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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was kind.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as NDP MP for Burnaby—Douglas (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 38% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions September 21st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to table a petition signed by many people in the Ottawa area and some from Toronto supporting the passage of the conscientious objection act, a private member's bill I have tabled in the House.

The petitioners note that our Constitution guarantees freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. They note that some Canadians object on conscientious and religious grounds to participating in any way in the military and associated activities that train people to kill and use violence, produce and purchase lethal weapons, conduct military related research, prepare for war and killing and other activities that perpetuate violence, thus hindering the achievement of all forms of peace. They support legislation to allow such conscientious objectors to redirect a portion of their taxes from military to peaceful, non-military purposes.

Petitions September 20th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to table a petition signed by over 300 residents of greater Vancouver, including many from my constituency of Burnaby--Douglas.

These petitioners note the over 50-year relationship between Canada and Taiwan, the over 150,000 Taiwanese tourists who visit Canada each year and the over 15,000 Taiwanese students studying here in this country. They point out that Canadians no longer require a visa to visit Taiwan and that the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand have waived their visa requirements for Taiwanese tourists, resulting in increased tourism from Taiwan to those countries.

These petitioners therefore call for the passage of Motion No. 530 tabled by the member for Burnaby—New Westminster which calls upon the Canadian government to waive the visa requirement for Taiwanese visitors to Canada.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns June 17th, 2010

With regard to nuclear disarmament: (a) what official statements has the government made with reference to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s five point plan for nuclear disarmament; (b) what actions, if any, has the government taken to support this plan; and (c) what actions, if any, will the government take to start the preparatory work necessary for the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention?

Questions on the Order Paper June 17th, 2010

What steps, if any, will the government take at the upcoming Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to further negotiations on the issues of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament?

Questions on the Order Paper June 17th, 2010

What is the government’s position with regard to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and the development of a new NATO Strategic Concept?

Human Rights June 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, hate crimes against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual Canadians are rising faster than those against other groups. Hate crimes against GLBTT people are far more often violent.

Will the government work with community groups and police to put in place policies and educational programs to prevent these crimes and protect GLBTT Canadians? Will the government ensure that specific data is gathered regarding hate crimes against members of the trans community?

Human Rights June 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada has released a report showing that hate crimes are on the rise in Canada. Hate crimes related to race or ethnicity increased by 15%. Those related to religion by 53%. This reflects only those hate crimes that are reported, far too many still go unreported.

What will the government do to increase the confidence of victims of hate crimes in the police and the criminal justice system? What steps will be taken to increase reporting of hate crimes?

Petitions June 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table two petitions today signed by almost 80 folks who live in the area of Brandon, Manitoba, who continue to be concerned about the freedom of expression and the creative process with regard to arts and culture in Canada. They are very concerned that government support for the cultural sector, including film and video production, be objective, transparent and must respect the freedom of expression.

They note that no government official, no cabinet minister, should have the ability to make subjective judgments about artistic content that would limit the freedom of expression and they oppose that kind of censorship. They call on the government to have in place objective and transparent guidelines that respect freedom of expression when delivering any program intended to support film and video production in Canada.

Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes Act June 14th, 2010

Madam Speaker, it is baffling. I do not know why it would not take the sure thing that deals with the immediate issue, which is the issue everybody is concerned about. That opportunity was there. We could have been doing that this afternoon. We could have started earlier, actually, because this motion has been circulating for a number of days around this place already.

We could have been doing that important work and dealing with the aspect that everybody is concerned about, but no, we did not do that. I do not know why. I wish I could understand the motivation of the government on criminal justice issues. It seems that its interest only proceeds to punishment, and it does not proceed any farther than that.

We cannot have a criminal justice system that is based on punishment. That will be an unsuccessful system. We have seen that in other jurisdictions in the world. When one does not pay attention to rehabilitation, when one does not pay attention to reintegration and reconciliation, one does not have a good criminal justice system.

Eliminating Pardons for Serious Crimes Act June 14th, 2010

Madam Speaker, I think the member again raises a good point. This issue was already on the agenda of the House, thanks to the MP for Surrey North. In her motion, she talks about strengthening the Criminal Records Act to ensure that the National Parole Board puts the public's safety first in all its decisions.

I have no reason to doubt that the National Parole Board does not do that already. I believe that in all the work the board does, it is very much seized of the importance of putting the public's safety first. I would be very concerned if there were any suggestion otherwise.