House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament November 2014, as Independent MP for Peterborough (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply April 25th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, we have heard this from the Liberals all morning, and now into the afternoon, that after 13 years they were just about to take off. They had it figured out. After 13 years of practice, they finally had a game plan, and it is the New Democrats' fault that the game plan never happened. It is such nonsense. Rhetoric on the environment does not get it done.

The former member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore said that in a leadership competition. He said, “We didn't get it done”. He did not say they were about to get it done. He said “We didn't get it done”. That is the truth on the Liberal record.

When we talk about the environment, it is important to talk about the three es: the economy, employment and the environment. That is what this government has done in trying to focus both on reducing greenhouse gases and also on having cleaner air, water and land. It is a focus that is working while we are also seeking to grow the economy and grow jobs.

Does the member agree that we must focus on the three es, and not one in exclusion of the others?

Business of Supply April 25th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, it never ceases to amaze me that the Liberal Party continues to confuse press conferences with action. It is very clear that the Liberals can cite the number of press conferences they had while they were in government. They can probably even tell us what types of finger foods were served at these press conferences, but that is not action.

It still shocks me that the Liberals stand in this place and indicate that somehow political parties have conspired to put them where they are in this House. The Canadian people determined the position they should hold in this House, in part because of the Liberals' lack of action on the environment and climate change and also in part because project green, for the Canadian people, refers to the sponsorship scandal and 40 million missing dollars.

I have listened to the member talk about climate change and the need to act. This is the first government to actually reduce climate change, and this while we have seen economic growth in this country. She talked about CAFE standards; we have in fact increased CAFE standards significantly for fleet fuel economies.

I would like to know from the member if she will acknowledge that the government has worked in partnership with the provinces and provided funding to the provinces. We have worked with industries. We are bringing in real change. We are, in fact, bringing in reductions of greenhouse gases in Canada while other countries continue to increase them.

Business of Supply April 24th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am struck by the irony of that member standing in the House to talk about free speech and the ability of members to express themselves freely in the House. My colleague has indicated that the member for Winnipeg North may well have used up about 400 years of statements since the 2011 general election, and that is his right as a member. He is recognized by the Speaker and he uses that right frequently.

I have to be honest, given the ruling that we heard yesterday I think that members' freedom and their ability to be recognized by the Speaker has been codified by that ruling. I would like to hear, for example, questions or statements by the member for Ottawa South or perhaps the member for Scarborough—Agincourt. I have not heard them speak in the House for some time. Maybe the Liberal Party would like to unshackle those members.

Combating Terrorism Act April 23rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the member's statements. He has put together a number of decent arguments. However, I say that he is missing the point in a couple of key areas.

He said what is most important is the protection of our freedoms and our civil liberties. I agree. The freedoms that Canadians enjoy are a big part of what makes this country so special, but it is those very freedoms that people in this place are tasked with protecting.

Every time we see a terrorist act that targets civilians, we see those freedoms taken away. We see some of them infringed upon as everyday Canadians and everyday citizens are asked to go through more and more clearances, more tests and more challenges simply to do the things we have always done. This is the cost of terrorism.

We also have people feeling under threat in their own neighbourhoods and in their own homes. They ask for us to be able to provide the basic protections.

Our law enforcement officials have asked for these measures to be put in place. They have asked for them as tools they can use to protect Canadians if necessary. It is only responsible that the people in this place would provide those protections so that we can protect Canadians at all times.

I would like to hear the member's response.

Business of Supply April 16th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the point of order is that any letter written by a member of Parliament to a minister is actually subject to access to information in this country. The member should be aware of it.

Business of Supply April 16th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the member tends to get onto all sorts of different issues and gets sidetracked. On this issue, I am afraid that there were a couple of times when I think he lost most members in the House of Commons, because he was no longer talking about the issue of temporary foreign workers.

I want to be clear on this issue of temporary foreign workers. I have detailed a number of Liberal members who made it clear to the minister that they wanted temporary foreign worker approvals in their ridings. We know that a number of NDP members spoke to the minister about temporary foreign worker applications. We understand that sometimes there are job openings in Canada and there are no Canadians to fill them. That is the intent of the temporary foreign worker program.

What I have been trying to get across to the Liberal Party is that the reason this was in the news last week was because of an egregious example of a company that sought to take advantage of a program, the intent of which is to help the Canadian economy, assist Canadian business and grow the overall economy. This egregious example of a company taking advantage of the system should not happen, and the government has indicated that it is going to address it.

The member is on the record as having gone to the minister to seek temporary foreign workers in his riding. Why did he not mention that in his comments and speak to the fact that he agrees that the temporary foreign worker program is a good one?

Business of Supply April 16th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I heard a number of statements made today that are just patently false. The government is not allowing any companies to bypass the rules. That is simply not true.

If the Royal Bank of Canada, for example, advertised to hire people, I think it would be inundated with applications. However, what has happened here is an egregious case where something underhanded and wrong has happened.

I would propose an idea to the member. The government has indicated it will be reviewing the system. It is reviewing it as we speak. However, for companies like Canadian banks, for example, for areas where they are guaranteed almost a monopoly-type dominance of the marketplace, should they be allowed to hire temporary foreign workers? I suggest that, in this case, Canadian banks should not be allowed to hire temporary foreign workers. Period.

If we look at other industries, for example telecommunications and areas where companies are provided universal access to the Canadian market and where foreign companies are prohibited from competing with them, maybe they should not be hiring temporary foreign workers when they have guaranteed access to the Canadian market where others are prevented from accessing the Canadian market. I would be interested to hear the member's comments on that.

Business of Supply April 16th, 2013

Thank you.

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where the 40% came from either.

I would say to the member that the temporary foreign worker program, as we have said time and time again, is not to displace Canadian workers. Where there are egregious examples—and that is what we are really talking about; we should just call a spade a spade and say there have been some egregious abuses of the system—the government has indicated that we are going to review it and we are going to respond.

However, members of the member's caucus have in fact gone to the minister and requested temporary foreign workers be allowed to come into Canada to fill unfilled vacant jobs; for example, the members for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, Halifax, Ottawa Centre, Churchill, British Columbia Southern Interior, Sackville—Eastern Shore, Trois-Rivières, and Brome—Missisquoi. These are members of your own caucus who understand that sometimes it is appropriate to bring in temporary foreign workers.

Business of Supply April 16th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, at the outset, I would say that the member for Cape Breton—Canso wants the member to respond about where the 40% came from. Did I get that right?

The Budget March 26th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, you mentioned that the hon. leader of the Liberal Party has tenure. He has served in public office for some time. Indeed, at one point he served as the premier of Ontario.

He talked about first ministers' meetings. I wonder if he would let us in the room and allow us to understand how the Liberal Party handled it when it determined that it was going to cut transfers to the provinces by $26 billion.

He was upset that our finance minister went in with good news, the good news that we would be increasing education transfers and health transfers to record levels and that each and every year we would not touch transfers. In fact, we guarantee them for 10 years.

However, when he was premier of Ontario, the then Liberal government cut the knees right out from under him. I would love for him to let us inside the walls of that first ministers' meeting.