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

Topics

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is it agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 123
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

With respect to federal funding for agencies and organizations providing immigrant settlement services: (a) for each of the fiscal years from 2001-2002 to 2011-2012, what was the total amount of federal funding allocated (i) across Canada as a whole, (ii) by province and territory, (iii) by municipality, (iv) by electoral district; (b) for each of the fiscal years from 2001-2002 to 2011-2012, what is the total number of agencies and organizations that applied for federal funding (i) across Canada as a whole, (ii) broken down by province and territory, (iii) broken down by municipality, (iv) broken down by electoral district; (c) for each of the fiscal years from 2001-2002 to 2011-2012, what was the total number of agencies and organizations to which federal funding was allocated (i) across Canada as a whole, (ii) broken down by province and territory, (iii) broken down by municipality, (iv) broken down by electoral district; (d) for each of the fiscal years from 2001-2002 to 2011-2012, what was the total number of agencies and organizations whose applications for federal funding were rejected, (i) across Canada as a whole, (ii) broken down by province and territory, (iii) broken down by municipality, (iv) broken down by electoral district; (e) of those agencies receiving funding per the parameters in (c), what are all agencies that received funding in any fiscal year which was less than the total funding received by that agency in the previous fiscal year, including, for each such agency, (i) the name of the agency, (ii) the provincial, municipal and electoral disctrict location of the agency, (iii) the total amount of funding allocated to the agency in each fiscal year from 2001-2002 to 2011-2012; (f) of those agencies whose applications for funding were rejected per the parameters in (d), what are all agencies that had received funding in a previous fiscal year, including, for each such agency, (i) the name of the agency, (ii) the provincial, municipal and electoral disctrict location of the agency, (iii) the total amount of funding allocated to the agency in each fiscal year from 2001-2002 to 2011-2012; (g) what are the criteria used by the government to evaluate applications for funding by agencies and organizations providing immigrant settlement services; (h) how have the criteria listed in response to (g) changed since 2006; (i) what is the process by which applications for funding are evaluated; and (j) how has the process listed in response to (i) changed since 2006?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Syria
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

November 1st, 2011 / 10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, maybe now we can find consensus in the House to adopt my motion for a take note debate on what is happening in Syria.

It looks like the Arab Spring, which all of us from all sides of the House looked upon with great anticipation, is turning into an Arab deep freeze in the Middle East. In Syria, the regime of Bashar al-Assad is killing its own people. Tanks are on the streets.

As we did with the question of a take note debate on what is happening in Ukraine and Egypt, I am asking you, Mr. Speaker, to allow us to have an emergency debate on what is happening in Syria. This House could probably move in that direction.

Syria
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I regret to inform the hon. member that I do not feel that this meets the requirements for an emergency debate at this time.

The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House Leader.

Syria
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as my friend opposite knows full well, the motion that he is trying to pass in the House and the idea that he is trying to promote may not necessarily be opposed by any member in the House. However, it has been a custom and a tradition, which he knows full well, that these types of issues are discussed at the House leaders' meetings that are held once every week. I would strongly suggest that he put this forward to his own House leader, who can bring it to our House leaders' meeting, which will be held today at 3:15 this afternoon, at which time we can discuss it. We may in fact find some commonality between all parties on this, but that is the proper procedure to follow.

Syria
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

We are under applications for emergency debates and the member has informed the Chair of his request to raise it, which is why we are dealing with it now. However, I am sure he will take up the parliamentary secretary's offer to discuss this for, perhaps, a take note debate.

The House resumed from October 28 consideration of the motion that Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

Ending the Long-gun Registry Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to speak to the government legislation to end the gun registry.

This could be a serious policy matter for legislators to address were it not for the politics of the Conservative government and the mess made with the registry by the previous Liberal government. We could have a discussion on community safety; we could listen to our police; we could pay attention to the concerns and situations of all Canadians, including our rural communities and aboriginal people, but we have not.

The government is now bent not only on ending the registry but on returning this country to a place worse than when the registry was introduced. The government is bent on the destruction of the data collected for the registry that the police and the provinces want kept. The government that screams about the money wasted on the registry by the previous Liberal government is prepared to spend billions on a bonfire to destroy the records.

This law and order government will not listen to the police. The government that talks about respecting provincial rights and provincial jurisdiction will not listen to the provinces who want to keep the data.

All of this is because of an ideology that has nothing to do with community safety or the rights of our citizens.

Let us be clear about the legislation and all it does beyond ending the gun registry.

The legislation eliminates the requirement to register non-restricted firearms and destroys existing records of the long gun registry.

As a registration certificate will no longer be required to possess a non-restricted firearm, certain offences in the Firearms Act are being amended or repealed. The Criminal Code is also being amended so that the failure to hold a registration certificate for a non-restricted firearm does not give rise to any of the offences relating to unauthorized possession of a firearm and does not allow police to seize firearms.

Previous versions of the government's bill to dismantle the registry had a requirement for people to check that the person to whom they were selling or giving a long gun was a licensed firearm owner. Earlier versions also allowed for businesses to keep records of the sale of long guns as was the practice prior to the registry. The bill contains neither provision.

As New Democrats, we have made it clear that there is a better way to proceed. We can have good gun control laws and also address the problems of the registry.

In 2010 the NDP put forward a number of suggestions to address problems with the registry while maintaining its value as a public safety tool. The proposals included: decriminalizing first time non-registration of long guns, making a one-time offence a non-criminal ticket; enshrine in legislation that gun owners will never be charged for registration; prevent the release of identifying information about gun owners, except to protect public safety by court order or by law; and, create a legal guarantee for aboriginal treaty rights.

For the Conservative Party, which is now the government, the long gun registry has been all about politics and fundraising. For five years as government it never introduced government legislation to do away with the registry it hated. Instead, it used its opposition to the registry to raise funds for the party.

Despite campaigning to abolish the registration of long guns in the 2006 general election, the Conservative government never actually brought a bill before the House of Commons for a vote. Instead, it preferred to simply fan the flames of division between urban and rural Canadians.

As a resident of northern Ontario, I know of the significant criticisms from rural and aboriginal Canadians for the registry. Under the Liberal government's management, the implementation of the long gun registry was marred by long delays, fees for registration and significant cost overruns. It was not properly introduced or managed.

Our party's former leader, Jack Layton, understood the north and those concerns. In August 2010, building consensus across the country in cities in rural Canada, he said:

Stopping gun violence has been a priority for rural and urban Canadians. There’s no good reason why we shouldn’t be able to sit down with good will and open minds. There’s no good reason why we shouldn’t be able to build solutions that bring us together. But that sense of shared purpose has been the silent victim of the gun registry debate.

[The Prime Minister] has been no help at all. Instead of driving for solutions, he has used this issue to drive wedges between Canadians.... [The Conservatives] are stoking resentments as a fundraising tool to fill their election war chest. [The Prime Minister] is pitting Canadian region against Canadian region with his “all or nothing show-down”. This is un-Canadian.

This kind of divisiveness, pitting one group against another is the poisonous politics of the United States. Not the nation-building politics of Canada.

No matter our views on the registry, the government needs to get its head out of the sand and recognize some facts. We know how many times the registry is used. As of September 30, 2011, the Canadian firearms registry is accessed 17,402 times per day. We know there is value related to this registry that must be retained.

While there are significant cost overruns in the initial phase of registry set-up, as highlighted by the Auditor General's 2006 report which revealed that the cost of the Canadian firearms program had hit $946 million by 2005, by 2010 the cost of the registry was stabilized at about $4 million.

Some provinces want to keep the registry data and some do not. Let us allow each province to decide for itself. If Quebec wants the registry data, it should be Quebec's right to keep it. If Saskatchewan does not, Saskatchewan should be making that decision, not Ottawa. Yet the Conservative government that loves to preach about letting provinces decide now wants Ottawa to dictate that decision. What a strange day for a party that was born of Reform and Canadian Alliance parents who hated Ottawa doing just what the Conservatives are now doing to the provinces and regions.

I have received well over 600 emails over the last couple of days about the gun registry. I will quote from an email that I received from Michael:

[This government] has no right to destroy the Long Gun Registry. This information has been bought and paid for by Canadian Taxpayer[s].

Destroying it would be disrespectful to Canadian the Tax Payer, not that respecting the Canadian Tax Payer matters much to [this] government.

Barbara wrote in an email:

I hope all NDP members fight 2 save Registry Data. Data was collected by provinces and does not belong to the Federal Government. Take it to the Courts if needed; 60% of Canadians stand with you!

I received an email from Richard who wrote:

I agree that the long gun registry needs to be fixed but not abolished. There are people in the community that are informed and like gun laws.

Here is another email, this one from Jacques. He says:

The government has done three things that I am uncomfortable with:

1. Abolishing the gun registry even though police officers are asking that it be maintained. How can they justify allowing the free circulation of firearms?

I will not list the other two points that make this man uncomfortable since they have nothing to do with the gun registry.

As I said earlier, I have received hundreds and hundreds of emails, and I would like the government to reconsider keeping the gun registry data.

Ending the Long-gun Registry Act
Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, the member made reference to the costs of implementing the gun registry. I thought maybe he would take some shots at the Liberal Party.

My concern is that many outside professional groups have seen the value of the gun registry. We like to believe that governments make decisions based on information and facts and that it applies some common sense.

I can assure the member that typically this is what we have done as a party. We look to the member to provide some comment as to the direction in which he would be taking us if the NDP were in government. Would the NDP commit to reinstate the gun registry?

Ending the Long-gun Registry Act
Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Madam Speaker, the fact of the matter is we are not in government; we are in opposition.

What the government is going to do in the short term is get rid of the data that has been collected for the gun registry for the last 15 to 20 years. Some provinces want this data and some provinces do not. The government should allow the provinces to decide for themselves what to do with this data.