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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

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

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 43% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions May 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am particularly happy to present two petitions, as the petitioners are youth in my riding.

The first petition is for the removal of all flavours of all tobacco products.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, that was what the Liberal leader said.

The fact is, we did have a recession. We did have a deficit and we had a plan to pay it back and we met our obligations. We have balanced the books. We have balanced the budget in this fiscal year. We promised that.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, if we look back at the deficit reduction plans of all the parties in the House over the last number of years, which I have done relatively recently, the only party that had an actual deficit reduction plan was the Conservative Party. The Liberals want to spend more money. The NDP members always want to spend more money. New Democrats believe it grows on trees and somehow it grow back. It is like “the books balance themselves”, I guess.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in the implementation bill there is a part implementing the balanced budget act. It states that if a country, or the world in our case, is facing a recession or a depression and the economics of the day require governments around the world, including Canada, to spend more than they are taking in, to have a deficit to stimulate the economy in order to create jobs and make sure that Canadians have the wealth they need to continue, the bill actually provides an exception for that to happen.

The finance minister of the day would come forward to the finance committee and discuss the issues of the day. That is included in the bill.

I stand behind it today. I stood behind it three years ago. Balanced books is the way governments, businesses and households should operate.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I know that members hoped I would get re-elected for another 40 years, but I do not think that is going to happen.

I appreciate the fact that this government, through this budget bill, has recognized the importance of retirement savings and that it is our constituents' money. They have not paid taxes on it, because they use the system we put in place as a government to encourage people to save for their future. However, we now have recognized that they will need that money for a longer period of time.

Let us be honest, the government of the day will get its taxes. The plan for RRSPs is that when earnings are higher, money is put away and one would receive a reduction on taxes at that time, but when one takes that money out, one would pay taxes on it then. We would expect to be earning less when we take the money out and therefore the tax rate should be slightly less. However, what was happening in Burlington, and I believe across the country as we heard from the MP from West Vancouver, because the marketplace was not performing as well in terms of the stock market, people were taking their money out of RRIFs and actually losing money. they were unable to get the return on that money that they could have if they had left it there. They lost money in their income funds, and then we were forcing them to take that money out, which became a double-edged sword. We have recognized that and have made some significant changes to the registered retirement income fund, which is great for savings for seniors across this country.

Therefore, I am very proud to be supporting Bill C-59 and we look forward to having the bill passed and in place for this fiscal year.

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from the riding of Oakville for sharing his time with me today. I am very honoured to stand to speak to Bill C-59.

I have made an attempt to speak to all of the budget bills that have come before us, whether at the time the policy is introduced or during the implementation bills. There are normally two. One is in the spring, after the budget has been presented in the House, to implement what is in the budget, and other measures. There is also, normally, an implementation bill in the fall, which I know will not happen this year because we will be out on the hustings, asking people to support us.

It is my pleasure to be here, particularly this year. Over the last number of years, I have been advocating with our finance minister and finance officials for changes to the RRIFs in terms of the minimum withdrawal. I did not come up with that on my own. I want to thank the over 40 individuals who came to my office over the last year or so to talk about the issue of the level of required withdrawals they had to make from their RRIFs. This is not an organized lobby. They are individuals and their families affected by the existing rules.

I also want to thank the member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, who heard the same thing. We were very active with our colleagues on this side of the House on this issue, encouraging them to speak to the finance minister and financial officials about the possibility of looking at the withdrawal rate on RRIFs.

I was very excited to see that in this budget we have actually moved on it. Under the current system, the minimum withdrawal is 7.38%, and that will go down to 5.28%. Why is that important? Why did those 40 people come to see me, and what does it mean to them?

We have a couple of programs for retirement savings. We have the RRSP and RPP to encourage individuals to save for their retirement. Part of that encouragement is to give them tax relief for the amount of money they put away for their retirement.

A few years ago, the program required people to move that money from an RRSP, or the other savings program, into a registered retirement income fund. I believe the age for that was 68 or 69, but we moved it to 71, knowing that people had some more time and did not need the money that early. The fact is that people are living much longer than when this program was introduced decades ago. People need their retirement money to last longer. They need to be able to stretch it out to meet the needs they will have if they make into their 90s. Many of my constituents are making it into their 90s.

In my riding alone, the senior cohort is not only growing, it is actually the majority. That is over 55; it is not everyone over 71, However, that cohort is growing and moving forward and we need to be there now, making the changes now, so they can take advantage of it.

There is an excellent chart in the budget, which I would like to read into the record. Regarding the changes that we would make to RRIFs, or registered retirement income funds, let us look at the difference that it would make to an individual. Let us make the assumption, as the budget does, that it is $100,000. An 2% inflation rate is built into that, and the return on investment in their income fund is at 5%. Some will do better, some will do a little worse, but this is our chart.

At age 71, one would have $100,000. At age 80, under the existing rules, one would have $64,000 left, but under the new rules of this budget implementation legislation, it would be $77,000, a difference of 20%. This is a significant difference that those individuals could hold on to for the retirement funds that they need for basic living. Under the current rules, at age 85, it would be $47,000, which would go to $62,000. Many of my constituents are living into their nineties these days. At age 90, under the current rules, it would be $30,000. Under the new rules, it would be $44,000, and so on and so forth. It caps at $20,000 at 94 years of age.

This is important because people are getting older in all ridings in the country, not just mine. We expect individuals to save for their retirement. The other option is to look to governments to support everything, but it cannot afford it. The government will not have the tax base to support the growing bubble of retirees who are coming with the baby boom. We have tools for saving, whether that be the tax-free savings account, as previously mentioned, or the registered retirement savings plan, which encourage people to save for their retirement so they will have less reliance on government to support them.

However, what was happening in my riding, because of the minimum, at 7.38%; because of good planning, good strategy and my constituents working hard, understanding their future and saving money; they were being required to take money out, reducing the cash flow that they would need in the years to come.

In the past, we would think that someone 71 years old would have another decade and a half left here. However, people are living longer. Last year I lost a grandmother at 97 years old. I have a grandmother still with me who is 97 years old. I have had two grandfathers aged 89. I have known four great-grandparents. People are living longer, but I will let members know that it does not mean that I will be in this seat for another 40 years.

Committees of the House May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present, in both official languages, the 21st report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in relation to the study of the main estimates for 2015-2016. We have met 76 times in this session. It is a very hard working committee.

Committees of the House May 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 23rd report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in relation to Bill C-590, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (blood alcohol content).

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Committees of the House May 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in relation to Bill C-35, an act to amend the Criminal Code (law enforcement animals, military animals and service animals).

The committee has studied the bill and has agreed to report it back to the House without amendment.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 19th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in relation to the study on the subject matter of Bill C-583, an act to amend the Criminal Code (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder).

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Employment May 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the strong leadership of this Conservative government has steered Canada out of the global recession. It has created over 1.2 million new jobs. They are overwhelmingly full-time private-sector jobs, in high-wage industries.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please tell the House the next steps that this government will take in this year's budget to create more jobs?