House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was terms.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Brantford—Brant (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

National Access Awareness Week June 2nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, this week is National Access Awareness Week.

As the parent of a 22-year-old, intellectually disabled son, this week reminds us all of the very real challenges faced by persons with disabilities and the importance of improving access so that these very special people can fully participate in all aspects of Canadian life.

Our government supports this goal and is taking important steps to help. Some of these include providing an additional $75 million for the construction of new housing units for people with disabilities and introducing the registered disability savings plan and the enabling accessibility fund. These investments are working to help people with disabilities lead more active lives so they can realize their true potential.

During this week, I encourage all Canadians to do their share to help persons with disabilities get the access they need to more fully participate in all aspects of Canadian life.

Cuba May 14th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I read yesterday that the leader of the Liberal Party has called for the opening of ties with Cuba. He is quoted in the South Asian Focus newspaper saying, “Canada needs to have ties with Cuba - at present Canada plays no role there at all”.

Could the Minister of International Trade tell us what kind of ties Canada has with Cuba?

Brantford Golden Eagles May 14th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would ask members of Parliament to join me in congratulating the Brantford Golden Eagles.

Twelve days ago, this hard-working hockey team of high-flying Eagles swooped to victory over the Stoney Creek Warriors, eliminating the team 4-1 in games, capturing the Sutherland Cup as Ontario Junior B Champions.

Hanging in the dressing room at the Brantford Civic Centre are these words: “The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare”, and prepare they did. These young men played their hearts out and have brought pride to our community. The players, coaches, owners and support staff did it: Well done.

The Environment April 2nd, 2009

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberals voted for the NDP's Bill C-311 tiddlywink bill. It is a bill the Liberal member from Ottawa South suggests has targets that are fiscally irresponsible because there is no accompanying plan to accomplish them causing him to say, and I quote, “We might as well be sitting at a table with Monopoly money and Tidley Winks”.

Could the Minister of the Environment please explain to the House the right way forward on climate change?

Sri Lanka March 5th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, like all Canadians, I am concerned by the ongoing civil war in Sri Lanka. This conflict has gone on for decades, and innocent civilians on both sides are bearing the cost.

Currently a large rally taking place on the front lawn of Parliament Hill features dozens of Tamil Tiger flags. Can the minister of state please inform us of Canada's position on this matter?

Infrastructure March 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of the House to the recent announcement of the government of over $10 million to build a new twin-pad arena in my riding of Brant and to rebuild the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre.

We are creating jobs by doing this and making Canada stronger by investing in it. We are delivering results in these difficult times by building roads, bridges and water treatment systems across Ontario and by investing in projects like these.

Not only will people in Brant have greater access to physical activity opportunities as a result of this development, but the community will benefit from job creation, improved recreational facilities and the sport tourism dollars this will bring to our area for years to come.

Safer Internet Day February 10th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, today the Government of Canada recognizes Safer Internet Day in announcing the renewal of the national strategy for the protection of children from sexual exploitation on the Internet. Today's announcement signals our government's ongoing commitment to help keep our children safe.

On February 28, 2008, Parliament passed Bill C-2, which increased the age of consent for sexual activity from 14 to 16 years of age to better protect youth against adult sexual predators. Our government also invested $6 million per year, provided through budget 2007, to strengthen existing initiatives to combat exploitation and trafficking of children.

We will continue to work with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the RCMP's National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre to eliminate online child exploitation. This government is committed to raising awareness about the abuse of children and to the investigation and pursuit of those who engage in exploitation--

The Budget January 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, to the contrary, on all fronts, we are investing in infrastructure in historic ways. We are about to nation build through the infrastructure projects, similar to, as was mentioned by the member across, the 1967 initiative for recreational facilities. My community benefited from that initiative in 1967. My father, a firefighter, actually was part of the public fundraising side of it to produce that wonderful civic centre in our community, and it is time now to renew it.

In my riding the infrastructure development for universities and for all roads and buildings would be welcomed through this budget. I have had comments from constituents to date to indicate that. I am thrilled to go home and discuss what we are doing for the people of Brant.

The Budget January 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question and comments regarding the agriculture industry and in particular how it is affecting our ridings. I can tell him that we had extensive prebudget consultations with many of the farmers in our communities, including pork and hog producers, grain and oilseed farmers, the tobacco producers and dairy farmers. I can assure him that we have listened and responded.

To correct the record, our offer to the tobacco producers stands. It is being worked on right now between the tobacco producers of Ontario and the Government of Canada. I can also tell him that what is lacking is the provincial government's participation in a buyout program to take the quota to $1.74, which is being requested.

On that specific file, there is much happening. The revenue provided by our government to the tobacco farmers will be delivered in our jurisdictions. We listened to the pork and hog producers. We have extended the amount of time they have to pay back the loans they took out, which were of a one-year duration. They have now been moved to two- and three-year durations to give them time to work things out in their industry during these tough economic times.

The Budget January 30th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time this morning with the member from the beautiful riding of South Shore—St. Margaret's.

It is indeed a pleasure and a privilege to rise in the House today to speak on behalf of the people of Brant.

Brant is made up of the city of Brantford, the county of Brant, Six Nations of the Grand and the Mississaugas of the New Credit, a diverse community, rich in heritage.

Each community is unique but its people are bound nonetheless by a common history and a common cause: to contribute, to prosper and to give the next generation hope for a better life than they themselves have had. That is simple, some might say, and obvious, yet so often forgotten in the pursuit of personal agendas.

Agriculture has been and always will be an integral part of Brant's history. While farm families in St. George, Paris and Burford grew the food we ate, thousands more, many of them immigrants to this land, built farm equipment in Brantford's factories like Cockshutt Farm Equipment, Massey Ferguson and White Farm Equipment.

Canada's farmers continue to strive to develop innovative, high quality food products for Canada's families and markets abroad. In Brant they form a solid economic foundation for the rural communities in which they live and work. Despite strong economic gains in some sectors over the past two years, Canada's farm sector is not isolated from the current economic downturn. Some farmers, such as livestock producers, are facing higher input prices and many are affected by low and volatile commodity prices.

Since 2006 the government has introduced major enhancements to agricultural programming. The new suite of business risk management programs launched in April 2008 provides comprehensive protection against income variability, natural hazards and disasters.

Our government's economic action plan announces new measures to build on this strong foundation. The government will implement a five year, $500 million agricultural flexibility program that will facilitate the implementation of new initiatives, both federally and in partnership with provinces, territories and industry. This program will help farmers adapt to the pressures and improve their competitiveness. The plan announces proposed amendments to the Farm Improvement and Marketing Cooperatives Loans Act to help make credit available to new farmers and support intergenerational farm transfers.

At the birth of the last century, Brant was the third largest manufacturing centre in Canada, third only to Montreal and Toronto. Those first tractors made in Brantford's factories supplied a global market moving toward modernized farming.

Today global events are shaping the riding of Brant as they have in the past. A global recession originating in the United States threatens us here at home. The first priority for all of us is to protect each other during this global recession

Our government's economic action plan accomplishes this by, among other measures, extending EI benefits to a maximum of 50 weeks; providing $400 million to support on reserve housing; providing another $400 million for low income seniors housing; extending the wage earner protection program to cover severance and termination pay owed to eligible workers impacted by an employer's bankruptcy; and yes, tax cuts, particularly for low to middle income Canadians, a total of $4.3 billion in personal income tax relief.

However, we must not forget the desire of Canadians to give to the next generation hope for a better life than they themselves have had. The economic action plan provides for $12 billion in infrastructure spending not only to create jobs but to engage in nation building by building roads, universities and recreational facilities. The plan provides for two year targeted funding of $165 million for the completion of drinking water and waste water infrastructure projects to address the health and safety priorities in first nation communities across the country.

Unprecedented economic times require creative economic solutions. The introduction of Canada's renovation tax credit is one such solution.

I dare say the vast majority of Canadians who enjoy the pride of home ownership have at least one project in mind to improve their home and their investment. Further, I would go so far as to say that every member in the House today has a project in mind for their home, if they own one, and this may not include the project that their spouse or partner has in mind. How do I know this? Experience. I have over two decades of construction experience specializing in home renovation, at first swinging a hammer, mixing concrete, sweeping the sawdust from the floors and later on, as the business grew, helping families at their kitchen tables design, develop and fulfill their dreams. For a time I served as president of the Ontario Home Builders' Association and as chair of the Ontario Renovators' Council.

I can tell the House from that experience that during the new home construction downturn of the early 1990s renovation work kept food on the table of many a tradesperson. Men and women, skilled and unskilled, were able to keep working and stay off the unemployment line.

Our government has listened, designed and developed the home renovation tax credit. This highly stimulative measure will provide up to $1,350 in tax relief to reduce the cost of renovations for an estimated 4.6 million Canadian families.

The first-time homebuyers' tax credit will provide $750 in tax relief to first-time homebuyers, money that can be spent by young families on furnishing homes, perhaps furnishing a nursery. As well, first-time homebuyers will be able to increase their RRSP withdrawal amount from $20,000 to $25,000 to purchase a home.

In addition, our action plan adds $300 million over two years to the eco-energy home retrofit program, which is expected to support an additional 200,000 energy-saving home retrofits.

It is important to remember that there is a tenfold spinoff to home building and renovation spending. Manufacturing is supported to produce building products. Distribution systems deliver those goods to the work site. Retailers benefit from purchases by homeowners during and after the project is completed through purchases of appliances, electronics, window coverings, furniture and much more. As one old-timer said to me when I told him I was a renovation contractor, “Ah, renovation, that's a cat with a long tail”.

In closing, this week our government delivered an economic action plan for an unprecedented time in our history. It is a plan built on unprecedented consultation, a plan built on pragmatic and practical approaches, and a plan that responds to the needs of honest, middle-class Canadians, hard-working Canadians who play by the rules, just like the good people of Brant.