House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was jobs.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley (Nova Scotia)

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

Statements in the House

Taxation June 19th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our plan will help 100% of Canadians with children by expanding the universal child care benefit and implementing the family tax cut. Conversely, the Liberal Party's plan is to take away the universal child care benefit and the family tax cut.

The Liberal leader wrote his plan on the back of a napkin. He does not know the devastating consequences that it would have for Canadian families with children. The Liberal leader just is not ready to become prime minister of Canada.

Shipbuilding Industry June 17th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak on how our Conservative government's national shipbuilding procurement strategy is creating literally thousands of high-paying jobs for Nova Scotians.

This week hundreds of prospective employees lined up at an Irving shipyards job fair in Dartmouth, looking for someone to say yes when they applied for a job.

This opportunity was provided to them by our Conservative government's investments at Irving. However, if the Liberals and the NDP have their way, these investments will stop and those thousands of jobs would disappear. High taxes lead to job cuts.

Our Conservative government will never let that happen. We will continue to focus on jobs, long-term prosperity, and economic growth.

Good luck to the people applying at Irving. Many more jobs are coming.

The Environment June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government believes that Canadians should be considered first for all Canadian jobs. Last year we took decisive action to overhaul the temporary foreign worker program to make sure this principle applied across all industries, including Canadian airlines. Those new rules are giving Canadian pilots a fair shake at available jobs.

Under the temporary foreign worker program, we are strictly enforcing the reforms that we introduced last year. The penalties if a company violates this are quite severe. Employers must justify the need to hire foreign workers under every single circumstance. I assure the members of the House that the government is strictly enforcing these rules.

The temporary foreign worker program always puts Canadians first. It is intended to be used as a last and limited resort for employers when no qualified Canadian is available for the job.

The Environment June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government is making sure that Canadians are considered first for available jobs. The temporary foreign worker program is there to offer employers an alternative only when those employers cannot find qualified Canadians to fill a job. The program is designed to offer a last and limited resort for employers. Those are not empty words. Our government stands by that statement and stands by that policy.

Last year we overhauled the temporary foreign worker program to make sure jobs went to Canadians first. Jobs have to go to Canadians before employers can hire people from abroad. That is a message that we send strongly to employers from coast to coast to coast. We have put stringent rules in place so that employers would have to follow this policy.

For example, before turning to the program, employers must advertise a job for at least four consecutive weeks through various channels. They must tell us how many Canadians applied for the job and how many they interviewed, and then they must explain why those they interviewed were not hired. They have to explain to the government how those interviewees were not qualified for that position.

These rules are strictly enforced. We are serious about helping Canadians find and keep work. That is why we spoke to our stakeholders in the airline industry. As the hon. member stated, it is not acceptable to reject Canadian pilots for a job just because they are not trained on a specific type of plane. The employer should provide that training if necessary. That is an accepted industry standard. We are holding airlines accountable to that standard.

How are we doing this? Our government has put additional measures in place for airlines as of July 1, 2014, almost one year ago. Before an airline can hire a foreign pilot, it must go through a rigorous process that ensures hiring a non-Canadian is the only option that the airline has. It must meet the minimum advertising requirements for high-wage occupations and it must adhere to specific criteria around job postings.

For example, the maximum number of flight hours it can include as required experience is 4,000 hours for a first officer and 5,000 hours for a captain. The employer must also have a long-term transition plan to move away from hiring foreign workers and toward hiring more Canadian pilots in the future. The Department of Employment and Social Development Canada must approve this transition plan to ensure that employer is making every effort to hire Canadians first.

I want to emphasize that we are taking strong action to keep Canadians employed. The changes we have made over the past year clearly show this commitment. Canadian jobs must go to Canadians first.

Questions on the Order Paper June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, data are not available at the constituency level. Furthermore, it is not possible to arrive at an accurate number of denied claims because some claims that do not become established initially could be put into pay with additional information.

Questions on the Order Paper June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, since April 1, 2011, Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation, CMHC, provides federal funding under the investment in affordable housing, IAH, which the Province of Quebec cost-shares and has the responsibility for the design and delivery of affordable housing programs to address their local housing needs and priorities. Funding information by municipality is available only for capital projects committed under the IAH. CMHC is not aware of any capital projects that would have received federal funding under the IAH in Terrebonne, Quebec. Assistance under the IAH provided directly to individuals, e.g., shelter allowance, is not available to CMHC by municipality. However, some of this funding may have been provided for housing located in Terrebonne, Quebec.

Housing June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would say again that our government recognizes the need for low-income families and other vulnerable Canadians to have access to quality affordable housing. We have made unprecedented investments in housing over the past nine years and we will continue to work with the provinces and territories to deliver funding where it is needed most and will have the greatest impact on reducing the number of Canadians in need of housing.

As an example, the investment in affordable housing has already supported close to 225,000 households across Canada and tens of thousands more will be helped through the renewal of this initiative in 2019. This is the type of respectful, collaborative and flexible approach that our government favours and that should be supported by the hon. member on the other side.

Housing June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, of course, the minister is telling the truth. I welcome the opportunity to respond to the hon. member for Hochelaga.

Ensuring that low-income families and other vulnerable Canadians have access to affordable housing is a matter of great importance to the government. That is why we have made unprecedented investments in housing over the past nine years. Working with our partners, some 940,000 individuals and families have benefited from these investments. This includes those living in existing social housing units.

Through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, our government has invested almost $19 billion in housing since 2006, and we will be continuing this important work. This year, CMHC is providing approximately $2 billion in housing investments on behalf of the Government of Canada. It is funding that includes support for nearly 600,000 Canadian households living in existing social housing, including on reserve.

We have also ensured the continuation of federal funding for housing programs through the investment in affordable housing initiative, a collaborative effort with the provinces and territories to reduce the number of Canadians in housing need. This initiative was launched by our government in 2011 and has been renewed until 2019, with total funding of close to $2 billion over eight years.

The hon. member will be pleased to know that one of the ways the provinces and territories can use this federal funding under the investment in affordable housing initiative is to support projects after the long-term housing agreements with CMHC have matured. That is their choice.

As I have said on previous occasions, the majority of non-profit and co-operative housing projects are expected to be financially viable and mortgage-free when these agreements mature. For projects that may face financial difficulties when the federal subsidies end, CMHC is taking action to help them prepare for the end of their ongoing operating agreements. For example, in 2013, CMHC changed its lending program to allow non-profit co-operative housing groups to prepay closed CMHC mortgages with a penalty that is consistent with private lending institutions.

In addition, social housing providers whose operating agreements allow for the establishment of a subsidy surplus fund can now retain any money they have in this fund and use it after the operating agreements mature to continue to lower the cost of housing for households living in existing social housing. These are changes that support exactly what the member opposite is talking about.

Building on the prepayment flexibility announced in 2013, economic action plan 2015 proposes further support for social housing providers by allowing them to prepay their long-term non-renewable mortgages without any penalty at all. This will enable eligible social housing providers to access private sector loans with more favourable interest rates, significantly reducing their mortgage expenses. Lower mortgage expenses will help housing providers undertake capital repairs and renovations to help them improve the condition and quality of the affordable housing units.

I would also like to remind the hon. member that Canada's economic action plan 2009 included an investment of $1 billion to protect and revitalize the existing social housing stock off reserve. This funding supported the renovation and retrofit of more than 12,600 social housing projects across Canada, ensuring that these homes will continue to be available for years to come.

Business of Supply June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the member talked about people needing compassionate care.

As we know, this year's budget clearly dictates that we will be expanding the compassionate care part of the employment insurance program so someone who has to take care of sick relative, maybe an elderly person or child, can extend that six weeks to six months. The NDP has said consistently that it supports this, and we thank it for that.

Knowing that this is in this budget, will she put her money where her mouth is and when it comes time to vote on this budget, will she stand up for the millions of Canadians who have been delivering compassionate care to their children or their adult parents who need a little help? Will she stand in her place and support that and this budget?

Business of Supply June 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member across the way for his speech. One of the things he talked about was access to the employment insurance system. He said that people have to fight for it, but that is not true. For anyone who has paid into the program and has the requisite number of hours, all they have to do is apply and employment insurance is there for them.

There is a service standard that Service Canada has put forward, in that 80% of people who apply for employment insurance will receive their benefits within 28 days. That service standard is now being met. Therefore, anyone who is eligible for employment insurance and makes an application will have that claim put through within 28 days and will start receiving their benefits.

Knowing that, my question for the hon. member is whether he is now prepared to admit that there is access to the employment insurance program.

People do not have to fight for it. The program is there. All they have to do is put forward the requisite number of insurable employment weeks and they will then get their employment insurance benefit, just like any other Canadian who is due those benefits.