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Results: 1 - 15 of 162
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-06-19 10:05 [p.15333]
Mr. Speaker, it is truly an honour to rise in the House today for my last statement in this beautiful chamber, a place where I have had the good fortune of serving for 15 years.
At the outset, let me thank all of those within this House and outside the House for their tremendous good wishes over the last number of days.
I want to thank a number of people today. I want to thank the people of the ridings of Edmonton—Leduc and Edmonton Southwest, whom I have been privileged to represent over the last five terms. I thank them for their confidence and for their support for me.
I wish to thank the many volunteers and supporters who helped me during this period: the constituents who provided me constant feedback and guidance and the supporters who are like a family to me, many of whom supported me for the entire time.
I would like to thank my present and past colleagues on both sides of this House for their passionate love of our country, their commitment to making it better and their kindness toward me. They are friends for life.
I would like to thank and express my sincere appreciation to the many wonderful people who have worked in my offices in Edmonton and Ottawa for their incredible service to our constituency and our country.
I may get very emotional here. I want to thank Debbie Healy for 15 years of amazing service to me. Debbie and I are part of the same family now. I just love being part of her extended family and I thank her so much. I thank Kim Dohmann, who has served me for 15 years as well in such an extraordinary capacity. I thank Willii Burgess, who served me for 10 years and worked with me for another five years. I thank all of my current staff, Samantha Johnston, the communications whiz, Lene Jorgensen, Carmel Harris, Trevor Rogers, who have done such an outstanding job for all the constituents. They are so much part of my success.
Two of my staff who were very colourful in my past are here today: the lovely and talented Michele Austin, and Bryan Rogers, about whom I will not tell any stories here because that would not be appropriate in this chamber, but I thank them so much for being here today.
I also want to thank my family and friends for their unconditional love, their support, the friendship they have given me in this fantastic journey through politics, particularly my heroes: my parents, Ron and Elaine Rajotte. I am more like my dad today than my mom. My mom is the strong one; my dad is the guy who cries at everything.
I believe more profoundly today than I did when I entered Parliament that Canada is the best country in the world, a place where we can fulfill our deepest hopes and aspirations and be a light and example for the world.
I want to end by saying this. There are a lot of comments about political life and politicians that occur here today and a lot of cynicism. After 15 years of serving with people in this place, people who volunteer in politics, I have more faith in those people who are in politics, who volunteer in politics. It is a noble endeavour. It is making this country a better place. This is the best country in the world. We can continue to make it better.
I thank all those in the chamber and outside of the chamber for their service. It has been a wonderful path for me. I genuinely appreciate it.
Thank you very much, and goodbye.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-06-18 10:10 [p.15256]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Finance, entitled “Terrorist Financing in Canada and Abroad: Needed Federal Actions”.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
As this is the last report I will present to this House, I want to thank all present and past members for their outstanding work and their collaboration with me in operating this committee since 2008.
I want to thank our analysts, Adriane Yong in this report, and especially Mark Mahabir, who has been with us the same amount of time and done an outstanding job. June Dewetering, whom many of us know in this House, has done just an outstanding job as well over the years.
I would also like to thank our clerk, Christine Lafrance.
She insisted I use my French here today. I want to thank her for her outstanding work as well.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-06-08 15:10 [p.14703]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Finance, entitled “A North American Renminbi Hub: Canada as the Leader”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
As well, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Finance, entitled “Recent Oil Price Changes: Selected Canadian Impacts”. Again, pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-06-05 11:47 [p.14648]
Mr. Speaker, various media outlets are reporting that Vladimir Putin has broken the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian President Poroshenko is warning against a possible full-scale invasion from Russia.
I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to provide Canada's official reaction to these serious events.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-06-05 12:06 [p.14652]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to Bill C-59, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures.
The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendment.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-06-01 17:27 [p.14423]
Mr. Speaker, as my colleague knows, the government is supportive of the motion presented by the NDP, but we do need to bring some sense of reality.
Canadians should be proud of the fact that for seven years in a row the World Economic Forum has recognized Canada as having the best banking system in the world. We can get basic major banking services for $4 or less a month. We have a 21-day grace period for credit card payments in this country, which is something that was brought into force by this government.
About people saying “bank profits” and “banks exceeding”, we cannot see this as banks over here exceeding. I recall my father, who is a retired schoolteacher, complaining about this one time. I said to him, “Dad, let's go look at the Alberta teachers' retirement investments on the website”. It was bank after bank. I said, “Dad, your defined benefit pension plan is in part directly linked to banks doing well in this country”. We are very much linked in this Canadian society.
If we look at the Canada pension plan investments, something that the opposition members want to increase, we see that the Canada pension plan has loads of investments in our major banks. I would like the member to stand up and add a bit of balance to what he is saying in being so critical of the banking sector in this country.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-05-15 10:52 [p.13994]
Mr. Speaker, I want to pull the member back to the budget bill itself and read some of the measures in it. The budget bill would allow seniors to keep more in their RRIFs for a longer period of time. It proposes moving the small business tax rate down to 9%. It proposes increasing the lifetime capital gains exemption to $1 million. It introduces the home accessibility tax credit, extends the mineral exploration tax credit, allows foreign charitable foundations to be registered as qualified donees and provides an accelerated capital cost allowance for the manufacturing sector for a 10-year period.
Which of those measures does he support, which of those measures does he oppose, and if he opposes them, why does he oppose them?
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-05-15 11:05 [p.13997]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the 2014 Citizens of Distinction Award winners, who were honoured recently at the Leduc volunteer appreciation banquet. These outstanding citizens range in age from their teens to their golden years, and all have made tremendous contributions to their community.
This year's recipients are Brianna Raymond, for athletic achievement; Charlene Schatz, for community spirit; and Art Birkholz, for culture and heritage. The youth award of merit went to Caline Strach and the mayor's special award went to Clarence Shields, son of former MP Jack Shields.
We can all think of a community member who has made a difference in our lives. They are mentors, teachers, parents, volunteers, and role models. They deserve our gratitude and recognition for the valuable contributions they have made and continue to make to our families, workplaces, and communities.
On behalf of the people of Edmonton—Leduc, I congratulate the recipients and thank them for their dedication to making our community a better place.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-05-15 12:05 [p.14009]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present a petition on behalf of many Canadians. It is a petition organized by Families For Justice, which is a group of Canadians who have unfortunately had a loved one killed by an impaired driver. They are people like Sheri Arsenault from my riding, the mother of 18-year-old Bradley Arsenault, who was killed along with his two friends, Kole Novak, also 18, and Thaddeus Lake who was 22. This was a very tragic incident.
These families believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is, vehicular homicide. It is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada. Over 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by a drunk driver. This group is calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-05-13 15:22 [p.13843]
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Finance in relation to its study on the main estimates 2015-16.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-05-08 11:59 [p.13660]
Mr. Speaker, the Nunavut land claims agreement was signed in 1993. It provides Inuit with significant land ownership, mineral rights, resource royalties, hunting rights, and a capital transfer of $1.14 billion. However, soon after the agreement was signed, it was not implemented properly and Nunavut Tunngavik sued the government.
I would ask the Minister of the Environment to give the House an update on this situation.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-05-08 12:18 [p.13663]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present two petitions. The first petition is on behalf of many constituents in my riding.
The petitioners call for the creation of a legislative ombudsman mechanism for responsible mining.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-05-08 12:18 [p.13664]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls upon Parliament and the Government of Canada to recognize the inherent rights of farmers derived from thousands of years of custom and tradition to save, reuse, select, exchange and sell their own seeds.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-04-29 16:52 [p.13208]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time this afternoon with the very distinguished member for Macleod. I look forward to his remarks.
It is a pleasure today to rise to speak to budget 2015.
As members know, I chair the Standing Committee on Finance. Each fall we engage in prebudget consultations. This past year we received submissions from 430 Canadian individuals and organizations. We heard from about 100 organizations and individuals at committee in the fall. We submitted our 47 recommendations to Parliament in December, and we are very pleased to see that many of these recommendations made their way into this budget.
The budget has three themes: supporting jobs and growth, helping families and communities prosper, and ensuring the security of Canadians.
I want to take this opportunity to try to address as many of the specific measures as I can, starting with supporting jobs and growth. The first thing I want to mention is that we have provided manufacturers a 10-year tax incentive to boost productivity-enhancing investments. This was very welcomed by the manufacturing sector and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. Jay Myers has done an outstanding job leading that organization and fighting for that sector. Many of us go back a long way in this House. I am going back to the industry committee that was studying that sector in 2006-07. We tabled our report in 2007. It recommended a five-year period for a 50% straight-line depreciation. It was put in the 2007 budget for a two-year period and kept being extended for a two-year period. However, the government has very wisely put in place a 10-year window so that manufacturers across this country can build on that.
I want to quote from Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association, which applauds the Government of Canada's budget initiative. It states:
New investment in the manufacturing sector is expected as a result of a long term tax credit announced in the Government of Canada’s 2015 Budget. Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association commends this initiative. The program provides long term certainty to industry and helps boost Canada’s global competitiveness to attract new investment.
That is very good news for that sector.
The second item I want to highlight is supporting world-class advanced research. The previous member spoke about this. I do not know what budget she is reading if we read all of the budgets presented by this finance minister and the previous one. In this one there is an additional $1.3 billion over six years for the Canada Foundation for Innovation, an additional $46 million per year to the three granting councils, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, providing funding for basic research, for researchers to do what they do best in terms of supporting that basic research at the university and college level across this country.
Other initiatives in the research area is partnering with Mitacs in support of graduate level industrial research and development internships. A lot of this is geared to supporting the National Research Council so that we not only generate good basic research here in Canada, but we can actually commercialize it. We can translate that good idea into a commercial success, which has been a challenge for this country in the past.
The next area is supporting small businesses. We have reduced the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%. This builds on the reductions in the tax rates we have done for businesses of all sizes. We have reduced the small business tax rate already from 12% to 11%. We have increased the amount that a business can earn from $300,000 to $500,000 before it pays the higher tax rate of 15%. We have encouraged provinces across this country to adopt a 10% rate. The larger businesses pay a 25% rate, but for small businesses the rate is 9%. That is exceptionally good news for these generators of jobs.
The second item I want to highlight is that we are providing $14 million over two years to Futurpreneur Canada in support of young entrepreneurs. Going back to the work of our finance committee, this was recommendation 46.
In terms of training a highly skilled workforce and focusing on students, there are two policies I want to highlight. We are making the Canada student loans program work for families by reducing the expected parental contribution, and we are eliminating in-study student income from the Canada student loans program needs assessment process. This is based on recommendation 13. I want to commend the student organization CASA for bringing this forward year after year as a policy idea to our committee and to the government.
The previous speaker spoke of a lack of investment in public transit. Again, I am not sure what documents the member is reading, because this budget provides an additional $750 million over two years starting in 2017-18, and $1 billion per year ongoing thereafter for a new and innovative public transit fund. The mayor of Edmonton, Don Iveson, has pushed for this for years and was very pleased to see this recommendation in our budget.
The next item I want to mention is something that was actually identified before the budget. It is providing accelerated capital cost allowance treatment for assets used in facilities that liquify natural gas. Obviously, this is very important for our colleagues from British Columbia, but it would have benefits across the country if we were able to competitively locate some of these facilities here in Canada.
The next item is extending employment insurance compassionate care benefits from six weeks to six months to better support Canadians caring for gravely ill family members. This is an excellent idea and there is an excellent policy in place, but the government recognizes that this needs to be extended for people in this situation. Therefore, I am very pleased to see this in the budget as well.
The next item I want to mention in this area is the proposed change to reduce the minimum withdrawal factors for registered retirement income funds. I did a town hall in Edmonton with about 150 seniors who all raised this with me. It is a fact that Canadians are living longer. It is a good news story. Canadians are living longer and if they do not need to they should not be forced to withdraw at the rates they are currently forced to withdraw. Right now, they convert their RRSP to a RRIF at age 71 and start the mandatory withdrawal rates at age 72. All of the RRIF has to be converted at age of 94. The proposed change was based on finance recommendation no. 11. This would allow seniors, if they are in a position to, to preserve more of their income in that form if they are living longer and to better enable them to care for themselves in their retirement. This is a good news policy. It was proposed by a number of organizations at the committee, so this is something we recommended. We are very pleased to see it in the budget as well.
The next item would introduce a new home accessibility tax credit for seniors and persons with disabilities that would help with the cost of ensuring their homes remain safe, secure and accessible. This is another excellent policy.
I want to move on to the issue of health care. The health care issue has been mentioned by some members on the other side. I am very pleased to see the mandate of the Mental Health Commission of Canada would be renewed for another 10 years. This is a very positive item. We heard in committee from various witnesses about the importance of the commission. Dennis Anderson, who very much works on the commission, lives in my riding. He does excellent work. He was obviously very pleased as well to see the extension.
As a member who sponsored a motion on Alzheimer's, I was very pleased to see the next item. The budget would provide up to $42 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to help improve seniors' health through innovation by establishing the Canadian centre for aging and brain health innovation. I was very pleased to see that, and I want to thank the Minister of Health for that action item as well.
In July of last year I had the opportunity, with the hon. member for Markham, to tour Ghana with Engineers Without Borders. It is an organization that does an outstanding job in its development work. We had such an educational period there. I commend all the, primarily young, people who dedicate so much of their lives to all types of international development. Whether financing initiatives, helping a local government or helping a property tax reform, we spent a very impressive time there. One of the recommendations this organization has been making is to establish a development finance initiative to support effective international development by providing financing, technical assistance and business advisory services to firms operating in developing countries. It was the idea of Engineers Without Borders. It was an excellent idea, and I am so pleased to see it in the budget. I have to say, my colleague from Markham was an excellent travelling companion as well.
In terms of balancing the budget, this was something we committed to back in 2009. The then-finance minister, Jim Flaherty, said the government was committed to balancing the budget over the medium term. That is exactly what we have done this year by balancing this budget. We have done so while increasing funding for provincial governments, for health care, education, social assistance, seniors benefits and family benefits. We have done so by reducing discretionary federal expenditures of $70 billion, between 5% and 10%. We have done so in a very responsible way.
I want to encourage members on all sides to support the budget and I look forward to their questions.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
View James Rajotte Profile
2015-04-29 17:03 [p.13210]
Mr. Speaker, I have to tell the member that is not what the Minister of Finance said, at all, and he knows that. He knows that very well.
The reality is this government is committed to reducing taxes. This government has reduced taxes for businesses, for families, for seniors, for individuals. We have reduced taxes because we believe Canadians work very hard and deserve to keep more of their own income for their priorities, whether it is raising their family, whether it is providing for an education, whether it is saving for their own retirement. That is a fundamental, philosophical distinction between this side and the other side of the House. We are very proud of the fact that we have reduced taxes for Canadians in all forms.
The other thing I want to point out, though, is that in terms of balancing the budget, we did not do what previous governments did. We did not reduce health care funding. We did not eviscerate certain departments. Funding for provincial transfers has gone up markedly-: 6% year over year for health care, 3% year over year for education and social assistance. Family benefits have gone up, seniors' benefits have gone up, and we continued that, at the same time, and frankly during a period of modest economic growth, we have balanced the budget. That is a true achievement and something of which I am very proud and of which everybody in this House should be very proud.
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