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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was immigration.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Fleetwood—Port Kells (B.C.)

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 29% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Ukraine November 24th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood--Port Kells to participate in the debate this evening.

Very few topics that come up for debate in this place are more important than democracy. The debate this evening is about the very heart of the democratic process itself, the free and fair election of a nation's leader.

We are all watching the drama in Ukraine unfold before us. What began a few weeks ago with the first round of presidential elections has brought us to today with tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens in Independent Square and elsewhere demanding that their democratically chosen president be recognized.

Most of us understand the background here. The media has provided ample coverage of the events in Ukraine over the past number of days. The first round of elections was strongly criticized for falling below international standards for free and fair elections. International observers, including Canadians, warned that this run-off round had been even worse.

Among the international observers on the ground in Ukraine were our own colleagues, the member for Edmonton East and the member for Etobicoke Centre as well as David Collenette and other former members who have called the results everything from outright robbery to outright theft and fraud.

This situation is very disturbing. Democracy is a fragile thing. In order for it to succeed, it requires a kind of social contract. It requires that all the participants agree to be bound by the results regardless of who wins. The key to this wonderful process is that in addition to everyone agreeing to be bound by the results, everyone must be assured that the process is free, fair and open.

We may not give it a great deal of extra thought here in Canada, but running free, fair and open elections is not as easy as it sounds. All we have to do is think back to the 1995 referendum in Quebec to remind ourselves just how important each and every vote is and how important it is that the process be seen to be legitimate.

We are hearing reports of all manners of abuse in Ukraine. We are hearing of ballot box stuffing, widespread abuse of absentee ballots, large scale busing of voters to other districts, the use of pens with disappearing ink, the use of acid in ballot boxes to destroy ballots, militia stationed inside polling places in contravention of election laws, attempts to substitute fake ballot boxes, and the list goes on. We are also hearing about 100% turnouts in other districts which were outside the bounds of the statistical mean.

It is abundantly clear from enough different and impartial sources, both Canadian and international, that there is no way in which we can interpret the results of the Ukrainian presidential election as anything but unacceptable.

There is an important point to be made here about these observers. As David Collenette noted this afternoon in an interview from London on CBC Newsworld, the observers have no preference for either candidate. They have no job at stake, they have nothing to gain or lose, and no power hangs in the balance for them. Their only interest is in seeing that the process is conducted fairly and openly without interference, and that the result can be said to be legitimate, regardless of the outcome.

In other words, their only job was to give a thumbs-up or a thumbs down on how the mechanics of the election was run. In this case it is pretty clear that it was a thumbs down.

I would like to thank the Deputy Prime Minister for making it perfectly clear to us this afternoon that Canada in no way recognizes the result in Ukraine. With one million Ukrainian Canadians watching this situation closely, many with family involved on the ground, it was important that the government send a crystal clear signal to Canada and the world that we stand with the Ukrainian people and their desire for a free, open and fair electoral result.

This is about more than a stolen election however. The implications of the results in this situation have global implications. As my colleagues have noted, we are concerned that the process in Ukraine could have consequences well beyond Ukraine itself.

After over a decade of steady progress in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, we have observed that the trend is toward greater democracy and integration with the rest of the world.

There is a hope for reform of institutions at all levels in the wider region as a whole. It is clear from all available evidence that the citizens of Ukraine themselves agreed and were expressing their will to continue the move in that direction.

This result is clearly an attempt by the sitting prime minister to reverse that trend by manipulating the process to get himself elected president. Rather than embrace democracy by campaigning fairly and openly for the position, this pretender has attempted to subvert the process and steal the election.

The truly sad thing about the state of affairs is that it is the nation and the people of Ukraine who will ultimately suffer. Their desire for a better and more prosperous future either as part of the European Union or simply as a more advanced and stable democracy is in serious jeopardy.

At this point we do not yet know what the consequences for Ukraine will be, but if the situation is unresolved the fallout could be very serious indeed.

World opinion has largely condemned the results. The European leaders are unanimous as is the United States that these results are unacceptable. All have warned Ukraine that unless the results are overturned and an acceptable solution is found, Ukraine will find itself isolated and alone.

In addition to the damage this is doing to Ukraine and its reputation this could have serious repercussions for Russia as well. It is clear that Russian President Putin has allied himself with the side accused of orchestrating the electoral fraud. Far from being the bad old days of the Soviet era, this is supposed to be the new and enlightened era for the former Soviet Union.

President Putin himself was democratically elected by a fairly comfortable margin and the world congratulated him for it at the time. However, indicating his preference as he has done, President Putin risks putting in jeopardy his own country's fragile economy as well as its standing in world affairs. I would think that Russia has enough internal problems of its own that it would scrupulously avoid passing judgment or try to influence the elections of its neighbour.

I am glad that Canada is taking a stand on this very important issue. This is the time to defend the core principles of democracy that we hold so dear. We cannot permit the fragile seed of democracy that has taken hold in eastern Europe to be uprooted and destroyed by the base desires of a small group.

As I said earlier, this is about more than Ukraine. This is about democracy and how we view it. This is about whether we as Canadians are willing to stand with Ukrainians and defend their right to choose their own leaders. This is about whether Canada is willing to stand with the world community in condemning the conduct of this election. This is about whether we are willing to do more than pay lip service to the cause of democracy. This is as much about who we are as democrats as it is about democracy in Ukraine.

To the more than one million Canadians of Ukrainian descent, I urge them to keep the faith and let their relatives in Ukraine know they are not alone. Let them know that Canada stands with them in deploring the outcome of this election.

To our own government, I again say thank you for taking a stand on this very important issue. The House stands with the government and we support its efforts to find a solution that recognizes the democratic will of the Ukrainian people.

Citizenship and Immigration November 17th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has difficulty understanding her job. There are thousands of legitimate refugees fearing for their lives and waiting years for their chance to come to Canada. Family reunification immigrants are waiting 53 months to enter the country, but the minister would rather look after queue jumping Liberal strippers. Her job is to focus on those who legitimately need Canada's help and compassion.

When will the minister set her priorities right, end political favouritism, and start doing her job?

Criminal Code November 15th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of my constituents of Fleetwood--Port Kells to speak to Bill C-16, the drug driving bill.

As some in the House may know, my community of Surrey is currently overrun with marijuana grow ops. Organized crime has moved in and is operating in my constituency. That is why this legislation is of such critical importance to my constituents. The key points of this legislation are as follows.

One, drivers suspected of being under the influence of a drug will by law have to submit to a roadside assessment test administered by a police officer. Two, if drug impairment is suspected, the individual must be detained at a police station and submit to another drug impairment assessment and a sample of bodily fluids may be taken for testing. Three, the penalties for failing to submit to testing for drug impairment would be equivalent to the penalties currently in place for failing to submit to an alcohol breathalyzer test.

We all know of the wonderful work done by advocacy groups, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, on the subject of driving while impaired by alcohol. This has helped to bring into focus the terrible damage done to society by alcohol impaired driving that happens every day across Canada.

Over the past few decades, drunk driving has gone from a socially unacceptable but tolerated norm to a cause for shame and serious penalties from our justice system. Our police conduct spot checks. There are radio and TV campaigns urging people not to drink and drive. There are rules for advertising alcoholic beverages. There are courses taught in schools. There are role models. There is peer pressure.

Alcohol impaired driving, while certainly still a significant and very important issue, does not suffer from lack of attention. The same is not true for driving while impaired by a drug other than alcohol. While groups such as MADD do work in this area, there remains much to be done.

There is, for example, no scientific consensus on the threshold drug concentration level in the body for drug impaired driving as there is for alcohol. Length of time of use, tolerance, metabolism, height, weight, body fat, et cetera, all may have an effect on whether a drug might be impairing a driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

It gets even more complicated because we are dealing with so many different kinds of drugs. With alcohol, the comparison is the same wherever one is and whatever the drink. Alcohol is alcohol, whether it comes from beer, wine or spirits. Drugs, on the other hand, come in all shapes and strengths, which makes setting a threshold standard for actual impairment much more difficult. Different drugs have different effects.

Fortunately a good deal of work has been done by law enforcement officials on these and other issues surrounding the detection of the drug impaired driver. It is not a stretch to suggest that the biggest form of impairment our law enforcement officials find on the road, outside of alcohol, is cannabis.

We do not have the vast studies and statistics for drug driving that we do for the alcohol impaired, but what we do know is that people driving under the influence of drugs are just as dangerous and just as potentially deadly as those who are impaired by alcohol.

I single out cannabis not only because it is the most prevalent drug in use on our roads, especially in my riding, but also because the government has introduced Bill C-16 as a companion bill to Bill C-17, the legislation decriminalizing small amounts of cannabis.

One of the chief complaints when the government last tried to introduce legislation regarding the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana was that nothing was being done about drug impaired driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Canadian Professional Police Association in particular at the time noted the bill contained no measures to increase police powers to combat drug impaired drivers.

Despite the government's attempt to rectify past mistakes, there are still a few problems with this bill. One of the main concerns I have with this legislation is that it is putting the cart before the horse.

Bill C-17 seeks to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis, and that would lead, by any reasonable conclusion, to an increase in cannabis-impaired users on our roadways. But Bill C-16 does not foresee the completion of training for law enforcement in the techniques to conduct field testing for drug impairment until 2008, so we unleash more cannabis-impaired drivers on our roads with Bill C-17 without giving our law enforcement personnel the proper training to enforce this new law immediately.

The bill authorizes police to demand a standardized field sobriety test when they suspect an individual is driving while impaired by drugs. It also allows for a sample of bodily fluids to be taken at a police station if impairment is suspected. This is simply allowing the police to make the same demands of someone suspected of drug-impaired driving that they make of someone who is suspected of alcohol-impaired driving.

Refusal to submit to this testing would become a criminal offence, punishable by the same penalties currently in place for failure to submit to an alcohol breathalyzer test.

My colleagues and I support any legislation that improves police officers' ability to detect drug impairment and detain suspected drug-impaired drivers for testing. As I noted earlier, however, we are concerned that this legislation does not train enough police officers in detection methods before 2007 or 2008, long after the Liberal government intends to decriminalize marijuana.

A key component of any anti-drug-driving initiative must include significant funding for research into new technologies that would assist officers in detecting drug-impaired drivers on site, such as currently exists for alcohol. I would encourage the government to earmark such funding and work with the provinces to help develop these new technologies to make catching and prosecuting drug-impaired drivers easier.

The cannabis epidemic is sweeping my constituency and the entire lower mainland of B.C. and now we have the government about to decriminalize small amounts for personal use.

If members will pardon the pun, it is high time the government brought in legislation of this nature giving our law enforcement officials the tools they need to fight drug-impaired driving.

Citizenship and Immigration November 15th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has been caught red-handed.

In addition to the exotic dancer situation, her election team failed to alert immigration officials about a deportee on the run from the department who was delivering pizza and helping out at her election headquarters. Apparently, fresh pizza was more important to the minister than things like integrity or due process. The minister has displayed a complete lack of respect for our immigration system.

Now that she has been caught using the system to hand out political favours, how does she defend her stance as a reformer of the system?

Remembrance Day November 5th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, as Remembrance Day approaches, I rise today to pay tribute to those Canadians who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our nation.

From Vimy Ridge to Dieppe, from Juno Beach to Korea, from Suez to Kabul, Canadians have always heeded the call to defend peace.

On November 11 we will pause at war memorials around the country and think of those who did not come home. We will think of those for whom Canada meant so much that they were willing to lay down their lives in her defence.

Recently we saw some of our veterans of the Italian campaign return to Ortona for the 60th anniversary of that bloody battle.

On behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells, allow me to thank all our veterans, but most especially those who did not return home.

Lest we forget.

Government Policies November 3rd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect their government to offer policies that reflect and uphold traditional Canadian family values.

The Liberals do not have the political will to change the age of consent from 14 to at least 16. The child porn bill will not protect children from pornographers and pedophiles. The Liberals continue to deny Parliament the right to decide on the definition of marriage. Tax discrimination against single and stay at home parents continues and there are no meaningful tax reductions for families.

Education opportunities are restricted with skyrocketing costs. There is no effective sex offender registry. There is no national drug strategy. We see nothing on TV about drug prevention. Rather than deterring youth from smoking pot, the Liberals' marijuana bill gives kids a discount. With little money for law enforcement, crime and violence continues, and families fear for their safety. The family is the foundation of our society. The Liberals are failing our families and thereby weakening the nation.

Criminal Code November 1st, 2004

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak today to Bill C-13, the DNA data bank legislation.

My constituents in Fleetwood--Port Kells take great interest in criminal justice issues, particularly when it comes to making the appropriate resources available to the criminal justice system.

Naturally, all parliamentarians have an interest in the legislation, after all, law enforcement agencies in Canada can only be as good as the tools with which they are provided. It is this House, through the Criminal Code and other acts, that provides the tools they need to do their critically important work.

One of the newer tools in the arsenal available to the criminal justice system is the DNA data bank, which came into force in June 2000. Bill C-13 seeks to make amendments to the Criminal Code, the DNA data bank legislation and the National Defence Act.

These changes include the following. The bill seeks to update the DNA data bank legislation by making certain changes and additions to the list of offences that require a judge to issue a DNA collection order. It would add to the list of offences where the crown may make application for a DNA collection order. It would permit DNA collection orders to be issued against a person found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder. It would expand retroactive provisions where DNA collection orders may be made in certain circumstances.

These amendments are improvements on the status quo but, unfortunately, they fall quite a bit short of the changes requested by police and provincial attorneys general.

Some of the items raised by law enforcement and our provincial colleagues include the need for a judicial order to make a DNA bank authorization for offences committed before the DNA bank came into effect in 2000. Law enforcement has also asked for the reasonable ability to collect DNA at the time charges are laid, as opposed to at the time of conviction.

It is routine for police to collect fingerprints at the time charges are laid. They are only seeking the ability to collect DNA samples as well. As there is no evidence that suggests such a practice would violate the constitution, I would urge my Liberal colleagues to consider such a course of action.

In addition, the bill does not provide for the collection of DNA at the time of conviction for all indictable offences, once again, as is the case for fingerprints.

Another problem with the bill is the ability for a convicted offender to appeal to the court in order to prevent the collection of a DNA sample. Rather than giving criminals the ability to duck the law, the law should require all convicted offenders to provide DNA samples.

The functioning of the national DNA data bank is something that all members of the House should take seriously because it is such an important tool in our criminal justice system, and yet the government does not seem to be all that enthusiastic about its own program.

One only has to look at the massive backlog in the production of DNA results to understand just how unimportant this issue is to the government. Until the government gets serious about providing the appropriate resources to support the collection and processing of DNA, any changes to the legislation are not particularly meaningful.

Without the timely production of DNA results, law enforcement agencies do not have the full use of the arsenal of tools at their disposal to bring criminals to justice and to protect our communities. It is imperative that our police forces and attorneys general be given the resources to do their jobs properly.

We ask them to protect us, our families and our communities. I know the citizens of Fleetwood—Port Kells appreciate the hard work done on our behalf by the police and the courts.

I also know that those citizens want us to make that work as effective and timely as possible. It is only fitting that we do everything in our power as parliamentarians to make certain they have everything they require.

Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Act November 1st, 2004

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to speak to the Tlicho land claims and self-government bill. This is a historic piece of legislation and is deserving of some scrutiny by the House.

The Tlicho are the latest in the Northwest Territories to reach a land claims settlement but this is the first instance where self-government has been negotiated in an agreement at the same time. We have to be careful and take our time with this legislation. I will outline several areas where I find the bill to be deficient.

First, this is not a final agreement. The agreement contains a clause to reopen negotiations should other first nations in the Northwest Territories negotiate terms in their agreement that appear attractive to the Tlicho in the future. In this the agreement does not achieve a basic goal: to arrive at a final settlement.

Second, it would appear depending on how one interprets the text that the agreement recognizes the right of the Tlicho to enter into international agreements. It states right in the agreement that it does not limit the right of the Tlicho to enter into international, national, interprovincial and interterritorial agreements. It also requires the Government of Canada to consult with the Tlicho nation before entering into an international agreement that may affect the right of the Tlicho government, the Tlicho First Nation or Tlicho citizens.

I am concerned that this kind of language could be seen as being too broad and that it may put a restriction on what is an exclusively federal area of jurisdiction.

Third, the agreement creates a racially based electoral system which some will recall was the subject of a fierce debate in the House during the Nisga'a discussions.

Under this agreement a category of citizens called Tlicho citizens is created who are the only people who may be elected as chiefs. In addition 50% of elected councillors must come from this Tlicho citizens group. Some might argue that this is counter to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but it is certainly something that might be open to a court challenge.

Last, the most fundamentally difficult problem with the agreement is the way in which it deals with jurisdictions. The agreement describes several different hierarchies to determine which legislation should prevail in the event of a conflict: federal legislation, territorial legislation, Tlicho law or the agreement itself. It is also not clear whether Tlicho citizens would have the protection of the charter in the event of a conflict with the Tlicho constitution.

As the vice-chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, there is another issue I would like to raise with respect to this agreement. It is the issue of matrimonial property. My colleague, the member for Portage—Lisgar, raised this in the previous Parliament when this legislation was Bill C-31. I would like to revisit some of the points he made for the record.

Let me quote from the interim report released by the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights in November 2003, entitled “A Hard Bed to Lie In: Matrimonial Real Property on Reserve”. This is an issue we should not ignore. The Senate report stated:

I believe that one of the basic rights we should be able to enjoy is the right to call a place, a community or a structure “home”. Home is a place where we are safe and protected by family and friends. It is our private spot, where we can lock out the cares of the world and enjoy one another. It is also the place where, as a couple, when we plan a family, we know that this is the place where they will be safe, protected and loved. As a couple, you take a structure, and with personal touches from each of you, you make this your private world. You open your private world to family and friends, making them feel welcome when they visit you. However, make no mistake, this place is your private world.

Imagine the stress on a woman who knows that, if this loving relationship ends, then her world will crumble. Imagine the stress when this woman has children, and she knows, that not only she but also her children will soon have to leave the place she and they call home, and in some cases, must leave the community.

It is not an easy choice to decide that a relationship is not working and that the relationship must end. Normally, while there is a certain degree of animosity, most couples know that they must work out a mutually agreed upon arrangement for the deposition of property, including the home.

This would not appear to be the case for on-reserve women, as they hold no interest in the family home. There is no choice as to who has to move. It is the woman and, in most cases, it is the woman and her children. What a choice: be homeless or be in a loveless relationship, maybe an abusive relationship. Is that what Aboriginal women deserve? No, it is not. Is it humane? It is definitely not.

My concern and the concern of many members of my party is that the issues of matrimonial property are not properly, fully and fairly addressed in this agreement and that, if we proceed in this manner, there is the real possibility that we will perpetuate the circumstance. There is only one place in Canada where no such property rules exist and that is on reserves. It is important that we recognize this fact and commit ourselves to take every opportunity to correct the situation.

For those of us in opposition, it is not enough for us simply to oppose, especially in a minority Parliament. We must also put forward where we stand on issues such as this one. Allow me to make a few points about where a Conservative government would be with an issue like this.

The Conservative Party of Canada believes that self-government must occur within the context of the Constitution of Canada. Settlement of all outstanding comprehensive claims must be pursued on the basis of a clear framework which balances the rights of aboriginal claimants with those of Canada.

Self-government agreements must be structured so as to ensure constitutional harmony so as not to impede the overall governance of Canada. To ensure fairness and equality, a Conservative government would ensure that the principles of the charter applied to aboriginal self-government.

The Conservative Party of Canada believes in giving aboriginal governments the power to raise their own revenues. Aboriginal agreements reached with the federal government must represent a final agreement in the same manner as was achieved with the Nisga'a.

In closing, I believe that the underlying principles expressed are good ones. A comprehensive land claim settlement and self-government agreement in one document is a historic achievement, one which deserves credit for its good intentions.

Unfortunately, this agreement and the bill implementing it do not measure up to the standards that should be applied in such an important document. Again, here is why: The agreement is not final. The agreement does not fully respect the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, nor does it fully respect the overarching authority of the federal government in areas of its exclusive jurisdiction. It creates substantial jurisdictional confusion between federal, territorial and Tlicho legislation as to which takes precedence and in what situation.

I urge the government to consider the words of my colleagues, especially our critic, the member for Calgary Centre-North, with regard to this bill. Before something as important as this agreement gets cemented into place with the force of the Constitution behind it, we must be certain that we are in fact doing the right thing.

Marijuana Grow Operations October 29th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, last week we had the spectacle of the government auctioning off confiscated marijuana grow op equipment at a discount so criminals could start up new grow ops cheaply.

Some criminals in Surrey are reporting their illegal gains as income on their tax returns. Across the border in Washington state the penalties for running a grow operation are three months in jail for a first offence. In B.C. operators are likely to receive a slap on the wrist, even after seven convictions.

Surrey currently has 4,500 grow ops. It is one of the biggest issues facing all police forces today.

The Liberal government needs to start taking the issue of marijuana grow ops seriously by implementing stiff minimum sentencing requirements and providing law enforcement agencies with the resources they need to make our streets safe.

I call on the Liberals to come to the aid of the citizens of Surrey rather than to the organized criminals.

Justice October 22nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that public works has been auctioning off previously seized marijuana grow op equipment. York Region Police Chief Armand La Barge tell us that public works is, “basically selling ready made, tailor made marijuana grow operations”. Halton Police Chief Ean Algar describes the system as a “revolving door”.

There are 4,500 grow ops in Surrey alone. How much government gear is in use there? What steps has the government taken to make certain that this does not happen again?