House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was years.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Independent MP for Surrey North (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Surrey Youth Recognition Awards May 12th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, on May 2 I had the pleasure of attending the third annual City of Surrey Youth Recognition Awards. On behalf of all of us in this place I wish to congratulate the following: Daniel Chapman, Armand Dhaliwal, Jesse Dosanjh, Amanda Ellestad, Marissa Hadland, Mary Illical, Todd Lajeunesse, Rachna Singh and Elizabeth Thampy.

From Tamanawis Secondary School I congratulate students: Meghan Anderssen, Amanda Cheung, Katie Henderson, Stephanie Kingdon, Laura MacKay, Ranjiv Manak, Reggie Sanantonio, Sean Vandergronden and Dawn Young.

From Queen Elizabeth Secondary School I congratulate students: Sueanne Amisola, Erin Ashenhurst, Sarah Cathey, Dominique Chasse, Sarah Clark, Jennie Cline, Anshin Chu, Jennifer Derton, Johnny Faria, Brent Fraser, Gagandeep Luddu, Laura Maltman, Jennifer Neher, Kevin Redden and Joseph Siembida.

My apologies for any mispronunciations.

These young people of Surrey represent the vast majority of Canadian youth who truly are making a difference.

Dna Identification Act May 11th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I will be supporting both of the motions known as Group No. 6.

In Motion No. 10 the member for Crowfoot appears to be taking the biblical role of Solomon. We have heard much comment on the need of our police to take DNA samples at the time of arrest. We have heard much comment concerning the invasion of privacy and the constitutional rights of the accused. This amendment proposes to take DNA samples at the time of charge but they will not be analysed until the time of conviction.

This would satisfy our police who have been concerned about offenders skipping out through the loopholes presented by Bill C-3 without such an amendment.

During the committee review the government cited finances as a primary reason for not taking and analysing samples at the time of charge. I will not comment on the government's concern over finances as compared to the safety of its citizens because I do not need to do so under these circumstances.

This motion gets around the financial question in that the expense only occurs once a conviction is registered.

There has also been much discussion over the constitutionality of taking DNA samples from those charged. This amendment limits the application to only those charged with a designated offence and those who have previously been convicted of a designated offence.

Parliament will be indicating to our courts that we see a public policy requirement to treat these types of individuals in a much stricter fashion.

Motion No. 11 permits the taking of DNA samples from incarcerated offenders who have been convicted of a designated offence and are serving sentences of two years or more for another designated offence. This amendment broadens the scope of Bill C-3 in that it is not just limited to the offence of murder. The amendment will do much for victims. It will solve and put closure to many unsolved cases.

Why should only incarcerated murderers and sexual offenders be subject to DNA sampling? For example, if someone has been convicted of manslaughter and is serving a sentence of two or more years for another conviction of manslaughter, should we not be taking DNA to determine what other serious crimes they may have committed?

Should the victims of these other crimes not be informed that the offender has been discovered through the comparison of DNA from the sample taken with the DNA profile in the crime scene index? In that way the victim can put some sort of closure on the matter and have some peace of mind that the offender is securely incarcerated and not apt to attack again in the near future.

That concludes my comments. I urge my colleagues in this place to support this important amendment.

Dna Identification Act May 11th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I wholeheartedly support the amendment as proposed by the member for Charlesbourg.

Clause 12 as written in the bill permits the governor in council to make regulations as he sees fit, but we have seen how this government operates in this House on the recent hepatitis C issue. The Prime Minister decides. The backbenchers follow orders. A mistake, an injustice occurs and it takes an uprising to force the government to re-evaluate.

Motion No. 8 merely permits some form of parliamentary scrutiny over the power to make regulations or laws in this country. After all, have all members of parliament not been sent to this place to control and make the laws that are to affect their constituents back home?

If we leave clause 12 as it is presented in the bill, we are abrogating our responsibility to oversee, debate and influence. We will be leaving it all to be decided by the governor in council.

I fully appreciate how the members opposite leave everything to the Prime Minister and the powers within the party, but hopefully this will not always be the case. Hopefully, at some time and some time soon, all members of parliament will have the power and will be able to exercise that power to scrutinize and control the legislation and operations of this place.

The legislation must be set up so that when that day occurs, the members of this place will have the authority to review regulations or laws with respect to DNA identification. That is what democracy is all about.

Why would we ever want to leave the control of this place in the hands of a select few? Do we all not receive the same mandate to represent our constituencies, to ensure our laws are fair and just to all of us?

As has been previously stated, Bill C-68 which introduced the firearms act has an identical scheme of review as proposed by Motion No. 8. Surely we should be consistent by providing a similar scheme here as well. I urge all members to support this amendment.

Dna Identification Act May 11th, 1998

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to participate in the debate on Bill C-3 at report stage. I will restrict my comments to Group No. 3.

I support the amendment as proposed by the member for Sydney—Victoria even though it causes me some concern.

Throughout the review of this legislation by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights we heard from many witnesses about their fears and worries over abuse, leaks and criminal misuse of the DNA databank. To overcome these fears and to protect against the wrongful use of DNA information we need some form of consequence.

The hon. member for Crowfoot proposed an amendment before the justice committee to limit the punishment in clause 11 to strictly indictable with a maximum term of two years. Motion No. 7 maintains the dual procedure aspect, but increases the maximum indictable procedure to five years. If we are to protect the information in the databank we require sufficient consequence to offenders.

I believe that many of the naysayers to DNA legislation will be brought on side when parliament impresses upon them how seriously we intend to attempt to protect potentially sensitive DNA information.

Police And Peace Officer National Memorial Day April 24th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to make a couple of brief comments.

I rise to support Motion No. 342 brought forward by the member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough. As he stated in his comments, I too attended the memorial last September on the Hill. I attended with the widow and the son of a member of the old B.C. highway patrol who was killed in the line of duty on his way to responding to a traffic incident.

I also remember some two decades ago, just after I moved into the area of Surrey, how a young RCMP constable was purposely drawn out of the police station by two people driving a car wildly. He was purposely drawn to them and was shot at point blank range as he walked up to the window of the car. These two people were convicted of first degree murder at that time and sentenced to death. The death penalty was withdrawn and, to the best of my knowledge, at least one of those persons was successful on a 745 application. However, this is not the time nor the place to debate that issue.

I think for most people in this country the most common contact with police officers is through speeding tickets and roadside breathalyzer tests. Fortunately, for most people, that is their only contact. However, I have a personal connection. Five and a half years ago there was an incident within my family and I was forced to deal with the police for about two years, on a very personal level. I saw their dedication and the honour these people work with and how diligent they are at their jobs, especially in the investigative process.

Since that time I have had many opportunities to ride along with the constables on the streets of my city, to see them work and to see what they are exposed to. I advise all members of this House and any member of the public who has a problem with the police to go out and spend a Friday or Saturday night on the streets of their community to see what policing is really all about. It is a lot more than just speeding tickets and roadside breathalyzers.

Fortunately, in most cases, police officers are not forced to put their lives on the line. They realize when they leave the house every morning to go to work that it is a possibility, but very fortunately for us and for them they do not have to always deal with it. However, occasionally they do and far too often, in my estimation, these people lose their lives and widows and families are left behind to suffer.

I speak in support of this motion because I think it is long overdue. There should be full public recognition and a recognition by this place and a day should be set aside to remember these people and what they have given for their country.

Petitions April 24th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I wish to present a petition signed by some 480 citizens calling on parliament to raise the age of consent for sexual activity between a young person and an adult from 14 to 16.

Justice April 23rd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, yesterday four adults and one young offender were charged in the murder of Nirmal Singh Gill in my city of Surrey. The four adults ranging in age from 20 to 26 have all been named. The Young Offenders Act protects the identity of the 17 year old.

Time has run out for this justice minister. Does she feel the protection of identity is reasonable in cases of this nature?

Justice April 23rd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, Regina and Saskatoon have some of the highest rates of car theft and burglary in the country. Authorities believe that almost 90% of these crimes are committed by about 100 youths. We obviously have at least 100 Saskatchewan youths who are not getting the message.

Almost daily the minister tells us that she is dealing with deficiencies in the Young Offenders Act in a timely fashion. Why does she not introduce legislation to increase the maximum penalty from three years, especially for these habitual and repeat offenders?

Young Offenders Act April 21st, 1998

Mr. Speaker, the minister has indicated that this is a complex issue and I would tend to agree.

We just witnessed her predecessor's overly simplistic fiasco with the 1995 amendments. But 10 months?

I ask the minister: How complicated is public safety and accountability?

Young Offenders Act April 21st, 1998

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice is having great difficulty in explaining her delay in introducing amendments to the Young Offenders Act.

I have a very straightforward question for her today. Will she introduce her legislation in time for parliament to properly review and consider it before the summer recess?