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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was money.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Canadian Alliance MP for South Surrey—White Rock—Langley (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 2000, with 60% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Justice February 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Justice my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

In January 1992 Wayne Sullivan of Prince George, British Columbia, shot and killed his wife. In December 1993 Mr. Sullivan was acquitted on all charges because he was drunk and did not know what he was doing.

Is the government prepared to comment on this occasion about its willingness to change the law so that substance abuse does not constitute an excuse for murder?

Petitions February 1st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have been requested to present this petition on behalf of signatories from B.C. to Manitoba, requesting that the government hold a referendum on the question of accepting or rejecting two official languages.

Speech From The Throne January 28th, 1994

Madam Speaker, in response to the throne speech I would like to congratulate the government on its commitment to introduce

measures to enhance community safety and crime prevention. During the election campaign my constituents considered that criminal justice reform was one of the major issues. My constituents made it quite clear that they expect this Parliament to bring greater protection to society.

I believe it is safe to say that all Canadians will not settle for anything less. Now that the government has raised the people's expectations that there will be change, this government must take action to meet their promises. Canadians must see that this government is serious about enhancing community safety. They will not be satisfied merely with new initiatives. Canadians want results.

While we welcome the government's commitment to introduce measures to combat the high level of violence against women and children, we hope the government is dedicated to a strategy based on reducing all forms of violence no matter the gender or age of the victim.

My constituency contains large numbers of retired individuals and teenagers. Members of these groups have expressed their concerns about becoming victims. They feel particularly prone to random and senseless acts of violence. While I encourage the government to proceed with its measures to combat violence against women and children, it must not lose sight of the fact that all violent crimes must be condemned and prosecuted with equal vigour.

In my maiden address to the House on Tuesday I mentioned an unfortunate growth in criminal activity was accompanying the rapid growth in my constituency. However the increase in crime seems to be far exceeding the growth in population. An example of this increase can be shown in the homicide statistics for the city of Surrey. Over the last two years there was a total of 27 homicides in Surrey. Over the previous five years there were only 24.

I will not dwell on the numbers other than to say that they are cause for concern. But numbers do not even begin to tell the story of violent crime. One of the most disturbing aspects of some of these homicides were that they were teenagers killing other teenagers.

I can tell this House it is not easy to listen to the parents of young victims of murder. Yet in my brief career as a member of Parliament I have had the occasion to meet with two parents who lost their children to violent crimes. I have to acknowledge the courage they had to come to me and talk to me about what it is that needs to be changed so that other Canadians do not have to have their children in the same situation.

Teenagers have been killed for their hats, their jackets and their running shoes. Others have been killed because their killers did not like the way they looked at them.

One father I met lost his son in one of these senseless killings in 1992. He, however, is fighting back. He and a group of his colleagues have formed the organization CRY, Crime, Responsibility, Youth. This organization has been among the most vocal groups calling for amendments to the Young Offenders Act. Despite the non-partisan philosophy of the organization CRY the recommendations of the group are quite similar to my party's position on reforming the Young Offenders Act. Changes must be made. The law has to be tightened up and violent teenage offenders have to realize they cannot hide behind the act.

The problem with the Young Offenders Act is inherent in the act itself. Most Canadians can accept the premise that a 14 year old who has shoplifted a piece of candy should not go to jail nor have a criminal record. However these same Canadians do believe there should not be such leniency for a 14 year old who shoots the store clerk while robbing the cornerstore.

Another incident that illustrates the ineffectiveness of the Young Offenders Act occurred in my riding late last year. On Halloween evening two off-duty Mounties were attacked and beaten by a gang of teenagers. In December a teenager visiting our area was stabbed at a local convenience store. One of those apprehended in the stabbing was awaiting trial for the Halloween attack on the Mounties. When this information became public I was inundated with calls from my constituents expressing their outrage at a judicial system that would allow this to happen.

I promised them that I would strive to bring changes to the law to prevent this from occurring again. I intend to keep this promise. The Young Offenders Act needs significant changes. Even the young offenders admit that the act is a joke.

The government says it will introduce measures to combat the high level of violence against women and children. However right now teenagers charged with violent attacks on women and children are being able to hide behind the Young Offenders Act. Young offenders convicted of violent attacks on women and children have received insignificant sentences because of the act. If the government is to live up to its commitment of protecting women and children, it is going to have to change the act.

I acknowledge the comments of the Minister of Justice yesterday that changes will be made. I and my colleagues look forward to working with him in making sure that those changes will indeed address the real problems.

The Young Offenders Act has certainly become a lightening rod for people's anger with the failure of the criminal justice system. However it is by no means the only piece of legislation that needs to be amended. Changes are necessary to the Criminal Code to allow for recognition of victim's rights. It is time for the victim of criminal activity to receive priority from our justice system.

Another area that must be addressed is the entire issue of parole. Supposedly severe sentences have frequently amounted to little more than slaps on the wrist because of the parole system. This has become particularly evident with the recent stories of individuals convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life, 25 years without parole. We now find that no parole for 25 years can somehow mean parole after 15.

When capital punishment was removed from the Criminal Code, Canadian police officers were assured that they would be protected. They were told there was a general deterrent effect in an automatic life sentence with no parole for 25 years for the murder of a police officer. Our police officers are now finding that those individuals who killed their fellow officers may now get out after 15 years.

As my constituency is the home to the largest RCMP detachment in the country, I would like to be able to assure these men and women that Parliament will pass whatever legislation is necessary to protect them.

Almost one year ago the Standing Committee on Justice and the Solicitor General of the 34th Parliament presented its 12th report entitled "Crime Prevention in Canada: Toward a National Strategy". The committee listed a series of recommendations dealing mainly with the development of a national crime prevention policy. The step is a positive one and perhaps long overdue.

However this is a long range plan. These crime prevention strategies may have an impact, but when? Will it be this year, next year, five years down the road, or maybe even ten years? Canadians do not want to wait. They do not want to hear about initiatives. They want results. I do not think that the crime prevention policies are going to provide the results in the short term.

In the long term we have to identify the root causes of criminal behaviour. We also have to develop effective means and measures of treating criminal behaviour. We have to continue to experiment and to try to address these issues.

Canadians are not prepared to accept the status quo until solutions are found. They want to feel safe in their communities today. They want the government to take immediate steps to accomplish this. The best way to accomplish this is by keeping violent criminals off the streets of Canada. While this may not be the most conducive means of rehabilitating criminals, we have to recognize that protecting the lives of Canadian citizens is paramount to the rehabilitation of violent criminal offenders.

My caucus colleagues and I are quite prepared to assist the government in developing policy that will provide Canadian society with protection from violent criminal activity. Canadians are expecting this protection. This government has promised it and now we have to provide it.

One area where government may not expect as much co-operation from us is its plan to restore the court challenges program.

Our party has a fundamental problem with a government that gives out scarce taxpayers' dollars to special interest groups so that they can turn around and sue the government. This program, which appears to be an infrastructure program for the legal profession, does not make sense in today's economic reality.

The government's position on justice reform has potential as long as the government attaches the right priorities. If it fails to acknowledge the priorities, the Reform Party will continue to lead the fight for society's right to be protected.

Housing Subsidies January 28th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General.

In the mid-1980s, in response to spiralling house costs in the greater Toronto area, both the RCMP and CSIS introduced a housing subsidy or commuting allowance for its employees. These subsidies are still being paid today. However for the past two or three years the cost of housing in the Toronto area has been considerably less than in the greater Vancouver region. Yet neither the RCMP nor CSIS employees in Vancouver are eligible for any subsidies.

Will the minister either eliminate the subsidy if it is no longer needed or at least ensure that all employees of these agencies are treated in a fair and equitable manner?

Justice January 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice.

On Tuesday afternoon in a Vancouver courtroom Dale John Hicks was found guilty of manslaughter in the killing of Caren Rainey and Laurie Wood.

The charge was reduced from second degree murder to manslaughter. The reason given for this reduction was that Hicks had not shown an intention to kill the two women but merely to assault them. Their brutal deaths, with one being stabbed 17 times, was blamed on the cocaine that Hicks had taken rather than on Hicks himself.

On behalf of the families of these two victims and millions of other Canadians, will the minister consider changing the law so that substance abuse does not constitute an excuse for murder?

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond by indicating that I feel the United Nations representing the world community must take a stronger stand in denouncing this type of aggressive behaviour.

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment that I feel perhaps the United Nations got into the Bosnia situation prematurely. However I maintain that decision was made by the previous government of our country and by the United Nations. Now is not the time to resolve that issue.

The time is now to develop a foreign policy and a defence policy that will clearly address the role of the peacekeepers and our position as Canadian peacekeepers within that collective community.

The world community must take note of what is happening and send a clear message that this kind of aggression is not acceptable in the world and that it will not be rewarded by giving more land and more power to them. They have to be condemned for this kind of aggressive behaviour.

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, as this is my first opportunity to address the House

I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as Deputy Speaker and to all the members of this House on their election.

As the member for Surrey-White Rock-South Langley, I represent the constituency with the greatest number of voters in western Canada. Located on the west coast just southeast of the city of Vancouver, my constituency abuts the Canadian-American border. It contains the city of White Rock, the south portion of the city of Surrey and the southwest corner of the township of Langley. Although the riding is only 250,000 square kilometres, it contains a wide diversity of communities.

Part of my constituency is dedicated to agriculture. A number of large vegetable farms are located on some of the richest agricultural land in Canada. Dairy and poultry farms are located in the Cloverdale and South Langley areas. My constituency also has light industrial areas that provide a wide variety of commercial goods. These industries as well as other small businesses have raised a concern about Canada's national debt and the enormous federal deficit. These business people want their government to take control to reduce spending. They say that if the government wants to increase economic activity then it should work toward reducing taxes and the cost of doing business in Canada.

However, the greatest land use in my constituency is residential. The community of White Rock is located on the shores of Semiahmoo Bay and is well known as a retirement centre because of its mild climate. The area has also attracted a large number of families and as a result there is a growing element of the constituents who commute outside of the riding's boundaries.

My constituency is one of the fastest growing areas of this country, but unfortunately one of the aspects of rapid growth is an accompanying growth in criminal activity. During the election campaign my constituents considered this to be one of the major problems. My constituents have made it quite clear that they expect this government to bring greater protection to society.

My constituents elected me on a platform of fiscal responsibility, parliamentary accountability and criminal justice reform. I would like to thank the voters of Surrey-White Rock- South Langley for their confidence in me and to assure them that I am their servant and I will do everything in my power to accomplish these goals.

However, this evening I am here to speak on Canada's role in Bosnia and I do so as an ordinary Canadian. Like most Canadians, I have read, listened and watched countless stories about the tragedy of Bosnia and Hercegovina. These stories have evoked a wide range of emotion. I have been horrified by the indiscriminate attacks on civilians, especially the children. I have been disturbed by reports of the political strategy of ethnic cleaning. I have been very proud of the role that Canadian peacekeepers have had in Bosnia.

I have also been very irritated at the unwillingness of the political and military leaders of the warring factions to reach a peaceful solution. I have expressed frustration with the UN's inability to take definitive action to resolve this issue and I was outraged when I heard reports of Canadian peacekeepers being subjected to mock executions.

When our troops are subjected to such treatment it is difficult to disagree with those individuals who call for the withdrawal of Canadian troops. At some point we may have to do so, but I believe that despite all the adversity it is critical that Canadians remain in Bosnia. No matter how bad the situation is now, without Canadian peacekeepers the situation would be much worse. Canadians are going to have to decide if they are prepared to live with the consequences of a unilateral withdrawal, a withdrawal that could result in a full fledged war and the genocide of ethnic groups.

If this were to occur, could Canadians sit back and wash their hands of the affair? Could we say that this is not our concern? Are we prepared to accept the fact that we might have been able to stop this, but that we got tired and frustrated?

I know that when we see television reports of children killed we wonder what good United Nations peacekeepers are doing. When we hear reports of entire families being wiped out we wonder what peace Canadian soldiers are supposed to keep. However, without the presence of Canadian and other United Nations personnel, Bosnia would probably be faced with the wholesale slaughter of children and civilians.

This is the choice that Canadians are facing. Do we withdraw our troops and accept the prospect of full fledged war and potential genocide or do we indefinitely commit our troops to a peacekeeping mission where there is no peace to keep?

I do not imagine that many Canadians are prepared to commit our troops indefinitely to an ill defined mission in a country where political and military leaders have shown little inclination to resolve the issue. Many of the difficulties appear to be caused more by the United Nations mandate than by the mission itself.

As the outgoing commander of United Nations peacekeepers in Bosnia stated, it is fine for the politicians and diplomats to pass these wonderful resolutions but they do not mean very much unless they are accompanied by the willpower to carry them out.

We have to give our peacekeepers the authority and resources to carry out their mandate and perhaps Canada and the United Nations need to redefine the rules of this mandate. However, is the mission itself worthwhile?

For those who believe that Canada should withdraw its peacekeepers I ask them whether they are prepared to abandon the people of Bosnia to the mercies of the factional leaders. A glance at history has shown that over the last 50 years we have

had too many instances of people's lives being left to the mercy of dictators and despots.

Today, people say that if we had intervened in many of these situations earlier, we might have saved millions of innocent victims. When one considers the events that have already occurred in Bosnia with the United Nations presence, imagine what a future without the United Nations intervention would mean for the people of Bosnia. One wonders if today's ethnic cleansing will become tomorrow's genocide.

I do not believe that Canadians are prepared to condemn the people of Bosnia to such a fate. Our intervention, no matter how troublesome or frustrating, certainly is preferable to permitting the genocide of one or more of the ethnic groups in Bosnia.

It is obvious that the only acceptable way to resolve this conflict is through negotiation. Unfortunately, it appears that the various factional leaders have little incentive to resolve the issue.

Some would even suggest that the presence of the United Nations peacekeepers has provided the leaders of the various factions with an excuse not to come to a quick resolution. They would suggest that all sides should experience the effects of a full scale war so they can fully appreciate the horrors of such warfare. This they argue would give the negotiators the incentive to reach a peace agreement. Perhaps it would, but what would be the cost in human lives?

Tens of thousands of Bosnians have already lost their lives in this conflict and thousands more will likely die. However, the toll would likely have been in the hundreds of thousands without our involvement. Unfortunately we must wait for the various leaders to reach a settlement on their own.

Canada and the rest of the international community must continue to pressure the warring factions to reach an acceptable peace. We have to impress upon these leaders that military victories resulting in territorial gains will not be internationally recognized. We have to impress upon them that the prize for their aggression will be a total isolation from the world community.

I think that Canadians recognize the fact that Canada cannot afford to be the peacekeeper to the world. It is a credit to our military that we are in such popular demand for the role. Our reputation as peacekeepers is unparalleled and it is a good reputation to have. Nevertheless Canada does not have the money to send its troops into every dispute.

Reality dictates that we have to pick and choose our assignments. The planned review of the Canadian Armed Forces is a good step in determining the extent to which Canada should be involved in these missions.

Canadians are going to have to decide just what resources we are prepared to commit to these endeavours. It is a noble role but such nobility does not come cheap. It is the Canadian taxpayer who will have to decide the extent to which they are prepared to underwrite these missions. However, this is for future roles.

The reality of today is that rightly or wrongly Canadian troops are in Bosnia. It is also reality that this is not a great situation to be in. We have asked our peacekeepers to attempt to keep a peace that does not exist. As our troops attempt to keep three warring ethnic groups from killing each other, we have found that we are ending up being hated by all three sides. We really have entered into a classic no win situation.

Critics of Canada's presence in Bosnia can probably list dozens of valid reasons why we should not be there. In return, I can offer only one good reason why we have to remain. It is for the simple reason that without us the situation would be a lot worse. These people are dependent upon the UN force to keep them alive.

It is an unfortunate reality but Canadians are showing a greater concern for the fate of the Bosnian people than their own leaders. This concern or compassion may force us to make an occasional impractical decision, but it is also a virtue that makes this country such a wonderful place to live.

Canadians have been fortunate to face precious little political violence in their history. We do not have to worry that when our children are outside playing in the snow some artillery shell is going to land in their midst and kill them. Perhaps it is for this reason that Canadians should be in Bosnia.

We need to do whatever we can to help the rest of the world achieve peace. We must keep a window open for negotiations to take place in the hope of a peaceful resolution. We have to show them that we care.