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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was regard.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Thornhill (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 55% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Government Business No. 9 July 22nd, 2020

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, for decades, in power and out, the Liberals have advocated the replacement or reduction of many of our parliamentary practices and procedures. They regularly float the idea of a four-day work week, no Fridays, and since the mid-1990s, they have pushed for electronic voting in the House of Commons. They said that it would free members and ministers for travel and work outside the House.

Now, under the guise of a health precaution in the time of COVID, the Liberals in the past couple of months have pushed in the procedure and House affairs committee for major changes in the way government is done, including remote electronic voting that would be permanent.

The Liberals claim that remote voting is just a pandemic measure, but some Liberals are saying, on the record, that they want to vote from afar so they can spend more time in their ridings. Others have made it clear they are looking for a digital voting application that would effectively be permanent modernization.

Though the majority on the procedure and House affairs committee recommended that various voting procedures be tested before being adopted, the Liberals have pushed ahead with their web ambitions, propped up by the Bloc and the NDP, ignoring what is going on in other legislatures in Canada and other democracies.

At Westminster, the mother Parliament, the House has adopted physical distancing to its regular voting process; applied attendance limits; authorized remote voting, then reverted to in-person voting; and tried proxy voting, then returned to lobby-based voting. As well, all committees have been productive while experimenting with these various procedures, while our Canadian House has been dormant, with neutered sessions like this, and a few days devoted to compressed sittings to pass and correct emergency funding legislation.

During this time, Ontario's legislative assembly continued its spring session until today, with a new voting procedure in lobbies. British Columbia's legislative assembly resumed June 22, with hybrid sittings, and is expected to sit until mid-August. Saskatchewan's legislative assembly sat, with attendance limits and using a proxy voting procedure, from mid-June until July 3. Alberta's legislature will continue its spring session until tomorrow. The only provincial legislature without effective pandemic sittings worth noting is Nova Scotia's. It is the only one with a Liberal majority.

We may have had reason in March and April to suspend proceedings, but arguments for resumed sittings in May were valid, and those arguments are much stronger today. Our Conservative members on the procedure and House affairs committee were reassured by the House administration's analysis, showing that 86 members plus the Speaker could be seated in this chamber in full compliance with physical distancing. While members from distant ridings may have to adapt to multi-week blocks without the usual weekend flights home, this would be, as my colleagues on committee have observed, a trifling sacrifice compared to the hardships of Canada's earliest parliamentarians.

Therefore, safe, responsible, in-place voting is responsible and you, Mr. Speaker, have offered six different voting methods, each compliant with public health guidance. Our Conservative plan for safe, responsible House sittings would bring Canada's democracy out of its Liberal-induced coma and would have the government properly held accountable.

The final matter which I find worthy of taking note involves the Prime Minister's ethical failings, ethical failings which have infected others in his cabinet and caucus.

When our Conservative government created the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, it was thought that the commissioner's investigation of violations of the Conflict of Interest Act or code by ministers or members required no major penalties, that naming and shaming of a minister or a member's ethical breaches would prevent further violations. As we have seen over the past five years, naming and shaming simply do not work with a shameless Prime Minister.

We have had two major investigations of the Prime Minister which reported in findings of major conflict of interest violations. Let us remember that there are still loose ends to both the “Trudeau Report” and “Trudeau II Report”.

In the case of the first report, a Federal Court ordered the current Commissioner of Lobbying to review the decision by her predecessor to not investigate the lobbyist in the matter of the Prime Minister's illegal vacation. That order is still pending, although it was suspended when the Prime Minister's Office immediately appealed that Federal Court ruling.

In the case of the second report of the SNC corruption scandal, the Ethics Commissioner concluded that while he gathered sufficient factual information to find the Prime Minister guilty of violating the Conflict of Interest Act in attempting to improperly influence his attorney general, directly and indirectly, he was “unable to fully discharge the investigatory duties.”

Also, the Liberals often choose to forget the $100 fine imposed by the commissioner on the Prime Minister for failing to report receiving a gift of expensive leather-wrapped sunglasses in 2017.

Now there is the WE to me to he to his scandal, which the Ethics Commissioner is now again investigating the Prime Minister, a scandal that has cast a long shadow on others in cabinet and the PMO.

This scandal is yet another powerful reason for the restoration of all the practices and procedures of the House.

Government Business No. 9 July 22nd, 2020

Mr. Speaker, would you like me to start from the beginning or could you tell me precisely where we lost sound?

Government Business No. 9 July 22nd, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate in this take-note debate, because there is so much of which to take note.

First, it was satisfying to see the members of the House, proven by our attendance here under almost normal procedures and practices, on Monday and Tuesday for debate and passage of Bill C-20 and to correct and improve emergency funding for the wage subsidy program and one-time payments for persons with disabilities, who were, like seniors and students, somewhat of an afterthought for the government in its COVID emergency funding programs.

The Monday and Tuesday sittings, unlike this now outdated hybrid talking shop, has proved that we can endure a prolonged arrhythmia that has been imposed on the beating heart of our Canadian democracy by the Liberal government, which finds transparency and accountability inconvenient.

As many, if not most, communities in Canada, certainly in the national capital region, return slowly, with precautions, to normalcy, surely this place should do the same. I hope we will have more members physically present for more days at a time and more committees meeting regularly in place with appropriate safety measures.

I would also like to take note of the exemplary service of my Hill and Thornhill constituency office staff during the lockdown, Michael, Judith, Braydon, Beverley and Perri-Anne, working largely from home to serve the range of extraordinary requests for assistance, assisting folks stranded abroad, employees and employers trying to navigate the ever-changing range of emergency funding programs, visa and passport issues, families divided by non-essential travel restrictions, the interruptions of wedding plans, funerals and university studies, the distribution of personal protective equipment and support for food banks.

The lockdown caught us in the midst of relocating our constituency office from Clark and Yonge in Thornhill to Centre Street just west of New Westminster, but we completed the move, finally, in June and are up and running, although not yet accepting visitors inside the office. The major limitation of normal services now involves passport renewal and visa support, awaiting the reopening of Service Canada and other agency offices.

Absolute normalcy, whether in our ridings or on the Hill, is still some time off. However, as we encourage, as parliamentarians, employers to reopen and resuscitate dormant sectors of Canada's economy, so too do we in the official opposition encourage the Liberal government to revive, as I have said, this place, the beating heart of our Canadian democracy. The Liberals prefer government by news conference and sermons from the PM's cottage stoop, but it is time to get back to parliamentary basics, which brings me to another matter of which I want to take note.

For decades, in power and out, the Liberals have advocated—

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters July 22nd, 2020

Mr. Speaker, that is certainly a sad commentary on what the government has been doing for the past five years.

My next question is for the Minister of Immigration. I understand the minister's office has received hundreds, perhaps thousands, of requests, some of them very emotional, regarding spousal and family reunification with non-Canadian partners and their adult children. One Facebook group, called Advocacy for Family Reunification at the Canadian Borders, claims 3,000 members who are currently separated from their loved ones. Their applications have been delayed by COVID-19.

I ask the minister this: Where does that program fall within your governmental priorities?

COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Matters July 22nd, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Steveston—Richmond East.

My question is for the Minister of Immigration or the Minister of Public Safety, and it is regarding the Auditor General's revelation of a backlog of 50,000 individuals ordered removed from Canada and the 35,000 of these individuals who are now missing across Canada. What is the plan to locate and prepare these missing 35,000 individuals ordered removed in the post-COVID period?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship July 21st, 2020

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has raised serious questions about the integrity of Canada's immigration system and the maintenance of public safety. She has itemized a backlog of 50,000 individuals ordered removed from Canada. They are illegal residents, unworthy asylum claimants and criminals, and almost 35,000 of them have just disappeared. Neither immigration nor border service officers have any idea where they are.

I know removals in the time of COVID-19 are very difficult, but should these two departments not get their act together and at least locate the 35,000 who are missing?

Further COVID-19 Measures Act July 20th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his remarks.

I have a few questions I would like to ask him.

How many angry phone calls has the member received in his constituency office regarding complaints about delays in the corrections to fill the gaps in the emergency wage subsidy? How many angry phone calls has my colleague received from constituents about the delay in the one-time payment to persons with disabilities? This question is probably the most relevant: How many angry phone calls has my colleague received from constituents upset about the billion-dollar WE boondoggle?

Further COVID-19 Measures Act July 20th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, members will recall that the first time the Liberals proposed a single payment to persons with disabilities, we Conservatives offered to recall Parliament to debate and perhaps improve that initial legislation. The Liberals chose to play political games, and weeks later, after an unnecessary delay, we are back. Parliament is recalled, and we are debating an improved piece of legislation. However, this unnecessary and, for many in the community, painful delay stands in stark contrast to the turning on a dime and the awarding of almost a billion dollars to a charity, which looks very much, to many Canadians, like political payback. It is not just WE to me, but WE to me, to him, the Prime Minister, and his family.

This improved piece of legislation, overdue, is still very complex and will be seen as a challenge to many persons with disabilities in making their applications. What is the minister going to do to ensure timely disbursement of these payments?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship July 20th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, Liberal ministers have said, as they must, that all Canadian citizens resident in Hong Kong, some 300,000, are welcome home now that the communist Chinese government has imposed repressive new security laws. However, the government is mute, unlike many of our democratic allies, on broader issues of extended visas or refuge for the many more Hong Kongers who may seek sanctuary in Canada.

What is the plan for the expected surge of asylum seekers?

An Act Respecting Further COVID-19 Measures July 20th, 2020

Madam Speaker, I have corporate constituents in Thornhill who would bitterly agree with my hon. colleague about the delay of the remedial legislation before the House and the cobweb of complexity that they are learning about today as they read this legislation.

These corporate constituents, who employ thousands of workers, with a payroll totalling millions of dollars, with partnerships and a corporate structure that have been in place for a quarter century, have been, until now, denied by the Canada Revenue Agency.

My colleague has addressed the issue of the costly cobweb of complexities, but I wonder if he can tell the House, having read this legislation, whether there is provision for retroactivity of the claims unfairly denied?