House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was correct.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Kitchener Centre (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Foreign Affairs March 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that the Government of the Philippines and its partner have signed a comprehensive agreement on Bangsamoro.

This agreement brings an end to the decades-long insurgency in the Philippines. This agreement is expected to bring increased opportunity and development in the autonomous region of Bangsamoro and, therefore, benefit all Filipinos.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs please share with this House the government's reaction to this development in the Philippines?

The Budget February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, that probably only gives me time to comment on my colleague's remark that the Liberals would present a better budget. As I understand it, the Liberal leader's idea of a better budget is simply to say that it will balance itself. This is a re-emergence of voodoo economics in the 21st century in Canada. I think my friend should be blushing to hear his leader say that.

The Budget February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that our colleagues on the opposite side paint a very bleak, kind of walking dead picture of Canada and its economic prospects. It really is a kind of dark fantasy world that is necessary for us to dispel so that Canadians at home know that actually, the government is doing fantastic work, and the country is really quite healthy.

I would like to just add a drop of truth, which, like a drop of detergent, will dispel the oily slick the opposition tries to put out to Canadians. I will provide a couple of interesting comments about the budget for my colleague's consideration.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has said, “The government has acted.... The result will be a stronger economy and more jobs”.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said, “Small business owners know that today's deficits are tomorrow's taxes, so they are pleased [with] the government's commitment to a balanced budget in 2015”.

Let me close with one more, in particular. Engineers Without Borders said:

EWB welcomes the government's decision to protect vital foreign aid spending in Budget 2014....

...we are proud that Prime Minister Stephen Harper chose to maintain current levels of foreign aid spending.

Canada's recent commitment—

The Budget February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support economic action plan 2014, which is a focused and admirable budget. Economic action plan 2014, a road to balance, is focused on Canada's future. With 2015 in our sights, the Minister of Finance has crafted a budget to deliver job creation, economic growth, and low taxes, leading to a balanced budget in 2015.

The last five years have certainly not been easy on Canadians. The global economic recession has drastically affected the Canadian economy. Our government worked hard to fight the worst global economic turmoil in almost 80 years by delivering a stimulus package which created Canadian jobs, built infrastructure, and kept us internationally competitive. This government has succeeded spectacularly.

I am proud to say that Canada is now one of only a handful of countries in the world that continues to receive a triple-A credit rating with a stable outlook, from all rating agencies. Canada has the best job creation record of all G7 countries, with over one million net new jobs created since 2009. The OECD has forecast that Canada will outpace the rest of the G7 in growth over the next 50 years.

Our financial sector is flourishing. The head of the International Monetary Fund noted that Canada is “a country with one of the strongest financial sectors in the world [...] Canada can teach the rest of the world about how to build a stronger, safer financial system”.

Our Prime Minister gets it. Our finance minister also gets it and has delivered a strong, stable, and fiscally responsible budget for all Canadians.

I will highlight several aspects of the budget that would affect Ontario, and in particular my constituents in Kitchener Centre. These are strong reasons to support the budget.

The government continues to support innovation in Canada, year after year, and budget 2014 is no exception. Since 2006, the government has delivered almost $11 billion in new resources to support scientific research. In 2013 alone, the government's support for innovation exceeded $3 billion for research and post-secondary education.

Economic action plan 2014 would create a Canada first research excellence fund, with $1.5 billion in funding over the next decade. This would help Canadian post-secondary institutions excel globally in research, which provides long-term economic benefits.

Our post-secondary institutions in Waterloo region will continue to excel as leaders in innovation and research. Canadians have long been leaders in quantum research. The University of Waterloo's quantum research department will receive $15 million in funding over three years, beginning in 2014.

Most exciting is that the budget seizes the opportunities of the open data world. Over three years, $3 million will be provided to the Canadian Digital Media Network for the creation of the open data institute, through FedDev Ontario. With advancing technology, it is possible to sort and filter data to identify opportunities for new products and services. This initiative would be spearheaded by the network, but it will be a collaborative effort with partners, which include Waterloo region's own Desire2Learn, OpenText Corporation, Communitech, and the University of Waterloo.

My constituents are concerned about finding jobs. They also want to make sure they find the right jobs for their skills. That is why the budget would create the Canada apprentice loan, which would deliver access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year to apprentices in red seal trades.

The government will also launch a job matching service, which will automatically match Canadians looking for work with employers who are looking to hire them. This enhanced job matching service will provide job seekers with modern tools to find jobs that match their skills and provide employers with better tools to look for qualified Canadians. The budget starts with $11 million over two years for this, and adds an ongoing $3.3 million per year to launch this enhanced service.

I am proud of the efforts of women in my community: the entrepreneurs, the executives, and the professionals. Budget 2014 is going to deliver $150,000 across the country to increase mentoring among women entrepreneurs.

Kitchener has its fair share of dynamic young women entrepreneurs in companies such as Pebble, Thalmic Labs, Charity Republic, and MappedIn, but despite these success stories, women are significantly underrepresented as a proportion of small business owners. This budget meets that challenge.

I meet too many talented young individuals graduating from university who are not able to find good employment quickly, so budget 2014 is going to reallocate $15 million annually toward up to 1,000 internships for recent post-secondary graduates in small and medium-sized enterprises through the youth employment strategy.

I want to mention The Working Centre in downtown Kitchener, which I am very proud of. It helps many people find work. Earlier this year, I attended an older workers forum there and spoke with people whose skills need to be updated so they can find employment in a changing workplace. The targeted initiative for older workers, which is run out of The Working Centre as well as other Kitchener institutions, such as Lutherwood and Conestoga College, helps older workers update their skills. Budget 2014, I am very pleased to say, renews the TIOW program for another three-year period, representing a federal investment of $75 million. It is very good news for my community.

As the longest-serving member of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, I am proud of this government's investments in Canada's natural heritage. I am happy to say that economic action plan 2014 allocates another $391 million over five years to Parks Canada for improvements to bridges and dams in our national parks and along our historic canals.

My constituents enjoy recreational fishing. With the Grand River winding majestically through the city and the wonderful Great Lakes within driving distance, we all benefit from healthy natural waterways. This budget is going to double the annual funding to the recreational fisheries conservation partnership program. It will provide an additional $15 million over the next two years. This is great news for the Grand River Conservation Authority and great news for those who enjoy fishing.

Finally, we need to talk about families. For an ordinary family of four, the tax burden, since 2006, has been cut by close to $3,400 each year. This gives individuals and families greater flexibility to make the choices that are right for them.

Further help for families is going to come in this budget through the investment of $44.9 million over five years to expand the focus of the national anti-drug strategy. Also, the budget is going to deliver an increase in the maximum amount of the adoption expense credit by allowing $15,000 for further tax relief in recognition of the costs unique to adopting a child. The budget will also permit Canadians leaving a defined benefit registered pension plan to receive a payout equal to the lump sum value of their pension benefits, and there are other beneficial changes.

Canadians need to know that this country is succeeding economically. The OECD thinks so. Fortune 500 companies think so. Our friends in the G7 think so. The world's lenders think so. In fact, the only people who do not want to admit that Canada is doing well are the members opposite, who would prefer to see the government spending more of Canadians' hard-earned money. However, the government is not going to do that today.

I stand proud of the Government of Canada and its plan. I stand proud of economic action plan 2014 and our current path to balancing the budget. I urge all members of the House to put aside their partisan interests and to support the best interests of all Canadians. Support this budget.

The Budget February 25th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have discovered that many of my colleagues on the opposite side live in a deep, dark fantasy world, and they would like to present an image of Canada that is a deep, dark fantasy. It often amazes me to hear them speak.

I was intrigued by my colleague's comments regarding the Alzheimer Society. I am going to quote from a few sources to, as it were, drop a drop of detergent onto the oily pool of deep, dark fantasy the opposition tends to weave and watch the oil recede in the light of the truth.

Perhaps I will confine myself to one quote in particular from the Alzheimer Society of Canada on this budget:

On behalf of the 747,000 Canadians living with dementia, we are grateful to the federal government for providing the resources needed to carry out important research to better understand how to tackle various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

This is a drop of truth in the middle of the oily slick that is laid by the opposition. I would like my colleague who just spoke to tell me if she agrees with the Alzheimer Society, or does she want to take it to task for praising the budget?

Health February 7th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have read several disturbing reports about heroin emerging as the new drug of choice for addicts in Canada. This potent drug has potentially deadly consequences for addicts and severe impact on the people around them. I am proud to stand with our government's stance on taking heroin out of the hands of addicts and not putting it into their arms.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health please inform the House what the government is doing to keep our streets and communities safe from this threat?

Business of Supply January 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is quite an interesting debate and, quite frankly, I find it sad when a member such as the member opposite who was just speaking accuses the government of trying to do away with Canada Post. It is complete fiction and it is really kind of insulting, not just to the government but to all the people across Canada who may be listening to that kind of nonsense.

I would like to know from the member whether or not he recognizes that a fundamental change has been occurring in mail delivery. In the first nine months of 2013, mail volumes declined by 184 million pieces, or 5.1%, compared to the same period last year. In fact, in 2006, Canada Post delivered 1 billion more pieces of mail than in 2012.

I would like to ask the member if he is in fact able to get his head out of the sand. Does he recognize that Canada Post plays a different role in people's daily life than it did 10 years ago?

Protecting Taxpayers and Revoking Pensions of Convicted Politicians Act December 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the understanding I had when I sat down to listen to my colleague across the way was that we were debating a bill proposed by a private member, yet I hear him talking about entirely different things. He is now mentioning playing cards.

I would simply ask the Speaker to rein him in and ask him to keep his comments to relevant comments regarding the bill under debate.

First Nations Elections Act December 10th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I will say, in the spirit of reconciliation, that when the hon. member for Drummond mentioned, after the long and somewhat rambling, off-point speech by the member for Timmins—James Bay, that the current system of elections in first nations communities is paternalistic, I could not agree more.

Perhaps distracted by his colleague's speech, the hon. member for Drummond did not read the bill that is up for debate today. If he did, he would see that it is designed to take the minister out of the day-to-day governance of on-reserve elections. This, in fact, has been the request of multiple first nations, from Manitoba to the Maritimes.

Although it takes a little more time, I would urge my colleagues across the way to actually read the bill and see that it is designed to increase self-government in an opt-in manner for first nations communities.

Petitions December 9th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the second petition, with 102 signatures, calls upon the government to introduce a suitable form of representation after public consultation.