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Conservative MP for Langley—Aldergrove (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply October 17th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe the business community in my community or across Canada has confidence in the Liberal government, its proposals, and the drastic tax changes that have been done or are being proposed without proper consultation.

I was also shocked when the finance minister was asked in the House about his involvement and if there would be any direct benefit from this and whether he thought he would be in conflict. The finance minister said, “Not only did I not abstain, but I actively engaged in” the discussions. For the finance minister to be bragging of his engagement on this, when the optics are that he could be in conflict, is shocking.

Small businesses, and Canadians in general, are very concerned about the entitlement attitude of the government.

Business of Supply October 17th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Fleetwood—Port Kells for his kind compliment, and I return that. I think highly of him. He has worked hard. I have heard good reports about his constituency office work and his helping his constituents, so I congratulate him on that.

Our concern is with the leadership of the Liberal Party and this entitlement mentality and the lack of transparency. The Ethics Commissioner can only make decisions based on the information provided. I think that is the issue today. Has the finance minister provided all the details of his assets?

We cannot always believe the media, but we have heard reports that there are unreported assets. If that is the case, the Ethics Commissioner would not be able to make a true ruling. That is why we have this motion today that asks the finance minister, in full transparency, what he reported to the Ethics Commissioner. If he did not report all these assets, why not, and is he fit to be the finance minister of this country?

I think it is very important, and it is fair. It needs to be transparent.

Business of Supply October 17th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is a true honour to be in the House today to speak on this very important issue. I thank my colleague who just spoke for his tenacity in standing up for Canadians. It is a real honour to be part of the Conservative Party of Canada with its legacy of standing up for Canadian taxpayers.

Over the years, when Canadians have seen fit to elect a party with an entitlement mentality like the Liberal party, eventually it creates a huge mess. We see Canada heading in that direction again. We are ready and committed to clean up any Liberal mess left over.

I am particularly honoured to be able to share what I heard from my youth advisory board. I notified youth in my riding of Langley—Aldergrove that I would like to hold a monthly youth advisory board meeting with them to discuss issues that were important to them. We have held two meetings. The first was on the marijuana issue. These are youth in grade 12 up to and in university, some working on undergraduate degrees. They are very mature, wise, bright, and engaging young people, and it was interesting to get their perspective. It is a non-partisan youth advisory board, with people with all kinds of opinions. The consensus within the group on marijuana was that the government was moving way too fast, that it needed to provide education, to listen to police boards across the country, and to slow the process down. Many of them are okay with the legalization process for marijuana, but not the way the Liberal government is doing it. It is moving way too fast. It seems to have this artificial date of July 1 of next year that legalization must be in place by Canada Day, so that everyone can start smoking then. The group is very concerned about the government's approach to marijuana.

I asked them what topic they would like to talk about next, and they said the new tax the government is wanting to put on Canadian small business. I found that fascinating. We met last Saturday morning and had another really good meeting that lasted for about an hour or an hour and a half. Some of the youth went into the meeting thinking that maybe the government was right and that some Canadians are not paying their fair share of taxes. To prepare for the meeting, the materials they received were general materials that all Canadians have access to. Much of it was non-partisan, and some partisan.

Overwhelmingly, those who went into the meeting thinking that maybe the government was right changed their position 180 degrees and came out of the meeting saying that the government was wrong. Calling hard-working Canadians tax cheats is shameful, and they were really shocked at the government taking that approach. They also said that the government needed to slow the process down. The number one thing that every Liberal member of Parliament heard regarding their so-called consultations was to keep the consultations going. The Liberal Party held the consultations during the summertime, starting in the middle of July and continuing in August and September and ending at the beginning of October. In those two and a half months, people were on holidays, and the consultations were often held in the middle of the week at three o'clock in the afternoon when Canadians were at work. Those who were not on holidays were working, yet the Liberals still held these so-called consultations.

The Liberals heard over and over again that they should keep the consultations going so they could continue to hear from people because they were not happy. The answer from the Liberal members was that the people were confused, that Canadians are confused and business is confused, so they would end the consultations to avoid the confusion. They would provide legislation so there would be no more confusion.

The youth advisory board also said that this process needed to continue and that there needed to be additional consultations. I am very proud and happy to be able to pass on what I heard from them this last Saturday morning. It is a very wise group of young people.

Today, we are debating a motion by Her Majesty's official opposition. I have listened to the debate and the comments made so far, and I think back to Jim Flaherty, who was a finance minister in the Stephen Harper government. He was appointed and very quickly earned the reputation of being the greatest finance minister in the world.

What an honour it was to be part of that government. He did deserve that title. He was an extremely bright, ethical, funny man. He had a great sense of humour. People liked to be around Jim. There was great sorrow at his untimely death. He was known as the greatest finance minister Canada probably has ever had. At the time, he was greatest in the world.

Just yesterday when I was watching the news I heard the questions by the media as the government was trying to calm down people. There was a news conference where the government was saying that it is really looking out for what is good for Canadians, that it wants tax fairness and is launching its new programs around fairness and taxes.

Canadians do not believe this. The media does not believe it. There is this cloud hanging over the finance minister. As has been pointed out, the office of the finance minister is extremely important. The finance minister is probably the most powerful posting in government in Canada. That finance minister has to be squeaky clean.

I really do not want to attack that individual, because I do not know his intent. However, it is the responsibility of the government to make sure that everything is squeaky clean. That is what this Prime Minister promised, that he was going to be squeaky clean and all his ministers were going to be squeaky clean. Throughout the last two years, the first half of a one-term mandate, they were going to do things that were squeaky clean and transparent.

There is great suspicion that things are not squeaky clean. I am hearing a lot of angst among Canadians that the government is not keeping its promises time and time again. The small business tax was supposed to be reduced. That was in the platform of the previous Conservative government, and it would have happened immediately. Now we are two years into this government's mandate, and look at what has happened to that. The government is in trouble now. Canadians are very upset with what is happening.

The government has now announced that it will reduce the small business tax back down to the 9%. Well, actually, it will go down to 10%, and then just before the election it will be lowered to 9%. That is not what Canadians want. They have not been told the truth throughout the whole process.

This motion is about wanting information. What did the finance minister declare to the Ethics Commissioner from the time of his appointment to July of this year when the consultation period started? That would indicate whether there was any intended self-benefit, or whether there is a conflict of interest. What is the motive of the Prime Minister and the finance minister?

I have heard Canadians say that these two people have really not lived like hard-working Canadians. They live off a trust. They have multi-million dollar assets. They are not like you and me, Mr. Speaker. They are not like normal Canadians. They are very wealthy people. To whom much is given, much is required.

Accountability is a critical promise by the Prime Minister. We need accountability from him, and we have not had it. We need accountability from the finance minister, and to this point we have not had it.

It will be interesting as we go to a vote on this motion, probably later today, to see if the members of the Liberal Party keep the promises that were made in the Speech from the Throne at the start of this Parliament that they would be a transparent, accountable government. We are not seeing that from the leadership within the cabinet. Will the Liberal members demand that their Prime Minister and finance minister be transparent and provide the House with the details necessary for transparency?

National Kids Cancer Ride October 4th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, on September 6, Chuck Magnus and 35 other National Kids Cancer Ride participants picked up pebbles and dipped their wheels into the Pacific Ocean, starting their journey across Canada on their bikes. Their destination was Halifax, Nova Scotia, where they dropped their pebbles off and once again dipped their wheels into the ocean. Each of the 36 cyclists was on a mission to raise funds for cancer research, specifically for childhood cancer. Chuck is from Langley. He was riding for many people, but especially for his daughter Kristen, who had cancer but is now in total remission.

His message was one of gratitude. He said that the medical staff gave so much to help Kristen, now it was his turn to give back, and give back he has. Chuck helped raise over $1.2 million for the National Kids Cancer Ride, and he had the overwhelming support of his community for every kilometre he rode.

On behalf of me and my staff, I congratulate Chuck on his perseverance and his incredible accomplishment. We are so proud of him.

Business of Supply October 3rd, 2017

Madam Speaker, my colleague is absolutely right. To do it right takes time, true consultation, and true expertise, and the experts—the accountants and legal experts in our country—are saying that the government is wrong in doing what it is doing. To ram it through and say it has heard enough, that October 2 has come and gone, that it is done and is going to move ahead really is disingenuous and disrespectful to Canadians, and to call them tax cheats is shameful.

Business of Supply October 3rd, 2017

Madam Speaker, the government says it is tax fairness, but as the member points out, it is not tax fairness. The government has not kept its promises. The Liberals have not lowered small business taxes, as they said they would during the 2015 election campaign.

It is important that a government keep its promises, represent all Canadians, and create an economy where jobs are being created and taxes are being lowered so that we have a prosperous future. That is exactly the opposite of what the government is doing. It is hurting the very people it says it is there to help.

Business of Supply October 3rd, 2017

Madam Speaker, the member, speaking for the government as the parliamentary secretary, is regurgitating the jargon, the Liberal nonsense. The real question he should be asking is this: will his Liberal colleagues listen to their constituents?

I will repeat what his Liberal colleague said about themes that have emerged during the consultation:

The first thing that residents...indicated to me is that they believe this consultation period is too short for such broad tax reforms.

My question for the member is, will he listen to his constituents? Will he encourage his Liberal colleagues to listen to their constituents? The message to each of us is clear: “Extend the consultation period”.

Business of Supply October 3rd, 2017

Madam Speaker, it is always nice to have enough Liberal members in the House so that we have true consultation and consideration.

To go back to the letter written to the local newspaper by a neighbouring Liberal MP, the letter said:

So far, I have heard from constituents including small business owners and incorporated professionals, hearing their concerns and proposals for moving forward. We had two townhalls with participation by 60 persons,

—so approximately 30 at each of these town hall meetings—

and have received emails, letters, phone calls, and held individual meetings.

Key themes have emerged through these consultations. The first thing that residents...indicated to me is that they believe this consultation period is too short for such broad reforms.

He went on:

Continuing these consultations for a longer period could exacerbate the current air of uncertainty for small business owners. The current due date allows our Government to deliver a framework for the new system to allow business owners time to plan for any changes ahead.

In other words, it is going ahead. There is confusion, and they do not want to exacerbate that. Well, where did the confusion come from? It came from the ill-advised, poorly created policy of taxing unfairly against one part of our economy, the hard-working Canadians in small businesses. That is where the uncertainty comes from.

I am going to tell a little story of some of the constituents I have heard from.

One of them is Tamara Jansen. She is a small business owner, together with her husband. They have had the business for over 30 years. When they started off, it was very small. It is today one of the biggest greenhouse companies in my riding of Langley—Aldergrove. Tamara Jansen and her family expected they would be able to roll over the company to the next generation, to their children.

For the first five years, she got no salary. The salary for her husband, Byron, was just enough to live on. They kept reinvesting everything back into the company. They now have a very successful company that hires a lot of people and provides a very good agricultural products to the community.

At some time in the future they would like to be able to retire and pass the business on to their children. It is always nice, a dream, to be able to pass a business on. With what is being proposed by the government, they would not be able to do that. The tax structure for them to pass it on to one of their children means that they are talking about a tax rate of up to 93%. It sounds impossible. It is impossible to grasp how the government would do that. However, taxation would be far lower if a foreign entity bought them out. This kind of taxation discourages families from passing on a company they have built up over decades to the next generation. It stops that.

Tamara Jansen and I did an interview. It is available on markwarawa.com and on YouTube. I encourage people to watch it.

Another interview I did was with Scott Johnston, who is the past president of the chamber of commerce. He is a corporate lawyer and represents a lot of small businesses. We are hearing from across Canada and in my constituency that people want more consultation.

I think back to 2004, when I was first elected here. It was not my party leader, Stephen Harper, who voted for me. He was running in his own riding. It was the constituents who voted for me and got me here. In 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2015, it has always been the people of Langley—Aldergrove who have elected me and sent me here to represent them and be their voice in Parliament. I believe that is fundamentally our responsibility. I know how the constituents of Langley—Aldergrove want me to vote and the voice and message they want me to bring, and it is to say here, today, now, to extend the consultation period.

How long should it be extended? The proposal of the official opposition is to extend it to January 31 and to start true, genuine consultation. To every member in this House, I can pretty much guarantee that it is the same message that they are hearing: extend the consultation.

I have a question for my Liberal friends. I respect them, and they are in a very tough position. Their leader, the Prime Minister, is telling them how to vote and providing the script and talking points on what they are to say to the media and to their constituents, which is “We are looking out for you. We are looking out for your best interests. We want to build the middle class.”

In reality, the Liberals are hurting the middle class. I encourage my Liberal friends to ignore what the Prime Minister is saying, represent their constituents, and vote to extend the consultation.

Business of Supply October 3rd, 2017

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hard-working member for Foothills.

Today we are debating the motion by the official opposition calling on the government to continue the consultations, which is quite reasonable. The consultation process to this point was launched by the government July 18 and went to October 2. If we were to look at a calendar, we would see that it was during the summer. It was announced during the summer after people had made plans and when Canadians were busy doing what they do in the summer. Surprise, there are these consultations and the position paper by the government. If we look at when these consultations were held, particularly in the fall, it was often when the people who were not on holidays were at work. That is when the consultations were held. A neighbouring riding had the consultations in the middle of the week at three o'clock in the afternoon. That is when hard-working Canadians are at work. We are not talking about people living on trust funds, but hard-working Canadians.

Throughout the whole process, there were questions about whether this was a genuine consultation. I fear not. Also, through this process, hard-working Canadians have been called tax cheats. The Liberals have said that they want a healthy middle class, and yet they are attacking them. They want tax fairness, yet the wealthiest Canadians, some of them sitting in this House, are exempt from what is being proposed. It is not hurting wealthy Canadians, but hard-working middle-class Canadians.

During this process, if we go through the bafflegab and look at how the Liberal policies are affecting Canadians, we see from a report that came out at the same time that the vast majority of Canadians are actually paying more tax and have less money in their pockets than under the previous government. The policies and consultation are disingenuous.

As October 2 end-date of the so-called consultation period approached, the number one thing I heard from my constituents was that they did not believe the government was listening. They believe this will go ahead anyway and that the consultations were just lip service or smoke and mirrors.

In our local newspaper, there was an article by a neighbouring Liberal member of Parliament that reads, “So far, I have heard from constituents including small business owners and incorporated professionals”—

Oceans Act September 29th, 2017

Madam Speaker, again, I have the utmost respect for that member and I appreciate his question.

I can only speak from my own personal experience. The previous Conservative government had great respect for first nations people. I have in my riding the Katzie and Kwantlen first nations, and I have a wonderful relationship with them. We were deeply frustrated with what was happening on their island in the middle of the Fraser River. Many acres of land were disappearing every year. Between 2004 and 2006, I told the Liberal minister that their island was disappearing and that the top of the island needed to be armoured. The Liberals did nothing. We had a plan, an engineering design, which showed how to armour that island. So in 2006, when the Conservatives became government, we put in the money and armoured the island to protect the Kwantlen First Nation. I am so proud of what we did. I am proud of the great relationship we have with Kwantlen First Nation.