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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

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the Minister of State for Finance, for his speech on retirement income.

He raised the appropriate alarm and concern for pensioners and hard-working families. The Liberal leader would like to impose a $1,000 pay cut with respect to the CPP, which is very similar to what we are now bracing for from Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government in Ontario and what businesses in Ontario are saying they oppose. As well, big unions are out promoting the NDP's plan, which is to double the amount that would be taken off families' paycheques or workers' paycheques for the Canada pension plan.

I wonder if the member could comment on that risky scheme and what that take-home pay cut would mean to workers, particularly in Ontario.

Canada Post June 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in 2014, Canada Post delivered 1.4 billion fewer pieces of mail than in 2006. Two-thirds of Canadians do not have mail delivered to their door, and Canada Post must balance its books without being a burden on Canadian taxpayers. The NDP plan for Canada Post will cost taxpayers half a billion dollars a year, which means that the NDP will increase the tax burden on all Canadians to finance its plan. That is not what we on this side of the House are going to do. Instead, we are going to keep taxes low for Canadians.

MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the independence that the member talks about for the Senate is also good enough for the House of Commons, more specifically whether members for Cardigan, Scarborough—Guildwood, or Winnipeg North, or candidates coming into the House of Commons under the Liberal Party banner, ought to be free, for example, to vote their pro-life views?

Business of Supply June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, recently in Queen's Park in Ontario, the provincial government insisted it was moving ahead with the payroll tax on companies like General Motors of Canada and Ford, which suggested that they cannot afford that type of payroll tax. We know in this place that the Liberals and the NDP support higher taxes similarly for the Canada pension plan.

I wonder if the member could comment on the impact not just of EI payroll taxes but of Canada pension plan payroll taxes and how our opponents want to force those on Canadians.

Status of Women June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be part of a Conservative government that is doing so much for Canadian women. We have gotten tough on violent sexual offenders while supporting victims' rights. We have taken on those who traffic in girls. We have targeted prostitution laws at the men who exploit women, while offering their victims an exit from exploitation.

I have worked with Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. to secure funding for an action plan, devised by young women, to overcome barriers to women in the skilled trades. I have secured funding to bring women and local banks together to ensure that women have specialized services for their financial preparedness, and I have secured funding for a program targeting the advancement of women to the highest levels at major local employers.

I am proud to support our budget, with its action plan to help women access capital and mentorship to create jobs. As a husband to a strong woman, a father to four strong young women and girls, and the MP for Essex, I know that it is the Conservatives who are standing up for Canadian women.

Business of Supply June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, brought to you by a member and his party who, when we hit the great recession and brought in a stimulus package in line with what the G20 were doing, said it was not enough, and demanded a second, even a third stimulus package.

The deficits just could not be big enough, even on a temporary basis, for those members over there. We consistently balanced budgets before the great recession. We paid off massive amounts of debt, $40 billion, before the recession even began.

We committed, in the last election, that when the finances were balanced again after the great recession, we would begin returning the surplus back to Canadians where it belongs, not to enrich the bureaucrats or to enrich the select few that the opposition parties would like but to return broad-based measures back to all Canadians, including Canadian families.

We are delivering. That member will find out in the next election exactly what Canadians think about it. They are going to return us with another Conservative majority government.

Business of Supply June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I know the member keeps repeating that false line, but even as a rookie in this House, having been here since 2011, he should be aware of a number of actions that the government has taken, many of which I have outlined, with respect to improvements for consumers, including securing commitments for banks to provide low-cost or no-cost banking services, and Visa and Mastercard commitments to reduce credit card interchange fees with an effective rate of 1.5% for the next five years, a flow-through that will be important for consumers. I could go on and on in that regard.

The member should at least acknowledge the facts of what we have done. Beyond that, we have consistently lowered taxes and put more money into the pockets of Canadians. We have enhanced their benefits.

Every budget helps consumers, incrementally, year over year, to save more money, to lower their taxes and to improve their benefits. Those budgets are about priorities. We have the right priorities when it comes to consumers and protecting them. The NDP members have the wrong priorities, or if they have some, they do not have the courage to stand up and support the measures we have taken to benefit consumers.

Business of Supply June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to discuss today's motion. Let me assure hon. members that under the leadership of our Prime Minister, our government is standing up for consumers and saving Canadians money.

We know that Canadian families work hard to make ends meet and every dollar counts. However, while some companies may look out for their bottom line, our government is always looking out for all Canadians. When Canadians make decisions about how to spend their money, they must be assured of a voice, a choice and fair treatment.

In the October 2013 Speech from the Throne, our government committed to take additional action to protect Canadian consumers. We understand that Canadians are tired of hidden fees. That is why we have secured commitments from Canada's eight major banks to enhance low-cost bank accounts and offer no-cost accounts. Banks also committed to provide free monthly printed credit card statements. That is why we have worked with the provinces to maintain the integrity of the framework for payday lending-type products and to support provincial efforts to regulate appropriately all payday lending-type high-interest-rate products and why we are considering a ban on pay-to-pay bank fees in our mandatory financial consumer protection framework announced in economic action plan 2015. We know that when Canadians make wise financial choices, our entire economy benefits.

Let me remind the House of one of the wisest financial decisions my constituents have made, and that is electing a Conservative government. The decision did not cost them a dime, but the return on that investment has been substantial. A typical Canadian family of four will save $6,600 this year, a direct result of our low taxes. Canadians also are not paying the higher costs associated with a carbon tax that the NDP would have imposed. Our government also balanced its books, an achievement that allows us to help families balance theirs, and will help ensure a more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren. This is in direct contrast to the Liberals and NDP, who would send Canada back into deficit and more debt.

Thanks to our balanced budget plan, many consumers are benefiting from a host of tax relief measures. Since we were elected in 2006, our government has introduced over 180 measures to provide tax relief to hard-working Canadians. We increased the amount Canadians can earn tax free, we removed over one million Canadians from the tax rolls altogether, we cut the lowest personal income tax rate to 15% and we introduced pension income splitting for seniors. We also introduced important credits, such as the children's art tax credit, the children's fitness tax credit, the first-time homebuyers tax credit, and one dear to my heart that I worked hard on, the adoption expense tax credit enhancements.

However, our initiatives go beyond law making and tax relief and include public outreach and education. In 2014, we announced the appointment of Canada's first-ever financial literacy leader. The mandate is to collaborate and coordinate activities with stakeholders to contribute to and support initiatives that strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians. This initiative will allow the government to broaden its efforts and help Canadians make more informed choices for themselves and their families.

Let me also remind the House that Canadian banks understand they must be prepared to respond to the specific and often changing needs of Canadian consumers. Accordingly, the government believes that the best consumer protection framework is one in which there is competition, fees are disclosed and consumers can exercise choice. For example, we have introduced regulations relating to credit agreements, including lines of credit and credit cards, which came into force in 2010. These regulations limit business practices that are not beneficial to consumers. They require the provision of clear and timely information to Canadians about credit products, with a particular emphasis on credit cards.

Specifically, the government has taken steps to update the existing financial consumer protection framework with several key measures. These include, for example, mandating an effective minimum 21-day interest-free grace period on all new credit card purchases when a customer pays the outstanding balance in full and introducing a fee summary box. In November 2014, the Minister of Finance welcomed proposals submitted by Visa and MasterCard to reduce their credit card fees for merchants that should ultimately result in lower prices for consumers.

In April, our government announced the enhanced code of conduct for the debit and credit card industry. These new changes will make the code even stronger by addressing unfair business practices and improving transparency for merchants and consumers, including new provisions that apply specifically to mobile payments.

The revised code contains several enhancements to address unfair business practices and improve transparency for merchants and consumers, including extending the application of the code to mobile payments, which includes new consumer protections for mobile payment users; measures to facilitate the pass through of credit card fee reductions to merchants; a new complaints handling process available to merchants with code related complaints; enhanced disclosure requirements that will require plain language disclosure of key contract terms and conditions and merchant fees in information summary boxes on merchant contracts; providing greater flexibility for merchants to exit their contracts without penalty and limiting the automatic renewal of contracts; new branding requirements for premium credit cards to make these cards more easily identifiable to merchants at the point of sale; and new disclosure requirements for credit card issuers to inform consumers who apply for premium credit cards that the use of these cards may result in higher merchant fees.

Let me also reassure members that the updates to the code were developed in close consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, including the members of the Finance Canada Payments Consultative Committee, which includes members representing the credit and debit card networks, small business, retailers and consumers. Bilateral consultations were also conducted with acquirers and small merchant associations. In fact, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said at the time that the code:

...has served merchants extremely well....[It] has done an excellent job in ensuring some fair ground rules and maintaining Canada’s low-cost debit system.

Consumers will also benefit from a new requirement for credit card issuers to disclose to consumers who apply for premium credit cards that use of these cards results in higher merchant fees. This will help to empower consumers in selecting their payment method by disclosing the actual cost to merchants of accepting payments with a premium card.

Of course, this is not new. Throughout our time in office, our government has been focused on helping Canadian consumers identify and take advantage of the best possible financial products and services for their needs. As we announced in economic action plan 2015, we are working to develop a comprehensive financial consumer code to better protect consumers of financial products, and ensure that they have the necessary tools to make responsible financial decisions. Such measures empower and protect Canadian consumers, and increase their financial literacy by providing them with the right information at the right time so that they can make the financial decisions that best suit their needs.

These are actions that clearly demonstrate that our government is the only party in the House that has actually and consistently stood up for Canadian consumers. Sadly, New Democrats have been known to vote against measures to support consumers. It would be wise to start supporting our efforts, because Canadian consumers understand that they are better off with this Conservative government.

Business of Supply June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his intervention today and for laying out the government's agenda with respect to protecting consumers. If I understood him correctly, the incremental approach the government is taking, first by banning pay-to-pay in the telecommunications sector, has allowed for the ability to get these types of voluntary agreements with the banks while allowing the government to proceed with what I heard the member say was a much more comprehensive approach to consumer protection in the financial industry.

I wonder if the member could confirm that this is, in fact, the approach of the government. Could he confirm that it is not just a one-off with respect to pay-to-pay for banking customers but that we are taking a comprehensive look at consumer protection broadly within that sector.

Elimination of Partisan Government Advertising Act June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I believe it is unparliamentary to suggest or, in this case, to flat out accuse members on this side of the House of lying. I believe there are other ways of making the point. The member knows better, as he has been here since 2004. He should apologize and retract the unparliamentary language.