Bill SIKSAY

SIKSAY, Bill, B.A.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Burnaby--Douglas (British Columbia)
Birth Date
March 11, 1955
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Siksay
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=6c68da58-bafc-4a4f-b39e-8cd226e21c57&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
political assistant

Parliamentary Career

June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
NDP
  Burnaby--Douglas (British Columbia)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
NDP
  Burnaby--Douglas (British Columbia)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
NDP
  Burnaby--Douglas (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 182)


January 31, 2011

Mr. Bill Siksay

Mr. Speaker, I think there are many ways to make our communities safer.

We have seen clearly, time and time again, that crime prevention programs actually work, better education programs work, more opportunities for citizens work, and better jobs work. There are all kinds of things that make our communities safer that have nothing to do with keeping people in jail longer or putting people in prison longer.

We have seen that rehabilitation programs in prison work, but we do not often give them the kind of importance they need. We have seen that treating people for drug addiction often makes our communities dramatically safer, and yet we do not put nearly enough resources into that.

Instead the government thinks that it can be tough on crime and put more people in jail for longer, and somehow that makes us safer. Even the Americans who were the champions of that kind of policy are turning their back on it. Some of the most outspoken proponents of it are turning their backs on it, because it just does not work.

There is proof, time and time again. There is research, time and time again. Unfortunately, that does not make an impression on the current government.

Those kinds of things are really important to all of us. The cost of incarcerating people could be used in so many other ways that would actually make our communities safer. We could engage citizens in other ways to make our communities safer. Restorative justice that engages people, victims of crime, people who have committed crime, representatives of the community from the get-go is a way of making our communities much safer. The government has no interest in that kind of program.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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January 31, 2011

Mr. Bill Siksay

Mr. Speaker, if I had been told that I would standing in the House supporting an opinion offered by Newt Gingrich, the Republican to end all Republicans in some of our minds, and Pat Nolan, the Republican leader of the California State Assembly from 1984 to 1988, I would not have believed it.

I would not have believed that it would possible that Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Nolan would release the kind of statement that they have recently that says that they were wrong, that the approach that they championed, to build more prisons, to give tougher sentences, to put people in jail longer, the “three strikes and you're out”, which I am sure Mr. Nolan was around for, that hideous attempt at justice reform. All of those things have only served to make communities poorer and more unsafe.

Here they are, turning their back and calling for the kinds of smart on crime measures the New Democrats have championed for years, generations in fact. It is really hard to believe that I could stand here and be on the same page as Newt Gingrich. My colleagues say that he has come to our page, and that is great. He has seen the light.

It just goes to show that even the strangest people can be rehabilitated in their views of society, and that I am open to that possibility. I look forward to the possibility of somebody actually struggling with the numbers, the research and the experience of this kind of legislation, and then examining it carefully.

Mr. Gingrich deserves some kudos for taking the risk. This is a huge political risk for a Republican in the United States, to write this kind of statement and to re-examine something that he championed so vociferously. I think that is a very—

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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December 16, 2010

Mr. Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to table a petition this morning signed by 74 members of Huron-Perth Presbytery of the United Church of Canada, people associated with the presbytery and people from the local communities that they represent.

These folks are respectfully asking Parliament to pass Bill C-389, my private member's bill that would add gender identity and expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act and to the Criminal Code provisions on hate crimes and sentencing.

These folks are very concerned for the situation of transgender and transsexual Canadians and they believe that Bill C-389 would go a considerable distance toward helping Canadian society fight discrimination against transgender and transsexual Canadians and their social exclusion.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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December 16, 2010

Mr. Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that two more Conservative political staff blocked the release of access to information documents. This again reminds us of the failure of the Conservatives to fulfill their promise to be accountable and transparent in government.

Do Conservative political staff routinely argue with public servants who are mandated to uphold access to information laws? How many more are involved in this kind of partisan interference? Has anyone other than Sebastien Tognieri been held responsible?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Access to Information
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December 16, 2010

Mr. Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)

Madam Speaker, as the chair of the NDP's British Columbia caucus I want to say how important this legislation is to people in British Columbia. We want to make sure that the folks in British Columbia have the appropriate representation in this place so that their views can be appropriately represented to the rest of Canada, to all the parties here in the House of Commons.

The member mentioned that changing the electoral map, adding these seats in British Columbia, is only one piece of the electoral reform puzzle. He has talked about the other things that New Democrats have strongly argued for, such as abolishing the Senate, as well as the importance of proportional representation.

I wonder if he could say a few words about the importance of proportional representation. Is that something that should also be on the agenda of this Parliament to ensure that we have real democratic reform here in Canada?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Democratic Representation Act
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