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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was debate.

Last in Parliament September 2018, as Conservative MP for York—Simcoe (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Department of Public Works and Government Services Act November 6th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 150th anniversary of our country's Confederation. However, while it may seem strange to us now, the establishment of the Dominion of Canada in 1867 was by no means a foregone conclusion. In the pre-Confederation period, the colonies in British North America were seized with political deadlock and economic instability. They faced numerous challenges posed by geographic distance, barriers in language and communication, and distinct regional identities and interests.

Due to these significant obstacles, the prospect of any sort of union between the colonies seemed hopelessly impractical and unachievable. However, there were some great men, determined men, who were undeterred by the challenges they faced. They were motivated by the grander vision they shared for the disparate British North American colonies. These visionaries, the men we refer to as the Fathers of Confederation, set out to join the colonies and forge the future of a nation.

With this goal in mind, on the evening of Monday, August 29, these men—John A. Macdonald, George Brown, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Alexander Galt, William McDougall, George-Étienne Cartier, Alexander Campbell, and Hector Langevin—boarded the SS Queen Victoria to sail down the St. Lawrence to Charlottetown, P.E.I.

At the same time, delegates from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island were about to hold a conference in Charlottetown to discuss a maritime union among the three provinces. However, the Canadian delegation believed that these discussions could result in something even more significant, so they resolved to join the Maritimers and make the case, not for a regional union but for a larger confederation.

The Charlottetown Conference began on Thursday, September 1, 1864, and lasted until Wednesday, September 7. There were 23 delegates in all, eight from the Canadas, as Ontario and Quebec were then known, and five from each of the maritime colonies. They met each day without interruption or adjournment on the second floor of the legislative council chamber in the Colonial Building.

Over the course of the week, John A. Macdonald and the rest of the Canadian contingent presented their arguments in favour of Confederation to the maritime delegates. The new nation would be one established in the spirit of co-operation. Each of the regions would be represented in a central government, which composition would be reflective of the general population. This government would be able to enact laws that would ensure the prosperity and security of the nation as a whole, which would be enhanced beyond what could ever be achieved by each colony on its own. The delegates were taken up with the vision for a new nation communicated by Macdonald and the others, and deliberations began in earnest to establish the terms for Confederation.

The long hours and hard work of the conference were punctuated by grand balls and dinners. On one such occasion, Macdonald and the Canadian delegates invited their counterparts to dine on the SS Queen Victoria. They had prepared well, bringing a boatload of champagne with them to Charlottetown for the occasion. Liquor and wine flowed freely, and there were numerous stirring and impromptu speeches.

According to historian P.B. Waite, it was moments like these that were truly “the beginning of Confederation. There were no resolutions and no signatures, only toasts and talk, but perhaps for the first time, some of the twenty-three delegates at Charlottetown began to drink the deeper draught of nationalism.”

These events fostered considerable amicability and mutual respect among the delegates, smoothing the path for the hard work of nation building. Despite such different backgrounds, regional interests, and aspirations, each man at the conference was able to work with the others in the interest of achieving something truly remarkable.

By the time the conference concluded on September 7, all of the initial discussions and agreements necessary had been made. It had been a success. Of course, not all was settled, and the conversation would need to continue, first at Quebec, where the bulk of the detailed hard negotiation and drafting took place, and finally in London, where the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed and the birthplace of Canada was finalized. The Charlottetown Conference had demonstrated that a union between the colonies was indeed possible.

As one observer noted, “the Charlottetown Conference established Confederation as a political reality. It gave Confederation the initial élan, the sense of common destiny, that for a time seemed to sweep all before it.” Because of the success of the Charlottetown Conference and the momentum it produced towards achieving Confederation, John A. Macdonald and the other Fathers of Confederation were able to find the consensus necessary to unite Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia as the initial provinces in the Dominion of Canada. It was not long before their vision for a great country would finally stretch from sea to sea, with the other provinces and territories joining in subsequent years.

Were it not for the hard work and efforts of the Fathers of Confederation at that initial conference in Charlottetown, we would not have the strong, proud, and free country of Canada that we know today. There is no question that we would not be standing here in this place today if not for the tenacity and determination of the Fathers of Confederation, who worked so hard on those late summer days in Charlottetown over 150 years ago to secure the vision of a united country we call Canada. That is why, in the days leading up to the Charlottetown Conference, the Charlottetown Monitor declared that it would be, “perhaps the most important event-as far at least as the future destinies of these colonies are concerned-that has occurred during the present century.” It is for this reason that Charlottetown is now rightfully termed the birthplace of Confederation, which this bill seeks to formalize.

I am especially glad to see a bill such as this come about in this year, the year that we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. For the Canada 150 celebrations, the Liberal government determined that the history and the events of Confederation itself were not worthy to be celebrated as part of Canada 150. Despite that fact, everyday Canadians from across the country have taken it upon themselves to celebrate the people, events, and accomplishments of Canada's history themselves. Canadians care about their history and the places that have shaped that history. Prince Edward Island has seen a record increase in tourism this year, as Canadians and other visitors have flocked to the places that are of so much significance to the founding of our country. Therefore, I applaud the hon. member for Malpeque' s conscientious objection to the Liberal government's war on history, by recognizing the historic importance of Charlottetown in forming our country through the Charlottetown Conference. I would encourage all members of this House to continue to reflect upon the importance of historic places in our country and to seek out further opportunities to see these places preserved and restored.

It should be said that there is an element of irony in this effort to recognize Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation. As all who were listening carefully to that speech noted, while the conference took place there and those first four colonies took the step, the leap into Confederation, there was one that was conspicuously absent. That was the one that housed that original conference, Prince Edward Island. I have often asked my friends from Prince Edward Island what the reasons were. They have always said to me what I thought was the most succinct response, “Well, you know us islanders, we're a very prudent type. We just wanted to be totally sure that this project was going to work before we got on board.” It would only be a few years before that actually took place. Therefore, we are glad not only that P.E.I. overcame those initial fears, but now so enthusiastically wants to embrace its critical role in making that Confederation happen.

Thomas Heath Haviland was one of those Fathers of Confederation. He was born and died in Charlottetown. He knew just how important his beloved city was in the shaping of this country Canada. He declared, “It may yet be said that here in little Prince Edward Island was that union formed which has produced one of the greatest nations on the face of God's Earth.” Indeed, this is as true today as it was on the day when he spoke those very words.

Federal Sustainable Development Act October 18th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I have been out there in the community with young kids and senior citizens in their boots, in the mud, when it is raining and pelting us, trying to do some of these remediation works and planting trees and so on. It is not hard work; it is work they love. It is messy, dirty, cold, and tough, but that is what they are doing for their environment. They are not asking for any thanks. They are not asking for their expenses to be paid. They are Canadians who care about their country and their environment, and the Liberal government has said to them, “Your efforts do not matter. The little bit of seed funding you needed to do your stuff we are cutting off. Your view of the environment is not part of our view of the environment.”

I think that is a mistake.

Federal Sustainable Development Act October 18th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I went through some of the messages I was sent. I actually skipped some. There were quite a few that actually made the exact point the hon. member has made. Why is it that we are sending money overseas and at the same time are taking away the money that was helping improve our local environment? What kind of trade-off is that? Someone asked, “Is this the Government of Canada or the government of some other faraway place?”

People care about their communities. I did not want to quote those things, because I am not going to necessarily dispute that we have a role internationally. I think we have a role to help internationally. However, our very first role is to help our own communities, to get our own house in order, not the environment somewhere else. If we cannot get our own house in order, if we cannot clean up our own lakes and our own lands and focus on them, then we are not doing our job.

That is why I say that it is not words like “sustainable development” that matter but actions that show that we are actually making sustainable development happen.

Federal Sustainable Development Act October 18th, 2017

Madam Speaker, again, that is chutzpah at work.

This member comes from Winnipeg. Who set up the Lake Winnipeg cleanup fund? It was the very government of Stephen Harper, who the member was criticizing. It was a parallel fund to the Lake Simcoe cleanup fund. Once again, it was something that focused on real results, on the ground, for the environment. Where did it come from? It was the Conservative government once again.

The member stands up and complains about what happened. The actual facts are that in Manitoba, what happened was that the Lake Winnipeg cleanup fund was created. For the first time, there were real measures undertaken, which had never been done before by any previous government, particularly the previous federal Liberal government, which claimed to care about the environment but never spent a penny on it, not one penny.

Along came a Conservative government that did it. Why? It is because there were real results. It was not words. It was not going to a fancy conference. Jetting off to fancy conferences is Liberal action. Funding small community groups to do cleanup projects, to do tree planting, to do shoreline restoration, and to try innovative ways of reducing phosphorous inputs, working with hundreds of citizens, that is Conservative action.

It was not as fancy as the trip to Paris, and there was maybe not as much in carbon emissions as the trip to Paris, and there were maybe not as many great meals. Tim Hortons kicked in some Timbits. It was not like those fine dining opportunities the Liberals had at the climate change conference in Paris with all their friends. However, I put it to members that the Lake Simcoe cleanup fund did a lot more in terms of real results for the environment here.

Federal Sustainable Development Act October 18th, 2017

Madam Speaker, one often gets moved by the concept of chutzpah. Today we just saw a good example of chutzpah, when someone complained about the changes to the navigable waters act, which a mere couple of hours ago an NDP members noted the Liberals had said they would change but had not done so. Words but no action, I believe, was the theme I was speaking about. Judge them by their actions. That is what Canadians are doing increasingly.

My constituents in the Lake Simcoe watershed are not the kind of people who have a lot of time to sit down and write letters. They are busy people. They have busy lives, but the cancelling of the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund, shutting down the best thing that has happened to the environment here in years, has had an impact.

I do not want to say bad things about my predecessor in my riding because I believe she cared passionately about the environment. She said that Lake Simcoe was her top priority. She was there for over a decade, and not one penny was provided for Lake Simcoe. There was not one legislative change to help Lake Simcoe. There were none of the regulatory changes we brought in to ban the dumping of waste waters, the mandatory rules on invasive species to stop bilge water from being dumped into the freshwater Great Lakes, and things like that. We did all of those things. There was no ban on phosphates in dishwasher detergent, like we did. None of that stuff happened. However, she did have some success at the end of her time. She was appointed Canada's ambassador for the environment. That was something.

Federal Sustainable Development Act October 18th, 2017

Madam Speaker, I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak today on the subject of sustainable development and the environment. The bill seeks to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act. It does so by looking at changing its purpose and simply by adding some other nice words, “to advance sustainable development and respects Canada's domestic and international obligations relating to sustainable development, with a view to improving the quality of life for Canadians.”

The problem for the Liberals with the bill and with the act it seeks to establish a strategy for, what they do on the environment for so many things, is the difference between good-sounding words and action that is dramatically different from the good-sounding words. We see it on so many files, but the environment file is a perfect example.

We often hear the Liberals talk about the importance of combatting climate change. The member who spoke before me did that, but what did the Environment Commissioner of Canada have to say about the efforts of the Liberal government on exactly that environmental file? He said:

We concluded that Environment and Climate Change Canada, with support from other government departments and agencies, did not make progress toward meeting Canada's commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We concluded that Environment and Climate Change Canada, in collaboration with other federal partners, did not provide adequate leadership to achieve the federal government's adaptation to climate change impacts....there was no action plan nor clear direction to ensure that the federal government would integrate climate change considerations into its own programs, policies, and operations.

The Environment Commissioner also said of the Liberal government's efforts on the environment and climate change:

Most of the federal departments and agencies we examined did not take appropriate measures to adapt to climate change impacts by assessing and managing the climate change risks to their programs, policies, assets, and operations....Stronger federal leadership is needed.

Like so many other areas on the environment, on sustainable development, the Liberals talk a great talk but they simply do not deliver results. I served under a leader who was very motivated as prime minister to be judged by his results because it grated on him that for years and years the Liberals would say great things but never actually deliver the results. It was that gap between great-sounding words and actual action. He wanted to be judged by those results. Our government could be judged by those results and those actions. On sustainable development, legislation like this may be nice words, but what are the Liberals doing in practice?

Our Conservative government took action on the environment in a tangible way in my part of Ontario by establishing the Lake Simcoe clean-up fund. Close to $60 million flowed over 10 years to help clean up that critically important lake, the largest body of fresh water in Ontario other than the Great Lakes. What did the Liberal government do? It cancelled that, a program that was helping sustainable development, helping eliminate and reduce environmental impacts, that was doing positive things and delivering results for the environment.

That is when I talk about the difference between words and results and words and deeds. Liberals may talk a good line on the environment, but when it comes time to actually act, as they have done with the Lake Simcoe clean-up fund, they are environmental vandals putting back the cause of the environment, putting back the cause of sustainable development.

What was the Lake Simcoe clean-up fund? As I said, it was an innovative fund. It was $60 million over 10 years, two five-year stretches, but it focused not on building a bureaucracy, not on great policies and speeches and marketing, but on actual measures and actions and steps taken to improve water quality and to reduce environmental impacts. These were actual remediation efforts that delivered physical results on the ground. What is more, it did so without a bureaucracy, using volunteer committees, folks who had been involved in environmental cleanup issues in the community for years, who assessed projects. The funding was given to those groups to carry out projects and they used it to leverage money. It is estimated that the $60 million over 10 years actually produced well over $200 million in real remediation work because of matching funds and in-kind contributions from partners and volunteer contributions from organizations. That made real results happen.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority would say that it was able to make development in the watershed more sustainable, to ameliorate some of the impacts of previous development, to make sure that new development actually was sustainable for the future. That is the kind of thing that was happening because of the Lake Simcoe clean-up fund. What did the Liberals do? They cancelled that. They cancelled that, harming the quality of life for people throughout the Lake Simcoe watershed.

Under the Lake Simcoe clean-up fund, how was the environment protected? How did we see sustainable development? Over 72,000 trees, shrubs, and grasses were planted in the watershed to help prevent and reduce phosphorus runoff, phosphorus being the major contribution to eutrophication of the lake and harming the lake's health. Over 20,000 metres of fencing was installed to restrict 1,300 livestock from fouling watercourses, again adding nutrients that would harm the water quality. There were 5,000 kilometres of stream and lake bank that were stabilized and, significantly, in previously developed areas, stormwater pond retrofits were undertaken.

What is significant about it is that not only was it encouraging sustainable development, but going back to previous development that was not sustainable and making it sustainable and improving environmental impacts. What did the Liberals do? They cancelled that.

What were some of the projects that were funded, the kinds of projects that the Liberals have now cut off funding for? Things like the adopt-a-stream-crossing program run by the Regional Municipality of York. The recipients stabilized and revegetated stream shoreline areas with native plant species and encouraged the community to become stewards of those streams. Educating landowners and others through these actions was a main component of the program. That, again, resulted in a more sustainable environment. The Liberals have now cut off that funding.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority got funding for a program called CNSRVS. The description of the program is as follows:

The recipient will support projects including retrofitting septic systems, tree planting, improving/retrofitting streams and on-line ponds, stormwater management pond retrofits, managing milk house waste, managing manure, livestock restrictions, controlling cropland erosion, enhancing wildlife habitat, and irrigation water management.

Again, they were real, physical measures on the ground that delivered sustainable development, that produced results for the environment, not high-minded words, not fancy opportunities for politicians to make speeches and people to puff themselves up and be proud of saying the right things. It is not enough that one's heart is in the right place. It is the actions that matter, and the action of the Liberal government on the Lake Simcoe clean-up fund was to cancel it.

There are over 200 projects like those I already read, and there are more. The Oro-Medonte best management practices focused on improving the sustainability of development locally. ReWilding Lake Simcoe was a great one. The people and the nature new stewardship program, run by the Ladies of the Lake Conservation Association, delivered 24 on-the-ground restoration projects and also developed a set of unique urban-suburban best practices to improve habits. This was specific to the watershed, specific to the kind of private lake and beach associations they had, remarkable, great work that engaged the community, and involved volunteers and citizens. They did real, physical things to remediate the lake. All they needed was a little help, a little funding from the government, and they would take that initiative and leadership. They did that stuff, but now the Liberal government has cancelled the Lake Simcoe clean-up fund and the kinds of projects that it was producing.

There was the RainScaping retrofit program for low-impact development demonstration projects. Can anyone think of anything that is more focused on sustainable development? How can we take the normal development of houses and reduce their environmental impact in this sensitive area on Lake Simcoe and make it more sustainable? The description of this project, which was again through the conservation authority, was as follows:

This project will identify opportunities to control phosphorus and improve water balance in seven major urban centres in the Lake Simcoe watershed. Each of the seven municipalities will undertake one low impact development (LID) demonstration project. The projects will help transform current stormwater practices in both developed and to be developed lands. Low Impact Development methods to be demonstrated will reduce water pollution (especially phosphorus), alleviate flooding, and reduce stream bank erosion by controlling water quantity and increasing infiltration of rain water back into the ground.

That is actual physical, real sustainable development. It is the kind of stuff that was going on under the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund, but the Liberal government has said no. It has cancelled it and said that it is over.

The Liberals are going to talk about the environment and say nice things. They say their hearts are in the right place, but they are not actually going to deliver action. In fact, they are going to stop what has been happening and the work of hundreds of citizens across the community.

What have people in the community been saying about this, people who care about sustainable development and the environment? Richard Simpson was the head of the citizen's advisory group that approved all of these projects and would review them. These were unpaid volunteers reviewing the projects and assessing what was important for the community. Richard, who also happens to be the current vice-chair of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority because he is no longer head of this advisory committee abolished by the Liberal government, says that “The Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund advisory board was proud to select projects for funding and work with partners across the watershed to deliver real results for Lake Simcoe's environment. The cancellation of the fund puts Lake Simcoe at risk once more, and it is disappointing given how much progress has already been made to clean up Lake Simcoe.”

There are more comments by people who have written to me, telling me their views. John from Newmarket says, “All reports from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority point to improved water quality. This affects water quality for towns around Lake Simcoe. Tell the Liberal government not to reverse these improvements.”

People care that this fund has been cancelled. People in the communities were engaged. It was having real results for the environment. The real action by the Liberal government is to cancel it.

Steven from Keswick says, “I live on the shore of our great Lake Simcoe. I have seen it go from bad to much cleaner as a result of the Clean-up Fund—it must be continued to keep to ecosystem healthy.” Sue from Brown Hill says, “Having fresh, clean water is one of our treasures. Cancelling the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund is very sad: one step forward, and two steps back.”

All these people understand what our Conservative government understood, that we should be judged by our actions and what we really do. Let us deliver material results. That is what the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund did. I give credit to Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty, both of whom took the decision, despite what the Department of the Environment at the time might have wanted, to fund this initiative and structure it in this unique way that did not build the bureaucracy but rather put money in the hands of people in the communities who would deliver actual remediation, and in the process leverage those funds into tremendous results.

We have seen results. Guess what? We did not think this would happen in the short time it did, and the conservation authority has expressed its surprise that the improvements were as great as they were. We thought it would take 15 to 20 years before we would start seeing improvements, but just seven years into the initiative, native species that had not bred in the watershed, cold water fish species, were suddenly returning and breeding in parts of the watershed. Real results were happening for the environment. It was improving. Moreover, phosphorus levels were being measurably reduced. Testing is undertaken all the time by the Ministry of Natural Resources in Ontario.

Why is this so important? Lake Simcoe is in an area that is under huge pressure from development. There are massive new subdivisions going in. The provincial Liberal government has identified Barrie on the shores of Lake Simcoe as a growth target area. If one cared about sustainable development in a serious way, one would think that would make it a target area for sustainable development efforts. One would want to reinforce something like the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund, but instead the Liberals chose to cancel it. In fact, Eleanor from Sharon, who wrote to me, made exactly that observation. She said, “With all the development in our region it is important that the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund continues!"

While I commend the effort that went into this bill—and I think the bill is fine—the bigger question when we talk about sustainable development is not saying nice things about objectives and creating strategies, and so on. It is about what people's actions are, what is being done on the ground, and what is being done for the environment. The environment commissioner has said the same thing as the people in Lake Simcoe. The Liberal government may say nice things, but its deeds do not match its words. In fact, they are the very opposite, and we have seen that with this very dramatic cancellation of the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund.

It is a very sad thing to have happened, and I can tell members, as one who worked with so many of these community organizations, they are remarkable people. I mentioned the Ladies of the Lake. Another another is Kids for Turtles, a beautiful group out of Oro-Medonte. There were remarkable groups throughout, such as Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, the conservation authorities, the municipalities, and even provincial departments, which eventually got engaged and started supporting and helping with some of these projects. The farmers and the Federation of Anglers and Hunters got involved in support of physical, material projects.

Members of the Holland Marsh Growers' Association have a problem with the canals in their area. Because it is Ontario's richest farmland, there are already a lot of nutrients there naturally in the soil that they farm, and with normal agricultural practices, one would try to manage nutrients as well. Guess what? They had an opportunity to donate land. As a result of this fund, they donated land that was matched by partnering with plantings by the clean-up fund and other organizations that got involved, thereby again making real, material, physical improvements to the health of the lake.

There are others that are remarkable. There was the project to evaluate development best practices for residential developments in NewMarket, including a fairly recent one, Mosaik Homes in the Glenway subdivision. This project demonstrated and evaluated the widespread application of low-impact development techniques in a new residential subdivision in the Lake Simcoe watershed, exactly addressing those sustainable development challenges. The project included rain gardens, vegetated biofilters, an underground exfiltration system, and best practices for the management of soils in landscaped areas.

It would be nice to think that after 10 years and $16 million, enough was done, that the health of the lake was secure for the future and that we did not have to worry any more, because Lake Simcoe was in good hands. However, the fact is, every single expert, including the provincial Liberal officials at the Ministry of Natural Resources, all tell us that while good progress is being made, there is a real need for more to happen. This is why there is such disappointment with the cancellation of the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund.

Fausto from Cookstown is another person who wrote to me. He says that “Lake Simcoe needs to be taken care of today.” Greg from Sutton says that “Water is our most important resource!” Robert from Keswick says that “Programs like this are important to the future of safe water for our communities for years to come!”

The local Georgina Island First Nation in Lake Simcoe is involved right now in a lawsuit trying to protect the lake's health. Its members were partners in this fund. They also have been working hard. Why are they concerned? It is because there is a proposal for a new large sewage waste treatment plant in the watershed. While there was work done on that, it is a legitimate concern.

However, why are we, at the same time those folks are using their own funds to try to protect the lake, taking away funds from others who are trying to protect the lake and allowing potentially injurious actions to go ahead?

Marie from Jackson's Point says, “Lake Simcoe is very important to the people near it because of tourism, fishing, and many people rely on it for their livelihood.” Brian from Sutton wrote to me that “To bring economic prosperity to the area, we need to continue to protect and restore Lake Simcoe—our most important resource!” Charlie from Holland Landing wrote: “Clean water and protection of this resource must remain a high priority!” Madeline from Willow Beach said it simply: “We must save Lake Simcoe!”

This is what sustainable development means when it is actioned. This is what it is about when a government has real programs that deliver real remediation that improves the environment, and people from the community get a stake in it and feel a part of it. This is a classic example of where a Conservative government delivered results, and chose to be judged by its results and not by great words. However, this action and real results were cancelled by the current Liberal government, which is focused more on words, photo ops, images, and impressions and not on delivering real results for sustainable development on the ground.

Architecture October 2nd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, today marks World Architecture Day. Architects make the framework of our lives and architects dream the future of where we live, work, and play. When architects dream well, their work becomes part of the story of our lives.

Preserving our built heritage benefits all Canadians. That is why I introduced Bill C-323, which would create a tax incentive for Canadians who restore and rehabilitate their heritage properties. This bill has the support of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, which said it was good news and an opportunity for all members of all political parties to support the retention of Canada's historic buildings.

Canadians care about outstanding architecture around them. We are worse off when magnificent buildings are demolished or neglected. We now have an opportunity to support Canadians working to preserve historic buildings so they can be enjoyed by generations to come.

On World Architecture Day, I encourage all members to help preserve our built heritage and support Bill C-323

Taxation September 27th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, the wartime government of Robert Laird Borden introduced an income tax. Believe it or not, Liberals actually opposed the new tax—but wait: Liberals opposed the new income tax because it was not high enough.

The Liberal whip of the day said that it would be “a mere flea-bite”, and complained that the new tax “does not take from men enough to make it hurt.”

I give them full marks for consistency, but after 100 years of Liberals continually pressing to raise taxes, is it not time to stop making it hurt so much?

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act September 19th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, certainly what has been heard from the dealers is that the way it is written is not sufficient, and the way it is working right now already is not sufficient to satisfy the relationship.

As I said, I am not sure the amendment has the exact wording right, but it is clear that people are not satisfied with what the legislation proposes. It is an issue that needs to be addressed and needs to be wrestled with. I think that is an important thing for us to look at, and it is a good reason for this to be evaluated more closely at committee after we adopt it at second reading.

Strengthening Motor Vehicle Safety for Canadians Act September 19th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I have to disagree with my friend, because using his logic, we would not be able to support the bill. The consequence of forcing a recall, and the way that our auto sector is structured these days, means that the dealer, being one party as the member was saying, is different from the other party, the manufacturer. The dealer is asked to correct the defect that has been established by the manufacturer. Therefore, the government is already inserting itself in determining that commercial relationship through that order.

What has been stated, and what my own experience tells me, is that there is perhaps not a perfect balance, whatever contractual arrangements those dealers have with the manufacturers. Again, there is also a question there about who has greater bargaining power in that relationship and how we evaluate making sure that it is a fair transaction. I think there is a problem. The dealers, the local small businesses—I know the current government does not place great value in those smaller local businesses—have to be treated fairly. They cannot be left holding disproportionately the cost of a problem that was created by the manufacturer and be told that they have to live with that if they want to be a dealer. It is simply unfair, because those are unknown costs down the road that they had nothing to do with causing but are being asked to pay for. Therefore, any normal contractual relationship, any normal legal relationship, would suggest there should be something there to correct that and make those who are responsible for the cause having to bear the cost.

Otherwise, I put it to the member, more and more people will get my experience. They will show up with their recall notice, and the car dealers are going to find some other reason, some other way to try to recover that cost that they are going to have to bear for doing the recall repair. In order to pay for that recall repair, they will be forcing individual consumers to pay for other unnecessary repairs and services so that the dealers are left whole financially from what they feel they have been treated unfairly on.