House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was seniors.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Conservative MP for Richmond Centre (B.C.)

Lost her last election, in 2021, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 16th, 2021

With regard to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO): (a) broken down by end of fiscal year, between fiscal years 2011-12 to 2020-21, how many trademark examiners were (i) employed, (ii) contracted by the CIPO; (b) what percentage in (a) were employed with a residence within the National Capital Region of Ottawa-Gatineau, by the end of fiscal years 2015-16 to 2020-21; (c) broken down by fiscal year, during each fiscal year from 2011-12 to 2020-21, how many trademark examiners were (i) hired, (ii) terminated, broken down by (A) for cause and (B) not for cause; (d) is there a requirement for bilingualism for trademark examiners, and, if so, what level of other-official language fluency is required; (e) is there a requirement that trademark examiners reside within the National Capital Region of Ottawa-Gatineau, and, if so, how many trademark examiner candidates have refused offers of employment, and how many trademark examiners have ceased employment, due to such a requirement in the fiscal years from 2011-12 to 2020-21; (f) what was the (i) mean, (ii) median time of a trademark application, for each of the fiscal years between 2011-12 and 2020-21, between filing and a first office action (approval or examiner’s report); (g) for the answer in (f), since June 17, 2019, how many were filed under the (i) direct system, (ii) Madrid System; (h) for the answer in (g), what are the mean and median time, broken down by month for each system since June 17, 2019; (i) does the CIPO prioritize the examination of Madrid system trademark applications designating Canada over direct trademark applications, and, if so, what priority treatment is given; (j) as many applicants and trademark agents have not received correspondence from the CIPO by regular mail and prefer electronic correspondence, does the CIPO have systems in place to allow trademarks examiners and other trademarks staff to send all correspondence by e-mail to applicants and trademark agents of record, and, if not, is the CIPO looking into implementing such system; (k) when is the anticipated date for the execution of such system; (l) what is Canada’s ranking with other countries, as to the speed of trademark examination; and (m) what countries, if any, have a longer period of time between filing and a first office action (approval or examiner’s report) for trademarks compared to Canada?

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 June 14th, 2021

Madam Speaker, because of COVID, a lot of seniors have been left alone and have not been able to seek assistance. Also, as I mentioned in my speech, a lot of fraud has been committed against them. Protecting seniors against all forms of elder abuse, including physical, mental and financial abuse, is very important. That is exactly what everybody should be doing, but I am afraid the government has done little or close to nothing about it.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 June 14th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me to rise again to talk about this very important bill.

I had the privilege to serve as the Minister of State for Seniors for four years in the Harper government. In the ensuing days, my passion for being an advocate and champion of the golden generation has not waned. Indeed, in the last months of the previous Parliament, the House unanimously passed my motion, Motion No. 203, calling for action on fraud against seniors, which is a form of elder abuse. June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, so it is perfect timing that I am speaking to this very important issue.

Unfortunately, little has been done since my motion passed. For example, in the Lower Mainland, there has been a wave of scammers and thieves targeting seniors through phone calls or emails and taking advantage of those with weaker digital literacy. People of all ages are locked out of their Canada Revenue Agency accounts. Calls on the government to take further steps to address the systemic increase in elder abuse have once again fallen on deaf ears.

Of course, let us not forget those who take the time out of their day to provide support and aid not just to seniors, but to anyone who is struggling to meet the basics of everyday life. They are the informal and unpaid caregivers. Caring for the caregivers must be a central plank of any government steps to address a post-COVID-19 recovery. Unfortunately, there is little support for them in the budget.

In conclusion, the way forward needs to be treated through a reasonable, responsible, fiscally sound approach that spends Canadian tax dollars in a way that will best help Canada weather the fiscal storm on the horizon while also caring for the most vulnerable citizens. Moving forward, the government should seriously consider these urgent needs.

I am happy to take any questions.

Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1 June 11th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to the budget implementation bill and give some thoughts about the budget. The document itself, as tabled by the Minister of Finance, was 725 pages long. It is the largest budget document in federal history. Unfortunately, quantity does not necessarily mean quality.

In terms of quantity, we have record spending and deficits. This fiscal year and the last fiscal year are ranked one and two, and both contain the largest amount of spending and the largest deficits in recorded Canadian history. It is not even close to the third-highest deficit. The current deficit that will have to be paid by Canadians will total over half a trillion dollars. That is just for the last two years. There is surely more to come. If we write on a piece of paper the number 5 followed by 11 zeros, that is nearly the amount of accumulated deficit incurred since Confederation. We are far from where we were when the Prime Minister promised “a modest short-term deficit” six years ago.

Canadians will be paying for this spending for decades. Since all of the spending comes from borrowed money, we will also be paying interest. We are not paying off the debt today, but its effects will drag on our economy like an anchor weighing down a swimmer in the ocean.

Right now, interest rates are being held low. The Bank of Canada is purchasing government debt off the open market, which puts downward pressure on interest rates. This allows the government to borrow and spend, but this is impacting the lives of everyday people in my riding of Richmond Centre.

Consequently, the price of everything is increasing. Indeed, with easy credit due to low interest rates, the prices of real estate have skyrocketed. Young constituents of mine cannot afford a place to live, while older folks are sitting on a windfall. Rents are getting higher because landlords must afford to finance and pay back higher and higher levels of debt. Unaffordability of places to live is one of the consequences of huge government deficits.

Higher prices are also seen in everything else, ranging from food to gasoline, services, and the list goes on. Disruptions in supply chains due to COVID-19 are not helping. Everybody at street level can see this happening. Prices were bound to rise, but the government's fiscal policy is making things a lot worse than they should be.

I do concede the point that last year in March, we knew a lot less about COVID-19 than we do today. Governments around the world reacted in different manners, but most were consistent in providing emergency supports to the population while we figured things out.

Beyond that, there was no excuse for what we have seen out of the government over the past half-year or so. The Liberal government has been very slow to bring us back on the path to recovery. Nothing illustrates this more than the snail pace of COVID-19 vaccinations that we have seen. Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars were wasted in this initial effort.

We should be a first-world nation with first-world results, but instead the Liberal government has been lagging badly. Most Canadians at this point, including myself, are in the category of receiving a partial vaccination. Compared to our fully vaccinated friends down south in the U.S. and compared to countries like Israel, we have underperformed. This will cost us, and we see it in the budget today.

We see plenty of media out there showing obvious evidence that things are heading back to normal in places outside of Canada. People are attending sporting events, socializing and exercising without having to wear masks. Indeed, we are seeing hints of that occurring today from our provincial governments. However, people remember the initial promise of the federal Liberals when they said it would take two weeks to flatten the curve, which did not turn out as expected at all.

With this uncertainty, why would anybody want to make preparations for a recovery that may or may not occur? The rug has already been pulled from the floors of the restaurant industry in British Columbia, twice, with incredibly short notice.

My point is that the government's failed response to the COVID-19 vaccinations has directly resulted in the necessity of additional emergency spending support. Tens, if not hundreds of billions of dollars would not have had to be spent had we seen one the leaders rather than a laggard in our COVID-19 response.

However, the current Liberal government has made so many missteps that will slow down this road map. The slowness of our government's COVID response has also caused distortion in the labour market. I speak to businesses that cannot find employees because government benefits are competing with them, competing with businesses that want to hire. Going back to my original point about costs, it means the cost of labour is rising and this results in increased prices for everything. The volatile economic climate caused by the government's missteps is stalling our recovery.

At least before COVID-19, Richmond was home to a vibrant tourism sector. Today, we have travel centres and tourism-sensitive areas of the economy that are completely shut down. We need to create an environment that would get this sector back to where it was. We support tourism, but not virtualism. This is what I have been telling people here in Richmond.

While nearly every industry from coast to coast to coast has felt the negative effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality and tourism industries have been especially hard hit, from international border closures, to provincial border regulations and stay-at-home orders, the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Canadians, either directly the in tourism hospitality industry or in an adjacent field, have been hammered by COVID-19.

I have heard from countless constituents who work for airlines, the travel infrastructure, hospitality and in the tourism industry and they have all told me the same thing: “we need help”.

I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to my colleagues from Niagara Falls as well as Durham for their efforts in bringing the voices of those in the tourism industry to parliamentarians and to this place to be heard, and indeed, they were heard.

Richmond Centre is also home to the YVR airport and to many great aerospace firms that operate and maintain our airlines, airplanes and helicopters. The budget funding needs to be implemented in conjunction with an aerospace strategy that allows us to compete in the global marketplace.

The final area I want to touch on is one which is extremely close to my heart. For a number of years, I was very fortunate to be able to serve not just Richmond, but Canadians from coast to coast—

Public Safety June 10th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, last month, a man was murdered in broad daylight outside of YVR. We have since learned that the victim had ties to gangs. Following the shooting, I, along with my colleague from Steveston—Richmond East, asked the minister what steps he would be taking.

Instead of targeting legal, law-abiding firearm owners, when will the Liberal government take action against dangerous and violent gangland slayings taking place on the streets of Richmond and in other communities across Canada?

Johnson Su-sing Chow May 26th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour a well-respected, world-renowned Chinese Canadian artist, Professor Johnson Su-sing Chow, who contributed significantly to the cultural fabric of Canada. He just passed away at the age of 98.

I have known Professor Chow for many years. In fact, his calligraphy of a Chinese classical piece on governance is still hanging in my office as a constant reminder of his kindness, talents and humbleness.

As the founder of the Chinese Canadian Artists Federation and a dedicated educator at UBC and overseas, he donated generously his artwork to many charities.

Professor Chow's passion in the classics, calligraphy and landscape won him many awards.

He once said, “Since I moved to Canada [in 1980]...I refuse to do anything else such as making a fortune. My aspiration for life is to promote the traditional Chinese art and culture to the world.”

Our condolences to Frank, Jackie and the Chow family. Professor Chow will be greatly missed.

Public Safety May 11th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, in my home riding of Richmond Centre, on the front steps of the domestic terminal at the YVR airport, a 28-year-old was gunned down. All major roads leading out of Richmond were then shut down and the roads were jammed for miles in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the getaway vehicle, which was later found burned. At least as of this morning, the multiple shooters had not been arrested.

The RCMP confirmed that this was related to an ongoing gang conflict. When will the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness prioritize action against truly violent crimes?

Ambrose Won-Chul Choi May 11th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, this past week, greater Vancouver lost a pillar of its community. Ambrose Won-Chul Choi and his family immigrated to Canada in 2004 and started their family business. After years of hard work, Ambrose Holdings Canada became a successful exporting company and started to give back to the community.

The Ambrose and Matilda charity concerts have raised funds to benefit hospital foundations, homeless shelters and numerous charities. They have also touched many hearts in my riding of Richmond Centre. I was there during Veterans' Week last year at a special concert they coordinated at YVR to honour the veterans and to thank the frontline people at the airport. To cheer the medical staff of the Richmond Hospital, the Richmond Food Bank and children with disabilities, they delivered to them boxes of chocolates, the locally made Matilda's chocolates.

Ambrose, a proud Canadian of Korean descent, suffered a heart attack and is now with the Lord. To Matilda, Eric and Alex, I thank them for sharing with us their beloved husband and father. He will surely be missed.

Public Services and Procurement May 7th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, in the middle of the largest global health crisis seen in over a century, seniors need more than a token benefits increase. What seniors really need are vaccinations so that they can enjoy the rest of their years secure from COVID-19.

Countries such as Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore are beating Canada to vaccinate their people. When will the Minister of Health account for her failure to bring wide distribution of vaccines?

Tourism Industry April 23rd, 2021

Madam Speaker, this past weekend Richmond lost another small business. After nearly 50 years of faithful service to the community, Hanson Travel was forced to permanently close its doors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, Mr. Lau is not alone. I have heard time and again from struggling businesses in Richmond that the government needs to take steps to help support Canadians in the air travel industry, including travel agents.

When will the government finally take real action to support our tourism industry?