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

Canada Elections Act November 8th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, we routinely suspend the constitutional right to liberty for those convicted of a criminal offence. Outraged Canadians are saying that individuals incarcerated for violating the Criminal Code should not have a hand in writing it by being allowed to vote.

The Canadian Police Association has asked the government for a royal commission into the prison system in general and to immediately remedy the injustice caused by the Supreme Court decision ruling on the voting rights of prisoners. Will the government honour the request made by 28,000 police officers?

Project Red Ribbon November 7th, 2002

Madam Speaker, on Monday I participated in the launch of the Project Red Ribbon by the Vancouver chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Flying the red ribbon is a commitment by Canadians to drive sober. It is a highly visible, community public awareness program that depends on volunteer participation. It promotes the message that deaths and injuries resulting from impaired driving are needless tragedies and are totally preventable.

Each year, from November 1 to the first Monday after New Year's, volunteers ask motorists to tie a red ribbon to a visible location on their vehicles. This simple public display is a sign of respect for the thousands of Canadians who have been either killed or injured by drunk drivers.

Everyone can support the Project Red Ribbon by tying a red ribbon to their vehicles. It also serves as a reminder to drive sober at all times, not only during the upcoming holiday season.

By tying a red ribbon to our vehicles, we make a personal commitment to not drink and drive.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act October 31st, 2002

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-282, an act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Mr. Speaker, I am reintroducing legislation to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It was Bill C-434 in the previous session.

This amendment would permit an immigration officer to require a foreign national applying for a visitor's visa to provide security as a condition of the issuance of that visa. It would also provide for immediate removal from Canada if the visa conditions or requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act were not complied with.

This bill is a direct result of working with my constituents whose family members living abroad have repeatedly been denied visitor visas for a variety of reasons. While my bill would not eliminate the possibility of visitors remaining in Canada beyond the approved period, it would provide the statutory means for their swift removal. My bill would give many Canadians the opportunity to enjoy family occasions together with loved ones from overseas. I look forward to debating this bill further in the House.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Young Offenders Act October 31st, 2002

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-281, an act to amend the Young Offenders Act.

Mr. Speaker, I am reintroducing this bill that would amend the Young Offenders Act to make an offence set out in section 7.2 as a hybrid offence. It deals with parental accountability with respect to signed undertakings to supervise court imposed conditions for interim release.

The bill was originally introduced in the 36th Parliament as Bill C-260 and as C-235 in the previous session of this Parliament. The Minister of Justice has recognized the value of this legislation as it has been incorporated verbatim in the new youth criminal justice act slated to take effect on April 1, 2003.

While some may say it is therefore redundant, it is my intention to keep this proposed amendment on the order paper as long as the Young Offenders Act remains the law of the land.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Criminal Code October 23rd, 2002

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-243, an act to amend the Criminal Code (abduction).

Mr. Speaker, I am reintroducing this legislation to amend the Criminal Code, specifically the section concerning the offence of the abduction of young persons.

Section 281 currently provides for the offence of abduction of persons under the age of 14 by a person other than the young person's parent or guardian. I am proposing to change the offence so that it applies to the abduction of all persons under the age of 16. My intent with this change is to provide law enforcement and the courts with just another tool to combat the sexual exploitation and the abuse of young people by those involved in the sex trade.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Small Business October 23rd, 2002

Mr. Speaker, is a website for Canadian small business. Here is a top 10 list of keys to prosperity:

Ten: Always seek objective professional help.

Nine: Move with the times; think about changes in customer base, competition, industry and technology.

Eight: Assess your company's products, services, location, profitability and new business development.

Seven: Be honest with yourself about what your customers like.

Six: Maintain objectivity and do not let emotions get in the way of successful marketing.

Five: Review your past successes and failures.

Four: Review your competition; use their techniques to improve your sales.

Three: If you need staff, start hiring immediately.

Two: Be flexible and prepared for new opportunities and challenges.

And, above all, one: Persevere; do not give up too early.

In addition, I would like to remind everybody that only the Canadian Alliance is committed to lowering taxes and cutting red tape for small business.

Petitions October 22nd, 2002

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I have the pleasure to present a petition containing the names of 1,030 residents of the lower mainland of British Columbia. These folks are concerned about the issue of child pornography and call upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to ensure that all materials that promote or glorify pedophilia or sado-masochistic activities involving children are outlawed.

Justice October 21st, 2002

Mr. Speaker, for 32 years Robert Moyes racked up 36 convictions, including three attempted murders, armed robbery, forcible confinement and escape. He has stabbed prison guards. In sentencing him to life for a 1986 bank robbery the judge said:

The time has finally come to put a stop to your predatory activities for as long as possible.

Moyes is now convicted of seven first degree murders over a nine month period in 1995-96, and get this, while he was on day parole. When will the government stop paroling multiple repeat violent offenders?

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply October 9th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief because I want my colleague to have an opportunity to speak. I am on record as opposing the decriminalization and certainly the legalization of marijuana.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply October 9th, 2002

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise and speak on the reply to the throne speech on behalf of the constituents of Surrey North. It is incumbent on me to express the disappointment Canadians are feeling after hearing what the Liberal government has planned for our nation for the next few years.

First, I would like to address an issue, something that we learned that had not been contemplated in the throne speech. The federal cabinet appears to have approved that the government change its rules for refugees. Those claiming refugee status who arrived from a so-called safe third country, such as the U.S., will be denied refugee status. Why was this not in the throne speech? This is a major initiative. So maybe it is not going to happen. We will have to wait and see.

During the date of my private member's Motion No. 422 in the previous session, calling on all western democracies to be listed as safe third countries, it was made abundantly clear that the Liberals had no real intention of ever stemming the flow of illegal immigrants into Canada. The government was giving Canadians its usual double talk of things like more study and international obligations.

I will be sharing my time, Mr. Speaker, with my colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca

What that really meant was that the government wanted to do little, if anything, to turn back refugee claims in order for these claims to be heard in the first safe country in which the claimant landed. The issue of bogus refugees coming to Canada has been of significant public concern for decades.

If average Canadians are asked what they thought about Canada's refugee system, we would find out that they are proud of the fact that we have assisted thousands of people who are genuinely, and I emphasize that genuinely, persecuted in foreign lands. I also think that we would hear that people are tired of Canada's generosity being taken advantage of by fraudulent refugee claims.

My Motion No. 422 would have done much to eliminate the practice of asylum shopping and the use of our refugee system as a back door immigration method.

The Liberal government thinks that most western democracies are too tough on refugee claims and that Canada should continue to be the favoured destination of people smugglers, criminals and terrorists. The government knows all too well that all western democracies are signatories to the UN convention on refugees and torture. The Liberals also know that no country is as accepting of refugee claims as is Canada, and until others relax their standards we will rarely ever consider turning back bogus claimants.

Most Canadians agree that many people claiming to be refugees are not real refugees and some unfortunate attitudes have developed as a result. I believe that if Canadians were able to see that only genuine refugees were being admitted those attitudes would change greatly.

It is vital for Canada to continue its tradition of helping those less fortunate and I truly believe that. It is equally vital that Canada not feel used. In my constituency some of the most vocal critics of our refugee and immigration policies are members of the immigrant communities themselves.

By identifying certain nations as safe third countries, the government would restore a lot of confidence in Canada's refugee system.

I hope that the debate on my motion last February helped to contribute to whatever the cabinet seems to have decided concerning this matter. Again, I remain extremely cautious that the government is only talking now and doing nothing later. We will see.

In general on the throne speech, my colleagues have already laid out many of the shortcomings of the throne speech and put forward the official opposition's proposals to address the failings.

The Prime Minister has no plan. He announced no details and no price tag on the initiatives announced at the beginning of this session of Parliament, and he has refused to bring in a budget this fall to address these issues. Most of what was in the speech was simply recycled from past Liberal agendas.

Many of the government's new showpiece initiatives have been tried in one form or another and have failed miserably. Its agenda for children is an example of what I am talking about. Ask advocates of policies focused on children and they will say that they have been waiting for years for the government to deliver the programs required for the promises they make.

The children's agenda is set out as a set of throne speech promises from throne speeches in 1996, 1997 and 1999. The government has resorted to repackaging past promises and announcing new attempts to address previous failures. What of the feeble attempt to address the ethical issues? Even the Prime Minister's own caucus is balking at his proposals.

Of the 145 throne speech promises since 1993, 79 have been broken, unfulfilled or forgotten. That is a failure rate of 46%. In this throne speech we have 58 new promises, no less than 29 of them recycled from previous throne speeches or previous government announcements.

As one of the justice critics for the Canadian Alliance, I would like to take a few minutes to enter into the record a number of fronts where the federal government is disappointing Canadians through the mismanagement of our criminal justice system.

With respect to a sex offender registry, we understand that the government now plans to develop one. My constituents will believe that when we see it. So far, for months the Solicitor General has insisted that CPIC is adequate. We know full well that it is not; 30,000 members of the Canadian Police Association have said that CPIC is not adequate. Province have been in the business of developing their own. We have devoted supply days and numerous motions to this issue, so I am hesitant to believe the promise. It was not in the throne speech. It was announced after the fact. Again, we will see.

On the issue of child pornography, I welcomed the announcement in the Speech from the Throne that the government plans to move forward with legislation this fall that will tighten the defence of child pornography. We will hold it to this promise as will some government members who I know are extremely concerned about this issue.

With regard to the age of consent, for years the official opposition justice team has been calling on the Liberal government to increase the age of sexual consent in Canada from 14 years to 16. I myself have tabled numerous petitions containing thousands of names on this issue. I refer to a lady at home in Port Coquitlam, B.C., Diane Sowden, who is a mainstay in driving this issue and has been doing so for years. She is the mother who is a teen prostitute who knows all too well the problems around this issue.

Unlike other western democracies, in Canada adults may legally have sex with children as young as the age of 14. The Canadian Alliance has consistently warned the federal government that this law is hampering the ability of law enforcement agencies to protect children from sexual predators. The current age of consent leaves children and teenagers open to becoming targets of pornographers, Internet sex scams, pedophiles and sexual abuse.

We have received thousands of letters from Canadians from coast to coast asking for the necessary steps to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, however the Liberal government has failed to make the protection of children a priority. As I said, there was some lip service in the throne speech, and again, we will be watching.

Another issue which has not been addressed and which is extremely important in my community is the issue of auto theft. There are real criminal justice issues that are affecting Canadians on a daily basis on our streets that have not been addressed in this speech. Unfortunately my community of Surrey is now the number one city for auto theft in North America. There were 6,100 vehicles stolen in Surrey in 2001. That is a rate of 1,743 cars stolen for every 100,000 people. This is hundreds more than the second place community in North America, which I believe is Phoenix, Arizona.

This is a horrendous problem. Much tragedy flows from car theft. Often personal injuries accompany car theft. I know of one incident myself when I was coming home a few years ago from playing in a recreational hockey game. I came across the intersection two blocks from my house where a known car thief with a long record had outrun the police, waved by them, thumbed his nose at them, went through a red light, t-boned a car and killed a 34 year old woman on her way home from a church meeting. I witnessed that myself.

These are some of the results of car theft that are becoming all to clear and all too frequent: vast amounts of police fire, ambulance workers and resources become involved; the criminal courts; increased insurance costs; and police officers and innocent bystanders hurt and killed in crashes while in pursuit of stolen vehicles. It is my information that a significant portion of vehicle theft is for the commission of other crimes, for example robbery.

We have an incredible phenomenon now with ignition interlocks being built into current modern vehicles. There is a new phenomenon taking place where the people who want to steal these vehicles are breaking into occupied homes, conducting home invasions just to get the keys to steal the cars. Another phenomenon we are seeing is that they are stealing SUVs because these vehicles are built like tanks and they can use them to ram police cars when they are in pursuit.

In the last session I introduced a private member's bill to try to do something about the laws governing repeat auto theft. It was made non-votable and was shot down by the Liberal government. Maybe now the government will start to pay some attention to it.

Drug addiction, alcohol abuse, family breakdown, and children at risk are all contributory factors to auto theft which the government is ignoring.

Another phenomenon that is related is street racing, another crime running rampant in the region I represent. The mayor of Surrey, Doug McCallum, is saying that juvenile joyriders, young offenders in particular, should have their driver's licences suspended for five years.

Harjit Kaur Atwal was killed when her car was rear-ended by another. The suspects charged failed to show up for trial. Two children lost their mother. Constable Jimmy Ng of Richmond, a Mountie, was killed recently by an allegedly speeding driver who was formally charged with alleged street racing. The government has said nothing.

As for the throne speech, Canadians deserve much better.