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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was actually.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for St. Catharines (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Points of Order June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I tried to focus the speech that I gave on the progress we have made from 2006 to 2015, and it is very clear. If there is ever an opportunity, the member should come to my riding in the St. Catharines community and see the investment the federal government has made into social housing, into assisting those who used to pay federal tax but do not have to pay it any more because we have raised the thresholds.

We have played a role in working with the region of Niagara and with regions across this country to ensure that those who need housing and those who cannot quite afford it have the opportunity to start and move in that direction. We have made those opportunities happen. We have continued to invest in housing. This budget invests again in housing. There has not been a budget since we took government that did not invest in social housing. The member knows it, and to say otherwise is a fallacy.

Points of Order June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I applaud the member for seeking that number. I am sure when the order paper comes back, it will be shown. I will have a look at it before it gets sent over. I would be happy to get that number for him.

What this speaks to is that, across the country, people who were in a position where they could not necessarily afford to put their children into sports now at least feel and understand that the federal government is there to help them in that process. Let us not forget that, since that time in 2006, we have had programs like the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program so that, when there are situations when children are unable to sign up because of their parents' financial position, there is a way to make it happen. It is part of what was built upon, about getting children engaged and ensuring they have an opportunity to get involved in fitness and play sports. It is not just necessarily the government's responsibility to do that; it is the responsibility of all of us.

Points of Order June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you. I know that my words instill discussion, and sometimes pointed discussion, from the Liberal Party over to the Conservative Party.

Let me repeat that, 23 years later, we finally have a Liberal Party that has said that maybe the national child care program is not going to work for them. However, what seems to be working for the Conservatives is actually listening to what families say, asking families to take the money that is theirs—which was paid to the federal government—and giving it back to them to use for their children.

In economic action plan 2015, we have introduced an opportunity for an additional $60 per month for every child from birth until 6 years of age, to receive $160 per month. Every child between the ages of 6 and 17 is now eligible for an additional $60 a month. We are growing a plan based on the fact that we now have additional revenue that has put us into a balanced budget position and has enabled us to tell families that they can have a little bit more of the money back that they paid to the federal government. What is more, they have it specifically to use for the children who are in their care, whom they brought into this world.

It seems to me that even the Liberal Party of Canada said, “Wow, these guys have figured out how to deal with families across this country”. They will try to have some sort of plan—although has a $2 billion hole in it—that maybe comes at least within striking distance of what the Conservatives are offering.

I will tell members something. Families across this country are seeing something interesting, which is a government trusting families with how they use that money for their children. Even some of the parties in opposition are starting to wonder whether that plan is something they should be endorsing and copying. I guess that is the most sincere form of flattery.

We have also increased by $1,000 the maximum amounts that can be claimed against child care expense deductions. That is an additional $1,000 for the purchase of child care. We have now increased it by $1,000 to allow families to keep some more of the money that they pay. We have also introduced the family tax cut, which is a tax credit of up to $2,000 for couples with children under the age of 18.

We said in 2011, during the campaign, that we would look to family income splitting. We introduced it in 2006-07 for seniors to split their income so they could keep more of their hard-earned pension dollars to be able to stay in their homes, live within their means, and have a little bit extra on a monthly basis to afford what they needed. We have taken that to the extent of being able to say that, yes, a form of income splitting is going to be introduced in the 2015 economic action plan. That is a tax credit of up to $2,000 per family.

We have also increased the child fitness tax credit. It is $1,000, which was made retroactive to 2014, and the credit is now refundable. Again, that is something that happened in 2006. We offered help to families across this country who were in need of some additional revenue. We offered help to families in need of a tax credit, at least, that allowed them to get their children into programs that would give them the ability to begin fitness, to stay in that vein to ensure that their health is better, to help them stay in shape, and to learn that as a way of life through their older years. Now, we have grown that to ensure that the cost for families to put their children in sports and fitness events is tax deductible.

Back in 2008, we also introduced the tax-free savings account, for the 2009 budget. It was introduced as a $5,000 amount. Individuals across this country over the age of 18 could deposit some savings into those accounts, and the interest earned on those accounts would never be taxed by the federal government.

We increased that in a subsequent budget, and we made a commitment to double it by the time we had reached the 2015-16 budget. We are now going to pass a budget that includes a maximum of $10,000 per year that can be contributed to one's tax-free savings account.

I have heard all of the rhetoric from across the way about who is going to benefit from this program the most. We need to look at how this has been implemented and how it has worked over the last number of years. If we go to page 233 of this budget, we see the tax-free savings account is a popular means of savings for Canadians at all income levels. Individuals with annual incomes of less than $80,000 accounted for more than 80% of all TFSA holders and about 75% of tax-free savings account assets at the end of 2013. About half of the TFSA holders had annual incomes of less than $42,000.

The folk arts multicultural celebration just took place in my community in the last two weeks of May, the longest-running folk arts festival in the country. On three separate occasions, individuals approached me to talk about this specific policy and said, “Rick, you don't know and understand. I'm not someone who earns $100,000 or $150,000 a year”. All three of them told me they make less than $60,000 a year and appreciate the fact that they can actually save for themselves and their futures without having to pay tax.

That is a way to help Canadians. It is a way that we have put in our budget. It is a budget that makes sense and a budget that should be supported.

Points of Order June 9th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak on economic action plan 2015.

First, I want to compliment the Minister of Finance for his budget and for this government's 10th budget since taking office in 2006. It is clear that since that time, we have indeed enjoyed a healthy, robust Canadian economy within the global network that we trade and work with, and we have gone through difficult times, which this government has faced and has put forward budgets that matched the time and need, and matched it responsibly. When we look at the economic action plan 2015, the plan for 2015-16, it is a balanced budget.

This is the first time a government has come from a situation where, as it wanted to make sure the economy of Canada was strong, went into deficit, but made a promise to ensure that, as the economy restructured, as we strengthened, it would indeed come out of that deficit, bring forward and present a budget that was balanced. Indeed, this budget is that.

I recall the election of 2005-06 when we won government. One of our five critical planks, important pieces of what we would do as a government, was to introduce a universal child care benefit that would see every family receive $100 a month per child under the age of six.

I recall at that time that the other parties involved in that election that won seats here in the House of Commons spoke vehemently against that plan and that decision. In fact, the Liberal Party is now presenting an interesting option, which it obviously sees as the way Canadian families want to see the universal child care benefit or child care assistance across this country be used, and that is directed to families across this country versus some form of a massive national child care plan.

Therefore, I have seen, at least in the last 10 years, the Liberals learn one thing about this country. In their 13 long years of continuing to promise a national child care program, which it never delivered in those 13 years, it looks like now, after an additional 10 years, some 23 years, they have finally abandoned that dream of a national child care plan and said that the Conservative government is actually onto something: actually giving taxpayers' money back to them—

Taxation June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it was recently proposed to have “...a mandatory expansion of the CPP of the type that Kathleen Wynne put forward in Ontario”. Who said that? It was the leader of the Liberal Party, whose high-tax and high-debt plan would mean a $1,000 tax hike for every employee who earns just $60,000 a year, which would come directly out of their pockets.

My home of St. Catharines is full of families who would prefer to keep money in their pockets and choose how to spend or how to save their hard-earned money. It is our government that makes that happen. On this side of the House, we do not raise taxes on the middle class. We do the exact opposite; we cut them.

May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I know that on a regular basis, the member for Ottawa Centre and other members question the location of the communist monument. I would like, with unanimous consent, to actually enter into the record the map and diagram that shows the exact location of the monument when it will happen. I ask for unanimous consent to do that, for the record.

Taxation May 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government disagrees with the statement of the Liberal leader, who said he supports “a mandatory expansion of the CPP of the type that Kathleen Wynne put forward in Ontario.” That plan would raise taxes by thousands of dollars on every worker and family earning $60,000 a year. We reject that. Our approach is a low-tax plan for a secure retirement.

We have heard the Liberal leader tell us right here in the House of Commons that he and his family are not part of the middle class. My parents and their families are part of the middle class, along with millions of families across this country. The Liberal leader is intent on taking money from the middle class and paying for his programs.

This party and this government have lowered taxes to ensure that millions of families across this country enjoy the money that they have earned and deserve and spend it the way they believe it should be spent.

Canadian Heritage May 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I find it strangely ironic that the member for Ottawa Centre, downtown, does not even know where the monument is going to be located. He continues to perpetuate a falsehood about where the monument is actually going to be located.

Let us be clear. I will dispel the falsehood. It will be constructed, not in front of the Supreme Court of Canada, but further west on Wellington Street. If the member would like a little bit of direction on where it is going to be, I suspect that we will go for a walk down Wellington Street and I will personally show him.

Canadian Heritage May 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, this memorial is going to honour more than 100 million lives lost under communist regimes and pay tribute to the Canadian ideals of liberty, democracy and human rights. In this country alone, over eight million people trace their roots to countries that suffered under communism.

Our government committed to honouring the victims of communism in our Speech from the Throne. We look forward to fulfilling that and making sure that this monument is built.

International Trade May 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, over 60 countries are doing this. We certainly are in line. In fact, the word “pandering” perhaps works on the other side of the House, but it does not work on this side of the House.

We listened to the industry. Witnesses came to committee. We made recommendations. Many of those recommendations were actually supported by the other side of the House.

These measures and our government are protecting the interests of artists and their work for a much longer period of time, by extending copyright from 50 to 70 years. This will protect performers and producers of sound recordings from having their copyright expire during their own lifetimes.