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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is offender.

Conservative MP for Langley (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 64.50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions December 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present this petition representing thousands of Canadians. The petition highlights, sadly, that 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius was killed by a drunk driver. A group of people who have also lost loved ones to impaired drivers, called Families For Justice, believe that the current impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They are calling for mandatory minimum sentencing for people who have been convicted of impaired driving. They would also like the sentence to be considered vehicular manslaughter.

It being Christmastime, I encourage everyone to drive responsibly, and if they have been drinking not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, but to take a taxi or phone Operation Red Nose instead.

Petitions December 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the second petition highlights that tragically, 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius was killed by a drunk driver. A group of people who have also lost loved ones to impaired drivers, called Families for Justice believe that the current impaired driving laws are much too lenient. Petitioners are calling for new mandatory minimum sentencing for people who have been convicted of impaired driving causing death.

Petitions December 1st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present petitions from a number of constituents who came to my office in Langley. They are concerned about the right of small-scale family farms to preserve, exchange, and use seeds.

They are calling on the House of Commons to commit to adopting international aid policies that would support small family farmers, especially women, and recognize their role against hunger and poverty; to ensure that Canadian policies and programs are developed in consultation with small family farmers; and that they protect the right of small family farmers in the global south to preserve, use, and freely exchange seeds.

Petitions November 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the second petition highlights, sadly, that 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius was killed by a drunk driver. A group of people who have also lost loved ones to impaired drivers, called Families for Justice, believes that the current impaired driving laws are much too lenient.

They are calling for new mandatory minimum sentencing for people who have been convicted of impaired driving causing death.

Petitions November 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present two petitions.

The first is with regard sex selection. It says that the three deadliest words in the world are “it's a girl” and that through the practice of sex selection internationally, there are now over 200 million girls missing, making the world a very dangerous place. The society of gynaecologists has strongly condemed this practice. A recent poll said that 92% of Canadians are opposed to this, and they are asking Parliament to condemn this horrible form of discrimination against women and girls.

Holodomor November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Saturday, November 22, marks the 81st anniversary of the Holodomor, a “death by hunger” genocide committed by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin against Ukraine from 1932 to 1933. Though less known than other genocides, it was no less brutal and inhumane. In one year this deliberate catastrophe resulted in the deaths of 10 million Ukrainians. It was an act of pure evil that devastated the country of Ukraine and eliminated an entire generation of people.

On the fourth Saturday of every November we join Ukrainians in recognizing this dark chapter of their history. Since 2003, Canada has officially recognized the Holodomor for what it was, a genocide, which is an acknowledgement now shared by 23 other countries around the world.

The annual commemoration of this horrific event not only pays tribute to the innocent lives lost but also serves as a strong reminder of the duty that Canada has to stand up for a prosperous, free, and independent Ukraine.

Vechnaya Pamyat. Slava Ukraini.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, who I consider a dear friend. She has been recognized around the world for her work on protecting children and women who are being exploited and for her fight against human trafficking. We applaud her, thank her for her work, and know that she will continue to do that important work in Canada.

Mandatory minimums are very important. The courts must maintain discretion, and they do. If we pass legislation asking for mandatory minimums that does not meet the charter test, it will not stand. However, many of the mandatory minimum sentences we have now, to toughen up the Criminal Code, are supported by the charter, and when warranted, they are needed.

There is another issue I have been asked by constituents to work on, which is to get mandatory minimum sentencing for people convicted of killing someone while driving impaired. They want mandatory minimums. They believe that the Criminal Code needs to be changed in that respect.

I believe that there are appropriate times to make these changes, and I hope we can find that balance in this Parliament.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Charlottetown. I know he has a legal background, and I appreciate his commitment to participating in the debate and sharing his concerns about children being sexually exploited. I also appreciate his goal, which is the same as the government's, which is to reduce the number of victims of sexual exploitation in Canada.

We may not agree about when mandatory minimum sentences are appropriate. We have consulted with Canadians, and we continue to consult with Canadians. The fact is that Canadians want more mandatory minimum sentences than what our government is proposing. We have to reach that balance. I look forward to continuing to work with my friend across the way to find that balance, make Canada safer, represent our constituents, and amend the Criminal Code where appropriate.

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act November 20th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it is a real honour to participate in the second reading of Bill C-26.

I will be sharing my time with the hard-working Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and I want to thank her for her work on these important files. She has a huge heart. I got to know her a number of years ago, and she is one of the most compassionate people. The minister actually has a police officer background, so I can only imagine her caring and how much good work she did when she was a police officer.

I also want to thank the NDP and Liberal opposition colleagues for their commitment to support Bill C-26, demonstrating a concern to protect the victims of sexual assault and their commitment to support our victims bill of rights. It is the right thing to do as a House, to come together on these important pieces of legislation. It is very encouraging for me and all Canadians.

Bill C-26 is another concrete initiative of our government to combat all forms of child sexual exploitation. It aims to guarantee that sentences imposed for sexual offences against children reflect the gravity and reprehensible nature of these offences.

One of the ways that this bill proposes to attain this objective is to ensure that those who have committed sexual offences against children do not receive a sentence discount for cases where there are several victims. To better understand these proposed amendments, it is important to consider how sentencing is carried out in cases involving multiple offences.

Subsection 718.3(4) of the Criminal Code contains the general principles with respect to the nature in which sentences imposed in multiple offences are served, and that is, when they should be served concurrently, which is at the same time, or consecutively. Unfortunately, that provision is an amalgamation of legislative provisions, most of which have existed since the first Canadian Criminal Code. The text itself is difficult to read.

As a result, that provision provides little guidance to the sentencing courts. This bill proposes to clarify its content. When sentencing an offender at the same time for several offences, courts have the discretion to order that the sentences be imposed and served one after another, and that is called consecutively, or at the same time, called concurrently.

Over the years, the Canadian courts have developed an approach whereby they will generally order that the sentences are served consecutively, unless the offences arise out of the same event in a series of events in which case concurrent sentences are usually imposed.

In assessing whether the offences arise out of the same event, the courts will consider, for example, whether the offences have a real or temporal connection, or whether these offences have any logical connection to one another.

This rule is not absolute, though. Courts acknowledge that in some cases the sentences imposed for offences committed as part of the same event or a series of events are such that they should be served consecutively.

An example of this approach is reflected in situations where an offender tries to evade police after committing an offence, such as an armed robbery. The general rule is that in such a situation the sentences imposed on those offences would be served concurrently. However, courts will generally impose consecutive sentences in such situations in order to reflect the reprehensible nature of an offence committed in such situations.

Courts will generally follow the same principle in situations where an offender who is on judicial interim release, otherwise known as bail, commits another offence, for example, the offender is serving an offence, is out on bail and recommits another offence.

Courts generally agree that a sentence for an offence committed while the offender is on bail should be served consecutively to the sentence for the offence for which the offender is initially on temporary release. To do otherwise would send a message that there would be no consequence for the offence committed while on bail.

This bill proposes to codify these sentencing approaches by directing the courts to consider ordering that the term of the imprisonment imposed be served consecutively to any other sentence of imprisonment, particularly when the offences do not arise from the same facts.

It is also important to note that the totality principle, which is found in paragraph 718.2(c) of the Criminal Code, requires that where consecutive sentences are imposed, the combined sentence should not be unduly long or harsh.

Where this is the case, the principle provides courts with the discretion to impose concurrent sentences where consecutive sentences would otherwise be unwarranted. Although there is a great level of flexibility provided to the courts in determining whether it will be concurrent or consecutive sentences, the Criminal Code directs courts to order that the sentences imposed for certain serious offences be served consecutively in all cases. This is the case for the offences of possession of explosives by a criminal organization; the use of a firearm in the commission of an offence; terrorism offences, other than where the sentence of life imprisonment is imposed; and criminal organization offences.

As I mentioned in my opening remarks, the main purpose of this bill is to ensure that people who commit sexual offences against children receive sentences that reflect the gravity and reprehensible nature of these crimes. In addition to the proposed higher mandatory minimum penalties and higher maximum penalties for certain sexual offences against children, this bill proposes to add sentences for multiple child sexual offences to the list of mandatory consecutive sentences in order to ensure that there are fit sentences.

The proposed amendments would also direct a court to order that the sentences imposed for child pornography offences be served consecutively to sentences imposed for other contact sexual offences against a child. For example, let us consider an offender who is sentenced, at the same time, for accessing and making child pornography and for the sexual assault of a person under the age of 16. The proposed amendment would mean that the sentence for child pornography and the sentence for the sexual assault would be served consecutively.

This approach aims to recognize, in part, the courts' practice of imposing sentences that effectively recognize the heinous nature of sexual offences against children, and particularly child pornography, especially when it is distributed over the Internet and is thus made permanently accessible around the world.

The proposed amendments also target situations where there are several victims and would require that sentences imposed, at the same time, for offences involving the sexual abuse of one child be served consecutively to sentences for sexual abuse offences committed against another child. In many respects, the proposed amendments would bring greater uniformity and certainty in future sentencing practices, particularly in the context of child sexual abuse cases.

The bill proposes an approach that clearly reflects the government's commitment to ensuring that sentences for sexual offences against a child better reflect the gravity of these offences and that they make all child sexual offenders answer for the exploitation and sexual abuse they have committed. The proposed amendments would particularly end volume discounts in sentences given to offenders who have committed multiple sexual offences against a child and would ensure that each victim counted in the sentencing process.

I encourage my colleagues in this House to unanimously support this bill, without reservation. I think that is coming, and I look forward to that vote.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. It is a good one.

It is a fundamental condition of good democracy that we provide the judiciary with discretion, and that is built into Bill C-44. The courts would have the discretion to make an exception. At the order of a judge, the identity of a human source could be disclosed if that information were critical to proving the innocence of the accused at the criminal trial, or where the judge determines that the individual were not a human source or that information would not reveal the source's identity.