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Track Dean

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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is things.

Conservative MP for Niagara West (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 49% of the vote.

Statements in the House

GlobalMedic March 20th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring the attention of the House and Canadians watching at home to the work of the GlobalMedic organization. GlobalMedic's mandate is to save lives by providing short-term, rapid response in the wake of disasters and crises both here at home and abroad.

I actually participated in an event last December put on by GlobalMedic where we packed welcome to canada kits for newly arrived Syrian refugee families. I want to note that the executive director of GlobalMedic, Rahul Singh, also spent some time in Niagara working with our amazing EMS personnel.

GlobalMedic is now one of the top 10 finalists for Google.org's Impact Challenge contest. It is competing for a $750,000 Google grant. If successful, the GlobalMedic team would use the money to expand its innovative RescUAV program in disaster zones to help coordinate humanitarian responders and save lives.

I want to wish the GlobalMedic organization the best of luck in this challenge and great success in all of its future endeavours.

International Development March 10th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the situation in South Sudan is deteriorating rapidly. An estimated 100,000 people are facing starvation, with a further one million people on the brink of famine. Over 250,000 children are already severely malnourished and at risk of death. Three UN agencies have declared it a famine in South Sudan.

What is the government prepared to do to help the people of South Sudan?

Nuclear Hazardous Waste March 10th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to share the concerns of some of my constituents regarding shipments of nuclear waste that could soon pass through the Niagara region. This material, from the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories facility in Chalk River, is being returned to the United States for processing.

Many Niagara residents have organized themselves to scrutinize the planning and approval process for these shipments to ensure that every precaution is taken. It is essential that this nuclear waste be transported in a way that fully protects the people along its path, and of course, the surrounding environment.

I call upon all levels of government and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to work with their counterparts in the United States to ensure that these shipments are completed safely and securely. If this project fails to meet the very highest standards for transporting nuclear hazardous waste, it should not be allowed to pass through Niagara.

Business of Supply March 9th, 2017

Madam Speaker, there is one thing Conservatives on this side of the House find amusing, and that is that we have not been in government now for a year and a half—it will be two years this October—and it is always somewhat entertaining when we are blamed for things that are happening at the present time. Another one the government likes to refer to is the softwood lumber agreement that expired when we were in government, which was at the end of our mandate and just before the election.

My concern is not so much what happened then, but what happens now. What is the action the government intends to take, whether it is issues like this one or softwood lumber? Sure, the softwood lumber agreement may have expired as Conservatives were nearing the close of our time in government, but it has been a year and a half and I am now concerned about moving forward and making sure things are being done now.

Business of Supply March 9th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I would not say that governments and bureaucracies always communicate the way they should or could. Communication is something on which individuals can always do a better job. It always important that we have clarity. My colleague mentioned that the defence minister is going to support this and vote for it, and I certainly hope that sends a clear message to our men and women in uniform that they do not need to worry about us in the House or the government supporting what they do.

Business of Supply March 9th, 2017

Madam Speaker, yes, I think there is a lot of consensus in the foreign affairs committee. It is a committee that does great work. I am hopeful, in this age of consensus and the fact that we are working together, that this is a moot point. If everyone supports it and the money is reinstated, our troops will be paid danger pay, and I am looking forward to the government fulfilling that commitment.

Business of Supply March 9th, 2017

Madam Speaker, it is great to be up speaking today. Before I get started, I want to say that I will be sharing my time with the member for Souris—Moose Mountain.

I want to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Master Corporal Alfred Barr, who died yesterday in a training accident near Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones at this very difficult time.

The other thing I want to say is that just recently, within the last couple of years, my youngest son has had the chance to join the reserves. Now that I have a family member involved, this subject is more personal. My son joined the Lincoln and Welland Regiment in St. Catharines and had the chance this past summer to do his basic training in Meaford, Ontario. I am certainly proud of Andrew, who is over in Germany right now. I am proud of all my children, but I thought I would mention that.

Turning to the discussion on the motion today, what the Liberals seem to have done is commit a major wrong against our men and women in uniform who are serving and fighting against ISIS in some of the most hostile and dangerous territory in the world. ISIS is an enemy whose members have beheaded people on camera, and just to prove a point, they have sexually enslaved young Yazidi girls just because they are Yazidi or non-Muslim. They brought hellish conditions to hundreds of thousands of innocent people just because they do not believe and worship in the same way. ISIS is a clear enemy that stands against everything that Canada and the civilized world represent.

ISIS must be eradicated through concerted, consistent, and strong effort, no matter how long it takes. This is why when we were in government we committed to doing exactly that. It is why the current Prime Minister is continuing with a similar mission.

ISIS has bought back medieval views, way of life, and treatment of minorities and women in a way the world has not seen in recent times. Its members have conquered territory in Iraq and Syria, and they have enslaved, forcibly converted, sexually enslaved, or killed their victims along the way. Canada and the world have faced many evils in the past, and ISIS is one of those evils that we have with us today. It is why our fight against ISIS is absolutely necessary and critical to win. Canada cannot stand on the sidelines when the rest of the world is committed to fight and eradicate these genocidal fanatics.

Our brave men and women in uniform have contributed and delivered significant results in this fight. For over two years, our Armed Forces have done their part and made tremendous sacrifices that very few of us in this place have made. What is the reward for the incredible service and sacrifice for our country? The reward the Liberals have decided to give our men and women in uniform fighting ISIS is to take away their tax benefits. Some 15 soldiers in Kuwait were told that they were going to lose a tax benefit, which provided $1,500 to $1,800 per month for them and their families, saving more than $9,000 each over the course of a six-month tour.

If that was not enough, the Liberals went ahead and cancelled the benefit for all Canadian troops in Kuwait as of June 1 of this year. This was done, according to the Liberals, because it is not dangerous enough for our troops to receive this benefit while they are stationed in Kuwait and fighting ISIS in Iraq. I have to repeat this for everyone to really hear it, because it is so stunning. The Liberals ended a $1,500 to $1,800 per month tax benefit, essentially danger pay, for all Canadian troops serving in Kuwait and fighting ISIS.

Removing danger pay does not seem wise when the Minister of National Defence's own parliamentary secretary admitted that “...it is true that our soldiers will be at greater risk”. This refers to the Liberal's decision of February 2016 to put more troops on the ground in the fight against ISIS. More troops on the ground means greater risk. This was acknowledged by the Minister of National Defence who said, “Our people will be in close proximity to the dangers inherent in the region”. Now we are seeing the defence minister take away danger pay for our soldiers serving and fighting in that very area.

One of our Armed Forces members serving in Kuwait said that he believes that the Canadians are the only ones who will not be getting this tax break. When I first read this I thought that I had not read the report correctly. However, to my shock, I found out that it was indeed true. I could not understand why the Liberals would do this. To serve as a comparison, the United States provides tax exemption status to its fighters that are fighting ISIS. It is no surprise that one of our soldiers said that it felt like “we got kicked in the stomach”.

Do the Liberal government, the Liberal defence minister, and the Liberal members of Parliament want our troops in Kuwait to feel like they got kicked in the stomach by their own government who sent them into harm's way to flight a murderous, genocidal enemy? Right now, that is exactly the way it feels.

We can also listen to Glenda Lindsay, the mother of one of our affected soldiers, who said that she feels as though her son is being cheated. She said, “They're cutting corners at the troops' expense”. Ms. Lindsay has also started an online petition to help rectify this major error on the part of the Liberals. Petition e-882 calls upon the Government of Canada to immediately reinstate and retroactively pay back the tax relief measures for all troops deployed in Operation Impact. I encourage all Canadians watching and listening today to go online and sign their name in support.

Let us face it. As we are sitting here discussing and debating, those soldiers are fighting for our very right to do so. They are defending our right to have this debate in an open, tolerant, accepting society. Our troops will be fighting an enemy that hates these very values and is willing to die to destroy that throughout the world. What do our soldiers get for fighting this enemy? A well-earned and much-deserved tax benefit of $1,500 to $1,800 per month was taken away, just like that. This makes no sense. There is simply no logic to explain why the Liberals are doing this.

Our men and women in uniform volunteer to serve their country against all sorts of threats, in all sorts of dangerous environments, and it is difficult to think of a more dangerous mission than the one now being fought against ISIS. Members of our Armed Forces leave their wives, husbands, boyfriends, or girlfriends to travel abroad to perform extremely dangerous work and put themselves at risk in service to our country. They often miss their children's birthdays, their own wedding anniversaries, and their kids' graduations. Family members of those deployed to Camp Arifjan reached out to MPs to express concern and in search of explanations. They said this treatment of our service men and women is embarrassing. Why would the Liberals even consider taking a tax break away from any of our troops, especially those fighting ISIS?

What also shocked me is that the Liberals have known for months that the Canadian Armed Forces members deployed against ISIS have not been adequately compensated for the hardship and risks associated with their deployment. To be clear, the decision to take away this tax credit was made after the troops had agreed to deploy. What this means is that the Liberals have cheated our troops and their families out of hard-earned money, money that our troops and their families expect, count on; and to be very clear, it is money our troops and their families deserve.

If all of this money is being borrowed on the backs of our future generations, why are the Liberals penny-pinching when it comes to our men and women in uniform? Just yesterday the Liberals decided to spend another $650 million in other countries, but they away tax benefits from our soldiers fighting ISIS. I am not sure I can quite understand the logic of that. Do our soldiers need to transfer and serve in the armed forces of other countries to be properly compensated? I do not think that would be the case.

When I first read the reports of our troops losing this tax benefit, I thought it was definitely bad news and something I could not support. To make matters worse, when we brought it up in the House, the Liberals decided that the best solution to this issue was not to restore the benefits but to revoke them for all our troops fighting ISIS. I thought to myself, what about my son Andrew? As I mentioned earlier, he joined the reserves and has been training. What if he had been in Kuwait and he had lost his danger pay because the government did not think it was dangerous enough to fight ISIS? How would all of us in this place think if it were our sons or daughters who were serving? What would we want our government to do if we were in the same position?

When we were in government, a similar issue came up in relation to our troops in Afghanistan. What we did as a government was very different from what the Liberals are doing. We cut through the bureaucratic red tape, and made sure our troops got the support they deserved. We did the right thing for our men and women, and although we are no longer in power, we will continue to do right by our men and women in uniform. We ask the other side of the House to join us.

We have been listening to the families of those affected. We have raised the issue on multiple occasions. The Prime Minister and his Liberal MPs have no excuse. At this time, the Prime Minister has plans to deploy more troops to dangerous missions in Africa. It is very clear that he is interested in winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council. The Prime Minister and his Liberal MPs should not be penny-pinching when it comes to our troops.

Let me end with family members of deployed soldiers at Camp Arifjan, who said in correspondence with their MPs that this is a country worth working for, worth continuing to strengthen and build and worth sacrifice; to have someone pass a policy that impacts their family in such an essential manner without taking into consideration the implications on the families who readily sacrifice is shocking and disconcerting.

We call upon the government to finally do its job, reverse this terrible decision to take away this tax benefit, and start supporting our brave men and women who stand on guard for all of us.

Questions Passed as Orders for Return January 30th, 2017

With regard to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF): (a) how many general and flag officers, including those ‘While So Employed’ are currently authorized by the CAF; (b) how many general and flag officers, including those ‘While So Employed’ were authorized as of (i) March 31, 2014, (ii) March 31, 2015, (iii) March 31, 2016, and what are their ranks and position titles; (c) how many Executive-level (EX-1 and above) officials are authorized in the DND and Assistant Deputy Minister, Material organization and how many were employed there as of (i) March 31, 2014, (ii) March 31, 2015, (iii) March 31, 2016, and what are the classification levels and position titles; (d) what are the job titles of all staff who are employed or contracted by DND and CAF to support the Future Fighter Capability Project, and for each of their contracts (i) when were they signed, (ii) what time periods do they cover, (iii) what is the amount; and (e) broken down by directorate, how many civilians, CAF members (regular and reserve) and contractors were working in the Materiel Group as of (i) March 31 2016, (ii) March 31, 2015, (iii) March 31, 2014?

Questions Passed as Orders for Return January 30th, 2017

With regard to the Prime Minister’s trip to Liberia and Madagascar in November 2016: (a) who were the members of the delegation that visited Liberia and Madagascar, excluding security and media; (b) what were the titles of the delegation members; (c) what was the total cost to taxpayers of the trip; (d) how much was spent on accommodation; (e) how much was spent on food; (f) how much was spent on other expenses, including a description of each expense; (g) what were the contents of the itineraries of the ministers who were on the trip, including the Prime Minister; and (h) what are the details of all meetings attended by ministers on the trip, including (i) date, (ii) summary or description, (iii) attendees, (iv) topics discussed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Return January 30th, 2017

With regard to contracts under $10 000 granted by the Canadian Human Rights Commission since January 1, 2016: what are the (i) vendors' names, (ii) contracts' reference and file numbers, (iii) dates of the contracts, (iv) descriptions of the services provided, (v) delivery dates, (vi) original contracts' values, (vii) final contracts' values if different from the original contracts' values?