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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was conservatives.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as NDP MP for Surrey North (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 30% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Public Safety May 14th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, there is a crisis in my community of Surrey: 30 shootings in the past two months.

The Conservatives brag about being tough on crime, but we are not seeing that on the streets of Surrey.

The city and the province have asked for an urgent addition of 100 RCMP officers, but we are still waiting for the government to approve those officers.

Why are the Conservatives stalling, and why are they failing to protect communities like mine?

Public Safety May 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I know facts are not something that Conservatives like to talk about, because those are not facts. Those are fictions. One can twist facts any way one wants. The parliamentary secretary talks about investing $2.8 million in Surrey. Is that since 1970 or was it last year? Those are the very simple questions I am asking.

People in my constituency will see what the answers were, and they were not the answers that people in Surrey are expecting, so I am going to ask the parliamentary secretary one more time very clearly. My question is not what the government has done or what the Liberals did 10 years ago. My question is this: what is the government going to do now to address this concern? The need is immediate. There have been 25 shootings. It is about time that the government offered some immediate commitments and concrete plans to the City of Surrey.

What is the government's plan to deal with this escalating violence? How are we going to move forward?

Public Safety May 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I rise once again to call on the government to act now to address the gang violence that is happening in my community of Surrey. Crime levels in Surrey have reached crisis levels. There were 27 shootings in the past two months.

I stood in the House multiple times in the last number of weeks demanding that the government take action on the issue and I still have not received any concrete answers or commitments from the government. People come to Canada because they want to give their children a better future in a country that is safe. It is simply unacceptable that there are communities in this country where parents are afraid to let their children play outside in case of a lone bullet.

A first step in resolving this problem would be providing Surrey with the necessary resources to deal with escalating gang violence including youth gang prevention programs. Youth gang prevention programs funding in Canada is unstable and inconsistent. That is why I have introduced Motion No. 407 that calls on the government to provide stable, long-term funding for youth gang prevention and intervention programs. I hope my Conservative colleagues will vote in favour of the motion and work together to keep our families and children safe.

I am urging the government to work with us to find solutions to fix this alarming problem. However, in order to find solutions for this problem, we need the government to be transparent about the current situation. Last week I stood in the House with a number of questions for the minister that were not answered. I asked the parliamentary secretary at that point to be aware that I would come back to the House at this time for those answers. Hopefully she will provide us with those answers.

I do not want to hear talking points. I do not think people in my community want to hear talking points, so I will repeat the questions again.

The parliamentary secretary keeps talking about $2.8 million in crime prevention funding in Surrey. The minister says it is about $3 million, so which one is it? Is it $2.8 million or $3 million? These are the kinds of questions I had for the minister last week and I hope she comes prepared.

What is the itemized amount for spending on crime prevention in Surrey? What components are grants or contributions? What is the government's definition of crime prevention? Which departments were involved in spending with what amounts?

What I keep hearing from the government are the same talking points from the parliamentary secretary and the minister, but still no action to deal with the gang violence problem.

The parliamentary secretary will stand and tell us the Conservatives have brought in 30 new laws to deal with this and she will say “that member voted against it”.

This crime wave is happening in Surrey despite the number of laws they brought in. They are not sufficient. We have been telling them that we need to invest in communities and crime prevention programs. Experts have been telling us at committee that we need to invest in crime prevention. Crime prevention pays. A little investment goes a long way.

The parliamentary secretary is also going to tell us that Conservatives have increased the funding for the RCMP. The fact of the matter is they cut the funding for RCMP in 2012 by $195 million. Now she is going to tell us they have increased it for seven straight years in the last eight years. If it is increased by $2 million each year, yet they take out $195 million, I think Canadians can do the math.

I urge the parliamentary secretary to answer my questions. My question is not what the government has done or what the Liberals did wrong. My question is what are the Conservatives doing now in my community? What is the government's plan to deal with escalating gang violence? When will the government approve the 100 RCMP officers the city has requested? What will it take for the government to prioritize public safety?

Public Safety May 12th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, gang violence in Surrey has reached crisis levels. Every day, we wake up to read about yet another shooting or stabbing in the news.

Within the last two months alone, we have seen the alarming number of 27 shootings. My constituents are worried for their safety and the safety of their families.

That is why I have introduced motion M-407, which calls on the government to provide stable, long-term funding for youth gang prevention and intervention programs. Surrey needs more resources to deal with the escalating gang violence, including more RCMP officers and youth gang prevention programs.

We need all three levels of government to work together to keep our streets safe. Yet, this government will not commit to take action on this issue. It is simply unacceptable that today in Canada there are communities where parents are scared to let their children play outside in case of a lone bullet.

My community needs urgent action now. What will it take for this government to make public safety a priority?

Public Safety May 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear any answer in that. Instead, the member went on to blame the Liberals nine years ago. This issue has been occurring in the last five or six years.

I asked very simple questions of the member to give me the itemized numbers for the $2.8 million that she talked about. I do have another late show next week, so if the member does not have the numbers today, she can bring the numbers next Wednesday. I will be coming back here and asking for additional resources for my community.

My community needs help now. The Conservative government is failing to deliver. The Conservatives talk about what happened in the last 10 years, but there are shootings going on in my community now. The Conservative government is failing to deliver for the citizens of Surrey.

Public Safety May 4th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as you know, I have risen in this House in the last couple of weeks in regard to the violence taking place in my city of Surrey. We have had 25 shootings in the last eight weeks, and people are very concerned. The parents are concerned, the neighbours are concerned, and the entire community is concerned about the type of violence that is taking place. We have had 25 shootings, and one young person has been killed.

The number one responsibility of the government is to ensure public safety. I have repeatedly asked questions in this House, yet the Conservatives have failed to provide very simple answers as to what the government is going to do to ensure that we have some sort of public safety in the city of Surrey. The government needs to take steps to ensure that people are safe in their homes, at their workplaces, and in their communities, and that does not seem to be happening.

On the one hand, the current government pretends to be tough on crime, yet when it comes to public safety, it is very soft in regard to providing the resources our community needs. Our community needs resources. We need more boots on the ground, and we need additional programs that help prevent our kids from getting into these activities.

I have a bill in this House, a private member's motion, that asks that sustainable and long-term funding be available for gang-prevention programs. Last week I asked the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness a question, and the parliamentary secretary responded to that question. She pointed out that apparently the Conservatives have allocated $2.8 million since 2006.

I would like to know from the minister or the parliamentary secretary the itemized annual amounts for the spending. What departments are involved, and for what amounts? What components are grants or contributions? What is the government's definition of “crime prevention”?

These are the types of questions my community is asking. This is all the stuff that is going backwards, and I want to know what the Conservatives are doing right now to ensure that we have public safety as a top priority. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has said it is $3 million. We have heard $2.8 million. Which is it, $2.8 million or $3 million? Can it be itemized over the years?

We are not getting any response from the Conservatives, and they have provided no new initiatives so that my community can look forward to some safety. I am asking very plain and simple questions on behalf of my community. The people in my community are concerned. I am concerned. Can the minister please provide some answers?

Public Safety April 30th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, gang violence in Surrey has reached crisis levels. My community needs urgent action now from the government, but instead, yesterday Conservatives stood in the House and patted themselves on the back for a job well done. Last night, the minister was backpedalling, doing damage control, but he has still refused to make any concrete commitments. It is unacceptable to me. Surrey needs more resources, including youth gang prevention programs.

Will the government start immediately approving the 100 RCMP officers the city of Surrey has requested?

Public Safety April 29th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, the violence in Surrey has reached crisis levels, with another shooting last night. This is the 25th shooting in the last eight weeks. People in my community are worried for their safety and the safety of their neighbours.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives' 2015 budget does not even mention the words “crime prevention”, “gangs”, or “Surrey”, for that matter, and Conservative cuts have left the RCMP unable to manage crime databases and forensic services.

Will the Conservatives stop making excuses and make funds available to protect the people in my community?

Public Safety April 23rd, 2015

Mr. Speaker, there have been 23 shootings in Surrey and Delta in the past six weeks. Residents are worried about their safety and the safety of their community, but budget 2015 does not even mention youth gang prevention, or gangs for that matter, in Surrey. Conservatives are more focused on balancing the budgets on the backs of the vulnerable than they are in making our communities safe.

Would someone over there please tell me why the Conservatives are ignoring gang violence in our communities?

Drug-Free Prisons Act April 21st, 2015

Mr. Speaker, carrying on with the theme of the budget that is coming up this afternoon, I know a lot of seniors are concerned about the pensions they are getting. This is another topic I have heard about many times in my community, where seniors are living in poverty. However, I am going to stick to the topic at hand, Bill C-12.

I was glad to see a Conservative member get up to actually ask a question. However, rather than asking a question, the member went on a rant about the title. He did not provide the answer to the question we have been asking all morning: How does the title relate to the actual content of the bill? The title includes the words “drug-free prisons”. However, what we have heard in the House from member after member of the official opposition is that the bill will actually do very little, if anything at all, to curb drugs in our prison system.

The government has an opportunity to invest in rehabilitation and treatment programs in the prison system. I know that most are not very optimistic that the government will take any sort of leadership role, which it has failed to do in the last nine years.

My question is to the member for Nanaimo—Cowichan. Is this a trend with the government in regard to fancy titles for hollow legislation that does not actually address some of the very issues we need to address in this House?