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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was countries.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 27% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for bringing up the one million jobs we created in the country, 75% of which are full-time jobs.

We lifted 300,000 children over the poverty line. Our 10% increase in GIS benefited 900,000 seniors, putting many over the poverty line. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in our country for the last 40 years. We have the lowest tax rate for small businesses out of the G7 countries. The list goes on.

When people work, they bring more taxes into our coffers. I think we are going in the right direction. We will continue to help Canadians.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I do not think we need to convince a whole lot of people on this pretty straightforward deal. About 100,000 Canadians will be eligible to buy a home within the next three years. For people who want a $400,000 home, we will pay a 10% down payment so they can buy it. This is for newly built homes. The federal government will chip in a 5% down payment for someone buying a second-hand home. I think this is very good news for first-time homebuyers.

Our government is making home ownership more affordable for the first time, allowing people to lower their monthly mortgage payments. I urge both sides of the House to pass this piece of legislation.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about my colleague's riding. I had the privilege to announce $11.8 million for 67 affordable units. We are going to provide rental units for 30% less than the market price. I also had the privilege to announce $7 million for 36 units to look after women and children, rental space that will also be offered at 30% less.

These are the good things we are doing in his riding.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, 100,000 Canadians would be able to buy their first homes. We have already received a great deal of positive reaction to budget 2019 and its progress in boosting affordability. Canadians are pleased with the way it would help young householders realize their dream of home ownership and encourage the construction of new homes.

For example, Heather Tremain, CEO of Options for Homes, had this to say:

The Federal budget takes concrete steps to address Canada's housing affordability problem and will help to improve access to home ownership for middle income earners.

We understand the many benefits that come from having a safe and adequate home that one can afford. Through budget 2019, we are once again demonstrating that the Government of Canada is back in housing. We are delivering an ambitious, comprehensive and realistic plan that would create much needed new housing, protect the affordability of existing homes and include new support for first-time home buyers. This is a plan that would benefit generations to come.

I urge my colleagues on both sides of the House to support the budget implementation bill for the benefit of our economy and a more inclusive and prosperous society for all Canadians.

Community Service June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize one person working to make a difference in my riding: Daphaney Doss from Xaxli'p First Nation. Daphaney is preparing for her second Great Cycle Challenge cancer fundraising ride. Last year she travelled 250 kilometres and raised $1,300.

Daphaney is truly an inspiration. She rides to honour the loss of two family members and to raise cancer awareness for those in her community and surrounding areas. I would like to thank Daphaney for her outstanding community service as she continues to motivate others and make a difference.

I encourage Daphaney to keep up the great work. We are all behind her.

Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1 June 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today on budget 2019, a budget that makes it easier for Canadians to thrive and join a prosperous middle class.

Housing affordability is a large part of this budget. That is because Canadians have told us that the rising cost of housing is one of the biggest barriers to getting ahead in life. Housing supply has not kept up with demand, which has driven up costs to the point where an adequate place to call home has become out of reach for too many families. This means they do not have the safe, stable base they need to find work, study, raise their families and contribute to their communities.

This is why our government developed a national housing strategy, which includes a number of initiatives to boost the housing supply, focusing primarily on the needs of the most vulnerable populations. These programs are already having an impact on communities across the country by giving more Canadians safe, affordable rental homes. In fact, budget 2019 includes an expansion of the successful rental construction financing program, which will add significantly to the rental housing supply and, in turn, bring down the cost to rent.

Today, I want to speak about an innovative program in the budget that makes it more affordable for young Canadians to buy their first homes. While it is true that whether one rents or owns it is still a home, many Canadians aspire to own their own homes. When first-time homebuyers purchase a home, it frees up even more rental supply and leads to lower rental costs for those in housing need.

Unfortunately, for too many Canadians, home ownership is increasingly out of reach. Beginning in September, the first-time homebuyer incentive will help more young Canadians buy their first homes by reducing their mortgage payments. Eligible buyers who have the minimum down payment required for an insured mortgage will be able to finance a portion of their home purchase through a shared equity mortgage with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The new program will provide funding of 5% of the purchase price for existing homes and 10% for newly constructed homes. Rather than making ongoing monthly payments on the shared equity portion of the mortgage, the buyer would repay the incentive at a later date. This keeps monthly costs down for homebuyers so they have money for everyday expenses.

Details of the program are being finalized and will be announced at the end of the year. However, I can tell my colleagues in the House that for families a buying $400,000 home, this program could save as much as $228 per month and up to $2,700 per year per family.

Officials at the Department of Finance and CMHC have worked hard to develop a program that is balanced and achieves our objectives of helping first-time buyers without undoing the progress we have already made through measures that prevent excessive borrowing and limit house price inflation. It does this by focusing specifically on those who need help the most.

Younger Canadians who have a household income of about $120,000 a year or less have trouble affording home ownership. It ensures they do not take on too much debt by limiting total borrowing to four times their income. In addition, to be sure the program does not end up contributing to the house price inflation, we have capped it at $1.2 billion over the next three years. The inflation effect will be minimal, less than 0.5% at the most, if that.

This program will make home ownership more affordable for young Canadians in a way that is more effective than the measures some other people have suggested. Measures like reducing the mortgage insurance stress test or extending the maximum amortization period to 30 years would simply put Canadians into greater debt. The rate of home price inflation would be five to six times greater than the maximum anticipated by the first-time homebuyer incentive.

Finally, by doubling the incentive for the purchase of a new home, the new program will encourage new supply to meet housing demands, which in turn keeps prices down for all Canadians.

This program will work in all markets, including Vancouver and Toronto. Even with a cap of four times the household income, first-time buyers will have the option. It may not be a condo in Yaletown or a house in Riverdale, but there are starter homes in both metropolitan areas that could be purchased using this program. In fact, based on last year's activity, more than 2,000 homebuyers in Toronto would have been eligible for this FTHBI, and over 1,000 homeowners in greater Vancouver would have been eligible.

Budget 2019 will also establish a fund to help existing shared equity mortgage providers scale up their businesses and encourage new players to enter the market. The fund will provide up to $100 million in lending over five years and will be administered by CMHC.

Our support for Canadians trying to purchase their first home does not end there. Budget 2019 also provides first-time buyers greater freedom to invest their RRSP savings by increasing the homebuyer plan withdrawal from $25,000 to $35,000.

We have also proposed the new housing supply challenge. This $300-million initiative will help municipalities and other stakeholder groups to find ways to break down barriers that limit the creation of new housing.

Infrastructure Canada and CMHC will collaborate on designs for the new measures.

The Environment May 2nd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, as we have seen recently in communities across the country, the effects of climate change are real. They are devastating to our communities. Canadians want to know that we take these threats seriously and that we are making the investments necessary to prepare for and mitigate the effects the next time disaster strikes.

Could the Prime Minister or the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities please update this House on the investments the government is making to tackle climate change, particularly in British Columbia?

InterCultural Online Health Network April 4th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I stand before you today to acknowledge the InterCultural Online Health Network, iCON, for its efforts in advancing the well-being of multicultural and indigenous communities in British Columbia.

Celebrating 10 years of service and partnership with the South Asian community, I was happy to attend a health forum for seniors and caregivers living with diabetes and hypertension. iCON has successfully brought together key stakeholders in health, such as the B.C. Ministry of Health and its health authorities, health care providers, patients and families. iCON has started a dialogue on health care issues to help educate communities with workshops and web-based resources.

I encourage the Minister of Health to connect with Dr. Cheema and Dr. Ho, iCON leaders, to explore how we can bring iCON to communities throughout the country.

Points of Order February 28th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to apologize, without reservation, to the member for Vancouver Granville. My comments were inappropriate. Whether inside or outside this House, it is incumbent on all of us to treat each other with respect at all times.

Housing February 6th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I was delighted to be in Chilliwack, British Columbia a couple of weeks ago to announce the construction of 67 new rental housing units on behalf of my friend and colleague, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Partnering with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the government invested $11.8 million in this great project.

This project is one of many under the national housing strategy. As a former property developer, I have engaged with countless Canadians who are trying to find their new home. Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. I am pleased to represent a government that is supporting a real solution to the housing issue in our country.