House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was transport.

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

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Canada Post June 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the so-called plan by the NDP would amount to not only finding $500 million in increased taxes to support door-to-door delivery for one-third of Canadians, but it would have to make up the $6.8 billion unfunded pension liability, or maybe the the New Democrats do not care that retirees get their pensions.

Canada Post, which has been facing a tremendous decrease in letter mail volumes and has been consulting with communities on its five-point plan, must continue so it is not a financial burden to taxpayers.

Canada Post June 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the members opposite cannot even read Canada Post's balance sheet, and yet they want to run the economy. Page 68 says:

Without pension relief, the corporation at Canada Post would have been required to make special payments of approximately $1.3 billion in 2014. The special payments without pension relief would amount to $1.4 in 2015.

Letter mail volumes have been plummeting in the country. Pension payments, an unfunded liability, are still due by Canada Post. It must continue with its five-point plan so it does not a burden for taxpayers.

The so-called plan of the NDP would mean massive taxes to cover the $6.8 billion unfunded liability.

Canada Post June 18th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in 2014, Canada Post delivered 1.4 billion fewer letters than in 2006. Canada Post has to balance its books without being a burden on Canadian taxpayers. In the meantime, the NDP and Liberal plans for Canada Post will cost taxpayers half a billion dollars a year, which means that the NDP and the Liberals will raise taxes on all Canadians. That is not what we on this side of the House are going to do. We are going to try to keep taxes low for all Canadians.

Public Safety June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the only disconnect is with the member over there. What is clear is that jihadi terrorists have declared war on Canada, and our government has acted to ensure the safety and security of Canadians.

Oversight and independent review are key safeguards that, together, will ensure CSIS takes appropriate action against threats to the security of Canada.

The bill would require CSIS to get a court warrant whenever it needs special authorities to disrupt a threat to the security of Canada. In this way, the courts would provide independent judicial oversight of CSIS operations. In addition, CSIS activities would remain subject to independent review.

With the robust safeguards in the proposed legislation, Canadians can continue to rely on CSIS to protect our national security in a manner consistent with the law and with Canadian values. We take seriously the first priority of a government, and that is to protect its citizens and maintain public security.

Public Safety June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for allowing me to clarify some important matters regarding Bill C-51 and the changes it would bring to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act. It is a piece of legislation I would encourage that member and all members to be supporting.

As the members of the House are aware, Bill C-51 would give CSIS a clear new mandate to disrupt threats to the security of Canada at home and abroad. This mandate would include a number of safeguards to ensure that CSIS operations respect the rule of law and the charter.

For example, the bill sets out that all measures taken against threats to the security of Canada be reasonable and proportional in the circumstances, and before CSIS could take any measure that would normally be contrary to Canadian law or that would affect charter rights, CSIS would have to obtain a court warrant.

The warrant process for threat disruption in Bill C-51 is built closely on the existing CSIS warrant system. This system has successfully protected the rights of Canadians since the creation of CSIS in 1984.

The hon. member stated that issuing warrants is not the same as judicial oversight. We respectfully disagree. The hon. member may not be aware of just how much information is put before judges when CSIS applies for a warrant. Judges receive extensive documentation describing the threat to the security of Canada and exactly how CSIS proposes to address that threat. They can then ask questions and place any conditions on CSIS they deem to be in the public interest.

For these reasons, the warrant process is an effective, time-tested form of judicial oversight. It gives impartial legal experts, not politicians, the final decision on sensitive CSIS operations.

I would note that the safeguards set out in Bill C-51 go beyond those placed on many allied intelligence services. Not every country has a stringent system of court warrants for intelligence work.

I would also remind members that all CSIS operations remain subject to review by the Security Intelligence Review Committee, SIRC. Indeed, the recent budget doubled SIRC's resources, giving it the means to keep on top of the new and existing mandates of CSIS.

Bill C-51 would also create specific new reporting requirements for SIRC that would ensure Parliament is kept apprised of the disruptive activities that may be undertaken by CSIS.

The combination of independent review and judicial oversight in Bill C-51 would make certain that CSIS uses its new mandate in a lawful and responsible manner.

Rail Transportation June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, maybe the member wishes he were back in the NDP. I do not know what to make of that last intervention.

What VIA needs is very simple. It needs the independence to operate as a crown corporation and to take care of its day-to-day operations and affairs. It does not need the House of Commons running its day-to-day affairs, and it certainly does not need the rhetoric of the member opposite. He should put his mouth and his votes where the money actually is with VIA and stand and support the estimates and the budgets we put forward that make sure that VIA is a successful crown corporation.

Rail Transportation June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where to begin on that one. Let me start with some of the items the member raised in that self-congratulatory, yet rambling, litany of things he threw down.

First of all, the private member's bill introduced by the official opposition, which was rightly opposed by this government, was an attempt to ensure that rather than VIA operating as a business, the business of VIA would be run from the floor of the House of Commons, particularly when it came to route selection. There were a number of other important reasons why that was not functional at all.

I know that the member likes to talk about investment in VIA Rail. When it came to improving and making significant capital investments of about $1 billion, I do not remember the member standing in the House and actually voting to support that.

When it comes to annual operational investments, we have opportunities in the main estimates and everything else to support appropriations to VIA Rail. It makes the support sound hollow by the member opposite when he cannot stand in his place and support estimates for it.

When it comes to the appointment process, as is the case with all crown corporations, appointments to the board of directors of VIA Rail follow open, transparent, and competency-based selection processes that reflect the specific nature of the positions and the weight of their responsibilities.

Full- and part-time Governor in Council leadership positions follow a comprehensive selection process that includes the development of selection criteria that outline the qualifications required for the position. They are advertised in the Canada Gazette, on the federal government's appointments website, and on the public institution's own website.

A pool of candidates can also be established through a variety of other means, such as through executive search firms, newspapers, and professional journals. Interested candidates are assessed based on the requirements of the position. Further to the interview of the qualified candidates, reference checks are conducted.

Interested candidates for part-time director positions should forward their curriculum vitae to the office of the Minister of Transport.

For full-time leadership positions, recruitment processes are led by the Privy Council Office, which would be instructive for the member opposite, and interested candidates can apply upon publication of a notice of vacancy in the Canada Gazette and on the Governor in Council appointments website.

The appointment process, I will remind the member, has been significantly strengthened, ensuring that all appointments are competency based. That is a commitment we continue to follow and improve upon.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his important intervention in discussing the budget.

Of course, in terms of take-home pay for Canadians, our low-tax plan would ensure that they have more. They could do more with it, whether they spend it or invest it.

We have heard from the Liberal leader that they will impose a CPP take-home pay cut of $1,000 on a family making $60,000. We have heard, of course, from big unions, which are promoting the NDP's approach. They would double the amount for CPP, so there would be twice as much less to take home than right now.

Would the member comment on what that kind of take-home pay cut would mean to people in his riding?

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, we have heard, as we have been talking about the budget, about our continued low-tax plan for jobs and growth, and to make life more affordable for families.

We have heard, however, from the Leader of the Opposition that he would impose a Canada pension plan pay cut on people's take-home pay of about $1,000 for a family earning $60,000. We know that the NDP, because big unions have been talking about it, intend to double the amount of money toward CPP which would come off people's take-home pay.

I wonder if the member would be willing to talk about how that makes life more unaffordable in a fragile economic time, having a take-home pay cut of that magnitude in this economy.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the member spent an awful lot of time on two elements, one less at the end, with respect to protecting social programs, which were a significant part of the budget deficits we ran during the period of the stimulus and beyond, when we were bringing the budget back to balance. We did not cut the transfers to the provinces.

I know the member is a rookie in the House and was not here during the great recession, but I want to ask him this question. In Bloomberg, on March 25, 2009, the headline said, “Canada Needs Second Round of Stimulus, Ignatieff Says”. It goes on to suggest that not only did the Liberals demand larger and bigger deficits of the minority Conservative government at the time, but they threatened to topple the government if they did not produce bigger deficits.

I wonder how the member feels about the member for Wascana and his colleagues voting in that fashion, for much bigger deficits during the stimulus period.