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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Eglinton—Lawrence (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, thanks to the strong measures taken by the government to support General Motors and Chrysler, we were able to protect 52,000 Canadian jobs. Our investment in GM was always intended to be temporary. In early April, we sold our remaining shares in GM in order to protect taxpayers. We earned a solid return on our shares and we followed the advice of the best experts.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, we have a budget of over $291 billion. The reason we have a surplus is that our revenues are greater than our expenses.

If we want to pick one item that is the most significant, pick the $18.5 billion that flows from our constraining government expenditures.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, as the member knows, the projected surplus is $1.4 billion, along with a $2 billion contingency fund.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, our budget reaffirmed the government's commitment to implementing the seven-year break-even rate setting mechanism in 2017. Consistent with the principle of breaking even over time, the employment insurance operating account should return to cumulative balance in 2015.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, the employment insurance operating account reached a cumulative deficit of $9.2 billion in 2011 due to the impact of the global recession. Since then, it has been recording annual surpluses that will eventually eliminate the cumulative deficit, consistent with the principle of breaking even over time.

In September 2013, the government took steps to protect businesses from major increases in employment insurance premiums. We froze the rate at $1.88 for three years beginning in 2014.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, economic action plan 2015 reaffirmed the government's commitment to implementing the seven-year break-even rate-setting mechanism in 2017. This measure should result in a significant reduction in employment insurance premiums. We estimate that savings from this rate reduction will benefit more than 16 million Canadians in 2017, including about 2.6 million who do not pay federal income tax.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, the housing market overall remains balanced. There are some differences across regional markets, as we know. Housing prices and activity in Toronto and Vancouver remain strong, supported by population growth and land scarcity. Lower oil prices has led to a slowing of housing market activity and lower prices throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. Conditions in the rest of Canada generally remain moderate.

Looking at the total market picture, which we are monitoring very carefully, we do not believe that major initiatives are required at this time. We are mindful of the fact that affordability has actually increased over the last five to ten years.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, we, of course, monitor the real estate market carefully, but we are not of the view that there is a need for any major change. We have instituted about four changes in the last number of years.

We agree with the Governor of the Bank of Canada, the OECD, and the IMF that while there may be a soft landing, and we may already be seeing that in parts of Canada, we do not see a bubble, and we do not see the need for any major steps at this time.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, our government is working on regulations that would protect unpaid internships when it is appropriate to do so. An internship is a short-term, workplace-based learning experience, which enables an individual to acquire knowledge or experience. They include co-ops, work placements, and job shadowing. They often are part of an educational program. Therefore, the amendments to the Labour Code will specify that an unpaid internship can be offered under two circumstances: where it is part of a program approved by a recognized secondary or post-secondary education institution, in cases where the internship does not exceed four months and is primarily for the benefit of the intern.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, our government will not use the EI account as a slush fund like the Liberals did. They raided it for $50 billion.

We are moving towards the seven year break-even rate for 2017. We have reconfirmed it in our recent budget, and this is expected to result in a substantial reduction in EI premium rates. It will benefit over 16 million Canadians in 2017, including about 2.6 million Canadians who pay no federal income tax.