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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was trade.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale (B.C.)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 55% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Civil Marriage Act March 21st, 2005

Madam Speaker, Canadians do have faith in the rule of law but they do not have faith in the Liberal government.

One thing that has become clear in this process is that the government appears to be hiding something from Canadians.

Let me remind the House that last December the former minister was asked time and time again what her involvement was on these issues. Her response was to wait for the Ethics Commissioner to reply.

This evening my hon. colleague has reminded us that it was a confidential report that the former minister requested from the Ethics Commissioner. Yet last December she was declaring in the House to wait for the Ethics Commissioner to reply. Now it is acknowledged that it is a confidential report.

The question remains, will we ever find out what the Ethics Commissioner has to say about these ethics violations? Although reports are given to Parliament on a yearly basis on how many permits are issued, it is regrettable that they are not broken down riding by riding. However, that does not limit the government in giving us that information.

Civil Marriage Act March 21st, 2005

Madam Speaker, a little review of the history of this question is in order before we get to the substance of the debate tonight.

On December 9 I asked the then immigration minister, now the backbencher for York West, two questions. I asked how many ministerial permits the minister issued in total during the last election and how many she issued to individuals affecting her own riding. As Hansard demonstrates, the former minister blew off the question at the time saying that the Ethics Commissioner would report on whether or not she broke the rules.

Of course, since then more details of ethical lapses have emerged, including illegal campaign donations and allegations of more permits for politics. I note that the former minister has denied the second instance of permits for politics and is attempting to clear her name in civil court on this allegation.

The former minister has already been convicted in the court of public opinion and has been dismissed from her post by the Prime Minister. Notwithstanding her dismissal, there remain unanswered questions about the former minister's conduct, questions that go to the heart of the ethics and accountability that the government upholds.

First, how many ministerial permits did the former minister sign for people in her own riding and people working on her campaign? How many has she signed in total across Canada? This matters because it may be that the former minister not only does not belong in cabinet, but also perhaps does not belong in Parliament at all.

Second, what exactly did the Ethics Commissioner report back to the government? Did the former minister violate the ethics standards of the government? What laws, if any, were broken? Subsequent to receiving the commissioner's report, were the RCMP called upon to investigate further is another question I would like answered.

Would the government table the commissioner's report? If it has been submitted, will it do it now, or would the government prefer that the commissioner be called before the ethics committee to testify? If the commissioner has not reported back, could the government explain why it has taken such an unusually long time to do so? It has been four months since the commissioner was called upon to investigate.

Some might suggest that the matter has been dealt with, that the former minister was fired and that resolves the problem. But the matter has not been dealt with. The Prime Minister knew about these ethics violations for weeks before he chose to act. In fact, he became complicit in the attempt to avoid accountability for the former minister's actions. The public has since learned that his office gave strict orders not to accept the resignation of Ihor Wons so as not to give the impression that there was wrongdoing.

That raises further questions about the ethics and accountability of the entire government. This was not just one minister abusing her position, but the chief minister defending the abuse. Why would he do this? What did he have to hide?

In fact, that leads me to wonder if other ministers and MPs may have been involved in this permits for politics scheme. Of course, if there was no such scheme it would be very easy to prove. I challenge the government to do so.

The government simply needs to release the statistics for ministerial permits on a riding by riding basis. There is no violation of the privacy of any person in releasing these statistics. We do not need names of individuals, only quantities broken down by riding. There is no violation of the Privacy Act in releasing such details.

Again, I challenge the government to come clean and tell the truth about what happened in York West last election. I challenge the government to tell the truth about the abuse of ministerial permits, and the full extent of the Prime Minister's involvement in this permits for politics scheme. I challenge the government to tell the truth about the former minister's ethics violations.

Food and Drugs Act March 9th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I find the member's comments not only surprising but extremely disappointing. He claimed that if minimum sentences were put in place they would become the new maximums. The sentences could not get any lighter. They could not get any smaller. People are getting off with nothing as it is, so how could those become the maximums? Sure minimum sentences have a consequence. Absolutely they do. They get people off the streets.

The member went on to say that they would lead to longer trials. Well, big surprise. When people are facing real sentences for crimes they have committed, of course they are going to fight a lot harder for their freedom and take more time to defend themselves. That is evidence of the justice system at work. To do anything less would be idiotic.

Why would the minister consider minimum sentences to protect kids from child pornographers as he did in response to a question on November 29, 2004 and not consider those same measures to protect the same kids from becoming drug mules for dealers?

Food and Drugs Act March 9th, 2005

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to follow up on a question I asked last fall regarding the government's plans to deal with the crisis in marijuana grow operations that has exploded out of control across Canada in recent years.

Specifically I asked the Minister of Justice about mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of cultivating marijuana. I noted that the offenders were getting slaps on the wrist even for repeat offences. While we knew that to be true from many individual cases, we are now seeing harder evidence come forward in the form of actual statistics from the Vancouver police, which were leaked to my colleague, the member for Abbotsford, the official opposition's illegal drug critic.

Here is what he found: The average grow op was worth $300,000 at the street level. Only two-thirds of operators charged were convicted. That is unbelievable. Of those convicted the average sentence was four months, although with our lenient parole system the time served behind bars was actually much less. The longest sentence handed out was just 18 months. With parole, that convict likely only served six months. It makes a total mockery of the minister's plan to double the maximum sentence for production to 14 years when the longest sentence given is 18 months.

If the government's hand-picked appointee judges will not even consider a maximum sentence, then clearly the time has come to send the judges a message by imposing mandatory minimums. Can the minister give me a reason why we should not go this route?

Let me recite for the minister some of the cases which are typical. In November 1997 a suspect was caught with an estimated $440,000 worth of marijuana and was sentenced to a 30 day conditional sentence and a $5,300 fine. In September 1999 a suspect caught with an estimated $514,000 worth of marijuana was sentenced to a four month conditional sentence in the community.

The study further highlights a number of offenders who were given light or stayed sentences despite having long rap sheets. For example, in 1999 a grower was given a $10,000 fine and two years of probation despite having compiled previous charges involving assaults and kidnapping. What happened? He paid the fine and was later arrested on weapons charges. How is that for a justice system? In fact, what Canadians find most disturbing about the lack of concern shown by the Liberal government is the potential for violence.

We saw a war fought on the streets of Montreal a few years ago among organized criminals. Most people still remember that a 10-year-old boy was killed in the crossfire. Canadians are also aware that marijuana grow houses have come to their neighbourhoods. Despite shutting down 250 grow houses a year in Surrey alone, the police estimate that there are still hundreds more they have yet to get to and find. These grow houses are often booby trapped with chemical, electrical or explosive traps, or those tending the grow ops may be armed.

My question for the minister is, who is going to have to be hurt before he will start to crack down on these grow ops? Is it going to be a 10-year-old boy in Surrey? Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of how out of touch the Liberal government is. One only needs to look at this past weekend when the justice minister and his party embraced the former leader of the Marijuana Party and his agenda. Yet even some card carrying Liberals disagree with the minister's approach.

The president of the Liberal riding association from my riding agrees with me that there should be mandatory minimum sentences for convicted grow operators. On the weekend the Deputy Prime Minister finally admitted, after years of denial, that perhaps the government should consider tougher penalties.

Does the minister now agree that we need mandatory minimums for grow operations?

Petitions March 9th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise and present this petition on behalf of many families in the riding of South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale. The petitioners ask Parliament to amend the Canada Health Act to include as medically necessary therapy for children suffering from autism. The petitioners also ask Parliament to contribute to the creation of academic chairs at Canadian universities, chairs dedicated to the research and treatment of this disease.

Border Security March 9th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, a CBC report yesterday focused on illegal border crossings in my riding. People are just walking across the border at the Peace Arch crossing while the new border service is powerless to do anything. Officers cannot arrest suspects more than 100 feet away and so must call the police, who face the challenge of arriving before these illegals vanish.

The U.S. border service has doubled the enforcement on its side and the power to arrest people anywhere. How many more dangerous weapons and narcotics is the Deputy Prime Minister going to allow across the border before she acts?

Supply February 22nd, 2005

Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary across the aisle stated a few minutes ago that she would support our Conservative motion calling for performance audits of foundations only if it would not be the Auditor General who would do the audit. She stated that if we would drop this requirement from our motion so foundations could choose their own auditors, she would support it.

This seems to me to be one of the most baseless reasons for not supporting our motion. For the Liberal government, a government that has brought this nation some of the greatest scandals in our history, the sponsorship scandal, the HRDC boondoggle, the gun registry, to say that it welcomes accountability but not from the independent parliamentary appointed Auditor General is absurd and speaks of how little it desires transparency.

I ask my colleague in the Bloc this Why does he think the government does not want the Auditor General, who has been extraordinarily effective and who has developed tremendous expertise at exposing the corruption of the government, to audit these unaccountable foundations?

Border Security February 18th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, at the founding meeting of the border caucus last week, MPs from border ridings across the country expressed concern about the safety of border service employees and about our national security. We have all heard stories in recent weeks of people running the border in cars. I have heard directly from border workers in my own riding of people simply walking across the line.

The border service appears to be lacking the resources to deal effectively with this problem. Could the Deputy Prime Minister please share with the House the plans she has to deal with this critical issue?

Border Caucus January 31st, 2005

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to announce the creation of a new all party caucus.

The Parliamentary Border Caucus will complement the work of our government in addressing issues of trade and security that affect our border with the United States.

This border is a precious resource, sustaining the world's largest bilateral trading agreement. Thousands of jobs in our ridings rely directly on the border, while millions of Canadians benefit from the export of goods and services across it

We will be holding our founding meeting on Tuesday, February 8 and MPs who have a border crossing point in their riding are welcome to attend.

I am very pleased to announce that our guest speaker next Tuesday will be the U.S. Ambassador, Mr. Paul Cellucci.

Finally, I want to thank my colleagues, the member for Saint Jean, the member for Sarnia--Lambton and the member for Windsor West for their efforts in making this all party caucus a reality.

Citizenship and Immigration December 9th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear that the only thing the minister asked of the Ethics Commissioner was for confidential advice. The only investigation going on is by the Conservative Party of Canada.

Additional concerns have arisen since she raised this issue with the Ethics Commissioner. The Ethics Commissioner informed this House that he has had no contact with the minister since her initial request.

The minister pretends that all of her conduct is under investigation when it is not. Why is the minister misleading Parliament and hiding behind the Ethics Commissioner?