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  • His favourite word is liberal.

Conservative MP for Langley—Aldergrove (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 23rd, 2018

With regard to the February 2018 New Delhi reception invitation which was issued to Jaspal Atwal: (a) on what date did the Prime Minister’s Office become aware of the invitation; and (b) what departments or agencies were aware that Mr. Atwal received an invitation and when did each department become aware of the invitation?

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 April 17th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, sadly, 70% of Canadians who are in the last days of their life do not have access to palliative, end-of-life care. It was a decision of this Parliament to make that a priority so that 100% of Canadians who needed palliative care would have access to it. Funding for that was was in the 2016 budget and in the 2017 budget. However, this year's budget does not mention it. Palliative care appears to be gone.

Why would the member support a budget that now neglects the needs of Canadians in the last days of their life? Why are the Liberals abandoning the goal of providing palliative care to every Canadian who needs it?

My other question for the member is this. Why is the funding for seniors being very selective? Only in one Liberal riding is there a research project. In fact, the largest concentration of seniors in Canada is in the west. Why would the west be ignored again? The Liberal government seems to have a habit of ignoring the west.

Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 April 17th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to my colleague and I have a question for her regarding the funding of and focus on seniors.

She highlighted that the government, in the 2016 budget, provided increased funding for the guaranteed income supplement, the GIS, and the OAS. In fact, there was support from all parties for that. However, that was two budgets ago. Last year the government did nothing other than to reannounce the 2016 GIS and OAS. In this year, the second year, there is no new announcements for seniors. It has reannounced and reannounced.

Seniors see that the government is ignoring them. Senior stakeholders across Canada are saying that seniors are being ignored because there is no minister for seniors. I believe the member cares about seniors. Does she think it is fair that seniors are being ignored again? She has made statements that were made two years ago. There is nothing new in the budget for seniors.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's Report April 17th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Relevance is important, and I believe the member has strayed too long and too far from the relevance of the motion before the House.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 16th, 2018

With regard to the February 2018 New Delhi reception invitation which was issued to Jaspal Atwal: (a) on what date did the Prime Minister’s Office become aware of the invitation; and (b) what departments or agencies were aware that Mr. Atwal received an invitation and when did each department become aware of the invitation?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 16th, 2018

With regard to the Prime Minister’s trip to India in February 2018: (a) what was the trip’s itinerary; (b) for any receptions, dinners or similar events on the itinerary, who was on the guest list, broken down by event; and (c) what are the details of any reception or dinner invitations which were rescinded or revoked by the government, including (i) individual or organization which had their invitation rescinded, (ii) event for which original invitation was sent, (iii) reason for rescinding or revoking invitation?

Committees of the House March 29th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative members on the committee want to thank the chair for the work that the committee did. However, it unfortunately did not go far enough, and so there is a supplementary report that is part of the main report that is called “We Can Do Better For Seniors”. One of the major focuses is calling on the government to appoint a minister for seniors.

Holy Week March 29th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, this is Holy Week, when Christians observe Passover, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday to remember the crucifixion and triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is because of His loving sacrifice for each of us we have forgiveness and hope.

This week we also gather with family and friends. Diane and I will be spending Easter in Ottawa with our son Jon, our wonderful daughter-in-law Jen, and our grandchildren Carrington and Richie. They are visiting from Kentucky.

Jon is a brilliant professor and doctor of microbiology at the University of Louisville. Jen is a director at Louisville's largest long-term and palliative care facility for seniors. Carrington likes to play the ukulele and wants to be the president of United States. Richie is very smart, collects eggs from the chickens on their farm, and is actually a superhero. I know they will enjoy their visit in Canada's Parliament.

This is a very special weekend, and our family wishes everyone a very wonderful Easter.

Privilege March 27th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, this is my earliest opportunity to raise this issue of a question of privilege. It relates to this year's Canada summer jobs program. We have just received the list, and it highlights the concerns I have. Having gone through the list, I bring it forward to you at the earliest opportunity on a question of privilege.

I rise on a question of privilege regarding a matter that members will appreciate does not fall within certain enumerated rights and immunities for the House to treat as a breach of privilege, but falls within the scope of contempt, as explained by Joseph Maingot at page 226 of Parliamentary Privilege in Canada. He writes:

In addition to these enumerated rights and immunities that are necessary for the House and its Members to perform their legislative function, the House of Commons may also examine any direct or indirect act or omission other than an attack or disregard of the enumerated rights and immunities, and if the House is of the view that any such act or omission tends to obstruct or impede the House or its Members in their parliamentary functions, the House may declare such act or omission to be a contempt of Parliament and invoke its penal jurisdiction, whether or not there is a precedent.

Page 81 of Bosc and Gagnon says:

There are...other affronts against the dignity and authority of Parliament which may not fall within one of the specifically defined privileges. Thus, the House also claims the right to punish, as a contempt, any action which, though not a breach of a specific privilege: tends to obstruct or impede the House in the performance of its functions; obstructs or impedes any Member or officer of the House in the discharge of their duties; or is an offence against the authority or dignity of the House...its Members, or its officers.

I have been dealing with the summer jobs program for 14 years. I was elected in 2004. The government's value test has impeded my role as a member of Parliament, and I would like to share with members in what way.

This year's Canada summer jobs program started with an email from Service Canada on December 8, 2017. I received that email. It was probably a common email that was sent to every member of Parliament. It stated:

As a Member of Parliament (MP), you will have the opportunity to fulfill the following roles in the delivery of CSJ:

1. promote the CSJ program within your constituency;

2. participate in establishing local priorities;

3. validate the list of recommended projects; and,

4. notify successful applicants.

I did respond to the Service Canada representative, who actually did a very good job. I talked to her on the phone and asked what the definition of reproductive rights was within the new attestation requirement. She could not answer, so I responded to her with the following email, which I sent on December 13, within a few minutes of talking to her on the phone, just to clarify what we had talked about. I said:

I agree with the Canada Summer Jobs 2018 priorities on the condition that the new attestation requirement will not restrict organizations from receiving Canada Summer Jobs 2018 funding if they object to the definition of reproductive rights and refuse to sign the attestation agreement. There may be controversial reproductive issues that have nothing to do with their funding application and should not render their application incomplete or ineligible. You were unable to define what is the program's definition of reproductive rights and I look forward to your response. Until then, my approval is conditional.

Just a couple of minutes later, she acknowledged receiving the email and said, “It was good speaking with you today. Thank you for sending the email so promptly. As soon as I have a response to your inquiry, I will be in contact with you. I look forward to connecting with you in the new year.”

The next correspondence I received from Service Canada was not a response to my questions. It was the list. Therefore, I never had the definition of reproductive rights in the requirements.

Then, I received this list. As I said, I have been doing this for 14 years. I went over previous years' lists, from 2015, 2016, and 2017, and often the same people were applying and providing incredible job opportunities for youth in my riding of Langley—Aldergrove. I noticed that all of them were in the not-for-profit sector, and I really liked that. I also looked at the assessment score. Out of 100, it went from 87 down to 73, for all those that were recommended on the approved list.

Then I looked at this year's list, and it is not on par with what happened. There are so many people and organizations in my riding that are not on the new recommended list. The assessment code went from 87 to 73; it now starts at a much lower assessment rating of 73 down to 48, so there has been a major change. There are a number of constituent groups that were not able to apply and were rejected. The groups that have asked me to bring this to the attention of the House are Northwest Langley Baptist Church, Christian Life Assembly, Fort Langley Evangelical Free Church, Brookwood Baptist Church, North Langley Community Church, Willoughby Church, Riverside Calvary Chapel, Loft Country, Living Waters, and Power to Change.

There was one additional group, which was providing jobs for recovering young women. It was teaching them how to build and install cabinets as part of their recovery program. Unfortunately, that applicant, again, was not able to apply.

To deny certain Canadian taxpayers access to provincial programs or grants because of their belief, faith, personal conscience, or opinion, all of which are guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, even if they are contrary to the views or policies of the Liberal Party of Canada, is an offence and a breach of privilege, and it impedes my ability to represent the community and to administer the summer jobs program on behalf of my constituents, as I am required to do.

I believe the House can consider these acts by the government to fall within the scope of contempt. Parliamentary Privilege in Canada explains it this way at page 226:

This is why it is said that the “privileges” of the House cannot be exhaustively codified; there are many acts or omissions that might occur where the House would feel compelled to find that a contempt has taken place, even though such acts or omissions do not amount to an attack on or disregard for any of the enumerated rights and immunities.

Mr. Speaker, if you find that this is a prima facie question of privilege, I am prepared to move an appropriate motion and send this matter to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. I look forward to your ruling.

The Budget March 20th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for her commitment on the issue of housing and the homeless. We need to take care of vulnerable Canadians. We need more than empty announcements.

We need a government of action, a government that does what it says it is going to do. Announcements announcing what is going to happen in the year 2035 do not help Canadians now. If there is going to be an announcement, it has to be a real announcement with real funding for this year.

I am saddened that there are so many homeless Canadians who need help and would have received help through the Canada summer jobs program, but because the government requires these organizations to bow the knee, and these organizations said that they could not bow the knee, the homeless will be hurt through the Canada summer jobs program.