Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to speak to Bill C-21, an act to amend certain acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms).
I want to speak today in solidarity with all the honest, law-abiding people in Lévis—Lotbinière who legally own guns for reasons other than committing violent crimes.
My colleagues will no doubt understand that I have come here to defend honest hunters and shooters, farmers, and collectors who own guns passed down from one generation to another.
The absurd thing about the Liberal government is that their bills miss their targets most of the time—that is probably a bad pun—as does their budget, for that matter.
How will legalizing drugs prevent or reduce crime? That is utter nonsense. How can anyone believe that restricting the use of certain registered and legal weapons is going to reduce the same criminal activity that continues to rise because of bad Liberal decisions?
The solution to the ever-increasing crime is quite simple, and it is the same for everything else that has not worked in our country since 2015. We are headed straight for a cliff because the Liberals are in power and they are making bad decisions.
The goal of the new Liberal amendments to Bill C‑21 is not to protect us, but to score political points and instill a false sense of security in the population. The facts prove otherwise and nothing will change.
I would like to talk about academic and government stakeholders, such as Dr. Caillin Langmann, assistant clinical professor at McMaster University. He stated that available research has demonstrated that the proposed ban on handguns and semi-automatic weapons would not reduce the rates of homicide and mass homicide.
Someone who wants to inflict harm has the imagination and means to do so. What causes an individual to commit the irreparable quite often begins with the family violence that children witness. These children will become uncontrollable adults who abuse drugs that have become legal and who commit increasingly serious crimes.
The rehabilitation system for these individuals is not working and the Liberal Party encourages this scourge through bad policies and complacency. As proof, the Liberal Party's catch-and-release policies are not working. After eight years of Liberal governance, violent crimes have increased by 32% and gang-related homicides have doubled.
Rather than cracking down on the illegal guns used by criminals and street gangs, the Prime Minister is working to take hunting rifles away from law-abiding farmers, hunters and indigenous peoples.
Let us be clear. The Liberals' new definition is the same as the old one. The commonly used hunting firearms targeted by the Liberals in the fall will likely be added to the ban by the new Liberal firearms advisory panel.
Let there be no mistake. There is nothing new in the amendments proposed by the Liberals. They have just wrapped the initial amendments up in a new package. Hunters, farmers and indigenous peoples are not naive, and neither are the Conservatives. The Conservatives do not support taking guns away from law-abiding farmers, hunters and indigenous peoples. When the Liberals say that they are banning so-called assault-style firearms, they really mean that they are banning hunting rifles. The Prime Minister even admitted as much a few months ago.
No one believes that the government is going to reduce violent crime across the country by going after hunters and legitimate hunting rifles. That is part of the Liberal government's plan to distract Canadians from the real issues our country is facing and to divide them.
For eight years now, have the Liberals been aware that they are making life easier for violent criminals by repealing mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes with legislation stemming from Bill C‑5?
Are the Liberals aware that they are making it easier for violent criminals to get bail with legislation stemming from Bill C‑75?
Are the Liberals aware that they are making life easier for violent criminals by not stopping the flow of illegal guns across the U.S. border?
Conservatives support common-sense gun policies, policies that will stop dangerous criminals from getting guns. That is why a Conservative government will invest in policing and securing our borders rather than spending billions of dollars confiscating guns from farmers, hunters, indigenous people and law-abiding Canadians.
Let us not be fooled. The Liberals are the champions of wishful thinking. The Liberals are also the champions of empty gestures, empty words and wasting our hard-earned money.
Quality of life has gone down considerably in Canada in the past eight years in every area of daily life and not just because of the increasing crime rate, which, again, jumped by 32%. When we look at the facts, the current situation and the numbers, we see that this is no longer working. One just needs to look at the number of available jobs, the backlog in immigration cases, the applications for temporary foreign workers that are blocked and have caused businesses back home such as Olymel to shut down.
I am thinking about the Liberals' rejection of my Bill C‑215, which sought to promote life by allowing people with a serious disease such as cancer to be entitled to 52 weeks of employment insurance to get back on their feet. I am thinking about all these young people to whom the Liberal Party is offering addiction to dangerous substances as a life work; as we all know, using hard drugs brings more problems. That is obvious and it only makes sense to acknowledge it.
I have a hard time seeing how Bill C‑21 will achieve the Liberal Party's murky goal of lowering the crime rate and making our streets safer.
In closing, in Lévis—Lotbinière, the majority of us are responsible, law-abiding people. More than ever, we need a return to a Conservative government to restore order in our country and in our politics, and to put money back in our pockets.