House of Commons photo

Elsewhere

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

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship October 31st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, from the point of view of the business case, there was a strong case for moving to Edmonton. Large numbers of people were retiring. The department was having trouble hiring people. In fact, it is projected that this move will increase the total jobs in Alberta, not reduce the number of jobs, and we will have a more efficient immigration system, which will reduce processing times and serve Canadians better.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship October 31st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the lease was coming up on the building. There was a great deal of work to be done, and the department made a very strong business case for moving the operation to Edmonton. I can mention that the union was on side with this. All employees will retain jobs in Edmonton should they wish.

This government has a responsibility to spend taxpayers money wisely. I can assure members of the House, who will agree, that it is our duty to make immigration more efficient and to reduce the processing times, and that is what this does.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship October 28th, 2016

Madam Speaker, it is in the nature of backlogs that they cannot be eliminated immediately. It does take time.

The central promise we made in the election campaign was to radically reduce the processing time for immediate family reunification. We are making progress, but it does not happen overnight.

We will be announcing a substantial reduction in processing time for families. I am hoping that over the same period, we can make substantial progress in the case of caregivers.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship October 28th, 2016

Madam Speaker, I am very aware of the great contributions made by caregivers, partly because my own mother has benefited from one who has done a wonderful job.

I understand that processing times are too long. However, we have admitted the second-highest number in some time, 20,000 to 22,000 in 2016, and we are making progress in reducing these processing times for caregivers.

Employment October 28th, 2016

Madam Speaker, members of this House will understand well that there are pressures in immigration, that there are inefficiencies that have to be improved. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to accept this strong business case that will not only result in a net addition of jobs but will also result in a much greater efficiency. It will allow us to provide better customer service and reduce processing times over time.

I point out that all of those who are currently working in Vegreville will have an opportunity for alternative employment in Edmonton.

Employment October 28th, 2016

Madam Speaker, there is a very strong business case to shift this operation from Vegreville to Edmonton. Everybody working in Vegreville will have an opportunity to work at the new location, and there will be a net addition of jobs in Alberta because of this move.

It is the responsibility of the government to spend taxpayers' money wisely, to improve the efficiency of immigration and reduce processing times, and that is what this move will do.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship October 27th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the fact that this government brought in 25,000 Syrian refugees over the space of four months. This has become praised around the world.

In addition to that, as the member knows, all parties supported the motion recently to welcome Yazidis to Canada. Our government is working on that plan right now.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship October 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure and the honour to meet Nadia earlier today. I salute her for the amazing work and dedication she has shown on this subject.

I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that we on this side of the House are every bit as enthusiastic and committed to welcoming Yazidis to this country. We are looking into various ways in which this can be done, and we will do the job.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship October 25th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I think the great thing about today is that parties have risen above partisanship, and all of us are supporting this motion about Yazidis, just as all parties supported our effort to bring 25,000 refugees from Syria. When we look around the world, we can be pleased, although we have some differences, that we have come together on these two important refugee issues, and we will work to get the job done.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship October 24th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, Liberals will be voting in favour of the motion and it is my hope that this will no longer be a partisan issue given the gravity of the situation. It is my hope that the House will vote unanimously in favour of bringing Yazidis to Canada. We are looking into all of the options. We will do so as quickly as possible.

We agree with the Conservative Party that this is a matter of high priority and we are working on it as we speak.