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House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the only boondoggle I know about these days is the gun registry.

However, I am pleased to infuse a dose of reality into the opposition's misguided rant about F-35 aircraft. Recently, I saw first-hand the direct benefits of economic growth and job creation in Magellan Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg as with over 60-some other Canadians companies.

Canadian families are benefiting from the production in Canada of F-35 components. Our budget is on track. It will create economic growth as well as look after the needs of our men and women in uniform and Canadian sovereignty.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would feel a bit defensive, too, if I signed on to a program that even conservative U.S. senator John McCain called “a train wreck”. Even our international partners, such as Australia, Israel and Turkey, are now delaying their commitment to the F-35s.

When will the Conservatives finally admit their F-35 boondoggle is quickly unravelling and bring it to an end?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the infusion of rhetoric on this very important acquisition of an asset critical to the sovereignty of Canada, providing our men and women the appropriate tools well into the future to do their job, is absolutely overwhelming. It is obviously because of political positioning.

We are focused on what is necessary to maintain Canada's sovereignty. We are not playing politics. This is a critical asset that we intend to fulfill as we go forward.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

October 28th, 2011 / 11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Quebec National Assembly voted in favour of a motion calling on the government to grant access to the information in the firearms registry. Why will this government not recognize that this information is very valuable to the provinces and why does it still refuse to give in to common sense?

I will ask the government once more here today. Is the government willing to make this valuable information available to the provinces?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our legislation is clear. It will actually eliminate the long gun registry, and that means eliminating the records, which have become inaccurate and unreliable, and they will become increasingly so over time.

We are bound to protect the privacy rights of Canadians and that includes the rights of those who are law-abiding gun owners who have participated in the registry. The existing licensing requirements, of course, are going to remain.

We are committed to eliminating this wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. We will not allow a backdoor re-establishment of the long gun registry.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, TD Bank said yesterday what we all knew already, that the government will not balance its books until 2017, after the next election.

This is bad news for Canadian families, who have been told they had to wait until the budget was balanced for any of the government's promised support for families.

Why do Canadian families have to wait in line for six years to receive any support while the largest, most profitable corporations in the country get their tax cuts right now?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, my Liberal friend opposite has a very short memory.

We delivered tax cuts for Canadian families in the form of lowering income taxes, in the form of tax reductions for things like a sports and fitness tax credit, and participation in the arts tax credit. We reduced the GST twice.

What all those events had in common was that the Liberal Party voted against them. Our party is the only party committed to reducing taxes. We continue to be the only party in this House committed to reducing taxes.

We are also committed to getting our budget balanced in the medium term to ensure that we keep Canada's fiscal advantage, one that has delivered 650,000 net new jobs to Canadians and is leading the G8 in growth.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, it makes no sense for these Conservatives to delay support for families until after the next election when, with any luck, they will be out of power. Also, Canadians are going to wake up to a nasty surprise on January 1, an EI payroll tax increase.

Could the government explain by what twisted logic Canadian families must wait and watch while the government levies a massive tax on jobs and refuses to provide them with any support?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families did wait for help in the form of reduced taxes for 13 long years.

However, since 2006, they have been receiving those benefits from our government, benefits that now total, for a typical Canadian family, over $3,000 less in taxes paid. That is over $3,000 more in their pockets. That is one of the reasons the Canadian economy has been performing well.

We have avoided the path that the Liberals would have us go, the path that other countries are on--that of high taxes, high debt and high deficit it is the very path that is causing threats to the global economy from elsewhere.

Here in Canada, we have avoided that path. That is why our economy is strong, and we will say on that path.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reckless and spiteful decision to destroy all gun registry records shows just how out of touch the government really is. Yesterday, the Quebec National Assembly voted unanimously to demand the records be kept. It is even threatening legal action.

The government is not just destroying records, it is destroying a key tool for keeping our communities safe.

Why is the government insulting provinces that want to create their own registry? Why is it playing politics with public safety?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, our commitment to Canadians was to destroy and end the long gun registry.

The long gun registry is the data. The data is flawed, it is inaccurate, and it does not target criminals. It targets law-abiding Canadians. We will continue to have the licensing process. That information will be accessible to all law enforcement agencies.

Make no mistake, we will end the long gun registry, which is the data.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government is deliberately turning a blind eye. The Government of Quebec is threatening to go to court to prevent the destruction of the firearms registry data. Quebeckers paid their share to establish this registry. Quebec families, the parents of victims of the Polytechnique and Dawson College massacres, and the president of Quebec's Association of Families of Persons Assassinated or Disappeared, established by Senator Boisvenu, are calling for gun controls to remain in place.

Is this government going to eliminate this method of ensuring public safety?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, as we said during the election campaign, we will destroy the long gun registry. Why? Simply because this registry does not reduce crime. Those who say the contrary are spouting pure ideology. The crime rate has been decreasing for several years in Canada, but not because of the registry. That takes more stringent laws. This registry unfairly targets hunters and farmers by treating them like potential criminals. I hope that the Government of Quebec will respect the division of powers and Canada's jurisdictions. This is a federal jurisdiction, and we will destroy this registry as we said we would.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the National Assembly of Quebec voted unanimously to demand that the long gun registry records be kept. Quebec families paid for that registry, and they are asking that it now be given to them. I myself am a hunter, and maintaining this information does not limit my activities in any way. The Conservatives are saying that the data must be destroyed simply because it must be destroyed. When we ask them why, we encounter a black hole, much like their political agenda.

Will this government finally be open with Quebec and grant its request to transfer the data?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, we are going to destroy the long gun—shotguns and rifles—registry data. Why? Because the registry is the data. That is what we said in our election campaign and that is what we are going to do. I am asking the Government of Quebec to respect the Canadian Constitution. This bill was created and established based on the Criminal Code, which falls under federal jurisdiction. It is in our power. We are doing what we have to do. We do not interfere in areas of provincial jurisdiction. We are destroying the registry because it is the best thing to do. We have laws, here in the House, to prevent crime.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, collecting the data in the firearms registry required an enormous investment. The registry cost a lot of money—it was clearly designed by those responsible for the sponsorship scandal—but now we have that data and we have a provincial government that is asking to be able to use it. As a hunter, I do not have any objection to sharing this information, so why is the government being so childish?

Why spend taxpayers' money only to destroy data for which we all paid?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Mr. Speaker, the data in the long gun registry is inaccurate. That is what the Auditor General said in 2002 when she announced her findings with regard to this scandal, as the hon. member just mentioned. The registry was the first Liberal scandal. It was supposed to cost $2 million but it cost several million, if not close to $2 billion. We all remember the second Liberal scandal, the sponsorship scandal. For us, the important thing is that this data is not accurate, as the Auditor General said in 2002. This would be like giving a Trojan horse to the Government of Quebec.

Charitable OrganizationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hundreds of thousands of volunteers and overworked staff at Canadian charities were shocked when they opened their newspapers this morning. With no consultation and no plan, the government is recklessly considering slashing its contribution to Canada's charities unless they meet the Conservative government's narrow partisan agenda.

Charity workers are not vacationing on Challenger jets, like the members opposite. They deserve the government's support. Instead of picking winners and losers, why will the government not stand behind Canada's vital charitable sector?

Charitable OrganizationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we are always interested in new models to partner with private sector organizations to deliver results. This is why the minister has set up the voluntary advisory committee to discuss ways to leverage government funding and investments to ensure a maximum social impact to help those in need.

While current funding models ensure fiscal accountability, our focus is to ensure that funding gets results and that taxes collected from hardworking Canadians have the biggest impact on those who really need it.

Charitable OrganizationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer did not give comfort to a single charity in this country.

There are about 83,000 registered charities in Canada, and they employ 10% of our country's workforce. Those are a lot of jobs and vital contributions that this country cannot afford to lose. We are talking about over one million hard-working Canadians who contribute to our country every day. They deserve better than to have their government undermine their important contributions and threaten their jobs.

Would the government at least be honest with them about what it has in mind? They and the people they serve deserve nothing less.

Charitable OrganizationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned before, we are looking at new models to make sure that we can leverage our government's commitment and leverage our government's investments to ensure that those most in need get what they need and get it soon.

Unlike the NDP, which wants to tax individuals and make sure that we are not creating jobs in this country, we have focused on those in need by creating new models that provide them with opportunities to get what they need through charities. In fact, our finance committee is now looking at how to best leverage that, so I look forward to the NDP supporting our direction at the finance committee.

Charitable OrganizationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the government wants to change how it funds non-profit and charitable organizations.

These organizations generally rely on volunteers and overworked staff. These organizations too often do the work of the Conservatives, who continue to back away from their social responsibilities, and now they are being told that they will receive even less government assistance.

Why is the government attacking these organizations that provide vital services to the people?

Charitable OrganizationsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned before, we are working to build our charitable sector in this country.

What the member opposite said is completely false. The minister has been working with a voluntary advisory committee to discuss ways to leverage our investments to ensure maximum impact for those in need.

I encourage the NDP to get on board with what our finance committee is doing, making sure we leverage what is available to our communities and charities. I encourage all of those members to volunteer, as I do with the YMCA.

SeniorsOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, too many seniors are unable to retire when they had hoped to. According to a Sun Life study, the majority of workers will stay on the job well past the age of 65, not by choice, but simply because they lack the money to retire. Seniors lost their savings during the recession and this government does not have a plan to fight poverty among seniors.

When will this government stop the corporate giveaways and take action that will allow seniors not to spend their retirement years in poverty?

SeniorsOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have worked hard to enhance retirement security for Canadians, especially our seniors.

For example, we have reduced taxes for seniors and retirees by $2 billion, mainly by allowing pension income splitting. We restructured the framework for pensions that are under federal jurisdiction in order to better protect retirees. Together with the provinces, we have reviewed proposals for making other improvements, and we are about to implement the new pooled registered pension plan, or PRPP. We hope that the NDP will support this measure.