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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was colleague.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Canadian Alliance MP for Dewdney—Alouette (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 58% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions February 24th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to table on behalf of my constituents.

One has to do with child pornography and is signed by 135 members of my community who are opposed to child pornography and ask the House to take all necessary steps to put an end to child pornography in our country.

Government Contracts February 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, we will find allegations of fraud in that report, and perhaps he should read it again. The Prime Minister should have been outraged four years ago, but he is only pretending to be outraged now that he is in hot water.

He should have talked to Mr. Chrétien and to Mr. Gagliano. He should have considered whether an RCMP investigation needed to happen. He should have done anything but turn a blind eye to what was going on all around him.

Now there is nowhere left to turn. It is his problem and Canadians want to know why he did nothing.

Government Contracts February 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the 2000 internal audit alleges fraud and double-dipping, but the Prime Minister simply minimizes that by calling it administrative errors.

He said that he only heard rumours of the wrongdoing at the time and did not feel the need to look into it. He did not speak to the prime minister or the minister in charge. He did not even give it a passing thought. However, he was finance minister of the day and he was responsible for Canadians' hard earned tax dollars.

How does the Prime Minister expect us to believe that he is as mad as hell now and when he first heard the word “fraud” he did absolutely nothing?

Supply February 17th, 2004

The minister is saying he is the one who called the police. That is good. Certainly there should have been a heads-up for cabinet and for the government that this was something that was going on back as far as 1997. They should have had their radar up that this could possibly spring up again. As we have found, it has sprung up.

I would like the minister to comment on that.

Supply February 17th, 2004

Madam Speaker, the sad part of this whole scandal is that a member such as the minister, who came to the House with a good reputation and was respected in his former role, is tainted by this entire scandal, as are other members of the government side even though it may be a few who engaged in corrupt activity. It could lead to more people being involved. We do not know where the inquiry will go.

I do want to ask the minister about the missing $100 million. That, of course, is of great concern. I also want to refer him to the incident in 1997 where a Liberal fundraiser, Pierre Corbeil, from Quebec, was charged and convicted of influence peddling and of fraud, I believe. He had a list of grants being given to companies in Quebec and he was basically shaking them down for cash, saying that if they did not contribute $10,000 to the Liberal Party they would lose their grant.

I know that the Minister of Health has referred to this. The minister might want to refer to it in his comments as well.

Supply February 17th, 2004

Madam Speaker, I want to commend my colleague for his comments and point out the fact that perhaps we need some whistleblower protection for cabinet ministers from Quebec to come clean on the information they have. Their lips were glued shut during question period today on that matter.

I want to ask my friend about something that happened back in 1997 when he and I first arrived in this place. There was a story about a Liberal fundraiser whose name was Pierre Corbeil. He was brought up on charges of fraud and was convicted of those charges. He had a list of companies that were receiving grants from the federal government in Quebec and he was shaking them down for cash. He would go to those companies and say “You will kick back $10,000 to the Liberal Party of Quebec or your grant from the federal government will be cancelled”. That was unbelievable. Surely the government must have noticed that but that did not seem to put an end to the kind of thing we see happening today.

I wonder if my friend might comment on that and this culture of corruption that has continued under the Liberal government.

Supply February 17th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief and ask my colleague about some facts about fraud that have been well known to all of us.

In 1997 a Liberal fundraiser from Quebec, named Pierre Corbeil, was charged with fraud and convicted. He had a list of groups that were receiving government grants. He was shaking them down for cash. He would show up and say that if they did not pony up $10,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada, they would see their grants cancelled. That is evidence of fraud. He was convicted of fraud.

This has been going on for a long time within the Liberal Party of Canada. There is evidence for the member. What does she have to say about that? What does she have to say about the dual track approval process of grants that came out during the 2000 election? What does she have to say about that? What does she have to say about these phony invoices and the $100 million that is missing today?

Petitions February 17th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I have petitions from about 600 constituents who are asking Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Reinstatement of Government Bills February 10th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, later today we will see quite an amazing thing happen in this place. We will see the current government trying to extricate itself from the previous government when the Auditor General brings down the report on the grant and advertising scandal in which the Liberal government is involved.

We probably will see all the ministers fan out and given their spin, in both official languages, to whomever they can, saying that no, that was Jean Chrétien's government; that was the previous administration; that was the other government and that they are the new government. They are not the new government. It is the same old group. They are using the very same tactics on the very first motion we have in this place.

How can the House leader possibly say that it is the new group when it is bringing in the old group's legislation and invoking closure with a sledge hammer six days into the new Parliament? They cannot have it both ways.

Criminal Code October 30th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I commend my colleague from Surrey North for bringing the bill forward and raising the profile of this issue.

This is an issue that deserves our consideration. Other members have spoken about this in the House both today and previously. We have heard wide support from our colleagues regardless of which party they are from, apart from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, and that is a concern. I will return to that at the end of my comments.

The bill would make street racing a much more serious offence than it is now. Other colleagues have pointed to circumstances and tragic incidences in their communities, not only in British Columbia but around the country, where individuals have lost their lives, and that is a tragedy. If we can stop one person from being harmed or killed by bringing forward this legislation, then we will have done a good thing.

Quite often we want to see what others are doing in other jurisdictions. In his speech last week, my colleague from Surrey North pointed out what others are saying in other jurisdictions, and they have already taken action.

Manitoba has taken action. The Manitoba minister of justice has said that:

Amendments made to our Highway Traffic Act this past session have given our provincial street racing offence the highest maximum fine and the highest demerit point level available for provincial driving offences under that legislation.

Manitoba has introduced strong new measures to deal with dangerous drivers, and I think that is a good thing.

Motions have been brought forward in British Columbia as well. The attorney general of British Columbia, Geoff Plant, in reference to street racing, said:

The Criminal Code needs to be tightened up in the area of conditional sentencing so that conditional sentences are rarely, if ever, available for a crime of this nature.

As others have mentioned, it is often young people who get involved in street racing, for whatever reason. It might be their sense of invincibility or their sense of adventure and desire to push the limits. If we look at the vehicles available now as compared to the vehicles that were available when I and others here first started to drive, they are powerful machines, capable of reaching very high speeds quickly.

My colleague from Elk Island gave us some calculations about just how dangerous speed can be, and I agree with him on that point. Those kinds of circumstances have led to tragedies around our nation involving street racing.

I had the opportunity many years ago to teach driver training. I did not teach in-car instruction. I taught young people, who were just learning to drive, in a classroom. A police officer was at one of the sessions and he told stories about being on the scenes of accidents involving high speed, including street racing. The stories were simply horrific. Our colleague from the PC Party mentioned that he was a paramedic and was on the scene of serious accidents. If we can help to prevent even one tragedy, we will have done a good thing, which is why the bill is worthy of our support.

As was mentioned by my colleague from the Bloc and others, we need to put legislation in place that will send the right message. We do need to send the right message when we bring forward legislation. If we communicate through our laws that street racing is a serious and a dangerous thing and if individuals choose to participate in that kind of activity they will be held to account. If we send that message through this legislation we hope that will have an effect on people's behaviour.

When given alternatives, such as the opportunity to participate in racing at a race track, young people often will not take that choice because of the thrill of racing on a city street. That is unfortunate. Because of that we need to let young people know that if they street race they will pay the price with some serious consequences.

We need to let young people know that if they street race, they will pay the price with some serious consequences.

There is a raceway in my riding called Mission Raceway. It is a facility for both drag racing and road racing. That would be a great place for young people to race their cars. If there could be a way of building in some alternatives for young people who were engaged in this kind of activity to use the raceway as an opportunity to get that energy out in that way, I think that would be a great thing. Whether or not individuals choose to do that would be up to them. If we could provide an opportunity for that, perhaps they would make that choice.

Ultimately, it comes down to individual responsibility. Young people need to take responsibility for their actions. We have seen what happens when they do not. It not only affects the families of the victims who may be involved in accidents but the drivers themselves. Even if they survive the crash, they have to live with the scars in their own lives of having to live with what they have done in street racing if they have caused some serious damage or if they have killed somebody. If we could help young people to avoid that, we would have done a good thing, as well.

I am surprised by the message sent by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice on this topic. He seems to be the only one who has spoken against this bill at this point. That is somewhat surprising because there is agreement among members of the opposition. I hope there is wide agreement among members of the Liberal Party, backbenchers and others, who will have an opportunity in a free vote to support this motion. There will not be some kind of edict from the justice minister that this a motion that is not worthy of their support, because it is.

If we can send the right message and teach young individuals that they are responsible for their actions, then we will have done a good thing. This is a bill that is worthy of the support of members from all parties.

Again, I wish to congratulate my colleague from Surrey North for his hard work on this issue. I encourage every member to support this bill and make it a reality in our land.