House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Independent MP for Brampton East (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 52% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, that question gives me an opportunity to talk about the people of Brampton East, the fine people who gave me an opportunity to come serve in the House and achieve my very own Canadian dream.

I go knocking on doors on a weekly basis. When I talk to my constituents, they are supportive of the direction of our government. They appreciate the small business tax cuts. They appreciate the Canada child benefit, which is more money after tax to more families that need it. They appreciate the national housing strategy to ensure that all Canadians can have access to affordable housing. They appreciate our work to grow the fastest economy in the G-7. They appreciate our investments in infrastructure, which are making a difference in the lives of citizens in Brampton. They appreciate that their voices are being heard in Ottawa, as opposed to 10 years where only Ottawa's messages were being pushed down to Brampton.

That is why they are supportive of not only the Liberal government, but also their member of Parliament who has always been accessible to them. I always ensure that no matter what, I will never forget that they gave me an opportunity to serve. I will always be there to fight for their lives.

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I just do not understand why the opposition does not get it.

The Ethics Commissioner is appointed to ensure all members of Parliament follow the rules. The member for Toronto Centre was elected. He was appointed to cabinet. He met with the Ethics Commissioner. The Ethics Commissioner gave him advice. He followed that advice. He went on to focus on growing the economy, covering his mandate as the Minister of Finance, ensuring we had the fastest growing economy in the G-7.

Again, the members opposite can keep focusing on what they have to focus on, but we are going to focus on Canadian families. The Minister of Finance is doing a great job.

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member mentioned that this is what happened. In fact, I have already mentioned that the member for Toronto Centre was elected in the 2015 election. He was subsequently appointed as Minister of Finance. He met with the Ethics Commissioner, who governs all members of Parliament, except for maybe the leader of the NDP who is not a member of Parliament yet. However, otherwise all MPs are governed by the Ethics Commissioner. The Minister of Finance was provided recommendations, those recommendations were followed, and the rule of law was maintained. That is why the Minister of Finance has been focused on growing the economy.

I understand why the NDP cannot stand that, because at the end of the day, we are actually making contributions and helping families. People in Brampton East are happy with me. The member is more than welcome to come to my riding and participate in 2019.

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is a friend. Those comments about him in Maclean's were true and honest. I congratulate him on his award and for the good work he does for his constituents. I do welcome him back to Brampton East. The more he comes, the more my margin of victory increases. Therefore, I consider it a bonus if he comes by Brampton East, and I hope he comes more often.

The member spoke about the small business tax rate. We on this side of the House understand that small businesses need a strong economy. We are reducing the small business tax rate from 10% to 9%, and we look forward to doing that.

At the same time, we are making investments in infrastructure, in communities, and in families which benefit small businesses. We are all trying to ensure they do very well. That is why they benefit from the fastest-growing economy in the G7. That is why they benefit from the 500,000 jobs have been created. That is why they benefit from the Canada child benefit to ensure that 300,000 children are lifted out of poverty. That is why they benefit from the further indexation of the Canada child benefit.

It is always nice to review with the hon. member that the small business tax rate should be at 9%. I look forward to hosting him and his growing family in my riding very soon.

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Again, the hon. member from York—Simcoe should speak when he is spoken to. He has had opportunities to rise in this House and ask a question. In six and a half minutes, I look forward to his rising to ask me a question. I will be happy to answer it.

More importantly, the Ethics Commissioner was appointed with a mandate to ensure that no member of Parliament violates the conflict of interest rules, whether he or she is a backbencher, minister, the Prime Minister, an independent member of Parliament, or any of the 338 members who serve in this House and were duly elected in a democracy. The Ethics Commissioner is independent of this House of Commons, which we respect.

The hon. member from Toronto Centre was elected and appointed as the Minister of Finance. He met with the Ethics Commissioner proactively. The commissioner wrote instructions to him, which he followed, and then he focused on building a stronger economy for Canadians.

I understand why the opposition does not want to talk about this, because it is nothing but good news on the economy, again and again. This is because the unemployment rate is going down and more jobs are being created, amounting to half a million jobs, with the strongest growth rate in 10 years. That is why my colleagues on the other side of the House keep on coming up with fancy words, word play, and trying to distract Canadians. They are not going to distract our government or divide us. That is the politics of the Harper regime.

We are focused on sunny ways. We know that sunshine is the best disinfectant. That is why we are focusing on growing a strong economy. It means that we continually have to make smart investments in people and communities to ensure continued progress for the middle class, and to make investments in lifelong learning to give Canadians the tools they need. It also means ensuring that government's policy and budgetary decisions consider the impact on both genders and advance gender equality.

I think I have tabled more proof than we need that the Minister of Finance and the Government of Canada are doing a great job for Canadians.

Since coming to office, the Minister of Finance has focused on improving the lives of the middle class. Under his leadership we will continue to ensure that Canadians who work hard will have an opportunity to succeed, to ensure that we protect the most vulnerable people in our society, and to ensure that we give an opportunity to all Canadians from coast to coast to coast to achieve their very own Canadian dream.

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I absolutely would love to repeat myself.

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I feel like I am back at law school, so thank you so much for the lesson on how to present an argument. In his point of order, my hon. colleague said I was not being relevant, but the fact of the matter is that the first six minutes was just my preamble. I will get into it.

We started by saying that sunshine is the best disinfectant. The Ethics Commissioner has a role to play and we all respect her for the great job she does in ensuring that all members of the House, including ministers, the Prime Minister, opposition members, members on the backbench, members of the third party, and independent members, are held to high ethical standards. All members are elected to the House by great Canadians and sit down with the Ethics Commissioner to make sure they are onside and do not have any conflicts of interest with their government and parliamentary work.

The Minister of Finance proactively sat down with the Ethics Commissioner when he was elected as the MP for Toronto Centre, and subsequently appointed as the Minister of Finance. He followed her advice. He set up a conflict screen and he went forward building a stronger economy for Canadians. That is simply what the matter is about. There is a set of rules. The minister followed those rules. He met with the Ethics Commissioner. She provided a recommendation and he followed that recommendation and went on to build a great economy in the last two years.

That is the problem, and I get it. When I was in opposition, I was an innocent bystander. I have had the great fortune of being in politics since I was age 19, including as a volunteer. When members are on the opposite side of government, it is frustrating, especially being on the opposite side of our government, which has the fastest growing economy in the G7, has created 500,000 new jobs, has cut taxes for the middle class, has reduced taxes for small businesses, and increased the Canada child benefit and lifted 300,000 children out of poverty.

Of course, people will find things to talk about. Opposition members love to talk about relevancy. The Ethics Commissioner did her job. The Minister of Finance followed her recommendation and now is focused on making sure that Canadians from coast to coast to coast have an opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is what we are focused on, and opposition members can focus on distracting us, but it is not going to work. We have seen this song and dance before, and that is why sunny days started on October 19, 2015, and will continue for years to come.

With the budget, the government showed its commitment to put together a new housing strategy to help ensure that Canadians have more affordable housing meeting their needs. Yesterday, the right hon. Prime Minister and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced how they would make housing more affordable for Canadians. Canada's first ever national housing strategy is a 10-year, $40 billion plan that will give Canadians a place to call home. It will promote diverse communities and will build housing that is sustainable and accessible.

All of the government's investments to date are having a real impact on Canadians and our economy. The Canadian economy is the fastest growing economy of the G7 countries. How come the opposition never likes to talk about that? The Canadian economy has created over 500,000 jobs since our government was elected in 2015.

I am hearing a little heckling from my NDP colleagues, so I would love to remind them that the Canada child benefit, which has directly helped to lift 300,000 children out of poverty, is something that party voted against. Until they can come full circle and realize that they voted against middle-class tax policies, they really should not throw stones when they live in a glass house. Among young Canadians, the unemployment rate is the lowest on record. Labour market participation among working age women is at an all-time high. Canada also has the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio among the G7. According to projections by private sector economists, in just five years from now, the federal debt-to-GDP ratio could be at its lowest level in 40 years. Our plan is working, but we are not done yet.

As we look forward to the future and our next federal budget, the government remains focused on how best to grow the Canadian economy, and how to make sure that the growth benefits all Canadians. That means it will continue to make smart investments in people and communities, to ensure continued progress for the middle class and—

Business of Supply November 23rd, 2017

Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour and a privilege to rise in this House and speak to Canadians about the hard work the Minister of Finance is doing for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

The motion says “sunshine is the best disinfectant”. That is why on October 19, 2015, after 10 years of cloudy skies, people in Canada voted for real change and let the sun shine in. Let me repeat that: let the sun shine in.

We have been clear right from the beginning that the economy needs to work for the middle class and those working hard to join it. This is a must. My parents immigrated to this country, because they knew that in this country, there were rules, and as long as one followed the rules and worked really hard, they could be successful. That is why we have had a clear focus to ensure that hope and hard work succeeds for Canadians all across this country.

First we introduced a middle-class tax cut, which continues to benefit nearly nine million Canadians. Then we introduced the Canada child benefit, which has lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. Compared to the previous system, in which child benefits were not targeted and were given to millionaires, the CCB is an after-tax targeted benefit that is helping a lot of families, including in my riding of Brampton East, where almost $10 million has been given to Canadian families in need of additional assistance.

In the fall economic statement, the Minister of Finance announced the government's intention to accelerate the indexation of the CCB by two years, to July 2018. This simply means better support sooner to ensure that the CCB continues to play a vital role in helping low- and middle-income Canadian families with children.

This was announced less than a month ago, and I had the honour and privilege of hosting the Right Hon. Prime Minister in my riding. He met with families in my riding that had young children, who thanked him for the investments in families with the Canada child benefit. It was a great day.

Every time I get up in this House, I invite all members to my riding, especially the Speaker, because it is a wonderful place. We run basketball camps on Sundays. I want to see the Speaker there shooting some hoops with the people of Brampton East.

Moving right along, we also announced the government's historical agreement with the provinces to enhance the Canada pension plan. At maturity, it will increase the maximum retirement benefit by about 50%. In today's dollars, that represents an increase of nearly $7,000, to a maximum benefit of around $20,000. With the recent action by the Government of Quebec to enhance the Quebec pension plan in a similar fashion, Canadians from coast to coast to coast can now look forward to a safer, more dignified retirement.

Our government knows that those working hard to join the middle class can face financial barriers to joining or rejoining the workforce. That is why, as part of our agreement to enhance the Canada pension plan, we increased the working income tax benefit. Because the economy is growing, we are doing even more to help those working to join the middle class. In the fall economic statement, the government announced its intention to further enhance the WITB by an additional $500 million per year. This will provide even greater support for current recipients and will ensure that more workers can qualify.

In the fall economic statement, the government also announced its plan to reduce the small business tax rate. By doing this, the government will help small business grow and create jobs. The small business rate will be lowered to 10% just five weeks from now and to 9% a year from now, in 2019. This means up to $7,500 in federal corporate tax savings per year to help entrepreneurs and innovators do what they do best.

Small businesses are a key driver of our economy and a cornerstone of our communities across this country. As our plan works to grow the economy, small businesses see the benefits of that growth with lower taxes. As we lower taxes on small businesses, we are committed to ensuring that low taxes support businesses, business growth, and investment and do not give personal tax advantages to the wealthy over the middle class.

We inherited a system that encourages wealthy individuals to incorporate in order to pay less tax. This means someone making $300,000 can save about as much on tax as the average Canadian who earns $48,000. We are making changes to address tax advantages that only the richest individuals using high-priced accountants can take advantage of.

We have listened to small business owners, professionals, farmers, and fishers and will move forward in a way that protects small businesses, the middle class, and innovators and entrepreneurs.

There is more. Budget 2017 also laid out the government's plan to invest $81 billion over 11 years in public transit, and in green infrastructure, social infrastructure, and transportation infrastructure in support of trade in rural and northern communities—

Anniversary of Anti-Sikh Riots October 30th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, today I stand to mark the 33rd anniversary of the tragic events of November 1984 in New Delhi. Let me be clear. These orchestrated and targeted attacks against the Sikh community were an atrocity that resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives, for which justice has not been served. It is 33 years and numerous inquiries later, and those responsible for these brutal massacres have still not been brought to justice. Mothers lost sons, gurdwaras were burned down, and entire Sikh families were wiped out.

Acknowledging the malicious intent underlying the massacre is the first step toward reconciliation. Truth and reconciliation have benefited Canada a great deal. They can benefit India as well. We must always pursue human rights, fairness, and truth at home and abroad.

The Economy October 25th, 2017

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our finance minister tabled the fall economic update in this House and demonstrated to all members that real change is working. The numbers speak for themselves. Canada has the fastest growing economy in the G7. Our unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since 2008, with 450,000 jobs created. Our government is enhancing the working income tax benefit with an additional $500 million per year, and it is strengthening the Canada child benefit by providing more after-tax dollars to Canadian families. We are also reducing the small business tax rate from 11% to nine per cent.

We are not done. We understand that more work needs to be done to ensure that hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast can achieve their very own Canadian dream.