House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was support.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Brampton—Springdale (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act January 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I was an immigrant to this country at a very young age. There are many new immigrants and new Canadians living in my riding. They migrate to this country for an opportunity. They have seen struggles and the undemocratic process in certain countries, and they want peace in Canada. They are the ones who have absolutely no tolerance when they see a very small percentage of their fellow newcomers who commit these crimes.

Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act January 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, instead of going into hypothetical questions and answers, I would be happy to provide the hon. member with real cases. For example, Jackie Tran committed a series of crimes including assault with a weapon, drug trafficking, drug possession and failure to comply with court orders. His removal was ordered in April 2004. It took nearly six years for the government to get him out of the country. There are many other examples, such as Patrick de Florimonte, who was charged and convicted of multiple assaults with weapons, assault causing bodily harm, uttering threats, multiple counts of theft, drug possession, drug trafficking and failure to comply with court orders. For that it took about four and a half years to get him out of the country.

These are the sort of cases for which Canadians have no patience or tolerance. They expect results.

Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act January 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, during the last election our party campaigned on this promise. It was very clear that our government was committed to keeping our streets and communities safe. Our platform promised to expedite the deportation of foreign criminals. Our government has followed up on that promise by introducing Bill C-43.

Canadians are a very generous and welcoming people, but they have no tolerance for criminals and fraudsters who are abusing our generosity. Bill C-43 clearly addresses this issue, which is what Canadians expect of us.

Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act January 29th, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to debate Bill C-43, the faster removal of foreign criminals act.

Since 2006, our Conservative government has welcomed the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history. On average around 250,000 immigrants have come to Canada every year, and the vast majority of these newcomers are honest, hard-working and law-abiding. They expect their fellow newcomers and all Canadians to be the same.

While Canadians are open and welcoming toward immigration, we also insist on vigilance against people who seek to abuse our generosity and openness. One of the basic requirements for newcomers to stay in Canada is that they respect our laws. This is the very least we can expect from Canadian citizens, and the vast majority of us do so. Therefore, when we ask newcomers to respect our laws, we are not asking too much of them. It was in this spirit that we introduced Bill C-43, which would prevent foreign criminals from abusing our generosity.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act clearly states that should foreign nationals fail to respect our laws, they will be sent home. What prevents the timely removal of foreign criminals is the fact that they have access to the Immigration Appeal Division as long as their sentence is less than two years. Should their appeal fail, they then file an application for leave and judicial review with the Federal Court, and the process can go on for years and years. Many foreign criminals deliberately use these multiple avenues to delay their removal, even though they know they have no chance of staying here permanently. While they prolong their stay in Canada, many foreign criminals go on to commit more crimes.

Over the course of this debate, the House has become aware of the case of Clinton Gayle. He delayed his deportation for several years by using the appeal mechanism, which Bill C-43 would shut down for foreign criminals. The fact that he was able to delay his deportation for so long should disturb all Canadians. What is most distressing of course is that during that time, the Jamaican national murdered a Toronto police constable. While there were differences between the immigration legislation in force at the time and the situation now, we want to prevent a similar situation from happening again in the future by preventing foreign criminals from roaming our streets before being removed. If Mr. Gayle had been deported to Jamaica when he should have been, this horrible crime could not have happened in the first place. What is more, Canadian taxpayers are also on the hook for his crime, paying for him to subsist in a Canadian prison while he serves a life sentence. Foreign criminals have too many opportunities to stay in Canada and we must put a stop to this.

Another example is the case of Geo Wei Wu. He came to Canada from China as a student and gained permanent residency as a spouse in 1990. Over the next two decades he was convicted of a series of crimes, including attempted theft, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, criminal harassment, assault causing bodily harm, break and enter, fraud and the list goes on. He served time for each of these convictions and by 2008 was found inadmissible and a removal order was issued. Under the current rules, he was entitled to appeal this order. The appeal process took almost two and a half years and ultimately failed. Wu's appeal was dismissed. Wu then disappeared. After failing to show up for his pre-removal interview, the CBSA posted his information on its wanted website last summer. This past summer, the media reported that he is now wanted by Peel Regional Police in connection with the kidnapping last year of two men in Mississauga. He is still at large.

The cases of Geo Wei Wu and Clinton Gayle underscore the need for Parliament to support Bill C-43, which would streamline and accelerate the removal process for serious foreign criminals.

By limiting access to the Immigration Appeal Division, the government estimates that the amount of time certain criminals might remain in Canada would be reduced by up to 14 months. If the bill's measures are implemented, there would then be no chance for convicted criminals like Clinton Gayle or Geo Wei Wu to remain in Canada for years beyond their welcome while they gum up the justice system with appeals and, potentially, commit more crimes.

Canadians do not want our doors to be open to people who endanger our national security and the safety of our communities. That is why the government is unwavering in its determination to safeguard national security and protect the safety and security of the Canadian public.

Also, in order to maintain Canadian support for immigration we must ensure that our immigration system is characterized by the consistent application of fair rules. This means that we must protect our system from those who would seek to abuse Canada's generosity by violating our laws. In other words, we must stop placing the rights of foreign criminals before those of Canadian citizens, meaning that we must be able to deal with cases of this nature more efficiently.

I ask my fellow members to think of the victims. Think if it were one of their own family members victimized by a serious foreign criminal allowed to stay in Canada for several years through endless abuse of the process. Imagine if Todd Baylis, the Toronto police constable who was murdered by a convicted foreign criminal appealing his own deportation order, was a member of one's own family. We would then think it were a serious problem needing to be fixed.

The passage of Bill C-43 would send a strong message to all newcomers in Canada that if they commit a serious crime they will be sent home.

Bill C-43 would reinforce the integrity of our immigration system and public confidence in it, and ultimately help maintain public support for immigration in Canada.

I support Bill C-43 because it is fair, necessary and a long overdue piece of legislation. For these reasons, I urge my fellow members of the House to do the same. I urge them to listen to the police associations, the victims associations, the immigration lawyers and experts who support the bill. I urge them, for once, to stop putting the interests of criminals first and instead put the rights of victims and law-abiding Canadians and the safety and security of Canadian families at the forefront.

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals November 29th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, Canadians who have distinguished themselves in service to others are an inspiration to us all.

This past weekend, I had the tremendous privilege to present the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to 27 truly deserving individuals. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge them before the House: Mayor Susan Fennell, Chief Jennifer Evans, Kathleen Jean Armitage, George Chiu, Michael Gagnon, Gurdev Singh Gill, Jagdish Grewal, Bobby Hundal, Rakesh Mohan Joshi, Ashwani Kanda, Nancy Kastner, Tenzin Khangsar, Iqbal Mahal, Verinder Malhotra, Winston Mapp, Nirmal Brar, Ravinder Singh Pannu, William Robert Pesant, Bridge Ramdewar, Kuldip Rai Sahi, Gursharan Bobby Sidhu, Param Sidhu, Anu Srivastava, Bhajan Thind, Jayarajan Palat-Chirakkara-Veetil, Gayle Wilding and Yudhvir Jaswal.

I would like to congratulate every recipient across this great nation who have put forward their tremendous time and effort to help others.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012 November 29th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his passionate speech and hard work on behalf of his constituents.

I wonder if the member could highlight some of the positive benefits that will happen for his constituents after the bill passes the House, and some of the things that he may have heard from his constituents, and also the possible harm that the NDP carbon tax may cause to the economy?

Grey Cup November 22nd, 2012

Mr. Speaker, this Sunday marks the 100th Grey Cup. No institution is as uniquely Canadian as the CFL and no annual Canadian event is as unifying as the Grey Cup.

Bolstered by the committed ownership of Senator David Braley and inspired by the positive and optimistic leadership of Scott Milanovitch, the Toronto Argonauts continue in a proud winning tradition. We anticipate the exciting on-field exploits of star quarterback, Ricky Ray; explosive receiver, Andre Durie; and CFL record holder, Chad Owens.

Football is ultimately a team sport. The Toronto Argonauts embody the Canadian values of hard work, commitment and sportsmanship, values that will surely contribute to on-field success.

On behalf of all Argo fans around the world, I congratulate everyone in the Argonauts organization on a very successful season. This Sunday, as always, I will be cheering for the blue team, the Argos.

National Philanthropy Day Act October 30th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House today and speak in support of Bill S-201, which would designate November 15 of every year as National Philanthropy Day. This official designation would enact into law the government's 2009 declaration that November 15 be known as National Philanthropy Day in Canada.

While underscoring the government's commitment to supporting philanthropy and volunteerism, I would point out that volunteerism is woven into the very fabric of Canadian society. Indeed, one of the remarkable characteristics of Canadians is their willingness to give their time, money and skills for the wellbeing of others and their communities. The generosity of Canadians as individuals and as a nation is a recognized part of the identity defining us all.

The Government of Canada has shown its commitment to promoting volunteerism through the creation of the Prime Minister's volunteer awards. These awards honour Canadians who are making extraordinary contribution to their communities, their regions and, of course, our country. Announced in January 2011, these awards were established to inspire Canadians to find ways to make a difference in their communities and to recognize the contribution of volunteers and reinforce their importance.

I will expand a bit on these awards, as they illustrate the many forms that Canadian volunteer contribution can take. In total, 17 awards are presented: 2 national awards and 15 regional awards. One of the national awards recognizes life-long achievement and is awarded to volunteers who have demonstrated significant dedication and have volunteered for 20 years or more. The other national award is for emerging leaders who have volunteered for less than three years and who are building stronger communities through exceptional voluntary leadership. The regional awards recognize community leaders, businesses and business leaders, and social innovators. The awards recognize individuals or groups who have provided an exceptional contribution to their community, who demonstrate social responsibility and who use innovative ideas and approaches to improve their ability to respond to social challenges. Awards are an occasion for this government to pay tribute to the generosity of individuals, companies and organizations, all of whom contribute to our country and inspire Canadians to take an active role and make a difference in their own communities.

As all members of this House know, Canadians are also generous in giving beyond our borders. When a need arises or a disaster strikes in a foreign country, the Government of Canada, Canadian organizations and individual Canadians all respond. They respond with an outpouring of monetary donations, food, clothing and direct assistance on the ground in affected areas. This past October, our government acted to provide assistance to those affected by flooding in Nigeria. After heavy rains in August and September, Nigeria experienced its worst flooding in more than 40 years. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced by the flooding and schools in affected areas have been closed. The Government of Canada partnered with the Red Cross to alleviate the suffering and help those who were impacted by providing housing and working to meet the immediate needs of those most affected.

Moreover, the Government of Canada announced in August 2012 that it would provide matching funds, dollar for dollar, for donations made to registered Canadian charities responding to the crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa. To date, the government has made a contribution of $10 million to the Sahel crisis matching fund, which will support humanitarian agencies as they provide food, emergency health care, clean water and sanitation to those in need.

When Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake in 2010, Canadians also took action. The Government of Canada created a matching fund campaign to encourage the generosity of Canadians. Canadians donated $220 million to eligible Canadian charitable organizations in support of Haiti. That amount was matched dollar for dollar by the government. Canadian organizations constructed transitional shelters, provided clean drinking water and vaccinated children to protect them from diseases.

The support to Haiti continues to this day. The Government of Canada is helping to revitalize the national agricultural sector in Haiti to increase income and food security, while also investing in the future of the nation by providing hot meals to children at schools around the country. Our government is also helping to strengthen health services at the community level by increasing the number of medical care facilities and the number health professionals in Haiti.

All across Canada and in many countries around the world, Canadians are hard at work and donating financially to provide comfort, relief and hope to others. Devoted Canadian volunteers are working long hours in difficult and often very dangerous conditions to improve the lives of those in need.

Every person who gives, either through grand or small gestures, is having an impact and touching lives. These people are an inspiration to us all and by recognizing November 15 as National Philanthropy Day, we are promoting recognition of the value of philanthropy and honouring those who are generously donating, volunteering and, to quote His Excellency the Governor General, building our strong and caring nation.

Once again, I want to thank all hon. members for allowing me the opportunity to speak on this important piece of legislation.

Vandalism October 30th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to condemn a senseless act of violence in my riding of Brampton--Springdale. Early last Friday morning the Brampton fire department responded to an alarm at the Coptic Orthodox Christian Church of Archangel Michael and St. Tekla. A fire bomb was thrown through a window of the church basement. This has damaged floors, walls and furniture and there is further damage from the excessive smoke.

This was a shameless act of bigotry that must be unequivocally condemned. Freedom of assembly and freedom of religion are fundamental values that make Canada a strong and free nation.

I ask that all hon. members join me today in standing with the Coptic Orthodox Christian community in Brampton and all those affected by this disgusting act of vandalism. May those who perpetrated this shameful act be brought to justice.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012 October 29th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for a wonderful question and for working hard on behalf of his constituents and representing them well in the House.

As I mentioned previously, the government and members on this side of the House are always, on a daily basis, talking to Canadians, looking for ways, listening to their issues, listening to their concerns, considering how they can be better addressed and how we can better represent and serve them and their best interests. The government continues to do a great job.

It was no accident that the government has played a very important role by introducing these economic action plans and has created more than 820,000 net new jobs, especially when we see the other parts of the world where countries and other economies are still suffering. We still have a lot of work to do in Canada, but we are on the right track. We are serving Canadians, and that is what we are here to do and will continue to do. I would encourage all members on the other side of the House to support this budget. It is a wonderful piece of legislation.