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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was budget.

Last in Parliament February 2017, as Liberal MP for Markham—Thornhill (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 56% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions on the Order Paper December 1st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, insofar as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, IRCC, is concerned, visas are the primary tool in managing Canada’s border. The requirement that foreign nationals first obtain a temporary resident visa to visit Canada is the norm, not the exception. Ukraine is among the large majority of countries whose nationals require a visitor visa in order to travel to Canada for business, tourist, or family purposes. Canada’s visa policy decisions are made on a country-by-country assessment and follow a rigorous and evidence-based process. IRCC continues to assist Ukrainians in travelling to Canada, using such tools as the multiple-entry visa, which reduces the burden on those who wish to travel to Canada more frequently.

With regard to (a), IRCC has the lead for visa policy within the Government of Canada. IRCC continuously monitors country conditions and migration trends. The department has never undertaken a formal visa review of Ukraine.

With regard to (b), IRCC does not hold public consultations on matters of visa policy. Formal visa reviews involve extensive consultations with federal departments and agencies, as well as with international partners. The department has not undertaken consultations, since a formal review has never been undertaken for this country.

With regard to (c), Canada applies the criteria established in Canada’s visa policy framework equally to all countries when assessing eligibility for a visa exemption.

With regard to (d), Canada’s visa policy criteria are applied universally. The criteria that were applied in assessing the Czech Republic’s readiness for a visa exemption in 2013 would be equally applied to Ukraine, were a visa review to be undertaken. These criteria, reflecting Canada’s immigration program objectives and broader national interests are grouped into seven categories: socio-economic trends; migration issues; travel document integrity; border management; safety and security issues; human rights issues; and bilateral and multilateral issues.

Points of Order November 24th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I said that the number was not true, and I repeat the fact today that the number is not true.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship November 24th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, that number is wrong, and the hon. member knows it is wrong because she received a briefing from my department on our plans two days ago. Therefore, she knows very well that we are working on a plan, and she should know by now that to go public with this in a way that attracts attention will put our plan in jeopardy, make it more difficult for our people to go into that territory, and ultimately make it harder for us to rescue those victims and bring them to Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship November 24th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, it is quite the contrary. In fact, all of the Liberals, and indeed all members of the House, voted positively for a motion to bring Yazidi and other victims of Daesh here within 120 days. Therefore, we have all agreed to that. My department is working very hard to devise a plan in order to make this happen.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship November 23rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we have certainly reached out to the mayor of Vegreville, through my staff. I have offered to have a meeting with the member opposite. However, the fact remains that this is a decision, driven by the need to produce lower processing times, better service and a growing immigration service.

There will be a net addition of jobs in Alberta. All those currently working in Vegreville will be able to work in Alberta in the future.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship November 23rd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, that number has nothing to do with our plans. Most important are events in the region, and our government has committed $1.6 billion to humanitarian capacity-building and military efforts in the region. But we will certainly honour our commitment, and my department is working very hard to devise a plan to bring in those who have suffered from the atrocities of Daesh, both Yazidis and others, into this country within the time period prescribed by Parliament.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship November 21st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I definitely understand that this is an issue, which is why my staff have spoken to the mayor of Vegreville and I have offered to meet with the member to discuss these issues. However, the fact of the matter is that our fundamental responsibility is to improve levels of service and reduce processing time in immigration and, as a consequence, there will be a net increase in jobs in Alberta.

All those currently working in Vegreville will have an opportunity to remain employed.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship November 18th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, let us begin to count the ways we are cleaning up the big fat mess left by the Conservatives in the area of immigration.

We have let in more than 33,000 Syrian refugees. We have reinstated the principle that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian. We have reinstated refugee health care. We have made it much easier for international students to become permanent residents. We have set up a pilot immigration program in Atlantic Canada. We are in the process of making it much faster for spouses to be reunited. We have made it three times faster to get—

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship November 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I understand people in Vegreville are upset, but I am saying that the business case for a move was very strong; that our first commitment is to have better standards in service and processing times in immigration; that every individual currently working for my department, whether part-time or full-time, in Vegreville will have work in Edmonton; and indeed, that there will be a net increase in total jobs in Alberta.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship November 15th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous Conservative government, we do welcome Mexicans to Canada. We welcome the tourists. We welcome their expenditures. We welcome closer ties with our NATO partner, and we are aware of the risks. Of course we knew there were risks. There are risks when we do anything.

We knew there were risks. We are working with the Mexican government to minimize those risks. We are monitoring the situation. However, we are very happy to welcome more Mexican tourists to this country, and to accept the jobs that go along with that.