House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was chair.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Prince Edward—Hastings (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 42% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Public Safety October 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in Canada, using DNA for national identification purposes is strictly governed by provisions in the DNA Identification Act, which only permits DNA use for criminal justice purposes.

Today could the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness please update the House on this very important measure?

Restaurant Industry October 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Restaurants Canada for 70 years of service to Canada's food service industry.

Canada's restaurant industry is a cornerstone of our economy and the numbers speak for themselves. With 4% of our country's GDP and an impressive $68 billion in sales, restaurants stimulate activity in various industries, from tourism to agri-business. Globally, they put our cities on the map as must-see culinary destinations and locally they support our farmers and fishers.

Restaurants also create 1.1 million jobs across the country, and generate 250,000 jobs in diverse industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale trade, finance and insurance.

As a former restaurant owner and hospitality professional for over 30 years, I believe that a successful and growing restaurant industry is vital for our economic and social well-being.

Whether an owner, franchise, manager, server or support staff, I am thankful for their dedication to this key Canadian industry. We look forward to many more years of working with Restaurants Canada to help this fine industry grow and prosper.

Public Safety October 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, yesterday American media reported that Islamic State sympathizers were planning an attack on the American embassy in Ottawa and on a shopping mall. Once more, the Commissioner of the RCMP confirmed that they have active ongoing investigations on nearly 100 individuals who have travelled overseas to engage in terrorism.

Canadians are concerned about these threats posed by radical Islamic extremists. Could the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness please give the House an update on this real terrorist threat to Canada?

Business of Supply September 23rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, yes, I recognize that I misspoke when I said “week”, and I thank my hon. colleague for the correction.

He has been relatively successful in politics and I relate that a bit to his spending some time in my riding, in which he attended Loyalist College and received an adequate education that, I suppose, enabled him to get a job.

There is seasonal employment in all of our ridings, and I recognize that in the hon. member's area seasonal employment is a significant problem. There is also seasonal employment in my riding, high in tourism and industries like that.

However, moving from that argument to the Liberal motion, the suggestion is that we need to spend more and more money simply to attract and/or create new jobs. The Liberal motion would simply reward employers that create jobs. There are a lot of businesses and a great proportion of businesses that simply would love to survive and maintain jobs. It does nothing for them, whereas the tax credit would accomplish that for businesses, albeit not large businesses but small ones, as well as those who try to maintain and keep the jobs they have.

Business of Supply September 23rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, there appears to be a bit of a platform coming from the member, who gave what I consider to be some informative comments on EI and the economy. At some point, I certainly hope he could take counsel in those comments and not simply oppose the measures that have proven, and will continue to prove, to bring jobs for the Canadian public.

Business of Supply September 23rd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, today I am honoured to add my voice in support of the new small business job credit, which builds on our government's commitment to lowering taxes and leaving more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families and job-creating businesses.

Our government has a proven track record of success when it comes to supporting families and communities. Regretfully, the high-tax NDP and Liberals do not believe that we are on the right track. They think that Canadians should pay more taxes. We have an obvious difference of opinion. Respectfully, that is a difference.

In the last federal election, we said that Canadians should pay less tax and that we would end up having more revenue for the government. That is exactly what has happened. In fact, our strong record in tax relief has seen savings of nearly $3,400 for a typical family of four in 2014. It has allowed people to invest those savings in important family matters that have benefited not only typical families but their communities.

Members should also be aware that this low-tax plan we have has produced the strongest middle class in the world. We have put over $30 billion back into the pockets of everyday Canadians in a number of different ways. It is a shame that the Liberals and the NDP, our opposition, have consistently voted against lower taxes.

Our economic action plan will play a key role in strengthening our economy, not just now but in the future, with positive measures that advance economic progress, and subsequently, the prosperity that runs along with it.

Today let me highlight just one small measure. It is our government's small business tax credit, which will lower EI premiums for small businesses by approximately 15%. Over the next two years, the premium reductions will save employers $550 million, money they can use to hire more Canadians.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, of which I was a proud member for many years, estimates that the credit will create 25,000 person-years of employment over the next two to three years alone. The Minister of Finance also confirmed that in 2017, EI premiums will go from the current $1.88 per $100 of earnings down to $1.47. In 2017, we will definitely have moved to the point where we are in an accountable and completely structured program that at the point we might say is self-supporting.

This means that Canadians and employers will have more money to invest in other requirements, such as training and increased wages. Workers will have more money in their wallets at the end of the day.

Yes, it is a positive measure. That fact remains clear. It is something organizations across the country, those that understand small business, recognize will go a long way in helping the Canadian economy, given the importance of small business to the Canadian economy.

Let me quote the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. It said:

This will make it easier to hire new workers or invest in additional training to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.... This announcement is fantastic news for Canada’s entrepreneurs and their employees, and as such, can only be a positive for the Canadian economy.

It should be noted that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business represents a huge, broad percentage of small businesses in Canada.

Our government has a responsibility to create the right conditions for economic growth. Clearly, it is one that we do not take lightly. Since the downturn, we have had a steady increase in employment. Interest rates have been low, and we have experienced the kind of economic growth that has made us the envy of every other country. This has been documented by independent organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank.

We got here. How? It was by implementing concrete measures to ensure that Canadians have the skills they need for the jobs that are in demand.

My riding was very pleased to see that we were able to contribute to a new skills development building at Loyalist College, which certainly aids the local trades people in our area in gaining the skills that are necessary to not only compete but gain the jobs that are readily available.

By insuring that federal funding responds to the hiring needs of employers and by giving them the opportunity to participate meaningfully as partners in the skills training, the Canada jobs grant has and will continue to transform skills training in Canada. The Canada jobs grant provides up to $15,000 per person for training costs, including tuition and training materials, which includes up to $10,000 in federal contributions, with employers contributing an average of one-third of the total costs of training.

As important as this milestone is, economic action plan 2014 even went one step further by creating the Canada apprentice loan to help registered apprentices with the costs of their training. It will do so by expanding the Canada student loans program to provide apprentices registered in the Red Seal trades with access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year. To further support apprentices, economic action plan 2014 takes steps to increase awareness of the existing financial supports available to apprentices through the employment insurance program while they are in technical training.

It also announced that our Conservative government would improve the youth employment strategy to align it with the evolving realities of the job market, and to ensure federal investments in youth employment would provide our young Canadians with real-life work experience in high-demand fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the skilled trades. There is an evolutionary change that we have taken to match skills to jobs to ensure our young people have a sustainable future.

Although Canada boasts high levels of post-secondary achievement, the transition, as we all know, to the first job in particular can be very challenging. That is why, through our economic action plan, our government dedicated over $40 million toward supporting up to 3,000 internships across the country in these high-demand fields. Lasting between six and twelve months, these internships will give participants the opportunity to gain real-life work experience and skills necessary to succeed in the workplace now and in the future.

All these measures stand in stark contrast to the Liberals' over $6-billion tax grab on Canadian businesses: money from the economy, money from employers, money from businesses and organizations, money they desperately need to compete with. This would lead to a massive increase in payroll taxes, EI premiums of nearly 50¢ and kill thousands of jobs. If we look at just one part of the Liberals' plan alone, the 45-day work week, its cost alone would be over $4 billion. It is abundantly clear that we do not need that measure and certainly not the one the Liberals propose, and continue to propose today.

We will remain focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs, economic growth and ensuring that Canada's economic advantage we have today will translate into the long-term prosperity of tomorrow. Our recent small-business job credit shows a commitment to Canadian employees and employers. They should not take our word for it; we are always standing up for small business. Again, they should take it from a source that we know has and will continue to support our government's actions in this regard, the CFIB, which stated, “Small businesses in Canada should be thrilled with this announcement because they are told time and time again that payroll taxes like EI are the biggest disincentive to hiring. So any relief that the government can provide will encourage them to be hiring more Canadians”.

Therefore, I urge all members to not support this job-killing motion from the Liberal Party, and remember that it is this government that has the best interests of small businesses and every Canadian who is looking, and will continue to look, for a job, albeit in the short term. We are providing a future of hope for all those people who do, can and get the job they need.

Public Safety September 22nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, the depraved Islamic extremist group ISIL ramped up its violent and hateful rhetoric, encouraging their jihadists to murder Canadians who oppose their twisted view of the world. Canadians are rightly sickened by this barbaric form of Islamic law used to justify heinous acts of violence against innocent children, women, men, and religious minorities.

Clearly, there is no time to sit around and rationalize these acts, and to do so would be simply foolhardy and dangerous. The reality is, ISIL represents a threat not just to the stability of the Middle East but to entire global security.

Leaders around the world have been universal in their condemnation. While the Liberal leader may sit idle, concerned about social exclusion or root causes, our Prime Minister and this government have been swift and unambiguously clear. We oppose these cowards, we condemn their violent acts, and we stand with our allies in pushing back against their threat.

Trade with China June 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, China is one of Canada's key trading partners, and the Chinese market is highly valued to our agricultural industry. Under our Minister of Agriculture's leadership, China has moved from being our fourth-largest export market to our second. In 2012, Canadian exports to China reached $5 billion.

Here are some of the government's accomplishments in working closely with China. We have expanded our access for Canadian pork. We have reopened access, thus enabling Canadian beef to be served in China for the first time in almost a decade. We have developed new opportunities in China, for up to $500 million in sales for pulse crops. We have secured additional capacity for export of canola to China, a market worth over $1.9 billion.

With our minister, our government has always appreciated the great relationship we have been able to build with our hon. counterparts in China. Be assured that our government will continue to strengthen trade, to increase Canadian exports, and to certainly protect all Canadians doing business abroad.

International Trade June 6th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on the real priorities of Canadians: creating new jobs and new opportunities. That is why we continue to open new markets for our Canadian exporters around the world. With the Canada-Honduras free trade agreement, Canadian exporters, our service providers, and our investors will all benefit from enhanced market access, which will create new sources of prosperity for Canadian businesses of all sizes and also, of course, for their workers.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue please update the House on this important trade agreement?

International Trade May 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of International Trade appeared at committee to provide an update on Canada's global markets action plan.

The NDP critic was there. The NDP never misses an opportunity to put its anti-trade diatribe front and centre.

The Liberal critic was MIA—yes, missing. The member for Toronto Centre was absent, like the Liberal record on international trade.

Our government knows that with trade comes prosperity. Could our outstanding Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade please advise the House on our government's positive trade record?