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

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act October 6th, 2011

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague and my neighbour to the north work together and we are friends.

I have a total of 33 years of service in the military, both reserve part-time and full-time. I have been on deployment as have many of my friends. When my friends come back from deployment, I can see this very clearly and I am extremely sensitive to that issue. Therefore, I thank the hon. member for bringing it up.

We are working on it. The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs released a lot of initiatives today in his statement to deal with PTSD. It is an issue that we will be studying closely in committee. This is an issue that has our highest attention because of the health effects to Canadian soldiers.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act October 6th, 2011

Madam Speaker, for a moment I thought members opposite were actually seeing reason. That was at the beginning of my colleague's speech.

However, if the member had listened to my speech, he would have heard that we support small businesses in a myriad of ways. We talked about the credit for hiring. We talked earlier on about expanding tax support for clean energy to encourage green investments. We talked about the accelerated capital cost allowance treatment for investments and manufacturing processes and machinery.

This government knows all about small businesses. We acknowledge that small and medium-sized businesses are the engine of our economy. That is why small and medium-sized businesses have a champion in this government.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act October 6th, 2011

Madam Speaker, this is my first speech in the House and I am proud to represent the great riding of Etobicoke Centre. I am grateful to the good people of Etobicoke Centre, my friends, family and supporters for electing me, and I commit to always serve to the best of my ability. I am also the first Conservative in Etobicoke Centre since the hon. Michael Wilson, a great finance minister in his day, and I am singularly honoured to speak today to the keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act.

As I said, it is with pride that I rise in the chamber to discuss the next phase of Canada's economic action plan. With $60 billion in targeted stimulus, Canada's economic action plan has worked in protecting Canada from the worst of the global recession. Under the leadership of our Conservative government, Canada is weathering the global recession better than nearly all other industrialized countries. As a result, Canada has emerged as one of the world's top performing advanced economies.

Here are the facts. First, Canada has had seven straight quarters of economic growth, with nearly 600,000 net new jobs created since July 2009. Second, Canada's unemployment rate is significantly lower than that of the United States, a phenomenon that has not been seen in nearly three decades. Unlike my colleagues across the aisle who continually criticize our government for sound economic policies, I would point out that both the independent International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the OECD, forecast that Canada will be at the head of the pack for economic growth in the G7 for the years ahead.

However, the global economic recovery remains fragile, as Prime Minister Cameron himself spoke about in the House not so long ago, and we must continually work to secure Canada's economic recovery. That is why the next phase of Canada's economic action plan will focus on jobs, economic growth, supporting Canadian families, and ensuring Canada's economic advantage remains strong.

Our Conservative government believes that Canada's economic success depends on a competitive tax regime working to keep taxes low for hard-working Canadians and the businesses that employ them, like many businesses in Etobicoke Centre. The opposition's high tax agenda would increase taxes on job creating businesses to pay for billions and billions in reckless spending on bloated government programs in Ottawa.

Our Conservative government believes in a different approach, an approach that recognizes that Canadian workers and businesses should have more freedom to be innovative and creative with their hard-earned dollars. This is the right approach for economic growth and job creation in Canada.

Small businesses are one of the reasons why our government declared 2011 the Year of the Entrepreneur and it is committed to helping them grow, succeed and create jobs. For example, there is a new hiring credit for small businesses, a temporary one-time credit of up to $1,000 against a small firm's increase in its 2011 employment insurance premiums over those paid in 2010. This new credit would help up to 525,000 employers defray the costs of additional hiring.

With regard to reducing red tape, we are upgrading the BizPaL online service to make it easier for businesses to obtain the appropriate licences and permits they need to be successful and further consulting Canadians through the Red Tape Reduction Commission.

As for supporting youth entrepreneurs, there are $20 million to support the Canadian Youth Business Foundation's activities. The foundation works with young entrepreneurs to help them become the business leaders of tomorrow through mentorship, learning resources and startup financing.

We are extending work-sharing arrangements to help businesses keep their workers. There will be $10 million in additional support to assist those employers that continue to face challenges by making available an extension of up to 16 weeks for active or recently terminated work-sharing agreements. As was mentioned earlier, we are extending the accelerated capital cost allowance to help manufacturers and processors make new investments in manufacturing, and processing machinery and equipment.

The foundation of our country is families and keeping taxes low for Canadian families. Our Conservative government has also recognized and responded to Canadians by providing specific measures in Canada's economic action plan to ease the cost of raising families, keeping children healthy and ensuring money remains in the pockets of the mothers and fathers who work every day to support their children and loved ones.

That is why the next phase of Canada's economic action plan has included the following key measures. There is a new children's arts tax credit, a 15% non-refundable tax credit, on up to $500 in eligible fees for programs associated with children's artistic, cultural, recreational and developmental activities.

Canada's economic action plan also includes the new family caregiver tax credit, which is a 15% non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $2,000 for caregivers of all types of infirm dependent relatives, including for the first time, spouses, common law partners and minor children.

It also includes the enhanced medical tax credit, which will remove the $10,000 limit on the amount of eligible medical expenses that can be claimed on behalf of a financially dependent relative.

Of interest to many, the extension of the eco-energy retrofit program is included to help families lower their heating and electricity bills by making their house more energy efficient with grants of up to $5,000.

Our action plan includes help to students, which will allow full-time students to earn more money without affecting their loans, doubling in-study exemption to $100 per week, and giving them a tax break on certification fees.

The Conservative low tax plan has resulted in a total savings for a typical family of over $3,000. This is because our government recognizes that keeping taxes low for Canadian families will allow them to save and reinvest their money. I firmly believe that this is best for Canadians and best for the Canadian economy. Investing in our families is the right thing to do.

Canada's economic action plan includes support for seniors. These are the people who laid the foundations that we all walk upon today. Our government recognizes the valuable contributions seniors have made to the health and well-being of Canada. This is evident in my own riding of Etobicoke Centre where seniors contribute so much through volunteering and community engagement. That is why Canada's economic action plan is taking measures to improve the quality of life and expand opportunities for these very people.

Our plan includes enhancing the guaranteed income supplement. Eligible low income seniors will receive additional annual benefits of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples, helping more than 680,000 seniors across Canada.

With respect to seniors again, our plan will enhance the new horizons for seniors program with an additional $10 million to promote volunteerism, mentorship and the social participation of seniors, which is so critical to their well-being. These funds will contribute to enhancing community life through active and social living. The program will also provide funds to target and reduce elder abuse as well.

Canada's action plan includes extending the targeted initiative for older workers with an additional $50 million to extend the initiative, which provides a range of employment activities for unemployed older workers in vulnerable communities of a population of 250,000 or less to keep them employed and to support their reintegration into the workforce.

Our plan will eliminate the mandatory retirement age for federally regulated employees. We are giving seniors who want to remain active in the workforce the freedom to make that choice by eliminating the mandatory retirement age for federally regulated employees, unless there is an occupational requirement.

The budget is responsive to the needs of Canadians and takes the appropriate measures to ensure that our economy continues to grow while offering Canadian business an operating environment needed to be competitive and responsive to the demands of the global economy.

Royal Regiment of Canada September 29th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the Royal Regiment of Canada, a regiment I am proud to have served in for the majority of my time in the military, will commemorate this storied regiment's participation in the Dieppe raid this evening.

On August 19, 1942, the Royals went ashore on Blue Beach, located at Puys. Unfortunately, nothing with that raid went right, and out of the 554 members of the regiment who landed, there were 227 casualties, 136 wounded and 264 POWs. Only 65 returned to England. Many were rescued by Polish naval captain Romuald Nalecz-Tyminski, who later became an admiral.

The plaque to the regiment at Puys reads:

You who are alive on this beach, remember that these men died far from home so that others, here and elsewhere, might freely enjoy life in God's mercy.

I ask all members to rise with me and applaud both the heroism of those brave soldiers of the Royal Regiment of Canada who landed at Dieppe and their regiment's commitment and service to Canada in the past, present and future.

Ready, aye, ready, Mr. Speaker.

Poland September 26th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I was troubled to see that in last Friday's print edition of The Globe and Mail an article on the new war museum in Dresden used the erroneous phrase “Polish concentration camps” in reference to the Nazi German concentration and extermination camps in occupied Poland.

Polish citizens were victims of the brutal Nazi occupiers during the Second World War. This phrase is offensive to the Polish people, who formed the largest home army resisting Nazi tyranny and fought shoulder to shoulder with Canadians on the western front. It insults the thousands of Polish righteous among the nations, who risked their lives to save Jewish neighbours from certain death in Hitler's death camps.

This is not the first time this erroneous phrase has been used. Canada has been clear in our support for the UNESCO designation of Auschwitz as Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp.

It is important for Canadians to be aware of this distinction, and I hope journalists will take this matter seriously and never again refer falsely to Polish concentration camps.

Public Safety September 20th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can count on this government to keep our streets and communities safe.

As part of our commitment to crack down on crime, our government took the important step of bringing to Canadians' attention the 32 most wanted criminals, including Shameer Allie. This individual had been on the run since January, when CBSA had ordered his deportation after he had been found guilty of numerous criminal offences, including assault.

Despite the opposition's complaints, we went ahead with our approach, and it is delivering results. So far, six of those 32 dangerous criminals have been arrested.

Our government will continue to take action to protect Canadians and to make our streets and communities safer. I know that my constituents in Etobicoke Centre will definitely appreciate this.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act September 19th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I sympathize with the hon. member and her personal experiences. My mom was in a forced labour camp in Nazi Germany and my father survived the Soviet gulag, so I understand what it means to find a safe haven in a country with freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

However, I am perplexed why the hon. member thinks that smugglers are actually benevolent in some way because they are exploiting asylum seekers trying to come to Canada.

Although there may be examples aboard those ships of legitimate individuals, I would like to know why the hon. member thinks that there is absolutely no risk to Canadian security and safety. Would the hon. member be prepared to put her own personal guarantee against anybody stepping off one of those ships?

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act September 19th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, my question is with regard to the doors being open to legitimate refugees while safeguarding the integrity of our borders. Bill C-4 ensures that criminals looking to play our system and those looking to jump the queue are sent a strong message. Canadians will not tolerate this abuse of our generosity.

I call on the NDP to support the bill and stand with real victims of human smuggling and law-abiding Canadians.

I am curious to know what the definition of "maximum security" is in the hon. member's mind because to me it means something like Millhaven or Kingston Penitentiary. Could the hon. member please give us her definition of what "maximum security" really is?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 25th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I patiently listened to the opposition members over the period of this action taken on behalf of their union bosses. I have heard many words, some good words like “respect”, “rights”, “equality”, and speaker after speaker claims to believe in these words, and I suspect that they do.

The member opposite and her comrades continue to apply these words in the narrowest of context, and I think that represents their very narrow interests.

I would like to know, why can the hon. member and her comrades not support those Canadians they are leaving out, those Canadians who cannot run their small businesses, those Canadians who now have to lay off their employees, who may or may not be unionized? Why can the hon. member and her comrades not support all Canadians and not just the union elite?

Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act June 24th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I recognize the hon. member's passion in her comments but her comments are misguided and reflect her party's focus on narrow interests and even a narrower vision.

We have heard from Canadians overwhelmingly that the government wants us to act on their behalf and expects us to because of the strong mandate that they have entrusted us with. We will not break faith with the Canadian people.

Why can the member opposite and her party not join us in supporting the broader interests of all Canadians?