Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was life.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Canadian Alliance MP for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre (Saskatchewan)

Lost his last election, in 2004, with 5% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions October 30th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present with nearly 300 signatures from people in the province of Ontario.

Both petitions call upon Parliament to modify legislation to ensure that children can have involvement with both parents after a divorce and that the payments would go strictly for the support of the children.

Supply October 28th, 2003

One, Mr. Speaker.

Supply October 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I think the government can figure out better than we can how to speed things up. We see it doing it all the time with its stuff.

The smoke and mirrors that goes on is the first thing that needs to go. The government needs to have willingness to recognize some weaknesses in Bill C-20, fix it immediately and get it on the table in a way that will actually provide the kind of protection for which this motion asks. The fastest way I know is to put the right stuff in the bill, which is already in the process, and get it moving.

Supply October 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, yes, I would be glad to comment on that because I believe the defence of public good simply is another way of camouflaging and replacing the defence of artistic merit. It is just as nebulous.

I believe there is a better way to do it. If we want some kind of protection for those who may be using this kind of material, for example, the police in their investigations, the psychologists and the psychiatrists in their treatment procedures and the teachers, perhaps, we could in fact list those categories of people who, in the performance of their duties, would allowed to do that. That would be better than simply leaving something nebulous like for community good.

It does not take a whole lot of thinking to figure out there is a better way to tighten it up, and I think it needs to be tightened up very much.

Supply October 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, it is not always a privilege to have to stand in these kinds of debates, but it is a privilege to stand on behalf of the children of our nation. I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Edmonton North.

First of all, I want to talk a little bit about the reality of child pornography. There was a headline story on CTV News on January 16 about a global pornography investigation covering more than 2,300 people in Canada. That is only one investigation and that is how many people they found connected in our country, so we cannot dismiss this problem as being somewhere else in the world.

As a part of the conference entitled “Rethinking The Line: The Canada-U.S. Border”, Dr. Max Taylor of the University College, Cork, Ireland, said that each week his team collects about a thousand child pornography images from 60 different Internet news groups and that there is quite a number of children being added to these sites every week as time goes on. It is a growing problem and we need to remember that.

Bill C-20 has its weaknesses. The bill does not address sufficiently how to get the convictions and how to cut down on this international problem.

We sometimes forget about the plans of the pornographers. We pass over that and we talk about things such as community good or artistic merit.

However, the plans of the pornographers are these. Number one is to familiarize, to familiarize the community and familiarize children with these kinds of scenes because that leads to desensitizing them. The children become less sensitive to those kinds of things. They begin to accept them as normal. In other words, they sanitize. They familiarize and desensitize and then they sanitize it until it seems like that is what everyone else is doing, which then makes it more normal.

So the guard comes down. The red flags are buried. The pornographers can then move on to tantalize and actually tempt people to move into sexual experiences with other kids, with adults and in all kinds of situations that are set out. There is no reason for this kind of pornography to be made other than to use it as a tool to recruit and enlist other victims.

The results of sexual abuse on children are so awful and so terrible that we are very hesitant many times to speak about that. I want to make that the major part of what I want to say today.

I will read a quote for members, the source of which is a book by Tsai and Wagner, 1984:

Sexual victimization may profoundly interfere with and alter the development of attitudes toward self, sexuality, and trusting relationships during the critical early years of development.

It interrupts the development of a child.

Then, from Whitlock and Gillman, in 1989, there is this quote:

Sexuality is regarded not simply as a part of the self limited to genitals, discrete behaviours, or biological aspects of reproduction, but is more properly understood as one component of the total personality that affects one's concept of personal identity and self-esteem.

There is a great impact, in other words, on the life of a child who has experienced sexual abuse.

I asked Kathy Broady, the clinical director of, for a quick, short list of consequences observable in children who are suffering from sexual abuse. Let me give part of that list and then follow with a quote from Ms. Broady.

She wrote as number one: fear, mistrust, abandonment issues, intense clinginess to the safe person, and no trust in people. Number two: withdrawal from friends or no friends, no normal play, not smiling, and not happy, and the withdrawal from society continues in comparison to how serious the abuse is. Number three: depression, suicidal thoughts and behaviour, anger, acting out, and serious misbehaviour. Number four: eating disorders, self-injuries, and addiction to drugs, alcohol and other substances.

I have heard of how some of these children act when they are being sexually abused; they can be very young and do this. Sometimes we might see a child sitting alone, sitting in a corner or sitting in a private place, and we might see that child rocking. We might see that child displaying nervous symptoms or slapping itself, hitting itself on the head or pulling its own hair. Sometimes that is what happens when children are being subjected to sexual abuse, and that abuse does not even have to be severe.

Ms. Broady has given me this quote:

Severe childhood sexual abuse literally steals a lifetime of productivity, happiness, fulfillment, and peace from its victims.

The Internet and child pornography on the Internet and in other forms is a recruiting tool to reach children and to bring them in to the sex trade on many occasions.

Children who have been severely sexually abused and sold into the sex slave industry experience a great number of negative impacts. I am going to give members only a few of those listed by survivors in a survey that was done by, a survey, by the way, in which those impacts cover 50 pages in a book. I will give members less than one page.

The first category was “constant fear and no sense of safety or security anywhere, any time”. The survivors listed these points:

One: Constant fear about something, anything, always. Two: No peace, no ability to relax, constant hyper-vigilance. Three: Inappropriate or extreme responses to problems. Four: Always waiting and anticipating the next bad thing that will happen. Five: Very fatalistic thinking, preparing for doomsday--because “bad stuff” did happen so frequently, repeatedly, it was the one constant that could be expected, therefore, “it's best to always be prepared for and expecting the worst”.

Those were comments made by abuse survivors. There is one more category: self-harm. It may come as a surprise to some as to what actually can happen. It is as follows:

One: Cutting--wrists, arms, legs, stomachs, breasts, genitalia, face, absolutely anywhere. Two: Burning--by cigarettes, fire, stoves, scalding water. Three: Stabbing--legs, stomachs, vagina, abdomen.

Mr. Speaker, I remind you, these are the things these victims are doing to themselves. It is not the abuse; it is what they do to themselves because of the abuse.

Also included are:

Five: Slapping face, legs, private areas, anything anywhere. Six: Mutilation of any sort in any place by any means. Seven: Scraping layers of skin off the entire face or genitalia. Eight: Strangulation, hangings. Nine: Overdoses of drugs and alcohol. Ten: Jumping off bridges or throwing themselves in front of traffic.

This problem creates some horrendous repercussions. I will quote from a book by about five authors, not all of whom I will list:

Early identification of sexual abuse victims appears to be crucial to the reduction of suffering of abused youth and to the establishment of support systems for assistance in pursuing appropriate psychological development and healthier adult functioning. As long as disclosure continues to be a problem for young victims, then fear, suffering, and psychological distress will, like the secret, remain forever with the victim

I say that because there is something that resides there and so many people deny the awfulness of this.

What is the responsibility of Parliament? It is the protection of the citizens, protection of the vulnerable; it is to deal with the truth and make value judgments, making sure that the laws of this country are the very best possible.

We cannot allow Bill C-20 or any other bill that would address child pornography to fall so far short of dealing entirely with the situation and that would be to do. In the words of my colleague from Wild Rose, let us stamp out child pornography.

Petitions October 28th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to file, one with one hundred signatures from the province of Quebec and one from Saskatchewan. Both petitions call on Parliament to pass legislation making the legal definition of marriage to be that between a man and a woman.

Petitions October 23rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I have two other petitions that deal with the tragedy of marriages that separate. The petitioners are calling upon the government to design legislation considering the principle of shared parenting and to modify the child support guidelines and the taxation system so the children of divorced parents will actually receive the child support payments in their entirety and that these payments would not be taxed.

Petitions October 23rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I, too, have a number of petitions. The first petition calls upon the government to take all necessary steps to preserve the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, even to the point of invoking section 33, the notwithstanding clause, of the charter.

The second petition, from a number of voters across the country, asks that Parliament actually pass legislation that would recognize and maintain the institution of marriage in federal law as being a lifelong union between one man and one woman.

Contraventions Act October 10th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to the notion of decriminalizing marijuana. I do so at a time when it is probably bringing more confusion not only to this country and especially to the teenagers of our nation but also to the nation south of us.

I have been involved in some meetings in high schools over the past year and that is one of the very hot topics there. Students are quite anxious to see this happen and just to prove it they have already ramped up their use of marijuana. It is a known fact that marijuana use in high schools has already increased because of this proposed legislation.

John Walters, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House, recently remarked about our Prime Minister. He had something to say that we should listen to very carefully. He said that Canadians are concerned about the behaviour of their Prime Minister and the joking that he has done with this issue. Our Prime Minister said:

I don't know what is marijuana. Perhaps I will try it when it will no longer be criminal. I will have money for my fine and a joint in the other hand.

That is something like going to the airport and saying “Yes, I have a bomb in my shoe and one in my hip pocket”. We know not to do that. It would seem to me that a Prime Minister of a nation would know not to make that kind of joking remark in any place in the world where it might be reported back.

I believe that was a harmful statement and it is misleading to our youth. I believe it is degrading to our nation, this Parliament and to the Prime Minister himself. I was quite sorry to hear that he would make that kind of a statement.

John Walters of the United States also said:

Canada is the one place in the hemisphere where things are going the wrong (way) rapidly. It's the only country in this hemisphere that's become a major drug producer instead of reducing their drug production.

That is very true and it is a sad commentary on our nation. It is a sad commentary on our government and on those who want to push this relaxation of the war on drugs through the House.

Recently in committee, my hon. colleague from Langley--Abbotsford admitted and said to the committee that this is a touchy issue when it comes to border relationships with the United States. After our experience with BSE and our experience with other agricultural subsidies placed on products by the United States, it would seem that we would learn our lesson. It would seem that we would try to be decent and good neighbours to those to the south and not be so insulting to them as what we have found ourselves being.

The hon. member from Langley--Abbotsford also said that there is little point in developing a process in this country when we offend everybody south of us. That is extremely important and one of the major problems with the idea of decriminalizing marijuana. It is going to create all kinds of border problems and relationship problems with our friends in the United States.

This bill says that it is okay to smoke and possess 15 grams or less of marijuana, or at least it is not a criminal offence. It is okay to smoke it, but it is not okay to possess too much. It is not okay to grow. It is not okay for a lot of things and so the message is very mixed. One of the messages that concerns me more than perhaps any of the others is the mixed message or the reverse message that is going out related to the health of people who use marijuana.

We have all kinds of misinformation coming to us that says this practice is not harmful. We all know that is not true. We know that it has to be harmful.

I am reminded of a time, back in the last century, in the 1950s. I was not too old at that time, but I remember as a young lad going to church. I do not remember which man said it, but I remember being taught that should I take up the habit of smoking cigarettes, it would be harmful to my body.

We know from the fifties all the way to the nineties that was disputed. There were many people of supposed wisdom who diffused that claim. Then all of a sudden, we began to reckon with all the cancer deaths from smoking cigarettes. Finally, we had a number of class action suits against tobacco companies because of the harm that tobacco smoke had caused so many people. Now this was a known fact and they were suing the tobacco companies because there was no warning label.

This is one of the most ridiculous things that has ever happened in the history of enlightened society. For a half century anybody with, as my dad used to say, the sense God gave a goose would know that cigarette smoke could not be helpful to one's body, that it would be harmful.

As my hon. colleague mentioned earlier, we, including firemen, use masks and guards to protect us from all kinds of other fumes and smoke. We know it is not helpful to breathe that into our lungs, yet we are allowing our teenagers to believe it is quite all right.

It would be a tragedy if the House of Commons were to adopt the bill and send that skewed message to the young people of our nation who will then, no doubt, be returning to ask for help through the health system because of the long term problems this will no doubt cause with the new high power brand of marijuana which can now be produced in grow houses.

The lingering effects of marijuana smoke are something far more treacherous than alcohol. When someone drinks alcohol and becomes intoxicated, it is only a matter of hours until the body cleans itself up, the intoxication is gone and the body is back to normal. I am told the effects of marijuana smoke linger for days, not just hours, and a person could literally be intoxicated from marijuana smoke for all time. That would therefore decrease the performance of our students, decrease the ability to handle automobiles, machinery, to do jobs, to think, to speak, all these things.

My colleague from Calgary East pointed out that it was a student discount.

I recently bought a new automobile. One thing that caused me to buy that new automobile was a discount on the penalty for buying it. In other words, for not having cash, I could now get a very discounted rate on the interest I would be charged if I bought it before I had the cash. Therefore, because the penalty for buying it early was lessened, I bought it.

We have thousands of teenagers. Because they see the penalty is lessened, they are getting the student discount. Because it is no longer a criminal offence, they are buying into the false idea that smoking marijuana is just fine. I cannot support such a discount.

Petitions October 10th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I rise today to present three petitions with over 300 signatures from across the country. All three of these petitions call upon the government to defend the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman even to the extent of invoking the notwithstanding clause.