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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was citizenship.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Calgary Northeast (Alberta)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 December 3rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, it is astonishing to hear from the member, who has never supported any trade in this country, nor has his party. Speaking of trade, this is the government and the party that has signed the most free trade agreements in this country. This is a government whose focus is negotiating and completing more trade agreements, because we believe that free trade agreements create jobs, bring employment to Canada, and make Canadians prosper.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2 December 3rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-4, our Conservative government's plan for securing Canada's future.

This economic action plan focuses on the things that matter to Canadians: jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity. In budget 2013, we are connecting Canadians with available jobs, helping our manufacturing and business sectors succeed in the global economy, investing in research and innovation, and supporting the building blocks of this great nation: families and communities.

What I would like to focus on specifically today in this budget implementation bill are our efforts to support job creators, streamline systems, close tax loopholes and prevent tax evasion, and demonstrate respect for taxpayers' dollars.

Bill C-4 covers a broad number of acts of Parliament, so what I intend to highlight in the relatively brief time I have to speak are some aspects of this bill that stand out for me and will resonate with Canadians.

Let me start with the lifetime capital gains exemption. The lifetime capital gains exemption exists to reward Canadians for investing in small businesses and makes it easier for the owners to pass their businesses along to their children.

Our Conservative government believes strongly in supporting small business people and entrepreneurs, and that is why we are increasing the lifetime capital gains exemption by $50,000. It will be effective for the 2014 tax year and it will increase with inflation each year after that.

We understand that it is important to reward hard work, allow Canadians to keep more of their own wealth, and support family businesses, and that is what this measure accomplishes.

Now let me talk about the accelerated capital gains allowance for clean energy generation equipment.

Bill C-4 will modify the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment. The capital cost allowance regime under the income tax system can be accelerated for some clean energy generation equipment. To further encourage businesses to invest in clean energy generation and clean energy equipment, our Conservative government is expanding the biogas production equipment that is eligible for inclusion under this regime.

I believe there is a bright future for clean energy in Canada. Measures like these are paving the way for a better future, one in which we will rely less on antiquated technology and will move into an era of cleaner energy.

These measures will expand eligible waste to include pulp and paper waste, winery and distillery waste, and separated organics from municipal waste. This measure will also expand eligibility under the tax regime to include all types of cleaning and upgrading equipment used to treat eligible waste.

Now I would like to speak about restricted farm losses. Canadians understand that farmers feed our communities and play an important role in the food security of this country. We honour their hard work and we give them all the support they deserve.

That is why our Conservative government is increasing the restricted farm loss limit to $17,500 of deductible farm losses annually. We realize the sacrifices farmers make to work their land and we understand that for reasons beyond anyone's control, production will not be the same from year to year. That is why we have taken this measure.

At the same time, Bill C-4 will carry an amendment to clarify that taxpayers' other sources of income must be less than their farming income in order to take advantage of the full farm losses deduction.

Our Conservative government aims to protect farmers from unexpected losses. We are taking this measure to ensure that the bulk of these resources are aimed at those farmers for whom farming is the bulk of their livelihood.

I would also like to speak about software for the electronic suppression of sales.

We know that the best way to get ahead is to work hard and play by the rules, but unfortunately some people in our society feel they can cheat the system with impunity. The vast majority of businesses in the country are run by honest and hard-working Canadians, but for those very few people who have decided not to pay their fair share, we are introducing criminal offences and monetary fines under the Income Tax Act that are specifically aimed at combatting tax evasion software. This software is designed with one intention in mind: to falsify records for the purpose of tax evasion. People who use electronic suppression of sales software would be subject to any of a number of new penalties.

In terms of administrative monetary penalties, anyone who uses electronic suppression software would be liable for a penalty of $5,000 for the first use and an additional $5,000 for any subsequent use. If a person possesses or acquires this illegal software, there would be a penalty of $5,000 for the first offence and a fine of $50,000 for any subsequent offence.

Of course, in this bill we reserve the toughest measures for those who have decided to manufacture and sell these illegal products. It is more than just unscrupulous to make money from selling a product that allows people to engage in tax evasion, thereby skewing the playing fields for all businesses. For a first offence, the developer or the seller of such software would be fined $10,000; for a subsequent offence, this would rise to $50,000.

In terms of criminal offences, the possession, use, acquisition, manufacture, development, or sale of this illegal software by a person could be dealt with on summary conviction, which would entail a fine of between $10,000 and $100,000 or a prison term of up to two years or both. If there is a conviction on an indictment, the fine would be between $50,000 and $100,000 or a prison term of up to five years or both.

This may seem excessive to some, but when talking with business people in my riding of Calgary Northeast, which is of course the hardest-working riding in Canada, they will say that when some business people cheat the system, it creates an uneven playing field for everyone, especially those who choose to work hard and play by the rules. If we ask our business people to play by the rules and they do so, then we have a duty to protect their interests from those who would lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead.

Now I would like to talk about the hiring credit for small businesses in 2013, which brings me to another portion of our government's budget bill, Bill C-4.

In budget 2011, our government announced a temporary hiring credit for small businesses of up to $1,000 per employee. We did this under the realization that small businesses drive growth in our economy and provide substantial amounts of employment across Canada. In a time of global economic uncertainty, we know that supporting small businesses is essential. The hiring credit provides financial relief, offsetting the costs of hiring a new employee for a small business.

In 2012, we extended this hiring credit again. Now we remain in a time of economic uncertainty. Despite the fact that Canada's economy is on track and improving steadily, we have to remain vigilant about market forces outside our control. It is for that reason that we intend to extend the hiring credit for small businesses again this year.

Finally, I would like to talk about the temporary foreign worker program and how our Conservative government is streamlining the temporary foreign worker program.

Our changes involve giving the program the ability to electronically administer and enforce the temporary foreign worker program. This would include the use of electronic signatures, enabling secure online payment for the LMO process and eliminating the need to retain large amounts of paper.

I am personally pleased that we are taking this step. Streamlining the temporary foreign worker program would allow small and medium enterprises in Canada to hire workers more efficiently going forward. This is essential to our economy.

In closing, I call on members of the opposition parties to support Bill C-4 and implement this budget as quickly as possible. As I mentioned earlier, Canada's economy is on the right track. Let us support it.

Citizenship November 28th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, over the past number of months, constituents in my riding of Calgary Northeast have been asking me one question, which is about the status of my efforts to strip citizenship from convicted terrorists. Despite the fact that over 83% of Canadians, including those who identify themselves as NDP and Liberal, agree with me, the opposition NDP and Liberal parties hate this idea so much that they shamelessly engage in an aggressive war, filibustering over days and nights.

I said this in the last Parliament and I will say it again. I will use all parliamentary tools available to me to ensure that the will of Canadians is made the law of the land. Violent convicted terrorists must be stopped from destroying the immense value Canadian citizenship has.

Citizenship and Immigration June 13th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, recently there have been disturbing reports about Canadian citizenship being used as a flag of convenience for terrorists to commit violent acts against innocent civilians.

Our Conservative government believes that Canadian citizenship should be stripped from convicted terrorists. Although the NDP leader does not stop at stop signs, the NDP is trying to stop my bill by filibustering at committee.

Can the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism inform this House where our government stands on my private member's bill, and the NDP's attempt to destroy it?

Citizenship and Immigration June 13th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the NDP has reached a new low. It is defending the interests of terrorists rather than protecting law-abiding Canadians. The NDP has been instructed to try to block my private member's bill, Bill C-425, in committee and prevent it from moving forward.

Bill C-425 would strip convicted terrorists of their Canadian citizenship. Eighty per cent of Canadians support strong measures like this to combat terrorism.

The leader of the NDP and his party are completely out of touch with Canadian.

Our Conservative government is committed to strengthening the value of Canadian citizenship. We do not think convicted terrorists deserve the privilege of calling themselves Canadians.

I urge the leader of the NDP to stop trying to dilute the values of Canadian citizenship and standing up for the interests of terrorists, and let us move forward with my bill.

Human Rights June 4th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, over the weekend the Quebec Soccer Federation decided to ban those wearing turbans and other religious headwear from playing soccer. This means that those children and youth will not be allowed to play soccer in Quebec even if they want to.

Can the Minister of State for Sport update this House on our position on this ban?

The Economy June 3rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is focused on what matters to Canadians, that being jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Through Canada's economic action plan, we are taking measures that would help businesses in my riding of Calgary Northeast. These include expanding the hiring tax credit for small business that would help businesses such as Best Buy Furniture owned by Karampal Sidhu, RED 106.7 FM owned by Kulwinder Sanghera and State Farm Insurance Agency owned by Romi Sidhu.

The Canada job grant would provide federal funding to train Canadians at businesses like Fast Track Auto Service owned by Deepak Cheema and Herman Bath, AAA Windows owned by Rana Sandhu and Klair Custom Homes owned by Avtar Klair.

I urge the opposition to support economic action plan 2013 and stop opposing our government's efforts to help Canadian businesses get the skilled workers they desperately need and provide Canadians the good paying jobs they deserve.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 1 June 3rd, 2013

Mr. Speaker, our government continues to focus on what matters to Canadians: jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. In my riding of Calgary Northeast, I have heard time and again that one of the most important issues is jobs. I stand today to help outline how our Conservative government's economic action plan 2013 would help connect settled Canadians as well as new Canadians with available jobs.

The hardest-working riding in the country, Calgary Northeast, is a very diverse place indeed, with 45.6% of my constituents being first-generation Canadians and 43% of the population being immigrants. We have one of the highest numbers of immigrants in Alberta, if not the highest.

Economic action plan 2013 also promises to reopen the federal skilled worker program and update the points system over the coming years. It would give more weight to factors that are directly related to economic success. This would help ensure new immigrants, such as those in my riding, are well suited and prepared for the jobs in their adopted home of Canada.

We are also introducing the new start-up visa, which is the first of its kind in the world. This visa will help attract innovative immigrant entrepreneurs to launch their companies in Canada to help create new jobs and spur economic growth.

New Canadians come here wanting to work and contribute to this great country. The start-up visa, as well as the “expression of interest” immigration management system, will help them realize these goals and become productive, proud members of our society.

The “expression of interest” immigration management system would allow Canadian employers, provinces and territories to select skilled immigrants from a pool of applicants who best meet Canada's economic needs. This will help to ensure that new Canadians go where the jobs are. It would also help to promote integration since it is much easier to integrate into our Canadian society when people are educated and able to work in their field, to contribute and have a sense of accomplishment.

Let me say that the hard-working riding of Calgary Northeast will be welcoming these enterprising new Canadians with open arms. Voting against jobs, growth and long-term prosperity not only for Canadians but for future Canadian citizens is not a good idea. I hope the NDP and Liberals will join with me in supporting budget 2013 instead.

In my riding of Calgary Northeast, 12.6% of my constituents have post-secondary credentials from outside of Canada, many of which are not currently recognized here. This inhibits the ability of these new Canadians to find gainful employment.

Economic action plan 2013 recognizes that this is a very real problem not only in my riding but from coast to coast to coast. Over the next two years, our government will work with provinces, territories and stakeholders to support improvements to the foreign credential recognition process and address the demand for skilled workers in Canada in additional occupations.

This will help individuals who were educated and trained abroad to find employment in their fields when they come to Canada. It will also help support employers by supplying them with qualified workers in occupations facing labour shortages.

One sector that faces a major labour deficit is apprenticeship and skilled labour jobs. I have the pleasure of sitting on the human resources and skills development committee, which recently undertook a study on how to encourage apprenticeship programs in Canada. We heard time and time again from witnesses that there is a high demand for apprentices, a group our government has a proud history of supporting.

Our government recognizes the important contributions to the Canadian economy that the skilled trades make. It was our Conservative government that introduced the apprenticeship incentive grant, which provides up to $2,000 in financial assistance for apprenticeship training in a Red Seal trade. There is also the apprenticeship completion grant of $2,000 for registered apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship program and receive journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade. These programs have proven to be a huge success, with a projected expenditure for 2013-14 of $114.6 million.

Our Conservative government is continuing to support apprentices in this budget by introducing measures that would support the use of apprentices through federal construction and maintenance contracts, investments in affordable housing and infrastructure projects receiving federal funding.

The committee heard from witnesses that there are labour shortages that should be filled by young apprentices, and our government is helping to ensure that young apprentices are given those opportunities. By working on government projects, they will gain invaluable experience on their way to becoming skilled tradespeople.

Key stakeholders representing Canadians of all walks of life endorse measures like this in economic action plan 2013.

This very measure was endorsed by average Canadians like James St. John of the Hammer Heads Program, who told the committee on February 7, 2013:

We want to see the government tie infrastructure dollars to apprenticeship opportunities for the youth of our communities. In doing that, there is no cost to the government whatsoever. The cost is really zero to the employers, who are going to need workers to build the renovations or the new buildings that you're constructing through infrastructure dollars.

The passing of this budget in a quick and timely manner is of the utmost importance.

There is another important measure I have to mention. First, though, I will mention a constituent, Tom Pollon, who worked at a company for 25 years before it went bankrupt and he had to be laid off. He told my office how the targeted initiative for older workers will help him in his job search.

The targeted initiative for older workers focuses on older workers aged 55 to 64 who are unemployed and require new or enhanced skills to successfully transition into employment. It is aimed at helping people like Mr. Pollon, who may face difficulties due to age in finding gainful employment. Since 2007, this program has provided employment assistance services to over 28,000 unemployed older workers.

Let me share with my colleagues what Mr. Pollon told me: “In fact, I believe it would do much to negate the age concern of prospective employers if I could say I qualify for TIOW in resume and use it in my job search.”

In economic action plan 2011, our Conservative government promised $50 million for the targeted initiative for older workers over two years and extended the program until 2013-14.

Economic action plan 2013 is about connecting Canadians with available jobs, be they apprentices, elderly workers, or new Canadians.

I call upon the opposition to support this budget and for once stand on the side of jobs, the economy and common sense.

Canadians have told us what they need. We listened. We are here to help. I wish the opposition would do the same.

Safer Witnesses Act May 30th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, consultations were made, and amendments are based on all kinds of consultations with the stakeholders, the police associations, other organizations and, specifically, with the victims.

Let me quote what the president of the Canadian Police Association said:

The Canadian Police Association strongly believes that this proposed legislation will enhance the safety and the security of front-line law enforcement personnel who are engaged in protective duties. Unfortunately, the disclosure of identifying details can present a real danger to police personnel themselves as well as their families, and we appreciate the steps being taken today by the government of Canada to address those concerns. On behalf of the over 50,000 law enforcement personnel that we represent across Canada, we ask that Parliament quickly move to adopt this Bill.

I urge my colleagues on the other side to quickly move on this.

Safer Witnesses Act May 30th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows—my brother from a different mother—our government is committed to providing law enforcement with the tools and resources needed to protect the safety of our families and communities, including an effective witness protection program.

An effective and reliable witness protection program is valuable in the fight against crime, especially organized crime, and terrorism.