Valerie (Val) MEREDITH

MEREDITH, Valerie (Val)

Personal Data

Party
Conservative
Constituency
South Surrey--White Rock--Langley (British Columbia)
Birth Date
April 22, 1949
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Val_Meredith
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=5dcf65db-981b-4d6e-9644-dd4b556a94c3&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businesswoman, realtor

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
REF
  Surrey--White Rock--South Langley (British Columbia)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
REF
  South Surrey--White Rock--Langley (British Columbia)
  • Canadian Alliance Caucus Chair (March 27, 2000 - July 31, 2000)
March 27, 2000 - October 22, 2000
CA
  South Surrey--White Rock--Langley (British Columbia)
  • Canadian Alliance Caucus Chair (March 27, 2000 - July 31, 2000)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
CA
  South Surrey--White Rock--Langley (British Columbia)
April 10, 2002 - May 23, 2004
IND
  South Surrey--White Rock--Langley (British Columbia)
April 16, 2002 - May 23, 2004
CA
  South Surrey--White Rock--Langley (British Columbia)
December 23, 2003 - May 23, 2004
CPC
  South Surrey--White Rock--Langley (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 216)


October 31, 2003

Ms. Val Meredith (South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, some of the bureaucrats involved in the trip to St. Louis on a Bombardier plane knew that it was a conflict of interest. They realized that by using a supplier's plane, it compromised the impartiality that the civil service is required to maintain.

Employees of defence, public works and Transport Canada knew that using Bombardier's plane was unethical.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister admit that the unethical behaviour in cabinet makes it difficult to enforce Treasury Board guidelines in the bureaucracy?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Ethics
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October 31, 2003

Ms. Val Meredith (South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have long accepted the fact that Bombardier is the favoured child of the Prime Minister and that special treatment is always a factor.

The Auditor General is looking into one of the latest questionable deals: the purchase of two Challenger jets for the Prime Minister. Now we learn that government officials rode on a subsidized Bombardier jet to its plant in St. Louis for this purchase.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister think this is acceptable?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Ethics
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October 28, 2003

Ms. Val Meredith

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his questions and comments.

It does not take too much to realize that someone can be crawling along the ground and still be leading. I do not think the government can take any credit for leading anybody in issues such as this.

If the government feels that what it is doing is leading, then I would hate to think what it would do if it was following. My response to that is one is judged by their actions, not by their words.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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October 28, 2003

Ms. Val Meredith (South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate in this supply day motion put before the House by the hon. member for Wild Rose. I know he has been trying for quite some time to get this issue on the floor.

I would like to perhaps make this a little more personal. As a mother and a grandmother, it causes me great concern with the way our society is going as far as protecting its children.

When I was a young woman living in Slave Lake, Alberta, the community was putting together a day care to provide a safe place for young children to spend their day. We had a visit from a police officer from Edmonton who spoke to us in general terms about the abuse of young children. I can remember being unable to comprehend what she was telling us. She told us that young children, even those a few months old, had been sexually assaulted by adults. I found it hard to accept that an adult could do that sort of thing to a baby. She assured me that this was in fact a case file, that it was not a made up story and that cases like that did happen.

Over the last 10 years I have been subjected to people coming to my office who are concerned that the laws of the land do not protect younger children, even those 14 years of age. There was such a case in my own constituency. A 27 year old had taken a 14 year old girl out of her home with her consent and they were living together. The parents of that 14 year old child could do nothing about it.

I am not alone in caring about this issue. I will be sharing my time with the member for Crowfoot who also is concerned as are, I would hope, most members in the House.

A number of issues need to be addressed when we talk about the protection of our children. One of those issues is the fact that we as adults have to take responsibility for protecting children. We have to ensure that society takes that responsibility seriously. Not only do we have to ensure that the police and legal people who take these cases to court take this seriously, but we have to ensure that judges and those people who determine sentences take these situations seriously as well.

There has been a lot of debate as to the legal parameters of when child pornography is pornography and when it is artistic merit. We know that children are being hurt either directly or indirectly when we see a picture or anything depicting children in an inappropriate sexual situation.

As a parent and as a grandparent, I am more concerned about the psychological damage done to young people who find themselves being abused and being made the victim of filming or whatever to satisfy an adult's needs. The statistics show the damage done to those young people. Survivors struggle with depression, low self-esteem, self-blame, dissatisfaction with life, anxiety, disassociations, splitting between the mind and the body and difficulties in relationships. The list goes on and on of how young children end up responding to situations that they have no control over goes.

Being used as an instrument in the creation of pornography is something that a young person knows is not acceptable, yet often that material is used to coerce them into keeping quiet and continuing with the process.

Others before me have mentioned how, through the Internet, invasive child pornography has become. There was a case in the Toronto area where a 32 year old man was arrested for taking pictures of young women at different places in society, bus stops, stores, and even in bathrooms. He was using these images to further whatever. He has been charged. The question is what kind of penalty will he receive in the courts?

Canadians are concerned about that. Statistics will show that Canadians are concerned that the courts are not dealing with this in a proper manner. One source from the Ottawa Citizen says that in 1999 the Ontario Provincial Police pornography investigation unit executed 59 search warrants, laid 110 charges, arrested 28 people and performed 134 investigations. Unfortunately, what happens is these cases do not manage to get through the courts with any meaningful sentencing.

Therefore, Canadians are left with the feeling that not enough is being done, that the laws are not specific enough, that the courts can convict but that they not be taking this as seriously as Canadians do.

A Pollara poll taken last year found that 76 respondents agreed that passing a stronger child pornography law should be a high priority for the federal government. I do not think the government has even dealt with this. I know Bill C-20 is before the House, but most people are saying that it does not come anywhere close to dealing with the issue of child pornography.

Some 86% of Canadians disagree with the recent B.C. decision acquitting John Robin Sharpe of possession and distribution of child pornography. It is quite clear to me, and it should be clear to the House, that Canadians do not feel this government or the courts are doing enough to protect our children.

As was said before me, our most valuable asset is our children. We in the House have a duty to them to do everything possible to ensure that they are protected, and I include 14 year olds. I do not know how many members have 14 year old children or grandchildren, but let me say, they are not very mature. They may think they know what is good for them and they may think they know what they should be doing, but I can assure everyone, they do not.

One place for us to start is to recognize that a 14 year old is a child and that, as a child, they are not in a position of giving their consent to an adult relationship. I am not talking about a teenage to teenage relationship. Other countries have shown, as we have in the past, that close to age consent is something quite different. However, we owe it to our children to ensure that we do not have children in adult relationships that are inappropriate. We owe it to our children to ensure that they are not used as victims to create pornography that is used for purposes, which none of us here can possibly support. We owe it to our children to ensure that we do everything possible to protect them in the future.

I speak with an impassioned plea to those across the way to support this motion and to support the fact that the House broadly condemns the use of child pornography in Canadian society and that we ask the government and the courts to take it seriously because that is what Canadians want.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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October 28, 2003

Ms. Val Meredith

Mr. Speaker, it sounds like a reasonable approach. As the hon. member said, a lot of children now are using the Internet.

It is also the responsibility of the parents to ensure they know what their children are watching or doing on the Internet. It is also incumbent upon the parents to put those kinds of things into the system which blocks out that kind of material.

However, I think we will have to expand our imagination as to how we control the use of cyberspace, as my hon. colleague called it. We have been able to do some of it. We have been able to control the promotion of hate material, so I certainly think the same can be done for promoting child pornography.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
Full View Permalink