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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was fact.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Cambridge (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supply February 17th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I take complete exception with the NDP member making negative comments and connotations about Toyota. Toyota has a plant in my riding of Cambridge and that plant is not only the cleanest plant, it produces the cleanest vehicles, the most fuel efficient vehicles, and employs over 4,000 of the most intelligent automotive manufacturers.

This is a difficult motion not to support. Who would not support a cleaner environment? I would like to announce that the Conservative Party had a very complete platform. We had a plan for a clean environment, cleaning brownfields, and negotiating border state emissions. If we were the government right now, we would have a plan in place. We would not let the deadline go by for Kyoto. It is very easy for a party which has no potential of putting in place that kind of a plan to sit here and talk about all these great ideas.

I am the Ontario caucus chair and on a tour recently there was no doubt that there has been no leadership. The auto industry has expressed to us a number of ways to fix the environment. Although we support those ways, I must ask the member why this party would want to pick on not only one industry, but one type of vehicle?

That kind of lack of forethought and lack of complete solution is going to devastate the light vehicle market. Some 80% of these vehicles go outside of Canada and rather than creating harmony and regulations, we cannot support this motion simply because it complicates things. It is not workable and I would like to ask the member, why does the NDP insist on picking on one industry and one type of vehicle?

Civil Marriage Act February 16th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member from the NDP for an eloquent speech.

I would like to state for the record that the issue is not that we do not recognize the loving relationship between a number of members of our society. That is not the issue.

I have spoken to a number of people on both sides of the House who have differing opinions with respect to this and it comes down to the word marriage. The rights of those who have come to know this word to mean one thing have to be protected. I can only hope that in time a word will come to mean as much to same sex couples as the word marriage has come to mean to heterosexual couples.

Unless it has been changed recently, the NDP website expresses that it supports all forms of marriage. Rather than choose the word both forms of marriage, it decidedly chose the words all forms. Could the member define for the House why the NDP chose the word all rather than both?

Petitions February 16th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present two petitions on behalf of the Canada Family Action Coalition.

The petitioners request that Parliament use all possible legislative and administrative measures, including invoking section 33 of the charter if necessary, to preserve and protect the current definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

The second petition reads the same way, that Parliament use all possible legislative and administrative measures, including invoking section 33 of the charter if necessary, to preserve and protect the current definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Questions on the Order Paper February 15th, 2005

Madam Speaker, as the member should already know, many of the programs mentioned in that letter are already in place. There are already programs out there where parents can put their children into early kindergarten, for example, and the day care centres would still be there if that was the choice of the parent.

I would like to express once again and request that the members in the House listen very carefully. This is not only about tax cuts. I will repeat it and I will say this really slow. We are also requesting that there be credits that will definitely benefit lower income earners. The Liberals have put in place a tax exemption rule that only helps more wealthy Canadians.

Again, I would encourage the member to listen very carefully. We are encouraging moving forward on the day care program, but in a way that includes tax cuts and credits that will help all Canadians equally.

If the member were to study the Liberal program, he would find that there are not enough seats either.

Questions on the Order Paper February 15th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I am not even sure the comments warrant an answer. This is clearly coming from a government that professes choice, but comes up with a program that has no choice.

Clearly, there are standards within the child care system. These are early childhood educated workers who come out of their community programs highly skilled already, with standards that are set by the provinces, and the member should very well know that. We are clearly suggesting that the federal government give money back to these lower income persons and families and let them choose which program they go into. If the program is not up to snuff, they move the children somewhere else.

I assure the member that the programs will be up to snuff, as those are choices in a typical system. It was a silly question.

Questions on the Order Paper February 15th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I too was appalled by the minister's comments. As a parent and having had children who have scraped their knees and needed a hug, they did not need a hug from a bureaucrat. They needed a hug from a parent.

The comments, although appalling and extremely offensive, were not surprising. They smack of the government's inability to be sensitive to the value of the family unit. The minister himself lacks the sensitivity to understand the importance, if given a choice, to have family, either immediate or extended, rear, discipline, teach and foster our children, our future leaders.

I was not surprised by the comments and I am not surprised that the government is moving forward with a plan that really has no base in logic or reason.

What we need to do is put money back into the pockets of parents and let them make a choice. If day care is what they choose, then that is great, and let us make that day care program the best it can be. However if a parent chooses to use a relative to babysit or if a parent chooses to work part time and stay home with the children, as I believe many parents would choose if they had the option, we need to support those kinds of decisions and not discriminate by encumbering tax laws and holding Canadians down where they have no choice but to go to work every day and put their children into some institution and just assume and hope that 20 years from now it will all be okay.

That kind of insensitivity and lack of lateral thinking on the part of the government is exactly presented in the comments that we have heard lately by the minister.

Questions on the Order Paper February 15th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to address the motion put forward by the Conservative Party. I am splitting my time with the member for Edmonton—Spruce Grove.

I am completely in support and in favour of developing strategies that put children and families at an advantage. Although this is primarily a provincial issue, the federal government has a role to play in developing those strategies and in setting standards, both along the lines of minimum standards, whether it is for profit or not for profit, or whether it is just providing funding that the provinces can count on, and not simply to get us through the next election and then pull the rug out from under that funding.

Members of the NDP seem to be mixing some of the philosophies and appear to be quite confused. On the one hand, they are not supportive of for profit day care, but on the other hand, they are supportive of raising the wages. Raising wages is an extremely good idea but that is actually personal profit. I am confused about that.

The NDP also seems to feel that the only reason women are out working is because of a choice to provide intelligence and benefits to the community. While that is absolutely correct, I think it is very simplistic that this is a choice and only a choice. The truth is that Canadians cannot afford to live on a single income any more. I would beg the NDP to do a little more research and to completely understand that for women it is not just a choice, it is that there are no other options.

One other thing I would like to make clear on this argument is that the Conservative Party is not saying no to day care. What we are saying is that day care should not be the only option. This is not about dictating. It is not about winning elections or trying to put forth a promise that who knows how many times this has been promised. This is about children and about families.

I am a parent of two children. I have had the opportunity and the pleasure to have my children schooled in private schools. I have had them in day care. I have had the good fortune of having a sister-in-law care for my children. My mother and my spouse were fortunate enough to stay at home for many years. That is the choice. What we see with Canadians families is that they do not have that kind of choice. I was very blessed to be able to do that for my family.

What we have here is a government that is putting forth a program that does not offer all of those choices. It is institutional day care or it is nothing. The hon. minister has proposed $5 billion, which is the 10th or 11th time this promise has been made. I completely disagree with my colleagues in the NDP. This is not after 20 years of hard work. This is after a decade of broken promises.

I am concerned that the hon. member, in an attempt to do the right thing, has put the cart before the horse. I do not see a plan or a strategy. I see a proposal and I hear discussion and talk. I have no faith this will ever go anywhere. I am concerned that the government is in over its head on this issue and is moving forward without considering the true needs of all Canadians or the fallback of another program that will not score well with Canadians. No matter how many times we tell Canadians that this is a universal program for all children, the fact is that is completely not true and it is very misleading.

My party and I do not use the term “universal” because that is absolutely not what this program is all about. For me this appears to be more about spending money and keeping promises, at least until the next election, hence the five year limit on this funding. It is more about keeping a promise than helping Canadians and I am very concerned about that.

The fact is that this program from the government will not help all children. A very limited number of children and families will be helped. The only universality in this program is that all parents and non-parents will pay for it.

What about the millions of children who fall outside the program's parameters? An estimated 250,000 children might benefit from this so-called universal institutionalized day care. What about the other approximately four million children who will not get any benefit? This is actually the fifth out of six options presented by the Vanier Institute. It is actually the second-last.

The program, as I mentioned earlier, fails to promise stable funding to the provinces. Provinces will get into an adversarial kind of positioning as a result of this limited funding. They will feel separated and divided from their federal counterparts. This kind of option promotes divisiveness. It promotes this theory of having to fight with the federal government, which again leads to this business that this is not about the people for the people of the people. This is about the Liberals trying to fulfill a promise, again without thinking about the collateral issues behind this extremely expensive and very limited program in terms of benefits.

We have had far too many opportunities to see what happens when the Liberal government gets a hold of another program that has to do with billions of dollars. We certainly do not want, nor can we afford, another boondoggle that will race out of control in terms of funding and ultimately end up somewhere in the neighbour of 20¢ efficiency on a $1.

The Conservative Party has better ideas. Just because it is the Conservative Party that has come up with these creative solutions, which are far more long term and far more universal, is no reason in and unto itself to not listen to them. I would ask the House and the minister to consider the benefits of all parents of children maintaining control and choice on the rearing of their most valuable possession.

The Liberals' program excludes grandparents. It excludes stay at home moms and dads. It excludes extended families for cultural or choice reasons. It excludes rural families.

Although I did hear the hon. member from the NDP say that we should listen to our farmers, I have travelled the country. Does the member actually think there will be a day care at the end of every lane? The people in those farming communities cannot drive 40, 60, 70 kilometres to put their children into day care. It is ridiculous to assume that this program will benefit those rural families.

What about the children in communities who have special needs?

What about the waiting times to get into this limited program? We all know about waiting times when the Liberals manage a program.

I would encourage the House to listen to the ideas that are presented. We need to give tax breaks to parents. If the hon. member in the NDP wants better pay, then we should give the people a tax break. That is better pay.

Why not add a child tax credit to the existing child tax exemption which favours the more wealthy Canadians? A child tax credit puts money back into the pockets of all parents.

Why not eliminate the penalties in the income tax system that seem to punish single income families over the double income or multiple income families?

Those are Conservative ideas but they represent true fairness and true equal rights. They support choice, they support family and they will work well beyond five years. This gives a no strings attached approach to parents across Canada in every community and from every ethnic and cultural background. This is how parents can then use this money to simply choose whether they will put their child in the day care program or pay their mother, for example, to rear their children.

I will suggest that this is a reward, not punishment. This is choice, not dictation. This is a costed and predictable way for Canadians. It has no opportunity to become a boondoggle.

International Trade February 11th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, maybe the minister should stay home for a while and examine what is going on here.

The minister for foreign job security goes on to say that he will not cry, that he will not even shed a tear for lost Canadian jobs. The problem with the Liberals is that they fail to recognize that we cannot compete with markets that do not pay their workers fair wages.

My riding of Cambridge, indeed all of Canada, wants to know if the minister actually believes that Canadians should be paid poverty levels, that Canadian standards should be lowered for us to remain globally competitive.

Val O'Donovan and Klaus Woerner February 9th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to two outstanding community leaders from my riding of Cambridge and the region of Waterloo who sadly passed away this week.

Val O'Donovan was the founder of Com Dev, a company based in Cambridge, and the largest Canadian-based designer and manufacturer of space hardware subsystems.

Klaus Woerner, a personal friend, was the founder, president and CEO of ATS tooling of Cambridge. Klaus was a supporter of the arts and our education systems and an innovator in both tooling and solar power.

Both gentlemen immigrated to Canada with humble beginnings. They truly represented the epitome of the Canadian dream.

The world has lost two innovative business leaders. The country has lost two adventurous entrepreneurs. Our community has lost two generous philanthropists. And I have lost a friend.

I know the House will join me in my sincere condolences to their families.

Supply February 8th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the member's question delves into a huge problem. The common problem within the question itself and what we are debating today is the fact that the government really is ineffective when it comes to dealing with Canadian issues such as the apparel industry or the beef industry. That ineffectiveness stems from its weak or perhaps lacking foreign policies, especially with the diminished relationship with our friend and largest trading partner, the United States.

In the case of the apparel industry, the United States has put bilateral trade deals in place, but they have cost the apparel industry. Similar, deals that have been put in place by the agricultural community also have affected Canadians negatively. The government does not appear to have the ability nor the will to solve these problems. I believe that stems from simply a lack of creativity and a lack of leadership.