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

Income Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 1997 October 20th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-2 presented a 73% tax hike which is the largest tax hike in Canadian history.

I want to ask members opposite why they had to put closure on this discussion. Why could they not have the courage to come to this House and say let us debate the issue and then go for the increase or decrease or do whatever we have to do? We know from talking to Canadians in all constituencies that they do not want a tax hike. We have to give them tax relief at this time. It is shameful when we give them a 73% tax hike without looking into the situation and what people are representing. It is shameful when the Liberals do not have the courage to debate in the House.

Income Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 1997 October 20th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, it is a good question. I came here with ambitions and aspirations. I came here with the idea that I was going to represent my constituents, but on Bill C-2 I was the next speaker in line. I had lots of things to say about the CPP and Bill C-2. I was astonished when I saw that there was taxation without representation. I could not talk because debate on the bill was closed by members opposite. It is a shame for members opposite that we had so many things to say.

We care about the future of the younger generation on whose backs this government is funding the pension for today's seniors. This was a unique situation I found myself in. I never expected this kind of situation would arise. We warn members opposite and we challenge them to have a debate, to have representation for the people who sent us here to represent them so well. We have every right to represent them. We have every desire to represent them. This situation should never occur. The members on the opposite side should take a serious view of it.

Income Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 1997 October 20th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, the member for Calgary South has explained it very well. We support the notion which he tried to express.

Income Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 1997 October 20th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, we in the Reform Party have always opposed any further taxes. We think there is a need to give tax relief to the Canadian public who are already taxed almost to death.

The taxes are so high for seniors who are on fixed incomes and their incomes are shrinking. By imposing more tax on them we are making the lives of seniors miserable. There is no way that we can afford to pass this bill with such a tax increase.

Income Tax Conventions Implementation Act, 1997 October 20th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour and privilege of being the first ever member of Parliament to rise in this House on behalf of the people of Surrey Central, one of the six new electoral districts of Canada.

This being my first speech in the House, I should like to pay special tribute and thank the Reform Party member of Parliament, the hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, and former member of Parliament Margaret Bridgman for their excellent representation of the people of Surrey in the 35th Parliament.

I would like to thank the constituents of Surrey Central for placing their confidence in me and in the Reform Party of Canada.

I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank my campaign manager, my campaign workers, my official agent, supporters and friends, my parents, my wife and my two sons for their successful efforts in the recent election.

Surrey is the heart of beautiful British Columbia. Surrey is a city of parks and is home to the largest Canadian flag.

It has the fastest growth rate of any city in Canada. We have a diverse population in Surrey Central. Many new immigrants to Canada have chosen Surrey as their new home. We want to build on the cultural, religious and linguistic integration that we already enjoy in our community as a success.

This feeling is strengthened from events such as Newton community day held recently in Surrey. I hope to fulfil my role in the official opposition's effort to build a strong and prosperous Canada.

My constituents have sent me to Ottawa to hold this Liberal government responsible and accountable for job creation, tax relief, making our streets safe again, repairing the social safety net and securing our national unity as well as to hold this government's feet to the fire for every misspent hard earned Canadian taxpayer dollar.

I now turn to the issue of the debate in which we are engaged. We are debating Bill C-10, the Liberal government's legislative proposal to implement an income tax convention between Canada and the United States, and between Canada and several other countries.

Let us look beneath the surface of Bill C-10. I can assure members that my constituents and I are glad to have the opportunity to speak out in opposition of this proposed legislation.

We are anxious to oppose this tax grab by the Liberal government. The constituents of Surrey Central, whom I have the privilege to represent in this House, eagerly want to expose Bill C-10 for what it is, a tax grab. The people I represent are proud to participate in exposing this thinly veiled tax grab.

Residents of Canada who receive social security benefits from the United States of America will be more heavily taxed by this legislation. It is estimated that at least 80,000 Canadian taxpayers will be affected by this legislation.

On this side of the House we give fair warning to the Liberals that we do not want the debate on this bill to be suddenly cancelled. We know that the Liberals will use time allocation, the Liberals will use closure or do anything else they can possibly think of to put stop on debate in this House. They have already done this with Bill C-2, the bill that contains the largest single tax increase in Canadian history.

The Liberals invoked time allocation on this second piece of legislation. We must warn the Liberals not to continue to suddenly cancel debate in this House.

Today we are debating the tenth piece of legislation in the 36th Parliament. Already in this Parliament, being only a few weeks old, we have two tax increases foisted on Canadians by the newest Liberal government.

These are the same Liberals who cancelled the Somalia inquiry. Never before in the history of our country has any government shut down a commission of judicial inquiry. The Liberals did.

The Somalia inquiry was only two thirds of its way through when the Liberals shut it down. The inquiry was very close to analysing events in the department of defence that took place under the Liberal government.

The Liberals did not want to be held accountable for their actions. The senior officials, including the senior management team at national defence headquarters, did not want to be held accountable for their actions and therefore had the Liberals cancel the Somalia inquiry.

I mention the Somalia inquiry because while the House was in recess last week the Liberal defence minister announced the government's response to the recommendations of the Somalia inquiry.

The reason the defence minister had to respond last week was one of the former Somalia inquiry chairmen, Peter Desbarats, was releasing his book on the Somalia inquiry.

Today is the first day the House has returned from the break and the Liberal defence minister's attempt to finally bury the Somalia inquiry. It is not ironic that we are debating the Liberal government's bill which has a 35% tax increase buried in it.

The Liberal defence minister has chosen not to adopt the most serious recommendation of the Somalia inquiry, namely the establishment of an inspector general. The Liberal defence minister has chosen instead to leave the upper echelons of national defence headquarters unaccountable for their actions even in the future. We know the Liberals are always prepared to stop Canadians from holding the Liberal government accountable for its actions.

Two weeks ago the Liberals stopped debate on the largest tax increase in the history of this country. Last week the Liberals refused to allow the recommendations of the judicial commission of inquiry and today we are faced with another Liberal government tax increase. This is very serious. Canadians should be concerned about the fact that the Liberals have ruined the existence of the most powerful tool we have in this country to find truth, a judicial commission of public inquiry. They stopped the Somalia inquiry right in the middle of its work. They have shown Canadians that they are not afraid to stop the pursuit of truth. They are prepared to put a stop to things that hold people responsible and accountable for their actions.

The truth is that the Liberals stopped debate in the House and passed Bill C-2 at second reading. This bill represents the largest tax grab in the history of this country. The truth is that the Liberals stopped the Somalia inquiry from finding the truth. Today the truth is that the Liberals are again increasing taxes for certain Canadians with Bill C-10.

Bill C-10 is offering Canadians a new income tax convention with the Americans but the truth is the Liberals have taken the opportunity to gouge the taxpayers again. They are using Bill C-10 as another opportunity to raise taxes. The Liberals cannot even do something as simple as negotiating a tax treaty with another country without trying to figure out a way to squeeze more money out of the already overtaxed Canadian taxpayers.

The income tax take has been rising steadily in this country. The Liberals are balancing the budget on the backs of Canadian taxpayers. Let us see how strong the backs of Canadian taxpayers are. The Fraser Institute calculates that the average family of four has had lost a total of $3,000 in purchasing power since 1993, since the Liberals took power in this country.

Net personal income tax revenues increased from $51.4 billion in 1993-94 to $66.5 billion in 1997-98. These revenues are right on track to increase to $70.4 billion in 1998-99. The saving rate of Canadians in 1992 was 10% and had dropped to 3.2% in fourth quarter of 1996. It dropped further to 0.9% in the second quarter of 1997. The Canadian personal income tax burden is already the highest in the G-7 countries and is 34% higher than the OECD country average. Canadian living standards were lower in 1996 than they were in 1989. This made Canada the only nation to experience an absolute fall in living standards over that period.

Clearly the Canadian economy is not performing as well as the finance minister is projecting. In fact, it is underperforming. The election is over now. I advise the government to stop making political footballs out of the issues facing the Canadian people. Canadians are tired of these games. Let us get serious for the next millennium at least.

The government is telling Canadians that it is okay for federal Liberal politicians to have a generous gold plated pension plan. And yet it leaves Canadians with a very rusty plan. At the same time, the government has no problem in clawing back pension benefits from retired Canadian workers who have scrimped and saved for their retirement. The Liberals are placing a burdensome tax on the backs of our youth. Where is the fairness? Where is the hope for the future?

Taxes are going up again. In the red book, in the throne speech and in the recent economic statement by the Minister of Finance the Liberals made no firm proposal for tax relief for Canadians. The finance minister has just introduced the largest tax hike in Canada, a 73% increase in CPP premiums which will cost Canadians $10 billion. The average income level for Canadians has dropped almost $1,000 since 1989 and their disposable income has dropped almost 9%. Gross tax revenues total $139.8 billion in 1996 and 1997, or 17.5% of the GDP, the highest they have been in 20 years and the second highest ratio in Canadian history.

Increased revenue collection accounted for 72.5% of the total improvement in the Liberal government's deficit figures. Of the total deficit target overshoot of $10.1 billion, 53.5% was the increase in revenues.

The employment insurance surplus alone made up $7.4 billion of deficit reduction in 1996-97. There is more to the story of Bill C-10 than the badly camouflaged tax grab. The Liberals are admitting to it. They are admitting to the mistake by proposing Bill C-10.

When the third protocol took effect it was evident that the United States did not take into account the income levels of the recipients of this benefit. This devastated the lives of thousands of people including middle income Canadian seniors. At that time the current deputy prime minister, the member for Windsor West, was quoted in the Windsor Star on December 22, 1995 as saying he was assured that Canadians would not pay more taxes but would pay less taxes. He was dead wrong. He was wrong then. He is wrong now.

Everyone who earned less than $70,000 paid more taxes. No one paid less taxes. The Liberals are admitting that the income tax convention they made with the United States in 1995 was so bad they had to implement a new tax convention. This is pathetic. They are well aware of the mistakes they have made.

When they finish ramming this legislation through the House and the Liberal controlled Senate, a retirement home for the creme de la creme of Liberal party faithfuls, Canadians will have had to deal with the experience of facing three separate income tax conventions with the United States in the last two years.

The Liberals cannot seem to get it right. They do not care about more than 80,000 Canadians affected by this tax convention mess. They say “too bad, there is nothing you can do about it and there will be no debating it”.

Bill C-10 brings us back to where we began in terms of negotiating an income tax protocol with the United States. Bill C-10 is undoing the mistakes the Liberal government made in 1995 but now it includes a tax increase.

Bill C-10 returns Canadians to the income tax convention regime that existed before the terrible treaty of 1996. Under Bill C-10 Canadian residents who receive social security benefits from the United States will have 85% of those benefits taxed. Under the old system 50% of the benefits were taxed.

Bill C-10 is supposed to reinstate the old system but one specific difference is the 35% tax increase.

It will not take the next four years for Canadians to figure out that the balanced federal budget has been paid for by the Canadian taxpayers through successive tax increases, if the Liberals actually do balance the budget in the future.

Canadians want a reduction in the amount of government interference in their lives. We want to put an end to the wasteful and mismanaged spending of our hard earned tax dollars. We want to balance the federal government budget through the elimination of duplication and waste in federal spending, not by increasing tax revenue.

The Liberals are continuing to raise our taxes. They are balancing the budget through tax increases. They have not stopped government duplication. They have not stopped waste. They have not stopped mismanagement. They are only concerned with putting a stop to what will hold them accountable. These things include debate in the House, public commissions of judicial inquiry and anything else that comes close to holding them responsible for their actions.

The shutting down of the Somalia inquiry, the ending of debate on Bill C-2, the largest tax increase in history, and now the almost hidden tax increase in Bill C-10 are examples of the kinds of things Canadians will be adding up when they hold the Liberals accountable in the next election. Backbench Liberal members should be very worried. They will be held accountable in the next election.

Bill C-2 and Bill C-10 will increase our taxes, yet this Parliament is only a few weeks old. All Liberal members of Parliament will pay the price for the arrogant and sly actions of their cabinet.

Last week during the Thanksgiving break when the House was not sitting, the United Nations development program held a conference in Ottawa. In fact it was held right here in the House of Commons. The conference was one of many the United Nations is holding around the world to discuss its good governance and democracy initiative. It strives to establish the means for recipient countries to govern themselves effectively and efficiently. Some countries that have agreed to pursue democracy do not have the structures of government needed to carry out democracy.

For example the International Monetary Fund said that Cambodia was to downsize its public service. Cambodia was having a difficult time reducing its public service because it did not even know how large it was. There was the problem of figuring out exactly how many public servants there were working for the Cambodian government. The United Nations program was able to help by providing Cambodia with the tools necessary to establish the structures of a public service.

It seems to me that the United Nations could do some work right here in Canada. It seems clear to me that the Liberals need to be taught that a commission of judicial inquiry in a democratic nation is supposed to be free to pursue the truth.

The almost hidden and unjustified 35% tax increase contained in Bill C-10 stands as an example of how Liberals need help in terms of understanding the use of good governance in a democracy. They will use any opportunity to increase taxes. The abuse of the structures of good governance by the Liberal government in our democracy is unacceptable. Bill C-10 is unacceptable. The Reform Party opposes its passage through the House until the amendment is made so that Canadian recipients will pay the same inclusion rate as their American counterparts.

On behalf of the constituents of Surrey Central, I am unable to support this regressive legislation. It is another tax grab by a government which lacks vision.

Sikhs October 9th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to join Sikhs across Canada in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Sikh pioneers to Canada.

After experiencing hardships, racial discriminations, Sikhs and people of South Asian origin should be commended for their openness, success and contributions to Canada.

Our heritage values, strong family ties, community involvement and peaceful coexistence enrich Canada and its cultural mosaic.

Yet memories of hardships and prejudice experienced endure. The 1914 Komagata Maru incident mars Canadian history; 356 persons, most of them Sikhs, were detained for two months and forced to depart resulting in the loss of many innocent lives at sea. The government of Canada owes these people an apology.

By remembering history, government must learn the importance of equality and fair treatment of all people.

Petitions October 1st, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour and privilege to present a petition on behalf of the people of my riding of Surrey Central.

The petition is signed by 25 people and calls on the federal government to recognize the fundamental right of individuals to pursue family life free from undue interference by the state, to recognize the fundamental right and responsibility of parents to direct the upbringing of their children, and to urge the legislative assemblies of the provinces to do likewise.