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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was appreciate.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Liberal MP for Newmarket—Aurora (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 45% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Madam Speaker, right now, the Canadian economy is the fastest growing in the G7, with average growth of 3.7% after the last four quarters. This is due, in large part, to increased consumer confidence, a direct result of programs like the Canada child benefit, which puts more money in the pockets of moms and dads, so they can pay off debt, buy hockey equipment or healthier food for their children and families.

Everywhere we look, there are signs of progress for the middle class. Over 500,000 jobs have been created since 2015 and the unemployment rate is nearly the lowest it has been in a decade. Canadian economic growth has accelerated sharply since the second half of 2016. Over the last four quarters, the Canadian economy has had its fastest rate of growth in more than 10 years, and growth is forecast to be 3.1% in 2017, significantly above expectations at the beginning of this year.

These gains, coupled with a better-than-expected fiscal outcome in 2016-17, have resulted in a real positive improvement to our budget outlook. In fact, Canada's fiscal outlook has improved by over $6.5 billion annually, on average, compared to what we were expecting in March. The federal debt-to-GDP ratio has been firmly placed on a downward track, with Canada's net debt-to-GDP ratio projected to remain the lowest in the G7. Our government and the finance minister are committed to preserving Canada's low-debt advantage for current and future generations.

The actions the government has taken are having a real positive impact on our economy and for Canadians.

I would now like to go into more detail about how the government's recent fall economic statement proposes to keep us on this positive track.

Canada's fast-growing economy is giving our government the ability to reinvest the benefits of growth back into the people have who contributed most to that success. This is why we are strengthening the Canada child benefit, to ensure it continues to play a vital role in supporting families for years to come. The CCB will be strengthened by making annual cost of living increases starting in July 2018, two years—

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Madam Speaker, with respect, the way my hon. colleague characterized the motion is inaccurate. I will read the last line of the motion, which has nothing to do with ethics.

The last line states that the finance minister “determine if his financial interests have conflicted with his public duties.” That part of the motion draws into complete question whether his private interests conflict with his public duties. I am relating to the House, all my colleagues, and all Canadians that he has put his public duties first. His financial interests have nothing to do with the fall economic statement and, in fact, by laying out the success our economy is seeing, any Canadian or objective bystander would come to the conclusion that the finance minister's public duties always come first. That is the very essence of the motion.

To say my comments are irrelevant, my friend is misguided and, in fact, not based on the words of the motion. With respect to the hon. member, I appreciate him interrupting my speech, but to grandstand and bring the House's attention away from the success the Canadian government is having, away from the success that Canadians—

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to address the opposition motion. I am happy to assure the House that through smart investments and an overarching commitment to fairness, our government will ensure that Canada's best days lie ahead.

I would like to focus on the state of Canada's economy and our recent measures in the government's fall economic statement, which is a continuation of the government's plan. The foundation for plan was laid out in our two budgets and was built on during last month's fall economic statement.

The government's plan to invest in Canadians and our communities is based on the belief that when we have an economy that works for the middle class, we have a country that works for everyone. I think it is fair to say that there are many clear signs that the government's plan is working.

Right now, the Canadian economy is the fastest growing in the G7, with an average growth of 3.7%—

Cannabis Act November 21st, 2017

They are trying it now.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2 November 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is always nice to hear from the member for Edmonton Strathcona. We had an opportunity last week to sit together at the special hearing of the international trade committee when the Prime Minister of Ukraine was here. It was nice to see her there. I know that we share either Ukrainian heritage or a large Ukrainian contingent in our constituency.

As a member of Parliament, not necessarily a member of the government, I do not have any inside information on that schedule. However, it is not an either/or proposition. This government supports both the oil and gas sector and clean, green technology. I do not think we should be ashamed of that. I do not think that is something bad. I do not think we need to make enemies of certain sectors in this country as a way of pushing a different agenda. There is room in the Canadian economy and the Canadian landscape for both industries. It behooves our government, and it is actually incumbent on us, to support industries that create jobs for Canadians, and I am proud to be part of a government that chooses to do that. I hope we do it for a very long time.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2 November 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's affinity for infrastructure investment. I was with her in her riding when we announced infrastructure spending at the hospital at CFB Borden. I was happy to be there with her and share some of the good news with some of her constituents, who I can assure members very much appreciated that investment in infrastructure. As the member mentioned, it is very much needed, not only in her riding but across Canada.

However, our investments in infrastructure and in the infrastructure bank, indeed any investments we make, as any Canadian does, are made with a look to getting a return on that investment. We need to look globally around the world for how we can leverage Canadian expertise and Canadian capital to get the best return on that expertise and capital. That is the benefit of investing globally. This not an either/or proposition. Of course, we will continue to invest in Canada and all the provinces of Canada, but we also need to keep investing globally to be a player in the global infrastructure world and to make sure there is a return on investment for Canadian investors, wherever they choose to invest their capital.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2 November 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on Bill C-63. It is an honour to do so.

Small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, are the backbone of the Canadian economy. They employ 10.5 million Canadians and contribute to roughly 40% of the country's gross domestic product. They are indeed engines of job creation.

The government is committed to making sure that businesses have the resources that they need to invest, innovate, grow, and create jobs. The Business Development Bank of Canada, BDC, is helping Canadian entrepreneurs achieve their full potential by facilitating their access to tailored solutions, including financing and consulting at each stage of their development. BDC services support the start-up and growth of small businesses across Canada.

BDC is mandated to support Canadian entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on SMEs. It does so by offering financing and advisory services. BDC financing provides business loans with flexible financing options, such as principle postponements and pre-authorized working capital, which help to protect the company's cash flow.

Before I go any further, I would like to inform this House that I am honoured to be splitting my time with the member for Parkdale—High Park.

Through its investments in a broad range of services, from venture capital to quasi-equity and securitization, BDC supports innovative and high-growth companies as they expand operations and scale up.

BDC's advisory services, which include a broad range of business support and consulting provided through a network of consultants, help businesses scale up, improve productivity, and export. Through its pan-Canadian reach, BDC serves nearly 49,000 clients, active in all industries nationwide, through a network of 118 business centres located across Canada.

To further expand its reach to entrepreneurs, BDC leverages its support to SMEs through more than 290 partnerships, strategic relationships, and memberships. Among other things, these partnerships allow BDC to improve support for underserved entrepreneurs, including young entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses in Canada's north, social entrepreneurs, immigrant entrepreneurs, and rural entrepreneurs.

BDC also extends its reach and visibility to SMEs by organizing the annual BDC small business week, which was successfully held across Canada this year during the week of October 16. The BDC small business week celebrates entrepreneurship at local, provincial, and national events. It attracts close to 10,000 entrepreneurs at hundreds of events held across Canada.

As an instrument of public policy, BDC also responds to the direction from the government on areas with the most priority. For example, recognizing the importance of venture capital to Canada's economic prosperity, the Government of Canada introduced the venture capital action plan, VCAP, in 2013 and directed BDC to act as an agent of the government in managing the VCAP.

BDC also participates in the development and deployment of the accelerated growth service, AGS, which delivers coordinated, client-centric federal support, including financing, advisory services, and export and innovation support from participating federal organizations. As part of its role in the AGS, BDC collaborates with other organizations in the federal family to operationalize its concept, and to offer coordinated access to government services and programs.

The proposed changes in Bill C-63 to the Business Development Bank of Canada Act will allow the BDC to deliver on key initiatives in budget 2017, and thus improve access to capital for innovative SMEs operating in emerging sectors of the Canadian economy.

SMEs will be the Canadian job creators of the future. In particular, BDC will also be making available new financing to clean technology firms, including SMEs, to help them hire new staff, develop innovative products, and support domestic and international sales. Innovation in clean technology will lead to products and services that will have an impact on all sectors of the Canadian economy. Clean tech has the potential to create thousands of well-paying jobs for Canadians.

The legislative change will also allow BDC to administer the venture capital catalyst initiative, VCCI, which will increase the late-stage venture capital available to Canadian entrepreneurs, and help Canadian start-ups grow and succeed. Venture capital is an essential source of financing for innovative, growth-oriented firms, and VCCI will support the continued growth of Canada's innovative companies.

I am very pleased to see that the Government of Canada is making smart and responsible investments that will result in better jobs and opportunities for all Canadians. The amendment to the Business Development Bank of Canada Act will enable the government to make the required investments in BDC to allow it to implement these important initiatives.

As our economy evolves to a more innovative clean tech-oriented economy, it is important that we make investments today that will pay off for the future generations. Equally important, I believe, is Canada's growing trade economy. Canada's ability to export to foreign markets needs to be leveraged. It is the way the economy of the future will grow, and it is the way Canada and Canadians can diversify their customer base in a changing global environment.

My riding of Newmarket—Aurora is home to many SMEs. I have had conversations with a number of them who already access the services of BDC. It is an important tool and lever in the Canadian economy that, in my frank assessment, is underutilized at this point.

Many SMEs are not aware of the services offered by BDC. I believe that changing the Business Development Bank of Canada Act, creating investment, particularly venture capital investment, will be the way for those SMEs to tap into and access federal government support, and also to access venture capital support, both at early age as start-ups and as they mature when they need additional capital to expand their already successful operation.

I hope that all sides of the House will agree that supporting SMEs, supporting innovation, and supporting the creators of jobs today and what will be the creator of jobs in the future is something that we can all get behind. I urge all members to support Bill C-63, particularly those with an affinity and fondness for the proposed changes to the BDC, because these investments will improve the BDC, thereby improving the opportunities for SMEs across Canada.

Cadence Health and Wellness October 25th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, mental health issues, specifically PTSD, afflict far too many Canadians. That is why I was so proud to attend the recent opening of Cadence Health and Wellness. Located in Newmarket, Cadence provides support for members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans, and emergency first responders, and importantly, their families.

Cadence is a mental health service provider providing an innovative approach to healing through one-on-one, group, and peer support programs. The team at Cadence is there every step of the way, from assisting with paperwork to hosting family fun social nights.

I want to personally congratulate Chris and his wife, Angel, co-founders of Cadence, as well as Greg and the entire team on their outstanding leadership and truly inspirational commitment. On behalf of everyone in Newmarket—Aurora, I thank them for stepping up and for helping those who need it most.

Newmarket Honorary Citizen Award September 27th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to pay tribute to an outstanding individual who has done so much for so many in Newmarket. I want to personally congratulate Jackie Playter on receiving the Newmarket Honorary Citizen Award. The award is presented by the town in recognition of an individual's outstanding service and commitment. I cannot think of a better recipient of this prestigious award.

Jackie is exceptional. Her accomplishments are too lengthy to list, but I will name but a few of the organizations she has helped: Belinda's Place, Victim Services, the Newmarket Farmers Market, the Newmarket Historical Society, and the gala for the arts. She volunteers her time for Terry Fox, Easter Seals, MS, and Inn from the Cold. She is a tireless and effective promoter of her beloved Main Street, a jewel in our town.

I was proud to attend the ceremony with Jackie and her family and friends on Saturday at Fairy Lake.

We congratulate and thank Jackie. She is indeed the queen of Newmarket.

Customs Act September 26th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's translation of the Cree language so I could understand.

Being able to know who is leaving Canada is as important as knowing who is coming into Canada, for many reasons, most of all for security reasons. The gap between Canada and some of our international partners in collecting this information and in the ability to collect it was so glaring and so large that it obviously needed to be addressed. This bill does so fairly. It does so reasonably and with the collection of the minimum amount of personal information that is needed to serve its purpose. I think it is a fair piece of legislation.

I want to thank the hon. member for giving me the opportunity again to underline why I think this legislation is so important to the great people of his riding and all of Canada.