House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was citizenship.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Calgary Northeast (Alberta)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act June 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite appears to oppose stripping citizenship from convicted terrorists. We are talking about terrorists.

I believe that the member is not aware of Bill C-24's revocation process. It would start only after a terrorist had been convicted. Once a terrorist was found guilty of terrorism, that person would have the right to appeal up to the Supreme Court of Canada about the conviction, if that person believed it was a false conviction.

I would like the member opposite to tell Canadians whether he believes that under any circumstances a convicted terrorist should have his or her citizenship revoked.

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act June 9th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite spent quite a bit of her time praising the bill. She discussed regulating citizenship consultants, fast-tracking the process for PRs serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, and tougher penalties for those who have obtained citizenship through fraud.

Does the member opposite believe that those who gained Canadian citizenship through fraudulent means deserve a tough punishment, or was she just talking in front of the camera?

Health June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, medical isotopes are used by health professionals to diagnose and treat a wide variety of illnesses, such as Parkinson's disease and cancer. Our government has identified the development of a secure supply of medical isotopes for Canadians as a key priority.

With respect to the recent announcement of funding for TRIUMF, could the Minister of State please update the House on how our government is addressing this need?

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act May 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the member. If she goes to the DND website, she will see that it says one can be either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada with the intention of becoming a Canadian citizen. If she cannot find it, I would be happy to provide her the website.

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act May 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in Bill C-425 it was very clearly said that those who would join the Canadian Armed Forces would be given credit for one year toward their residency requirement to be a Canadian citizen.

To answer his question, yes, it would be the same principle that would be applied. Those who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces and want Canadian citizenship would be given one year's credit toward that.

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act May 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from the opposition for putting a vague question, not a specific one. To answer his question, absolutely, the bill would be applied to anyone and everyone who is a terrorist and is convicted of terrorism.

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act May 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like to note that I will be sharing my time with the member for Vancouver South.

I am honoured to rise in the House tonight to speak to our government's Bill C-24, the strengthening Canadian citizenship act. This legislation would be the first major overhaul of the Citizenship Act in nearly a generation.

While Bill C-24 touches on a variety of areas, all of which would make important changes strengthening the integrity of the immigration system and preserving the value of Canadian citizenship, there are several areas I am particularly passionate to be speaking to tonight. Those areas of the bill encompass the entirety of my former private member's bill, Bill C-425. When I first introduced my bill, I gave the reasons for tabling that legislation. My intention was to reward permanent residents for their service in our Canadian Armed Forces and to underscore the immense value of Canadian citizenship by revoking it from those convicted of terrorism or treason.

I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to our hard-working Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and member for Ajax—Pickering for keeping those provisions of my bill alive by drafting them into Bill C-24. I would also like to thank each and every one of my current Conservative colleagues on the citizenship and immigration committee for their diligent work, and also those who have contributed long hours spent keeping these ideas alive in the face of unrelenting opposition filibustering last year.

I believe the importance of this legislation cannot be overstated. It is good news for new Canadians, good news for settled Canadians, and good news for those hoping to become Canadians, and I will tell members why.

Bill C-24 would honour our Canadian Armed Forces by fast-tracking citizenship by one year for permanent residents serving Canada in our military who have stated their intention to become citizens. As members know, service in the Canadian Armed Forces is unique. We call on our soldiers to make the ultimate sacrifice, to risk their lives in faraway places away from their families in some of the worst conditions imaginable, and they do it gladly. They are willing to lay their lives down for their fellow Canadians. That is what makes service in the Canadian Armed Forces unique and deserving of the highest possible respect.

Bill C-24 seeks not only to support these brave men and women but also to strengthen and defend the values they stand for and protect. To do this, we must act to address one of the biggest threats facing Canada today: terrorism. Bill C-24 would allow for the revocation of citizenship for any dual citizen who is convicted of a terrorism offence, treason, or waging war against the Canadian Armed Forces as part of an armed group. This measure would bring Canada into line with virtually every other western democratic nation that has similar revocation laws.

Strangely enough, the opposition Liberals and New Democrats continue to strongly oppose this measure. I know what I am about to say is not new, but it seems to me that those members on the other side of the House need to be reminded once again, perhaps again and again, that the Canadian public overwhelmingly supports revoking citizenship from convicted terrorists.

If the members were to survey their own supporters or Canadians in general, they would find the following, according to a national poll conducted by NRG: over 83% of Canadians from coast to coast to coast support the idea of stripping citizenship from convicted terrorists; of those, 80% of people who identified as NDP supporters support this measure; and, 87% of those who identified as Liberal supporters also support this measure. Also interesting to note is that among those who were polled, when it comes to those born in Canada versus those not born here, 83% of immigrants support stripping citizenship from convicted terrorists versus 82% of settled Canadians.

I would like to know why it is that the opposition Liberals and New Democrats continue to choose to ignore the will of Canadians and the international community.

Some people might be surprised by the last figure I gave, but as an immigrant myself, and as the member of Parliament for the hard-working riding of Calgary Northeast, the most diverse riding in the country, I know that new Canadians as well as settled Canadians understand the need for this measure.

Canadians understand that when a dual national willingly decides to radicalize and participate in terrorist crimes, to carry out bombings, to plot the murder of his or her fellow citizens, this is damaging to the value we attach to Canadian citizenship.

We cannot wait for the terrorists to submit an application to renounce their citizenship. We must read into their actions a deemed renunciation of that citizenship. This measure is entirely consistent with our sister jurisdictions among western democracies.

I have spoken to many ethnic organizations, groups, and constituents in my riding and across Canada. The overwhelming majority support revocation of citizenship for convicted terrorists.

For example, Salma Siddiqui, president of Muslim Canadian Congress, had this to say while testifying on my private member's bill on March 26, 2013:

Canadians who are opposed to the values of our society should not be allowed to abuse the privileges that come with holding Canadian citizenship. We must act to strip Canadian citizenship from those who seek to exploit it for violent and illegal activities.

She also conveyed similar thoughts recently when she appeared at the committee to discuss Bill C-24.

Just last night I read an article in the National Post. Fawzi Ayoub, a dual Lebanese Canadian, was recently killed fighting in a terrorist group in Syria. He was a senior member of the terrorist group Hezbollah.

In fact, he has been on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list since 2009. His crimes include attempting to enter Israel in order to carry out a terrorist bombing and attempting to hijack a passenger aircraft in Romania.

Ayoub lived in Toronto for several years and mused about returning to Canada one day. Just imagine, if he had returned to Canada, what might have happened.

This illustrates precisely why we need Bill C-24 to become law. Canadians are angry that terrorists are using Canadian citizenship simply as a convenient way to fly under the radar in order to commit terrorist acts. In doing so, they are eroding the value of Canadian citizenship.

Under the provisions of Bill C-24, those convicted of a serious terrorism offence in Canada or in jurisdictions Canada recognizes as having an equivalent judicial system would no longer be able to use a Canadian passport to facilitate their terrorist activities abroad.

Revocation is not a provision I hope to see used regularly. Ideally, it would never be used. However, Canadians are increasingly concerned about the threat of home-grown terrorism. Terrorism is closer to home than we may think. Radicalization is happening in places we least expect: our cities, towns, and neighbourhoods.

Our security services are sounding the alarm bells about the dangers of home-grown terrorism. CSIS has reported it is tracking at least 80 Canadians who have gone overseas to participate in terrorist activities.

They will return to Canada further radicalized and armed with knowledge of how to carry out terrorist activities. We cannot allow radical terrorist ideologies to thrive in Canada. We must condemn these dangerous practices and give them no safe place to hide and absolutely no legitimacy whatsoever.

If we allow terrorists to keep the Canadian citizenship they have abused, we are sending a message that our citizenship is not about shared values, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, or loyalty. It sends the message that our citizenship is simply an entitlement.

I believe Canadian citizenship is much more than a piece of paper used for identification purposes. It does represent our shared values, and its value is something we need to vigorously defend.

We must let Canadians know where their elected representatives stand. I implore members opposite to set aside their politics and join me to unanimously support Bill C-24.

Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act May 15th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this government has introduced Bill C-24, which would strengthen the value of Canadian citizenship by fast-tracking it for the Canadian Armed Forces and revoking it from convicted terrorists. However, the Liberals and the NDP continue to oppose revoking the citizenship of convicted terrorists.

The Liberals and NDP either fail to understand the bill or are intentionally misleading Canadians by saying that there is not enough due process for convicted terrorists before their citizenship is revoked. We all know that anyone charged with terrorism in Canada is innocent until proven guilty and that they have the right to appeal up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

According to a national poll, 80% of NDP voters, 87% of Liberal voters and 83% of those who immigrated to Canada support stripping citizenship from convicted terrorists.

I ask the opposition Liberals and NDP to stop playing dangerous games and support this measure in Bill C-24.

Vaisakhi April 10th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this year Canadians of Indian heritage will celebrate the festival of Vaisakhi on April 14.

It is a day to thank God for the harvest and the many blessings that we have. It also marks the start of the New Year in parts of India and around the world. For Sikhs, Vaisakhi is one of the most auspicious celebrations, as it marks the founding of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Sikh guru.

On behalf of the constituents of Calgary Northeast and the Shory family, Happy Vaisakhi to all.

I would like also like to congratulate my good friend and successful businessman from Calgary, Bob Dhillon, for his acquisition of a sword that belonged to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first warrior king of the Sikh empire. This sword is the only Sikh artifact of its kind in Canada.

Mr. Dhillon purchased the sword to preserve it and share it with the Sikh community and all Canadians. For that, I commend him.