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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was liberal.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Conservative MP for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Parliament of Canada Act December 8th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing. Minority parliaments work so well.

It has worked well. I see all my colleagues and House leaders are here. We can say that the opposition parties, whether it has been on the throne speech debate or on other issues, have worked very hard to make this government do things and make things happen in this Parliament. We can all go home for Christmas knowing that we have done a good job as members of Parliament, in keeping the government doing business in an honest way and in a way that is good for all Canadians.

I would say that we are not happy about how this whole process took place because we thought we had an agreement. However, we will support this legislation.

Parliament of Canada Act December 8th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to be in the House today to listen to my colleague across the floor and also my friend in the Bloc. I think all three of us were here when the House debated not too many years ago the great solution we had to this problem of MPs' salaries. That great solution was that we were going to tie the prime minister's salary to the chief justice's, and everybody thought that was pretty fair. We would live with the independence of the Supreme Court justices and what they were going to get in their salaries. Meanwhile we would all get nice cost of living increases every year, which has brought our salaries up a few thousand dollars a year since that time. Everything was running along pretty well until a report came out.

It is interesting that the government House leader will talk about editorials, saying they all support it and this is a good idea. Yes, I think the average Canadian would think it is a good idea to have our salaries tied into a cost of living that comes from an index of wage settlements of Canadians. It always sounds like a good idea, but it is interesting. I read editorials when we did this last time and all the editorials said that it was very good that parliamentarians were tying their salaries to the judges' and they would no longer decide themselves what the increases would be.

We really have to wonder about some of these editorialists who thought it was a great idea until a 10% figure came along and then we were all terrible and we should knock it back to something different. Nevertheless the government has brought in this bill and my party is going to support this legislation.

The government House leader should know also that when they bring the judges' bill before the House, we are still going to live by the same ideals that we had before. The judges are going to live with the same incomes that we have as members of Parliament. They are going to be put on an index just like we are. If it was a fair thought a few years ago that our salaries should be tied to judges' salaries, then it is a fair thought now and that should never change. I am happy that members on the Liberal side are applauding that.

I would expect that whatever the government puts in the legislation for judges, it better expect it to be amended so it will read exactly the same as for everybody in the House, from the prime minister to members of Parliament. I hate to tell them that at Christmastime in case they have gone out and spent the money already, but 16% would not be accepted by Canadians at any level right now, and they should look at that.

The private sector wage settlement process is a very good one. I think Canadians can accept that. I hope we will never see it in the House again where we have to have another debate on jumping up the salaries. Let us just live with this issue, but give us that increase every year so we do not have to debate it.

I was not going to get into these issues in this speech, but I could not help it. I just wanted to talk about the issue but the House leader opposite talked about all the good things the government has done. I will give him credit, the government has done some good things and we voted for some of those good things.

There was a question in the House today that was answered by the minister of immigration about doctors as immigrants to this country. There are literally hundreds of well qualified doctors in this country who cannot practise their profession because the government is dragging its feet. Also provincial associations, whether they be medical, dental or other professionals, are dragging their feet, but all of these associations only operate with either provincial or federal help and they should be told to speed up their act.

I have a situation in my constituency where there is a surgeon who is operating every day and has been told by immigration that he will be given his landed status once he gets his certificate that he can practise medicine. He has been practising with a temporary permit from his association for two years doing surgery in Powell River, yet he has not been finalized yet. Are they telling me that somewhere along the line this association has taken two years and might take another to finally say he is qualified? What if they say he is not? He has been doing surgery every day in Powell River. There are hundreds like him everywhere in this country. There are also hundreds of others who are doing nothing. They are driving taxi cabs, waiting tables in restaurants, or taking other jobs when they could be out practising medicine.

I would ask the government, instead of debating this issue here today, why not solve that problem? Yes, it talked about putting $41 billion back into medicare but we all know it took out $25 billion, and that is what caused the crisis from 1993 to 2003.

There are other issues. We are going to debate one of them tomorrow, the Fraser River fishery problem and fisheries in general, both on the east coast and the west coat. There is a lack of good scientific evidence. The fisheries have been dying off in a country that is famous for fisheries, not only commercial fisheries but sports fisheries. In my province it is costing people a lot of jobs. Why can the government not solve that problem? Why do we have to bring in a motion from the opposition to get it to debate that issue and get a judicial inquiry going that might solve that problem?

How many thousands of students around this country are having serious problems with their debt loads? Why are we not coming up with a program to make sure that every Canadian citizen can get post-secondary education, whether it is to become a plumber, an electrician, a doctor, or a nurse, to make sure they can do it, not just if their parents have enough money? That should be a guarantee for every Canadian citizen, an education. Why are we not seeing a program for that?

Finally, there is the Prime Minister's travelling road show. We know why he is travelling. He does not want to be here in the House of Commons with us. He does not like those serious questions every day about the issues of the nation. As much as we like to see our Prime Minister in certain things he is doing, when the House is sitting, this is where he should be, answering questions every day.

Mr. Speaker, I should have mentioned at the start of my speech and I forgot, but I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Calgary Centre-North.

Question No. 24 December 3rd, 2004

With regard to the Victoria Cross and other medals of the late Lt. Col. John MacGregor, and their eventual residency in the Canadian War Museum (August 1997), what rationale can the Minister of Canadian Heritage provide for: ( a ) the withdrawal of charges against the exporter; and ( b ) the exclusion of the Canadian Heritage Cultural Review Board from the appraisal of the medals?

Business of the House December 2nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the government House leader if he could advise the House what the business is for the remainder of this week and next week.

Could he also tell us, as all the opposition parties have asked, if the members compensation program would be brought in at the same time as the judges compensation program, and would that be happening in the near future?

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act December 1st, 2004

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-304, An Act to change the name of the electoral district of Battle River.

Mr. Speaker, this bill will correct an error that was made prior to the last election and will substitute the name Westlock--St. Paul for the name of Battle River which will more realistically represent the real name of that riding.

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

Privilege December 1st, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I want to say just a few words on this. I think it is probably the first time in the history of the House that a member is up on a question of privilege about getting a standing ovation from both sides of the House, which happened today. Nevertheless, I have some sympathy for what happened to the leader of the NDP today.

But it happens on all sides of the House. The House leaders did meet a few weeks ago and talked about having no more standing ovations. My party did it for about three days, but it did not happen that way because other parties kept on doing it. I will not mention names. The hon. member mentioned the Conservative Party. Sure, we are as guilty as everybody else in the House.

I think what needs to happen is that the House leaders have to sit down and talk about the decorum, but certainly we also have to advise all members that if they are going to lead with statements that are inflammatory, they will create that type of thing happening in the chamber. That happens.

Both sides are guilty in this issue. If we are making statements that cause the standing ovations and the yelling and screaming, it is going to happen; it is not going to stop.

I think this is up to the House leaders together, because, Mr. Speaker, you have a tough enough job as it is. We have discussed this with you and you have concerns about it in regard to the concerns of members and the timing of question period. Maybe it is time that we started penalizing those who cause the problem.

Privilege December 1st, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There is one additional item I want to mention before we do this.

Yesterday the member for Wetaskiwin missed a vote in the House and stood and asked for unanimous consent to be included because he was delayed. I would like this to be one of the items looked at by the committee because I think the member should have the right to maybe have that vote reinstalled.

Mr. Speaker, I think there would be unanimous consent to do that if you were to ask.

Citizenship Act November 30th, 2004

moved that Bill S-2, an act to amend the Citizenship Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, this bill is a non-partisan effort on the part of many people to correct an historic injustice. This is an all party effort to restore rightful Canadian citizenship to a group that has collectively come to be called “the lost Canadians”.

It applies to Canadians who were born between 1947 and 1977 and who lost their Canadian citizenship through no conscious decision or action of their own.

It applies to my good friend, Don Chapman, who lost his citizenship as a child when his father moved to the United States for economic reasons. Don's family has lived in Canada for 200 years. His father was born here, fought in World War II for Canada and was only welcomed by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration when he returned to Canada to be laid to rest.

Don Chapman has a home in my constituency. He is a good and solid citizen who hopes to retire in Canada on his corporate American pension. A good part of his father's estate has been given to Canadian universities and to charities.

This is also a story of a federal department, citizenship and immigration, that has run amok and roughshod over the wishes of Parliament, its political masters, and over the rights of the Canadian-born individuals we call the lost Canadians.

It is there in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration where the real resistance is to recognizing and returning the lost Canadian children to their birthright.

In that department, decisions are made to allow known war criminals and fugitives from justice and those accused of genocide to land and claim the protection of the charter of rights.

It is in that department where we can find the fiercest resistance to allowing the lost Canadian children to reclaim their birthright and their Canadian citizenship.

It is that department that the citizenship and immigration committee of this House should be closely investigating to determine why there is such willingness to thwart the will of Parliament.

Many Canadians who were born in hospitals on the other side of the line, in the nearest hospital, might not realize they could be deemed non-Canadian by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. However, in certain areas in Canada there are individuals who are quietly having their citizenship handed to them by that very same department. These people were born in the United States because there were American hospitals that were closer to their parents' homes than the nearest Canadian hospitals.

Why does the Department of Citizenship and Immigration play favourites? Is that the assumed role of the bureaucracy, to decide who is a Canadian and who is not?

The citizenship and immigration department argues that these lost Canadians might return and take advantage, that is, not the Canadians who are getting their citizenship papers slipped to them quietly by the department, but others like Don Chapman.

Don Chapman will retire as a pilot for a major American airline. A large part of his father's estate was left to Canadian universities and charities. And yet citizenship and immigration hints that he, along with other lost Canadians, might become a burden on society?

If there is anything burdensome in Canada, it is the bureaucrats in that department who thwart the will of Parliament and make decisions as to who will make good Canadians and who will not.

Canadians are also mystified as to how a foreign-born stripper can be fast-tracked by the immigration minister after working on the minister's election campaign, while a Canadian-born, outstanding individual like Don Chapman, like so many others, gets the cold shoulder.

Should Mr. Chapman have flown to Toronto to work on the campaign of the minister? Would that have endeared him to her sufficiently enough for her to order her bureaucrats to give him back his Canadian citizenship? She should hang her head in shame and then offer her resignation.

Then there is Magali Castro-Gyr, born in Montreal, with two Canadian parents. Her father took out American citizenship while Magali's mother refused, choosing for her and her children to remain Canadian. At least that is what Magali's mother thought. In 2000, her parents returned. Her father regained his Canadian citizenship, but not Magali. Her passport expired and, after a huge battle, she was ordered to leave Canada.

At the last minute, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration offered her citizenship, but only if she signed a gag order that she would never tell anyone, not even Parliament, what it had done to her.

If we told people that story without naming names, they would automatically think of some third world dictatorship. When we tell them it happened here in Canada, they are horrified to learn that the Department of Citizenship and Immigration is willing to do anything, even cheapen our citizenship, to thwart Parliament and cover its hind end. Maybe what is needed at CIC is a heavy-duty broom and a big shovel.

Sheila Walsh was abducted as a 9 year old Canadian child 40 years ago and taken to England. After years of searching, she found her father living here in Canada. He died waiting for his daughter to regain her citizenship. That is all he wanted after fighting and giving his life for Canada in the trenches.

It was Paul Martin Senior who visited war graves in Europe and noted how Canadians born in Sherbrooke or Vancouver or even Ottawa were classified on their headstones as British subjects. That is how the 1947 Canadian Citizenship Act came into being. That was the creative spark for the legislation.

It was good legislation, done by the Prime Minister's father, to make sure that we all became Canadian citizens instead of being British subjects. The problem with it back then was that it stated that married women, children, lunatics and idiots--this is in the bill--would be classified under the same disability for their national status.

It seems to me that the present Prime Minister might now want to consider legislation to correct that horrible blunder of so many years ago. I hope that his party will support this bill. In this case, we could say that the errors of the father should be visited by the son.

This is a non-partisan and all party effort to correct a historic wrong. It is not going to open the floodgates to the undesirables. That is already happening thanks to the policies of this and previous governments and the mismanagement of citizenship and immigration.

The bill is not and should not be interpreted or spun as a matter of confidence. It should be accepted and adopted unanimously by the House as a matter of conscience.

It is time to bring these lost Canadians home. It is time to tell the world we no longer believe that married women and children are mere chattels of the husband and the father. It is time to tell the world that Canada no longer believes that married women, children, lunatics and idiots are all categorized as somehow being lesser human beings.

It is time for this Parliament to welcome the lost Canadian children home.

I want to congratulate the chairman and members of the citizenship and immigration committee, who had the foresight when they saw the bill in the Senate, and I will get to that in second, to bring the witnesses down to the committee when Parliament started and look at this idea before we even got the bill into the House. I know they passed a motion to support these people in getting their citizenship back, so I want to congratulate the chairman and members of the committee for the good job they did.

I was somewhat astounded when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration made her comments about how the government could not support the bill. I thought that, if anybody, a person who was an immigrant to the country and became a Canadian citizen would understand that thrill of being a Canadian citizen, and especially if one was born here. I had hoped that she would make a speech on that but she did not. That is unfortunate, but I think the majority of members will support it. I have spoken to members on the other side of the House who are going to vote with us on the bill. I am sure it is going to pass this time.

Finally, I want to thank Senator Kinsella and all the senators in the other house who voted this bill in unanimously. It went through the Senate and all their committees, unanimously behind changing this law, which is long overdue.

I can think of nothing worse than losing one's citizenship involuntarily. If one is born in this country, one should retain Canadian citizenship; and this is since 1977. I know there are many members of the House whose spouses are American citizens but are also Canadian citizens. I am one of them. My spouse was born here but had parents who were Americans and she has the right to have dual citizenship. That is fair. That is the way it should be.

By the passage of the bill, which I hope will happen very quickly, we can right a wrong done to many people in the country and we can all smile a little bit knowing we have done a good job in 2004 to correct this injustice.

Business of Supply November 24th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, during question period today and during one of the answers from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the minister made some comments. You may not have heard them because there was a lot of noise at the time, but she said things like “sit down and shut up”.

I think it is the Speaker's role in the House to tell members when they should sit down and when they should be quiet, and you may do it in different language. Also, I think the member talked about being out of order, and that is also the Speaker's purview.

I would like to ask the Speaker to review the comments made by the member and if they were not in order, to maybe advise her of that at the next sitting of the House.

Citizenship and Immigration November 19th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. She has asked the ethics commissioner, under the Parliament of Canada Act, for some confidential advice, which I understand she said she will make public. That is fair.

Could she tell the House what is it she asked him for advice on? Is it the issuance of the permit, the unauthorized use of staff during an election, or the non-reporting of the deportee? Could she tell us, is it one of those or all of those that she has asked advice on from the ethics commissioner?