Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Fraser Valley East (British Columbia)
Birth Date
January 19, 1933
Deceased Date
December 12, 2003
store manager

Parliamentary Career

September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
  Fraser Valley East (British Columbia)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
  Fraser Valley East (British Columbia)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport (April 5, 1989 - May 7, 1991)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (May 8, 1991 - June 24, 1993)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (September 1, 1993 - October 26, 1993)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (September 1, 1993 - October 26, 1993)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 6 of 107)

April 21, 1993

Mr. Ross Belsher (Fraser Valley East):

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw attention to a case of great concern to thousands of Canadians and more specifically to people in the Fraser Valley.

Two young Canadians, Christine Lamont and David Spencer, have been serving time in a Brazilian jail since 1989. These two people were arrested for their involvement in the kidnapping of a wealthy Brazilian businessman. They denied knowledge of the kidnapping but were convicted and sentenced.

I know the government, specifically the minister of external affairs, has maintained a strong interest in this case and made efforts through diplomatic channels on behalf of these two Canadians. As well, a treaty between Brazil and Canada to facilitate prisoner transfers is completed and awaits ratification and implementation.

There have been reports of terrible conditions in Brazilian jails. As well, there are indications that sanitary conditions in some jails are below adequate standards. I

April 21, 1993

realize that information from the media does not give the full picture but it does raise concerns.

Considering the conditions that Lamont and Spencer find themselves in and the unfinished nature of the prisoner transfer agreement I ask if there is any further assistance the minister and her officials can give these people.

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April 20, 1993

Mr. Ross Belsher (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency):

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for raising this question once again with us.

I want to tell the hon. member that the guidelines on gender based persecutions issued by the chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee Board on March 9 are intended to promote consistency in decisions of refugee claims. They are consistent with the interpretation of the definition of a convention refugee proposed in the 1985 resolution of the executive committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees which Canada supported. This allows decision makers to consider women refugee claimants as members of a social group.

These guidelines were the first issued pursuant to the authority of the chairperson contained in recent amendments to the Immigration Act, Bill C-86. There is no reason to believe these non-binding guidelines that respect the independence of decision makers and that were developed in a consultative process will be less effective in promoting consistency than binding direction on the interpretation of the convention definition.

Persecution against a woman based on any one of the five grounds delineated in the refugee convention can result in that woman being recognized as a refugee. If the persecution is solely the consequence of the fact that the individual is a woman or is directed against a particular subgroup of women, the claim can be accepted on the basis that she is a member of a particular social group. The process of evaluation of a refugee claim would not be any easier if the definition of a convention refugee were amended either within Canada or internationally to include gender.

I hope this answers the member's concerns.

Adjournment Debate CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

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April 19, 1993

Mr. Ross Belsher (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency):

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to say a few words to note the passing of Alex Patterson, a former member of this House of Commons and my predecessor as the member of Parliament for Fraser Valley East.

Alex Patterson spent most of his adult life working on behalf of the people in Fraser Valley East. He represented the riding in Parliament for most of the period between 1953 and 1984. In that period he earned a reputation as a hard worker and served as an MP for both the Social Credit Party and the Progressive Conservative Party.

April 19, 1993

Alex generated a good reputation in the riding not based solely on his ties with the Social Credit Party or the PC Party but more as a hard working gentleman who emphasized being involved at the grass roots level in the community.

Alex Patterson was bom in 1911 in Raymore, Saskatchewan, a prairie boy like myself, and moved to Abbotsford in 1951. It was in the early years, while carrying out his responsibilities as a minister of the gospel in the Church of the Nazarene, that he was approached to run in the 1953 federal election. His background and training in the church gave Alex a very clear view of right and wrong. He tried to emphasize these positions in his speeches during his first election campaign and continued to do so as the member of Parliament.

Alex was first elected in 1953 and then defeated in the Diefenbaker sweep of 1958. He was re-elected in 1962 and was defeated in the Liberal victory of 1968. He was then asked to serve under the Progressive Conservative label instead of the Social Credit label and accepted that challenge. He was elected in 1972 and served in this House until 1984 when he announced his retirement and I was nominated to stand as the Progressive Conservative candidate.

It was my privilege to attend, along with my wife, the funeral services held in Abbotsford on April 6 and to express the condolences of my wife and myself to his wife Charlotte, their four children and their spouses and his many grandchildren who were there. They are a credit to Alex and Charlotte's life together. I want them to know that this House appreciates the contribution that Alex made not only to the community of Fraser Valley East in British Columbia but to Canada in his service in this House of Commons.

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March 30, 1993

Mr. Ross Belsher (Fraser Valley East):

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday I had the privilege of accompanying the Minister of Indian Affairs and the Minister of State for Transport to the launching ceremony of the $350,000 expansion of the Vancouver International Airport.

March 30,1993

The Vancouver International Airport Authority, a not for profit corporation which took over operations from the federal government last year, has developed plans to build a new international terminal building and a new runway, both to be completed by 1996.

Full consideration is being given to the environmental impact of construction and special efforts will be made on the issues of noise reduction, habitat preservation and the maintaining of green spaces.

In addition, the federal government, through Transport Canada, will complement these new facilities by constructing a new control tower and an instrument landing system at a cost of just over $20 million.

It should be noted that the airport authority has devised a method of paying for the runway and terminal building improvements without depending on government grants, subsidies or guarantees.

Congratulations to Chester Johnson, chairman of the airport authority; David Emerson, president and chief executive officer of the authority; and all of the other people who have contributed to these plans to prepare Vancouver International Airport for the 21st century.

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March 29, 1993

Mr. Ross Belsher (Fraser Valley East):

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to address the problem facing women who are persistently harassed, intimidated and threatened by men.

Men who are former partners or social friends sometimes pester or threaten women to the point where they become confined to their homes in fear of the harassment that awaits them when they go about their daily lives.

Over half of the states in the U.S. have laws giving police a tool with which to lay serious charges against anyone whose pattern of harassment poses a credible threat of physical or psychological harm.

March 29, 1993

Police officers who deal directly with persons involved in stalking incidents throughout the U.S. and Canada support such legislation because it gives them a more effective tool with which to protect women.

I think it important to note that this is an issue that overwhelmingly affects women. I understand that the Minister of Justice is considering a number of legislative options. I urge him and the government to act quickly and address the issue of stalking before the problem increases.

Subtopic:   HARASSMENT
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