House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was registry.

Topics

Second Reading
Ending the Long-gun Registry Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, there are a couple of points. I realize the member was not in the last Parliament when we were initially discussing this issue and the NDP brought forward some of its suggestions.

We have not seen any kind of response to one of the challenges, which is that if anyone tries to decriminalize the long gun registry, it is impossible. The whole reason that it had to be part of the Criminal Code was that otherwise it would have infringed on individual property rights. One cannot just ticket people for a property; Canadian law said that it had to be in the actual Criminal Code of Canada, so unfortunately that would not work.

I also want to remind my hon. colleague of another aspect, which is that police officers would continue to have all the information regarding who has a licence to own a firearm. That means name, address, phone number, licence number and the kinds of firearms they are allowed to own; therefore, if police officers went on a call, there would still be a good indication of whether there was a firearm on the premises. Again, they will approach every situation as if it is a dangerous situation and ensure that every weapon is cleared out.

We do see this as a black and white issue. We do believe it is focusing on the wrong people. As legislators, when we see bad policy, policy this flawed, we have to stand up and have the courage to end it, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Second Reading
Ending the Long-gun Registry Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been involved with this file since I became the justice critic for my party in 2003, a little over eight and a half years ago. It is the one file that I can point to where there is very much misinformation, and I have to say that almost all of it is coming from the Conservative side of this chamber.

Any number of other countries have taken the same route that we have. Over a period of time, we have moved from total non-regulation of firearms to significant incursions into the right to own a firearm and how a firearm could be used. It has been a progression.

Today, if the bill becomes law, we wil be going through a regressive stage. It would be a regressive stage for this country and a regressive stage in the international arena.

I will start my comments today by describing how irresponsible this move by the government is on the international stage.

We have signed an international treaty through the United Nations that requires us, starting in 2012, to report annually all of the small firearms in the country. If the bill becomes law, we would have absolutely no way to meet that requirement. We have also signed an agreement with the Organization of American States that binds us, again, to issue a report each year on the number of small arms in the country. In both cases, this is an attempt by the international community, and I think a reasoned and progressive attempt, to bring the trade in small arms weaponry under control.

We see what happens when it gets out of control. We do not have to go off the continent; we simply have to look at the massacres occurring in Mexico at the current time. Weaponry is being smuggled in from the United States and, in one case, transferred by a government agency.

We are seeing regular massacres, but these weapons could be controlled. The United States has come online with the agreement and signed it, and so has Mexico. We are going to see some reasonable attempt to control the use of small arms on this continent because of these treaties.

However, we would not be part of that if the bill becomes law. Again, it is grossly irresponsible. I have yet to hear anything from the government as to how it is going to deal with this problem. The government not only would not keep the records, but it would totally destroy the records. There is absolutely no way we would be able to meet the international requirements that I assume we signed in good faith.

I will go on to what the member for Portage—Lisgar terms the “myths” that have grown up around the gun registry.

It is false to attribute the figure of $2 billion entirely to the registration of long guns in this country. That is grossly overinflated. In 2006-07 the Auditor General had a figure of $900 million to develop not only the long gun registry but the registry of handguns and prohibited weapons and the licensing of individuals for the right to own a gun. It was a package. At that time the cost was around $900 million.

By 2010, that figure was moving toward about $1.2 billion.

The $2 billion figure actually comes from one of the proponents of this legislation from the Conservative side. He has, in effect, made up numbers, making some gross assumptions on police expenses for using the system. It is a fallacious type of analysis in terms of any meaningful economic analysis of the use of the system. That is where the figure comes from, and again, it is grossly fallacious in terms of what it has actually cost.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety said we cannot believe any figures, but I am prepared to believe the $4 million figure on what it is costing now on an annual basis. That figure came initially out of a report from the Auditor General. It was confirmed repeatedly in annual reports from the RCMP.

The parliamentary secretary sat in the same hearings I did over the last 18 months. She heard the RCMP officials give that figure on a repeated basis. She never was able to challenge them with regard to that $4 million figure, nor has anyone else. Officials know how the system works. They know how much it is costing, which is $4 million annually for the registration of long guns in this country. That is the current figure. That is all we are going to save if we get rid of the long gun registry, $4 million. The $4 million figure is from the RCMP, and it is valid. No one could challenge the RCMP on it at committee.

One of the costs the Conservatives never talk about is how much it is going to cost to destroy the records.

I spent a fair amount of time working with the people who work in the registry. They described to me what they are going to have to do. One of the costs in that $1.2 billion figure over the years occurred when we merged the two systems. We used to have one system of registration of handguns and prohibited weapons and another separate system for the long gun registry. We eventually merged them around 2005. As we were doing that, we created a single system. That is where some of the problems were: when we did that, we identified a number of dates of registration and other information, such as addresses, that were not correct. That situation has been progressively corrected over the last five years.

We merged those two. To now take them apart is going to require an estimated two to five persons per year for a two-year period, and it will cost millions of dollars, because we cannot just destroy the whole system, because doing so would destroy the registration of handguns and prohibited weapons. It would have to be done on an individual registration basis, and it is going to take that long and cost that much.

Second Reading
Ending the Long-gun Registry Act
Government Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

I must interrupt the hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh at this time. He will have 11 minutes remaining when the House returns to this matter.

Statements by members, the hon. member for Prince Edward—Hastings.

The Economy
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, under the first phase of Canada's economic action plan, we made a commitment to protect Canadians from the worst effects of the global downturn with a massive investment in Canada's infrastructure. It has been a huge success in creating jobs and improving communities across Canada.

To ensure that all these projects were completed and delivered the maximum results, we worked constructively with communities and showed flexibility where needed, extending certain deadlines.

I am pleased to say that all of the numerous projects in my riding are near completion and many are under budget.

I thank all my municipalities, their leaders and staff for their co-operation and diligence in partnering successfully. Working together, we have stimulated economic activity, created thousands of jobs and the projects funded will provide lasting benefits for our communities.

This program and these projects are a win-win for our municipalities and for Canada.

Malvern Collegiate War Memorial
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, a week tomorrow I will be attending the rededication ceremony of the Malvern Collegiate War Memorial in my riding of Beaches—East York. This cenotaph bears the names of the 25 boys of Malvern, boys who graduated from this high school and went off to fight and die in the First World War.

This cenotaph, originally dedicated in 1922, represents stories of incredible courage, irrecoverable loss and the enduring value of peace.

In my view, there can be no better place for such symbolism than perched, as it is, above the student population of a high school. May the lessons that emerge from the fate of the boys of Malvern not be lost on today's boys and girls of Malvern.

My thanks to, and admiration for, all those who organized and all those who donated to the war memorial restoration campaign.

If the 25 boys of Malvern are watching next week's ceremony from on high, may they know that they have not been forgotten and that they did not die in vain.

Government of Canada
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government has introduced legislation to end the long gun registry, bringing to a close a decade -ong irritant for law-abiding farmers and hunters. We are closing the door on a $2 billion boondoggle and fulfilling our campaign promise.

Our government is following through on its commitments: cutting the GST from 7% to 5%; supporting choice in child care; fixing the broken immigration system; passing laws to make our streets and homes safer; rebuilding our armed forces; re-establishing Canada's place on the world stage; introducing a low-tax plan for jobs and growth; and guiding Canada through the worst global recession since the 1930s.

Our government is fulfilling our commitments, delivering results and getting things done for Canadians.

Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure members in this chamber can remember a teacher who played a critical role in their life, someone who taught them how to think, helped them feel good about themselves and encouraged them to continuously strive to do better.

I would like to congratulate Vancouver Quadra constituent Laurie Cassie and her colleague Rebecca Robins for being that kind of teacher and for winning the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence. That is like winning the Nobel Prize for teaching.

Laurie and Rebecca are passionate about innovative and collaborative teaching techniques and about using digital media to help their students excel. Here is how a parent at David Livingstone Elementary School in Vancouver put it:

Laurie...and Rebecca...have been instrumental in transforming our son's worldview. School is no longer a torment, but a rich adventure, where he feels his contribution is valued and his ideas respected.

That is what great teachers do.

It gives me immense pride to congratulate Laurie Cassie and Rebecca Robins on a job very well done. On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to extend my thanks to them.

Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program for 21 years of excellence.

Thirty-five young emissaries, including Stanislava Tsarkova, embracing the highest ideals of achievement and community service, have journeyed to Canada to gain valuable perspective and experience Canada's most important democratic institution, the Parliament of Canada.

They bore witness to two issues in Parliament this past week: a debate on democracy and a foreign affairs committee meeting exploring the political chicanery in Ukraine.

Ukraine's youthful ambassadors, Ukraine's future, must return with this message: Canada and Ukraine are inextricably linked by prior migration.

Canada was there for Ukraine, recognizing independence in 1991. I was there for the Orange Revolution, giving support to Ukraine's wish for electoral democracy.

Once again democracy is on trial. The people of Ukraine must not let the world-renowned example of democratic resolve of the Orange Revolution slip away.

Pantelis Kalamaris
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, some 50 years ago, a young Pantelis Kalamaris had the courage to leave his family in Greece and come to Canada for a better life. His new life was not easy. With only a basic education, Peter, as he came to be known, found work doing anything from picking tomatoes to doing dishes. He saved enough money to support his family in Greece, get married, buy a house, earn his Canadian citizenship and bring his siblings to Canada.

In 1961 he opened Peter's Barber Shop in Weston. Thousands of people have sat in his barber's chair: actors, hockey players, politicians and everyday people. They listened to his stories of Greece and hockey. His shop became famous, with appearances on both national and local media.

Often referred to as hockey's other hall of fame, Peter's Barber Shop will host the Stanley Cup in honour of the shop's 50th anniversary, this Saturday, October 29.

Sadly, he will not be there to see this. On October 3, Peter, at age 76, passed away. The Kalamaris family has lost its patriarch, Weston a local legend and Canada a remarkable citizen. Godspeed, Peter Kalamaris.

Canada-Poland Youth Internship Society
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 2009 I personally met with the Canada-Poland Friendship Group in the Polish parliament when I was in Warsaw. The feedback from those meetings indicated that there was a definite willingness to create a bilateral intern exchange program between our parliaments.

Today I rise to bring attention to the creation of the Canada-Poland Youth Internship Society, created for the purpose of establishing a youth parliamentary internship exchange program between Canada and Poland. This internship will offer young Poles a unique first-hand public service experience in the office of a Canadian lawmaker in order to learn about the Canadian parliamentary system of governance, about Canada and Canadians.

Similarly, Canadian youth will get to experience a onc- in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in the Polish parliament.

I would like to thank the membership of the Canada-Poland working group, now the society, for volunteering its time and energy to get this program off the ground. I extend special thanks to our chair, Tony Muszynski; our vice chair, Teresa Berezowski; and members Jerzy Barycki, José Semrau, Ludwik Klimkowski and Danuta Tardif.

I know I can count on all parliamentarians to help work toward building closer political, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Poland.

Exporail
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Montérégie, October is dedicated to museums. Our museums are going through some tough times, and I would like to point out that Exporail in Saint-Constant is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. This museum has the largest collection of railway equipment in Canada. Through these collections, Canadians can learn about and understand the important role that the railway played in the creation and history of our country.

I would remind the House that a motion was adopted in February 2007 calling on the government to grant this museum national museum status. However, the heritage minister refused to grant this recognition, claiming that he did not want to set a precedent, that is, to create a national museum outside of Ottawa. Nevertheless, he had the nerve to recognize two other museums in the ridings of his Conservative colleagues just a few months later.

It is the duty of this government to correct this injustice and grant Exporail national museum status so that it can ensure the future of its collection.

Bay of Fundy
Statements by Members

October 27th, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, Where the tide rip swirls
And ducks do whirl
And old Neptune calls the numbers
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I know that Stan Rogers would agree that the Bay of Fundy
Is one of the world's seven wonders.
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Twice a day in the Bay
The low tide leaves ships dry at the dock
And if you venture out to the flats you have to keep an eye on the clock
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Because when the tide turns and the water churns...it moves with massive speed and great power.
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When the highest tides in the world flow into the Bay it fills in less than a half hour.
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So we ask all of you who sit in this legislature
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To go to myfundy.com and vote for a new seventh wonder of nature.
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Again, that is myfundy.com to vote for a piece of Canadian heaven
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Or if you wish you can vote on your phone, text FUNDY at 77077
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The Bay needs your vote any time any place
You can vote Monday through Sunday
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Together we will win the day
Mr. Speaker, please vote for the Bay of Fundy.

Justice
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the opposition members say they listen to Quebeckers' opinions, but that is not true. A recent poll by Léger Marketing shows that the majority of Quebeckers feel that our justice system focuses too much on rehabilitation and 77% believe that crimes are not being adequately punished. More than 75% of Quebeckers would like our justice system to be harsher with adult criminals and nearly half of all Quebeckers want harsher sentences for young offenders.

Unlike the opposition, our government is listening to Quebeckers and has once again kept its promise by introducing the bill entitled Safe Streets and Communities Act. In the meantime, the opposition continues to claim the contrary. Clearly the NDP is not fit to govern this country. Our Conservative government, as always, is listening and keeping its promises.

Rail Transportation
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, last weekend I attended a meeting in Serpent River First Nation where stakeholder groups, such as the East Algoma Chiefs, Mayors and Reeves, the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains and Transport Pontiac-Renfrew committed their efforts to saving a critical stretch of rail in eastern Ontario. While CP has started lifting tracks between Pembroke and Smiths Falls, there is still hope to save the line from Pembroke eastward, preserving northeastern Ontario's freight and passenger link to Ottawa, Montreal and the eastern seaboard in the process.

East Algoma Chiefs, Mayors and Reeves passed a resolution in support of saving the Mattawa to Pembroke line and will be contacting other municipalities to encourage them to do the same. Serpent River First Nation Chief Isadore Day has been appointed as its delegate to raise this issue at upcoming municipal meetings on Ontario's northern growth plan.

Trains are an effective transportation option that is important to our economy and quality of life. Trains are also environmentally beneficial.

I encourage this government to work with the many groups involved in order to help preserve this crucial infrastructure and our transportation options.

Democratic Reform
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand and tell my constituents that our government has delivered on another one of our commitments to Canadians. Today the Minister of State for Democratic Reform introduced Bill C-20, the Fair Representation Act.

During the last federal general election, we promised to ensure that any update to the formula allocating House of Commons seats would be fair to all the provinces. We committed to increase the number of seats for faster-growing provinces and to protect the number of seats for smaller provinces.

This bill is principled and fair and it will move every province closer toward representation by population. I am proud to say that this bill will deliver on our Conservative government's long-standing commitment to Canadians.