House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was guns.

Topics

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I sit with the hon. member on the public safety committee. I would say that he has approached this serious topic with a very serious mindset. I was not suggesting that he has used this false dichotomy about rural versus urban. That is the communications strategy of the government. I would urge the hon. member to listen to some of the comments made by his colleagues, including the Minister of Public Safety, who are always invoking farmers and hunters, as if members on this side of the House somehow do not appreciate farmers and hunters. This is part of the government's communications strategy.

In terms of criminalizing, I understand that someone would feel criminalized, which is why we proposed decriminalizing the first-time failure to register. That was an appropriate common-sense very Canadian kind of compromise. However, a gun is a very dangerous thing. Let us not fool ourselves. The Supreme Court has said that gun ownership should be seriously regulated in this country.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raised a lot of cogent points in his presentation, an important one being the issue of costs.

When I met with the former chief of police of Edmonton and the head of the gun registry, they advised me that when the gun registry was originally established it was not being run in an efficient way, but once it was transferred over to the RCMP and local police departments to deliver, the costs plummetted. This talk of billions of dollars is a complete falsehood and should be corrected. I appreciate the hon. member raising that.

One matter that has concerned me is that it has taken the government six years to get serious about bringing forward the bill to dispose of the so-called long gun registry, which does not even exist. What troubles me is that in a six-year time span, criminal law provisions were not being enforced. It troubles me that that perhaps is sending the wrong message to those who might break serious laws like the Criminal Code.

I wonder if the member would like to speak to that. Perhaps that is why the list is insufficient.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, certainly that would contribute to the errors. I have no proof of this, but there was talk in the early 2000s that some people may have been sabotaging the registry by filling out the forms improperly and causing gum ups in the system.

One thing I take away from the constant refrain of the government is that gun owners are law abiding. I take that as a fact. I take the government at its word on that. One of the consequences of arguing that is to say that because they are law abiding, they will register. If there are few homicides committed with registered guns, maybe it proves that indeed our gun owners are law abiding and register and take their responsibility to store their weapons seriously. Maybe that is why a smaller number than we would expect of guns used in the commission of crimes are in fact registered.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, when Canadians wake up after the bill has gone through the Senate, they will find out that they still need an acquisition and possession card. The only call I get in my office is about an individual going past 30 days. If they have gone past 30 days, they need to pass the test. If they fail the test, they lose their gun. The only thing the bill would do is remove the numbers in the computer. We would still have the same law.

Am I right in saying that some Canadians will wake up in a month or two from now and find out that a letter came in the mail and they had to re-register their acquisition or possession card recall and, if they do not do it, they will lose their gun? If they have guns at home with no acquisition and possession card, they are doing something against the law and they will be charged under the Criminal Code. I do not believe that part has been removed.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

That is an excellent point, Mr. Speaker, because the process of filling out forms for a firearms acquisition certificate is much more complex than for registering one's weapon.

The interesting thing is that almost everyone who came to committee to argue against the registry also said that we needed to get rid of firearms licensing. I asked some witnesses point blank if they thought we should get rid of firearms licensing as well and they said yes.

In fact, the statistical evidence that was presented at committee was with the regression lines. We always forget that within the regression lines are margins of error and within those margins of error are human lives. However, the people who came with the regression analysis said that this proves the registry does not save lives and it also proves that gun licensing does not save lives.

Why does the government stop halfway if it is really logical in its public policy-making? Thank God it has not but if it were logical it would.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, throughout the debate today there have been some comments made by government members that the gun registry will not stop gang violence. No, it will not stop gang violence. I do not think it was ever believed that it could stop gang violence. However, it has had an impact on suicides. My colleague from Yukon argued that there was no testimony given. I did not sit on the committee but I sat in on a great number of witness presentations, and I am positive that the Canadian Mental Health Association attributed a decrease of 300 suicides annually because of the registry.

An individual tells his doctor that he has lost his job, lost his wife and is in debt up to his ears, that he has a gun at home and something will happen. That was the testimony we heard. The police are alerted and they take the gun out of that situation. The witnesses attributed a decrease of 300 suicides annually because of that.

Another statistic that has stood out is that, over the past decade, 71% of spousal homicides involved rifles or shotguns. As of 2009, the rate of homicides with rifles and shotguns has decreased by 62% from 1989.

How would Canadians be safer with the cancellation of the gun registry?

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are not safer. The fact remains that the people on the ground, the people who work with suicide prevention and women's shelters, know from experience that the registry helps prevent suicide and it minimizes the ability of someone with a firearm to intimidate a spouse.

We heard examples of people who keep their guns in the front vestibule closet just to intimidate a spouse. These are the people whose guns should be taken away because they are not being properly stored. However, how would we know if they have guns to begin with if we do not have the registry?

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Prince George--Peace River.

It is a privilege to contribute to this debate and to speak in support of Bill C-19, the ending the long-gun registry act.

My riding of Okanagan--Coquihalla is a very diverse one. There are large urban cities, such as Penticton and West Kelowna, resource communities like Merritt and Okanagan Falls, and many rural regions, such as Logan Lake, Meadow Valley, Faulder and Willowbrook. For rural residents, this is an issue of great importance to them. It is one that I hear about weekly, and sometimes even daily. They ask me when the government will fulfill its commitment to end the long gun registry and why has it taken so long. I expect that I am not the only member of the House to get these kinds of questions.

I believe it is important to share with the House the frustration that I hear from the rural residents in my riding. They are law-abiding citizens and they are taxpayers, and yet they are forced to comply with a system created out of Ottawa that does nothing but inconvenience the lifestyle they work hard to enjoy.

Everyone in the House knows that criminals do not register their guns. It is often a repeated point in this debate but it is the truth. However, more important, we need to recognize that there are times when a registered gun is used to take a life. Recently, in my riding, a family lost a loved one as a result of domestic violence. Did the registered gun stop the alleged murderer from pulling the trigger? Sadly, it did not. For those people in society who are capable of taking a life, the fact that a gun may or may not be registered means nothing to them. The simple fact of the matter is that the long gun registry has not stopped crime, nor is it saving lives.

I have also listened to the opposition arguments in favour of the long gun registry. The opposition suggests that its greatest contribution is that it provides law enforcement with a record of where guns are, and not just where they are but what kinds of guns they are.

Those who followed the committee hearings for Bill C-391 last year will know that members heard testimony from numerous respected and experienced police officers. Those experienced officers told us that the information provided by the long gun registry was not reliable. I have met with many front-line officers who have made it very clear that they cannot rely on the registry to confirm if a gun may or may not be at that address. In fact, if officers were to rely solely on the long gun registry, they would be putting their life and the life of their colleagues at risk.

We also know that there are long guns that have never been registered and those that have not been registered properly, and situations where model numbers or catalogue numbers were used instead of serial numbers.

The long gun registry has been in place for over a decade. What are the results? The registry has not stopped crime, nor has it saved lives. Millions of dollars were spent on the registry and what are the results for the taxpayers? We have a database that front-line officers tell us that they cannot depend on.

I understand that most members of the opposition choose to ignore how this registry has adversely impacted many taxpayers in rural Canada. However, I will recognize the opposition members for Thunder Bay—Rainy River and Thunder Bay—Superior North who have to date respected the wishes of their constituents.

This has been a difficult issue for many members of the opposition who come from rural ridings. It does not need to be difficult. Admitting that the long gun registry has been a failure is not an opinion, it is a fact. Rural Canadians know it and residents in my riding, who live in communities like Merritt, Logan Lake and Okanagan Falls, know it as well.

One of the challenges that many communities in my region are facing is an overpopulation of deer. On the surface it may not seem like a problem, however, deer destroy small gardens and can be aggressive to small animals and even adults. They also present a real danger to motorists. The reality is that fewer people are hunting these days, in part because of the burden and costs of dealing with issues like the long gun registry. In my riding, many residents have told me that they feel the quality of life in rural Canada is threatened. That is why I believe it is important we take action on their issue.

On May 2 of last year, Canadians made it clear that they were supporting a platform that would put an end to the wasteful spending of tax dollars on failed programs like the long gun registry. Therefore, let us instead work together on more effective gun control, like the requirement for people to have a licence before they can buy a rifle or a shotgun. We also need to ensure that before people get a licence they need to pass the Canadian firearms safety course. We also need to ensure that before people get a licence to own a rifle or a shotgun they must pass a background check. A background check involves things like a criminal record check and ensures that people are not under a court order prohibiting them from possessing a firearm.

I am proud to say that our government is now investing $7 million a year to make the screening process for people applying for a firearm's licence stronger. Bill C-19 would not change any of those requirements. In fact, no one would be able to buy a firearm of any kind without passing the Canadian firearms safety course, the background check and without having a proper licence.

I support the bill because it would eliminate a law that places an unnecessary burden on law-abiding Canadians. The bill would also free up resources that could be better spent on anti-crime initiatives to help make our streets safer.

We need to be honest with ourselves about the real gun problem in Canada. It is not just the legally acquired shotguns and rifles in the hands of our farmers and hunters that is the problem. While we continue to penalize them, it may seem like a solution to some members opposite, but doing so does not stop crime. A failed registry and a flawed database is not an answer.

Between 2005 and 2009, police in Canada recovered 253 firearms that had been used in the commission of a homicide. Some of those guns were registered, most were not. However, we need recognize that the registry failed 253 times to prevent crime, much as it failed in my riding last year. As a result, I cannot support a process that requires law-abiding, tax paying citizens to continue to dump money into a system that offers no tangible results.

Does it really makes sense to the opposition to continue to penalize rural taxpayers who often legally purchase a rifle for the protection of livestock or hunting game with family and friends? The long gun registry continues to penalize these citizens and yet it does nothing to address any of the real problems. We do have some real problems, such as the flow of illicit firearms being smuggled into Canada, and the firearms that are used as a commodity for criminal purposes.

I am convinced that we all want to reduce crime, especially gun crime, but the long gun registry is a failure and it is time we respect rural Canadians and admit it. That is why I speak in support Bill C-19. We need to invest in programs that are effective and eliminate those that do nothing.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

February 13th, 2012 / 1:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I heard the member's colleague from the Conservative Party this morning saying that registering a car does not save a life. However, in a hit and run situation it would be a way to find out who did it. That is what registries are all about.

I do not believe that if we put a registration number into the computer that it will stop a crazed person from killing somebody. I do not think anybody could argue that. However, we may find the person who did the crime. Also, if we knew that an unstable person had a gun and may commit a crime, we could take the gun away.

While the Conservative government says that the gun registry does not save lives but that it will register special guns and short guns, honestly, what is the difference? It is just the registration of guns and, even if the gun is registered, it does not stop somebody from using it to kill.

Why is there a difference between the two? Is it just that the government needs votes and that it convinced the hunters and farmers to vote for it? It has paid for good advertising but has it done this for votes and not out of real concern?

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member had a number of questions that are fair.

I think that provinces do what they do in order to serve the people. If a province decides that it wants to put together a car registry because it is in society's best interest that is certainly fine.

The thrust of my speech was that we have a case where most long guns are purchased and used for legitimate activities, such as hunting and looking after livestock in rural areas. We all know there is a process for restricted firearms, such as handguns, and we try, as best we can, to ensure that those guns are only put into the hands of people who need them for legitimate reasons and not criminal activity.

I would reiterate my support for continued gun control in those areas because those are the areas that we can make progress on fighting crime, not on penalizing those people in rural areas.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, we hear in every government presentation that the legislation is designed to make rural gun owners criminals for non-compliance.

Would the Conservatives share one simple statistic with the House, with Canadians and with anyone following this debate. How many Canadians have been convicted of non-compliance with the gun registry? How many criminals have we made?

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think the member is suggesting that somehow, through my speech, I was alleging that it was punishing rural Canadians.

I think that rather than saying that it criminalizes, I would much rather say that it puts a burden that is not reasonable. That is, a system run by government that puts a burden without giving a reasonable public good, such as really preventing crime. I think we need to continue to look at all laws and ensure that the individuals have to do their part but no more than can be justified.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to the point just made by the member opposite. Perhaps the member can provide us with some comments.

I have had a number of constituents in my riding office over the last number of years who have come in, World War II veterans, for example, who have had their firearms confiscated for no reason other than forgetting to renew their registration. They had been registered. I have seen these people come into my office absolutely stricken, feeling that they were treated like criminals by a registry that was created by the former Liberal government.

Has the member heard of any of these people coming in, talking about how they were treated by officials who subjected them to these laws?

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, yes, I do receive quite a lot of complaints. People feel that if they are responsible, they have complied with all the safety requirements and they get the licence, they should not be subject to a very burdensome process.

However, by the same token, every time the RCMP gets called out to look into these cases, that is RCMP time that should be spent looking for real criminals.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today and participate in the debate on the ending of the long-gun registry act. My constituents have consistently told me to abolish the long gun registry. As we finally approach that goal, I am proud to support the repeal and the destruction of the registry.

Our Conservative government places a high priority on the safety and security of Canadians. However, we also place a high value on their freedom and ability to enjoy that safety. We have been working hard on initiatives and legislation to that end. Repealing the long gun registry is one of those efforts.

Supporters of the long gun registry often hold up the legislation as a key tool for keeping Canadians safe. In reality, it is nothing more than a costly database of information about law-abiding Canadians. It is essentially incapable of preventing any crime from occurring. I have yet to see a single piece of evidence that this has stopped a single crime or saved a single life. It is wasteful and it does not achieve its goals. It is time to get rid of it so we can focus on issues that will actually have a practical impact on the safety and security of Canadians.

The long gun registry has been expensive. This is an indisputable fact. The CBC, not known for its Conservative bias, has estimated a total cost of over $2 billion over the 17 years of the registry. Let me remind members that the former Liberal justice minister, Allan Rock promised it would not cost a cent more than $2 million. That is a hefty price to pay for a an inferior product, as we can all agree. The $2 billion could have gone a long way in other safety initiatives, including preventive action or rehabilitative programs.

Across this country, Canadians are working hard to provide for their families. They do not throw money away on items or services that are not beneficial or practical for them or for their families. It is time that we follow their lead and do away with the needless spending on the registry.

The long gun registry does a fine job of collecting the names of those using their long guns for sport and protecting their livestock. It does an awful job at stopping illegal activity, using guns that were never legally purchased or registered in the first place. That is because the people listed in the registry are individuals who have acquired and wish to use their long guns in legal ways.

They have followed their government's requirements. They comply because they wish to abide by the law. These people are not the ones committing gun crimes in Canada. This is the key reason that the long gun registry is an ineffective piece of legislation.

This is not a surprise to me, yet I suspect it will come as one to the opposition. Most criminal activity naturally operates outside of the law, hence its criminality. Guns used in crime are generally not legally purchased or registered. More often than not, they have been brought into Canada for criminal use and for that reason are never registered. This renders the registry useless in both tracking down criminals and protecting Canadians from harm.

The majority of Canadians have had enough of the long gun registry. I know that our government knows that. If my colleagues across the aisle were honest with themselves, they would be well aware of it, too. In fact, there are ridings all over Canada clamouring for this change regardless of the political party of the member they have elected to represent them.

I would like to focus on one riding in particular. The member for Western Arctic travelled across the Northwest Territories. He told all who would listen that he would stand up for northern values and vote to end the long gun registry. He even stood in a debate and said, “Vote for me, vote for the Conservatives. It is the same thing. We both will vote to end the long gun registry.”

Well, it is clear that the electoral promises of that member do not mean a whole lot.

To all reasonable people, this bill should be a win, win situation. It would lessen the constraints on our fellow Canadians and allow hunters, farmers and sports shooters to continue their lawful activity in peace.

Having discussed the costly nature of the registry, the ineffective structure of the registry and the Canada-wide request to repeal the registry, the conclusion of this debate should be obvious to all. It is essential that the long gun registry come to an end, and that it happen soon.

We are looking forward to the day that law-abiding Canadians can relax and know that their information has been completely destroyed. That is why Bill C-19 also includes a provision to destroy all data collected by the registry in the last 17 years. This aspect is extremely important, as it is necessary to protect innocent citizens from ever being targeted by their government again.

Canadians gave their support for the abolition of the registry last May. Our government stands by our promise to remove it from the federal level forever.

This is not a new issue in the House of Commons. Throughout the debate the word “ideology” has been bandied about quite a bit. At the end of the day, this war of words leads us nowhere.

Let us ignore ideology for a moment and summarize the simple facts. The long gun registry has never stopped a single crime or saved a single life. Billions of dollars have been spent. Members of Parliament on both sides of the aisle have heard from Canadians that they want the registry to be gone. Now is the time to do what we came here to do and serve Canadians by abolishing the long gun registry once and for all.

I and our Conservative government made a promise to the Canadian people that the long gun registry would be repealed and all data related to it would be destroyed. We stand firmly behind that promise and are dedicated to seeing that through. I encourage all members, especially those from rural and remote ridings, including those across the way, to stand up and speak for their constituents and vote in favour of ending the long gun registry once and for all.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the government member who just spoke. Since the May 2 election, it has become clear that the current government really wants to increase public safety, considering the bills it has introduced, for instance. Wanting to destroy the information that already exists in the registry would appear to run counter to that, since destroying the data will not bring back the money that has already been invested in creating the registry.

Why does the government want to throw away billions of dollars' worth of information that Canadian taxpayers have already paid for, when the provinces and police forces are telling us that the registry helps enhance public safety?

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across the way brought up one of the most misunderstood facts about the registry. She brought up questions about licensing. That is one thing this government would not change. It would be just as hard to purchase a weapon now as it has been in the past. That all has to do with licensing of firearms as opposed to the registration of law-abiding farmers and gun owners. It is an apples and oranges argument. We would not change licensing, it would be just as difficult as it was before. We would continue to provide safety for Canadians.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the member opposite that I did not appreciate his comment about the opposition members being honest with themselves. I would like him to know that during the election campaign in 1995, the people of my riding wanted to know how I planned to vote on the bill, which had not yet been introduced. I promised to vote in favour of it. I received a standing ovation and I have always voted in favour of it. That is what the majority of my constituents in Ottawa—Vanier want. Yet that member has the gall to say that we need to be honest with ourselves. His comment is unacceptable.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are over 300 members in the House. Not everybody is going to agree with the opposition or with our party. My statement was to encourage the ones who have heard loud and clear from their constituents to remove the registry. For me, I heard it loud and clear. I know some of the opposition members heard it loud and clear, and those members who heard that need to be honest with themselves, to remember the vote Wednesday night and vote with their constituents as opposed to other forces that would have them do otherwise.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind this House and inform the Speaker once again that the Conservative caucus has 13 members of police forces and law enforcement agencies from across the country. That side of the House has absolutely none.

So when members across the way mislead Canadians about how police officers feel, I as a police officer have to stand up and correct that. Police officers in this House have all voted in favour of abolishing this registry. It is a complete waste of money.

The Liberals said it would cost $2 million and it cost $2 billion. What would happen in private business if that kind of exaggerated misinformation went on?

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a business model, $2 million versus $2 billion simply would not suffice. That decision would be made, not 17 years from that decision, but probably within 1 or 2 years. Obviously it is not something we can afford.

I would like to speak about the police. I was on the legislative committee that heard some statements about the effectiveness of the registry. We heard an example where one officer had been shot because she had relied on the information of the registry and it was not true. She went up to a door and anticipated that there was no gun behind it. The registry said there was no gun. However, there was and she paid the price for that with her life. The registry simply does not work.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to comment on what the Minister of Public Safety said when we were debating closure on Bill C-19.

He said that the House has been debating the gun registry for 17 years, or almost as long as some members have been alive. I believe that I am one of those members to whom that comment could apply. Nevertheless, it is interesting. I am the oldest of three sons, and my mother always told me that just because someone speaks up more often does not necessarily mean that they are right. That applies here. Just because it has been 17 years does not automatically justify closure or the government's current position.

I object to the idea that we are not qualified to speak to the bill and share the people's ideas if we have never been police officers. In the end, as MPs, we may not necessarily be representative of the various segments of the population that we represent. We stand up for seniors even though we are not seniors, we stand up for youth even though we may not be young, and we stand up for retirees even though we are not retired. The fact that there are 13 former or active police officers in the Conservative caucus is not adequate justification for diminishing the words and testimony of other police officers and police associations.

I would like to come back to a quote that is very relevant to this debate. After Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, the work he did with regard to the economy was the subject of great criticism. For example, the unemployment rate was not dropping. This is relevant to this debate because President Obama spoke to the media and said that prevention is never applauded because it is invisible and very difficult to measure. In that context, President Obama was talking about the fact that the United States did not experience another recession. To him, that meant success. However, we cannot talk about something that did not happen. I think that the same logic applies to this debate.

We cannot talk about all the deaths and all the problems that have been prevented because of the firearms registry for that very reason—they were prevented. They never happened. It is very important to keep this in mind when reading quotes. The hon. member for Gatineau made the same comment, and another member who spoke earlier made a similar comment when he spoke about the police officer who was unfortunately the victim of a crime and who was shot despite the registry's existence. I believe that happened in Laval. We heard about it during testimony given before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.

Regardless of the measures we put in place, whether they be tax measures or economic measures, regardless of the work that a government can do, the system will never be perfect. So, to give an example where the result was tragic and did not meet the expectations we have of the system in place, once again, does not constitute a legitimate rationale in this case.

I will continue my comments a little bit later.

Ending the Long-gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

The hon. member will have six minutes remaining when the House returns to this matter.

Pink in the RinkStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the Owen Sound Attack and the Canadian Cancer Society for teaming up and hosting the inaugural and very successful Pink in the Rink event on Saturday night at the Harry Lumley arena in Owen Sound.

The rink was a sea of pink. Fans were decked out in pink T-shirts and waved pink rally towels. The goal of the event was to raise awareness and money for lifesaving breast cancer research, as well as to support local patients who utilize the programs and services offered by the Canadian Cancer Society.

The hockey game featured the OHL champion Owen Sound Attack against the visiting Peterborough Petes. Real men can wear pink and the home team sported new pink jerseys in honour of loved ones who had lost their courageous battle to breast cancer and in celebration of those who are still with us.

To top off the night, a sold-out crowd of fans saw the Owen Sound Attack soundly beat the Peterborough Petes 12:0 in arguably their best game of the season. What an exciting and memorable evening. Job well done.

Small and Medium-Sized Businesses in Terrebonne—BlainvilleStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to acknowledge the essential role that the small and medium-sized businesses of Terrebonne, Blainville and Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines are playing in my riding's economic recovery. These businesses share our Quebec values and are deeply rooted in my community. They have worked hard since 2008 to provide more jobs for families in the region.

I would like to thank a number of business associations, including AGAB, CCITB, SODET, the Terrebonne chamber of commerce, CORDEV SADP, CLDEM, and the businesswomen's association. These organizations create a vital network of small and medium-sized businesses. Through them, I have had the opportunity to speak with the people who are helping my community flourish despite tough economic times.

I know that the owners of small and medium-sized businesses support the NDP's pro-small business platform. They agree that it is important to cut small business taxes, and they know that the Conservatives' poorly conceived plan, which helps only large corporations, undermines their competitiveness and fails to recognize their critical role in the economic recovery.