- Get e-mail whenever he speaks in House debates
- Subscribe to feeds of recent activity (what you see to the right) or statements in the House
- His favourite word is seniors.
Conservative MP for Langley—Aldergrove (B.C.)
Won his last election, in 2015, with 46% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Petitions October 19th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, the second petition has to do with sex selection. It highlights that ultrasounds are used to identify the sex of a child, and if it is a girl, the pregnancy is ended. There are over 200 million missing girls in the world right now, and it makes it very dangerous for girls around the world. The petitioners are calling on Parliament to condemn discrimination against girls occurring through sex selection.
Petitions October 19th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present two petitions.
The first is on palliative care. It highlights the fact that the House of Commons, in the last Parliament, unanimously supported a motion calling on the government to create a national strategy on palliative care, so they are calling on this Parliament to carry on that work and create a national strategy on palliative care to make sure that every Canadian has an opportunity to have high-quality palliative care at the end of life.
Sex Selection October 19th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, over 200 million women and girls are missing, gone forever. There is a dangerous gender imbalance in the world. This global crisis is called gendercide, and is caused by sex selection. The world has become a very dangerous place for girls because many prefer boys over girls. Gender-based violence begins for girls even before they are born.
Numerous studies and documentaries are revealing that sex selection is occurring in Canada. World leaders and Canadians are speaking out against sex selection, and 92% of Canadians believe that sex-selection should be illegal. Canadian gynecologists and radiologists strongly oppose sex selection.
It is time to join the voices that are speaking out against sex selection. I ask this Parliament to support Motion No. 77, and join Canadians, the United Nations, and world leaders in condemning all forms of gender-based violence against women and girls.
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak to Cassie and Molly's law, Bill C-225.
Canadians want fairness. Canadians want justice. This is a prime example of an opportunity to provide that justice in Canada.
A piece of legislation called the unborn victims of crime act was presented to a previous Parliament, and that Parliament decided that it was an issue worthy of debate. The bill was about to go to committee at second reading, but unfortunately time ran out and that Parliament ended. That piece of legislation was put forward by former member of Parliament Ken Epp. We now have a new piece of legislation. It is similar, but it has been refined to clarify that this is not about abortion but about justice. I strongly believe that Canadians would like this legislation to at least be sent to justice committee.
For clarity, in the House, it is a rarity for a member of Parliament to be given a number at the beginning of Parliament. That number stands for the order of precedence for presenting a private member's bill. The member who introduced this legislation was given the unique opportunity of getting a low number. There is a connection too. She respected Ken Epp, and she remembered the time when his bill was almost sent to committee. She now finds herself representing her community and being given the honour and privilege of presenting her private member's bill. It was laid on her heart. She heard the story about Jeff Durham and the tragic loss of his partner, who was carrying their preborn child Molly. They were excited. For him to lose both his partner and his little girl who was yet to be born was tragic. Molly would have been born just a couple of months later.
Jeff wants justice. Canadians want justice. I believe strongly that the majority of us here in Parliament would agree that Jeff Durham deserves the opportunity to go to justice committee and tell his story and why he believes we need changes in the Criminal Code of Canada. At this point in time, the Criminal Code does not recognize the loss of Molly, but it does recognize the loss of Cassie.
The government has said that it is opposed to all forms of gender violence. This is its opportunity to allow the bill to go to committee. The vote will be happening shortly on second reading. Traditionally, a private member's bill is a free vote. I would hope that the Prime Minister would allow justice, would allow fairness, would allow transparency, and would allow victims of crime in Canada the opportunity to have a voice in this Parliament. That will only happen if members of the Liberal majority government give Mr. Jeff Durham and others the opportunity to come to committee and speak. If the Liberals vote against Bill C-225, it will end. The bill will die, and justice and fairness will not be served.
I cannot dream what it would be like to experience the loss that Jeff Durham and his family have experienced. He has the moral right to stand before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. This Parliament has been set up exactly for examples like this. To cut the process short would be a travesty of justice.
If, after hearing from a victim at committee, the government still considers that C-225 should not be supported, that would be their opportunity to vote against it. However, to cut it short before victims have a chance to speak about their losses and why they strongly believe that the Criminal Code needs to be changed and improved is not transparent, is not open, and is not inclusive.
This is a test for this Parliament. This Parliament is a majority Parliament. The Liberal Party of Canada and the Prime Minister have a majority in this House. This is their opportunity to do the right thing. I trust that they will. They have said that they will not support this. I believe they should have an opportunity to reconsider and allow Jeff Durham and others to come to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. Removing that opportunity would leave a very unfortunate message, which is that only certain people and certain issues will have an opportunity for justice, and only certain issues will the government listen to and consider.
Is this an opportunity to listen and allow victims to have a voice? I believe so. This is a prime example. I ask the government, and particularly every member in this House, to allow Jeff Durham and his family to have a voice, a voice to call for justice, a voice to call for an amendment. I ask the House to please allow justice to prevail in this land.
Canada is known as a country where one is treated fairly. One can accomplish whatever he or she wants with hard work and commitment. This is an opportunity for the House to show its true colours, its true colours of justice, fairness, and respect for the law. The world watches things like this, as do our children.
This is a political House, yet it is a partisan House at times. This is also an opportunity to lay aside partisan issues and do the right thing. Each of us is here for a short period of time. We will look back at our time here and do some soul-searching and wonder if we did the right thing. Maybe we do not always do the right thing.
This is an issue of conscience. It has been made very clear that this would not reopen the issue of abortion. It is whether the victims should have the right to share their experience, the travesty they went through. Would that be part of a healing process? I hope so. Hopefully this House will not deny justice being done.
Petitions October 17th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition from my constituents. It says that Families For Justice is a group of Canadians, people who have had a loved one killed by an impaired driver. They believe Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient, and they want the crime called what it is, vehicular homicide.
The petitioners call for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for this Parliament to support Bill C-226, Impaired Driving Act and Bill C-247, Kassandra's law.
Standing Orders and Procedure October 6th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the member regarding S.O. 31s.
S.O. 31s are an opportunity, under the Standing Orders, for a member to make a one-minute statement, and it is quite diverse what that statement can be about. It can be about someone reaching 100 in a member's riding, or it can be something that is very important to a member.
Today, during the 15 minutes prior to question period, those 15 minutes when S.O. 31 statements are made, the member for St. Albert—Edmonton made his statement, and it was regarding Alison Azer. She is a Canadian, and her four children were kidnapped by her husband and taken to Iran. The response from the minister was to interrupt the member and use gestures in the House.
My question to the member is whether that is appropriate. Would the member condone that, or should that be discouraged in the House?
Paris Agreement October 5th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. However, I think there is great mischief at work in that question because it is far from the facts.
We became government in 2006 and remained in government until 2015. The economy experienced great difficulties in 2008 and on, but it grew 35% while we were in government. It did not tank. Rather, it grew because of strong Conservative fiscal management. However, during that 35% growth in the economy, emissions went down. Therefore, the policies of working together are effective and do reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The pollutants that we breathe, which cause serious health problems, were also reduced by working with our international partners and all levels of government.
I hope the government does not try to ignore the effective policies that we had, because they worked. We can see it in the facts. I hope the NDP will reconsider its approach also.
Paris Agreement October 5th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, if the member looks at what the Prime Minister said when he met with the premiers and with the different ministers, he told them that this was the way it was going to be, that they would have a carbon tax and that they must increase the cost of every good on every Canadian. Brad Wall said, “The level of disrespect shown by the Prime Minister and his government today is stunning”.
Does that build bridges? Does that move us together? Is that slowing down, consulting, and showing respect for all levels of government? It is important that the government reconsider its approach, because if we do not show respect to one another we do not get respect. Therefore, I encourage the government to reconsider.
Paris Agreement October 5th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, it is a real honour to represent my constituency of Langley—Aldergrove and to speak before you, a member of Parliament who is so well respected. I will be sharing my time with the member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek.
I was honoured in the last Parliament to be the parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment—actually five different ministers—and then to be chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. That is because the environment is so important to me and my community. We need to move forward and clean up some previous environmental practices, which is one of the first things we did when I became the parliamentary secretary in 2006. The Sydney tar ponds was one of the most overstudied and well known contaminated sites. I was honoured to present the funding and then to see the finished product, the cleaning up of the city tar ponds. The previous government was committed to a sustainable environment.
I was also honoured to work with a former Liberal MP, John Godfrey, on the Sustainable Development Act, working across party lines for a cleaner environment. Over my political career, I have found that the more we work together, the more we can move ahead. It is almost like oars in a boat: if everyone is rowing in the same direction, great progress can be made. But if everyone is rowing in different directions, they will end up turning around in circles. In dealing with the environment, it is so important that we put aside politics, keep our promises, and move forward.
Today's motion is that the House support the government's decision to ratify the Paris agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed by Canada in New York on April 22, 2016. We support that. The 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 was a plan the previous government committed to. We were on track to meet those targets. The fact is that with the growing economy under the previous government and the growth in jobs, we were at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dramatically reducing pollutants that were causing health problems. We were getting it done, growing the economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants.
The second half of the motion calls on the House to support the March 3, 2016 Vancouver declaration calling on the federal government, the provinces, and the territories to work together to develop a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. That is where I have great difficulty, where I think the government has taken the whole process off the rails so to speak.
On Monday, the Prime Minister announced in a very dictatorial the way it was going to be. I harken back to the promises made during the election when the Prime Minister said that he was committed to working with the provinces. However, on Monday, we saw that all come to a screeching halt. He promised that he would not impose a climate change plan on the provinces. He called that nonsensical, but on Monday he deviated from that and told the provinces, “This is what thou shalt do”.
We have to work with one another. We have to show respect for one another. I have found great success over the years in working with different environmental groups. In my riding of Langley, there is a group called LEPS, Langley Environmental Partners Society. It is successful in working in a non-partisan way with anyone interested in improving the environment. Over the last 11 years, we have planted together 1,000 trees a year. It has helped me distribute these 1,000 trees a year, thus more than 11,000 trees handed out in the riding in total. Trees are good. I love it when we come together as a community in partnering and working together on the environment.
A healthy environment is not just for this generation but for future generations too. We have a responsibility to show respect, work arm-in-arm with one another, and improve that. That is not what is happening with the action of the government. I hope that the government will pause and that it will consider changing course.
I just heard from the Liberal member across the way. I encourage him to rethink his thoughts. He told the Premier of Saskatchewan to double down. What does that mean? The Prime Minister said it is because of the lack of leadership being seen from the provinces that he has had to force this on them. Then we have members of his caucus saying, “Premiers, you need to double down”. That is not working together on a common cause. The target of a 30% reduction by 2030 is achievable if we work together.
Canadians have said they would trust the new government to come up with a plan that would help us achieve that target, that 30% reduction by 2030, but the government also promised no new taxes. The Prime Minister even admitted today during question period that it is a tax. It is a new tax on Canadians, and how will that new tax affect Canadians? Will it reduce greenhouse gas emissions? The previous government was able to reduce taxes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Liberal plan is to increase taxes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We can learn from past practices of what works and what does not. The previous Liberal government made aspirational commitments and emissions went up. Taxes went up; emissions went up. That is not the Conservative way, in which we reduced taxes and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
The plan has been proven not to work, but how does that plan affect Canadians? I have a number of seniors who have retired and are on fixed incomes in the riding of Langley—Aldergrove. I am hearing from them already since the Prime Minister made his proclamation that thou shalt and that there would be a carbon tax, a new tax on everything. What does that mean? It means the government is advising seniors that they need to get another sweater, a little bit thicker sweater because they will have to turn down their thermostats. Their natural gas heating will go up and of course their food will cost more because it is transported from within or outside of communities. To drive to the doctor, to physiotherapy or home care, everything will go up: food, transportation, heating. It is endless, the cost of all goods.
What have the Liberals told Canadian seniors? I am honoured to be the critic for seniors. I have asked the Liberals to please appoint a minister for seniors and to please establish a national seniors strategy, because right now one in six Canadians is a senior. There are more seniors than youth in Canada right now, and that is changing very quickly. In six years it will be one in five. In 13 years it will be one in four. There is a major demographic shift and it is happening in a very short period of time and the government is not ready. What is its plan? It will increase the taxes on everything on every Canadian, particularly the Canadians who are on fixed incomes. The solution to that is that the government will give them an extra $70 a month. That is for those who are single. If they are living together, they get nothing extra but they will have to get a thicker sweater so that they can survive those winters.
Fortunately in Langley we have very mild winters, but much of Canada is very cold in the winter. Is that the solution of the government, to get a thicker sweater or an extra sweater? It shows disrespect for Canadian seniors. It shows disrespect for the provinces. It is not a plan. A tax is not a plan. I hope the government will reconsider what it is doing because it is not right.
National Seniors Day September 29th, 2016
Mr. Speaker, October 1, this Saturday, Canadians will celebrate National Seniors Day by taking time to pay tribute to seniors. They are also going to thank local organizations that are helping seniors.
For over 32 years, Langley Meals on Wheels has been providing hot, nutritious, affordable meals to Langley seniors. It serves seniors whose lives are changed, making them somewhat dependent on volunteers to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Langley Meals on Wheels delivers hot, fresh, homemade, cooked meals and provides important friendships for those who may be isolated or at risk.
Providing loving care to our seniors at home, helping them keep their independence, gives them dignity and demonstrates our appreciation for them.
This National Seniors Day, I want to acknowledge the incredible work done by the volunteers at Langley Meals on Wheels for their ongoing love and support for seniors.