House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was liberals.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Conservative MP for Newton—North Delta (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Credit Cards December 7th, 2004

Mr. Chair, the hon. member talked about educating the consumers. That is a very good point. However, I would like to ask the hon. member what effective course of action the Liberals have taken in the past to provide more information about responsible credit card use to Canadians so that Canadians are better informed.

Credit cards are a very convenient form of payment, especially for Christmas shoppers.

The second question I would like to ask the Liberal member is does he think the government should devote its attention to going after criminals who commit credit card fraud, or rather than chasing credit card fraud criminals or other people committing similar frauds, should the government's top priority be to use the gun registry to chase peaceful duck hunters? What should be the government's top priority?

Credit Cards December 7th, 2004

Mr. Chair. I just wanted to make it clear for the record that I never said I had the intention of carrying a gun onto the plane. I want the hon. member, who implied that I was going to carry a gun to the aircraft, with no intention of doing anything bad, to know I did not say that. I simply gave an example that if someone had a gun and did not pull the trigger, it did not mean that the person was not wrong in his or her intention, similarly about carrying a gun onto a plane. I absolutely have no intention of doing that. I even do not touch guns.

Credit Cards December 7th, 2004

Mr. Chair, I rise on a point of order.

Credit Cards December 7th, 2004

Mr. Chair, I very much appreciate the hon. member highlighting the issue of identity theft. My previous question to the hon. member from the Liberal side was about identity theft, and I am not satisfied that he addressed the issue to the extent it should have been.

In fact, he said that someone standing in front of a store could not be charged with the intention to rob the store. We can understand that. However, someone could put a gun to a person's head and then say that since he or she did not pull the trigger, there is no intention of harming anyone or using that gun for a criminal purpose. In that instance it would not be true.

Similarly, someone could try to smuggle a weapon onto a plane and say that he or she had no intention of doing anything wrong with it. How would someone know what the intention was? Why would someone pay $90 for state of the art high technology identity which belongs to someone else while boasting that it is high quality? I believe we as lawmakers are allowing people to do the wrong things in a correct way. We say that it is okay for people to commit fraud, but they should do it right so we cannot charge them. As lawmakers we must stop it, whether the fraud is committed in a right or wrong way. Fraud is fraud and it must be stopped.

The member listened to the comments of the member from the government side. Does he think the government has the political will to stop identity theft crime or introduce some sort of legislation so we can make it illegal to possess someone else's identity for the purpose of committing a crime?

Credit Cards December 7th, 2004

Mr. Chair, this is the Christmas season and people are very busy shopping for Christmas. I think the main payment source people in Canada use is the credit card. We know that there are 50 million credit cards in circulation for only Visa and MasterCard and 600 institutions issue Visa and MasterCard. There are also many other kinds of credit cards.

When looking into the credit card issue, two issues come to mind. One is the high interest rate and the other is credit card fraud.

I will focus my question on credit card fraud. It was reported, and admitted by the RCMP, that financial losses due to credit card fraud came to the tune of about $200 million last year in Canada. According to another report on consumers and businesses, overall losses due to digital fraud amount to about $14 billion U.S.

We also know that it is the organized criminals who are behind this credit card fraud. I know that because I was a member of the justice subcommittee on organized crime. I heard an eye-opening presentation from the RCMP. The RCMP was pleading with the lawmakers, the members of Parliament, to do something to provide the RCMP with enough resources so that it could compete with the state of the art technology used by the organized criminals.

On the one hand, the government is wasting billions of dollars on the gun registry and using the gun registry to chase the duck hunters. On the other hand, people are getting away with serious crimes like organized crime, particularly digital crime or credit card fraud.

My first question for the hon. member would be this. Would he not chase the criminals who are committing fraud deliberately and knowingly and in an organized manner duping the Canadian economy? Or would his first priority be chasing the peaceful duck hunters by using the gun registry?

My second issue is this. This issue has not been brought forward. It is about identity theft fraud. There are companies in Canada boasting that they are selling high quality products, those products being fake IDs. There is a company called Digital Products, formerly called Photo-ID. It boasts on its website that it is selling fake driving licences for 7 provinces of Canada, 34 U.S. states, and 6 Australian states and territories. It also boasts that it is selling high quality products with hologram and magnetic strips. Looking at the card, it is hard to distinguish if the card is fake or an original identity card sold or provided by a province of a state.

Law enforcement officials cannot do anything about it because they cannot charge anyone until the fake ID card is actually used. To produce and sell fake ID cards is okay according to our law.

We also know that fake ID cards, particularly a driver's licence, can be used for buying airline tickets and boarding a plane.

What is the magnitude of the gravity of the situation? It is serious.

Would the member not urge his government to do something about identity theft? Even possessing or making a fake ID card should be a crime in this country, because there is no good intention behind making a high quality fake ID card with holograms and magnetic strips. I would ask the member to urge the government to change that law.

Citizenship and Immigration December 6th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister has defended the preferential visas for strippers by citing their shortage in clubs. However, according to strip club operators, there has never been any shortage of such skills in Canada.

We also know that the senior aide of the immigration minister visited and negotiated with the owner of a Toronto strip club. Political influence on the stripper shortage loophole in smuggling sex trade workers is now evident.

Will the disgraced minister now resign?

Fisheries November 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, Fraser River sockeye salmon are in danger of being mismanaged into extinction. Fisheries department numbers show that less than 10% of sockeye reached their spawning grounds this year, likely resulting in no commercial sockeye fishery in 2008.

The department knew by early July that high water temperatures and low water levels could be lethal, but allowed the fisheries to open. It has done little to stop illegal net fisheries on the river, even returning confiscated nets to their owners.

It is time to question how the Department of Fisheries and Oceans manages this vital public resource. The fisheries committee is travelling to B.C. to deal with the issue and the minister is setting up a committee to look at policy decisions, but these are only interim measures.

My constituents want to avoid the disaster they saw in Atlantic Canada. They want solid and truthful information. They demand a full judicial inquiry into this mismanagement of the fishery by this weak Liberal government.

Ukraine November 24th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of the constituents of Newton—North Delta to participate in this emergency debate on the Ukrainian election.

The constituency of Newton—North Delta is a very multicultural riding and has a huge population of Ukrainians who, I am sure, would want their member of Parliament to participate in this debate on their behalf.

On Sunday the people of Ukraine went to the polls in an historic election to choose a new president and determine the direction of their nation. Unfortunately, it appears that government authorities denied the Ukrainian people a free choice. The first round of elections, which took place on October 31, was marred by fraud and ballot irregularities.

Rather than correcting those serious deficiencies, reports indicate that things only worsened on the second ballot. My colleague, the member for Edmonton East, is taking part in a University of Alberta project observing Ukraine's election. He personally saw examples of ballot fraud while touring polling stations over the past few days.

According to other international observers, including the International Republican Institute, IRI, and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, election day was marred by voter list problems, multiple voting, interference by unauthorized persons in the electoral process and expulsion of observers and journalists from the polling stations.

The IRI found that in a number of polling stations the percentage of votes certified by the central elections commission exceeded 100% of the total votes. How can the votes cast exceed 100%? It naturally shows that there are some irregularities going on. These are serious irregularities that can call into question the election result which has seen Ukraine's elections commission declare Viktor Yanukovich the winner of the presidential runoff election.

Yanukovich had 49.46% of the vote, while Viktor Yushchenko was named on 46.6% of the ballots. Thousands of Yushchenko's voters have packed the capital for the past three days in freezing temperatures. Kiev, Lviv and several other cities announced that they would not accept the result of the vote and would recognize only Yushchenko as the winner.

Ukraine's outgoing president has offered to hold talks to end the crisis but a Yushchenko ally said that the only thing to discuss was a transfer of power to the opposition leader.

Ukraine, a country of about 50 million people, is a parliamentary democracy with separate executive, judicial and legislative branches. Previous presidential elections have gone relatively smoothly. In July 1994, Leonid Kuchma was elected as Ukraine's second president in a free and fair election. Kuchma was re-elected in November 1999 to another five year term with 56% of the votes.

International observers criticized aspects of that election, especially slanted media coverage, however the outcome of the vote was not called into question. Regrettably, this year's election has not gone so smoothly.

International condemnation has been swift. American secretary of state, Colin Powell, said that if the Ukranian government does not act immediately and responsibly, there will be consequences for the two countries' relationship and for Ukraine's hopes for a Euro-Atlantic integration and for individuals responsible for perpetrating fraud.

European commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, warned of consequences for the European Union's political and trade relations with Ukraine if its government does not allow a serious, objective review of the election.

We also note that the Pope has commented on the election.

Today I received a letter from Mychailo Wynnyckyj, PhD who writes from Kiev. He said that during the last 12 hours he had been asked by five people why the Canadian government was not saying anything.

He said, “My fellow Canadians. I am ashamed that I have few answers. Where is our government now? It is not enough to say that the election was a fraud. Ukraine's election was stolen by Prime Minister Yanukovych and his band of thugs. And now there is a very real possibility that this man may be proclaimed Ukraine's president during the next few days”.

Dr. Wynnyckyj continued, “Canada must mobilize the international community. The Canadian government must not only condemn the widespread fraud of the election, but must also state that Canada does not recognize Yanukovych as Ukraine's legitimate president. During this morning's demonstration on Kiev's central square, Viktor Yushchenko publicly stated that he was prepared to hold a second runoff election if a new Central Electoral Commission is appointed, and Ukraine's election law is rewritten to make fraud impossible. Yushchenko's olive branch was met with cynicism this evening by the Central Electoral Commission”.

He went on to say, “My dear Canadians, Ukraine needs your help. Mobilize. The Canadian government can and should help, but only you can pressure Ottawa to do the right thing. Refuse to recognize Yanukovych as Ukraine's president”.

Today the Deputy Prime Minister stated that Canada has rejected the results of Ukraine's election, calling it serious and significant electoral fraud. She warned that Canadian relations with Ukraine could be cut off if authorities there do not produce non-fraudulent election results.

It is generally a mistake for the Canadian government to interfere in the internal affairs of independent states. However, we have a duty to promote democracy.

In Canada we are very fortunate that we have democracy, even though we are disturbed by the way the current Prime Minister pushed out former Prime Minister Chrétien. Some political scientists call it a civilized coup. These things do happen in Canada as well.

I remember when I spoke to the Elections Canada bill in the previous parliament how the governing party, which had a majority, tried to stop the smaller parties through that legislation. I spoke to that. On the other hand, I still think Canadians are generally fortunate to live in a democracy, particularly so, having lived in the west African country of Liberia. My family and I lived in that country for many years before migrating to Canada. Before that, I lived in the largest democracy in the world, India. I went from living in the largest democracy to living in a third world dictatorship and then back to living in a democracy. I can relate to what is the value of democracy and to what is the value of free, fair and transparent elections.

History teaches that the surest way to ensure peace is through democracy, good governance and rule of law, not by men.

I would state in conclusion that for the first time in human history, more than half of the world's nations are democratic or moving toward republican government. We have witnessed the swiftest advance of freedom in the 2,500 year history of democracy. There are 40 functional democracies and almost 100 established or emerging democracies in the world.

Despite the efforts of the few to deny democracy in Ukraine, freedom is not dead in that country. We are a democratic country and the lawmakers in this country. Most participate in democracy in action and encourage democracy around the world.

Petitions November 24th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of the residents of Newton—North Delta to present a petition signed by a huge number of members of St. Bernadette Church in Surrey, B.C. as part of the White Ribbon Against Pornography campaign. The petitioners urge Parliament to stop the flood tide of obscenity pouring into our nation's communities and homes, especially through the Internet.

Since this petition is very long and signed on a ribbon, I would ask for unanimous consent to accept it in this format. I know it is not in the usual format that we table petitions.

British Columbia November 24th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, British Columbians are fed up with the Liberal Prime Minister's empty rhetoric on western alienation. We want action.

The Liberals have mismanaged the Fraser River salmon fishery, failed to open the U.S. border to live Canadian cattle, mishandled avian flu, are permitting the softwood lumber crisis to continue, and have done little to save our forests from the pine beetle.

They closed CFB Chilliwack, turned off Pacific lighthouses and foghorns, and ripped the heart out of the Pacific Coast Guard. They provide inadequate emergency preparedness, under-resource the RCMP, and allow marijuana grow ops and crime to flourish.

Our streets and highways are congested, while cities wait for gas tax money. Hospitals are underfunded and university tuition is skyrocketing. Federal jobs and contracts are moving east. B.C. is under-represented in the Senate.

The Prime Minister talks the talk but does not walk the walk. British Columbians will not be fooled by the Liberals.