House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was ndp.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Oak Ridges—Markham (Ontario)

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

Statements in the House

The Budget February 9th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, this weekend I travelled from one end of my riding to the other, meeting with people, businesses and attending wonderful community events.

At the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival on Saturday, I spoke with a young couple who had just bought their first home. They told me that low interest rates had made it more affordable than ever before to purchase a new home and that they will use the home renovation tax credit introduced in our economic action plan to finish the basement for their children.

Ron Schell, who is co-owner of Schell lumber in Stouffville calls the home renovation tax credit simply fantastic.

Oak Ridges—Markham is truly a great place to live, work, invest and raise a family. From Nobleton to Schomburg, Richmond Hill to Ballantrae, Markham to Pleasantville, we are open and ready to serve.

I encourage people from across Canada to visit us and see why I am so proud to call Oak Ridges—Markham home.

Business of Supply February 5th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the hon. member's comments with great interest. She spoke about the relationship the previous government had with the Americans. I certainly was not elected to this House at that time, but I do remember a time when our trading relations consisted of stomping on a doll of the American president. I remember a time when the hon. member campaigned against free trade. I am extraordinarily delighted now to see that the member and other members of the Liberal Party have come around and also believe that free trade is in the best interests of this country.

However, she failed to mention all of the hard work that is being done by our Prime Minister, the Minister of International Trade and our ambassador in Washington to make sure that Canadian interests are being expressed and protected in Washington.

I wonder if she might comment on when it was that she came around to the idea that free trade was good for Canada and that the best way to create and protect jobs is to actually improve access to markets.

Situation in Sri Lanka February 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the hon. member might comment on what specific concerns he might have with the agencies that we have selected to carry out the aid to the people of Sri Lanka in the hardest hit areas, specifically the International Committee of the Red Cross, Oxfam Canada, Médecins Sans Frontières, Care Canada and World Vision.

Can the member shine some light on any specific issues that he has with these organizations? Are there any specific concerns? Why does the member not have confidence in these organizations to actually get the aid to the people who need it in the areas that are affected?

Situation in Sri Lanka February 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, tonight's debate is about a very serious conflict happening in Sri Lanka. The galleries are filled with people who have family and who are suffering or are concerned. Tonight is about those people. It is about the hard-working, law-abiding Canadian Tamils who have come to this country over the last 25 years, have built a better life and who have concern with what is happening in their homeland.

I am here on behalf of the people of Oak Ridges—Markham to tell that story, to tell the story of all those people who have come to this country, created a better life and who are pillars of the community.

Since 1983, 250,000 Tamils have come to Canada and have become an incredibly important part of our community. Our community of Oak Ridges—Markham is richer for it. I welcome even more Tamil Canadians. They are an incredible part of our community. They are strong, hard-working people. I want to say to them that the Government of Canada is committed to doing everything in its power to ensure their families, friends and relatives are safe. We will not play politics with this. We will work hard to get the job done, and that is my commitment.

Situation in Sri Lanka February 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, as I outlined in my speech, our aid will be distributed through agencies that have a proven record and that have people on the ground and are successful in getting aid to the people and to the areas that most need the aid.

I am extraordinarily proud of the fact that I come from a riding that has a very large Sri Lankan Tamil Canadian population. I have a riding where two Tamil Canadian business people took a failed business, turned it around and made it success through hard work and determination. Ultimately, they have become great members of this community. They came to me and said, “Paul, please, we have to do something”.

I am very proud that the minister announced today that we would be providing essential aid and that the aid would be distributed through agencies, as I mentioned earlier, that have a proven track record in distributing aid. Oxfam and Médecins sans Frontières are agencies that have a record of getting the job done.

I am proud of the fact that our government has taken the step to ensure the people of Sri Lanka who are suffering will get the aid they deserve.

Situation in Sri Lanka February 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in the House tonight and let Canadians know that this government is doing all it can to help alleviate the suffering of those in Sri Lanka. We are all concerned with the civilian loss of life in Sri Lanka and we welcome the opportunity to address this issue in tonight's emergency debate.

As the House has heard this evening, 52 civilians have lost their lives and paid the ultimate price. Our hearts go out to the families and victims in this conflict.

Over the course of the last 25 years, approximately 70,000 people have lost their lives in this terrible conflict. As a caring nation, we have worked with our partners on the international stage to do what we can. Although the light at the end of the tunnel seems distant, we know that all is not lost and we continue to hope for a lasting peace.

Others may attempt to play partisan politics but this government will do everything in its power to ensure that those in need are taken care of. This government wants to ensure our aid is directed and focused. We want to ensure we are showing compassion for the less fortunate. We will not stand idly by while those in need can be helped by our assistance.

Earlier today, the Minister of International Cooperation announced that Canada will provide $3 million through the Canadian International Development Agency for life saving humanitarian aid to those people living in the conflict zone. This was a welcomed announcement by the international community.

The minister reinforced Canada's commitment to assist in meeting the immediate needs of the Sri Lankan people as they face this hour of need. Our aid will be delivered by the Red Cross, Oxfam Canada, Médecins sans Frontières, World Vision and CARE Canada. All of these organizations are known to Canadians and have staff on the ground in Sri Lanka.

As our nation turns its eyes on this conflict tonight, I am pleased to inform members that this assistance announced earlier today will go a long way in alleviating the pain and suffering of those on ground in Sri Lanka.

While many nations have addressed the immediate devastation, this is not the first time Canada has come to the aid of those living in Sri Lanka. In 2008, this government provided almost $3 million in humanitarian assistance. including $1.5 million for the food aid program through the World Food Programme. As many members of the House know, the World Food Programme has an impeccable record when it comes to helping those suffering in developing countries. The aid we sent last year provided desperately needed food rations for approximately 850,000 people.

Since 1983 and the beginning of the civil war in Sri Lanka, Canada's aid program has focused on addressing the root causes and effects of the war through projects to support good governance and human rights, gender equality and economic well-being. We have highlighted employment for youth and members of disadvantaged groups.

Following the tsunami, CIDA created the Sri Lanka tsunami reconstruction strategy to guide its assistance toward reconstruction efforts. That effort was extremely successful and had a huge impact on the lives of the people in Sri Lanka.

Humanitarian work is never easy but the devastation caused by that natural disaster destroyed roads and made the delivery of assistance even more difficult. For Canadians, it is hard to imagine but close to half the population of Sri Lanka live on less than $2 a day. Together with the international community, this government is committed to helping to restore these communities and the livelihoods of those who live there.

The House should know that CIDA is working to address the root causes of the conflict and the circumstances that these people find on a daily basis. We continue to work with the Sri Lankan civil society and focus on the economic well-being of the individual.

Our commitment to greater aid effectiveness includes reducing administrative overhead and constantly benchmarking ourselves against international best practices. In fact, the minister's announcement last year that Canada will completely untie aid will go a long way in achieving these goals.

Canadians can be proud of the work that CIDA and this government is doing on the ground in Sri Lanka and, for that matter around, the world.

As Sri Lanka celebrates its independence today, we as Canadians can know that we are truly making a difference. The assistance this government is providing will help feed young children displaced by the conflict. It will help provide water for those who do not have any. It will go toward the elderly and the sick providing much needed medicine.

I know that some of the opposition parties have been critical in the past but I would hope that tonight they would be willing to stand united with the government as we work to help those in need.

The government believes that the primary test for aid effectiveness must be striving for real outcomes, real results and making a real difference.

Canada is committed to making our international assistance focused, effective and accountable. We are monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka very closely. Both the Minister of International Cooperation and the Minister of Foreign Affairs are working to help those a half world away because that is the Canadian way.

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act February 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I note that the NDP members have voted against all of the investments in the armed forces since we have been in government, so I am gratified today to hear that the hon. member and her party are very supportive of some of the investments that we are making in our brave men and women in the armed forces.

I wonder if the member would agree that Canadian workers and businesses are among the best in the world and able to compete with anyone in the world. The best way in which to protect jobs and in fact create new jobs is to open up markets so that our businesses can sell their products around the world. When we do that, they will be able to do it better and more productively. This agreement will create more jobs. It will help protect Canadian industry and in the long run will be better for Canadian business.

I wonder if the member could comment on that.

The Budget January 29th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to working with the member in the days and months ahead.

I am somewhat concerned that in the few weeks that I have been here every time I hear a member opposite talk about our fiscal situation, and in particular the tax cuts that our budget and our fiscal statements have brought forward, they seem to indicate that Canadians do not have the ability to manage their own money.

In particular I would reference a discussion on the GST cuts. I have talked to people like Danny and Kumar, small business owners in Ballantrae, who said that the GST cuts had helped stimulate their business and helped keep people coming in. I am talking about people like Melissa and Ryan who appreciate the extra $200 a month that they have to help raise their children.

I wonder what it is about giving Canadians more money in their pockets so that they can invest in their futures and their families' futures that members opposite find so difficult.

I also wonder if the member could reflect on some of the other great things that this budget has, a very good budget that invests in families, in small business, in social housing and in infrastructure.

Economic and Fiscal Statement December 2nd, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I find it somewhat ironic that after coming to this House, and still being in this House, the separatist people, who want to tear apart the country, have now decided that they want to work within a government led by a Liberal Party under a Constitution that they are desperate to get out of.

We have made massive investments in the economy since first being elected in 2006. We have cut the GST, which has helped the people of Quebec and Quebec businesses. We have reduced taxes by $200 billion. We are doing everything in our power to ensure--

Economic and Fiscal Statement December 2nd, 2008

Mr. Speaker, I hope I do not need to remind the hon. member that only 26% of Canadians actually supported that party and they never gave it a mandate to run the country.

I am not afraid to go back to the people of Oak Ridges--Markham again and ask for another mandate as their representative. Why is that side of the House so afraid to go back to the people of Canada? They are terrified of it.

I am confident that the over 32,000 people who voted for me would do so again. I have hundreds of emails and telephone calls that will attest to that. I am not afraid to go back to the people. Maybe you should not be either.