House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity today to join this important debate.

Let me begin by saying two words: Resolute and realistic. I think the Minister of Public Safety said it best. Resolute and realistic is what this government has strived to be since we began tackling gun violence as soon as we were elected to lead this country almost seven years ago, and these adjectives have been our true North Star. We know that no single bill or initiative has the power to single-handedly end gun violence. That is being realistic.

We also know that morally, ethically and humanely we are bound to do all we can, using all resources at our disposal, to stop senseless deaths and injuries from firearms. That is exactly what we are determined to do. In other words, we are resolute. We believe it is the only appropriate response to the tragedies we have seen in our communities, from the École Polytechnique in 1989 to Portapique in 2020 and all the deadly incidents in between that did not receive widespread media coverage precisely because they were all too common. Let us not have any doubt about it: These are preventable deaths. The grief of the victims' loved ones will never be fully soothed, and those who survived will always carry with them the trauma of what they experienced. We must resolve ourselves to do anything and everything that we can to ensure no one else has to live through these horrors. That is why we have introduced decisive actions such as implementing a national freeze on handguns so that no new handguns can be brought into Canada or bought, sold or transferred within the country, and implementing red flag laws to protect those who are most vulnerable from gun violence at the hands of intimate partners. These are the strongest gun control measures this country has seen in over 40 years. These measures will save lives.

I would like to share a few important statistics with my colleagues. We know that the more available guns are, the higher the risk of homicides and suicides. Handguns are the most commonly used firearms in homicides. Suicide by firearm accounted for 75% of all firearms deaths in Canada between 2008 and 2018. Victims of intimate partner violence are about five times more likely to be killed if a firearm is present in the home. Members should think about that. Of guns used in crimes, 58% are traced to domestic sources that are predominantly from straw purchasing and theft. This means that, contrary to what the Conservatives keep telling us, these guns are legally obtained initially. Making handguns unavailable to buy, transfer or sell and prohibiting new handguns from being brought into Canada just makes sense. Reducing the number of guns in our communities means reducing the number of victims of gun violence.

Let us be clear. We are realistic. We know that a national freeze on handguns, however strong and effective a measure it will be, cannot end all forms of gun violence, of course. That is why this bill contains numerous other measures to complement and strengthen Canada's gun laws. A priority for this government is protecting women who are disproportionately victimized by intimate partner violence that often involves guns. Bill C-21 contains legislation to revoke or deny firearms licences for people who have a protection order against them or have been involved in domestic violence, criminal harassment or stalking.

The red flag provisions of this bill are also designed to protect women and other vulnerable persons. Under these provisions, anyone could apply to a court to remove firearms from someone who may be a danger to themselves or others. We can imagine the utility of a law like this. We can imagine the lives saved in situations where people were experiencing abuse and feared for their lives at the hands of their partners who owned a firearm, or for firearms owners who tell their friends they have suicidal thoughts or ideation. Bill C-21 also contains yellow flag provisions, where anyone can ask a chief firearms officer to suspend and examine a licence if there are grounds to suspect that person is no longer eligible to hold a firearms licence.

These are all strong measures, and we know there are those who, as responsible firearms owners, may worry that these new laws would affect them. Canadian gun regulations and requirements are already robust, and we know that the majority of firearms owners take great care to own and operate their firearms safely in accordance with these rules. We have taken care to ensure that the privileges of lawful gun owners would not change. Current handgun owners would continue to be able to possess and use firearms for as long as they own them.

Bill C-21 is targeting handguns, not firearms used for hunting or sport shooting. However, as the Prime Minister has said, there is no reason other than these activities that the general public should need guns in their everyday lives. Let us think about it. All it takes to take a life is the pulling of a trigger. Do Canadians really need to own lethal force to be used at any moment? I do not think so.

Firearms owners can rest assured that, as always, we will consult with Canadians before finalizing and implementing regulations. The bottom line is that Canadians know that this government is serious about gun control and has been since we were elected. Since 2016, we have invested more than $920 million to address gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of gangs and criminals.

Budget 2021 committed $312 million over five years for the CBSA and RCMP to increase intelligence and investigative capacity at the border and increase the RCMP's ability to trace gun crimes and detect straw purchasing. We have made significant strides in combatting gang violence as well, with $250 million committed to support municipalities and indigenous communities with anti-gang programs through the building safer communities fund. This builds on the $358.8 million under the 2018 initiative to take action against gun and gang violence for provinces and territories. This is not to mention that under the leadership of the previous minister of public safety two years ago, we took the bold step of banning assault-style weapons, prohibiting over 1,500 models of such firearms.

This is how we are combatting gun violence and how we will end it. We have a suite of comprehensive measures that prevent it from taking root in the first place, that protect vulnerable individuals when there is reason to believe violence is imminent and that remove guns from the hands of those who have malicious intentions. We cannot wait to take action.

I speak for all my colleagues when I say that we have already seen too much violence in each of our home constituencies. I know I have. There have been too many tears with too much grief, because even one person lost to gun violence is too many. I implore my colleagues to pass Bill C-21 as quickly as possible. Let us end gun violence in Canada now.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Madam Speaker, I read a number of days ago with great interest a story about an Ottawa-area lifelong hunter who had his firearms taken away because of a tip from a local community mental health area that said the man was not taking his medication. Police moved immediately and seized this man's firearms. It was only after petitioning a judge and demonstrating to a judge that he did not have any mental issues that he got his firearms back.

I found it curious that the member said we currently do not have the capacity to take firearms away from people who are going through mental distress, when we see quite clearly here in the Ottawa area that it is already happening. Would the member not agree that the government and the police already have these tools?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

Madam Speaker, I do not know the specific example the member speaks of, but embedding red flag and yellow flag laws within legislation would only give additional tools to law enforcement and individuals who suspect that someone has suicidal ideation or may harm others. That is a good thing. We can all probably agree that the fewer the number of individuals who commit suicide via a firearm and the fewer the number of people who are in firearms shootings, the safer Canada will be.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to know why my colleague's government decided to go with a freeze rather than a ban. As members will recall, the May 2020 assault weapons ban and regulations came into effect immediately. Now, the government is proposing a freeze on handguns but has realized that it will not take effect for 30 business days.

Why did the government not take a different approach to ensure that this could be implemented quickly? If the government were really serious about getting handguns off our streets, it would have taken a different approach.

I would like my colleague to explain to me why his government decided to go with a freeze rather than a ban.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

Madam Speaker, the hon. member's question is a good-faith question, and I appreciate it.

The freeze on handguns definitely limits the market. It starts to regulate the market so that there will be no more handguns in circulation in Canada from the moment this bill reaches royal assent. That allows us to start to understand and work on the issue of getting guns off the streets in a way that respects the lawful possession and acquisition of the firearms that many legal, law-abiding gun owners have. It is a compromise and a good step forward.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, one thing my colleague's party promised in 2019 was to make sure that the CBSA had the resources it needs to detect and stop the flow of weapons at our borders. Just like the Conservatives did with Veterans Affairs when they cut a third of the staff, which has led to a backlog of over 40,000 disability applications for veterans, they cut 1,000 positions at the CBSA, which are required to stop the flow of weapons at the Canada-U.S. border.

My colleague touched on some of the improvements the government is going to make at the CBSA, but when will it fully restore all of the positions that were cut by the Conservatives, and in fact bolster them, given the increase in gun violence and the illegal importation of weapons coming into Canada?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

Madam Speaker, our government knows that illegal gun smuggling is important, as is increasing the investigative capacity of the CBSA and the RCMP to investigate purported gun smuggling and crack down on it. We have increased the penalties for those who are caught, from 10 to 14 years. To my knowledge, we are increasing capacity at our borders and ensuring that our law enforcement agencies can share data and information to have better intelligence on these matters.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Green

Mike Morrice Green Kitchener Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, very few recent mass shooters in this country had criminal records of any kind. Consider shootings in Fredericton, Danforth, Quebec City and Moncton. Could the member comment on how Bill C-21 would help reduce and even eliminate mass shootings across the country?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

Madam Speaker, this goes to show that just because people are law-abiding gun owners when they purchase a gun does not mean they are not capable of committing an act in a heated moment. It is important for us to realize that limiting gun ownership and restricting guns are going to help reduce gun crime.

Freedom in CanadaStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Hardie Liberal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Madam Speaker, Canada Day is coming up a week from Friday, and it is a good moment to think about freedom in an age of COVID.

Most Canadians exercise their freedom to contribute toward the common good by getting vaccinated, wearing masks and understanding that vaccine and mask mandates were about short-term restrictions in the interests of long-term health and safety. Others exercise their freedom to oppose those measures, some on principle and others with agendas exposed as exceedingly dark. In our parliamentary precinct, some gave themselves the freedom to exercise their lungs, their rhetoric and their truck horns. Some of them, we are told, are planning to return.

To them, here is some free advice. Canada is a strong, free nation, thanks very much, where we get to yell “freedom” and blast truck horns. They can fill their boots, but the sound of votes slipping into a ballot box will drown out the noise, because that is how we do things here. That is how we preserve and protect real freedom.

Community EventsStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Madam Speaker, the summertime is upon us once again, and with it comes some great opportunities to get out into the community and take part in some of the outstanding events happening in Souris—Moose Mountain and across this great country.

After over two years of living in a pandemic, I am looking forward to being able to meet with people face to face as I travel throughout my riding to hear what my constituents have to say. While the rising cost of living, combined with high gas prices, might make longer trips a bit more difficult, I encourage everyone to support local events and the local economy by participating in things such as fairs, rodeos, powwows, festivals, jamborees, barbecues and more. This is also a great opportunity to take the staycation we might have been thinking of while also helping local businesses, which would certainly benefit from a visit.

I know that I will be going to as many community events as I can this summer, and I invite all Canadians to do the same. Let us get out and enjoy. I hope to see everyone there.

Bluedrop ISMStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joanne Thompson Liberal St. John's East, NL

Madam Speaker, there was a time when no one thought it was possible to launch a global tech company from Newfoundland and Labrador, but Emad Rizkalla is a true innovator and launched our province's very first tech start-up, now known as Bluedrop ISM, 30 years ago.

Bluedrop is a global learning tech leader with customers and users in over 30 countries and on all seven continents. It is part of our province's now thriving tech industry, which contributes over $1.6 billion to our economy and employs over 4,000 people.

Emad immigrated to Canada from Egypt when he was seven years old, co-founded Bluedrop as a student of Memorial University and is considered one of North America's pioneers in e-learning. To Bluedrop, Emad and the entire team on their 30th anniversary, I say congratulations as they continue to blaze new trails.

Marcel JobinStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to pay tribute to an incredible athlete in my riding, Marcel Jobin, an 80-year-old Olympic race walker from Saint‑Boniface.

Mr. Jobin's career highlights include competing in the summer games in Montreal in 1976 and in Los Angeles in 1984, in the 20-kilometre and 50‑kilometre events. He also founded the Académie Marcel‑Jobin, a not‑for‑profit organization that promotes physical activity, organizes sporting events and supports athletes. It has organized no fewer than 25 half marathons. As if that were not enough, he is getting ready for this summer's world championships in Finland, where he is going for gold in the 80 to 84 age group.

Mr. Jobin, keep on impressing us. You are the pride of Berthier—Maskinongé and Quebec as a whole.

Marcel JobinStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Before we move on, I would like to know if it is possible to reduce the noise coming from the lobbies.

It is very bothersome, and it is interfering with the way we hear speeches in the House.

The hon. member for Bourassa.

Medal Awarded by MP for BourassaStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Emmanuel Dubourg Liberal Bourassa, QC

Madam Speaker, yesterday, on Father's Day, the fourth edition of the “eminent men in Bourassa” ceremony was held to recognize five men who have made an outstanding contribution to the community.

I had the honour of presenting each of them with the Bourassa MP's medal. The recipients were Pierre Blondin, chair of the Beaulieu-Blondin Foundation; Carmine Gallo, a police officer at station 39; Dib Khanafer, co-owner of Miracle 110; Sonel Merjuste, co-owner of Tempehine; and Sam Watts, director of Mission Bon Accueil.

I am proud to rise in the House of Commons to celebrate their dedication and contribution to the riding of Bourassa.

I ask my fellow members of Parliament to join me in congratulating them.

Agriculture in CanadaStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Leslyn Lewis Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk, ON

Madam Speaker, Canadian farmers have been feeding us for generations. They deserve our thanks, but instead they keep getting attacked by the Liberal government. The carbon tax was the first blow, punishing farmers and lining government pockets while doing nothing to reduce carbon emissions.

Then came the 35% tariff on Russian fertilizer applied to products purchased well before the war in Ukraine began. Now the government wants to force misleading warning labels on all Canadian ground beef and pork. There is a perfect storm brewing of record high costs, supply chain disruptions, labour shortages and poor planting conditions.

The government needs to wake up, cancel the taxes and secure our food supply before we plunge into a national food shortage crisis. Time is running out.

Sothymalar ParamsothyStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Madam Speaker, today I would like to honour the memory of a passionate teacher, a dedicated volunteer and a great community leader, Ms. Sothymalar Paramsothy. Ms. Paramsothy arrived in Canada, along with her two sons, as a refugee.

Like most Tamils, she balanced several jobs to make ends meet as she integrated into a new place. A teacher by profession, she worked part time in Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board while teaching Tamil in various boards under the international languages program. Apart from work, she was passionately involved with fundraising for humanitarian relief efforts to the internally displaced in Sri Lanka's north and east. Following her retirement in the early 2000s, she returned to Sri Lanka to continue her humanitarian work on the ground.

I remember the day of awarding Ms. Paramsothy with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for service. I will always remember her for her strong spirt, big heart and visionary mind. Until her last breath, she continued to encourage work on improving Sri Lanka's social and economic conditions. It is a painful loss for all of us and for Canada. We are forever grateful for the legacy she has left behind.

Dragons AbreastStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, Dragons Abreast is an exercise and rehabilitation program for breast cancer survivors in the form of a dragon boat team, and it is celebrating its 25th year. Through a 125-kilometre paddle on the Trent-Severn, they are raising funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund and honouring the 55 members of the team who have died since 1997.

This remarkable journey began on June 16 with a water ceremony at Curve Lake first nation and finishes on June 21 with a water ceremony at Hiawatha First Nation. Eleanor Nielsen is a Beaches—East York constituent and one of those wonderful people we meet. She is a member of the Dragons Abreast, and she has co-authored a book called Internationally Abreast: Exercise As Medicine about the Vancouver origins of the breast cancer dragon boat movement, which now has 51 teams in Canada and 260 worldwide.

I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing the Dragons Abreast team for the important work they do to emphasize physical exercise, raise funds for an important cause and build a strong community of support. I wish them the best of luck in their paddling journey.

Bill C-291Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Frank Caputo Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I hearken back to my maiden speech today to discuss something I am passionate about. It is time we stop using the phrase “child pornography”. Words matter, and the term child pornography sanitizes the extreme harm caused to children. Pornography describes media between consenting adults. Children can never consent to sexual activity with adults.

This is why any sexual depiction of a child must be called what it is: sexual abuse. Last week, my hon. colleague from North Okanagan—Shuswap tabled Bill C-291 to change all references of “child pornography” in the criminal code to “child sexual abuse material”.

I am deeply grateful to him for tabling this bill, which I authored, and using his slot in the order of precedence so the bill can be passed without delay. This is a change that victims and advocates have been seeking for far too long. The time to make this simple yet meaningful change is now, and I exhort the House to do so as quickly as possible.

Turning the Tide AwardsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the recipients of the Turning the Tide Awards for honouring excellence and innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador's marine industry. I especially want to highlight the Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Company, which earned the industry leadership and excellence award. The company grew from humble beginnings, started by fisher people, into an industry leader. It operates five processing facilities in Labrador's south coast and boasts an impressive harvesting fleet.

I also want to recognize Richard Cashin, who received the industry lifetime achievement award for advancing the rights of inshore fish harvesters; Virtual Marine, which earned the innovation leadership award; the Crow's Nest, which was presented with the award of historical marine significance; and Jasmine Saunders, who was given the next wave leadership award. She is an indigenous woman who has played an integral role in developing relationships with indigenous partners and high school students.

I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating all those who are turning the tide in the marine industry sector in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Arctic SovereigntyStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was in Inuvik last week, and what I saw was alarming. Instead of strengthening sovereignty and security in our Arctic, I saw the government putting up a for sale sign on a crucial NORAD facility and getting rid of other essential equipment. For decades, the International Logistics Support hangar has been the only facility above the Arctic Circle able to house Canada's refuelling tankers that support our CF-18s.

Deemed no longer necessary by the government in 2021, the hangar is now up for sale. Without this hangar, the refuelling tankers are being pushed outside and now take hours to prep in minus 40 and worse winter conditions. Any quick response is now off the table. To make matters worse, fuel tanks that used to stand in front of CF-18 hangars have been noticeably removed, which is impeding our ability to repeatedly respond to Arctic threats.

Despite the minister's lofty words, we are more at risk in the Arctic than ever before. Will the minister visit Inuvik herself to see first-hand the sad state of our Arctic sovereignty and security, instead of relying on her senior level bureaucrats in Ottawa?

Bill C-11Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Warren Steinley Conservative Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, we are down to the last week for the government to attempt to ram through legislation through the final session since the last unnecessary election in the fall.

There remain more questions than answers about Bill C-11. Is user-generated content covered under the act or not? Does the wording of the bill allow for platforms to censor or not? With the government bulldozing through fulsome debate on this legislation, it appears that these questions will remain unanswered.

The irony of stifling the freedom to speak in the House on the very bill that has the greatest consequences of freedom of speech in our country's history cannot be understated. Whether it is of the heritage minister, the public safety minister, the emergency preparedness minister or the Prime Minister, this bill is another example of the government's disdain for the rights and freedoms of all Canadians.

Sherbrooke Station MarketStatements by Members

June 20th, 2022 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Élisabeth Brière Liberal Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I am happy to mark the start of the summer season for the Sherbrooke Station Market. Located on the shores of Lac des Nations, this public market is steeped in history and showcases Sherbrooke's natural and built heritage. Five permanent merchants occupy the interior space year round and, with the beginning of the summer this weekend, many market gardeners and artisans have set up booths outside and stocked them with the best products the region has to offer.

The market also serves as a gathering place and festival site for the community. I would like to invite the entire population of Sherbrooke, as well as tourists, to come spend some quality family time at the market, which runs every weekend until the end of October, and to stock up on fresh, local products.

Buying local stimulates the economy and supports Sherbrooke's entrepreneurs. We should all keep buying delicious products made close to home.

Alberta BillyStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, Alberta Billy was an influential leader and elder from the Laich-Kwil-Tach speaking people.

Her passing fills me with a deep sadness, and it will have a profound impact on our riding. The gentleness of her spirit called everyone around her to be their very best self. She was a significant leader who educated Canadians about the deep and painful impacts of residential school. In the eighties, with friends Thelma Davis and Stan McKay, she worked years to inspire the United Church of Canada to take ownership of the part it played, which it did, becoming the first religious institution to apologize to indigenous peoples.

She did not stop there. She worked with Kathi and Meredith to educate people on the impacts of residential schools with an experiential training through The Village workshop series. She would say to me, “We do it because we must.” Her words give me strength in challenging times. The world a much sadder place without Alberta. I am so honoured to have known and loved her. I wish her husband, Daniel, and her family much love in this profound time of grief.

Ann‑Renée DesbiensStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline Desbiens Bloc Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the greatest assets of my riding are the high-performance athletes who bring joy to our community. One of those athletes is here today on Parliament Hill. It is Ann-Renée Desbiens, who brought Olympic gold home to Charlevoix.

A native of Clermont who now lives in beautiful Saint‑Aimé‑des‑Lacs, the woman who is known as “the Great Wall of Charlevoix” has collected so many national and international titles that she has basically rewritten the U.S. college circuit record book. In 2017, she received the Patty Kazmaier Award for the top women's college ice hockey player.

Supported by a wonderful family, my distant cousin is a brilliant, generous and inspiring woman. She shares her medals, dreams and techniques with fans both young and old, and her famous jersey with her humble member of Parliament. Everyone loves Ann-Renée, an articulate and dynamic woman who is also down to earth.

On behalf of myself and the Bloc Québécois, I would like to salute and honour this incredibly talented athlete. My best wishes for a long and successful career to Ann-Renée Desbiens, “the Great Wall of Charlevoix”.