House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was million.

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, I thank the member for Winnipeg South Centre for her question and for providing dedicated service to her constituents.

Our government holds a fundamental belief that those who work hard to earn their dollars deserve to keep them. That is why we have cut taxes in every way that they are collected. In total, our government has reduced taxes over 180 times, bringing the overall federal tax burden to its lowest level in over 50 years. This includes fulfilling our commitment to cut the GST twice.

It is good for the overall economy. Putting more money back into the pockets of hard-working Canadians allows them to save for their future and spend on important priorities for their families.

Today, because of tax relief and benefit increases introduced by the Conservative government since 2006, a typical two-earner family of four is better off by up to $6,600. The opposition parties would return us to deficits and increase taxes on Canadians. They do not understand that keeping taxes low for all Canadians will ensure our long-term prosperity.

Beyond tax relief, our government also understands that Canadians expect high-quality health care services and education. That is why our government has balanced the budget while increasing transfers to the provinces for health care and social services by record amounts. In fact, major transfers to provinces and territories, including the Canada health transfer and the Canada social transfer, will amount to almost $68 billion in 2015-16, an all-time high.

Economic action plan 2015 builds on the government's record of support for Canadian families by continuing to help them save. Through our new family tax measures, every single family with children under the age of 18 in Canada will be better off.

We will introduce tax relief for seniors and persons with disabilities to make their homes more accessible, as well as measures to help students pay for their education.

Since 2006, the government has introduced measures to make life more affordable for families. We have reduced the lowest personal income tax rate and increased the basic personal amount. We have cut the GST from 7% to 5%. We have introduced pension income splitting. We have established tax credits to support low-income workers, public transit users, first-time homebuyers, and families caring for disabled relatives.

We have provided additional support for families with children through the children's arts and fitness tax credits, an enhancement to registered education savings plans, and adoption expense tax credits. Most recently, our government has introduced a new family tax cut, enhancements to the universal child care benefit, and an increase in the maximum dollar limits of a child care expense deduction.

Canadians of all income levels have benefited from the income tax relief introduced by our government, with low- and middle-income Canadians receiving proportionately greater relief.

This year Canadian families and individuals will receive $37 billion in tax relief and increased benefits as a result of actions taken since 2006. For example, a typical two-earner family of four will receive tax relief and increased benefits of up to $6,600 in 2015, thanks to measures such as the family tax cut, the universal child care benefit, the goods and services tax rate reduction, the children's fitness tax credit, and other measures.

By reducing taxes year after year and enhancing benefits to Canadians, the government has given families and individuals greater flexibility to make the choices that are right for them.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, our government has a proud record of helping Canadian families, helping the middle class, and helping Canadians who are less advantaged. We have done that through a very progressive tax system and by providing benefits directly to moms and dads, who have the interests of their children and have the wisdom to provide the choices that make sense for their children.

While the opposition members may be derisive about the wisdom of moms and dads, we believe in the wisdom of the people.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, the government's commitment is to make life more affordable for Canadian families and to help families make ends meet.

The overall tax burden is at its lowest level in more than 50 years. The measures introduced since 2006 will provide tax relief and increased benefits of up to $6,600 for the typical family of four in 2015.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, as I have said, we have provided significant benefits for every single one of the four million Canadian families, and we have done that with a suite of programs, including, in particular, the universal childcare benefit. They all benefit from this. We have provided choice, and we have put our faith in the wisdom of parents.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, our government has provided a significant increase to the provinces and the territories. We have increased the transfers by 62% since we came into office. We have increased social funding for education. We have increased funding significantly for health care and for equalization. We have not achieved a budgetary balance on the backs of the provinces.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, half of TFSA holders earn less than $42,000 a year. Some 600,000 seniors with incomes below $60,000 are currently maximizing their TFSA room and will benefit from the measure.

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons strongly supports our increase. What is the NDP going to say to CARP when it keeps insisting that it will cancel this important program for seniors?

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, I have quite a few people who might resonate with the hon. member.

NDP Premier Greg Selinger said, “[TFSA] accounts should be especially helpful in encouraging lower income Manitobans to save”.

The Metcalf Foundation said, “This is a very, very significant new measure for low-income people and has enormous potential”.

Jack Mintz, of the University of Calgary School of Public Policy, said, “It’s a positive step towards encouraging people to save”.

The quotes go on. The fact is, and we have heard from people right across the country, that this is an important savings measure that benefits seniors and low- and middle-income Canadians.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, as I said, this program is overwhelmingly used by lower- and middle-income Canadians. Some 60% of those who maxed out their TFSA contributions earned less than $60,000 a year.

I do not know why the NDP wants to cancel this program. It is an assault on the Canadian middle class.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, I understand that humour is not really the strong suit of the NDP. Let me make it clear that the advantage of having more money retained by the private sector is not only fair to Canadians, who will, therefore, have a more affordable life, but means more consumption, more investment, and higher economic growth.

Business of Supply May 25th, 2015

Mr. Chair, 11 million Canadians are participating in the TFSA program. It is permitting them to save for their retirement, save for their kids' education, and save for a down payment on their first home.

It is overwhelmingly a benefit to low- and middle-income Canadians. Three-quarters of the people earn less than $75,000, and 60% of those who maxed out on their program earn less than $60,000 a year.