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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

Infrastructure February 26th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, no government in history has provided more investments to improve infrastructure, reduce gridlock and create jobs than our government. It was us who delivered timely, targeted stimulus when Canadians most needed work. It was us who rolled out the historic $33-billion building Canada plan. It was us who doubled the gas tax fund from $1 billion to $2 billion and made it a permanent annual transfer to our provinces and cities. It was us who invested over $5 billion in transit infrastructure in cities and communities from coast to coast to coast.

Our unprecedented action is absolutely with no thanks to the NDP. In fact, New Democrats have voted against every infrastructure investment in Canada over the last seven years. Quite frankly, their motion today is a little too late, and we refuse to be lectured by a party that stood in the way of the largest infrastructure investment in Canadian history.

Citizenship Act February 15th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all members for their contribution to this bill, as well as the thousands of Canadians who have given their active support since this bill's infancy. Once again, my bill is based upon three beliefs: more pathways to integration, that our troops deserve the highest respect, and that Canadian citizenship is a privilege which deserves the highest esteem.

As I said at the outset of this debate, I am a proud immigrant to this country. I believe that citizenship is enormously important. Citizenship is about our culture, our heritage and our loyalty, and there is no group that stands for these values more than our Canadian armed forces. They defend our nation and our values by putting their lives on the line each and every day. Joining the armed forces demonstrates a profound belief in, and commitment to, defending this country, which presents an excellent opportunity for integration, something this bill seeks to reward.

The second part of this bill is something that I sincerely hope will never be used. The same love for our country that inspired the first part of this bill necessitates the second part of this bill. Those who seek to harm Canada should pay for their actions. In the case of treason, perpetrators have shown they have no loyalty to Canada, and in fact find no value in Canadian citizenship. As such, they do not deserve the privilege of being Canadian citizens.

This bill is not unprecedented. Numerous western democracies, including the United Kingdom and the United States, already have similar laws that allow for the renunciation of citizenship for acts of treason. Furthermore, this law is simply a necessary step in widening Canada's existing legislation. Section 10 of the Canadian Citizenship Act already provides for the deprivation of citizenship and section 46 of the Criminal Code clearly identifies treason as a crime.

Until 1977, people who committed acts of treason would be punished by the removal of their Canadian citizenship. Citizens of Canada want this to be returned to law. My bill would expand existing laws to see that those who commit acts of treason meet proper justice, with all due oversight and rights of appeal outlined in the Criminal Code and the Canadian Citizenship Act. Of course, we would also uphold our international obligations and agreements.

We have an overwhelming mandate from Canadians who want this bill to succeed. I sent a householder survey to residents in my riding and the bill was supported by 87% of respondents. On October 30, the National Post reported on the results of an NRG poll of 1,001 Canadians from coast to coast to coast asking their opinion on the renunciation of citizenship. The poll showed that more than 8 in 10 Canadians are in favour of this bill.

Furthermore, the Calgary Herald editorial board, along with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada, the Somali-Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization, Immigrants for Canada, the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, the Muslim Canadian Congress, B'nai Brith Canada, and many more organizations, have endorsed my bill, demonstrating the wide array of support of Canadians from all backgrounds and walks of life.

I am optimistic that the opposition will choose to support new immigrants and will not oppose giving our armed forces the support and respect they so definitely deserve. I am sure members of all parties will continue to be as open-minded to having a real discussion on this important issue at the committee stage as members from both the NDP and Liberal Party stated they were in the previous hour of debate. In that spirit, I want to once again reiterate that I am open to any and all amendments that are in line with the aims and intent of this legislation.

I want to do the following: create more pathways to integration, support the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces, and underscore the immense value of Canadian citizenship. The bottom line is that we should reward those who are willing to put their lives on the line for Canadians and ensure that those who would attack the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our freedom pay for their actions.

Canada-India Trade February 6th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to building on our strong ties with India to create a partnership that will lead to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

A Canada-India trade agreement is a key part of our government's ambitious pro-trade plan, and we are pleased that a seventh round of negotiations toward this goal is concluding today in New Delhi. An agreement would be great news for Canadian workers and exporters. The Canada-India joint study concluded that free trade would boost Canada's economy by at least $6 billion a year. That means almost 40,000 new jobs across the country.

However, I was disappointed to see the NDP member for Vancouver Kingsway stating in a recent news article that there was nothing pressing about these negotiations and that other topics are of “far larger significance”. Unlike the NDP, our government values the Canada-India partnership and recognizes that both business and people-to-people ties are helping us to deepen this important relationship.

I ask that the—

Citizenship Act January 31st, 2013

Mr. Speaker, two days ago I had the privilege of presenting to the House my first private member's bill, Bill C-425, an act to amend the Citizenship Act (honouring the Canadian armed forces).

I want to thank all colleagues for their comments and the informed and respectful debate that occurred in the House. It is my understanding, from the first hour of debate, that we all agree with the sprit of the bill, that we all desire to see our men and women in uniform honoured and that we all hold the value of Canadian citizenship to the highest esteem.

I look forward to a second hour of debate that is as constructive as the first hour. I want to thank all members of the House in advance for their anticipated support to send the bill to committee where it can be thoroughly reviewed.

I wish to reiterate that I am open to all friendly amendments that will strengthen the spirit of the bill.

Citizenship Act January 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, my colleague should know that my bill would apply to those who have dual citizenship. This bill would strengthen the value of Canadian citizenship by rewarding those who bravely serve our country.

However, those who commit an act of war against our Canadian armed forces would forfeit the right of Canadian citizenship. Of course, due process would be available and would be followed. Individuals would have the right to make their case before a judge. It would go before a judge and then the Federal Court and on and on. That due process would be done. Of course we would always comply with the Convention on the Reduction Statelessness. This bill would make no exception to that.

Citizenship Act January 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the bill was inspired by my belief that our troops deserve the highest respect. Service in Canada's military is unique because it calls on its members to lay down their lives for their fellow countrymen and women. It is for this reason that I believe we should reward their demonstration of patriotism by shortening the amount of time they must wait to become Canadian citizens. Furthermore, this is another pathway to integration.

Citizenship Act January 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, the bill would apply to people who sign the minimum three-year contract and complete basic training. Although we do not have specific numbers at this time, we do know that it would affect a number of skilled members of our Canadian armed forces. It would also serve as an added incentive for new talented immigrants to join our military.

Citizenship Act January 29th, 2013

moved that Bill C-425, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (honouring the Canadian Armed Forces), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today in this House for the second reading of my first private member's bill, Bill C-425, an act to amend the Citizenship Act (honouring the Canadian armed forces).

I would like to start by thanking my family for putting up with the crazy hours and travel schedule of a member of Parliament who is also a husband and a father. I thank my wife, Neetu, my children Jatin, Chetan and Arisha, and also my dearly missed parents, Bindra Ban Shory and Maya Shory, who have already gone before me but whose love and blessing on my life I still feel every day.

I also thank the staff and volunteers who have helped me work on this legislation, men and women whose creativity, insight and hard work have helped make the second reading of this legislation possible today. They are: Laura Koch, a member of the Canadian Forces and my legislative assistant who helped with the formulation of this bill in its infancy; Wala Azimi, a proud Canadian who was born in Afghanistan and who nevertheless is understanding my Punjabi more and more each day; Kenton Dueck, my former executive assistant in Calgary Northeast, a man who has been as passionate about this as I am; Patrick Tuns from my Ottawa office and Daniel Boucher from my constituency office, both of whom have demonstrated their support for this bill from their first day; and, my constituency assistants, Sukhi Dhaliwal and Raman Brar, who eagerly help my constituents of Calgary Northeast each and every day.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the hard-working ministerial staff, Chris Champion and Leigh Johnston, as well as Madame Marie-Andrée Roy from the House of Commons legal team who helped put these thoughts into bill form.

I would also like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who have offered their support for this bill.

In this legislation, my goals are to promote integration, to better recognize permanent residents who serve Canada, to honour our Canadian troops and to underscore the immense value of Canadian citizenship.

To some who see the colour of my skin or hear my accent, the word “immigrant” probably immediately jumps into their minds. I may have been born, raised and educated in Barnala, Punjab, India, but the fact is that I have lived in Canada for more than 23 years and Canada is now my home. Like millions of others, whether they were born here, flew here or drove here, I believe that our wonderful democracy, Canada, is the best in the world and worth protecting with every resource at our disposal. In that spirit, I tabled this legislation and encourage the support from all sides of the House.

Canadians not only expect but have also told us again and again that they want us to restore the value of Canadian citizenship.

I want to thank the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism for introducing a new citizenship guide to inform newcomers of their rights and responsibilities when they come to Canada. The minister not only introduced a citizenship fraud tip line, but also recently announced efforts to crack down on citizenship fraud, which are paying off.

My Bill C-425 adds to our government's efforts to strengthen Canadian citizenship and would also reward those who are willing to put their lives on the line. It provides citizenship more quickly to those who take on the responsibility honourably serving our country. At the same time, it takes the privilege of Canadian citizenship away from those who betray Canada and everything it stands for.

I urge all members to support this bill going to committee for a thorough review. I am open to looking at any amendments from that review that respect the spirit of this bill and strengthen Canadian values.

It would be safe for me to assume that we all are committed to strengthening the value of Canadian citizenship. We also recognize the importance of the Canadian Forces and its commitment to serving Canada in defending its values, interests and sovereignty.

Along those lines, the House is a place where tough determinations are made on behalf of Canadian men, women and children and our brave men and women in uniform. The House is the place where we debate military budgets and deployments.

Unfortunately, these debates can sometimes become politicized and doing the right thing for our country and our troops can become obscured by the spin and rhetoric. Nevertheless, we all share a duty to support our troops and to do so with our very best judgment on behalf of our constituents.

We parliamentarians from all sides are entrusted to make the kinds of decisions that affect not only Canada, but also the brave souls into whose hands we place our security. I felt it was crucial for me to experience first-hand a glimpse of a day in the life of our courageous Canadian forces. That is why I spent several days in a uniform alongside our Canadian army during a reserve training exercise in Wainwright, Alberta in August 2009, along with colleagues from both sides of the House, as well as my “brother from a different mother”, the member for Medicine Hat. It is also why I spent time at sea off the east coast aboard the HMCS Fredericton in the summer of 2010.

I also want to thank the Minister of National Defence for ensuring that the Canadian Forces have the people, equipment, infrastructure and readiness required to defend Canada and Canadian interests now and well into the future.

Since 2006, under the solid leadership of the Minister of National Defence, the defence budget has grown by over $6 billion and key acquisitions have been made. Our men and women in uniform not only deserve the best equipment to get the job done, but also the best, the brightest and the bravest to be fighting alongside them and to have them at their back.

When Canadian permanent residents who are not yet Canadian citizens answer the call to serve under the red and white banner of this great nation, they are not just performing a duty. They are not simply working nine to five. They are putting their lives on the line for their new home for millions of Canadian men, women and children in the greatest country in the world.

For their demonstrated honour and courage to stand in the gap when least expected, but when most required, a one-year credit toward Canadian citizenship is the least we can do. Under the proposed change, a permanent resident who is a member of the Canadian Forces and has completed basic training and has signed a minimum three-year contract to serve the forces will be given a one-year credit toward his or her residence requirement for acquiring Canadian citizenship.

Also, under the proposed change Canadian citizens with dual citizenship and permanent residents applying for citizenship would lose their citizenship or become ineligible to become citizens if they commit an act of war against our troops.

I remember once seeing a bumper sticker that said “Stand behind our troops...otherwise, please feel free to stand in front of them”. Of course, the humour was dark, but the underlying truth about our parliamentary responsibility still rings true.

Canadian citizenship is extremely valuable. Members of the Canadian Fores risk their lives to defend it, so it makes sense that those individuals who choose to attack our Canadian Forces should not have the privilege of calling themselves Canadian citizens.

In referring to another key aspect of the second half of this legislation, I would like to make a very simple and direct point about safeguards. Most of us have sprinkler systems in our homes and hope they will never have to be used. Most of us have airbags in our cars and hope they will never have to be deployed. However, safeguards stand in place to protect our homes and protect our lives.

I pray that, like the fire sprinkler in our homes and the airbag in our cars, the second half of my legislation will never have to be used.

I firmly believe this is an excellent bill for Canadians from all walks of life. It is good for longstanding Canadians and good for new Canadians. It is another pathway to promote integration by encouraging new Canadians to serve alongside our armed forces. It supports our troops. It also underscores the immense value of Canadian citizenship.

Therefore, it is with deep Canadian pride and gratitude for our men and women in uniform, the new Canadians who bravely join them in the air, on land and sea, and it is with a profound respect for the Canadian citizenship you and I share, Mr. Speaker, that I proudly stand today on behalf of the men and women of Calgary Northeast in seeking support for my first private member's bill, Bill C-425, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (honouring the Canadian Armed Forces). I look forward to receiving the support of all members so that it can be sent to committee for a detailed review.

Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act January 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Winnipeg North should know, first of all, that I am an immigrant. The vast majority of immigrants who come to this country want to work hard and play by the rules. They value Canada and seek to be productive members of our great nation.

Those who would come to this country and break our laws and victimize our fellow Canadians do not deserve a break. That is my belief, and I deal with immigrants on a day-to-day basis in my riding, because mine is one of the most multicultural ridings in Canada.

Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act January 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I thought the member for Surrey North would be asking a question on Bill C-43.

However, as he has asked about visa issues, my colleague should know that this government has brought in the maximum number of immigrants into Canada. This is the government that has been trying to fix the broken immigration system put in place by the previous government. This is the government that has issued the maximum number of visas. For example, in Chandigarh, the rate was 32%, but now it is above 50%. The member should know better.