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

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, usually I say that I am pleased to rise in the House to speak to whatever bill we are debating, but today I have to say that when it comes to Bill C-19, , which would end the long gun registry, I wish we were not debating this bill. I think it is a terrible bill. The whole process and history of the bill have been incredibly divisive in Parliament. I would be the first to say that we would do anything to keep the debate going so that we would not get to a vote and hopefully we could defeat the bill, but I do not think that is likely.

Yet again the government has brought in another gag order to limit debate on the bill and force it through to a vote, which is the government's right to do. However, it is just another indication of the well-established pattern of the government. The Conservatives would like to dismiss the parliamentary process as much as they can and rush bills through. That is certainly what is happening on this bill.

I do want to put on the record my concerns about the bill, my opposition to it and what I think the impact of the bill would be.

The bill would eliminate the requirement to register non-restricted firearms and it would also destroy existing long gun registration records. That is particularly offensive. The campaign that has been put out by the Conservatives strikes me as something that is particularly mean. It strikes me as something that is particularly destructive. It is one thing to say that politically they support the end of the registry and they want to eliminate it, and they have always been clear on their position from way back, but then they want to go further and destroy all of the existing records and eliminate any possibility that those records may be very important in the future. For example, Quebec likely will have a legal challenge and the question of these records will become very important.

The two aspects of the bill are very disturbing, one which is to eliminate the registry itself, and the other which is for the government to go even further and be hell-bent on getting rid of everything and destroying all of the records that go along with it. Even people who have questions about the registry would find it quite shocking that the government would go so far as to destroy all the records and preclude any potential use those records may have in the future.

My colleague mentioned the late Jack Layton. I also say that he did an incredible job of responding to this issue. The issue was put forward by the Conservatives in a way that divided Canadians, which often pitted rural and northern Canadians against Canadians who live in urban areas. Jack Layton rose above that. He understood the concerns of the long gun registry and sought ways to mitigate the problems and the concerns that existed.

The NDP put forward a proposal and a bill that would have addressed some of the concerns that existed with the gun registry. That was Mr. Layton's leadership. He brought people together. He did not let it be a divisive thing not only in his own caucus, but also in broader Canadian society.

We have been very clear. We do want to address the legitimate concerns of rural and aboriginal Canadians, but also ensure that the police have the tools they need to keep our streets safe.

The fact is there are approximately seven million registered non-restricted firearms in Canada as of September 2011, and almost two million Canadians who are licensed firearms owners. We are talking about a not insignificant number.

To me the use of the registry is where the debate moves from what has been an ideological ground staked out by the Conservatives to the realities of everyday life. I always find it quite ironic that on the one hand the Conservative members are quick to rise and support the work of public safety officers, police officers and police chiefs, and yet when it comes to the registry, they somehow ignore the very substantive evidence of what the registry actually does in supporting and protecting public safety.

As of September 2011, the registry is accessed about 17,000 times a day. That is a very significant number. It tells us that this is something that is active. It is used by officers who are out in the field, following up calls and complaints, and who oftentimes go into very high-risk and dangerous situations. In a survey, 92% of general duty police officers responded that they use the firearms information centre. That is a very high number. It shows us that this is not just a figment of someone's imagination or a system that is sitting on a shelf gathering dust. This is a real tool that is being used by police officers every day as they carry out their work. It astounds me that somehow that information can be so ignored in the face of a political decision to get rid of the registry. Unfortunately, it is a pattern that we have seen with the government. The government tends to ignore evidence and to make decisions based on its political agenda and ideological beliefs as opposed to making public policy decisions on sound evidence and information that is readily available. This has been a sad story with this legislation.

One reason the gun registry is important is that it saves lives. There have been many studies done but one from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec estimates that more than 2,000 lives have been saved since the implementation of the Firearms Act.

Unfortunately, violence against women in our society is still very prevalent. It is a threat that women live with every day. On average one in three women who are killed by their husbands is shot and 88% of those are with legally owned rifles and shotguns. Since the introduction of the registry, gun-related spousal homicides have gone down 50%. This is very significant evidence to show that the terrible situation of violence against women and domestic violence are things to which we have to pay attention. The gun registry was not a panacea to that. We need to focus on all kinds of things, like education, criminal justice and safe shelters for women. However, the registry was a tool that could be used when officers were going into those domestic disturbance situations. They would know what they were walking into. We should be aware that the registry had a real impact on the lives and safety of women in this country.

I would also say that I know there was mismanagement of the registry. I was in Parliament in 2005 when the costs came out and they were approaching $1 billion. It was staggering. There was no question there were problems with the registry, but we should note that by 2010 the cost of the registry had stabilized to about $4 million a year and was much more manageable and was doing the purpose for which it was brought in. There is a history of mismanagement and problems, but those things have also been addressed.

There are other issues to do with the registry. The NDP has been very clear in bringing forward proposals to fix those concerns in terms of ensuring that people are not criminalized, that the registration process is clear and simple.

It is a very sad day for this country that this registry will be abolished and the records destroyed, that debate in Parliament was shut down, and that the truth of evidence became part of what was left on the side to be discarded in this debate. I am proud that New Democrats did not do that. We understand the evidence. We understand the importance of this registry and the need to maintain it and ensure it works as a proper safety tool.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Vancouver East for her defence of a sensible approach to public safety and gun control in our country.

I want to underline one point my colleague made, that in order to find ways in which we can come together as a country over divisive issues, the way forward is not to make those issues more exaggerated but to find ways to bridge the gulf. That is what our party has been committed to do. Certainly our late leader, Jack Layton, showed that kind of leadership on this issue.

My hon. colleague is from Vancouver East and I am from the riding of Davenport on the west side of the downtown core of Toronto. Could she speak to the importance of making gun control, whether they are long guns, short guns, handguns, a vitally important piece of public safety in our urban centres?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the member and I represent ridings that are very similar.

In Vancouver East where there is a lot of gang violence as a result of drug deals and so on, there are huge concerns about these deadly weapons. Unfortunately, there are stories almost every week in the media about the violence that goes on. People feel very strongly about the need to have strict gun control. In fact, I cannot see any legitimate reason to have guns in an urban environment. That should not exist.

We should be tackling some of the roots of this violence, such as drug prohibition, and recognize that with these shootouts that go on, sometimes civilians are caught up in them accidentally. This has a tragic impact on local communities. We need gun control and gun registration. We also need to look at the underlying issues of urban violence involving guns and address that as well.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the member commented on the cost of the long gun registry. Over the years I have found that many Canadians have heard from opponents of the gun registry that it costs billions of dollars. The point needs to be made that the annual operating cost of administering the gun registry, I have been told, is less than $4 million. I wonder if the member would like to add further comment in terms of the value of that $4 million given the service that it provides.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was actually the auditor general's report in 2006 which revealed that the cost of the program had come to close to $1 billion, some $946 million, in 2005. That is obviously a significant cost. I agree with my colleague that the cost stabilized to about $4 million of the total $76.5 million for the Canadian firearms program.

There is a lesson to be learned here. I know the member was not here then, but the Liberal government of the day should have addressed those issues much earlier on. I think it added fuel to the debate and gave the Conservatives, excuse the pun, ammunition to eliminate the gun registry. If it had been properly managed, they probably would have done it anyway, but I think it gave them much more leverage to say that the whole gun registry was just a boondoggle and was mismanaged.

It was mismanaged. There were problems and they needed to be addressed. This is very much a part of the proposals that the NDP submitted as a way to get through this very divisive debate. We said that the registry could remain and we could address the concerns that rural and aboriginal Canadians have. We could have good public policy on this.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Crowfoot.

It is with great pleasure that I rise today to acknowledge the nearing end of the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. For too long, the voices of law-abiding hunters, sports shooters and farmers have not been heard.

It is fair to say that people have talked about the looming end of debate on this. However, when I ran in 2004, one of the things I committed to as a party member if elected was to end this ineffective long gun registry. If we look back to 2004, 2006, 2008 and then 2011, I would suggest that eight years has been more than enough time to debate this issue. Quite frankly, the debate started long before I arrived in 2004.

I do want to pay special tribute to the member for Yorkton—Melville, because it was with his help, diligence and hard work that the waste of this long gun registry was uncovered. He has long been a proponent of trying to deal with it. Therefore, I want to recognize him as I start my speech today.

Another person I want to recognize is my colleague, the member for Portage—Lisgar, who introduced private member's Bill C-391, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act (repeal of long-gun registry) two years ago. It was defeated by a mere two votes in our last parliament, against the express wishes of responsible Canadian gun owners.

Once again, although the opposition have suggested that we have not had a chance to discuss this issue, I can assure them and all Canadians that if they look at private members' bills and campaign promises like mine 2004, there has been plenty of debate on the issue. Today we are one step closer to renewing their faith in a Canada, that it will not discriminate against them simply for legally possessing a simple piece of property.

Members on this side of the House continue to move forward as a unit to abolish the registry, which only divides law-abiding Canadians. We are standing up for our constituents by eliminating red tape and putting money back where it belongs.

Since it was created, the long gun registry has cost Canadians close to $2 billion, as has been noted. The Auditor General mentioned that it was over $1 billion and that the costs have continued to rise. The net annual cost of the program alone for the 2010-11 fiscal year was $66.4 million. This money should instead be invested into putting more police on our streets, looking at trying to fight organized crime, introducing mandatory minimum penalties for serious gun crimes and combatting drug smuggling.

The long gun registry was never, nor could it ever be, a viable or valuable tool to help reduce gun crime in Canada. For example, the majority of homicides committed in all of Canada do not involve long guns at all. Statistics have shown that long guns are not the problem. In reality, they are not the weapons of choice for criminals. What good is a registry of legally owned long guns held by their law-abiding owners when it is very clear that the real problem is criminals acting outside of the law.

Unfortunately, gun crimes happen all too frequently. Yes, there have terrible incidents where dangerous people have used long guns to cause harm to others. However, there seems to be a misconception that by keeping the long gun registry we will somehow prevent these horrible things from happening. The truth is that these incidents happened despite the long gun registry being in place. Our government does believe that the right gun control laws save lives. Our government will continue to take action to make our streets and communities safer.

Canadians have given our government a strong mandate to do away with the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. We have answered their cries in the form of Bill C-19, Ending the Long-gun Registry Act. Millions of dollars will now be better spent on more efficient and useful public safety tools. This means more front-line police officers and better resources for our men and women in uniform. It means better support for those who put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of the Canadian public. It is the bravery, selflessness and personal sacrifice of these men and women that prevent crimes from being committed, not the existence of an electronic database that identifies the law-abiding Canadians who own a long gun.

A database would not have stopped the tragedy at École Polytechnique. The man responsible was a criminal, not a law-abiding hunter or farmer. That is why we need police to make sure that criminals do not get their hands on guns, and not focus on a registry composed of law-abiding citizens. The guns used in crimes are not the legally owned hunting rifles or shotguns anyway. Crimes are committed with guns that come into this country, usually illegally. Furthermore, hunting and sports shooting are not crimes, so why should we stand behind a registry that has done nothing but make law-abiding gun owners feel like criminals? Why should they be subject to the same treatment as criminals who use illegal firearms to commit crimes?

The long gun registry alone does not make anyone safer. The long gun registry focuses on the issues of licensing and registering firearms, and there has been no evidence detailing if or how the registry's activities have helped minimize risks to public safety. There was, however, a survey conducted in August 2010 that revealed that 72% of Canadians believe the long gun registry has done nothing to prevent crime.

We have an ongoing gun crisis across Canada, including firearms-related homicides, and a law for registering firearms has neither deterred nor helped solve any of the crimes. None of the guns used were found to have been registered in the registry and more than half of them have been smuggled into Canada from the United States. In the words of the former Ontario provincial police commissioner and the current member for Vaughan:

We have an ongoing gun crisis including firearms-related homicides lately in Toronto, and a law registering firearms has neither deterred these crimes nor helped us solve any of them. None of the guns we know to have been used were registered, although we believe that more than half of them were smuggled into Canada from the United States. The firearms registry is long on philosophy and short on practical results considering the money could be more effectively used for security against terrorism as well as a host of other public safety initiatives.

My constituency office has received a countless number of letters asking us to do away with the long gun registry. I have personally received phone calls and had many people approach me supporting the abolition of the registry. Citizens across this great country have elected a strong, stable Conservative majority government and have asked us to abolish the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, a process we are witnessing here today.

The issue of destroying the long gun registry's database remains contentious. One of the reasons we want to scrap this registry is that we do not believe that all of the data are even correct and we certainly do not want to enable provincial governments to move forward to make this happen. Once it is gone, it should be gone for good. Licensing information of registered weapons would be maintained and be available to police forces, but not in the manner these weapons were registered in the long gun registry.

The registry is not a valuable tool for combating crime. Many front-line police officers across Canada do not use the registry because they cannot count on it.

John Hicks, an Orillia area computer consultant and webmaster for the Canadian Firearms Centre, once said that anyone with a home computer can easily access names, addresses and detailed shopping lists, including the makes, models and serial numbers of registered guns belonging to licensed firearms owners. He also stated that despite the database costing some $15 million to develop, he managed to break into it within 30 minutes.

Our government stands with law-abiding farmers, duck hunters and rural Canadians in every region of this country. We have long opposed the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry and are now on the eve of its eradication. By eliminating the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, we will instead focus our efforts and time on more effective measures to tackle crime and to protect families in communities.

I would like to extend an invitation to the opposition to vote with us in putting an end to the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all. We must stop the wasteful and ineffective registry. This is what the Canadian people have asked us to do. We have made Canadians a promise and we shall deliver on our promise.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

February 13th, 2012 / 3:55 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his speech, a familiar one that we have heard from a few other members.

We could probably continue all day quoting people who appeared before the committee, who are probably very valid sources, or we could try to find someone who is for or against any law that comes before the House. One of my colleagues who spoke previously on this bill, the member for Vancouver Kingsway, quoted the Toronto chief of police and past president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, who said:

The registry gives officers information that keeps them safe. If the registry is taken from us, police officers may guess, but they cannot know. It could get them killed.

That opinion was also endorsed by Chief Daniel Parkinson, president of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, and Sue O'Sullivan, Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime. The government repeatedly says that the NDP picks on victims and yet it is about to rescind a law that the very ombudsman for victims says should be in place.

I ask the member, on the balance of convenience, does he want to turn to those who would like to rescind the law because they own a gun or would he like to turn to police officers who rely on this mechanism to protect their officers?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, we can continue to go through the facts that have been stated before, but 13 former members of the police community sit in our caucus, a number of them former police chiefs, who do not believe that.

Once again, I will quote some testimony from committee:

The police have not been able to show that they have solved a single murder by tracing a firearm using the long-gun registry. Nor has the long-gun registry proved useful in solving police killings. Since 1961, 123 police have been shot and killed. Only one of these murders involved a registered long gun, and it did not belong to the murderer. It is a truism that the most dangerous criminals have not registered their firearms. Unsurprisingly, serving police officers say the registry is not useful to them.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, during the debate earlier today I wanted to put a question to the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla, who made some good points about the need to do more on gun safety. He spoke as though the government intended to bring forward measures requiring guns to be registered at point of sale. Measures would be brought back requiring anyone who had a licence for a gun and wanted to use one to take a Canadian firearms safety course. A range of safety measures were put forward in the speech by the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla.

I would like to ask the member for Niagara West—Glanbrook if he is aware of when the government plans to bring in these measures, because I certainly would support them.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

4 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, a number of these measures are already in place.

I do not have a licence but my son has gone through this process. My son has spent a couple of days trying to get certified on safety issues and learning how to handle guns properly, and so I know there are a number of safety requirements already in place.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

4 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member could comment on this particular quote from the RCMP final approved report of 2010, which reads:

A survey of CFRO users showed that 81% of trained police officers supported the statement, “In my experience, CFRO query results have proven beneficial during major operations.”

Does the member believe that the RCMP report is inaccurate or is there some merit to what the RCMP is officially saying in its report?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

4 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, there have been a number of quotes and a number of different surveys along both sides of these things. I have heard instances where over 70% of policeman do not support the registry. The member and I will have to agree to disagree on this one.

What we do know for a fact is that our constituents have been telling us that they do not believe it is fair or reasonable, and that it targets law-abiding citizens.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

4 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand in this House and add my voice to the debate on Bill C-19, the ending the long registry act.

This is not the first time that I have spoken on the topic of the gun registry. Over the last 11 years, this has been one of those issues that I have been able to lend my voice to perhaps as much as or more than many other issues. The reason I say that is, that in the 11 years that I have served as member of Parliament for Crowfoot, I do not know if I have heard from my constituents on any other issue more than I have heard from my constituents on the issue of the long gun registry.

Every once in a while we have the opportunity to stand on long-stated policy within our party, which is the case here. Other times, we can stand and debate based upon our own opinions and our own sense of right and wrong. Again, in this case, I am proud to say that I really believe the government is doing the right thing here.

However, what makes this case so special is that, although there is a handful of people from my riding who have contacted me basically issuing NDP form letters, the majority of people in my riding believe that the long gun registry has to be put to an end.

I am pleased to announce to them that it would appear we are on the home stretch of ridding Canada of this long-standing thorn in the sides of most people in the country. It is a thorn for a number of reasons. First is the high cost of developing and maintaining the registry but also the sense of property rights and the sense of being very invasive in that way.

I thank my colleague who sits in front of me, the member for Yorkton—Melville, for taking this issue and dealing with it for a long time, as well as former members of Parliament. I am thinking of individuals like Myron Thompson, Jack Ramsay and others who made this into a very strong cause because they knew what their constituents believed.

Since the long registry was put in place in 1995 by the previous Liberal regime, and continues today, we have witnessed exhaustive debates in this House and across the country on the issue. We have been able to host these types of discussions at town hall meetings in our constituencies and have debated it many times here in the House. We have heard about it from the media and from Canadians right across the country. People on both sides of the debate have been given ample time to discuss and contribute their opinions.

Furthermore, this is not the first time that our government has introduced similar legislation to eliminate the long gun registry. Since coming to power in 2006, our Conservative government has introduced three bills to repeal the long gun registry: in June 2006, in November 2007 and in April 2009. We also have seen two private members' bills introduced in this House that called for the same action. As has already been mentioned, the parliamentary secretary to the minister and member of Parliament Portage—Lisgar brought forward a very strong private member's bill, Bill C-391.

Suffice it to say that the historical record will show that there has been plenty of time for debate on this registry. Our policy is clear. As mentioned by the previous speaker, for the past six elections Canadians have known our stand on this issue.

It is unfair to suggest that our government is cutting off debate on this topic. It is clear that the issue of effective gun control is an important one and that is why we have seen such fiery and passionate debates on the long gun registry. Our government is firmly committed to effective gun control. However, what we are not committed to is a wasteful and ineffective long gun registry that pretends to be gun control.

I am confident that all members will agree that keeping our citizens safe is the paramount consideration of any government. I would suggest to the opposition that it would be very disingenuous to say that the government on this side does not believe in keeping our streets and our citizens safe in our communities and across this country.

I am also hopeful that all members are committed to the principles of balance and common sense. Ending the long gun registry is what this is all about. It is about ensuring we continue to preserve and enhance those measures that do work to reduce crime and protect Canadians. However, it is also about ensuring we do not unnecessarily penalize millions of honest, law-abiding citizens with rules that have little effect on crime prevention or on reducing gun crime but give some a feel safe attitude that is not warranted.

We need to look at what Bill C-19 would do. The legislation before us today would end the need for Canadians to register their non-restricted firearms, such as rifles and shotguns. We know for a fact that rifles and shotguns are commonly used by farmers, hunters and residents in rural Canada. They use these non-restricted firearms to protect their livestock, to hunt wild game or, in some cases, even among our first nations, earn a living.

We have been very clear in saying that Bill C-19 would not do away with the need for these individuals to obtain a proper licence for their long guns. They will still need a proper licence.

We have also been very clear in saying that Bill C-19 would not do away with the requirements for the owners of prohibited or restricted firearms, such as handguns, to obtain a registration certification, as well as a licence. That registry continues. The handgun will still be registered and it will still need a licence. Nothing will change in this respect. They will still be in charge of handling the registration of restricted and prohibited firearms, including all handguns and automatic firearms.

Under Bill C-19, all law-abiding Canadians would still need to go through a licensing procedure. Under Bill C-19, all law-abiding Canadians would still need to pass the required Canadian firearms safety exam in order to obtain a licence.

The leader of the Green Party was wondering if the safety courses would continue. Yes, that will still be necessary. Gun owners will still need to show that they are in compliance with proper firearms storage and transportation requirements. They will still need to pass a background check performed by the Chief Firearms Officer or their representatives who employ law enforcement systems and resources to ensure that people have never committed a serious criminal offence. If they have, they will not get the licence to own any type of firearm. They would also ensure that the individual in question does not have a history of mental illness associated with violence. If they did they could not have a firearm. They would also ensure people are not under a court sanctioned prohibition order for firearms and do not pose a threat to public safety.

While Bill C-19 would do away with the need for honest and law-abiding citizens to undergo the burden of registering their non-restricted rifles or shotguns, it would ensure that we keep the current licensing requirements for all gun owners.

The legislation would make another important change. It would allow for the destruction of all records related to the registration of non-restricted firearms. Some have claimed that destroying the long gun registration data is unnecessary, that it will eliminate all the data the long gun registry has. Others have suggested that we should simply divide up the data by the territory and ship it off to those jurisdictions so they can create their own long gun registry.

Both of those suggestions are non-starters. We are opposed to the long gun registry. We are not simply saying that we are opposed to our federal government administering it. We believe that it is invasive and that it is a waste of money. We believe that it is a non-effective way of fighting crime. For that reason, I stand in this place proud to speak in favour of Bill C-19, which would get rid of the long gun registry.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, I have here several letters that I may share with the House later. For now, I will simply read the last part of one of these letters. I am addressing my remarks to the members opposite, and to the Speaker, obviously. The letter reads as follows:

Mr. Harper: You have the power to maintain the firearms registry and even broaden—

Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

I apologize for interrupting the hon. member.