House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was procedure.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Elgin—Middlesex—London (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 58% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House November 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If the House gives its consent, I would like to move that the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House on September 30, be concurred in.

Committees of the House November 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 23rd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, entitled “Bill C-518, An Act to amend the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act (withdrawal allowance)”.

The committee has studied the bill and decided to report the bill back to the House, with amendments.

Interparliamentary Delegations November 5th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the bilateral visit to London, United Kingdom, from March 8 to March 13, 2014.

Privilege November 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, thank you for recognizing me. I felt it important to stand and ask a good friend some questions on this. He has done a great job of sharing his views with us. I respect him and I respect the work he does at committee. I am having a little more trouble with his House leader at the moment.

It was discussed that, if this were to go to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, it would be swept under the carpet. I am here to point out that it would need to be a very large carpet.

The other piece that the House leader suggested is that the committee is somehow derelict in its duty and behind in its times. It is one of the few committees meeting in the House every week, each time it is set to meet, and filling its time. I ask if the member for Toronto—Danforth thinks we have been slagging and not getting our work done.

Committees of the House November 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House way back on September 30, be concurred in.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in my speech I tried to talk about my role as a small-business person for most of my life and what it takes to make money in a small business and what we do with it when we make money.

I am sorry, but I have to challenge the member a little on his math. First, a Liberal Party that emptied the EI fund of every cent in it that then asks if we would be taking too much out of it to help small businesses grow and prosper is a bit on the rich side.

Second, I have been in the House long enough to hear recommendations from each of the parties opposite on a 45-day work year for EI, which would do nothing but absolutely drain the EI fund.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I apologize to the member if he thought I was downplaying cities. I represent part of the 10th-largest one in Canada. I was trying to draw a comparison between some of the rural lifestyle and the urban lifestyle. I may not have gotten it absolutely right.

We certainly travel to rinks in the city of London and watch our teams beat those teams. We are happy to do it.

The child fitness tax credit does exactly what the member asked: What about the kids who cannot afford it? That is what this is for. That is who it helps.

I recognize that there are great community groups that we all have to be part of that also help with that and make our communities stronger.

I tried to talk about how the country is diverse. We have a great big country with a lot of different things in it: some great big cities and some very small rural ones. They are all happy to move forward when the kids are doing well, when families are doing well, and when small businesses are doing well. Economic action plan 2014 would make that happen.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to stand today to talk about economic action plan 2014.

I will cover a few things today. As a small-business owner, I am going to talk about small business support and what this budget offers. I will talk about community and families. I will talk about jobs and growth being our priority as a government and in this budget, and I will certainly talk, and perhaps brag a little, about returning to balance and going forward.

First, I will talk a little about Elgin—Middlesex—London, how this bill pertains, and why I think economic action plan 2014 is the right way to go.

Elgin—Middlesex—London is a very diverse riding in southern Ontario. As the member for London West, the Minister of State for Science and Technology, would say, it is the 10th-largest city in Canada, and it has an urban centre that comes with it. However, the rest of the riding is very diverse from an agricultural point of view, and it includes about 80 miles of the Lake Erie shoreline, where we even find commercial fishing. It is very diverse, with heavy manufacturing in one part of the riding, a pretty good urban base, a wide-open economic part for agriculture, and some great recreation.

I lead off with that so that I can talk about why small business growth is so important to me. I am a small-business person still. We have to move forward by expanding our small-business base in this country.

Small businesses create so much employment in our country. So much of what happens, certainly in small rural communities, happens because of small business, and I do not just mean the jobs those small business people create, because that is a given. Business people want to be successful and hire people.

We should stop to think of the goods and services purchased by small businesses in each of our small communities and the really unique things that happen in small communities, such as the small-business owner not only being the sponsor of the local hockey team but probably the coach too, or the small business being the place where we go to get our local news. When we can make a decision in a budget that makes small businesses stronger and gives them the ability to hire more employees, it is something that can really have an impact.

The small business job credit that is part of economic action plan 2014 would allow small businesses to not contribute some of the EI portion for their staff.

If there is anyone else in the House who is a small-business person, I can certainly share with them my own business habits and those of other small-business people I know. If money is saved by a small-business person, not very often is it profit or money that goes back into our pockets. It is spent on expansion, on hiring, or on other things. The small business job credit truly would do exactly that. As small businesses find that they are saving, they will certainly turn that into hiring new employees or buying new products or whatever else it might be.

The other piece in economic action plan 2014 that will affect small businesses in a great way is the continued reduction by this government of red tape for small businesses.

I love to go to work. I know that many small-business people love to go to work, but not one of them has said that they like to go to work and sit in the back room and fill out government paperwork. That is one thing I have never heard at a Chamber of Commerce meeting or a Canadian Federation of Independent Business meeting. It is just not what people look forward to.

I think we can certainly suggest that those couple of things in this budget, from a small business and community point of view, are very important.

I said I would also talk about communities and families. I crossed over to that when I was talking about small businesses, because in many communities, small businesses are a great part of the community and the families that go with it. If small businesses cannot succeed in rural communities, we start to lose our families. The families in rural communities are, of course, what makes them work.

Also included in economic action plan 2014 is a children's fitness tax credit, which helps keep our communities more active. Members can laugh, but one of the exciting things we do in small communities is head down to the local arena or the local ball diamond to watch our kids being physically active. Something like the children's fitness tax credit being expanded in economic action plan 2014 adds to the fabric of rural communities in a way that maybe would not be noticed in a large urban centre.

The recreational facilities and the community piece is a sidebar. They are something that happens because we are doing something right with the child fitness tax credit.

There are a couple of other pieces in economic action plan 2014 that affect communities, and certainly rural communities, in a great way. One has to do with competition in the telecommunications sector and ensuring that people in rural Canada have what our urban counterparts have. It is certainly to have an increase in the ability to have broadband for our kids' use, from an educational point of view.

I already mentioned that vibrant small businesses help rural communities be vibrant. Access to good broadband Internet service for those small businesses is a huge thing and needs to happen in our rural communities.

We also talk in economic action plan 2014 about an end to pay-to-pay billing for consumers. Whether it is in rural or urban communities, not having to pay for having a bill delivered to our house is important for communities and families.

I said I would also talk about how jobs and growth continue to be what we must think of as priority one, job one. In our heavy manufacturing centre in southern Ontario, we saw a great loss with the closure of some very large car plants and the like during the recession. We trade almost everything we make in Elgin—Middlesex—London with the United States. It is a huge proportion of trade where we live, because north-south trade has always been the easiest thing to do.

With the great recession in the United States, we had to find other customers, and now as the United States is recovering, we are finding that not only can we keep our other customers, with some of the great deals this government has been able to put together around the world, but we can also go back to our trading partners in the United States and start selling them goods. Do not tell them, because it will work a lot better if they do not know that they are buying from Canada. Jobs and prosperity are very important.

I want to finish with what I think is truly the best thing that has happened under this government and in economic action plan 2014, and that is finishing the balancing of the budget to take us back to a balanced situation. A number of things will happen because of that. Certainly there will be the ability for us to lower the tax burden for Canadian families and Canadian businesses, because we will be back into balance.

There is also the psychological piece that happens in every household. There may be times when we have to put a little bit on the credit card. There may be times when we have to take out a little loan to renovate, but there is always that bit of celebration when we pay off the balance. When the mortgage is paid off, it is incredible. To compare the country of Canada with the rural family in Elgin—Middlesex—London, it is a joyous time when we can celebrate returning to balance and being able to make good financial decisions, including allowing Canadians to keep a little bit more money in their pockets.

Committees of the House October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as we know, the committee continues to work on ways to improve committee work in the House. Daily, I try to stand here to move concurrence on the report. It has had a great aerobic effect, but not much else.

Apparently, the official opposition wants to deny members the voice of their constituents at committees. We hope we get back to work soon.

Petitions October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from citizens of London and St. Thomas and the rest of the riding who are looking for a ban on dog and cat fur imported from China.