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

Main Estimates 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, the member opposite just accused me of providing false information.

Main Estimates 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I think it speaks to motive. I am trying to understand the rationale for what the member opposite is trying to get at. We have heard NDP member after NDP member suggest that it is time to open up the Constitution of Canada to immediately convene a constitutional conference with respect to reforming the Senate. I wonder if the hon. member could further explain that process which the NDP members have made a priority. I wonder if she could outline, if the NDP formed government, when a constitutional conference would be called and when a referendum would be held and what the referendum question would be since they have highlighted that as a priority of any future NDP government.

Main Estimates 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member's comments intently. One of the rationales she used with respect to eliminating funding for the Senate was, in her words, careless spending, being careless with money. We know that this is a member who owes $27,866 to the Canadian people because of inappropriate spending. This is a member who, on September 22, authorized a certain amount of funds, to be spent, as she said in her authorization, in an Ottawa office, but unfortunately, she redirected them to a Montreal office.

I hope that she certainly uses—

MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, in light of the fact that it was the member who actually talked about the Senate expenses, I wonder if the member would agree that the same standard she is applying to the Senate should apply to herself. Does she think that we should cut off her salary, her office funding and the salary of the other 67 members of the NDP caucus who owe money because of the example she cited with respect to the Senate and why she wants to kill the funding to the Senate.

MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, part of the rationale the member had for eliminating the funding for the Senate was with respect to credentials. She also highlighted the expense issues. She highlighted nine senators' expenses as part of the rationale for killing the funding.

As we know, that is a member who owes the Canadian taxpayers $31,793 with respect to inappropriate expenses for an office that was an illegal partisan office in Montreal. These are resources that were to be spent in the member's particular riding but were redirected to an illegal partisan office in Montreal.

The member will probably recall that on September 22, when asked where the office would be, the member confirmed that the office would be in Ottawa, and then had those funds redirected to Montreal—

MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his comments. However, I think we have to talk a bit further about this proposal from the Liberal Party, which would see an unelected, unaccountable Liberal Senate being appointed by an unelected, unaccountable group of people.

How does that type of Senate actually reflect the mood of Canadians, for one?

The second question is more important than the first one for now. I wonder if the member could touch on what we have heard today, that the new NDP position is to open up constitutional negotiations with respect to the Senate and to hold referendums. I know that he has been part of this in the past, and that strikes me as being a very vain, very dangerous proposal, especially at a time of global economic uncertainty. I wonder if he might comment on that very dangerous proposal of the NDP.

MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to note that previously the member had suggested we could not talk about expenses. However, in the very first sentence of his speech, in the very opening remarks of his speech, he referred directly to Senate expenses as an issue. I think that I will seize upon that later on in debate and ask some very specific questions with respect to expenses.

However, something troubled me even more in his remarks that I think we have to get to, because this is something that the Leader of the Opposition has not wanted to talk about, but the member stated in his speech and I want him to be very clear on this. He suggested that it is policy of the NDP that it would, if it ever formed government, begin constitutional negotiations as a priority, to open up the Constitution to talk about how to reform the Senate.

I wonder if the hon. member would confirm that is a priority of the NDP, to open up constitutional negotiations, and if he could highlight for me what each of the individual premiers have told them their positions would be on that.

MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am assuming that the member came into the chamber a little late, or he would know that, of course, it is absolutely not our intention to reopen the Constitution. That is not something Canadians want. They want us to focus on jobs and economic growth, which is something we will continue to do.

We have put our reforms on the table. It is something the Council of the Federation can take a look at. Will the government be involved in constitutional negotiations with our provincial and territorial partners on the Senate? No.

MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, I intend throughout the evening to ensure, before a final decision is made with respect to this motion, that Canadians understand that the individuals who are bringing this forward have issues of their own, which would, I think, highlight the rationale for some of the decisions they are making. I intend to continue very specifically on that path throughout the evening, while following your rule, Mr. Speaker, and respecting your decision.

MAIN ESTIMATES 2015-16 June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale for that question, because he is right.

Tonight we are being asked to consider continuing to fund the Senate, which is, as I said, a constitutionally important, mandated part of our parliamentary democracy. One of the rationales being given by the NDP is that because there are some expenses to do with some of the members, that body should be relieved of all of its funding.

Currently we have 68 members of the NDP caucus, two-thirds of its caucus, who have spent $2.7 million, three times as much as, if we are understanding correctly, what the NDP—