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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was military.

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

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

Statements in the House

National Day of Romania December 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Canadians of Romanian descent on this first day of December, the National Day of Romania. It was first celebrated 93 years ago and is of great significance to all Romanians.

While visiting Romania this past August, I was fascinated to see how far the country and its institutions have progressed since the Romanian revolution of 1989. In these last 22 years of freedom from one of the most despicable and oppressive Communist regimes in world history, the country has made tremendous progress, and the will to continue to build a democratic and vibrant society is stronger than ever.

Today Romania and Canada enjoy excellent relations at all levels, and both countries are allies in NATO.

Today I invite all hon. members to join me in congratulating our Romanian Canadian friends for their achievements and in wishing them all the best for the future.

God bless Canada. Vive la Roumanie. Traiasca România.

Business of Supply November 17th, 2011

Madam Speaker, being a professional engineer, I am aware of the importance of clean water for people and the environment.

I would like to ask the hon. minister how legislation would help protect Canada's substantial investments in first nations water and waste water systems?

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act November 15th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I will answer in English.

This is a complicated issue and I cannot resolve it for the member today.

However, our government is providing more of the tools for resolving the issues of the country. As for the member's situation, I do not know many details, but I think our government is on its way to caring for all Canadians, not only those in Conservative ridings. We are here to govern and to govern in a responsible way.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act November 15th, 2011

Madam Speaker, it is an excellent question.

We would make the tax credit for the gas fund permanent so that municipalities can plan for their priorities. The provinces are also involved. Basically, the federal government would provide the funding but would not manage the projects. It is up to the municipalities to ask for the projects and to see what their priorities are.

I understand that the infrastructure problem is a great problem. However, this $2 billion has been allocated; before, it was nothing, so it is still great progress.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act November 15th, 2011

Madam Speaker, first I will take this opportunity to thank my constituents in Pickering—Scarborough East for the trust bestowed on me to represent them here in the House.

The particularity of this riding is that it encompasses two cities united by diversity and the 416 and 905 phone codes. One is the largest in Canada, Toronto, and the other, the city of Pickering, is much smaller.

Dividing and at the same time uniting the communities in my riding is the magnificent Rouge River, with its unique park containing unique biodiversity, such as the remnants of the Carolinian boreal forest. The Rouge Park will soon become the first urban national park in North America with 20% of the Canadian population in its immediate proximity.

My riding also has the Pickering nuclear power plant and several strongly research-oriented establishments such as the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, Centennial College and companies such as Purdue Pharmaceuticals and others on the high technology end.

Certainly we need more in the future. In this context, I am delighted on behalf of my constituents to speak in support of Bill C-13. The bill provides the means to continue the recovery and the stability phase of our economy in these complicated world circumstances. It is very important for my constituents in Pickering—Scarborough East. Availability of jobs, economic stability and growth are important for the families in my riding.

Our responsible Conservative government continues to be focused on what matters to Canadians: creating jobs and promoting economic stability and growth. Canada is recognized to have the strongest job growth record in the G7, with nearly 600,000 net new jobs created since July 2009, and the International Monetary Fund projects that we will have among the strongest economic growth in the G7 over the next two years. However, we are not immune to global economic turbulence. That is why we need to stay the course and implement the next phase of Canada's economic action plan.

Bill C-13 supports Canada's economic recovery and outlines a vision for the future by proposing action on the following pillars of good governance and stability: promoting job creation and economic growth, supporting communities, helping families, investing in education and training and respecting taxpayers.

To promote job creation and economic growth, the bill would provide a temporary hiring credit for small business to encourage additional hiring, expand tax support for clean energy generation to encourage green investments, extend the mineral exploration tax credit for flow-through share investors by one year to support Canada's mining sector, simplify customs tariffs in order to facilitate trade and lower the administrative burden for businesses, extend the accelerated capital cost allowance treatment for investments in manufacturing and processing machinery and equipment for two years to support the manufacturing and processing sector and eliminate the mandatory retirement age for federally regulated employees in order to give older workers wishing to work the option of remaining in the workforce.

Being an engineer with extensive Canadian and international experience in both public and private service, I know well that the creation of a safe, secure and inviting environment for business is paramount for economic development.

To support communities, the bill would legislate permanent gas tax funding for municipalities, putting into law the permanent annual investment of $2 billion in gas tax funding for cities and towns to support infrastructure priorities.

This provision is of utmost importance for our infrastructure. It provides for payments to be made to provinces, territories, municipalities, first nations and other entities for municipal infrastructure improvements on a continuous basis, and it is predictable.

The bill would enhance the wage earner protection program to cover more workers affected by employer bankruptcy or receivership.

It would increase the ability of Canadians to give more confidently to legitimate charities by introducing a package of integrity measures designed to help combat fraud and other forms of abuse.

To help families, the bill introduces a new family caregiver tax credit to assist caregivers of all types of infirm dependent relatives. It would remove the limit on the amount of eligible expenses caregivers can claim under the medical expense tax credit in respect of financially dependent relatives. It introduces a new children's arts tax credit for programs associated with children's artistic, cultural, recreational and developmental activities.

It introduces a volunteer firefighters tax credit to allow eligible volunteer firefighters to claim 15% of non-refundable tax credits based on an amount of $3,000.

To invest in education and training, the bill would forgive loans for new doctors and nurses in underserved rural and remote areas. It would help apprentices in the skilled trades and workers in regulated professions by making operational, trade and professional examination fees eligible for the tuition tax credit. As a member of the regulated profession of engineering myself, I know the cost of annual fees and certification examinations.

I take this opportunity to cite some of the remarks from my professional bodies.

Engineers Canada states:

Making professional examination fees eligible for the Tuition Tax Credit...demonstrates a real commitment to fostering the highly-skilled and qualified talent the country needs to compete....

It further states:

It will help in the pursuit of a strong, diverse, and modern economy.

Polytechnics Canada says that it:

...welcomes the 2011 federal budget for its recognition of the role our members play in advancing innovation through applied research and commercialization activities.

It further states:

These budget measures demonstrate ways to use existing programs with modest new investment to encourage Canadian SMEs to generate smart, long-lasting jobs.

The bill would improve federal financial assistance for students. It would make it easier to allocate registered education savings plan assets among siblings without incurring tax penalties or forfeiting Canada education savings grants.

Finally, the bill respects taxpayers. It would phase out the direct subsidy of political parties. It would close numerous tax loopholes that allow a few businesses and individuals to avoid paying their fair share of tax. My constituents especially like this provision.

In conclusion, I encourage my colleagues from the opposition to support this bill. It is good for our country in our common quest to keep Canada as the best place in the world to live.

Foreign Affairs November 1st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, this morning our government became aware of reports that Mr. Ahmed, his wife, and two young children have been released from detention in Saudi Arabia.

We know that the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs and her consular team work incredibly hard to support Canadians in distress in the region, as they do across the globe.

Would the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs please tell this House about the excellent consular assistance provided to and on behalf of this family that assisted in their release?

Persons with Disabilities October 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour Deohaeko, a group of families committed to promoting the social inclusion and valued participation of people with disabilities.

In 1994, they designed and built Rougemont Co-operative in my riding, home of over 200 people of widely diverse backgrounds, including adults with intellectual disabilities. In the co-op, Deohaeko has created an environment recognized internationally for helping adults with an intellectual disability, often stigmatized and treated as a burden, to become resilient and resourceful for themselves and make a significant contribution to their communities.

I thank the Deohaeko Support Network for the pioneering work it has done to improve people's lives. It has created a model for people with intellectual disabilities to lead a better life in their community.

Hungarian Canadians October 21st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Canadians of Hungarian descent on this 55th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian uprising.

The freedom fight of 1956 was a bold attempt by Hungarians to establish solidarity away from the long arm of Soviet and Communist rule. After this uprising, over 200,000 Hungarians fled their homes into neighbouring countries, and 38,000 were welcomed in Canada with warmth and compassion.

The bloodshed 55 years ago bears powerful witness to the unwavering spirit of freedom that resounds in the hearts of the Hungarian people.

Today I invite all hon. members to join me in commemorating the shining example of idealism, patriotism and sheer courage that is the immortal legacy of the freedom fighters of the Hungarian revolution.

God bless Canada és Isten áldja Magyarországot.

Republic of Moldova September 29th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Canadians of Moldovan descent on this 20th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Moldova.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to dialogue with Moldovan Canadians in my riding, here on the Hill and across Canada.

While visiting Moldova this past July, I was fascinated both by how far it has come in 20 short years of freedom and how strong the will is to continue to build a democratic and vibrant society.

All members of the House are here as the result of a peaceful democratic process governed by the rule of law. Too often we take this for granted. Today I invite all hon. members to join me in congratulating our Moldovan Canadian friends and our colleagues the Honourable Veaceslav Ionita and Honourable Ivan Ionas from the Moldovan parliament, who are visiting today for the first time in history the Canadian Parliament in session, for 20 years of independence, 20 years of democracy and 20 years of progress.

God bless Canada and Moldova.

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues on this side for their passionate presentations, and I am appalled by the old socialist doctrines expressed over and over again by the NDP, with clear Marxist-Leninist overtones. We have heard that 97.7% voted for a strike. That is very close to 99.9% of some failed socialist administrations.

Until when will the NDP keep Parliament hostage instead of serving the interests of Canadians? Let Canadians have their mail.

Could the member please explain to the House how he can justify his party turning its back on the rest of Canadians and so clearly taking sides with the union bosses and not with the workers and Canadians?