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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was process.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Reform MP for Surrey North (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 1993, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions March 17th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I rise to table four petitions today.

The first petition is signed by 195 people from Surrey and surrounding area and requests that Parliament refuse to accept the justice minister's gun control proposals.

The petitioners feel that this anti-gun legislation will do little, if anything, to reduce the incidence of violent crime and will simply restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens and target shooters.

The Budget March 14th, 1995

Madam Speaker, I may have been a little weak in my comment to the hon. member. I thank my colleague for clarifying that.

The Budget March 14th, 1995

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his questions.

When the idea for unemployment insurance was originally conceived it was seen as an insurance program for people temporarily out of work. That concept was very valid at the time. However, over the years there seems to have been a turn around in attitudes.

Let us get back to the original concept and make it the insurance program it was originally intended to be, directed at the people who need it.

The Budget March 14th, 1995

Madam Speaker, to precede addressing specific issues, the Reform's taxpayer budget illustrates all the cuts that would occur over three years. We also look at pensions. The government has not actually identified and will not until autumn what exactly is going to happen there.

We are not suggesting that service will not be there. We are looking at a 15 per cent cut in OAS as an across the board of cut.

The other thing we are looking at is the RPSP concept. We have to look into this and work it out in the business community and see how this is going to work. However, that concept is quite reasonable and feasible to maybe replace our existing system and come up with something that is better in the long run, has a little more control from the individual's point of view as to how they wish to live their lives and also provide them with a sense of responsibility and a sense of security.

The Budget March 14th, 1995

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to participate in the debate in the House, although today's topic does leave a lot to be desired.

Canadians have a debt of over $550 billion. We have continuously overspent our budget, creating annual deficits which we add to our debt. In turn, this increases the amount of interest we must pay, already over $40 billion.

On February 27 the finance minister told us that he, his department and the government had balancing the budget in mind. He said it was a priority of this administration, but the finance minister does not tell us when it will achieve the actual balancing of the budget. Instead, each year we have been told of one more step in the budget balancing stroll that he and this government are leading us on, and that strolling in this manner for three years will achieve 3 per cent of GDP, assuming present conditions affecting this forecast remain constant and that those conditions or situations anticipated actually come to pass.

A plan that takes three years to reduce an annual deficit of more than $35 billion by $10 billion does seem like a stroll down some indeterminate path. It is not suggestive of a plan that would be considered a high priority by the people who implement it when there is no end in sight.

The longer we maintain the need to borrow large sums of money from foreign lenders the longer we will continue to add to our debt, increasing the amount of interest we will pay. The interest money we pay to foreign lenders could be utilized very effectively for services or benefits for Canadians at home.

It reminds me of the situation with credit cards. When a person uses a lot of credit cards to buy certain things and then sit them all in front of them and add up the amount of interest they are paying, it is taking a huge chunk of their salary. The person wonders why they thought buying on credit was a good idea.

By the time the government reaches its target of 3 per cent of GDP in 1996-97 it is estimated the interest payments on our debt will have reached $50 billion. To say it is rather easy for us these days, but it is really hard to identify with the reality of a billion dollars.

I have heard some examples, such as circling the globe at the equator with $2 bills, but it is hard to visualize how big the equator is as well. One example very easy for me to identify with is that if a person made a dollar every second they would be a millionaire in 11 days. To get a billion dollars it would take them 33 years. That puts it into reality for me.

Canadians have expressed concerns about most of the services provided under the social program umbrella, for example, health care, pensions, unemployment insurance, et cetera. We know these programs will be cut in the near future. However, we will not know until the autumn or maybe even later how these cuts will affect our lifestyles.

We also know that federal funding for health, post-secondary education and welfare will be lumped together and cut by $2.5 billion in 1996-97, and a further $4.5 billion in 1997-98. These cuts will have an effect on us, but it will depend on how the provinces allocate the moneys they receive to implement and maintain the services. Again, we do not know at this time the effect the budget will have on our lifestyles.

Even though it is a step toward decentralizing or transferring the management of these programs to the provinces and territories, it is unfavourably implemented when the cash cutbacks are not coupled with compensation in the tax credit area by increasing it.

With this budget plan, it is inevitable that health services will be cut, if not directly this year certainly next or the year following that.

This year health services will probably feel some effect from the cuts as applied to the medical research council, a 10 per cent cut, and the patent medicine prices review board, 15 per cent cut and another 15 per cent cut to the hazardous material information review commission.

Some aspects of the mandates of these departments or services certainly contribute toward the quality of our overall health program. Reduction in the services from some of these sources is bound to influence health care services.

I have identified some areas where cuts are to be implemented. These plus other cuts in the budget are apparently insufficient to prevent the need to continue borrowing possibly large sums of money in order to operate within the budget.

A possible contributing factor is that this government's budget does not apply cuts equitably and fairly across the board, but singles out some services to cut while allowing others to actually increase. Even though the growth rate is restricted there is still an increase taking place. An example of this is the Indian health care service program in which the growth rate will be restricted to 6 per cent for 1995-96 and 3 per cent for 1996-97 and again 3 per cent in 1997-98.

We need to balance our budget as soon as possible. We need to relearn how to live within our means and not continuously borrow horrendous amounts of dollars. Once we have achieved a balanced budget we can implement a plan systematically and consistently to apply funds to our debt and reduce it.

The Canadian people are aware that we have a deficit problem as well as a debt problem. They are aware we must resolve our deficit problem before we can adequately address our debt problem.

Canadians are looking for leadership, for a plan that will not only provide guidance and direction necessary for all Canadians to participate in resolving our deficit problem as soon as possible, but would also identify what it would mean to our lifestyle during the whole process of achieving this.

Two plans have been presented. The government's budget plan reduces our deficit problem by less than half over a three year period, of which one year has already passed, and involves cuts in services to some Canadians and not others.

The Reform Party taxpayer's budget calls upon all Canadians to accept a decrease in services across the board and to participate in a nationwide plan to eliminate the deficit in a three year period.

The Reform Party's taxpayer budget not only achieves the position of living within our means in three years, it also achieves implementing the decentralizing of some services such as health care to their rightful administrative positions, the provinces. It also removes the cash payment whip, increasing the tax credits in such a manner to allow the provinces to acquire the income necessary to meet the standards of the Canadian health care program as dictated by the Canada Health Act.

There is no need to stroll through the years toward the balanced budget target-we do not know when that is-and borrow horrendous sums of money along the way, as we are being directed by the Liberal government. We do have an alternative plan, an action plan complete in three years, not some indeterminate time period.

We have this in the form of the Reform Party's taxpayer budget. We have Reform members in Parliament who, given the opportunity, are willing and committed to provide the leadership necessary to lead the people of Canada to a balanced budget in three years and to eliminate the need to borrow horrendous amounts of money from foreigners in order to live the lifestyles we wish to enjoy.

Income Tax Act March 3rd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have been asked by my colleague from Port Moody-Coquitlam to present some aspects of our position in the debate on Bill C-247, an act to amend the Income Tax Act relating to child care expenses.

As stated earlier, the purpose of the bill is to amend the Income Tax Act to allow for the deduction of a fixed amount of $5,000 or $3,000 according to the age of the child, regardless of the income of the parents and the amount of child care expenses actually incurred.

The bill allows the deductions to be claimed by one parent, either parent where the child is living with both parents or each parent when the parents are living apart and the child spends some time with both parents. In the case when parents are living apart, the deduction would be split between the two parents according to the amount of time each parent spends with the child. The real purpose of the bill is to allow parents the freedom to choose the method of child care for their children.

Today's economic realities mean that the role of government has to be entirely rethought. Thirty years of more and more government social spending has only produced less and less security for Canadians. We in the House must face the challenge

of turning our welfare state into a secure society which requires a new philosophy of social security.

In discussing the issue of child support payments, it is best to lay out some principles and then determine if the bill adheres to the principles. There are five principles that we should be following in the debate.

The first one would be the self-reliance of Canadians and to recognize the family as the primary caregiver.

The second one would be to empower families, community and charitable organizations to play an increasing role.

The third one would be to focus social spending on the need.

The fourth principle would be to entrust resources and responsibilities to the level of delivery where it is most effective or decentralized.

The fifth would be to reduce spending and limit government spending.

On the first principle we must realize the increasing importance of families and their role in the nurturing of children and the viability of the economy.

Reformers support policies that allow families to be recognized as serving a unique and important role and to be given a choice in the method of child care their children receive.

There is a clear and fundamental philosophical difference between the Liberals and the Reformers on the whole child care and day care debate. Liberals believe in a state run day care and promised $120 million for day care in their red book, which incidentally was not met in the recent budget. This promise was essentially fuelled by special interest forces and would result in increased cost to all taxpayers. It is also an anti-family choice.

Reformers oppose a state run day care. We believe that day care is most efficiently run by the private sector and that government subsidization of day care, the nanny state, is not financially sustainable. In these views we are supported by a majority of Canadians who according to a recent Maclean's poll prefer to raise their children in the home. They also believe that parents must have the right of choice.

The second principle to follow is that a dollar left in the hands of a family is more effective, more efficient and more desired than in government programs. The present child care expense allowance is intrusive. It interferes with parental decision making by discriminating against those with families where one parent stays at home to raise children. The bill would empower families with a real choice.

The third principle is focusing on social spending on need. It may appear that the bill does not focus on need since the bill provides a deduction regardless of the income of the parents. It should be noted that the bill is intended to work within a flat tax system.

The fourth principle is to entrust resources and responsibilities to the level of delivery where they are most efficient and most effective. Under this principle it would be prudent to eliminate the child tax credit and replace it with a tax deduction.

Why should more money be sent to Ottawa, churned through the government bureaucracy and then funnelled back to Canadians? This results in less money being available to those who are really in need.

Under a tax reduction the parents would determine the best use for the money. They could apply it to their own needs. It would make them choose responsibly and they would see the direct result of the money.

The fifth principle the bill addresses is the reduction of government spending because the cost of a tax reduction would be offset by the elimination of the tax credit. The bill would allow parents to stay at home resulting in greater employment opportunities. There would be no need for a national day care program. Savings would also result because funding would be directly to individuals and families and not to institutions and professionals.

In conclusion, the bill recognizes that families are the best hope for a bright future and that healthy families, not dysfunctional types, are a source of strength for future generations.

The bill moves away from the folly of state run day care programs generated by special interest groups that favour government intervention and social engineering. We must rethink our responsibilities and our priorities.

Health February 24th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, this outbreak of tuberculosis shows how ill-equipped Canadian prison systems are in dealing with communicable diseases.

I ask the Solicitor General if he agrees with the corrections' spokesman in Saskatoon who suggested that it might be time to considering mandatory testing.

Health February 24th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, Kingston penitentiary is in the midst of a tuberculosis outbreak. It is reported that 25 per cent of the inmates and six prison guards have tested positive for TB.

The president of the Union of Solicitor General's employees, Lynn Ray, has said that this crisis should never have happened and that Kingston officials have known for months about a possible TB outbreak.

Would the Solicitor General please explain why no action was taken earlier to prevent this situation.

Members Of Parliament Pensions February 20th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, it has been reported that the Liberal cabinet is ready to reform MP pensions.

While these reported changes do not go as far as Reformers would like, they are a little nudge in the right direction. We in this House must be mindful of the anger that this topic causes with Canadians.

Vancouver Sun columnist Barbara Yaffe wrote a column asking people to express their opinions on this issue. The response within 10 days was 12,000 letters from people fed up with politicians raising taxes and cutting services for ordinary Canadians while at the same time leaving their own perks and pensions untouched.

In a time of fiscal restraint and budget cutbacks, Canadians rightfully expect their representatives to show fiscal leadership by tightening their own belts.

I ask all members of this House, regardless of their political stripe, to make and accept the necessary changes to bring MP pension plans in line with those of other Canadians.

Corrections And Conditional Release Act December 1st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-240, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act in the Criminal Code.

I would like to thank the member for Surrey-White Rock-South Langley for introducing this much needed legislation. The member is my southern neighbour and we share the same community of Surrey, a growing vibrant community but also a community which has experienced many tragedies over the past few years. The number of murders in Surrey and the surrounding area is astonishing.

It is also completely unacceptable, most of all to the people of Surrey. A day does not go by without someone from the community contacting me or my staff about problems with our justice system in such areas as lack of deterrence, repeated offenders, parole, young offenders, criminal intoxication defence, and so on.

It is these concerns that we in this Chamber must respond to. Canadians across this nation will no longer accept a slap on the wrist justice system or a system which holds the rights of criminals above the rights of victims.

Canadians from all walks of life are demanding action from Parliament, not tomorrow or not next week, but now.

My colleague has responded to that demand by introducing this legislation aimed at preventing violent offenders from perpetuating further violent crimes upon our community and the country.

This bill is the result of the concern that many Canadians have with regard to repeat offenders repeating violent offences, particularly sex offences. This bill would amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to permit offenders convicted of certain serious offences to be denied statutory release if they are likely to commit sexual offences involving children.

This amendment would change the current legislation basically by removing the serious harm aspect. Under this bill it would only have to be established that a sexual offence was committed by the offender and that further sexual offences against a child are likely upon release. This bill would also amend the Criminal Code to permit dangerous offender findings to be made after sentencing but near the conclusion of the offender's sentence.

The reason for permitting dangerous offender findings to be made after sentencing and near the conclusion of the sentence is that the court would have evidence as to how the offender responded to the treatment and the degree of his or her progress while in custody. This corrects a flaw in the present system where dangerous offender findings must be made at the time of sentencing. Only those who are still considered dangerous near the end of their original sentences, as opposed to the beginning of their sentences, would be detained.

How one will behave after a course of treatment and educational sessions cannot be judged before they participate in the sessions. Prejudging in this manner is not a motivating factor for any individual to make an effort to change their behaviour while they are in these courses of treatment.

The process that this bill proposes for identifying and detaining offenders is as follows. The correctional service act of Canada would identify those who are likely to commit offences causing death or serious harm if they were released at the end of their sentence. These offenders would then be referred to the National Parole Board. If the parole board agreed that this person were likely to commit such an offence, the board would then refer the person to the appropriate Attorney General. The Attorney General would then consider asking the court to find that the offender is still a dangerous offender.

If the court accepts the application it could make an order for continued detention. The results of this process continued custody for an indefinite period of time, continued custody for a

definite period of time, or supervised release in the community for a period of 10 years.

This is fair and reasonable and serves two essential purposes. It allows dangerous offenders to be kept out of the community, and it ensures that the state or justice system does not detain persons at its whim without good reason and due process.

When this bill was debated in the House on June 10 of this year some members were concerned that this bill would be contrary to certain sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Specifically the resentencing provisions of this bill were thought to contradict section 11(h) of the charter:

If finally acquitted of an offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for an offence, not to be tried or punished for it again;

The judiciary is the final arbitrator with regard to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, this bill does not contradict section 11(h). This section guards against being found guilty or punished for an offence for which one has served the full sentence.

Bill C-240 amends the serious harm definition of the dangerous offender's designation. This means that those who are designated a possible dangerous offender by the process outlined earlier are done so on the basis of their past history, their treatment and progress which incarcerated and the likelihood of their offending again. This does not equate with resentencing a person for the same offence.

Also this legislation is almost identical to the current dangerous offenders legislation which was found to be constitutional.

In October of this year the community of Surrey experienced another tragedy when Pamela Cameron was murdered. It appears that the chief suspect in this case could have been detained had post sentencing detention legislation such as my colleague is proposing been in effect. This is something which all members of this House should carefully consider.

What we do in this Chamber with this proposed legislation shows how serious we are in combating violent crime in our nation and in providing for the offenders positive rehabilitation programs that are not cut short of their effectiveness by a date on the calendar.

I urge all members of this House of all political parties to respond to the nationwide concerns over the justice system and support these reasoned amendments to our existing system.