Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to present two petitions. The first petition is signed by hundreds of Torontonians. In fact, I have 27 pages of signatures.
The petitioners join the city of Toronto in requesting Parliament to institute a federal ban on the ownership of handguns. They ask that 2,500 new police officers be hired, that Canada strengthen its witness protection program to ensure members of the community, especially young people, can more readily come forward with information about handgun crimes in their neighbourhood, that youth safety crime prevention programs get long term stable funding and that there be a summit for Canada-U.S. lawmakers and law enforcement personnel from all levels of governments, along with stakeholders, to tackle the ongoing crisis of illegal handguns being smuggled into Canada.
The petitioners signed these petitions during a benefit for John O'Keefe who was killed by a stray bullet while walking down Yonge Street on January 12. They also point out that on January 17, five days later, an innocent person, Hou Chang Mao, was killed by a stray bullet while stacking oranges outside the grocery store where he worked.