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

Points of Order April 12th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, during question period today a Liberal member and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration made statements tarnishing my character, integrity and honesty.

The minister accused me of having my constituents post bonds payable to me. That is absolutely false. Neither I nor my staff have ever done so. This issue was raised in the media and has been corrected in the media. The minister should do the honourable thing and stand up and apologize to me and my constituents.

I reserve the right to raise a question of privilege down the road after I review the blues from question period.

Supply April 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I hate to interrupt the member during his speech, but I want to put the record straight. I did not give my consent for the amendment because it completely watered down the motion.

Supply April 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, first of all I would like to thank all the members who have supported this motion so far. They have worked hard to push the government to call a public inquiry. I greatly appreciate their sympathy for the victims as well as for Canadians looking for justice and for measures to find out what went wrong with this massive investigation and how we can crack this whole situation.

I would also like to find out from this member if this incident could have been prevented if the government had done two things differently. It is also quite evident that there have been grave errors made by federal institutions such as CSIS and the RCMP and even by the federal government from time to time.

Does the member agree that such questions must be put to rest, for example, negligence by federal government agencies? Does the member agree that this also affects the reputation of these agencies and the reputation of Canada in the international arena? Does the member think there is any other solution, as the government is not coming forward to call an inquiry so far even though it has been nudged a little on this issue?

If there is no public inquiry, is there anything else that could be done to satisfy the situation and get to the bottom of the situation? We must find out what went wrong and how it can be corrected so that such a tragedy does not happen again.

Supply April 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the spirit in which the member has spoken, but there are a few comments I would like to make with reference to what he has stated.

The anti-terrorism act that the government passed in 2001 was done after the incidents in the U.S., after 9/11, but not after the worst terrorist disaster in Canadian history.

He also talked about banning two terrorist organizations, but there are still terrorist organizations and fronts for terrorist organizations in Canada, according to CSIS. They are still here. They have not been banned.

The government has done only band-aid solutions. It is only window dressing to address some particular organizations. There are still organizations that have been declared terrorist organizations by the United States but not by Canada, as the member from Okanagan—Coquihalla has mentioned a few times in the House. Also, this was done 16 years after this tragedy actually occurred. As well, the Prime Minister and many members on the Liberal side have attended fundraising dinners for terrorist organizations as late as only two to three years ago.

The government's approach is not a holistic approach. It is only a band-aid solution and it is not working.

My particular comment for the member from B.C. is this. I have an article here from Straight Talk of September 30, 2004. In it, the Hon. Geoff Plant from British Columbia states:

--the minister of justice [then Martin Cauchon] threatened to cut off $6.5 million in support funding for the Air India case if we [British Columbia] maintained our position with respect to funding immigration-and-refugee legal aid.

Why would the government shamefully tie Air-India investigation funding or the Air-India investigation to something completely different?

I would like to ask the member, if he has the audacity, to state how the government dared to use the Air-India bombing investigation funding as leverage to have the British Columbia government cave in to its demand, which was tied into the immigration and refugee legal aid funding.

Supply April 7th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, first, we are almost half way through the debate on this important issue and I have not seen even a little integrity from the government benches to at least admit that there were grave errors in the investigation done by the different federal institutions involved, CSIS and the RCMP. So far the government has not admitted there were errors.

Second, the Deputy Prime Minister spoke earlier. She has shown an interest in meeting with the families, even though she has given very short notice. This makes it practically impossible to meet with the families of the victims. I talked with them earlier when they were here.

The minister also seems very keen on holding the 20th anniversary memorial, rather than keeping the Liberal Party promise on which it campaigned. Many Liberal members have stated that there should be a public inquiry and the opposition members are demanding one.

Rather than looking for an opportunity to make speeches and have photo ops, why not do the right thing and call the public inquiry for which we have asked. Then all the facts could be known. We would know who was negligent, how that negligence could be prevented in the future and how to keep such tragedies from happening again.

A public inquiry might solve the problem to the extent that it will come up with some solutions and a better approach afterwards, which will be useful to secure Canada's integrity at the borders for the future when terrorist threats may be more serious as we move along in this century.

What do the Liberals have to hide? Why are they dithering and putting roadblocks in making these appointments, shedding crocodile tears and not doing the right thing? Why not do the right thing, call a public inquiry and put an end to all the speculation and rumours that are ongoing.

I am concerned and so are the families of the victims about what the government has to hide. Could the member shed some light on this?

Supply April 7th, 2005

In 1993 they campaigned on it.

Supply April 7th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Since this is a very important issue, and as the minister said that it is a non-partisan issue, we have some serious questions to ask the Minister of Public Safety. I ask for unanimous consent to extend the question and comment period for another 10 minutes.

Supply April 7th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to the Minister of Public Safety and Deputy Prime Minister and her tone has certainly changed from that of March 16 when she said firmly that there would be no public inquiry. I now see that she is dithering, which confirms that the government is inflicted with a dithering problem. In fact, the Liberals have become serial ditherers on that side.

The minister has made two comments on which I would like to comment. She said that she would seek to get independent advice. The government has been in power for 12 years, since 1993. Did it not seek independent advice in 12 years on this issue? The Deputy Prime Minister, who was the justice minister, knows how much delay has been caused and that justice delayed is justice denied.

She said that she needs a better understanding of this issue. What part of this does she not understand? After 20 years, after investing $150 million, 250 RCMP officers and after listening to 115 witnesses, no justice was received. What further understanding does she need on this issue?

I would also like to point out the latest report from the Auditor General which is so scathing on security issues. Numerous terrorist cells and front organizations continue to remain in Canada according to the CSIS boss. A few years even the current Prime Minister attended a fundraising dinner for the Tamil Tigers, a terrorist organization or a front for a terrorist organization.

All the changes the minister has indicated are simply window dressing.

In January of this year, not back in 1985, lawyers for the alleged terrorist Adil Charkaoui moved to have the case against their client dropped after CSIS destroyed notes from two interviews with him. Federal Court Justice Simon Noel admonished the spy agency for destroying the notes and released the suspected al-Qaeda terrorist on $50,000 bail simply because the changes made were not effective.

The destruction of wiretap evidence even received the wrath of a U.S. judge during the trial of attempted millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam. The U.S. district court judge slammed CSIS and the Canadian government during Ressam's trial, stating:

I'm disturbed that the tape recordings don't exist anymore.... Apparently, that' s the Canadian way of doing things

That is a shame.

When the minister says that she needs independent advice and a better understanding of the situation, how much of a timeframe is she talking about, one week, two weeks? What timeframe does she have in mind, because it is already too late?

Supply April 7th, 2005

Madam Speaker, it is a known fact that there was bungling by CSIS, the RCMP and various federal government institutions in the Air-India bombing fiasco.

Despite the fact that the warnings to authorities were given from outside Canada, the terrorist conspiracy was hatched and executed in Canada and still the Canadian system could not prevent that from happening.

What is the guarantee that it will not happen in the future? We need to review the whole security issue in a broader spectrum. I do not know what the solution could be, but certainly there should be cooperation among security agencies, not confrontation.

That is why a public inquiry is important. We need to find a solution and get to the bottom of the investigation.

Supply April 7th, 2005

Madam Speaker, first, I would like to acknowledge and share with members in the House that the enormity of this tragedy cannot be overstated. This is a non-partisan issue. Members from all sides of the House sympathize with the tragedy. However, after 20 years, where are we heading? What did we accomplish? Have we served justice to the families of the victims? Have we learned any lessons?

As I stated, only a judicial inquiry can give us some answers and provide us some lessons that we can learn from the tragedy.

The judicial inquiry is a public inquiry which is headed by a judge and its mandate is focused. That is why I said a judicial inquiry in my motion.

I think the members in this House would agree with me that prevention is the key. Even a common sense approach would have prevented those errors from happening. Now we need to secure our transport industry, our borders and the integrity of our borders. We have to provide Canadians a safe environment in which to live.

In this century, terrorism is going to be a serious threat. We should deal with terrorists, terrorism and terrorist organizations within our borders. We must develop cooperation at the international level to deal with the serious threat of terrorism in this century.

I think the inquiry would be in order. I am sure the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety will stand to speak and will order a public inquiry at her convenience.