House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was veterans.

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

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

National Defence June 18th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I met with officials from the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces to bring forward concerns that were passed on to me by members of Canada's reserve force. Our reservists proudly serve, as well as have robust careers, and compose approximately 25% of all missions. They have brought honour to Canada through their service. Their concern was about the processing times of reserve pensions.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence please give this House an update on the reserve force pension plan?

Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act June 16th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the outstanding minister for his dedication on this file. To his point that when one lays poor foundations, oftentimes what happens is those foundations have to be rebuilt. Those poor foundations left by the Liberals are being rebuilt by the minister right now, so I thank him for that work.

The bill sends a clear message to individuals coming to our country that harmful, violent, barbaric practices are unacceptable. These practices are incompatible with our Canadian values and will not be tolerated. The minister has consulted from coast to coast to coast and yet the minister in his speech has also said that we know of people still trying to perpetuate these intolerant practices. Polygamy is one example of that. It was outlawed in 1890, and still it is perpetuated today. We have to work very hard to get a grip on that.

Would the minister expand on that?

Ukraine June 15th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, recently I travelled with the Prime Minister to Ukraine, meeting with President Poroshenko and discussing Canada's strong support for Ukraine in combatting Putin's aggression.

The Prime Minister is clear that Canada recognizes the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and Canada will never recognize Putin's illegal occupation of any Ukrainian territory. Putin must withdraw his troops and weapons from Ukraine and cease his material support to his proxies. Canada will always stand with the people of Ukraine.

The House has an opportunity to demonstrate that support today by joining the International Council in Support of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Echo weekly newspaper, the League of Ukrainian Canadians, the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women and the Ucrainica Research Institute at a reception in Room 238S after question period for the release of a unique publication entitled Holodomor: the Ukrainian Genocide 1932-33. The book raises public awareness of the Holodomor, a famine genocide perpetrated by Stalin.

I hope all members will make an effort to participate this afternoon.

Pensions June 2nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is criticizing Premier Wynne's Ontario pension plan saying it will “...harm Ontario's economy and will penalize employers and employees...”.

The leader of the Liberal Party has pledged, “...a mandatory expansion of the CPP of the type that...Kathleen Wynne put forward in Ontario”.

These reckless schemes hurt business, kill jobs, and hike taxes on all Canadians. This means that, for someone earning $60,000, it is an extra $1,000 in tax they would have to pay each year.

Our approach is a low-tax plan for a secure retirement. We want to keep more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadians.

Elimination of Partisan Government Advertising Act June 1st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to speak on this issue of government advertising today.

Let me begin by stating that everything we do in our Conservative government is driven to ensure that our activities stand up to the highest level of public scrutiny. This includes our communications and advertising efforts to inform the public about programs and services we have in place to build a strong Canada. This makes me think of the work we do to help Canadians stay healthy and prevent the spread of infectious diseases, as an example.

It also makes me think of the work we do to support job creation and economic growth through our low-tax plan for jobs and growth, as outlined in Canada's economic action plan.

As part of these efforts, we want to ensure that Canadians are able to make the most of the programs available to them. This includes vital programs to modernize a broad range of infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, public transit, and parks. It also includes vital programs to support home ownership, help stimulate the housing sector, and improve housing across Canada.

We use a variety of means to expedite funding to individual Canadians and businesses. For example, we work closely with our many partners across the country, including officials in every level of government and countless stakeholders in industry, and, yes, we use advertising.

Advertising has played a key role in explaining the many programs that are part of our low-tax plan for jobs and growth. Like any responsible organization, we make use of advertising because we understand that programs to help Canada prosper cannot possibly work if no one knows about them. That is why we set out to tell Canadians and Canadian businesses what our plan can do for them. As part of our efforts, we have launched advertising campaigns. We have created a strong online presence, and we have travelled from coast to coast to coast to educate Canadians about the programs in place to help them. They need to know.

The communications policy of the government says, “In the Canadian system of parliamentary democracy and responsible government, the government has a duty to explain its policies and decisions, and to inform the public of its priorities for the country”. The policy also states, “The public has a right to such information”.

Our government takes its duty very seriously, and we are proud of the communications work we have done to ensure that Canadians have received timely, accurate, objective, and complete information about the programs and the services available to them.

Our plan to creating jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for Canadians is clearly working, and this is something we can take pride in.

I would ask members to consider the following. The Canadian economy has posted one of the strongest job creation records in the group of G7 countries over the recovery, with over 1.2 million jobs created since June 2009. Over 90% of the jobs created since that time are full-time positions. Over 80% are in the private sector, and nearly 60% are in high-wage industries. Real GDP is significantly above pre-recession levels, the best performance in the G7.

Of course, we have balanced the federal budget as promised, and we are now in a position to fulfill our promise to help Canadians balance theirs. We just have to go around the world and listen to leaders and people in other countries to realize this, because they see Canada as a huge success story.

What does this all mean? It means that today we are in an even better position to weather new challenges.

Let me make an important point. The advertisements used to spread the word about our low-tax plan for Canadians have been done in a way that respects the principles of accountability and transparency. They have been done in a way that respects the existing framework of rules found in the government's communications policy and related administrative procedures. This includes the procedures in the management of advertising.

These procedures ensure that all advertising activities provide value for money and uphold the principles of the communications policy. We also require that all advertising is guided by the Canadian code of advertising standards, which defines government advertising as distinct from political advertising.

The procedures in place on advertising are a key part of good management. They provide detailed, step-by-step information to help federal departments and agencies manage advertising activities and ensure efficiencies and consistent practices across government. As well, they promote strong collaboration among the key organizations responsible for managing government advertising.

Our government is always looking for ways to ensure that its activities are well coordinated, transparent, and managed in a way that provides value for money for Canadians.

I can say that the bill before us today is not one of those ways. We already have a strong system in place. This is completely redundant. It is not clear that the additional financial resources and administrative requirements in Bill C-544 would provide value for money for Canadians. As such, the government will not support this legislation, and we encourage all members to do the same.

Allow me to reiterate that we already have a robust system in place. It includes safeguards to ensure the integrity of government advertising. This includes various mechanisms to ensure that communications across the Government of Canada are well coordinated, effectively managed, and responsive to the diverse information needs of Canadians.

I discussed several of these mechanisms earlier. They include the communications policy of the Government of Canada as well as the procedures for the management of advertising. Advertising is an essential way for the government to inform Canadians about issues that affect them. We continue to make use of this tool to better serve the citizens of this country.

Democracy in Poland May 26th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to congratulate the Republic of Poland on the recent presidential election. This month's election proves how far Poland has progressed since democracy was restored almost 26 years ago.

This election recalls Poland's strong democratic tradition, which dates back to 1793, when Poland became the first European country to adopt a written constitution.

I would like to congratulate president-elect Andrzej Duda on his electoral victory, and I wish him a successful term as president. I would also like to congratulate outgoing president Bronislaw Komorowski on his successful term as president and for his graciousness in defeat, and I congratulate the people of Poland for exercising their democratic franchise.

Poland is a great historical ally of Canada, and I am proud that our troops are serving side by side today on Operation Reassurance.

Islamic State May 25th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, CNN reported that ISIS fighters murdered nearly 100 people, including a dozen children. This same death cult has called for attacks in Canada, against Canadians. We cannot protect Canada by simply choosing to ignore this threat.

On behalf of my riding of Etobicoke Centre, I want to thank the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces who are standing up to this threat head-on. In the last week alone, Canadian CF-18 Hornets have struck multiple ISIS fighting positions in both Iraq and Syria. These strikes are part of our continued mission to degrade ISIS until it no longer represents a threat to Canada.

Poland Constitution Day May 13th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I celebrate Poland's Constitution Day with Polish-Canadians, like my parents.

May 3 marked the 224th anniversary of Poland's constitution, which is the oldest in Europe and second in the world only to the United States. Liberty and democracy were foundations of this document and was regarded to contain dangerous concepts to Poland's central and eastern European neighbours at the time of its introduction.

Other key principles included: the right to rule by majority; secret ballots; and religious freedom and autonomy for all people. It established a constitutional monarchy and introduced ministerial responsibility in its parliament.

Polish-Canadians have brought to Canada their long-standing historic love of liberty and democracy for which they struggled so long. Poland today is free, economically prosperous, and a close friend and ally of Canada.

Polish and Canadian troops are presently serving side by side on Operation REASSURANCE in Poland. On Thursday evening, Poland's Ambassador Marcin Bosacki will host a celebration at the war museum.

I hope that all members will attend.

Business of Supply May 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely proudly supporting this, supporting my government and supporting what we have done, and continue to do, for veterans. Whether the member likes it or not, that is the reality.

Many of these offices were within hundreds of metres, in some cases, of a Service Canada office. This has expanded the points of access to Veterans Affairs services to over 600 points of access. Many service members and veterans have called to tell me that the Service Canada offices are a godsend, especially for a lot of the older veterans who do not have to travel to larger centres. They can access service in their home towns and get the services they need very conveniently, very quickly and very cheaply. That is the whole point: to serve veterans, not to make it tougher on them.

Business of Supply May 11th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I respect the fact that my hon. friend comes from a part of Quebec that has a military base nearby. The brave men and women of Quebec have made tremendous contributions over all of Canada's history in Canada's armed forces and many of the units in Quebec are absolutely storied units for their exploits on behalf of Canada.

That is why there are members of Parliament, so that when veterans or constituents come to us, we provide them with the guidance that they need to get through any particular system or issue and to gain the benefits that they so richly deserve, especially veterans. I do that. Veterans come to my office to ask me these questions and I guide them through it.

If the member was paying attention to the budget, he will notice that there is money for Veterans Affairs. He will notice that many of the points that have been made by the veterans affairs committee are absolutely being adopted. I have a whole litany of them here. This government is moving forward and looking after veterans.

By the time we are done, under the leadership of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, this is going to be a world-leading veterans charter. Many of our colleagues, fellow nations and allies around the world are experiencing many of the same issues and we are learning from that too. It is a lessons learned sort of thing.

As far as veterans go, I would also like to point out that the RCMP, with its contributions to Canada, has served us and veterans well.