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Results: 1 - 15 of 223
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-11-24 17:54 [p.10010]
Madam Speaker, I am here tonight to follow up on a question I asked the Minister of Seniors a few weeks ago. I note that I represent one of the demographically oldest ridings in Ontario. Here is the question I asked the Minister of Seniors, and I am looking forward to her response tonight.
Massive Liberal deficits have caused 40-year high inflation, resulting in major increases in the cost of living. I have many seniors in my riding, such as Cathy, who at 68 years of age, has had to go back to work to pay for her utilities and food and make her mortgage payments.
As well, a disabled constituent emailed me a few weeks ago indicating she is down to one meal per day due to inflation and gas prices. In her words, she is contemplating applying for assisted death instead of starving to death. What is the government doing for seniors 65 to 74? Will the Liberals stop punishing them and cancel all tax increases on gas, groceries and home heating?
Unfortunately, when the minister replied to me a few weeks ago, she focused more on attacking the previous government. She seemed to have forgotten that the Liberals have been in power for seven years, going on the better part of a decade, and that my question was specifically about what actions the Liberals are taking now and moving into the future. It is simple.
First, I want to understand what the Liberal government is doing for those seniors aged 65 to 74, and I want them to give me a list of concrete measures that support the people in that demographic. Second, will the government stop punishing seniors, especially those living with disabilities, by committing to no new tax increases on gas, groceries and home heating?
Let me use not my words, but the words of my constituents. Here are some of the emails that I have received over the last six months or so.
Back in June, I received one that said, “Once again, [the finance minister] has forgotten about seniors 65 to 74. Do they want us to go back to work?”
Another email from June, which was also sent to the Prime Minister and a number of cabinet ministers, said, “it appears now that I am a member of the second-class seniors club as I am in the age group of 65 to 74, not 75. Age 75 and older are going to get a 10% increase in their OAS, and I am not!
“Why are we in the 65 to 74 age group being discriminated based on age and not getting this 10% increase?”
Here is another email from September. This is part of an official reply to a senior from the Minister of Seniors department. It said, “In July 2022, the maximum OAS pension increased by $18.16.” It was a whole $18.16. My constituent replied to the official saying, “It does however provide little solace to the many Canadian seniors who are struggling with high rates of inflation!
“I was hoping for some concrete new measures to be brought forward to assist the seniors who I know, who continually struggle with their finances in light of the recent increases in inflation.”
Another email in October said, “Ages 75 plus received an increase...while us, age 65 and older, received zero. Why are we neglected? We face high costs of living and expenses also. We appear to have been forgotten about, neglected and are treated as unimportant by the [Liberal] government. This is unfair!”
Finally, just in November, an email stated, “we as seniors on fixed income are feeling the pinch with extra costs for pretty much everything.”
Food bank use across the country is up for seniors. We have seniors who are having to refinance or remortgage their houses and their property in order to pay and live in this country. It is unacceptable.
In conclusion, what is the Liberal government doing to help seniors, especially those 65 to 74 and those living with disabilities, to eat, heat and live so that they are not turning to medical assistance in dying as a solution?
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-11-24 18:02 [p.10011]
Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary did not really answer any of my questions. He talked about a GST rebate, which we did support on this side of the House, that is going to all Canadians who are in that low-income tax bracket. They will receive it, but it is not specific to those 65 to 74. That is really the focus and crux of my question. What is the government doing for that specific demographic, including those with disabilities?
As well, I would appreciate it if the member did not mislead the House and mislead Canadians by talking about Conservatives calling for the gutting of the CPP program. That is not the case at all. We have asked to freeze the premium increases.
If the member could answer another question, does that money for those CPP increases go into the CPP fund or into the general coffers? It is one thing if it is being protected, but the fact of the matter is that it is going into the general coffers and being spent on a bunch of other things.
He talked about the OAS increases for those 75 and older. It is $18.16. Again, what is the government doing?
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-11-23 17:09 [p.9917]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for a great speech.
He talked about the backlog in the justice system, especially when considering the massive rise, a 32% increase, in violent crime in Canada since the Liberals formed the government.
First, how important is this legislation to addressing that backlog? Second, can he comment on the hypocrisy of the government waiting so long to bring this bill forward compared to its bringing Bill C-5 forward to eliminate the mandatory minimums for violent crime in Canada?
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-11-16 16:03 [p.9571]
Mr. Speaker, the member talked about the importance of the environment and the economy and how they interrelate, so I just want to give an example of a very environmentally friendly farmer in my riding. He uses no-till seeding methods, intensive rotational grazing of ruminant animals and rest land for his bird habitats. He protects the waterways, uses fossil fuels minimally and uses zero-chemical fertilizers and herbicides.
He normally has 30 to 50 customers in a given year, but this past year alone, he is down to three customers. He asked these folks why they are not buying from him, a local, environmentally friendly farmer. The answer was they cannot afford it. They are not purchasing local beef or lamb because they cannot afford gas, are struggling to pay their bills and have to select between food, utilities and fuel bills.
What is in the economic statement that is going to help rural Canadians afford to buy local and support this great environmental farmer?
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-11-03 10:23 [p.9252]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, the shadow minister for Veterans Affairs, for bringing this issue forward to the House today. I would like to draw attention to a not-for-profit organization in Ontario called Ruck 2 Remember. It has been doing things for over 15 years, but just this year it conducted its road to recovery march as part of the Legion's operation: leave the streets behind program. It did the whole Bruce Trail, from Tobermory right down to basically Niagara Falls, which is over 900 kilometres, this summer.
I want to pay tribute to Lino and Joey, who are the two people who did it all. I had the privilege of joining them for a little over 10 kilometres in my riding. I also want to thank the member for Flamborough—Glanbrook, who joined in as well for part of the march. I did inform all MPs whose ridings are part of the trail to get out there.
I am drawing attention to the volunteers, veterans and phenomenal Canadian citizens who are standing up for our veterans. I would like my hon. colleague to elaborate on why it is so important for the Liberal government to do more to get our veterans off the streets.
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-11-03 11:40 [p.9262]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Longueuil—Saint‑Hubert for his speech, which shows that he cares about our veterans. In his opinion, why did the CEO of Vets Canada state the following earlier this week:
“A lot of them have expressed that they don't feel valued, they don't feel important.” She is referring to veterans. “These are men and women who put their lives on the line for our country, so I think we owe them a lot more than what we're providing.”
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-11-03 12:11 [p.9267]
Madam Speaker, I know the NDP member is close to CFB Edmonton. Could he elaborate on how big of a challenge homelessness for veterans is in his own riding?
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-11-03 13:13 [p.9274]
Madam Speaker, I respectfully request a recorded vote.
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-11-01 15:05 [p.9169]
Mr. Speaker, massive Liberal deficits have caused 40-year high inflation, resulting in major increases to the cost of living.
I have many seniors in my riding like Cathy who, at 68 years of age, has had to go back to work in order to pay for utilities, food and her mortgage payments. As well, a disabled constituent reached out to me by email this weekend, indicating that she is down to one meal per day and, in her words, is contemplating applying for assisted death instead of starving to death.
What is the government doing for 65- to 74-year-olds and will the Liberals stop punishing them and cancel all tax increases on gas, groceries and home heating?
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-11-01 15:43 [p.9175]
Mr. Speaker, I have a two-part question for the member opposite.
The first part is about the fairness of the app. There are many Canadians in my riding, such as seniors, who do not have Internet, email or access to the app. More importantly, I have an Amish community, which does not use phones, does not have Internet, does not drive and does not vote. They are now facing a quarter of a million dollars in fines as a community. Does the member think that is fair, or is it discriminatory against those Canadians?
As to the second part, he talked about the efficiency of the app, why it cost $54 million and its effectiveness. The Ottawa bureau chief of The Globe and Mail said the day before yesterday that when he was going through customs, where there were huge lineups, he asked about the ArriveCAN app and the long lineups. The border officer laughed and said the app is irrelevant so he should not bother using it. Does the member have anything to say about that?
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-10-27 17:23 [p.8997]
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my Bloc colleague for really highlighting the hypocrisy coming out of the government when it comes to the different tools that it uses to limit debate in this House. We quite often hear when the Liberals limit debate at second reading that they will solve amendment challenges and get fixes done during committee work.
What is really concerning with this bill is they did not allow expert witnesses to testify at committee and provide their opinions so that we could develop the best bill possible and get the best legislation. I would like the member to expand on that a bit.
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-10-18 12:43 [p.8420]
Madam Speaker, I will start off by saying that I am going to split my time with the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman.
I am going to focus on three aspects and issues. I know the primary aspects of the motion today are focused on the report from the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. The report condemns the continuing attacks in Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin, recognizes that a growing portion of Russian people are bravely resisting this and, finally, calls on what actions the Government of Canada can do about it.
I am going to provide a little history, from my background and professional opinion, of why we are in this situation in the first place, what has been done, what is currently ongoing and more, to get to the crux of the issue in today's motion, which is what can be done going into the future.
It is on the public record that I was surprised when things happened the way they happened earlier this year, in the February time frame, with Russia's illegal invasion into Ukraine and how much the Russians actually tried to achieve.
This is where the west, including Canada, made a mistake. We should never have pulled all our trainers and diplomats out of Ukraine in the first place. I think this sent a cross signal to Putin and the Russian regime that the west did not care.
That was the wrong strategic message to send. I understand and I wish that I still had access to all of the intelligence reports and stuff, like when I was in the Canadian Armed Forces and we were tracking this stuff fairly regularly. However, three years ago I made the transition here to politics, and I no longer have that same access to information that the Government of Canada and the appropriate officials have.
My point is that there were all sorts of indications, and I think that is why, ultimately, the decision was made, and we can say for prudence's sake, to pull out of Ukraine. I think that by pulling all of our forces out, and when I say our forces, I am talking about the west, from Kyiv and everything to the west, it sent a message to Putin that said, “Hey, Ukraine is available here. We are not interested in defending it.”
I really think that, as previous Canadian Armed Forces task force commanders in Ukraine have said, we should be in there, raising the alarm bells diplomatically and through our trainers right from day one, and not necessarily pulling all of our forces out. We should accept the risk.
I think, from my understanding of the geopolitical situation, the real concern, and it is still the concern to this day, was about a possible escalation to a nuclear conflict. How do we manage that?
I just think, all right, we can look at the American forces, the U.S. They could have pulled their forces out, but I think, ultimately, for ourselves and maybe the French and maybe the Brits, we should have left our trainers on the ground and definitely left our diplomats because, despite the fact that the conflict is still ongoing, the right decision has been made by the west to get our diplomatic missions going again in Ukraine.
To speak again about just where it failed and why things have happened the way they have happened, still talking about the history, ultimately, Russia went in there. It did not have a competent force. I think a lot of the Russian generals were too scared to speak truth to power to Putin, so they thought this was going to be a cakewalk. However, based on the history and all the information we now have available, we know that a lot of those conscripts or reserved forces that were sent into Ukraine did not have a clue about what they were getting themselves into and, after five years of NATO forces and the west training the Ukrainian forces, we saw the benefit of what can happen when one has a well-trained western force, i.e. what the Ukrainians have managed to get themselves evolved into under a mission command construct, and what they were able to do, to bloody the nose and put up the resistance. I give so much kudos to the heroics and the courage of the Ukrainian people. They put up a tremendous fight and Canada needs to continue to support them.
Let us talk about where we are now. Putin continues to do that. He recognizes that he got that bloody nose, that he got beat up pretty bad by Ukrainian forces. What is he doing now? He is basically resorting to tools of terrorism and utilizing and attacking the civilian population, versus going after Ukrainian and legitimate military targets.
We see that as Putin targets Ukraine's major city centres, their infrastructure and their energy infrastructure, doing everything in his power to take out women, children and people who have nothing to do with this conflict. That is where it is getting to.
We have heard comments about propaganda. Absolutely, I am in 100% agreement. If we did a quick survey of all the members in the House of Commons, I am sure every single one of us from across the political spectrum has been getting phone calls and emails from constituents concerned about having heard this or that about Ukraine. It shows the danger that exists out there with the Russian propaganda and how it is trying to influence this. That propaganda is not just in the west. That propaganda is ongoing in Ukraine itself and within Russia itself.
To get to the crux of this motion, the Russian people themselves are recognizing that there is a lot of propaganda that they do not buy. This, tied to the potential increased threat of a nuclear conflict, has them scared. They are looking at the situation now and saying that if this escalates, the west is not going to let this go, and it is their own people who are going to die because of a dictator in Vladimir Putin who is illegally invading another country for purposes that are nothing beyond him propping up his own regime, his own dictatorship and his own concerns for consolidating power. We need to do everything in our power to stop that.
What has Canada done about it? Obviously, we have called this out and there have been sanctions imposed. However, as I said, we have made some significant potential errors, and we could have done a much better job. We have supplied all sorts of money. I will give the government kudos. We got the M777s over there and a bunch of 155-millimetre ammunition, but Ukraine needs more. It keeps asking for this more and more, time and time again.
I stood in this House in the February time frame and asked the government about giving Ukrainians our old armoured vehicles. We have LAV IIIs; we have Bison ambulances, and we have Coyotes, surveillance-capable packages that are able to go there. We need to get them to the Ukrainians so they have the necessary support and ability to keep this fight going.
However, it is not just me asking for that. Ukrainian MPs came to Canada in June and asked when they were going to get these vehicles, and there is still no answer from the government. Why will the government not just provide the necessary support in armoured capability platforms to the Ukrainian military? I still do not get it.
There is lots we can do with respect to Ukrainian refugees. There have been debates here in the House about that, and additional measures. Colleagues of mine are currently in and out of Poland and Ukraine, and former friends of mine have done the lion's share of getting the majority of women, children and Ukrainian refugees out. I had the pleasure of meeting a number of Ukrainian refugees in my riding this past summer. Kudos to the Canadian population for everything they are doing to help them out.
However, now more and more is going on. Russian people and dissidents are speaking out who recognize that this has to stop. This motion calls for the Government of Canada to actually do something to help. That is what the motion is calling for, and it is absolutely necessary. It needs to develop the necessary measures to help these Russian dissidents get out of the situation and allow them to be that voice, because the more of them speak out, the easier it is to combat the disinformation.
In conclusion, I have talked about where we have made the mistakes historically, why the situation is as terrible as it is, what Russia is doing and all of its terrible actions, why we need to continue to oppose Putin and, finally, the importance of this motion and why the Government of Canada needs to do more.
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-10-18 12:54 [p.8421]
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the very interesting question.
I cannot speak with any level of fidelity on what is going on in Saudi Arabia or China from the perspectives of other nations and of ex-military folks, but I denounce it. Regardless of one's background, if one is going to go over and help train Chinese forces or forces in other countries that are not democratic and do not stand up for our values, I have issues with that.
That being said, I want to extend a huge “thank you” and kudos to those former Canadian Armed Forces members who are in Ukraine, fighting with the Ukrainian people and helping to train them, because that is what we need more of. Again, it is sad in some cases, but it is the reality of the world, and they are the true heroes around this globe who stand up and risk their own lives. I get that there are bigger international concerns around it, but I just want to say “thank you” to all Canadian Armed Forces veterans who are in Ukraine making a difference.
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-10-18 12:56 [p.8422]
Madam Speaker, that is a valid question.
In the west, governments make decisions based on national interest and things that are going on. Unfortunately, the world is not fair. How do we fix it and make it up? However, I do take issue with the fact that this is a motion the committee approved, and any member of the committee could have brought it forward for debate this morning on concurrence, which is the crux of it.
Getting to the main portion of the member's question, I would agree that more can always be done. In the west, Canada in particular is one of the nations that has not only the political will but the financial capabilities, despite dealing with this massive deficit right now. Canada could be doing more in all sorts of nations. How the government of the day chooses to deal with that is, well, a good question for the government.
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2022-10-18 12:58 [p.8422]
Madam Speaker, yes, I am concerned. It is absolutely egregious that the government promises one thing and then does not deliver on it. I am a big believer that we should not make promises, or that it is way better to underpromise and overdeliver than vice versa, as we have seen so much over the last seven years of the Liberal government. It is really good at promising but really bad at delivering.
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