House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

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

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

Statements in the House

Unemployment Rate June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to address Motion No. 585, a rather wholly redundant motion, considering our government has already done the measures this motion calls for and more.

Since we formed government in 2006, we have been squarely focused upon what matters most to Canadians: that is, creating jobs and economic growth. It only makes sense, then, that the drivers of job creation, i.e. small businesses, receive as much tax relief as we can provide to them. After all, small business accounts for 99% of all businesses in Canada and employs half of the working men and women in the private sector.

Our government has cut red tape for business, lowered employee premiums, and cut their taxes so they can create more jobs.

Our record is strong. We cut the small business tax rate to 11% and increased the amount of annual eligible income for this lower rate from $300,000 to $500,000.

Economic action plan 2015 continues to break new ground. To encourage small business growth, we would further reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019. This would be the largest tax decrease for small businesses in more than 25 years. It is estimated that this measure would reduce taxes for small businesses by $2.7 billion over the 2015-16 to 2019-20 period.

However, cutting the small business tax rate is not all we have done. Our government has also increased the lifetime capital gains exemption, a measure that is estimated will deliver $1 billion of federal tax relief annually to small business owners and owners of farm and fishing businesses.

We are also reducing small business EI premiums by introducing the small business job credit. This credit is expected to save small businesses more than $550 million over 2015 and 2016.

As the hon. member should know, manufacturing accounts for more than 10% of our GDP and over 60% of our merchandise exports, and it employs 1.7 million Canadians all across the country. However, as we heard lately, the Liberal leader questions the role of manufacturing in Canada. I will tell members something. Our government does not. For our government, the words “made in Canada” fuel pride.

However, we cannot address the challenges of today with yesterday's thinking, as the opposition would have us do. Our government is giving manufacturers the tools they need to create jobs now. That is why we are proud to extend the accelerated capital cost allowance for machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and processing. This 10-year tax incentive would result in a deferral that is expected to reduce federal taxes for manufacturers by $1.1 billion over the period from 2016-17 to 2019-20, facilitating investment in their businesses today.

We are also launching the automotive supplier innovation program. This investment of $100 million over the next five years would support our auto parts industry as it continues to evolve and establishes a secure role in global supply chains.

We know the production of high-value-added goods and services contributes to enhanced opportunities for Canadians and Canadian businesses, including job creation, economic diversification, and increased trade. Since 2006, our government has invested more than $13 billion in new funding in all facets of the innovation ecosystem, including advanced research, research infrastructure, talent development, and business innovation.

Our government has been hard at work to connect researchers with the funding they need so that they can commercialize their innovations and bring them to market. Our government intends to continue to support the pillars of a knowledge-based economy, as outlined in “Seizing Canada's Moment: Moving Forward in Science, Technology and Innovation 2014”.

This strategy, released in December 2014, highlights our government's commitment to support research excellence in areas of strength and relevance to Canada. It also highlights our government's commitment to the post-secondary education sector, industry, and government institutions through research partnerships focused upon developing talent and advancing innovation in Canada.

To build on this, economic action plan 2015 would provide more than $1.5 billion over five years to advance the renewed science, technology, and innovation strategy's objectives. This includes long-term sustained advanced research support through the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the federal granting councils.

Based upon our contribution, our researchers will be given preferential access to ensure that we remain on the forefront of these scientific endeavours. We are ensuring that our researchers continue to have the leading-edge lab facilities and other resources that they need to be the best in the world.

I must reiterate that over 1.2 million net new jobs have been created by our government since the depths of the recession. This is a fact. It is the best job creation record in the G7. Our government is working hard to get more Canadians working, and as long as there are people looking for work, our job is not done. We are also working hard to ensure that these jobs are quality jobs, and our efforts are showing results. The majority of jobs created are in the private sector. They are full time and they are high-paying.

Our government remains focused on what matters most to Canadians, which is jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity. Our low-tax plan is unlike the plans of the Liberals and the NDP, which are proposing massive tax hikes that would kill jobs. We are committed to keeping taxes low. Not only would these tax hikes kill jobs, but they would also increase the cost of living for middle-class Canadians, which is counter to what the member is proposing.

If the opposition member is really serious about creating jobs, the opposition should start by supporting economic action plan 2015.

Taxation June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the middle class of York Centre rejects the Liberal leader's plan to impose a mandatory $1,000 tax hike. By promising to bring to Ottawa the Ontario Liberal plan to hike payroll taxes on every employee and employer, the Liberals would force businesses to cut jobs.

According to Meridian Credit Union, the majority of small business owners believe the Ontario registered pension plan “would be their greatest challenge ever faced”.

Instead of reckless, high spend-and-tax plans, which the Liberals and the NDP propose, our government believes in helping hard-working Canadian middle-class families prosper. Therefore, we have reduced taxes to the tune of $6,600 this year for a typical family of four. We have doubled the tax-free savings account so Canadians can save more tax free. However, the Liberal leader would shut these accounts down and raise taxes.

Now is not the time for risky tax hikes and untested leadership.

Business of Supply June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the issue is quite clear and has never been clearer. That side stands for higher taxes and we stand for lower taxes. We believe that more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families is the best place for it, because hard-working Canadians know how to spend their own money, not governments and not bureaucracies, as the opposition would have everyone believe.

We heard it last week from the leader of the third party when he said he would fashion a pension plan similar to Kathleen Wynne's. We know that the Ontario government's own figures show that it will cost employers $1,000 more for every worker who is making $60,000.

Business of Supply June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member fails to realize is that our plan is working. Our Conservative plan of tax cuts and job creation is working. We are the first economy in the G7 to balance our budget. We have created 1.2 million net new jobs.

What the hon. member does not understand is that the money in programs like employment insurance, which I might add his party pillaged of some $500 million when it was in power, belongs to the workers. Typical Liberal philosophy is that the money belongs to us in the government so we can create large bureaucracies and ultimately lead to higher taxes, which is what the Liberals' whole raison d'être is.

Business of Supply June 8th, 2015

Yes, Mr. Speaker, the member and I do sit together on the finance committee.

In response to the member's question, the member knows that taxes are not there just to be raised. Taxes are also there to be lowered, and we have done so 180 times since coming into power in 2006. Our government is focused like a laser beam on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in our country. We know that small business is the backbone of our Canadian economy in creating prosperity.

My dad was a small business owner and I can say that if he were here today and had the shoe store that he had back in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, he would really appreciate less red tape, lower taxes and lower EI rates so he could expand his business and hire more people, all so he could support his family even more.

Business of Supply June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to respond to the hon. member's motion. Before I begin my remarks, I would like to say that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Richmond Hill.

I would like to thank the opposition for this opportunity to once again highlight our government's outstanding record on economic performance and achievement. Canadians are paying close attention. What the opposition does not understand is that Canadians know when they are being sold a false bill of goods like the one on offer in the hon. member's motion here today.

Canadians know the facts, and the facts are quite clear. The opposition speaks in today's motion of encouraging small business creation as though this is something it has experience in accomplishing. The fact is that it does not, and our government does. Ours is a record of success in the face of global adversity, and it is one that I and hard-working Canadians take great pride in.

Let me take this opportunity to help the opposition out a bit. It is important that it pays close attention so it does not continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. Here are the facts. Since the depths of the economic downturn, 1.2 million net new jobs have been created, the majority of which are full-time and high-paying jobs in the private sector. As a result of our government's actions, we have not only recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession, but more Canadians are working today than at any other time in our history.

Canadians understand these facts. They may not be convenient to the hon. member's agenda, but they are the facts.

The reality is that today, and for some time now, Canada has experienced one of the strongest job creation records among advanced economies. Our government does not need to be told that lower payroll deductions and lower payroll taxes create jobs. We know that. We have always known that, and that is exactly what we have been doing.

What is more, it is the very same opposition that is proposing to ask Canadians to accept a mandatory tax hike, one that affects employers and employees. This is the same as over $1,000 less in take home pay for every worker. As if this were not bad enough, it gets worse. Businesses have spoken, and job creators would need to pay billions of extra dollars in payroll taxes. What would this all lead to? It would lead to frozen salaries or salary cuts, and even terminated jobs.

With the opposition firmly supporting this reckless program, it is baffling to be having this debate with the opposition, which does not have a credible plan to get Canadians to work.

Our Conservative government has been clear. We have consistently refused to introduce tax hikes on employers and employees. Ours is the only government that can be trusted to keep taxes low for all Canadians.

We have also recently introduced the small business job credit, which is the latest in a range of measures that will cut costs and support small businesses in creating jobs and growth. The small business job credit will effectively lower small businesses' employment insurance premiums, from the current rate of $1.88, to $1.60 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2015-16. Since employers pay 1.4 times the legislated rate, this 28% reduction is equivalent to a reduction of $0.39 per $100 of insurable earnings in EI premiums paid by small businesses. Some 90% of EI premium paying business, about $780,000 in both 2015 and 2016, will directly benefit from this credit.

Overall, our small business job credit will cut EI payroll taxes by nearly 15%. We expect that it will save small businesses more than $550 million over the next two years. These are savings that will create jobs and growth.

Hon. members do not need to take my word for it. They should listen to the people who know best, which are small businesses themselves.

Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, has said:

...the credit will make it a bit easier for small business employers to hire that one extra worker, increase employee wages or help pay for workplace training.

He concludes:

Across Canada, we estimate that the $550-million left in the hands of small businesses will lead to 25,000 person years of employment in the next few years.

Clearly, small business owners and their representatives know that our efforts to reduce their costs are making a real difference in creating jobs. Our efforts are not just helping small businesses, but the entire Canadian economy. Small businesses employ half of the working men and women in Canada's private sector. They account for a third of our country's GDP. Small businesses drive our prosperity and give back to our communities.

Let us face it. Canada today is an economic success because small business is successful. It is our government's actions that are helping them to succeed each and every day. We have cut red tape. We have implemented the one-for-one rule. For every new regulation imposed by government, a regulation must be removed. By the end of 2013, that rule had reduced the administrative burden by $20 million, money that will be used to create more jobs. We cut their taxes. We cut the small business tax rate to 11% and increased the amount of income eligible for this lower rate. Together, these changes are providing small business with an estimated $2.2 billion in tax relief in 2014 alone.

Under our government, the amount of income tax paid by a small business with half a million of taxable income has declined by over 34%, a tax savings of $20,600 that can be reinvested in business to create jobs. However, once again, we are not stopping here. We are building on our success. Economic action plan 2015 is lowering the small business tax rate even further, to 9%.

Small businesses are saving even more on payroll taxes as a result of our actions. Last year, we froze EI premiums for three years, providing employers and employees with savings of $660 million in 2014. Going forward, we have instituted the seven-year break even rate starting in 2017, to ensure that any surplus in the EI account will be used for EI expenses.

We are not just supporting small business in job creation, but all businesses. We have delivered tax reductions totalling more than $60 billion in job creating businesses from 2008-09 through 2013-14. This includes the reduction of the federal general corporate income tax rate to 15% in 2012, from over 22% in 2007, and an extension of the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance for manufacturing and processing machinery and equipment through 2015. They would not be alone in acknowledging that we have created a superb environment for business.

Here is another fact that the opposition should listen to closely and take great pride in. As a result of our efforts, in 2013, Canada leaped from sixth to second place in Bloomberg's ranking of the most attractive locations for business. According to KPMG, Canada's total business tax rate is the lowest in the G7, 46% lower than that of the United States.

Our government created this environment on the understanding that lower taxes and payroll costs support jobs and growth. We have proven with our actions that they empower Canadian entrepreneurs, leaving more of their hard-earned money for them to invest and grow their businesses, supporting families and communities that depend on them. Where the hon. members opposite are big on talk, we are big on action.

Today's motion for debate calls for three tax cuts. Our government has provided tax relief over 180 times since taking office. I would encourage the hon. members to reject this motion and its empty rhetoric in favour of the real results that our government will continue to deliver in supporting small business and job creation.

Foreign Affairs June 3rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Yesterday, once again, we saw the true colour of the NDP's foreign policy when it questioned our government's support for a policy that seeks to prevent the isolation of Israel.

Can the minister please update the House on the government's position on the outcome of the recent United Nations non-proliferation treaty?

Taxation May 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Employment and Social Development.

Middle-class families across the country are talking about the very important work our government is doing to ensure all Canadian families are able to save as much as they can to spend on their own priorities. Can the minister update this House on his work to ensure that every family with kids takes advantage of these benefits?

The Holocaust May 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the systematic murder of over six million Jews stands in the annals of human history as the most horrific crime ever perpetrated. The ghettos, slave labour, selections of who shall live and die, babies torn from their weeping mothers' arms, the transport and gassing of men, women, and children—all are seared into the memories of those who survived.

However, with the passage of time we are seeing the disturbing appearance of something else. As survivors pass, some are leaving behind artifacts they had held on to for over 70 years. Items like yellow stars and striped concentration camp outfits have found their way to Internet sites for sale, rather than to museums where they truly belong.

That is why, on May 13, I introduced a private member's bill to amend Canada's Criminal Code to make it a crime to sell or purchase personal property that was owned by or was in the possession of a victim or survivor of the Holocaust. The message must be clear: profiting from the Holocaust is wrong.

Points of Order May 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have no idea what the member is talking about. I did not take any photos during question period or at any other time when I was sitting in my place here in the House.