House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was farmers.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank the opposition member for his very narrow question on the budget. I think it is important that Canadians look at the budget in its entirety and what it would do for them and for our economy.

As I pointed out, this is a good budget for Canadians. This is a good budget for our Canadian economy. As Conservatives, we have a very strong track record, in terms of creating jobs or putting in place the policies that allow the creation of jobs. We have a very strong record on lowering taxes for Canadians.

While I appreciate the question, the fact that it is so narrow makes me wonder why he is ignoring all of the other very positive measures that are contained within the budget, those types of benefits that Canadians want and ask for, that we promised to deliver and that we are indeed delivering.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, let me just remind my colleague that when we take the Conservatives and how we have implemented transfers to provinces, we have significantly increased the amount of federal funding that we transfer to provinces. I will give an example from here in Ontario. When we were first elected in 2006, the federal government was transferring approximately $11.9 billion to Ontario every year. That amount has now climbed to close to $20 billion. This has been an increase for Ontario of almost 75% to 80%.

He is asking what the tax implications would be. If the provincial government spends that money wisely, then it, too, could lower taxes for Canadians. This is what Canadians want. Certainly when I am in my riding, Canadians have had it with high municipal taxes, provincial taxes, and federal taxes. I am proud to be part of a government and of a party that is focused on lowering taxes for Canadians.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to address the House today to talk about how our Conservative government is successfully implementing the initiatives in our economic action plan in order to promote jobs and growth and support families and communities.

Our initiatives greatly benefit Canadians and families in rural regions such as my riding, Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

Now that we are on our way to keeping our promise to Canadians to return to a balanced budget, our government is focusing on moving forward with our initiatives so that hard-working people can also benefit from the surplus.

The Liberal Party and the NDP both want Canadians to pay more taxes. They want more revenue so that they can turn around and spend it.

The Conservatives believe that Canadians need to keep more of their hard-earned money.

It is because of the Conservatives' economic management skills that the initiatives we have already implemented are producing such positive results. Thanks to our action plan, the Canadian economy has already created more than a million net new jobs since 2009. Our country has ascended the ranks and our middle class is now among the wealthiest in the world. Considering the economic challenges that exist outside our borders, we can be proud of what we have achieved as Canadians.

We know that urban and rural businesses are crucial to our economic prosperity and growth. The 2014 budget and Bill C-43 focus on the needs of small businesses. We want to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, and we are clearly offering additional support to small business owners.

One of my goals, as the MP for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, is to bolster local economies within my riding because they create jobs and employ the people living in the region.

I hope to see the local businesses in my riding succeed because when they are successful, they grow, and when they grow, they create new jobs and hire more people.

According to a study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, small and medium-sized businesses employ 70% of Canada's entire private sector workforce.

Thanks to our job credit aimed at small businesses, these companies and their employees will soon benefit from a tax credit that will lower small business employment insurance premiums by 15% over the next two years.

More than 90% of Canadian companies will benefit from this initiative, which will save them $550 million. They can then use that money to solidify their business or expand it and create more jobs.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has estimated that 25,000 person-years of employment will be created due to our EI credit.

I had the pleasure of joining the Prime Minister in a trade mission to the United Kingdom in September. There, I had the opportunity to meet with Dan Kelly, the president of CFIB, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, to discuss the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, particularly in rural economies such as Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

This is what Mr. Kelly said in support of our EI credit. The small business job credit “will make it easier to hire new workers or invest in additional training to help entrepreneurs grow their business.”

It is plain to see that our Conservative government is indeed supporting small businesses in very concrete ways in order to ensure that Canada's economy continues to thrive.

As I had previously mentioned in the House in the last budget debate, the launch of the Canada apprentice loan, a key initiative identified by employers and various organizations with which we have consulted, would provide apprentices in Red Seal trades with access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year. This is important in communities such as my riding, which has a great demand for skilled trades, for example, related to agriculture.

Family farming is an integral part of our rural communities and our country. Farmers and producers have greatly contributed to our many successes and have the well-earned reputation of growing extremely high-quality product, both for Canadians and international consumers.

As part of economic action plan 2014, we have allocated over $3 billion, including provincial and territorial contributions, toward investments in innovation, competitiveness, and market development for our Canadian agricultural sector under Growing Forward 2. Now we are implementing further measures to support farmers by making the tax system simpler and fairer for farmers who already work very long hours to provide what goes on our tables at every meal. Many farms, in fact, will benefit from the small business tax credit, which I mentioned earlier in this speech.

Another important initiative that I would like to highlight is the doubling of the children's fitness tax credit. We have heard the concerns of Canadian families regarding the rising cost of raising a family, and we understand that organized sports in our day and age play an important role in the health and growth of our children. Our federal government is taking concrete steps to make life more affordable, especially for low-income families. Canadians saw this with the Prime Minister's most excellent and well-received announcement yesterday concerning income splitting between parents, increasing the universal child tax benefit, and increasing child care deduction limits.

However, I digress. I actually wanted to speak of us having doubled the child fitness tax credit from $500 to $1,000. To us, it is important that we promote a healthy and active lifestyle, especially with children. It is vital that all children of all walks of life have access to sports and athletic activities. Our youth have access to many great sports, including hockey, which, as Canadians, we consider to be our national pastime. Our child fitness tax credit would help ensure that future generations continue active participation in sports and recreational activities.

I am encouraged by our Conservative government's initiatives to create jobs and encourage economic growth, as well as long-term prosperity, all while returning to balanced budgets. Unlike the opposition, which votes against measures to strengthen our Canadian economy, our federal government continues to take action in implementing initiatives, such as supporting families and communities, and improving the fairness and integrity of the tax system, among many others. In addition, we have been transparent. The budget was tabled in the House long ago, back in February. We value democracy and have been openly debating inside and outside the House.

I urge the opposition to join us in helping hard-working Canadians. I urge them to stop stonewalling and voting against important measures that will create jobs, strengthen our economy and alleviate some of the financial challenges facing Canadians.

I know that the Liberals and New Democrats love nothing more than imposing taxes and increasing spending, but I urge them to make an exception and to vote in favour of Bill C-43.

Canadians can rest assured that our Conservative government will continue to move forward and take the necessary action to create jobs and promote economic growth, while still working toward a balanced budget.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, my colleague started by talking about our great announcement yesterday to help families. I have done a few rough calculations, and I would like the member to respond.

If a child under the age of six roughly gets $2,000 a year in tax credits, over six years, that would be close to $12,000. Then, from the ages of 7 to 17, another 10 years at about $720 a year, that would be another $7,200. We are talking about a child from birth through to the age of 17 and helping that family financially with tax credits worth up to $19,000. If we take a family with three children, we are talking about the government helping that family by close to $60,000.

I am the father of five children. When I was raising my young children, all I got from the government at that time, which was Liberal, was higher taxes. I am almost convinced that what I would get if we had an NDP government would be even higher taxes.

I would like to know how the member could possibly put down a government helping a family with three children by close to $60,000. Two-thirds of Canadian families will benefit from the measures that we announced yesterday, so I do not want the member to say this would just benefit the rich, because that is absolutely false.

Agriculture and Agri-Food October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, our government has always defended Canada's supply management system, and we are continuing to do so with the European Union agreement.

The three pillars of our national supply management system remain intact. We will monitor the potential impact of this historic agreement on dairy producers' income. If production levels are adversely affected, we will help the producers financially.

We have a strong record of protecting the supply management system.

Agriculture and Agri-Food October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our government has always defended Canada's supply management system, and we will continue to do so in our relations with our partners.

Unlike the NDP, which failed to mention supply management in its election campaign in 2011, the Prime Minister was clear on this issue at election time.

Agriculture and Agri-Food October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I think the House knows the history of this file. The rail companies failed to transport grain from western Canadian grain farmers to their clients and to destinations in an expeditious manner. The government moved expeditiously with the support of the House.

The grain movement is being reviewed to ensure that the rail companies do meet their targets. I know the Minister of Transport is looking at this very question the member has raised in the House today.

Canadian Wheat Board October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member implies that the CWB is playing with government and farmers' money. This could not be further from the truth.

Let me read a quote from The Western Producer of September 23, 2009. It states, “So there is a deal, we would have to revisit if there is a role for government since there would no longer be that financial stake.”

Who said that? Why, it was the member for Malpeque. He was referring to the way the CWB would operate in an open market. He argued that government should maintain an arm's-length relationship with a privatized CWB, and that is exactly what we are doing. We are allowing the CWB to privatize and keeping an arm's-length relationship.

The courts have been clear. Farmers and the government do not own CWB assets. It is time for this member to take his own advice and let the CWB move forward and privatize in the manner it sees fit.

Canadian Wheat Board October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the commercialization of the Canadian Wheat Board represents a new era of opportunity for western Canadian grain farmers. Our government has delivered on our commitment to give western Canadian grain farmers the marketing freedom they want and deserve. We promised marketing freedom to farmers, and we followed through on that commitment. As part of that commitment, our government continues the Canadian Wheat Board as a marketing choice for western Canadian farmers who choose to take advantage of the CWB's risk management pricing tools.

As the CWB now competes in the open market, it has a right to protect commercially sensitive information. As required by the Canadian Wheat Board (Interim Operations) Act, the CWB submitted its financial statement for the 2012-13 crop year to the minister. That crop year was significant, as it was the first year for the Canadian Wheat Board as a commercial entity in an open western Canadian grain market.

Before tabling these financial statements in Parliament, the minister carefully assessed the sensitivity of the commercial information in the report, because the Canadian Wheat Board's competitors do not have to publish this kind of information, and therefore they do not.

In accordance with the Canadian Wheat Board Interim Operations Act, the minister excluded from the report any information whose publication could be detrimental to the commercial interests of the Canadian Wheat Board.

Contrary to what the members opposite think, this is not a political process. The CWB will assess all serious bidders and then submit a plan for commercialization in accordance with the legislation passed in December 2011. As such, the CWB is increasing its capacity to remain a vibrant marketing option for farmers, and we are encouraged to see the CWB continue with this plan.

Unlike the Liberals and the New Democrats, our government has jobs and the economy as our top priority. Farmers want the numerous benefits that are available in fair, competitive, and open markets.

Our government promised to deliver on this. We have, and the Canadian Wheat Board can now be an effective competitor.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 30th, 2014

If only you'd work with us, Nathan.