House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was registry.

Topics

Human Trafficking
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition for a number of residents from beautiful Langley, British Columbia, my riding.

The petitioners say that the trafficking of women and children across the international borders for the purpose of sexual exploitation should be condemned and that it is the duty of Parliament to protect the most vulnerable members of society from harm, those being the victims of human trafficking.

They petition the government to continue its work to combat trafficking of persons worldwide and to develop and implement a comprehensive national action plan to combat human trafficking.

Super Visas
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, back on November 4, 2011, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration made an announcement in regard to the super visa, indicating that people would be able to apply for a 10-year multiple entry visa, creating a huge expectation. The people who have signed this—

Super Visas
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I think somebody has a cellphone turned on in the House. Maybe if I could get a page to bring it up to the chair, then who ever owns it can come and get it.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North can finish his petition.

Super Visas
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration made the announcement on November 4, 2011, about the super visa. Then on December 1, he came out with the details on it.

The petitioners have recognized a serious flaw in the super visa, turning it into more of a super disappointment. They call upon the government to recognize that the requirements need to be changed. In particular, the health insurance issue is preventing not hundreds, but thousands of people from being reunited with their parents at a time in which they want to celebrate the birth of a new child, or graduation services or so many other wonderful opportunities when families should be together.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

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

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

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act, be read the third time and passed.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Vancouver East.

At the beginning of my speech, I said that I did not like the way the Conservatives, with their 13 former police officers, thought they had the right to shoot down every one of the arguments we made just because we do not have any police experience in our caucus.

The point of my reply was to explain that we represent the people, whether we have had the same experience or not. I have a letter here that Jocelyne Sauvé sent to my office. Ms. Sauvé is with the Montérégie health and social services agency. This letter is very important because it supports the remarks that my colleague from Gatineau just made. People in the health sector are talking about other aspects of this issue, not just about hunting or the very tragic, high-profile cases like the École Polytechnique and Dawson College. People are talking about situations in which health is a factor, such as suicide.

I would like to quote from her letter:

A number of studies have shown that a home where there are firearms is five times more likely to be the scene of a suicide and three times more likely to be the scene of a homicide or a firearm-related accident than a home without a gun.

The government claims that whether a firearm is registered or not changes nothing. However, the idea is to have a system that discourages the inappropriate use of a firearm by someone with that kind of problem. That is why Ms. Sauvé, the director of the Montérégie health and social services agency, supports our position on maintaining the gun registry. One example we often hear is that people have to register their cars. A registry would deter people who should not possess firearms from acquiring them.

A comment was made the last time I used the argument that we have to register our vehicles. We are talking about federal and provincial jurisdictions. In the case of the gun registry, it is the Criminal Code that applies. When we use the example of vehicle registration, it is for comparison purposes. There is a system in place to deter individuals who would use their vehicles inappropriately.

Let us get back to the tragedy of the female police officer in Laval, which was referred to at the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. As with any governmental or social system, it is not perfect. We will never be able to prevent every tragedy. The fact that the system did not work in some cases is not sufficient argument to abolish the registry.

Some members represent rural ridings and regions where there are people—hunters—who comply with the law and who use their firearms for sporting purposes, including hunting. Even though I represent a riding where people do not necessarily hunt, some people there are still required to register their firearms. This means that I can understand the situation and have discussions with individuals in the same situation as the citizens represented by Conservative members.

It is very important to point this out. Back home, the reaction of those who must deal with this system is to wonder whether it is perfect. We NDP members say that it is not perfect. However, it is the best option right now, and we are very open to making improvements such as those that were proposed in the past, in 2010, by our party and by our former leader, Mr. Layton. That is the kind of proposals that we would put forward. Abolishing the system and destroying the data against the will of the provinces, particularly Quebec, and against the will of our fellow citizens and of NDP members is not the proper way to proceed. That is why I oppose Bill C-19.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, early in his speech the member said that having 13 members of law enforcement in our caucus did not really make much difference. Actually, having these people really gives us depth and understanding of the reality of the gun registry.

Nonetheless, the member's main point was actually about time allocation and continuing the debate. As we have heard in this House, the NDP is not actually interested in voting but only in debating: it wants to continue debates without voting. I wonder if this member agrees with that principle.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is very simple. I agree that we should be able to continue the debate. That is our duty and that is our right as members of Parliament. I am not saying we should not vote. There is no question that we will get to that point eventually.

I just want to touch on the first part of the hon. member's question. Incidentally, I thank him for the question, because it gives me an opportunity to say that I certainly do not overlook the expertise of those members of his caucus who were once police officers, and nor do I overlook the contribution they can make to this debate. I take exception to their comments to the extent that they use their own experience to reduce or downplay the value and quality of the testimony by other police officers and witnesses. I have a hard time with that. In addition to their personal experience, many opinions have been expressed in this debate, including some from people working in that same environment. Just because they share the same experience does not mean that what other police officers are saying is wrong.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 6, 2011, which is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, a committee called “Ensemble contre la violence faite aux femmes” was established in the Quebec City region. It includes four groups of women from that region: the Centre de ressources pour femmes de Beauport, the Centre femmes d'aujourd'hui, Violence Info and Viol Secours.

What does the hon. member think of that committee, which says that destroying the registry poses a direct threat to women and public safety?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

I think it is very problematic. In my riding, there are organizations working for the rights of women who are subjected to violence. One of them is the Centre de femmes l'Essentielle, in Beloeil. These organizations work very hard. Therefore, to disregard their testimony, their letters and their discussions with us on this issue is very problematic. It reinforces the fact that this is not a black and white issue. It is not merely a matter of annoying hunters with the legislation. There are really some very important social issues, including the situation of women. This is very important and it should be taken into consideration in this debate.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I once heard a Conservative member of Parliament say that it was not necessary to listen to experts and work with the other parties, because it is often good enough to just talk to a few families.

I wonder if my colleague could give us his take on this comment. We talk about time allocation and restricting debates, but not about the Conservatives' willingness to hear dissenting opinions or to co-operate in committee to make changes to their bills.

I wonder if the hon. member could give us the names of some people who oppose abolishing the gun registry, tell us what their positions are and explain why, in his opinion, the views of these people were ignored.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for her question. As I mentioned in my speech, I have a letter that was sent to me by Jocelyne Sauvé, the director of the Montérégie health and social services agency. She is opposed to this bill because of the suicides that the firearms registry could prevent. The hon. member raises a very important point.

That is one of the reasons why we would like to continue the debate. There are people who are very concerned, and those concerns must be taken into account. As the NDP has pointed out numerous times, we want to make amendments to address the concerns of people who use the registry and to respect the opinions of experts and people who have spoken out against Bill C-19.