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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was aircraft.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Vaughan (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Instruction to the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs June 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I respect the theme of my colleague's comments about looking after our veterans and RCMP officers, but I do take issue with the truthfulness of some of the comments he made about supposedly closing offices all over the country. These issues have been dealt with on the basis of expanding the number of services.

His comments about our cutting back funding for veterans issues are totally untrue. Since 2006, we have added some $5 billion, new dollars, to veterans program services and support for veterans and their families. The rhetoric is really inflammatory when we misinform, miscommunicate, and also convey false information to those who are most vulnerable and most affected by some of these issues pertinent to veterans, their families, and their well-being.

I will be as crude as he has been with respect to commentary. I would suggest that, if he and his party pay back the $1.17 billion in respect to the misappropriated funds, we could probably do a lot more for veterans and the RCMP.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for attending. We are grateful for that. She has my absolute word that I will be going. I made that commitment already. I apologize for not being able to be there. I know it was a great event. I want to congratulate everyone who participated in it and supported that very fine museum. I feel badly about missing it, but I am on the ticket to be there, and I look forward to it.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I find it quite humourous that the member opposite would be accusing me of running from anything. I spent 40 years on the front lines in policing and have dealt with sufficient and enough people. While we are at it, it would be helpful if the NDP were to fess up to the inappropriate squandering of hard-earned taxpayer money and speak to that issue as well.

Having said all of that, as we have been discussing, the debate has been going on for three days on this important subject. All parties have already put their position forward. I do not know what more there is that the members opposite are concerned about. I understand their concern about issues that are not particular to this bill. I would encourage them, for once, to put their political biases aside and help our veterans and their families get an uplifting help from this government, from all of us in Parliament, so they can get on with the aspects of their life that they are entitled to receive from us as politicians.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, with all respect, I addressed this issue in question period. I have addressed it in this session of debate. I am focused on assisting our veterans and have been doing that, and will be continuing to do that. I care deeply about our veterans, but I certainly will not debate their issues on the floor of the House of Commons, and the member opposite knows that.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, with all respect to the hon. member opposite, he obviously does not know the full suite of support and assistance that is already in place for veterans and their families. One of the items that he maybe needs to be informed about is that in the new veterans charter, a veteran who are injured in the line of duty can avail himself or herself of up to $75,000 for retraining and other assistance that he or she may require in order to transition to a good-paying, rewarding job in the private corporate sector.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, that is a bogus conspiracy theory if I ever heard one. However, I am not about to politicize an individual veteran's case on the floor of the House, as I indicated earlier, and neither should the member or his party. It is totally inappropriate. I, on behalf of our government, care deeply about the well-being of Canadian veterans and their family members. We always have and we always will, and that is why the bill is going forward. As well, we are doing a comprehensive review of the new veterans charter.

I also would like to suggest that if members are so concerned about the welfare and well-being of veterans and their families, it really would be a novel experience for once to have them vote for those kinds of things that we propose year after year in our budget to help veterans and their families, which members opposite do not support.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if quoting someone verbatim should be an insult. I am in fact transmitting the very words spoken by John MacLennan, president of the Union of National Defence Employees, who said, “It's not right. It's disrespectful to public servants, topping up opportunities for veterans at the expense of public servants...”. Priority status to injured veterans should not be done at the expense of civilian unionized employees.

There is nothing offensive about that, other than the theme that there is a particular protectionist regard for a certain level of employees, and disregard for veterans and their families, who are those who have sacrificed and served this country and who, in the line of duty, are injured as a result.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to move the bill along so it can go to committee. There is no reason in the world why this cannot proceed. It will be debated further. There will be more discussion and more opportunities for the parties opposite to engage. That is the process.

As I stated earlier, it is time to move on with some of the more critical aspects of what we need to do to help our veterans, to help their families, to help those in greater need, and particularly those who have been injured in the line of duty. I know the unions do not like it, but this is the right thing to do. We encourage the members opposite to move it along.

If I may, my earlier comment about them over there and we being over here was only because the member opposite was mocking my comments.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we are working hard over here. We are making great progress. We are delivering for Canadians, on many different fronts.

I hear an hon. member across the way laughing. He can laugh all he wants, but the joke is on him. He is over there and we are over here.

In any event, the NDP is taking its cue from the big union bosses. Unions and some Canadians may express concerns, but I am confident, through the dialogue we have had with veterans themselves and communities widely, that this is the right thing to do. It is the right thing to do for those in need, people transitioning out of the military who have been injured.

I do not know what the opposition's problem is with respect to moving this bill along. As I stated, it is the right thing to do for our veterans and their families, and we should move on with it.

Veterans Hiring Act June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question and his support on the veterans file.

It is plain that our efforts in this area are motivated by wanting to do the right thing for the right reasons on behalf of our veterans, especially those who have sustained an injury or a disability in service to our country.

Veterans Affairs has done a great deal of work over the last year to support the hiring of veterans in the private sector. In addition, corporate Canada has participated and become involved. It is very supportive of our efforts in the government to transition veterans coming out of the military, who are in need of a job, into a profession in the private sector. The government needs to move in sync with that, which is what this bill is all about.

Medically released veterans currently have fewer opportunities to access federal public service jobs. I sincerely believe that any opportunities to access federal public service jobs, and any opportunities that come up for employment, are often filled by those people in a higher priority category, before those listed in the regulatory priority would get consideration.

All we are trying to do is to move things along so that we can be more efficient, more effective, and more helpful in lending a hand to those in greater need, our veterans who are injured in the line of duty.