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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was meeting.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Liberal MP for Miramichi—Grand Lake (New Brunswick)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House December 12th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food in relation to its study of genetically modified animals for human consumption.

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

Canada Pension Plan November 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, if we look at what the former Conservative government did, its plan to solve this problem of a shortcoming in the pension fund was to increase the pension age to 67. If Canadians had not shown it the door, we would probably see the age limit raised to 70. That was the former government's solution to resolve this problem. On being transparent, that plan was announced in Europe.

We will be debating this issue fully in committee. This government is very transparent. We will have a system that all Canadians can support. In fact, they do support it. I am very proud that future generations will be able to retire with respect and dignity.

Canada Pension Plan November 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, again, this legislation will go to committee at this stage. That is where we consult our parliamentary colleagues and all of the nation to ensure we do not leave anybody out. I think that has been said by our minister in the past. I am sure we will come up with a viable solution that will take care of everyone in his or her retirement years.

Canada Pension Plan November 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, as a small business operator, when my staff members retire, I can see the income they will be getting for the next few years will not be sufficient. I really welcome this. It is going to be an even, spread out contribution by not only the employee but also the employer, and that is a fair way to do it.

Our forefathers had the vision 40 years ago, so we can retire now today. We need to plan ahead. I am confident that most employers will see a benefit of both the employee and employer contributions for the secure retirement of our future pensioners.

Canada Pension Plan November 17th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a country built upon optimism, often in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. However, the promise of a better life has been eroded in recent decades and the reality is that many middle-class Canadians have had their confidence shaken.

While our economy continues to grow, middle-class Canadians are struggling. Many Canadians are working harder and longer as the cost of living continues to rise. Middle-class families do not feel they are getting ahead. It is time to recapture the hope and optimism for the future that existed in previous generations.

We must embrace the spirit of those early founders and build upon their legacy by providing the same opportunities for advancement and mobility that they once unlocked. We need to take the next steps to help Canada harness the tremendous growth potential that we have in our great country.

A strong economy starts with a strong middle class. Canadians understand this and so do we. That is why building an economy that works for middle-class Canadians and their families is our top priority.

A strengthened middle class means hard-working Canadians can look forward to a good standard of living and better prospects for their children. When the middle class thrives, we all thrive.

Investments are needed today that will strengthen and grow the middle class. We know Canadians, and in particular younger Canadians, are concerned about whether they will be able to enjoy a secure and dignified retirement. That is why our government committed to working with all provinces and territories to enhance the CPP to ensure that future generations of Canadians could count on a stronger public pension system in their retirement years.

In June, the Minister of Finance met in Vancouver with provincial and territorial finance ministers and they reached an agreement to strengthen the Canada pension plan.

First, the agreed upon plan will increase the share of their annual eligible earnings Canadians will receive in retirement through CPP from one-quarter to one-third. For example, if they make $50,000 per year over their working life, they will receive under this agreement about $16,000 per year in retirement instead of $12,000.

Second, it will increase the point at which this new one-third replacement rate maxes out by 14% in 2025. For most Canadians, these significant increases in the Canada pension plan retirement benefit will come from only a 1% increase in their premium.

For those higher income Canadians with earnings above the current maximum pensionable earnings level, a separate contribution rate of about 4% will be introduced, starting in 2024, that will provide them with the opportunity to save at a rate more in line with their higher income.

The agreement will also provide a tax deduction for employees' new Canada pension plan contributions. Providing a tax deduction, as opposed to a tax credit, will avoid new Canada pension contributions increasing the cost of saving for Canadians.

Under this agreement, increases to the working income tax benefit to roughly offset incremental CPP enhancements will mean eligible low-income workers see little to no change in their household budget, while still ensuring these workers see higher benefits in retirement.

In addition, we have ensured that the proposed changes are affordable for business by introducing a long and gradual phase-in starting in 2019, which will allow more time for business to adjust. This is the responsible way to ensure that business and workers have time to adjust to the additional contribution associated with the enhanced program.

The moderate and phased-in approach agreed upon by Canada's finance ministers will have a net positive impact in the long term and that is what is important about our plan. Saving for retirement has always been a challenge and unfortunately those numbers are not improving.

In 1977, 43% of Canadians were covered by a secured defined benefit workplace pension. By 2012, that figure had fallen to 27%. The situation in the private sector is even more stark, with the level of defined benefit coverage down to a mere 11%. This means that only a few Canadians with workplace pension plans will retire with the security of knowing exactly how much retirement income they will be getting each month. Everyone else's workplace pension is dependent on market performance. That was why it was so important for our government to work with the provinces to enhance the CPP.

The CPP enhancement is about helping today's young people and future generations of Canadians, and it complements a solid set of voluntary private retirement savings options available to Canadians through tax-assisted vehicles, such as the registered pension plans, registered retirement savings plans, pooled registered pension plans, and tax-free savings accounts.

In addition to our co-operation to enhance the CPP, our government is working with our provincial partners to support low costs for Canadian financial consumers who choose to make PRPPs a part of their retirement savings plans through our recent multilateral agreement on PRPP.

By making these changes, we wanted to complement private savings and pensions in a way that would make our retirement savings system even healthier and more effective.

These changes to the CPP are about hope and optimism. They are about middle-class Canadians, and those working hard to join them. They are about taking a fundamentally new approach and charting a new course for Canada. We are ensuring that investments needed to support the economy will lead to long-term growth that strengthens the middle class.

Canadians are the real drivers of change, and their voices will continue to guide the government as we work together to build the Canada of the 21st century.

Agriculture and Agri-Food October 31st, 2016

Mr. Speaker, trade is essential to creating new markets for Canada's agricultural products. It also creates excellent opportunities and helps ensure economic growth for our farmers and their families.

Our government understands the importance of creating new markets for our agriculture products, while also protecting our local interests.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell us about the positive impact that CETA will have on our agricultural sector?

Birthday Wishes October 20th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, if anyone has read the wonderful novel, The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor, by Sally Armstrong, then they have read about the great-great-great-great-grandmother of Helen (Nellie) Harris of Tabusintac, a community in my riding of Miramichi—Grand Lake.

I was recently invited to Nellie's 110th birthday party.

Nellie is still a very fine, smart, beautiful lady who has spent her life on the picturesque but rugged north shore of New Brunswick. Having received congratulatory messages from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth; Canada's Governor General, His Excellency David Johnston; and of course, our Right Hon. Prime Minister of Canada, it was a great day for Nellie who, surrounded by her family and friends, blew out all the candles on her cake.

I promised that I would rise in the House as soon as I could, so that members from across Canada could join with me in wishing her a happy 110th birthday.

Happy birthday, Nellie.

Fisheries and Oceans October 7th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, the striped bass population has gone from a species of concern to a high-level count never seen before in the Miramichi watershed. Striped bass is a predatory fish to salmon and other species, and salmon is at an all-time low in the river.

My question is this: will the minister tell the House whether next season's striped bass management plan will include increased allocations for first nations, to help meet their food and ceremonial needs, and increased sport fishing quotas for the public, since people can no longer keep salmon?

Escuminac, New Brunswick June 16th, 2016

Mr. Speaker, this weekend marks a sombre anniversary for the people and families of the villages of Escuminac and Baie Sainte-Anne in my riding.

On June 19, 1959, the worst maritime disaster in New Brunswick's history struck the region, killing 35 local fishers, men and boys as young as 13 who died in a violent coastal storm. None of the boats were equipped with radio, and the storm came up without warning for these fishers, who faced winds of 120 kilometres an hour and 15-metre seas. Twenty-two boats were reduced to shreds and this small community was left with 24 widows and 83 orphans, many of whom are still alive today.

A monument called The Fishermen was erected near the Escuminac wharf, as a lasting reminder of this great tragedy that swept through this small coastal village in my riding.

International Trade June 2nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, my constituents in Miramichi—Grand Lake understand that the economic agreement with Europe will give Canadian businesses market access to 500 million people and a $20-trillion economy. They know that such an agreement will create numerous jobs, not only in my region, but in all regions across Canada.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade tell the House what measures the government is taking to conclude this agreement?