House of Commons Hansard #212 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was s-4.


Public Works and Government ServicesAdjournment Proceedings

7:20 p.m.


Roxanne James Conservative Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I said, our government's national shipbuilding procurement strategy offers opportunities not only for Davie, but all Canadian shipyards. For example, over $2 billion worth of work for the construction of smaller vessels will be tendered through a competitive process. A large in-service contract worth an estimated $5 billion will be tendered for the maintenance of Arctic offshore patrol ships and the joint support ships over 20 to 30 years. Also ship repair refit and maintenance will also continue to be contracted through a competitive process.

The strategy is already reviving Canada's shipbuilding and marine industries. It is estimated, as I mentioned earlier, that the strategy will create up to 15,000 jobs and more than $2 billion in annual economic benefits over the next 30 years.

The Davie shipyard is welcome to compete for this upcoming work and we encourage it to do so.

Public SafetyAdjournment Proceedings

7:20 p.m.


Jasbir Sandhu NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise once again to call on the government to act now to address the gang violence that is happening in my community of Surrey. Crime levels in Surrey have reached crisis levels. There were 27 shootings in the past two months.

I stood in the House multiple times in the last number of weeks demanding that the government take action on the issue and I still have not received any concrete answers or commitments from the government. People come to Canada because they want to give their children a better future in a country that is safe. It is simply unacceptable that there are communities in this country where parents are afraid to let their children play outside in case of a lone bullet.

A first step in resolving this problem would be providing Surrey with the necessary resources to deal with escalating gang violence including youth gang prevention programs. Youth gang prevention programs funding in Canada is unstable and inconsistent. That is why I have introduced Motion No. 407 that calls on the government to provide stable, long-term funding for youth gang prevention and intervention programs. I hope my Conservative colleagues will vote in favour of the motion and work together to keep our families and children safe.

I am urging the government to work with us to find solutions to fix this alarming problem. However, in order to find solutions for this problem, we need the government to be transparent about the current situation. Last week I stood in the House with a number of questions for the minister that were not answered. I asked the parliamentary secretary at that point to be aware that I would come back to the House at this time for those answers. Hopefully she will provide us with those answers.

I do not want to hear talking points. I do not think people in my community want to hear talking points, so I will repeat the questions again.

The parliamentary secretary keeps talking about $2.8 million in crime prevention funding in Surrey. The minister says it is about $3 million, so which one is it? Is it $2.8 million or $3 million? These are the kinds of questions I had for the minister last week and I hope she comes prepared.

What is the itemized amount for spending on crime prevention in Surrey? What components are grants or contributions? What is the government's definition of crime prevention? Which departments were involved in spending with what amounts?

What I keep hearing from the government are the same talking points from the parliamentary secretary and the minister, but still no action to deal with the gang violence problem.

The parliamentary secretary will stand and tell us the Conservatives have brought in 30 new laws to deal with this and she will say “that member voted against it”.

This crime wave is happening in Surrey despite the number of laws they brought in. They are not sufficient. We have been telling them that we need to invest in communities and crime prevention programs. Experts have been telling us at committee that we need to invest in crime prevention. Crime prevention pays. A little investment goes a long way.

The parliamentary secretary is also going to tell us that Conservatives have increased the funding for the RCMP. The fact of the matter is they cut the funding for RCMP in 2012 by $195 million. Now she is going to tell us they have increased it for seven straight years in the last eight years. If it is increased by $2 million each year, yet they take out $195 million, I think Canadians can do the math.

I urge the parliamentary secretary to answer my questions. My question is not what the government has done or what the Liberals did wrong. My question is what are the Conservatives doing now in my community? What is the government's plan to deal with escalating gang violence? When will the government approve the 100 RCMP officers the city has requested? What will it take for the government to prioritize public safety?

Public SafetyAdjournment Proceedings

7:25 p.m.

Scarborough Centre Ontario


Roxanne James ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, it feels a little like Groundhog Day, because I have responded to these very same questions again and again, and in fact I did so not too long ago in adjournment proceedings.

Nonetheless, I am very pleased to respond again to the same remarks and the same questions that I have answered before for the member for Surrey North regarding the issue of escalating violence in the city of Surrey. Contrary to what the member is saying, I am actually going to talk about the facts.

Over the last few years, our Conservative government has proven its commitment to protecting Canadians. That is why we have passed over 30 measures to combat dangerous and violent criminals—that is a fact—by getting tougher on crime. However, I am compelled to note that the very same member for Surrey North was not as concerned for the safety of his own constituents when he voted to reduce sentences for drive-by shootings. He is standing in the House asking about these very same things.

Our Conservative government has put an ever-increasing focus on supporting intervention measures to prevent crime and youth gang activity, issues that are of great concern for all Canadians and indeed to the Surrey community. We know how important it is to steer youth away from crime and gangs before they get caught in a life of violence, drugs, and criminal activities. That is why, in 2008, we renewed and provided additional ongoing funding to the national crime prevention strategy of $40.9 million per year. Again, it is a fact.

The issue of youth gangs continues to be a government priority. As the opposition member may be aware, as part of the national crime prevention strategy, this government created the youth gang prevention fund to address growing concerns about youth gangs, with an annual investment of $7.5 million over five years. Again, this is a fact.

What is also a fact is that the member for Surrey North actually voted against making the youth gang prevention fund a permanent program. Now he is standing in the House and saying he needs this type of support. This program has supported 31 youth gang prevention projects through a total investment of $39.3 million in contribution funding in cities right across this country. Of that money, $2.8 million has gone into crime prevention initiatives in Surrey alone. Again, this is a fact.

Further to that, we are committed to working with the Province of British Columbia to ensure that there are enough law enforcement boots on the ground to combat dangerous and violent criminals.

Again, the member opposite stood and asked for an answer about support for the Surrey area. Apparently he was not listening the last time I stood, so I will reiterate it again now, and maybe this time he will listen. I answered that question, as I said, in adjournment proceedings not too long ago. We have actually approved the request that the member is referring to. I do not know what part he does not understand. I do not know what part he has not heard.

I hope that the NDP member opposite will finally get on board with our Conservative government's approach to protecting Canadians and that he actually begins to listen to the answers that I give him.

Public SafetyAdjournment Proceedings

7:30 p.m.


Jasbir Sandhu NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I know facts are not something that Conservatives like to talk about, because those are not facts. Those are fictions. One can twist facts any way one wants. The parliamentary secretary talks about investing $2.8 million in Surrey. Is that since 1970 or was it last year? Those are the very simple questions I am asking.

People in my constituency will see what the answers were, and they were not the answers that people in Surrey are expecting, so I am going to ask the parliamentary secretary one more time very clearly. My question is not what the government has done or what the Liberals did 10 years ago. My question is this: what is the government going to do now to address this concern? The need is immediate. There have been 25 shootings. It is about time that the government offered some immediate commitments and concrete plans to the City of Surrey.

What is the government's plan to deal with this escalating violence? How are we going to move forward?

Public SafetyAdjournment Proceedings

May 12th, 2015 / 7:30 p.m.


Roxanne James Conservative Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the member's constituents are watching, then they have probably just heard that the member voted against everything this government has done to try to prevent those very crimes and reduce the crime rate across this country. We actually have the lowest crime rate because of this Conservative government.

That said, our government has taken strong action to keep British Columbians and all Canadians safe. Again, the member is not really listening to the answers. He has asked the same questions again and again, but they are just words and rhetoric. On this side of the House, the Conservative government has adopted a balanced approach to community safety. Instead of supporting reactive measures, we have made significant investments in the crime prevention area as well. I talked about those just a moment ago, and still the member has not heard any of those things.

Despite the opposition and the member for Surrey North, we will continue to support all British Columbians. We will support the area of Surrey. If the member has not heard, I will try one more time: we did approve the request for the additional support. Maybe he is typing it in his tablet right now. I am not sure, but that is the correct answer.

Canadians know that when it comes to keeping communities and Canadians safe, it is the Conservatives who have taken strong action legislatively with preventive measures, and the NDP has voted against absolutely everything. I think the constituents of the member's riding actually know this is a fact.

Public SafetyAdjournment Proceedings

7:35 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7:35 p.m.)