bringing in a carbon tax as of January 1, which means that the cost of energy will go up. These policies are now being parodied and mimicked by the federal Liberal government.

Therefore, I wonder if he could explain the difference. On one side, they are saying they are trying to get rid of costs to be more competitive but they are actually putting in policies that are making us less competitive. We have seen this in Ontario with the decrease in manufacturing. How will he explain the differences and the contradictions there?

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?