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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was mentioned.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Liberal MP for Kitchener South—Hespeler (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply March 9th, 2020

Madam Speaker, it is not about spending more money. It is about investing in Canadians. We have invested millions of dollars in Toyota, which has a manufacturing facility in my riding. We are creating 450 new jobs. Combine that with our lowest unemployment rate in 40 years.

This is about investing in Canadians. When we invest in Canadians we create more jobs. We lowered taxes with our small business tax rate. This is how we get more investments in Canada. This is how we ensure that Canadians prosper.

Business of Supply March 9th, 2020

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Toronto—Danforth.

I am very pleased to have the opportunity today to respond to the member's motion on the economy.

As members are aware, our government has been advocating its plan to build an economy that works for everyone, and our plan is working. Since we introduced it back in 2015, our plan has invested in Canadians and their communities, invested in the things that people need to build a better future for themselves and their families and in the things that create new opportunities for Canadians and support strong economic growth.

One of the first actions our government took was to introduce a tax cut for the middle class, which benefited more than nine million hard-working Canadians.

We introduced the Canada child benefit, which is providing more money to those families that need it the most. By doing so, we have helped lift more than 330,000 kids out of poverty and have given them a better start in life.

We increased the guaranteed income supplement to provide low-income single seniors with greater financial security in their retirement. We strengthened the Canada pension plan by working in co-operation with provincial partners so Canadian workers would have more money for their retirement.

We cut taxes for small business, from 11% down to 9%, to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and create more good, well-paying jobs in our communities and across our country.

With Canada's first-ever national housing strategy, we have helped make it more affordable for people to buy their first home. We have invested in the construction of more affordable housing in communities across Canada. Particularly, in my community, we have created over 2,000 subsidized housing units in over 2,000 new building units, with respect to our national housing strategy.

As a result of the hard work of Canadians and these investments, Canada's economy is resilient. Canadians have created more than one million new jobs over the past four years and stronger wage growth has helped more people get ahead. However, we still know that there is more work to do.

People are concerned about the cost of living. They are concerned about the global economic situation and developments arising from outside our borders. They worry about the impact these developments will have on their homes and communities. Therefore, I would like to make it clear today that as long as these efforts and sorts of changes are there, our government will keep working to help Canadians overcome them.

Increasing the basic personal amount to make life more affordable for Canadians, and support the economy, is one of the best ways we can do that. That is why we have proposed to increase the basic personal amount to $15,000 by 2023, which will benefit more than 20 million Canadians. This will mean that nearly 1.1 million more Canadians will no longer pay federal income tax in 2023. It will put $3 billion back into the pockets of Canadian households in 2020, with this amount rising to $6 billion by 2023. Those $6 billion will help make life more affordable and keep our economy growing. Those $6 billion are on top of the support we have already delivered for the past four years.

We are investing in Canadians to support a growing economy. As a result of our middle class tax cut, the Canada child benefit and the changes we have proposed to the basic personal amount, a typical family of four could be better off by more than $2,300 per year, compared to 2015. When the proposed changes to the basic personal amount are fully implemented in 2023, this same family could be better off by more than $2,800 per year compared to 2015. These changes mean that more families can now pay for things that will make a positive difference in their children's futures, things like healthy foods, warm clothes for the winter, and sports and music lessons.

We are also supporting Canadians and the economy with the introduction of Canada's first-ever national housing strategy. This 10-year, $55-billion investment will give more Canadians a place to call home. By doing so, it is lifting 530,000 families out of housing needs and reducing chronic homelessness by 50%.

Our enhanced guaranteed income supplement means there is now greater income security for close to 900,000 seniors, about 67% of whom are women, and this has helped 50,000 vulnerable seniors out of poverty.

These are just a few examples of how we are investing in people and in the things that grow our economy and give people a better quality of life. The last four years have proven that our plan is working. There is more money for families to help grow the economy, more livable communities, more good jobs and more than one million people no longer living in poverty.

In the face of current global changes we will continue to advance our plan in a way that is fiscally responsible. We will continue to reduce the federal debt relative to the size of our economy.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer has concluded that current government spending is sustainable over the long term and that our fiscal plan gives us the room we need to confront new and evolving challenges and keep our economy growing. Canada's net debt-to-GDP ratio remains low and on a downward track. That puts us at an advantage with respect to our group of seven partners. Our relatively low level of debt is a real competitive advantage, one that our government is fully committed to maintaining.

Even though our economy is doing well, we need to be ready to respond to whatever challenges might arise. We need to continue to build confidence in the Canadian economy, making sure that the world continues to see Canada as a great place to invest.

Canada is only one of 11 countries in the world with a AAA credit rating. This strong rating reflects the confidence that others have in Canada's economic strength. We build this confidence by making our businesses more competitive. We have cut taxes for small business twice, from 11% down to 9%, as I mentioned earlier, making it easier for them to succeed and create more jobs. Today, Canada has the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7 as a result of federal and provincial actions.

We will preserve and build these advantages to keep Canada's economy strong in the face of current challenges. We will continue to ensure that all Canadians can share in the benefit of this growth by making life more affordable and investing in new opportunities and investing in Canadians.

We have seen what can happen when we invest in Canadians. They take that help, combine it with their own hard work, and the result is a strong and growing economy.

With more than one million new jobs in just four years and record low unemployment and poverty rates, we will continue to advance our plan for middle-class prosperity over the coming years.

I would like to thank the member for the opportunity to make this clear today. I want to thank the members that spoke earlier about our plan. Again, our plan has been working with the introduction of the Canada child benefit, middle-class tax cuts, cuts on small business from 11% to 9%, and making Canada a place to invest in businesses so they can grow and scale up. We want to continue investing in Canadians so that we can see this prosperity not only now, but also in future generations.

Emergency Debate February 25th, 2020

Madam Speaker, the member mentioned in his statement that the project was not profitable. It was profitable at one point, but the fact is we are talking about the project now, when oil prices are at $50 a barrel. It does not make economic sense to go forward with that project. When oil prices were at $150 a barrel, that was plausible, but now when it is $50 a barrel, that project is not plausible nor profitable. Can the member speak to that and the price of oil at this moment?

Emergency Debate February 25th, 2020

Madam Speaker, the member talked a lot about the price of oil. If we look at some oil-producing countries overseas, we see that low oil prices offered more of a long-term benefit than giving up the market share. There are countries, for example, like Saudi Arabia, which has the largest oil reserves, and it is able to have low oil prices without harming the economy. It is very hard for Canada to compete when the oil prices are that low.

I want the hon. member to mention Teck Frontier and why it made its decisions when other countries like Saudi Arabia are reducing their cost of oil.

Lebanon February 21st, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw attention to the many Lebanese who are out on the streets, protesting inequality and lack of opportunity in the dire economic crisis. Lebanon is the third-highest-indebted country in the world. In 2016, payments consumed 48% of the government's revenues, limiting its ability to make much-needed investments in infrastructure and public services.

The top 1% of Lebanese receive approximately 25% of Lebanon's national income, while the bottom 50% of the population are left with 10%, making Lebanon one of the countries with the worst income inequality in the world.

Protesters are demanding equality and a brighter future for themselves, their families and all Lebanese citizens. Khalil Gibran, a famous Lebanese poet, once wrote, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls”.

I stand with the strong and bold Lebanese who are protesting for a brighter future for all of Lebanon.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act February 6th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I want to discuss one part of the deal.

The member wanted to know if this was a better deal than the old NAFTA. I want to talk about the automotive sector and what the U.S. first initiated in the deal.

It wanted 50% U.S. content on any vehicles. It also wanted a 25% tariff on vehicles that were exported to the United States. Under no circumstances did our government and the negotiating team cave in to this. We wanted to ensure that these tariffs were not imposed on the automotive sector, and I have a Toyota motor manufacturing company in my riding, as it is one of our biggest sectors. It employs 500,000 people. Therefore, we wanted to ensure we had a good deal for them. There also was a wage increase to $16.

Does the member think this is a good deal for the automotive sector?

International Development February 3rd, 2020

Mr. Speaker, this week marks the 30th anniversary of International Development Week, under the theme “Go for the Goals”, referring to the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

I recently visited a Canadian-funded project in Tanzania with Results Canada, where I saw aid investments improve children's health and well-being. Thanks to the investments made by the Government of Canada through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, one municipality in in Dar es Salaam was able to immunize 91% of children with life-saving vaccines against devastating diseases like polio. Canada has been a leader in polio eradication through its support of the global polio eradication initiative, and we have never been closer to finishing the job. Projects focusing on strengthening the health and well-being of countries like Tanzania through routine immunizations, adequate water and sanitation, and proper nutrition are essential.

This year I encourage all members in the House to “Go for the Goals”.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act January 30th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, we have put a significant amount of investment into broadband, as the member alluded to. We want to make sure that all rural communities have access to the Internet. There should be nowhere in Canada where we do not have access to the Internet.

In terms of 5G, I just heard in a news release that the U.K. has incorporated that technology, or some element to it. For sure, Canada needs to advance in the future, and having 5G would advance our technology and our economy. I cannot comment on it at this point, but I know our government is looking at ensuring that all sectors of our economy and our industry have access to faster networks. That is something we will be looking forward to in the near future.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act January 30th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I believe part of the member's question was on chapter 19, which was the dispute resolution section. We ensured that we kept that dispute resolution, but in all negotiations, whether with the United States or with other G7 countries, we want to ensure that we are protecting jobs and the economy.

Our Prime Minister has always mentioned that those go hand in hand. We want to make sure that as we move forward, we are creating a greener economy and a brighter economy. Within my riding, Toyota has produced hybrid cars. It is putting more investments into research and development and is looking at ways to have more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act January 30th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

My French is not very good. I need to practice.

We are protecting 70% of our steel and aluminum. That is better than zero. We were dealing with an administration that imposed section 232 tariffs, which, as I mentioned, was on the grounds that it was in the national security of the United States and that Canada was a threat to the United States. However, they tried to impose a 50% U.S. content on our automobiles. Our negotiating team, along with our government, pushed to ensure that we did not have a requirement for 50% U.S. content.

We export 90% of our vehicles to the United States. We obtained a good deal for Canada. We have a good deal for the automakers here in Canada.