I call this meeting to order. Welcome, everyone.
Welcome to meeting 49 of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. We will start by acknowledging that we are meeting on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin people.
Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format pursuant to the House order of November 25, 2021. Members are attending in person in the room and remotely using the Zoom application.
Pursuant to the order of reference of Thursday, June 23, 2022, the committee resumes consideration of Bill , an act to amend certain acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms). Today, the committee starts clause-by-clause consideration.
I'll now welcome the officials who are here with us this afternoon. They are available for questions regarding the bill but will not deliver any opening statements. We have, from the Department of Justice, Marianne Breese, counsel, Public Safety Canada legal services; Paula Clark, counsel, criminal law policy section; and Phaedra Glushek, counsel, criminal law policy section. From the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, we have Rachel Mainville-Dale, acting director general, firearms policy.
I thank you for joining us today.
I will now provide some guidance on the clause-by-clause consideration process for Bill . Actually, I believe the clerk has distributed a document to everyone that gives the outline of how to proceed. We will start with clause 0.1, and we will go forward, but not backwards, typically, right?
Does anybody have any questions regarding the clause-by-clause consideration of this bill?
I'll recognize Raquel in just a minute.
We also have our legislative clerks here to guide us along our way, as well as our regular clerk, who is keeping an eye on us.
Ms. Dancho, go ahead, please.
I appreciated very much the one-pager you provided to us—I believe it was today—and I just wanted to confirm what a few things meant.
As you noted, a few of us are new to this process. This is, for example, the first time that I am doing clause-by-clause study for a bill, and I appreciated your mention that we will go through this process deliberately so that everyone understands what we're doing.
I did want to clarify a few things.
You mention in the second paragraph that “[t]he Chair may be called upon to rule amendments inadmissible if they go against the principle of the bill or beyond the scope of the bill”. You also go on to say “or if they offend the financial prerogative of the Crown”.
Can you provide a little more insight into what that might look like, particularly on “if they offend the financial prerogative of the Crown”? Is this saying that if there's any amendment or anything that brings in a financial component, it's out of order?
I'm sorry. I have one more question.
Now that you've clarified that for me, for one of the amendments—or two of them, actually—I'm a bit concerned about their scope. In particular, I want to say G-4 and G-46. We feel that they're quite significant changes, which they are. That's factual.
Since G-4 is up quite soon—I think it's the fifth or sixth amendment that we would be going through, so I'm assuming we'd be getting there quite quickly—we're wondering, given the substantial change they're proposing, if the government is able to provide more information.
If we could perhaps park those amendments into next week, then we can revisit them once the government has provided more information, in particular on G-4, which in essence proposes a ban on nearly all semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, Mr. Chair—
But “firearm part” is the only new part. Thank you for the clarification.
My question is this. I recognize that there's an amendment that defines what that means, but it has not been passed yet.
Mr. Taleeb Noormohamed: That's correct.
Ms. Raquel Dancho: I'm not necessarily opposed to adding this, but I don't feel that we have done substantial study on it. There's no definition as of right now, although it is proposed. Later it may be adopted. As of right now, there is no definition, and I don't know whether the definition that has yet to be adopted but is proposed in your amendments would be an accurate one. I'm not enough of a firearms expert to rule on that.
I'm not clear what the impact of this amendment will be, in particular if any incoming definition of “firearm part” is not fulsome or is too extensive. Is there a possibility that we may be criminalizing firearms owners who have gun holsters or gun cleaning tools or the like?
I'm not a firearms expert, but I am concerned about the broader implications of this and that we did not have extensive testimony at committee to make the case that this is needed or to help us define the best definition for “firearm part”.
Mr. Chair, if I could just read this in sum, because I think....
Here's my concern with this. I think we're elevating “firearm part”, which I think begets a bigger discussion. Again, as I said, I think we're all interested in addressing the issues of ghost guns, but it does put it in right alongside “ 'ammunition', 'antique firearm', 'automatic firearm', 'cartridge magazine', 'crossbow',” then “firearm part” now, “'handgun', 'imitation firearm', 'prohibited ammunition', 'prohibited device', 'prohibited firearm', 'prohibited weapon', 'replica firearm', 'restricted firearm' and 'restricted weapon', as well as 'authorization'....”
I'm just concerned that we're elevating a slide for a handgun up to something that is a prohibited weapon. We're now classifying those the same in this regard.
I'll go back to what I was asking about at the beginning. If we begin clause 1 now, and if any amendment causes a lot of issues that may delay the progress of the rest of the amendments and the rest of the bill....
What we are asking for is more information on G-4. We cannot have a proper debate without fully understanding the impacts. Mr. Noormohamed did provide for us a G-4 definition of “firearm part”, which I appreciate. It was helpful. However, G-4—I don't know how else to talk about this without saying it—in essence bans most semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. That is incredibly significant. It will impact hundreds of thousands of hunters.
We need to be clear on what that is. We would like to ask for a complete list of the firearms, notably semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, that would be impacted by G-4 in order for us to make a substantive decision on the impact of this amendment.
Right now, this has been introduced—
That's okay. Thank you very much.
Mr. Fortin, I have to agree. I've been waiting for a government definition of “military-style assault weapon” for many years, ever since they did this order in council. There is no such firearm in Canada—none.
What they're trying to say, I believe, is that it's an automatic firearm, a fully automatic firearm that has a large-capacity magazine. All of those were already banned. They were already prohibited in 1977. If we're going to have firearms with full auto-capacity, they're prohibited. If we're going to have firearms with a large-capacity magazine, they're already prohibited. That would be the only thing I could see that would be “military-style assault”. If they're talking about a firearm that looks scary, firearms should never be classified by how they look; they should be classified by what they do.
With all due respect, I can't support this. There is no such definition of this type of firearm existing anywhere in Canada; hence the great concern Canadians had when the government came out with this term without a definition.
Okay. It's short, and even if it wasn't, it is:
That Bill C-21, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 15 on page 1 with the following:
“cision, an antique firearm, or any such device that is brightly coloured on 25% or more of its surface; (réplique)”
With this amendment we were trying to find a solution for the airsoft community to keep going and be given a chance to survive, given that this bill, should it pass in its current form, will likely mean the end of airsoft, if not today, then eventually. We were looking for some sort of common ground or a midway compromise, perhaps acknowledging that police have challenges with airsoft because they look like real firearms. Therefore, when people who are breaking the law have airsoft in their possession, police have to treat them like real guns. They may end the life of someone doing a criminal activity, or shoot them, when the person had, in essence, a toy gun.
I recognize the concern for police. I am a very strong supporter of our police services and want to support them. We are trying to figure out a way that we can keep airsoft alive while respecting the needs of police. We propose that we put in legislation that they have to brightly colour at least 25% of it, so that it's more easily identifiable.
It's not a perfect solution, Mr. Chair, but it is something. We're trying to find a midway solution here. That is the purpose of this amendment. It's an effort to support our airsoft community and our police at the same time.
Mr. Chiang was moving it, which implicitly means that I considered it to be in order. Mr. Lloyd expressed a problem with that. I know you mentioned earlier that you had concerns about whether or not this amendment was admissible; therefore, I explicitly made a ruling—which is the chair's prerogative—that it is, in fact, in order, in my opinion. That's my prerogative.
I understand your perspective. The decision has been challenged by Mr. Lloyd. We have a motion before us on whether or not to sustain the decision of the chair.
Mr. MacGregor is next, I believe.
We seem to be entering into debate. We'll have a very brief....
We're not going to debate this. The chair has ruled.
From my personal experience serving as a police officer for many years, I have witnessed first-hand the harms that assault weapons can do to our communities. The government has taken bold action to get these dangerous weapons off the streets. However, we have heard that new makes and models of firearms are continuously created to circumvent the current definition of a prohibited firearm.
During the witness testimony, this committee heard from a number of witnesses about the importance of this amendment, including the Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns, the Coalition for Gun Control and PolySeSouvient.
Dr. Najma Ahmed, from the Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns, discussed the ongoing use of an assault weapon in violent crime, saying that we must take a more comprehensive approach. She was quoted as saying:
A similar type of gun, the SKS rifle, which is not currently covered by the order in council, was used recently to kill two police officers in Ontario. A clear line must be drawn to ban all semi-automatic rifles as part of this legislation.
Furthermore, Ms. Wendy Cukier, from the Coalition for Gun Control, stated:
The second area in which we think the legislation could be strengthened is with respect to the ban on semi-automatic military-style weapons. We think that a definition should be included to make very clear the evergreen requirements for this legislation. We know from the 1995 orders in council that gun manufacturers will circumvent any lists that are provided, so it's important to have a clear definition, perhaps like those in the California laws, in the legislation along with the OIC.
This testimony also supports our efforts to ensure that the definition of prohibited firearms is comprehensive and properly addresses the public safety of all Canadians. Given the demonstrated need for these amendments and the related testimony we have heard while questioning witnesses, I hope everyone will support these amendments to create a more comprehensive definition of a prohibited firearm and to improve the public safety of all Canadians.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Again, I'm going to read it just so that we're very clear about what it is we're talking about. This is the Liberal government's amendment to Bill that amends clause 1 by adding the following:
(1.1) The definition “prohibition order” in subsection 84(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:
“prohibition order” means an order made under this Act or any other Act of Parliament prohibiting a person from possessing any firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, firearm part, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, or all such things;
(1.2) The definition “prohibited firearm” in subsection 84(1) of the Act is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (c) and by adding the following after paragraph (d):
(e) a firearm that is capable of discharging a projectile with a muzzle energy exceeding 10 000 Joules, other than a firearm designed exclusively for neutralizing explosive devices,
(f) a firearm with a bore diameter of 20 mm or greater, other than a firearm designed exclusively for neutralizing explosive devices,
In particular, Mr. Chair, I would like to follow up my reading of this with some comments about (g), which reads as follows:
(g) a firearm that is a rifle or shotgun, that is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner and that is designed to accept a detachable cartridge magazine with a capacity greater than five cartridges of the type for which the firearm was originally designed,
(h) any unlawfully manufactured firearm regardless of the means or method of manufacture, or
(i) a firearm listed in the schedule to this Part;
(1.3) Subsection 84(1) of the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:
“firearm part” means a barrel for a firearm, a slide for a handgun and any other prescribed part, but does not include, unless otherwise prescribed, a barrel for a firearm or a slide for a handgun if that barrel or slide is designed exclusively for use on a firearm that is deemed under subsection 84(3) not to be a firearm;
(1.4) Subsection 84(1) of the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:
“semi-automatic”, in respect of a firearm, means a firearm that is equipped with a mechanism that, following the discharge of a cartridge, automatically operates to complete any part of the reloading cycle necessary to prepare for the discharge of the next cartridge;
(1.5) Section 84 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):
(2.1) For the purposes of paragraph (f) of the definition prohibited firearm in subsection (1), bore diameter is
(a) in the case of a smoothbore firearm, the interior diameter of the firearm barrel, measured at its narrowest point, forward of the chamber and forcing cone and before the choke and any muzzle attachment; and
(b) in the case of a rifled firearm, the interior diameter of the firearm barrel, measured at its narrowest point, forward of the chamber, throat and freebore and before the crown and any muzzle attachment.
Mr. Chair, I find it important that we are being fully transparent on what this bill does. Just to be very clear, new proposed paragraph 84(1)(g) in essence bans nearly all semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. When I conclude my remarks, I would like the experts we have here to provide the extensive list that I would assume they have, or would hope they have, of all firearms in Canada that would fall under this definition in proposed paragraph 1(1.2)(g).
Again, just to be clear, any centrefire or semi-automatic long gun that has a detachable magazine would be capable of receiving a magazine with the capacity of five or more cartridges. The way it's worded, it seems to be that it's only if it fits a magazine that has more than five cartridges, but the fact is that if you have a magazine that could fit four, it could also fit six, seven or eight. It's the slot for the magazine.
There may be some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that are not included in this, but just to be very, very clear, the Liberal government, with this amendment, is moving to ban almost all semi-automatic shotguns and rifles. We're talking bird hunters. Bird hunters use semi-automatic shotguns.
The Liberal government for seven years has been saying, “No, we respect hunters; we would never come after their firearms; it's not about that, but about the safety of our communities”, but with this amendment, there will be well over a million, and likely more, semi-automatic, perfectly reasonable, standard hunting guns that are banned. That is what we're debating today.
My colleague Mr. Lloyd mentioned the massive financial impact for this. I assume that the Liberal government, if this passes, will be providing some dignity to hunters—in rural Quebec, in the Maritimes, in rural Manitoba, in our urban cities, in northern B.C., etc.—and paying them for them.
We know that this also impacts the OIC. This has financial implications in that regard, but you've ruled that it's fine, even though there will likely be massive financial implications, possibly in the billions of dollars, because of proposed paragraph 1(1.2)(g) and the rest of this amendment.
I am quite shocked, and I am shocked that it is in the scope of Bill , even without the financial implications. Bill C-21 was sold to the public as a long-term, slow-burn ban. It's handgun-free, so to speak. It also talked about red flags and airsoft. It said nothing about an all-out war on hunters in Canada, which is what this is, Mr. Chair.
If you get a group of 10 hunters together, it's likely that 40% or half of the firearms they use are semi-automatic shotguns or files. Those are very standard hunting tools.
It's the same for farmers as well, particularly farmers who have issues with wild boars in their communities. We're seeing this increasingly in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta. They're coming in from the United States. They're extremely dangerous to livestock, to human beings and to dogs. If you are a farmer with this invasive species on your land—wild boars coming in from the United States—you're going to hope that you have a semi-automatic rifle or a shotgun as a tool to protect yourself, your livestock and the other animals you have on your farm.
There was no testimony about this whatsoever. It will impact hundreds of thousands of hunters, Mr. Chair, and farmers who use these as completely legitimate tools. It was not discussed or debated at all. Nothing in here is about an attack on hunters, and yet here we are, in proposed paragraph 1(1.2)(g). Every promise that has ever been made by the Liberal government that it is not going after hunters has been completely and utterly thrown out of the window. There was not a single witness who we were able to provide who was asked about the impact of this, whether it's on safety or whether it's on the impact of our firearms hunting community.
This is no longer about sport shooters and their handguns. This is about hunters and farmers who use semi-automatic shotguns to go goose hunting.
I was quite shocked, and we had to do a considerable amount of research in the last few days to understand if we were really seeing this correctly. I wanted to believe the Liberal government when it said that it wasn't going to attack hunters and farmers and the tools they use, to say nothing of indigenous communities, who often use semi-automatic rifles to hunt. They're very popular, in fact, in the indigenous community. We had them here. We were not able to consult them on this.
I have a lot to say on this. I wanted to introduce this off the bat. It's just to say, Mr. Chair, I was quite shocked that the Liberal government is looking to attack our hunting community in Canada.
I find it very insulting, personally. It's a personal attack on the people I grew up with, who are law-abiding citizens who use these as perfectly legitimate tools. They passed them down for generations. Now, if this passes, those will be illegal, and we didn't even have the chance to invite witnesses to debate this properly.
It has nothing to do with handguns. It has nothing to do with the handgun freeze. This is an attack on hunters, Mr. Chair, and I'm deeply concerned about it.
I certainly echo the comments of my colleague Ms. Dancho. The whole idea behind the premise of Bill , the Liberals told the public, was public safety: It was all about public safety.
When the bill was debated on second reading to first come to this committee, nowhere did the government have this in any of their conversations. They've tried to assure Canadians now for a number of years that their attack on firearms and firearm owners in this country is legitimate and is only for public safety, when we've all seen—and clearly see—it has nothing to do with public safety.
To go back to the point I made earlier, this particular bill, when debated in the House, included none of this.
It included none of this. This is brought in at the 11th hour because the Liberals knew that if this were to be debated in the Canadian public, which this impacts, it would be shot down. Witnesses would come by the dozens and would speak against it.
Now I will challenge Ms. Dancho's comment. This doesn't affect hundreds of thousands: This affects millions of Canadians and millions of firearms. There are millions of Canadians who hunt and sport shoot. What I would like to do for some time is to go to our legislators here in the room and ask some questions.
Can you tell me the intent behind this? I'll start with item (g) here, proposed paragraph 1(1.2)(g):
a firearm that is a rifle or shotgun, that is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner and that is designed to accept a detachable cartridge magazine with a capacity greater than five cartridges of the type for which the firearm was originally designed.
Okay. As I read that, having grown up with firearms, I'd say that many firearms that are semi-automatic can't accept magazines that are different from the five-round mags; we know that anything above in this category is a prohibited device. You can't have a magazine in this category that you're talking about with a magazine greater than five rounds, but for firearms, by their simple design, can a magazine be available that has more than five? Sure. Does it fit that firearm? Sure it does, and that's already a prohibited device, as listed in the code already.
Why this is there shows me only one thing: Any firearm that is capable of receiving a magazine greater than five rounds is now going to be a prohibited device. Please tell me that isn't so. If the language that you've written here is wrong, then let's change it.
Go ahead, Ms. Clarke.
In essence, then, the Liberal government has tried to back-door this. This is not a reflection on you; they asked you to do something. However, they back-doored something they've said all along: “We are never going to go after industry or the hunters and farmers who have these types of firearms.” What you have done, in essence, is create a whole class of potential criminals, because they have a firearm that has the capability of receiving a magazine that can hold more than five cartridges. That's what you're saying.
With proposed paragraph 1(1.2)(g), we have now created an administrative offence for a gun that's been in existence for decades and decades, and that has no history of public safety issues. We've now made millions of Canadians criminals, because they have a firearm. In reality, as Ms. Dancho indicated, if there are 500,000 of just one type of firearm in existence worth $600, then, by a conservative estimate—we're talking small “c” conservative—it's billions of dollars for that alone.
First of all, I don't understand your ruling, Mr. Chair, on how this fits with anything. It's like you have some direction, and you have to try to push this through, no matter what. I tell you, this is absolutely wrong.
This only affects the firearms that exist now or any variance that might come out in the future, as with the order in council of May 2020. We had a few firearms on that list. Then, as the days, weeks and months went by, the firearms centre added more and more firearms. Now, in this bill, we see again hundreds and hundreds of firearms added that make absolutely no sense.
We have to keep going back to remind ourselves that this is about public safety. That's what the Liberals tell us Bill is supposed to be all about. Please tell me. Show me the evidence. Mr. Chiang brought this motion forward, and I respect his service. I have 35 years in policing as well. I don't see how anything in proposed paragraph 1(1.2)(g) is going to have any substantive impact on public safety, period.
If we don't impact public safety, what are we wasting our time for? Seriously, what are we doing here? It is absolutely ludicrous that we have this broad-brush—
I can add commentary before I get to my question.
—this broad-brush approach to confuse those in Canada who think the Liberals are actually doing something for public safety. If they were doing something for public safety, with all the money they've poured into this over the last number of years, since they came to power—seven years—we wouldn't have had 174 additional violent homicide offences in the last year over the year before. We have a problem in this country, and it isn't the lawful gun owners. This bill does nothing but target law-abiding Canadians—nothing.
Where in proposed paragraph 1(1.2)(g) do we talk about ensuring that criminals are the focus of this? Are you going to make all these changes to definitions in subsection 84(1), trying to add parts to firearms prohibition orders or update the definition of a prohibited firearm by taking out “or”? We're talking about including prohibitive firearms that have a muzzle energy exceeding 1,000 joules, which is like big-game hunting in Africa. All the stuff we're talking about...a bore diameter greater than 20 millimetres.
Where is the evidence that says these firearms...? What's happening, right here, in this list of firearms.... Does everything about this in proposed paragraph 1(1.2)(g) actually improve public safety?
You've been asked to make this legislation, and it's obviously based on something—some evidence, somewhere, that says we have a problem in this country and we have to identify these firearms because they are a danger to the public. Can you tell us what evidence there is to support this legislation, please?
Right, so it's a Liberal policy that says, “We want to get rid of firearms. We want to attack legal firearm owners, so this is what we're going to do arbitrarily.”
I feel sorry for you guys. I really do. You've been put in this tough spot. Seriously, you've been put in a very difficult spot to do the will of the masters, who suggest that we're doing all this fancy stuff for public safety, and they've done diddly-squat for public safety, diddly-squat. I'm embarrassed for them, embarrassed, and they themselves should be embarrassed.
Mr. Chiang, I have all due respect for you. This is not an amendment that's going to do anything for public safety—nothing, nothing whatsoever.
All the firearms listed here, as Ms. Dancho asked.... I would really like to know, as she asked.... I would ask that you guys do that. Are you able to provide this committee with a list of the firearms listed in the schedule that fit the definition under proposed paragraph 1(1.2), which says that it's a semi-automatic rifle or a shotgun, because it applies to either one, and has the capacity or the ability to accept a magazine that has greater than five rounds in it, five cartridges. That would include many of them.
The fact is that we already know that, for most of this, if you have a magazine that exceeds the legal capacity, it's already a prohibited device in this country as it is, yet we're going to make something more illegal, because the criminals are going to be very concerned about making sure that they don't have a firearm capable of having a magazine that can take more than five. No.
Do you have a list? How many of those on this list...? Give me a number. We'll want the whole volume, the models and makes of all of them that fit proposed paragraph 1(1.2)(g). Can you provide those for us?
With that amendment you've just made, what I've talked about for the last three, five or 10 minutes or whatever is prohibited firearms. They're prohibited weapons now.
I hate to use “weapon”, because they're not a weapon; they're a firearm. They're not just a definition.
The impact of what you're doing is significant right across the whole firearm industry, across the entire Canadian landscape that people use for hunting, for protection of livestock and things like that on farms and ranches across this country. It does absolutely nothing for public safety, as I said, but it prohibits thousands upon tens of thousands of different models of firearms in this country owned by millions of Canadians.
At this point in time, I would really like to see that particular list of what it is we're talking about.
I see here that we're changing the bore diameter. In proposed subclause 2(2.1), in the definition of a prohibited firearm bore diameter, you're describing what it is, but you're saying that making the bore diameter of a firearm 20 millimetres or greater would now make it a prohibited firearm. Is that what you're proposing?
I just think it will come as a big surprise to first nations and indigenous peoples in this country that the government thinks it can pass legislation and pass amendments to legislation in committee, and that the government will unilaterally say that it has abided by UNDRIP without even having any formal process to engage with first nations in any way.
I don't think that's what people meant by reconciliation in this country. I think what they wanted to see and what the witnesses were talking about was the grassroots. They said it wasn't even good enough if the government just talked to the national chief. One of the committee members said that we talked to the national chief, but indigenous witnesses.... My experience with indigenous peoples in my community is that you don't just go to the chief; you have to go to the elders. You have to bring it to the nation and the community.
It doesn't appear like the government took any steps to even engage with the chiefs, with the elders or with any members of the community to deal with this. I would argue that this is violating not only the spirit but also the letter of the law in terms of UNDRIP and free, prior and informed consent, also potentially touching on the section 35 rights of aboriginal peoples, which are ingrained in the charter.
When we're talking about semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, what assurances can you give that the section 35 rights of indigenous peoples will not be impacted by these amendments that relate to semi-automatic rifles and shotguns?
Then we have prohibited weapons. Except for a few circumstances, as you mentioned, people are not allowed to own them.
Right now, though, it's correct to say that there are many, many semi-automatic shotguns and rifles that are non-restricted. They're the lowest category of restriction. They're non-restricted, and then we have restricted and prohibited.
Proposed paragraph 1(1.2)(g) takes non-restricted firearms, a huge group of them, and jumps them, not into “restricted”, which has more oversight by police—the police are supposed to know where all the legally owned ones are—but into the “prohibited” category. Am I understanding that correctly?
With this definition of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, many firearms that are non-restricted will move to prohibited, correct?
Let's say that I own one of these and it's a non-restricted model of a semi-automatic shotgun for bird hunting. This amendment passes, and now it is prohibited.
My understanding, though, is that with the OIC and the confiscation regime that ensued, or the buyback, the government told the public that if you own these, you're going to be compensated for them. It took them a couple of years to come up with the list, but they said, “We're going to pay you. We're going to buy them from you.”
If I have a semi-automatic rifle or shotgun.... Again, we can't talk about what's in the schedule, but if it's not on that schedule, I'm not going to get paid for it. It's illegal. Is that correct? I'm not allowed to own it anymore and I'm not going to get any compensation for it.
Mr. Chair, I suppose from what I am seeing, there is no....
It was mentioned, I think in good faith from a Liberal member, that if we want to institute a so-called buyback or confiscation regime whereby the Liberal government would provide money to me if I had a semi-automatic shotgun that fell under this definition—which is most, nearly all—there is nothing in here to say that. What I'm seeing is that it's just going to be prohibited.
That is unlike the OIC, which was tough enough for people, because there were 1,500 models. Several hundred thousand, if not millions, of these 1,500 models were owned in this country lawfully and legally, but at least he government said, “We're going to pay you for them. We're going to take them from you—there's nothing you can do about it—but we're going to pay you for them.” What I'm seeing here is that there is no guarantee of that.
Again, firearms are very expensive. They are thousands of dollars. It's maybe $600 for an entry-level one. I'm not seeing and I'm not hearing of any communication from Liberal members about hunters who own semi-automatic shotguns for bird hunting. They're just going to be illegal, and there's nothing they can do about it. They're not going to get an ounce of compensation.
I welcome any intervention from Liberal members to contradict this. However, what I'm understanding is that there are hundreds of thousands of hunters who are going to have very expensive tools that they use, with not even a modicum of dignity that the Liberal government is going to provide them through financial compensation. That's unlike what they did with the OIC's so-called buyback. There at least they were saying, “Don't worry; we're going to pay you. It will maybe not be what they're worth, but we'll pay you something.”
I'm not seeing that at all here. Some of these are antiques. They are heirlooms. Again, I mentioned this in the House, but people pass these down for generations. They're graduation gifts. They are huge sources of pride for many in the rural community, in the hunting community.
I'll just wrap up, because I know we're out of time.
I'm deeply concerned, and perhaps Liberal members could bring back some information to the next meeting. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe there is going to be compensation for the millions of firearms that are going to be prohibited now for those people. I think they at least deserve that.
They don't deserve any of this, frankly. However, I'm not clear on whether hundreds of thousands of hunters are going to be compensated for things they've used for years that will now, all of a sudden, be completely illegal.
Mr. Chair, I'd like an answer on that when we come back. I will be following up. Thank you.