Evidence of meeting #115 for Public Safety and National Security in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was number.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Rod Giltaca  Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights
Tracey Wilson  Vice-President, Public Relations, Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights
Steve Torino  President, Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Tony Bernardo  Executive Director, Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Wendy Cukier  President, Coalition for Gun Control

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

This meeting is now in order. This is meeting number 115, pursuant to the order of reference dated Wednesday, March 28, on Bill C-71, an act to amend certain rights and regulations in relation to firearms.

We have some witnesses with us today.

Mr. Fragiskatos.

11 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

I wonder if we could resume debate on motions that are on the floor, so I move that we do so.

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Those in favour of the motion?

11 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

I couldn't hear.

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

It's been moved to resume debate on the motions that are on the floor. These are motions that have been previously presented.

11 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

We're going to debate them today with four witnesses here?

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Right now.

Mr. Fragiskatos, the floor is yours.

11 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

I'd like to speak to the motion that had been put forward I believe from Mr. Calkins, but I could be wrong on that. In any case, it's the invitation for the national security advisor to appear before the committee.

I think it's introduced in a good spirit, but I also think it's premature to invite the incoming NSA before the position has even begun. Let's follow the RCMP commissioner's precedent and allow the subcommittee to pursue the invitation in due course.

I table that.

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Is there any debate?

The motion is for tabling the invitation to Ms. Bossenmaier to appear before the committee.

(Motion agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])

Ms. Damoff.

11 a.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Chair, we had a motion before us from Mr. Calkins with a number of new witnesses he would like to add to the witness list.

This work was already done by the subcommittee. I think we worked hard to get representation from all sides of the issue and we even invited the Leader of the Opposition as one of the witnesses so that he could share with us his views on the legislation.

Unfortunately, he declined the invitation, but I do think the subcommittee did its work and there's no need to add these additional witnesses who have been put forward.

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Matthew.

11 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

I'm just wondering, are we allowed to talk about who was invited and discuss the subcommittee and what's never been made public?

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

I think in camera stuff stays in camera, so the personalities or organizations should not be discussed in public, but the principle is available and Mr. Calkins has made a number of names available on which we would have no comment whatsoever as to whether they were discussed in camera.

11 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

I just meant with regard to Mr. Scheer.

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Good point.

At any rate, yes. It's a technical point but true.

11 a.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

I apologize for bringing that up, Chair.

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Is there any more debate?

(Motion negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

Mr. Spengemann.

May 24th, 2018 / 11 a.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

We have two motions on the issue of extremist travellers. I believe this is simply a stunt by the opposition and I'll say why that's the case.

The women and men of our security agencies take all potential threats very seriously and they have full tool kits at their disposal. Some of these measures include surveillance, the no-fly list, revocation of passports, and most importantly the laying of criminal charges where sufficient evidence exists. These women and men are doing their work despite cuts of over $1 billion sustained under the Harper government. They actively pursue investigations and lay charges again where evidence exists.

Since we took office, there were two returnees who have been charged with leaving Canada to participate in terrorist activity. None were charged under the previous government, so I think it's a bit rich for the opposition to even bring these two motions.

There are two components to making sure that we keep the terrorist threat at bay and this government is deeply committed to both of those avenues. The first one is to support community-based prevention and disengagement programs. The second, and often most important one, is the security and law enforcement agencies' tool kits, which they're using, as I mentioned, actively. That includes surveillance and criminal charges.

For these reasons, I'd like to vote against both of those motions.

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

I didn't make any ruling on its admissibility, but I see no reason that it is not an admissible motion. It is properly before the committee.

Mr. Dubé.

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Chair, I just want to state for the record that no matter my position on a given bill or a study, or whether or not I agree with any witnesses who may or may not be before the committee, I just find this a bit rich.

Given that at the last meeting when motions were made to adjourn debate on the motions presented by our Conservative colleagues, for the reason that witnesses were before the committee, again, notwithstanding any political colour, I find it a bit rich that today we've decided to deal with every single solitary motion that seems to be on the docket.

It's disappointing because, as I said, as far as I'm concerned, when we have witnesses before the committee, we should table all these discussions, notwithstanding any political difference—or not—with a particular individual or organization.

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you.

Mr. Motz.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Of course, my colleagues across the way will vote this down as they see fit.

But if you're going to find this rich, then maybe get your facts straight, because under the previous Conservative government there were three people charged with travelling abroad for the purpose of terrorism. If you're going to make aspersions like that, at least be factual.

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Mr. Calkins.

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Well, given the fact that Mr. Spengemann has made such an obvious case of how great the Liberal Party is compared to the past Conservative government, it would seem odd to me that they wouldn't want to expand on this and actually vote in favour of the motion and have the discussion. If the shame that he thinks we wear for the legislation we had in the last Parliament is that great, I would love to have that debate at this committee.

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Is there any further commentary or debate?

(Motion negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

Is there anything else?

Seeing none, witnesses, welcome to the committee.

We have with us the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights and the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.

I don't know whether there's any agreement between the two of you as to who goes first, but in the absence of an agreement we'll just go in order of how you're listed. That would have the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights speaking first for 10 minutes.