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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

Canadian Forces Superannuation Act October 20th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague on an excellent speech on this issue.

I have visited Borden which is a training facility for the Canadian armed forces. I was very impressed with the various aspects of training that our armed forces do, not only young people but a lot of people who in mid-life decide to look at the armed forces as a place of employment.

Does my colleague think that the federal government should put more resources into the aspect of training Canadians, both young and older? Should it use that element of federal responsibility to make sure that we get an educated population who can use it not only when they are employed by the armed forces but when they go back to civilian life?

Canada-U.S. Border October 6th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, we understand that the United States was not even informed that Canada would not have immigration officers in place from midnight to 8 o'clock. The United States has actually increased its immigration officers at this point of entry, while Canada has decreased its officers.

Will the minister assure Canadians that any individual with immigration concerns will not be allowed into Canada until the individual has been put through a secondary screening?

Canada-U.S. Border October 6th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance has learned that as of today, the immigration minister will not be staffing the Thousand Islands Bridge border crossing from midnight to 8 o'clock in the morning. This means there will be no immigration officer on duty from Lacolle, Quebec to Niagara Falls for eight hours to screen travellers who require secondary screening for immigration purposes.

Can the minister explain how this will enhance security for Canadians?

B.C. Forest Fires September 24th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, this past summer British Columbia was hit by the worst forest fire season in recent memory, with numerous fires destroying people's homes, businesses and lives.

The Canadian armed forces did send some troops to assist but these troops had to come from other provinces as the Liberal government closed down the only military base on the mainland of British Columbia.

While British Columbians were pleased to receive the assistance of the military, they were shocked to hear that the federal government might seek reimbursement from the province for the use of these troops.

However the Liberals did spend a great deal of taxpayer money sending out countless Liberal politicians, including the Prime Minister and the new Liberal leader, for photo ops in the fire ravaged area. I suppose British Columbians will be billed for these travel costs as well.

If the new Liberal leader is truly serious about building new relations in the west, here is some advice for him: Send the money, send the troops, but keep the Liberal politicians at home.

Petitions September 23rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in the House to present a petition from members of my constituency, 125 of them, who call upon Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Canada Elections Act June 10th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, further to that, it is self-serving for a government to change the rules that will affect the existing party in power to the extent this bill does.

If the government were not self-serving, not thinking of how it could benefit or how it could pay off its debt and fill its coffers with this money, why did it not pick a date that would have been after the next election? It could have picked a date that would tie into the taxation year after the next election without causing any difficulty.

Why has the government bring in legislation that is self-serving to the government in power? Why did it not pick a date that would not be quite so self-serving, and go to the electorate with this?

Canada Elections Act June 9th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to speak to the bill that is before the House, Bill C-24.

I should say that it does not surprise me, the route that the government is taking on this.

I sit on the public accounts committee and, as members are aware, the Auditor General of Canada, an independent person who reports directly to the House of Commons as opposed to the government, has pointed out some of the travesties that have occurred in government sponsorship programs.

It is constantly being publicized and brought to the public's attention the accountability of how the government has these kinds of offhand situations where companies are directly benefiting from the fact that they donate to the Liberal Party of Canada, or it might even be in the reverse, where people donate to the Liberal Party of Canada and then they benefit, as a company, from government contracts.

The one thing that has made it possible, not only for the Auditor General but for those of us in opposition whose job it is to hold the government to account, has been the ability to connect, through access to information or just the public accounts, those who get government contracts with those who donate to various political parties, namely, the governing party. We have, through that process, been able to make those connections.

Now, as I understand it, with the new legislation the government is trying to give Canadians the impression that all of that questionable behaviour will cease and desist, and that because of the taxpayer funding parties and elections, this kind of thing will not happen.

A person would have to be awfully naive to think that will be the end result. All that will happen is that rather than a corporation, which might receive a government contract, being upfront with its donation, perhaps 10 individuals of that corporation will be donating the money which would be equal or more than what that corporation might have donated in the first place, but the connections will be much harder to put together.

I think it will just create more confusion in trying to make those connections, therefore giving the governing party an opportunity to not be quite so accountable and upfront with who is getting what contracts and who is donating to the Liberal Party of Canada, or it might be some other party at the time.

I think it is also unfair to establish the public subsidization of political parties based on past performance. It was not that many years ago that I was a recipient of a feeling of the people of Canada that they were tired of the government of the day and wanted to replace it.

If this bill had been in place, it would not recognize that turn of support of the Canadian people. Where a party would have had substantial contributions from the public purse, it came to this House with only two people. Somehow there is a disconnect.

I would suggest that the legislation is very dangerous to democracy in Canada because it would fund the party that has perhaps given poor government by the people of Canada when they do not support that party, and that is unfair. It is undemocratic rather than being unfair for a government to insist that taxpayers have to fund political parties that they do not support.

Political parties should be funded by the people who support them, by the people who want to see them elected and elected in enough numbers to replace the government of the day or, simply put, it is the democratic principle of individuals to support the party that represents their viewpoints.

I do not think all taxpayers want to be supporting parties that they do not like, do not believe in and do not believe in what they stand for, and keep them in power, if that be the case. When we look at the number of dollars that the bill would give to political parties, it is astounding.

I think taxpayers are already concerned with the fact that if individuals who run an election receive more than 15% of the votes they will get back half the money they spent. The legislation says that individuals who get 10% of the popular vote would get back half the money they spent.

If taxpayers really stopped to think about it I think they would be horrified to know to what extent they will be funding this electoral process. I am not saying that there should not be a connect between the voter and the process, but I think that should be the decision by the person who is voting and paying the bill, as to how much connected they want to be to the process.

The two things with which I have real difficulty are that it will be less transparent, I believe, and that it will take away the democratic right of voters to support the party of their choice.

In looking at the fine print I am also very concerned with the reporting mechanisms for smaller amounts of money. I do not how other people operate but my constituency organization has all volunteers. They are good people who give of their time to their country in the way they have chosen to by helping the electoral process, but they are not CGAs. They are not people who can go through an accounting process that, quite frankly, is done at election time, and rightly so, but I cannot see where it will be of benefit to Elections Canada to have all this paperwork flowing in. It will not be to the benefit of the constituency organizations that will have to put out money to hire accountants and auditors to audit the books for, at some times, minimal amounts of money.

When large sums of money are raised it is generally at election time which is when the reporting mechanisms have to be very stringent. I am not saying that there should not be any reporting mechanisms but the way it is outlined in the book it will be almost impossible for smaller volunteer organizations like our constituency associations to meet the requirements. I think it is an inappropriate way of handling this.

The other area that causes me great concern is the way the bill does not even deal with one of the greatest concerns that the Chief Electoral Officer has, and that is the patronage postings of returning officers. The comments from the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada is that he would not take our Canadian system and push it in third world countries where they are trying to establish democratic election processes. It is a sad state of affairs when he cannot even use our process as an example of how he would do things. The biggest concern he has is with this business of the Prime Minister of Canada appointing returning officers.

When are we going to have a truly neutral election process? As long as the Prime Minister is in a position of picking and choosing political hacks who support his policy and his party's position, how will we ever get neutral people running elections?

It goes further than the returning officers. It goes down into the people who they pick. There is no way, in a democracy like Canada, that our election process should be tainted by patronage appointments. It is a sad day when the major overhaul of our elections act does not remedy that failure.

As I said, when the Chief Electoral Officer promotes democratic elections around the world to developing and emerging democracies but cannot use our own example, something is wrong with that. The bill fails to address some of those very serious issues.

I will end by saying that I had great hopes that this would have allowed more transparent election spending or contributions but it does not. I had hoped that it would have made the process more democratic but it does not. The bill has failed to address some of the serious concerns that taxpayers, voters, Canadians have with our electoral process.

Citizenship and Immigration May 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General reported that the Department of Citizenship and Immigration is allowing people into Canada with certain diseases, with a requirement for medical assessment or medical surveillance. Not only does the department not know whether refugee claimants report for medical assessment, there is no method of reporting to that individual or provincial health authorities until the end of the claim process, which can be several years.

Why does the minister fail to monitor the potential transmission of diseases that threaten the health of Canadians?

Public Service of Canada May 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, in 1998 the Canadian Alliance warned the President of the Treasury Board that the universal classification standard would cost millions of dollars and would be a complete failure. Twelve years and $200 million was wasted trying to update a 40 year old classification system to manage 168,000 public servants. This program has now been scrapped.

Why did the President of the Treasury Board waste that $200 million?

Justice May 26th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I had the opportunity to discuss the criminal justice system with front line workers from the police and crown counsel office. Unfortunately, what I heard only confirmed my worst fears about the system. It is broken and mere tinkering will not fix it.

Many of the problems begin here in Parliament, where the laws we pass place severe handicaps on the effectiveness of our police.

For instance, when investigating a serial rapist, the police must have sufficient evidence for each offence to justify a warrant to obtain DNA evidence from a suspect rather than using just one sample to compare against evidence collected from all possible victims.

We have a justice system that permits petty criminals to indulge in habitual criminality with little deterrence and allows violent offenders to be released, knowing that they are threats to the community.

Sadly, the greatest failing of our criminal justice system is that it has turned our law enforcement officers and prosecutors into little more than paper-pushing bureaucrats.