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House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Madam Speaker, with respect to the reference the member opposite made, police in my riding tell me that the long gun registry is completely useless. They do not depend on data in that data bank because it is as dated as the first day it was input.

Fortunately Canadians from coast to coast to coast know they have a strong, stable Conservative government which will defend their rights and end the wasteful long gun registry once and for all.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Madam Speaker, like my hon. colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, I am a little stunned. I will remain polite, however. That is not to say that my colleague did not, because he already said what I was thinking.

I do not think the member answered his question, and it is a very important one. We have been saying this from the beginning. I have all due respect for all hunters, and not only the hunters in the hon. member's riding. We on this side of the House have never shown a lack of respect towards hunters. We simply acknowledged that there was a problem with the legislation and proposed a solution.

Now the Conservatives are arguing all kinds of things and giving the impression that our prisons are filled with hunters and aboriginal people who own rifles and who were incarcerated after the police stormed their houses and confiscated their weapons. Let us stop fooling around.

Does the fact that police chiefs are saying—the same police chiefs the Conservative government quotes at every turn for its law and order bill—

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. I would ask the hon. member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke to reply.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Madam Speaker, it is the front-line police officers who tell us that the stats that are reported on the number of times they have referenced the gun registry are totally out of whack. Even when they check a licence plate number for someone who is speeding, it defaults as a hit to the gun registry, but they are just checking CPIC.

I do believe that what was said on the opposite side is totally ridiculous. The only way this gun registry could ever be fixed is to end it once and for all.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, we do not understand. It truly is difficult to understand.

We are hearing arguments like the ones just made to us: the hon. member has talked to police officers who do not believe it is used very much. But we have the figures: 92% of police officers use the firearms registry. Those are figures, those are facts. But obviously, we are used to this: reliable, objective data are of less interest to the people on the other side of the House than what they hear in their own immediate circles.

This registry is useful. As I said, 92% of police officers use it. Since it was established, spousal homicides have declined by 50%. We know that women are the ones who are too often the first victims of spousal homicides, and so we can see very clearly why the Fédération des femmes du Québec called for the registry to be preserved. We have talked about suicide recently. We have spoken in the House in support of suicide prevention. Over the last nine years, firearms suicides, which too often affect our young people, have declined by 64%. For that reason alone, the registry is absolutely essential and useful. And in spite of what they say about it, it is not very expensive. It cost a lot at the beginning, but now the costs associated with the registry represent only about 5% of the Canadian firearms program.

We are also presented with another argument: it sometimes presents problems for hunters, aboriginal people and others. The NDP has proposed solutions to that: decriminalize the first offence, make sure that long gun owners do not have to absorb the costs, protect information about owners, and provide legal guarantees to protect the rights of aboriginal people. This is an extremely useful registry that saves lives, and we can mitigate some of the problems. Why not? Is it because, as my hon. colleague said, it threatens our civil rights? Is implementing a firearms registry equivalent to invoking the War Measures Act? If I register my car or my dog, is it because I am subject to war measures? That is truly inflammatory language that is completely unrealistic and makes no sense.

When we are reduced to arguments like that, it means we do not have much left. So it is easier for us to understand why this government refuses to debate, why it has again imposed a closure motion on us, a gag, why it does not want parliamentarians to discuss the issue at any greater length, and why it does not want parliamentarians to be able to address their fellow Canadians to explain the issues to them. This government no longer has any logical, valid argument to support its bill.

It is not only parliamentarians that this government refuses to listen to. It refuses to listen to the provinces that, like Quebec, have fought at every level, calling for the firearms registry to be kept, or at the very least—if the government is silly enough to abolish it—for the data to be kept. Nor does the government listen to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which has called for the same thing. Nor does it listen to numerous experts, including those in the health care field. Nor does it listen to victims' groups, because the majority of victims' groups are completely in favour of the firearms registry and have called for it to be kept.

There is always a double standard. The government meets with a victims group that says more prisons are needed, and so the government decides to go headlong into that, build prisons and invest billions of dollars to put more people in prison, all the while totally disregarding the opinion of experts, once again. And then there are meetings with victims' groups and victims' families who, sometimes through tears, plead to keep the registry. I saw the mother of one of the young women killed at École Polytechnique de Montréal, and she was crying and pleading for the firearms registry to be kept. Then, quite suddenly, the government members block their ears, do not hear anything else and disregard whatever else is being said.

Victims do not count in this government's eyes, unless they are repeating what the government wants to hear. I do not call that listening. This government’s modus operandi is to be completely closed off to the opinion of others. I call that “my way or the highway” I call that contempt for any opinion not shared by the government.

But contempt cannot last forever. People will continue to speak out and voice their opinions. The people will take back the government, which imagines that since 40% of Canadian voters voted for it, it is entitled to do what it wants and can ride roughshod over any and all opinions that it does not share.

As I was saying, there is always a double standard. Let us take another example. The gun registry helps keep our communities safe and, as I said at the beginning, helps save lives. Today, the Minister of Public Safety implied that the use of information obtained by torture would be permitted in order to save lives. That encourages torture. If the government is prepared to consider information obtained by torture in order to save a life, then it is encouraging torture. However, registering a firearm in the gun registry to save lives suddenly is not acceptable.

In August 2010, Jack Layton said:

Stopping gun violence has been a priority for rural and urban Canadians. There’s no good reason why we shouldn’t be able to sit down with good will and open minds. There’s no good reason why we shouldn’t be able to build solutions that bring us together. But that sense of shared purpose has been the silent victim of the gun registry debate.

Mr. Harper has been no help at all. Instead of driving for solutions, he has used this issue to drive wedges between Canadians.... [The Conservatives] are stoking resentments as a fundraising tool to fill their election war chest.

Mr. Harper is pitting Canadian region against Canadian region with his—

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order. Using a member's name is not permitted in the House.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Jack Layton also said in August 2010:

[The Prime Minister] is pitting Canadian region against Canadian region with his “all or nothing show-down”. This is un-Canadian. This kind of divisiveness, pitting one group against another is the poisonous politics of the United States. Not the nation-building politics of Canada.

That was true in 2010 and it is still true today. We can only hope that this government will respect the opinions of Canadians, who risk losing their lives if the registry is abolished, that it will respect opinions that differ from its own, that it will respect the dialogue between Canadians, and that it will respect the House by giving it the opportunity to debate and do its job.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Conservative Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Madam Speaker, the member opposite stated that 92% of the police use the registry. My question is: How many use it by choice?

We know that the database is accessed automatically every time a car is pulled over for speeding. Does the member opposite think that if the datum shows that the owner of the vehicle does not have a registered long gun that the police should let his or her guard down? Does the member opposite think that the police should treat every circumstance as if there were a dangerous weapon available and that the long gun registry serves no useful purpose?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, I do not think that police officers should automatically treat every situation as if it were dangerous. Canada has a long-standing tradition of presuming that people are innocent and acting in good faith. If someone is exceeding the speed limit by 10 or 20 kilometres per hour, I do not think that the police officer responding should have to assume the situation is dangerous. Police officers can make more informed decisions about such situations when they have access to the gun registry so they can check it and feel more confident.

Not only do 92% of police officers use it, but 74% of them say that the results of their searches have been helpful during major operations. In other words, the registry is useful.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my esteemed colleague for her very interesting speech. She discussed something important. The NDP has suggested what I consider to be completely reasonable changes to the registry. What does my colleague think of those changes?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, I believe and I dare say that we have been listening. We did not merely say that the registry is a good tool that has to be maintained and then just stop listening. Some people had concerns. We listened to them and made practical suggestions to address those concerns. That is the true role of a government: to bring everyone to the table and find solutions everyone can agree on instead of constantly trying to be divisive.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The hon. member for Gatineau for a very quick question.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Madam Speaker, the government listens to the Association of Chiefs of Police when it comes to Bill C-10 on law and order, but when those same chiefs come to committee to talk about Bill C-19 and urge the government to keep the registry, the government suddenly turns a deaf ear. What does the hon. member think about that?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank all of my colleagues for their questions. It is remarkable; it really is a double standard. That is why I do not call that listening. The government adopts a position at the outset and when someone comes along and tells it what it wants to hear, it agrees. But when a larger group of people comes along with even more relevant facts and information and contradicts the government, it suddenly stops listening and puts on a blindfold and everything shuts down.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Etobicoke North, the environment; the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra, public safety; and the hon. member for Halifax, the environment.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, on behalf of my constituents of Kelowna—Lake Country, it is a pleasure to have this opportunity to show my support for Bill C-19. I have personally waited a number of years for this opportunity to stand in this place and say with confidence that the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry will soon be gone.

Our government has been quite clear since we were first elected that we would take a stand and do what was right. We said that we would do what was right for all law-abiding Canadians. We said that we would abolish a system that criminalizes law-abiding Canadians based solely on where they live and the tools they use to make a living. Canadians have now given us a strong mandate to do that.

The debate is not new. Our government has tried on several occasions to achieve the results that Canadians want, as have several hon. members. At this time I want to recognize the efforts of the hon. members for Yorkton—Melville and Portage—Lisgar who have worked tirelessly for many years to do away with Canada's long gun registry. Today is their day as much as it is a great day for all Canadians, a day to rejoice.

I would ask all hon. members of this House to think back to the news coverage they have seen in the past few days. I would ask them to think more specifically about those news stories that covered gun violence on our streets. In many cases, when we see images of gun crime on television, it usually involves gang members settling scores or fighting for drug turf in large city neighbours. It usually involves brazen acts on street corners or in parks or even in schools.

Last summer in my riding, on a Sunday afternoon, it happened. We had open fire from gang members in the middle of a beautiful August day in a tourist city, a city of just over 100,000 people. People from all around the world had gathered to enjoy a beautiful Sunday afternoon. My daughter happened to be working at the hotel that day and I thank the good Lord every day that she survived. The staff ran into the rooms, called 911 and took frantic customers, patrons from all walks of life, to safety. It was a horrific situation. It is these situations that gun control must target. This must be stopped and our government has certainly taken a number of steps over the last six years to do that.

This government is convinced that asking hunters to fill out forms to register their long guns in a computer database does not prevent these types of crimes from taking place in our communities. Our government is not alone in taking such a stand.

Some hon. members have indicated that police speak with one voice in support of the long gun registry. That, however, is simply not the case. For instance, in April 2006, more than 11 years after the Firearms Act was introduced, the president of the Winnipeg Police Association said, “The Winnipeg Police Association has never supported the long-gun registry”.

More recently, other front-line officers have added their voice to the debate indicating that Canada's long gun registry does nothing to prevent gun crimes or even to protect the safety of police officers.

Abbotsford police chief, Bob Rich, an urbanite with no hunting background, has been quoted in the London Free Press as saying that the long gun registry completely misses the mark and does nothing to address the real gun problems in his community. What he said was that 90% of all recovered guns in Abbotsford were smuggled into Canada from Washington state and that the debate we should be having in this country was about how to address that issue. I think that is of vital importance.

Madam Speaker, yourself coming from British Columbia, you are well aware of the fact that guns and cocaine are going across the border. It is a very serious issue and it is something we need to be focused on, be aware of and working on with other pieces of legislation with the support of all members of this House.

Chief Rich is not alone. When Calgary police chief, Rick Hanson, testified at the Standing Committee on Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness last spring he said that the registry was flawed and that it failed to tackle the real issue of gun violence. He went on to say that the registry:

...falls short of making the type of positive impact this country needs to be safer. No direct links have been made between the existing gun registry and the behaviour of criminals.

I have some more from front-line police officers weighing in on the debate. Retired police officer, Sergeant Michael Mays, who spent 6 of his 33 years on the Toronto Police Force, working the dangerous Jane and Finch area, wrote in a letter to the Toronto Star that he found the long gun registry “ terribly flawed and a waste of time, energy and money”.

Sergeant Mays added that the information in the registry was “outdated, inaccurate and completely unreliable”, and that for any officer ”to make a decision at a call based on registry information would be foolish at best and deadly at worst”, as my hon. colleague recently stated.

The verdict is in. The long gun registry does nothing to prevent gun crimes, protect Canadians or even protect law enforcement officers.

Again, retired police sergeant Michael Mays noted in his letter to the Toronto Star that:

A [police] check of the registry is done automatically every time an officer is dispatched to an address, wanted or not. From its inception, I was advised not to depend on it to make decisions.

What we can deduce from all this is that however well-intentioned it may have been, the long gun registry is completely ineffective and does nothing to prevent gun crimes.

Taxpayers were originally told that the registry would cost something in the order of $2 million, since the rest would be made up by fees. All of us know full well that the state broadcaster has stated the cost to be well in excess of $2 billion. Two million, two billion. M and B. That is a big difference.

Today, we know there are over seven million long guns legally registered but there are millions of others not legally registered. Some estimates put that figure at 16 million. Seven million registered and possibly 16 million unregistered. It is a guess at best. There are still a lot of guns that would need to be registered if the long gun registry remained intact.

We could add to that the cost of making the data current and correcting the data, as well as the police hours that would be spent enforcing its compliance. For what? For a tool that never has and never will have any impact in preventing gun crimes? For a tool that police officers do not rely on? For a tool that some police officers actually refer to as dangerous? For a tool that many police officers say has had absolutely no role in helping them to solve crimes? It is just goes on and on. We can and will do better.

As Al Koenig, president of the Calgary Police Association, noted in the Calgary Herald, the vast amount of money spent on the long gun registry could have been much better spent and put to use for the front-line police officers in Canada. He said that the program has had no effect on crime or acted in any way as a deterrent. He said, “despite the money spent, it should be scrapped.

That is what the legislation before us would do.

Our government believes in taking a balanced approach to firearms control, one that targets criminals and eases requirements on law-abiding firearm owners. We must not forget that the true aim of gun control is to prevent gun crime.

The measures we are taking to build a more effective firearms control system aim to achieve two goals. On the one hand, we want to crack down on individuals who would use firearms to harm others and, on the other hand, we want to ensure that individuals who want to obtain firearms for legitimate purposes are not a threat to others and know how to handle firearms.

We respect our law-abiding farmers, recreational hunters and sports shooters.

I met with members of the BC Wildlife Federation, which has about 38,000 individual members and represents over 100 member clubs in British Columbia, including the Oceola Fish and Game Club in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country and the Kelowna and District Fish and Game Club. Its president, Rod Wiebe, put out a news release in the fall when we tabled this legislation, in which he stated:

The Prime Minister has consistently pledged to rid us of this expensive white elephant, which has cost Canadian taxpayers almost $2 billion dollars; the introduction of the legislation is tangible proof of that commitment. Supporters of the registry have repeatedly stated that it works, but they have consistently failed to provide clear evidence to support that contention.

The bottom line is that Canadians want results, not expensive showpieces. They want action on gun crime, not expensive boondoggles.

Bill C-19 is long overdue. I therefore ask all members of this House to work with this government to ensure its speedy passage.

In a little while hon. members will have an opportunity to stand up and do the right thing, to stand up for freedom for recreational hunters, farmers, fishermen, outdoors people, who appreciate the beauty of our country and our freedom, and support Bill C-19

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Denis Blanchette NDP Louis-Hébert, QC

Madam Speaker, I am somewhat surprised by my colleague's line of thinking. He told us that the data are inaccurate, but he forgot to mention that they are not quite up to date because his government declared an amnesty. Thus, it is the Conservatives' fault. They do not keep the registry up to date and then they scrap it because it is no longer up to date. That is illogical.

I would like an honest answer from my colleague. On this side of the House, we noted that there were problems. Why did this government never try to solve the problems with the registry instead of simply moving to abolish it?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, there are a couple of reasons. The fact is the registry is a database of law-abiding Canadians. It has not provided any reduction in gun crime.

For example, I was in a coffee shop talking with a constituent. An off-duty RCMP officer came up to me and said that although I did not know him, I had knocked on his door one day. He wanted me to know that he has been in the force for about 20 years. He told me that we should get rid of the long gun registry because it is ineffective and does not work. That is an unsolicited comment from a front-line officer.

One of the member's NDP colleagues, potentially a future leader of that party, the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, stated:

Sadly the gun registry has not been a positive solution for Canadians. It was first pitched as a $2-million net-cost program. but its heavy bureaucracy has already consumed millions of tax dollars. Even so, it has faltered as a tool to stop the use of guns for criminal ends. Meanwhile, it has unfairly targeted who use firearms lawfully. Very often, that has meant rural people, including farmers and hunters.

That was said by the member's colleague.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I have heard during these debates a lot of speakers who would dispute what my hon. colleague said when he quoted somebody, and I cannot remember who, saying that there was no connection between the long gun registry and the behaviour of criminals.

If my colleague is willing to make that argument, why is he not willing to make the same argument when it comes to mandatory sentences when there is no evidence that they work either?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, I want to talk a bit more about what the B.C. Wildlife Federation said:

The long gun registry, created under Bill C-68 by a previous Liberal government, has always been misdirected. It focused on law-abiding citizens, ignoring violent criminals and offenders who have been prohibited by court from owning firearms who actually do threaten the public safety. As a result, the BCWF [B.C. Wildlife Federation] has joined with provincial and territorial wildlife federations, national and provincial wildlife and outdoor organizations, responsible firearms owners, hunters, farmers, trappers, recreational sport shooters, and many rank and file law enforcement officers who have consistently urged the government to scrap the system.

These are common sense folks, just as the legislation we are bringing forward under Bill C-10 and Bill C-19 is common sense.

I would appreciate the support of the hon. member. He was not here at the time when his predecessors brought in the registry. He is from Kingston and can bring some common sense from those folks in Ontario to the House.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Madam Speaker, I am horrified to hear the arguments coming from the other side of the House. The obstinacy with which the Conservatives are calling for the destruction of the firearms registry is neither practical nor well thought out. Bill C-19 is motivated entirely by ideology and seeks to divide rural and urban Canadians. The Conservatives want people to think that those two groups hold irreconcilable positions on this issue, and that is not the case.

As the New Democrats have shown in the past, we have the leadership that is needed for considering both sides of the coin, in order to come up with a solution that works for all Canadians. In 2010, my colleague from Timmins—James Bay introduced a bill that would have made changes to the registry and removed the parts that are problematic for hunters and the first nations, without destroying this vital protection that is used every day by the police to combat spousal violence, among other things.

Rather than supporting a well thought-out solution to the problem, the government decided to divide Canada on this issue in order to play petty politics. I do not need to remind this House that it is women who are the primary victims of spousal violence, women who are rightly terrified at the prospect of the registry and the data in it being destroyed. Anyone who rises in this House and tries to minimize that fear is denying or ignoring the fact that one-third of women killed by their partner are killed by a legally owned shotgun or rifle. They are also denying or ignoring the fact that since the introduction of the registry, the frequency of such incidents has declined by 50%. The government is not just endangering women’s rights; it is playing with their lives.

I represent a rural riding in Quebec. I am one of the New Democrats who represent communities of farmers, first nations and sports hunters. I have no difficulty explaining the bill introduced by my colleague from Timmins—James Bay to them, and the amendments we would like to make to Bill C-19. Those amendments would have created a firearms registry that I could defend wholeheartedly. Those amendments would have controlled the cost of the registry, simplified firearms registration and created a legal guarantee of adherence to the treaties signed with the first nations.

However, today I have to stand up for the women in my riding who are firmly opposed to Bill C-19. I have known Andrée Larochelle and Carole Girardeau of the Carrefour des femmes du Grand Lachute since last May. That organization is a wonderful centre for women, that works with victims of violence on a daily basis.

Ms. Larochelle wrote the following letter to the Prime Minister on December 6:

Dear Mr. [Prime Minister]

You are no doubt aware that December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It marks the anniversary of the murders of 14 young women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989, by a man who hated them just because they were women.

Since that time, in Quebec alone, 973 women and children have died at the hands of violent men.

Here at the Carrefour des femmes du Grand Lachute, we are working to combat the violence committed against women every day. Every day, women of all ages tell us that they are the victims of violence, whether it be psychological, verbal, sexual, economic or physical. Every day!

And now, two decades later, you, Mr. Prime Minister, the leader of our great country whose democracy is a model for the world, are planning to abolish the firearms registry, after so much work was done to implement it. It is incomprehensible. It is unacceptable.

The women of this same great country, particularly those of Quebec, will remember you as the one who undermined the status of women. That is what we will remember. That much is certain.

In the meantime, if you are curious, take the time to read the enclosed list of given names. It will give you an opportunity to personalize violence against women. This list was created in less than five minutes by gathering the names of approximately 30 women who visit our centre. Imagine if every Canadian woman did the same thing...

We hope that we have made you aware of the violence women experience and we send our respect, particularly if you change your mind about the firearms registry.

Sincerely, Andrée Larochelle, case worker and communications officer

I have here the list of names to which the letter refers: Manon, Kim, Nathalie, Guétane, Brigitte, Micheline, Gisèle, Josée, Nicole, Isabelle, Linda, Cécile, Paulette, Lorraine, Diane, Manon, Johanne, Sylviane, Linda, Jacqueline, Suzanne, Ginette, Carole, Sylvie, France, Pauline, Josée, Nicole, Tanya, Laurie, Ronya, Selahna, Cassandra, Ashley, Paula, Amal, Lucie, Rachel, Tanya, Lisa, Lori, Judith, Andrée, Joanie, Chantal, Sandra, Karine, Lise, Lucie, Nancy, France, Danielle, Marie-Karine, Francine, Manon, Maude, Huguette, Chantal, Marianne, Sophie, Jacqueline, Michelle, Thérèse, Jeannine, Kim, Mélissa, Mélanie, Jacynthe, Mylène, Micheline, Nathalie. I did not read all the names. These are just a few of the victims.

On behalf of the women's centre in Lachute, the women and police officers in the Province of Quebec and everyone else across Canada who has spoken out against Bill C-19, I am asking all the members of the House to vote against this reckless and ill-conceived bill.

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, we were all elected by our constituents. We are here to represent them and bring their ideas forward.

The member's colleague, the member for Nickel Belt, was quoted in The Sudbury Star on November 5, 2009 as saying, “I've been hearing from constituents since the day I was elected that they wanted to abolish the long gun registry. I've listened to them and will continue to work on their behalf”.

Is the member's colleague wrong by listening to his constituents and standing up to abolish the long gun registry?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Madam Speaker, as I said during my speech, I come from a rural riding as well. There were not many constituents who were concerned or unsure about the current long gun registry, but I talked with them about the amendments that we had brought forward and they were convinced that a solution was possible.

I am going to quickly mention the amendments New Democrats have been asking for that would reconcile rural and urban Canada: decriminalize first-time non-registration of long guns, making a one-time offence a non-criminal ticket; enshrine in legislation that gun owners will never be charged for registration; prevent the release of identifying information about gun owners, except to protect public safety by court order or law; and create a legal guarantee for aboriginal treaty rights. Talking about these things with my constituents who were concerned about the long gun registry convinced them that there was a solution possible.

Why are the Conservatives not being reasonable and trying to work with all members of the House for all Canadians?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member, who has given an excellent speech on Bill C-19. Today, we voted once again on a time allocation motion for a bill that is extremely important for all Canadians. What does the hon. member think about the fact that the Conservative government is not listening to Quebec, which wants to recover the data from the firearms registry?

Ending the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Alfred-Pellan for her excellent question. The Conservatives keep saying that Canadians gave them a strong mandate. In fact, Quebeckers did not give them any mandate. The majority of Quebeckers voted for the NDP. We want to find solutions. Quebec is asking the government to transfer the data from the registry to Quebec. Why do the Conservatives not listen to Quebec and the New Democrats, who truly represent that province, and just transfer the data?