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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was offence.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Conservative MP for Surrey North (B.C.)

Lost her last election, in 2011, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Criminal Code March 12th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, this bill is just the first step and the beginning of many, I believe. There are definitely more things that have to be done, but this is the first step. This step is required to control the gangs that are out of control right now in B.C.

Gangs are destroying lives and causing communities a lot of grief. It goes from Vancouver to Montreal. It is all over the place. Gangs are running rampant, and it is time that we stopped them and made them accountable for everything they are doing.

Criminal Code March 12th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

I am pleased to have this opportunity to express my strong support for Bill C-14. The bill proposes amendments to fortify the Criminal Code's responses to organized crime. Most notably, it takes direct aim at the increasing use of violence committed by organized crime.

This violence has eroded public confidence. This violence is disrupting people's lives and causing them to fear for their safety and, in the most extreme cases, this violence is costing innocent Canadians their lives.

With these amendments, we are sending the right message to Canadians and demonstrating our commitment to improving the safety and security of communities across Canada. As hon. members are now aware, this bill is focused on four separate areas.

I am pleased to hear that members of the opposition have already indicated that they intend to support this legislation. This demonstrates that they are finally appreciating the seriousness of the issue. I am extremely pleased that partisan politics has been put aside to advance this legislation quickly and in the interests of all Canadians.

The murder of another person is the most serious offence in our Criminal Code. Anyone who is found guilty of murder is sentenced to a mandatory penalty of life imprisonment. Those convicted of first degree murder are ineligible for parole for 25 years, while those convicted of second degree murder are ineligible for parole for a minimum of 10 years and up to a maximum of 25 years.

Section 231 of the Criminal Code classifies murder as either first degree or second degree. Some examples of where murder is currently classified as first degree include: murders that are planned and deliberate, such as contract killings; murders that involve specific victims, for example police officers; murders committed during offences of domination, such as sexual assault; and murders committed during the commission of explosive offences for a criminal organization.

Bill C-14 proposes to amend the classification provision pertaining to organized crime by broadening it to make all murders that can be linked to organized crime automatically first degree. The amendments focus on the link to organized crime specifically and the inherent danger that organized crime activity poses to the public. It would do this in two ways.

First, if it can be established that the murder itself was committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal organization, then it will be classified as first degree murder even in the absence of planning and deliberation.

Second, if it can be established that the murder occurred while the person was committing or attempting to commit another indictable offence for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in the association of a criminal organization, then it would be classified as first degree even in the absence of planning and deliberation.

These amendments send the right message. Canada is experiencing increasing high levels of gang violence. The rate of gang homicides in Canada has been consistently increasing over the last number of years, unlike the homicide rate, more generally, that has been decreasing.

Innocent people are losing their lives and public safety is suffering. This activity should be strongly condemned and deterred. I believe the proposed changes achieve this in no uncertain terms.

The second proposed area of reform targets another particularly serious and dangerous phenomenon. Drive-by and other similarly reckless shootings have the potential to harm, not only those who are the target of attacks but the public more broadly. These incidents are often indiscriminate and occur in the heat of the moment. They are easy to commit and difficult to prove.

Bill C-14 proposes a new offence to assist police officers investigating this conduct. This offence is aimed at those who would intentionally discharge their firearm with a reckless attitude toward the life or safety of another person. In other words, it does not focus on any specifically intended consequences but rather targets the deliberate disregard for another person's safety.

There is something particularly disturbing to me about a situation in which someone specifically turns their mind to the fact that the shooting of a firearm would put the lives of others at risk, but in spite of this fact goes ahead and shoots anyway. This activity cries out for a strong response, and Bill C-14 delivers it.

This offence would be punishable by a mandatory minimum penalty of four years of imprisonment and a maximum penalty of 14 years of imprisonment.

The minimum penalty goes up to five years of imprisonment if the offence was committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal organization. In addition, repeat offenders who have used a prohibited or restricted firearm or committed the offence for organized crime would be subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years of imprisonment.

I strongly support this new legislation and I believe the public supports this kind of approach as well.

The bill also responds to assaults committed against peace and public officers. Two new offences are being proposed, one of assault against peace officers causing bodily harm or involving the use of a weapon, and the other of aggravated assault against peace officers. These offences are punishable on indictment by maximum periods of imprisonment of 10 and 14 years respectively. Both “peace officer” and “public officer” are defined in the Criminal Code, and include persons such as prison guards, wardens, border guards, customs officers and, of course, police officers.

Some might ask why these separate offences are created, when existing provisions address aggravated assault or assault causing bodily harm. The answer is relatively straightforward. Assaults committed against those who are responsible for the maintenance of public peace are an affront to Canada's justice system and the rule of law, and must be specifically denounced.

That is why, in addition to creating stand-alone offences, the bill would require a court to give primary consideration to the principles of denunciation and deterrence when sentencing an offender for any of the offences involving assault against police officers, as well as in cases involving the intimidation of justice system participants, such as judges, prosecutors or jurors.

Finally, the bill is focused on strengthening the use of the gang recognizance provision, or what is commonly referred to as a peace bond. A peace bond is a crime prevention tool that is aimed at preventing future offences from occurring. These amendments would clarify that when issuing a peace bond, a judge can impose any condition that he or she feels is necessary to secure the good conduct of the defendant.

The amendments will also extend the length of the order to up to 24 months if the defendant has been previously convicted of a criminal organization offence.

These amendments would also help us address the behaviour of those suspected of engaging in organized crime behaviour and hopefully prevent this activity from occurring in the first place.

I started my speech by noting that I was happy to see that the bill enjoyed wide support. I hope the support will enable us to move the bill through Parliament and into law as quickly as possible. Canadians deserve nothing less.

Justice March 4th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, yesterday there was wide media coverage of a recent study that found that more than one in five sexual assaults are aided by date rape drugs or other substances that sedate the victims. In recognition of this growing problem, bars are starting to introduce measures to protect female patrons from their drinks being laced.

Could the Minister of Justice please inform the House what actions the government is taking to protect Canadians from criminals who use these drugs on their victims prior to assaulting them?

Justice February 27th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, every day we hear of a new drive-by shooting or drug bust related to criminal organizations. While we were hard at work during the last Parliament cracking down on crime, the opposition parties were busy opposing, obstructing and playing partisan political games. Now those same parties have finally opened their eyes to the problem.

As usual our, government is ahead of the opposition by introducing important legislation to crack down on gangs and organized crime. Would the parliamentary secretary tell the House exactly what we have done to protect Canadians from organized crime?

Public Safety February 26th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, despite the Liberals' best efforts to convince Canadians otherwise, Canadians know it is our party that is the party of law and order.

While British Columbians are demanding tougher legislation, including stronger firearms laws, it was the Liberals who tried to defeat our legislation that enacted in May of last year mandatory minimum prison sentences for serious firearms offences.

Will the justice minister tell the House what the government is doing to advance our justice agenda to deal with the violence erupting in B.C. and across Canada?

Immigration February 6th, 2009

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Surrey North for their confidence and trust in electing me as their member of Parliament.

Many people from around the world make the decision to immigrate to Canada. Under the previous Liberal government, new Canadians arrived in this country, only to be let down and made to work in menial jobs that hardly fit their education and training. For almost 13 years, the Liberal government sat back, watched and did nothing as a backlog of over 850,000 immigration files built up.

Our government is dedicated to reducing this backlog by 25% over the next four years. From the establishment of the foreign credential office to the integration project, this government is providing strong leadership and showing the world that Canada truly is a mosaic of opportunities.

Political Party Funding November 28th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, at a time when Canadian families are worried about the financial future during the current global economic crisis, our Conservative government delivered an economic update that gave Canadians an outlook on our fiscal situation, along with key measures to assist pensioners, manufacturers and many more. Instead of working co-operatively with our government, what are the opposition politicians concerned about? Protecting their entitlements.

While Canadians are tightening their belts, greedy Liberal, Bloc and NDP MPs refuse to. They are threatening to plunge Canada into another election to protect their bloated subsidies. Let us be clear. When we need co-operation most, opposition parties do not care about protecting the Canadian economy. They care about protecting their own narrow interests of their political parties.

The opposition parties should be ashamed of their greed, ashamed of their ignorance of the plight of Canadians, and ashamed of their arrogance.