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

Nik Zoricic March 15th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness that I rise in the House to today to remember Nik Zoricic, 29-year-old Canadian ski cross star. Nik had a catastrophic accident while competing in a World Cup ski cross race in Grindelwald, Switzerland. His family home is located in my riding of Etobicoke Centre.

A pioneer in Canadian ski cross, Nik had a stellar future before him. Prior to his untimely passing, Nik had been working toward earning a place on Canada's Olympic ski cross team.

Last Sunday, Nik's Canadian teammates, friends, coaches and competitors from the World Cup ski cross community skied down the same course that claimed Nik's life. They all wore jeans in a touching tribute to the jeans Nik wore during his first World Cup ski cross race four years ago.

On behalf of all parliamentarians and all Canadians, I extend the condolences and sympathies of this House to Nik's parents, Silvia and Bebe Zoricic, and the whole of the Zoricic family.

Nik's fun-loving attitude, passion and competitive dedication will be missed by Canadian sports enthusiasts and the ski cross community in particular.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act March 12th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I think biometrics would go a great length to help us solve a lot of the open files that we have and have seen in the past, not only in my riding but also in other members' ridings. It would eliminate the confusion that exists in some of these cases and files.

I think this is the right road and the right path for Canada and all Canadians.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act March 12th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am not suggesting that the opposition is in league with criminals. However, I think they are short sighted in their opposition to this bill and because of that they will allow more criminals to enter Canada.

This government has a responsibility to respect all Canadians and their families from these types of criminals entering Canada and biometrics will be a significant feature in doing that.

This is a forward-thinking government. We act. We do not wait, and we get it done for Canadians.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act March 12th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, it is not a prejudice to defend the safety and security of Canada and the families in our constituencies. It is an important role and responsibility our government has.

As the parliamentary secretary has said earlier on, that the minister listens, as he did in other matters involving the committee. He listened and acted early, especially on issues with visas. He is listening now as we go through committee and listen to experts talk about biometrics and securing our borders.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act March 12th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time today with the member for Mississauga—Brampton South.

I am happy to have the opportunity to speak to Bill C-31, protecting Canada's immigration system act. Canadians have given us a strong mandate to protect Canada's immigration system and we are acting on that mandate.

Bill C-31 would make significant improvements for our refugee system. It would crack down on human smuggling and provide the government with the ability to collect biometric data from foreign visitors to Canada. This legislation would make Canada's refugee system faster and fairer. It would put a stop to the abuse of our generous immigration system while, at the same time, provide protection more quickly to those who are truly in need.

Bill C-31 is the latest step by our Conservative government to ensure that our immigration system is no longer being abused by foreign criminals, bogus refugee claimants and human smugglers.

Today, I will focus my remarks on the provisions included in this bill pertaining to biometrics.

Canadians from coast to coast to coast have told our government that the safety and security of their families is one of their top priorities. They want their government to pursue policies that keep criminals off the streets and foreign criminals out of the country. They should expect no less. Our Conservative government has listened and is doing exactly that. Bill C-31 would provide the government with the authority to collect biometrics, fingerprints and photographs from foreign nationals who want to enter Canada. Security experts from across the globe agree that fingerprints are one of the most effective ways to determine the true identity of an individual and to combat identity theft and fraud.

Biometrics would be an important new tool to help protect the safety and security of Canadians by reducing identity fraud and identity theft. As fraudsters become more sophisticated, biometrics would improve our ability to keep violent criminals and those who pose a threat to Canada out. In short, biometrics would strengthen the integrity of Canada's immigration system and help protect the safety and security of Canadians while helping to facilitate legitimate travel.

The use of biometrics would put Canada in line with most other western countries that are already using or preparing to use biometrics in immigration matters, countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, the European Union, New Zealand, the United States and Japan, among others. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of serious criminals, human smugglers, war criminals and suspected terrorists, among others, who have entered Canada in the past.

I want to provide the House and all Canadians with some real-life examples of cases that clearly demonstrate the need for biometrics to be implemented. For example, Esron Laing and David Wilson were convicted of armed robbery and forcible confinement. They returned to Canada three different times. In fact, they are known as the yo-yo bandits because, just like a yo-yo, they kept coming back. I know that three times seems like a high number but I am sad to say that many serious criminals are deported and manage to return Canada many more times than that.

Another example is Anthony Hakim Saunders who was convicted of assault and drug trafficking. He was deported on 10 different occasions and, just like the yo-yo bandits, he kept coming back. Edmund Ezemo was convicted of more than 30 charges, including theft and fraud. He was deported and then subsequently returned to Canada eight times. That is incredible. Dale Anthony Wyatt was convicted of trafficking drugs and possession of illegal weapons. He was deported and returned to Canada on at least four separate occasions. Kevin Michael Sawyers was convicted of manslaughter. He was deported and returned to Canada twice. Melando Yaphet Streety served a jail sentence in Canada after he was linked to four underage girls working in Toronto's sex trade. This criminal was deported and then returned to Canada within the same year. Once he returned to Canada, he continued his life of crime.

My final example is the case of a human smuggler from Iran who the IRB found has repeatedly engaged in the despicable crime of human smuggling. There really are few crimes lower than human smuggling. He was removed in 2007 after he arrived in Canada with a suitcase full of fraudulent identification in his briefcase. However, using false documents yet again, he managed to enter Canada a year later.

Unfortunately, this is only a small sample of the serious criminals entering and re-entering Canada. There are even cases in which serious criminals were able to re-enter Canada 15, 19, and even 21 times using false identities and documents. This absolutely has to stop.

Our officials are very highly trained and do their best to catch identity theft and fraud. However, fraudsters have become more sophisticated, and so have the documents they produce. Biometric data will go a long way to determining the true identity of criminals and preventing them from entering Canada in the first place.

After years of inaction by previous governments, our Conservative government is taking the prudent action required to end this. We will be unwavering in moving forward on the implementation of biometrics.

Unfortunately, we are moving forward without the support of the opposition. The NDP and the Liberals are opposing this bill and the authority to implement biometrics as an integral part of this bill. Not only do they not support the implementation of biometrics included in this bill, but the opposition also voted against the funding needed to put biometrics in place. In other words, the opposition NDP and the Liberals have repeatedly voted against our government putting a stop to serious criminals, like the ones I listed above, from entering Canada and living in neighbourhoods among their constituents, my constituents, and all Canadians who just want to protect their families from foreign criminals.

The opposition is on the wrong side of Canadians on the issue of biometrics. They are off-side with the numerous security experts and other stakeholders who have praised our government's decision to move forward with biometrics. For example, according to The Globe and Mail, the implementation of biometric identification such as fingerprints and photos for people who apply for visitor's visas is a “...welcome change [that] will guard against the use of false identities”.

The Montreal Gazette had this to say:

The collection of biometric information is a sensible security precaution that will be a valuable tool in preventing people from slipping into the country with false identities.

On this side of the House we believe in facilitating the process for legitimate travellers and we have taken several steps toward that end. However, our government also takes seriously its responsibility to keep serious criminals, suspected terrorists, and war criminals, among others, out of Canada.

Canadians, including my constituents in Etobicoke Centre, have made it clear that they want us to take action to protect their safety and security. That is exactly what our Conservative government is doing with Bill C-31. Biometrics is one of the most effective ways to ensure that criminals can no longer use increasingly sophisticated false documents to enter Canada.

In short, biometrics will strengthen the integrity of Canada's immigration system. In fact, all of the changes included in Bill C-31, the protecting Canada's immigration system act, are aimed at deterring abuse of Canada's generous immigration and refugee system. With these proposed measures, the integrity of Canada's immigration programs and the safety and security of Canadians will be protected.

I urge all members of this House to stop and listen for a moment, to support this important bill and ensure its timely passage in this House.

Air Service Operations Legislation March 12th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the hon. parliamentary secretary's speech was very fulsome and logical, but I would not expect anything less from one of Canada's pre-eminent surgeons.

Given that the minister has referred a question on health and safety to the Canada Industrial Relations Board, CIRB, regarding both of these threatened work stoppages, why does the Minister of Labour think that government action is necessary at this time?

Employment March 9th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the NDP's economic plan for massive government deficit spending and high, punishing, job-killing tax hikes is the last thing Canada needs. The NDP's plan shows how out of touch it is when it comes to the economy and jobs.

In the words of a recent National Post editorial, “long-term planning is anathema to the NDP, which would prefer the finance minister jump on his horse and spend in all directions”.

Could the Minister of State for Finance give the House an update on Canada's job market?

Joseph Stalin March 5th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, today is the 59th anniversary of the death of the left-wing dictator, Joseph Stalin. During a 30-year reign of terror, show trials, purges, war and religious persecution, Stalin oversaw the death of tens of millions.

Even a partial death toll is almost incomprehensible: 15 million shipped to the Gulag, including my own father; millions of ethnic minorities killed during forced relocations; hundreds of thousands of priests, monks and nuns killed and more than 50,000 churches destroyed; an estimated 10 million Ukrainians starved to death during the Holodomor; millions of Poles sent to labour camps during World War II; and 20,000 Polish prisoners of war massacred at Katyn, all part of a decades-long litany of crimes against the Polish people.

This horror, during a time when Pierre Trudeau sympathetically claimed that the Soviet Union was making “tremendous strides”, reminds us that the beginning of Statism is the end of freedom and that the moral perversions of Marxist theory can only be put into practice at gunpoint.

We must never forget the evil that Stalin represented.

The Economy March 2nd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the global economy remains uncertain, but Canada has been doing the right things.

While the NDP would ruin Canada with reckless and endless deficit spending, we are focused on jobs and economic growth with the right economic policies, and it is working. Over 610,000 new jobs were created since July 2009, the strongest job record in the G7.

Today, the latest evaluation of Canada's economy came with our GDP numbers. Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please share details on Canada's performance?

Science and Technology February 28th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Minister of State for Science and Technology announced our government's investment in a number of new technologies, including one developed by Trillium Therapeutics that will treat a chronic bladder disease. While improving the lives of millions of women in North America, this project is also forecasted to create more than 100 jobs for engineers, manufacturing workers, researchers and clinicians.

Could the Minister of State for Science and Technology give the House an update on how our government is leading the way on science and technology?