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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

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship June 16th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, we deplore and condemn these atrocities.

I understand that a number of Yazidi families will be arriving in Winnipeg within a few weeks, coming in under a privately sponsored refugee program. I understand that the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration only today voted unanimously to study the situation of people in terrain that is difficult to get to. Those are good steps.

Questions on the Order Paper June 14th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, insofar as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, IRCC, is concerned, regarding part (a) of the question, 254 groups made sponsorship applications between October 21, 2015, and February 29, 2016, for 10,559 persons where: (i) the total number of persons whose applications were approved was 10,494; (ii) the total number of persons whose applications were refused was five; and (iii) the total number of persons whose applications were withdrawn was 60.

In response to part (b) of the question, 812 persons have been approved but have not had a notice of arrival transmission indicating pending travel in the next 10 days.

Regarding part (c), once the visa has been issued, the International Organization for Migration is responsible for arranging travel to Canada. Most applicants are contacted within three months of visa issuance to make travel plans. Applicants may choose to delay further if they have personal affairs to handle, for example, arranging the care of a relative, or if they are waiting for other family members with applications still in process who seek to travel at the same time.

In response to part (d), no total limit or cap was imposed on the number of applications that could be submitted to privately sponsor Syrian refugees within the original 25,000 goal. Applications were processed for both government-supported and privately sponsored Syrian refugees as they were received. Individuals were resettled to Canada once their applications were approved and they were prepared to travel to Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship June 13th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I would start by saying that I am proud of the fact that we have let in more than 25,000 Syrian refugees, more than four times the number of refugees the previous government let in. We are admitting many refugees. Some parts of the world are more difficult to get to than other parts, but I can assure her that we are aware of that situation and are working on it.

Questions on the Order Paper June 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada issued 12 temporary resident permits, or TRPs, to individuals suspected to be victims of human trafficking.

With regard to (b), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada did not renew any subsequent TRPs for individuals suspected to be victims of human trafficking.

With regard to (c), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada did not issue any temporary work permits, or TWPs, to individuals who are exotic dancers.

With regard to (d), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada did not renew any TWPs for individuals who are exotic dancers.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship June 10th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid the hon. member is missing the forest for the trees.

The good new is that those military bases were set up as a contingency. The fact that we did not need them meant that the government saved tens of millions of dollars. We were scheduled to spend $319 million, but we actually spent $136 million less than was predicted. Therefore, we saved a lot of money—

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship June 9th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we already are providing them with tools to the extent that 99% of them have permanent housing, and we are making great progress on the question of jobs and language.

I just heard today that the Liberal government has been incredibly efficient. In committee today, I released the following numbers: whereas we had budgeted to spend $455 million on refugees, we ended up spending $136 million less. So we saved money for the taxpayers of Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship June 9th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I think I have answered that question.

It is more than a little passing strange that these same Conservatives who wanted us to slow down are now telling us to speed up. These are the same people who let in only about a quarter of the number we let in, the same people who deprived refugees of basic health care, which was unconstitutional. I do not think they have the right to criticize us on refugees.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship June 9th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely proud of what our government has done on refugees, and I am even prouder that Canadians have been so extraordinarily generous that we are having trouble keeping up with the demand from all these generous Canadians who want to host refugees.

That is a wonderful thing. It is unique in this world, I would say, that we are so welcoming. We are accelerating the process to let these refugees in as quickly as we possibly can.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship June 9th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, we have already expedited the process. A few weeks ago, I said that anyone who had submitted an application before March 31 would arrive in Canada by the end of this year or early next year.

Our challenge is that Canadians are so generous that it is hard to admit refugees fast enough. However, we are doing our best and we have expedited the process. It is wonderful to see how generous Canadians are.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship June 9th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the number nine is wrong. Our department does not record the nationalities or religions of the refugees.

I have, in fact, spoken to the individuals in that synagogue to which the member refers. We had a good conversation. We are working actively to bring those refugees to Canada as soon as possible. Her facts are wrong.

We are working very hard to admit refugees of all descriptions, including Yazidis.