House of Commons photo

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

Canada-U.S. Relations November 7th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, last night, our American cousins re-elected President Obama for another four-year term. Canada looks forward to continuing the close co-operation we have had with the Obama administration. In particular, we embrace the opportunity to continue the positive work that has already begun under the beyond the border initiative.

My riding of South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale hosts the busiest border crossings in western Canada and we understand the importance of working together. Making our border more secure, while facilitating the efficient flow of people and goods is critical to the economies of both Canada and the U.S.

Under beyond the border initiative, we have just launched the new shiprider program, allowing for joint maritime border enforcement to crack down on smugglers.

We look forward to closer regulatory co-operation as well, as Canada and the U.S. both work to create jobs and growth in our economies.

Canadians wish the President and the new Congress every success in their next term.

Canada Border Services Agency October 17th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, border services officers are quite literally on the front line of Canada's national security. This frequently puts them in contact with criminals, terrorists and other dangerous individuals.

Yesterday, at the Peace Arch border crossing in my riding, Canadians received a sobering reminder of the risks that face the CBSA each and every day. For this first time in Canadian history, a border services officer was shot in the line of duty.

On behalf of the government, I would like to wish border services officer Lori Bowcock a full and quick recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, her family and her friends.

We thank all our border services officers for the work they do to help keep us safe.

Interparliamentary Delegations October 4th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in a bilateral visit to South Africa.

Petitions September 26th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present hundreds of signatures on petitions in support of Motion No. 312 to change section 223 of the Criminal Code to reflect 21st century medical evidence. I note that they are from Vancouver, Richmond, Newwest, Langley and Surrey.

Petitions September 19th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, the other two petitions relate to Motion No. 312. The petitioners call upon Parliament to enact laws that would recognize the human and amend Section 223 of the Criminal Code in such a way as to reflect 21st century medical evidence.

Petitions September 19th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present three petitions.

The first petition deals with the fact that Canada is recognized as the only nation in the western world, along with China and North Korea, as not having any laws restricting abortion. The petitioners call upon Parliament to do that.

Petitions June 20th, 2012

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise on behalf of constituents who present a petition with regard to how Canada is the only nation in the western world, along with China and North Korea, without any laws restricting abortion. They see the Supreme Court as giving Parliament the responsibility to enact legislation. They call upon the House to speedily enact legislation that restricts abortion to the greatest extent possible.

Canada-Panama Economic Growth and Prosperity Act June 19th, 2012

Madam Speaker, it has been a pleasure to serve with the member in the past.

There are two ways to look at this. We can look at the national benefits and then I will get to the regional benefits for British Columbia.

Nationally, let us not move past the point that this creates opportunities for Canadians across the country. By eliminating tariffs on non-agricultural imports, there is a huge opportunity for Canadian companies to get involved in the markets. Service providers will have expanded opportunities in the areas of information and communication technology, energy and financial services. There are rules for governing foreign investment. Canadian businesses can invest in Panama as well.

Let us keep in mind that Panama is about to expand the canal with, I believe, a $5 billion investment. I want to ensure that Canada has an opportunity to participate in that.

The member's specific question was how this would benefit the west, in beautiful British Columbia. Looking at the specifics, the tariffs that are eliminated address issues around paper and paper board, so there is the forestry industry, processed food products, milling products, machinery, pulses from other Prairie provinces and precious stones and metals of which we have a lot in British Columbia.

We can see that the spectrum with which this will impact our province is pretty large.

Canada-Panama Economic Growth and Prosperity Act June 19th, 2012

Madam Speaker, the member opposite raises a question related to the environment. I want to ensure he is aware of the provisions within the environment sub-agreement that relate to his concern.

The agreement on the environment commits both countries to pursue high levels of environmental protection to improve and enforce their environmental laws effectively and to maintain appropriate environmental assessment procedures. It also has provisions encouraging the use of voluntary best practices for corporate social responsibility and a commitment to promote public awareness.

One last point about the environment is that it reaffirms the country's international commitment under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and to respect, preserve and maintain traditional knowledge, innovation and practice of indigenous and local communities.

It is my opinion that this side agreement goes a long way to promoting and protecting the environment.

The member also raises the concern about labour. As a member of a party which is always very concerned about labour, I want to highlight the provisions within the agreement that state that the labour co-operation agreement contains strong and enforceable provisions to protect and promote internationally recognized labour. We are talking about things like occupational health and safety, including compensation for injuries, employment standards, minimum wage—

Canada-Panama Economic Growth and Prosperity Act June 19th, 2012

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to highlight the benefits of the free trade agreement with Panama.

With one in five Canadian jobs generated through international trade, our government's pro-trade plan is essential to bringing continued prosperity to Canadians. At the same time, when Canadian businesses are faced with tough global economic challenges, the benefits that the Canada-Panama free trade agreement will provide are tremendously important for our economy.

Our government is consistently demonstrating that its top priorities are jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. That is why we embarked upon the most ambitious trade plan in Canadian history.

To this end, since 2006, Canada has concluded new free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, Jordan, Peru, the European Free Trade Association member states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, most recently with Honduras and Panama. We are negotiating with many more, including the European Union.

Our government understands, as do Canadians, that expanding our trade and investment ties around the world will help create new jobs and opportunities for hard-working Canadians from every region of our country.

Today I would like to focus on how Panama fits within our Americas strategy as part of discussions on the Canada-Panama free trade agreement.

Panama is already a significant trading partner for Canada, with two way trade totalling over $235 million in 2011. In addition, it is an established market for our country's exporters and presents significant opportunities for Canadian businesses. Canada's exporters, investors and service providers are calling for these kinds of opportunities. Entrepreneurs want access to global markets and Canada's businesses can compete and win against the very best in the world.

Let me now turn to how this agreement fits within our government's Americas strategy, which was announced as a government priority in 2007 and was renewed in March, 2012.

The renewal seeks to maximize Canada's engagement by aligning priorities and leveraging Canadian strengths in areas where Canada can have the highest impact. The three goals of the renewed strategy are: first, increase Canadian and hemispheric economic opportunity; second, address security issues and advance freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law through capacity building; and third, build a stable foundation for Canada's engagement and increased influence in the hemisphere.

As a member of the international trade committee, it is clear to me that stronger economic ties are becoming increasingly important with the uncertainty in the global economy. Expanding Canada's trade and investment in the Americas will help protect existing jobs and create new jobs and increased prosperity for Canadians. Canada's efforts to increase economic opportunities centre on deepening commercial ties by advancing our trade agreements.

The Americas is the most successful region for recent Canadian bilateral trade initiatives, with 7 of Canada's 10 concluded free trade agreements being with countries in the Americas. To maximize the benefits flowing from these agreements, the Americas strategy recognizes the need to make Canadian companies aware of the advantages and opportunities that they create. Increased engagement through trade and commercial economic ties is one of the best ways to support positive change and growth in the Americas. Advancing freer trade in the Americas opens new doors of opportunity for Canadian companies, increasing economic benefits for Canadians, including increased jobs and prosperity.

Canada's strategic push to liberalize trade with the Americas is working. We are removing barriers and facilitating two-way commerce. The Americas offer great potential. Total trade growth between countries in the Americas and Canada has increased by 39.5%, from 2005 to 2010. In order to continue to increase economic opportunity, the renewed Americas strategy will focus on intensifying trade promotion and relationship building efforts to ensure that the Canadian private sector is taking full advantage of the trade and economic agreements that are and continue to be put in place.

As part of increasing economic opportunity with Panama, Canada is committed to a strong economic partnership that will contribute to enhanced prosperity in both our countries.

Tools, such as this free trade agreement and its parallel labour and environment agreements, will promote commercial exchange, while building a winning advantage for our companies, especially in natural resource management.

I want to take a moment to pay special tribute to His Excellency Francisco Carlo Escobar Pedreschi, the former Panamanian ambassador to Canada, for all of his efforts and his strong support of this renewed and expanded free trade agreement.

To enable and protect Canadian trade and commercial investments, the security situation in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean must be taken into consideration and has rightly been made a core focus in the renewed Americas strategy.

In recognizing its security challenges, Panama has significantly increased spending on public security and has committed to the reform of security institutions. Panama continues to foster strong security co-operation with the United States and has demonstrated a willingness to co-operate with Central American neighbours under the Central American integration system regional security strategy.

Canada is pleased with the significant efforts that Panama is making to meet the challenges posed by organized crime and its efforts to exercise leadership in confronting the public security threats facing Central America.

In a region where relationships are fundamental to success, long-term and multi-faceted engagement is a vital part of Canada's Americas strategy. Competition for market share is on the rise and Canada must demonstrate that it is a serious and committed partner.

The engagement of the Prime Minister, our ministers and seniors officials has been central to this effort. While sustaining high level engagement will be essential, Canada will benefit from building relationships more broadly across the private sector, government, academia, civil society and people to people.

All countries in the region have a vested interest in prosperity, security and stability. That is why it is so important for us to build and sustain relationships with our like-minded hemisphere neighbours.

Through our strong bilateral relationships and the increasing people-to-people networks generated through educational exchanges, increased tourism and business links, our ties with Panama are growing stronger every day and we are seeing an increase in the opportunities for Canadian companies.

With 60% of our GDP dependent on trade, it is clear that jobs and communities across Canada depend on trade with other countries. Through increased access to export markets for Canadian businesses, we are supporting economic growth in Canada and creating new opportunities, jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians.

The Canada-Panama free trade agreement and the parallel labour co-operation and environment agreements are key components to advancing the goals of the Americas strategy. I ask all members for their support.