House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was tax.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Mississauga East—Cooksville (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Pipeline Safety Act May 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I have a specific question about regulating pipelines that transport less than 250,000 barrels per day. Could she tell the House how those pipelines would be regulated?

Nepal May 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the loss of life and the destruction of civilian homes in Nepal is overwhelming. Canadians from across the country have been giving generously to help those in need. Canada's response has been swift, with the immediate deployment of an assessment team to gain first-hand situational awareness of the immediate needs on the ground.

Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs please update the House on Canada's efforts to provide assistance to the people of Nepal?

Ongoing Situation in Ukraine April 29th, 2015

Mr. Chair, as I indicated, these are instructors who are going to train. There are also instructors coming from the U.S. and European countries. Therefore, there will be a larger group. They are not going there to fight the Russian army. They are going there to provide basic training and to assist Ukraine in organizing its army, so it can eventually face Putin and protect its own territory.

Ongoing Situation in Ukraine April 29th, 2015

Mr. Chair, I have had an opportunity to be with the member opposite as election observers in the last presidential election in Ukraine. She spoke about many things that can and should be done in Ukraine. However, I will focus on this mission of sending 200 personnel who are going to train the Ukrainian army.

I have asked for this since the very beginning. It is important for Ukraine and every country to have a well-trained military. The advantage that Ukraine has is the territory to set up a training base to get the assistance, training and eventually better equipment not only from Canada but also other allies, so that it can face Russia's aggressions with force.

Unfortunately, what Putin is showing is force, and force can only be stopped by force. I hope it will come to a point where he, or whoever comes after him, can sit at the table and resolve the situation through diplomatic channels and not by force or military actions.

Ongoing Situation in Ukraine April 29th, 2015

Mr. Chair, I will be splitting my time with my colleague, the member of Parliament for Etobicoke—Lakeshore.

I am very honoured to have this opportunity to participate in today's important debate on Canada's support for Ukraine. Also, as a member of Parliament for Mississauga East—Cooksville, I have many constituents who have Ukrainian roots. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their participation and contribution, and of course, to thank all the organizations already named by other colleagues during this debate.

I was shocked, like many Canadians, by Russia's brutal aggression against Ukraine in February last year, leading to the current unlawful and unacceptable occupation of Crimea. I was shocked, because Russia's actions in Ukraine show a fundamental disregard for the rules of the international system. This hostility is a threat to the people of Ukraine, to our friends and allies in Eastern Europe, and to the world order as we know it.

By annexing Crimea, Russia has violated its obligation toward Ukraine, as stipulated in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, and by annexing Crimea, Russia has abandoned its responsibility as a world leader, leaving the international community with no choice other than to take action in support of Ukraine and the region.

I am proud to say that Canada, as a strong member of NATO, has been involved from the very beginning. Indeed, a critical part of Canada's contribution to date is the remarkable work of the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, and I would like to take some time to highlight the contributions of the the Royal Canadian Air Force through Operation REASSURANCE.

As members may know, a Canadian air task force participated in the NATO Baltic air policing mission from September to December 2014 in Lithuania. The NATO air policing mission aimed to preserve the integrity of NATO European air space and to safeguard NATO nations from air attacks. The assistance was crucial for member nations, such as the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, as they lack the full range of air defence assets in their own militaries. This is increasingly important in the wake of Russia's aggression toward Ukraine.

Canada's contribution to this essential mission included approximately 135 personnel and four CF-18 Hornet fighter jets, along with a mission support element. In this mission, the Canadian air task force worked with NATO allies and responded to intrusions into Baltic air space.

While Canada formally handed over its NATO Baltic air policing mission responsibilities to Poland, the Royal Canadian Air Force continued to actively support operations until early January 2015 to ensure the continuity of operations and to support NATO allies and security partners in the interim transition period. The work of the Canadian Armed Forces in this mission allowed Canada to support NATO operations in the region while showing support for our allies in Eastern Europe.

In addition to the Royal Canadian Air Force's contribution to the NATO Baltic air policing mission, Canadian aviators also conducted interoperability training with NATO allies in Romania from May to August 2014. This training included air defence, air superiority, aerospace testing and evaluation, and tactical support. This air task force included six CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft and about 200 personnel.

In conclusion, Canadians can be proud of Canada's support for NATO assurance measures to promote security and stability in the region. Thanks to the hard work of the Canadian Armed Forces, Canada is able to make a real and effective difference every time our military personnel deploy.

In collaboration with our allies, we are not only demonstrating alliance solidarity but we are sending a clear message to Russia that attempts to change borders by force must be stopped.

The Budget April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as I stated when answering the first question, the government is here to do the best for the country and for Canadians. These measures that are included in this balanced budget are what Canadians were looking for. We are helping Canadians. We are helping businesses. We are helping families. We are helping those who have challenges in life. That is what is important.

This is what Canadians are looking for. They are looking for good management of the economy, and they are looking for a good future for themselves and their families.

The Budget April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am as surprised as my colleague who spoke before me that all that is coming from the other side is criticism without any ideas being put forward. It is very easy to criticize.

To answer the member, he should probably go back and read the history of what happened in the past. That would probably help him understand better why there was not an investment during the difficult economic times, and how well Canada did in those past years. We have done so well that we are truly the envy of other developed nations. That is what government is for, to act when there is a need to act, to work in the best interest of the country, to work in the best interest of Canadians and to act when the need arises.

We were able to balance the budget this year without raising taxes. We are cutting taxes. Taxes are at the lowest level in 50 years. I think the member should appreciate this. Canadians do appreciate it.

The Budget April 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to speak in support of and to provide some input into economic action plan 2015. This is certainly a plan of action to continue the necessary actions required to keep our country in the focused direction needed and that has made us the envy of the G7.

Our government has worked hard, and continues to, and is focused on its commitment to the priorities of Canadians: jobs, economic stability, growth, and long-term prosperity. Economic action plan 2015's clear focus on jobs, growth, and security is what my constituents in the riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville and Canadians across the country are looking for.

Back in January, like many of my colleagues, I hosted pre-budget consultations with community and business representatives in my riding to hear their ideas and suggestions. Representatives from a number of key areas, including health, manufacturing, skilled trades, social services, business, and community services, were consulted. I submitted this valuable input to our Minister of Finance and am very pleased to see some of the measures that were included in this budget, economic action plan 2015.

A highly skilled and highly educated workforce is key to succeeding in the global economy. It is also important that we give an equal opportunity to everyone. I was very pleased to announce over $238,000 in funding for the opportunities fund to support the Centre for Education & Training's project to help people with disabilities overcome barriers to employment.

During the pre-budget consultation I held, there was a gentleman by the name of Mike Di Donato, who is the dean of the Skilled Trades College of Canada, which is located in the area I represent. He joined in the discussion on the role of skilled trades and pre-apprenticeship training. We had an opportunity to talk, and he voiced his concerns about the future of skilled trades training and the upcoming federal budget. There is always work to be done in the area of skilled trades, but there are some measures in this budget that are key to the future of skilled trades. This is something Mr. Di Donato is passionate about.

Our government is taking action to harmonize the apprenticeship training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades. The budget also proposes to reallocate up to $35 million over five years for a pilot project for foreign credential recognition loans, and to make it permanent, to support internationally trained workers. This is important news for many constituents in my riding, where many new Canadians come and make their home and want to contribute their skills and expertise.

As a government, we have to do what we can to help create the conditions under which businesses thrive, create jobs, and move our economy. That means helping small businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs. I am pleased to say that our budget proposes to reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019.

The support of our communities is important, and this is done through a number of commitments, including gas tax funding. For the city of Mississauga, that means millions of dollars every year that allows the municipality and the Region of Peel to make priority investments in transportation and infrastructure to keep people moving.

The budget also proposes several measures to help families. The underlying point of balancing the budget is that it allows us to keep the focus on lower taxes to help families and hard-working Canadians. In fact, the overall federal tax burden is now at its lowest level in more than 50 years.

Just two weeks ago, I hosted the 50+ Expo for people over 50 years of age. It was an exciting event for local people who are at the point in their lives when important matters such as retirement planning, security, and safety become a reality. I heard from a number of those who came that they want to remain independent and not have to depend on others as they move to their later years in life.

I would mention some of the measures in the budget to support seniors and people with disabilities. The budget proposes a home accessibility tax credit to help seniors and people with disabilities with renovation costs to make their homes accessible so that they can stay at home and be independent.

We are also introducing changes to the registered retirement income fund that will assist seniors and allow them to withdraw less from their tax-deferred savings. Also, we are increasing the tax-free savings account annual contribution from $5,000 to $10,000. This is something colleagues on the opposite side are criticizing very heavily, but this is a great measure, and I have heard wonderful comments from constituents in my riding about it.

We will always support our veterans, our heroes. Just recently I was honoured to receive a visit from one of them, a Mr. Donald Somerville, who is going with a group of veterans, leaving this weekend, to the Netherlands to celebrate the 70th anniversary of liberation.

We honour our veterans, and we have to make sure that they receive everything and anything they need, especially at the later stages of life. It is important that veterans know that they can count on support for their services. Our budget increases the level of individualized care to veterans requiring regular support by improving the ratio of veterans to case managers. We are also introducing a new retirement income security benefit for severely disabled veterans.

I also want to speak about security for all Canadians. This is very important. People across Canada are looking for safe streets and safe communities, and they want to make sure that our government provides measures and support to our security agencies that keep us safe here in this country.

In closing, the budget is a balanced budget. This was a promise made. This is a promise kept. Therefore, I would like, in closing, to ask all my colleagues in this House to support the budget to support what Canadians are looking for.

Second Battle of Ypres April 24th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the second battle of Ypres, which started 100 years ago on April 22, marks a pivotal moment in Canadian military history.

Ypres was a battle of firsts for Canadians. It marked the Canadian Expeditionary Force's first significant engagement of the First World War and, despite the horror of the first chlorine gas attacks, adversity was turned into triumph at Kitcheners' Wood, which marked Canada's first victory on European soil.

Treating the wounded and dying at Ypres inspired Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae to pen the poem In Flanders Fields, which, to this day, urges us to remember this sacrifice and to hold the torch of remembrance high.

Today, and every day, we honour those brave Canadians who fought and died during the second battle of Ypres. We hold high that torch of remembrance for all who have sacrificed in the struggle for enduring peace and freedom throughout the world.

Seniors April 22nd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, Saturday, April 18, was a very exciting day in Mississauga East—Cooksville. I was pleased to host a 50+ Expo, which welcomed hundreds of constituents who took time to visit the many vendors on a variety of topics concerning people 50 years of age and over in our community.

I want to thank the vendors who took time to share with our guests on topics such as safety, financial management, travel, recreation, and more. Service Canada gave presentations on CPP, OAS, and caring for aging family members.

I am happy to say that economic action plan 2015 will support seniors by introducing changes to the registered retirement income fund and by introducing the home accessibility tax credit, which will help with home improvement costs so that seniors can live independently in their homes.

Finally, the 50+ Expo provided an opportunity to meet with constituents and hear their feedback and encouragement. Indeed, it was a wonderful spring day in Mississauga East—Cooksville.