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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was police.

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

Justice February 14th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, last week West Vancouver police clocked a street racer at 167 kilometres per hour in traffic. Later, with his ticket in hand, he boasted, and when he was asked about the consequences he just shrugged, saying, “I don't care”. Only days before, two street racers were sentenced to house arrest for killing a pedestrian. There is no deterrent.

B.C.'s attorney general is again demanding limits on conditional sentencing. The provinces are amending their traffic laws, so why will the minister not do his part by restricting the use of conditional sentences?

Air India February 11th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, in five years Reyat will be a free man. He will likely be paroled much sooner. He said that he did not know the bomb was intended to blow up a plane. He thought it was to be used on a car, a bridge or something heavy. Did he just assume that nobody would be in that car or on that bridge?

What message is the government sending to the world when in five years it will free a man convicted for participating in the terrorist deaths of 329 men, women and children?

Air India February 11th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Inderjit Singh Reyat admitted to helping build the bomb that brought down Air India flight 182 in 1985 killing 329 people. For that he was sentenced to five years for manslaughter. That is about five and a half days for each life lost.

Canadian justice has hit a new low. Thousands of people around the world, the families, and the friends of the victims feel completely betrayed.

Why does the Minister of Justice continue to defend laws that allow this sort of travesty to continue?

Child Pornography February 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Toronto police sex crimes unit announced another child pornography arrest. In this case it seized over 50,000 pictures and 2,000 homemade movies belonging to a 57-year-old man. We ask again, will the Minister of Justice commit right now to restrict the use of conditional sentencing so that this individual, if convicted, is not just sent home as so many others have been before him?

Conditional Sentences February 6th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the government refuses to ensure that sentences actually reflect the magnitude of the crime.

Two street racers each received conditional sentences of two years less a day and three years probation following their convictions for criminal negligence causing death. Irene Thorpe, out for an evening stroll, was struck and killed by one of them as they raced their cars on a Vancouver street. This sentence is entirely inappropriate. Criminal negligence causing death carries a maximum of life in prison. Allowing these men to spend their entire sentences at home devalues the life of their victim.

On the same day that these two were sent home as punishment, two others were allegedly racing on a street in Abbotsford. One of them T-boned a car driven by an elderly couple, completely destroying both vehicles. The estimated speed was more than 100 kilometres per hour. Police say it is a miracle the victims survived at all. The conditional sentences handed down earlier that day obviously had no deterrent effect.

Why is the government so reluctant to send a message that Canadians will not tolerate this carnage being inflicted on innocent victims?

Justice January 31st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, it is extremely likely that these crimes are related to a flourishing drug scene. Crack houses and grow ops riddle this area. Police are stretched to the limit and the city is doing what it can through its by-laws and licensing, but both are frustrated with the weak laws and lenient courts, the result of toothless Liberal warm and fuzzy drug policies.

Why is the government more concerned with pampering violent crack heads than protecting senior citizens?

Justice January 31st, 2003

Mr. Speaker, recent weeks have seen a series of brutal home invasions in my constituency. Senior citizens have been beaten in their beds. In one case the victim was handicapped and confined to a wheelchair. The despicable thugs responsible for this barbarism are beyond contempt and deserve no mercy.

Will the Minister of Justice commit here and now to introduce mandatory minimum sentences for these cowardly crimes?

Youth Criminal Justice Act January 28th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in support of my colleague's private member's bill, Bill C-204, which proposes to amend our laws covering certain aspects of youth property crime. I also think it is important to repeat for the record that the last time the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament the hon. member's bill was left on the Order Paper.

Just briefly on the issue of private members' business, many worthy private member's bills face the same fate of being totally ignored by the government. The bill that my colleague has finally managed to bring to debate in the House today could be easily and quickly passed into law like many other short and simple bills that individual MPs introduce. It is unfortunate that the government does not take enough of the good ideas that individual members of this place bring forward.

As for Bill C-204, the bill would amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act in three meaningful ways. First, it would impose mandatory curfews on young offenders found guilty of home invasion or break and enter offences. Just for the record, my house was broken into on December 8, one week before I went home for Christmas.

Second, the bill would impose mandatory imprisonment for repeat offenders.

Third, the bill would make parents and legal guardians responsible for reporting any known breaches of a young offender's probation conditions and impose fines and penalties on those who fail to do so.

The bill would further efforts to ensure that young offenders, particularly repeat young offenders, are held responsible for their offences against persons and their property.

On the one hand, we are concerned that young offenders receive appropriate guidance and counselling once their behaviour has caused them to come into conflict with the law, but on the other hand, we need to ensure that they are held accountable for their behaviour.

The bill essentially parallels my private member's bill, Bill C-281, which proposes an amendment to the current Young Offenders Act that is in effect until April of this year.

Bill C-281 would establish stronger accountability for parents who sign undertakings to supervise court imposed conditions for the interim release of young offenders. Of course interim release is just another term for bail. Fortunately, the bill has been incorporated into the Youth Criminal Justice Act which will take effect on April 1.

I am sure members are aware of my reasons for bringing forth that particular bill. Ten years ago my family, and particularly my son, fell victim to a violent crime in 1992. It was only six months after the murder occurred that we found out that the offender, who was 17 at the time, was actually under conditions of bail. He had been released to his father under strict supervision and under a dusk to dawn curfew. The murder occurred at midnight in October. We later found out that for three months he had been consistently violating his curfew, which of course was his responsibility. He was criminally liable for that but, more than that, his father signed an undertaking before the court to supervise that curfew, which he never did. That is why I brought forth the bill that I did, and Bill C-204 parallels that because it deals with the probationary aspects.

As I said, my bill deals with the requirements for bail and reflects the measure that Bill C-204 is calling for on probation.

Holding young people accountable in the youth criminal justice system must include people, such as parents and guardians, who need to be responsible for their undertakings entered into during a period of court imposed probation. Far too often we hear of young lawbreakers violating their conditions over and over again.

Whenever our courts impose a curfew or another restriction that the young person is supposed to adhere to and a parent or guardian agrees to enforce it, there must be some recourse to hold the parents or guardians responsible for not enforcing what the court has ordered and what they have promised to do. The bill would provide the means to make these people accountable for the undertakings they have entered into with respect to the release of young offenders on probation.

The bill would establish that these guarantors would be liable to a fine of $2,000 and/or up to six months in jail if they knowingly fail to report a breach in probation conditions. This would not hold a parent criminally liable for the offence that the young person does. The criminal offence would be knowingly not living up to the conditions to which they agreed. In my view this is reasonable. In fact, I would go further and make it a hybrid offence such that the crown could proceed by way of indictment in the case of serious breaches.

If someone comes forward and guarantees a court that he or she will assist the court in ensuring that a young offender follows the court's orders and that person encounters a breach of what the court has ordered, then that person should have a legal, not just moral, obligation to report the infraction to the authorities.

In this way society is protected and the young person will receive more attention, the attention they have earned by failing to satisfy the court's orders. Hopefully the extra attention will turn the young offender around.

However if the person who pledged to the court to monitor the young offender's adherence to the court's orders fails to report the failings of the young offender, then the system breaks down because there will be no alarm sounded that the young offender is not changing his or her ways.

In conclusion, the bill will truly be of assistance in terms of protecting our citizens. It will provide a measure of deterrence to young people contemplating criminal activity. It will hold people responsible when they promise the court to supervise and fail to do so.

I urge the government to give the substance of the bill serious consideration.

Criminal Code January 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for her submission. She brings a special perspective that only a granny could bring into this debate. Some time ago, I too was there at the same meeting that she speaks of and I certainly saw her reaction to some of the images the Toronto police were showing us.

However, this goes beyond just what is being done to these children. It goes beyond the trauma or the physical injury that is inflicted on them. Many of these children, if they survive this, go on to become the kids that we see on the “kiddie strolls” in our major cities: the child prostitutes, the child workers in the sex trade.

I wonder if the member has any comments on that aspect about the problems that are created later on and also the problems that the families suffer.

Criminal Code January 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I know how passionate the member for Wild Rose is about this, but I think that sometimes there is a bit of a disconnect in the eyes of the public to understand what it is we are really dealing with when we are dealing with child pornography and these images.

I know that the hon. member has sat down with the police and seen some of this stuff, as have I and a number of members on the other side of the House. This is not the kind of thing that a lot of people think about, like Mom or Dad taking a picture of junior sitting in a bathtub full of water and soapsuds. Unfortunately that seems to be the image that a lot of people have when we talk about this.

Could the hon. member for Wild Rose elaborate, without getting too graphic, about what it is we are dealing with here, what kinds of images and what this stuff really is.