Mr. Speaker, it is indeed an honour to speak on Bill C-19, a bill to eliminate the long gun registry. I would like to add my thanks to the member for Yorkton—Melville for his years of work on this file, and to thank as well the member for Portage—Lisgar for her terrific work on it.
My colleagues on this side of the House have spoken very well on the legal, law enforcement and financial downside of the long gun registry. I would like to add a slightly different perspective, that of a hunter.
I represent a vast and beautiful rural constituency in western Manitoba. Farmers, ranchers, loggers, hunters, outfitters, anglers and trappers are many of my constituents. It is a beautiful place with abundant wildlife and, like many of my constituents, I am a hunter.
Hunting is part of my culture and a way of life, as it is for many of my constituents. Interestingly, almost all the homes in my constituency have one or more firearms, yet the crime rate is very low.
Why is that? It is because where I live, we have a culture of respect for each other, our community and the land that sustains us. In fact, one could call it a peaceable kingdom. That is why I found the words of the member for Lac-Saint-Louis somewhat offensive when he assumed that people who had firearms were automatically suspect, or at least that is now I heard it.
My constituents are honest--