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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 198

CONTENTS

Tuesday, May 16, 2023




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 198
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1000)  

[English]

Criminal Code

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Committees of the House

Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, entitled “Main Estimates 2023-24”.

Citizenship and Immigration  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 16th report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, entitled “Asylum-Seekers at Canada's Border”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    Mr. Speaker, as vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, it is my honour to table, in both official languages, a supplementary report to the 16th report, on the situation at Roxham Road border crossing.
    Conservative members wish to reiterate what our leader, the hon. leader of the official opposition, has said, which is that the government could have acted much sooner to close Roxham Road. This inaction was highlighted by the fact that the government signed a secret protocol well over a year ago to close the safe third country agreement, but set an effective date of March 26, 2023. Conservative MPs did ask the Minister of Immigration, in November 2022, if the government had any intention of closing this loophole, but he kept answering that negotiations were ongoing, claiming that it could not be done easily. This was a statement we now know is false, as the signature had already been dry for half a year on the agreement to close Roxham Road.
    We tried to call the minister before the committee on this, but the NDP-Liberals indicated they had no desire to allow transparency on this issue. This, once again, shows how the NDP-Liberal coalition is more concerned about making a media splash than solving problems.

  (1005)  

Petitions

Pesticides  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in the esteemed chamber to present a petition calling for an end to the use of glyphosate and to stop the spraying of Canada's most widely sold pesticide. There have been many studies on the harm it can cause to people and the environment.
    The use of glyphosate harms aquatic and terrestrial species. It causes a loss of biodiversity, thereby making ecosystems more vulnerable to pollution and climate change. It endangers pollinators, including wild bees and monarch butterflies, and exacerbates wildfires, since coniferous-only forests burn faster and hotter than mixed forests. The results are that the use of the pesticide harms residents in Canada, including infants and children who consume glyphosate residue in their food and water, and people who are exposed to it while outdoors for recreation, occupational activities, hunting and harvesting.
    The petitioners call upon the Minister of Health to ban the sale and use of glyphosate and develop a comprehensive plan to reduce the overall pesticide use in Canada. They call upon the minister to stop the spraying.

Victims Bill of Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a rare occasion when I rise to present a petition about which I have had conversations in depth with the person who brought it forward. I am really pleased to be able to present it today. I want to thank Elsje de Boer, who brought it forward.
    Many of my constituents signed this petition; in fact, 553 people did. It deals with the perils of people in situations somewhat like the pre-disaster situation of people in Portapique who feared a neighbour but could not get the police to intervene.
    This petition points out that there are 2.5 million victims of violent crime in Canada every year, but that the Victims Rights Act of 2015 does not allow police to intervene in a preventative, precautionary way. Petitioners point out that the Victims Bill of Rights Act of 2015, in section 28, says, “No cause of actions or rights to damages arises from an infringement or a denial of a right under this act” and, in section 29, says, “No appeal lies from any decision”.
    In that context, the petitioners ask the House to consider that the Victims Bill of Rights Act is unconstitutional in depriving victims of crime the right to equal protection and equal access to benefits. Victims of violent crime often cannot get protection, and there is no opportunity for the victim or a victim's lawyer to defend their rights or question the statements of the accused or defence counsel.
    Therefore, the petitioners ask that the government and all of us call on the Minister of Justice to amend the Victims Bill of Rights Act to conform to the charter and create an opportunity for victims or their lawyers to defend the rights of victims through police investigation and using the courts, including involving custody disputes where domestic violence is an issue.
    We are seeing increasing focus in this place on coercive control. This petitioner and all the petitioners who have signed this petition are looking for us to do more.

Public Safety  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise again on behalf of the people of Swan River, Manitoba to present a petition on the rising rate of crime. The common people of Swan River are demanding a common-sense solution to repeal the Liberal government's soft-on-crime policies that have fuelled a surge in crime throughout their community. Since 2015, crime has increased 32%, and gang-related homicides have increased 92% in Canada. What was once a safe rural community has now turned into a place where people fear leaving their homes.
    The people of Swan River demand that the Liberal government repeal its soft-on-crime policies, which directly threaten their livelihoods and their communities. I support the people of Swan River.

Questions on the Order Paper

    The Deputy Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

Criminal Code

    The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), as reported (with amendments) from the committee.

  (1010)  

[English]

Speaker's Ruling  

     There are 13 motions in amendment standing on the Notice Paper for the report stage of Bill C-21.

[Translation]

    Motions Nos. 7 and 8 will not be selected by the Chair because they could have been presented in committee.

[English]

    All remaining motions have been examined, and the Chair is satisfied that they meet the guidelines expressed in the note to Standing Order 76.1(5) regarding the selection of motions in amendment at the report stage.
    Motions Nos. 1 to 6 and 9 to 13 will be grouped for debate and voted upon according to the voting pattern available at the table.

[Translation]

    I will now put Motions Nos. 1 to 6 and 9 to 13 to the House.

[English]

Motions in Amendment  

Motion No. 1
    That Bill C-21 be amended by deleting Clause 0.1.
Motion No. 2
    That Bill C-21 be amended by deleting Clause 1.1.
Motion No. 3
    That Bill C-21 be amended by deleting Clause 4.
Motion No. 4
    That Bill C-21 be amended by deleting Clause 5.
Motion No. 5
    That Bill C-21 be amended by deleting Clause 6.
Motion No. 6
    That Bill C-21 be amended by deleting Clause 17.
Motion No. 9
    That Bill C-21 be amended by deleting Clause 36.
Motion No. 10
    That Bill C-21, in Clause 36, be amended by replacing lines 16 and 17 on page 45 with the following:
“must deliver to a peace officer any firearm that they possess within 24 hours or”
Motion No. 11
    That Bill C-21, in Clause 37, be amended
(a) by replacing line 4 on page 46 with the following:
“or a chief firearms officer”
(b) by replacing line 19 on page 46 with the following:
“cer the firearm to which”
(c) by replacing lines 29 and 30 on page 46 with the following:
“ferred to in subsection (4), deliver to a peace officer any firearm that they pos-”
    That Bill C-21 be amended by deleting Clause 43.
    That Bill C-21, in Clause 45, be amended by adding after line 5 on page 51 the following:
    “(1.11) The portion of paragraph 117(k) of the Act after subparagraph (ii) is replaced by the following:
of firearms, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, ammunition, prohibited ammunition, cartridge magazines and components and parts designed exclusively for use in the manufacture of or assembly into firearms;”
    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to be speaking to Bill C-21 yet again. Last week, the Liberals moved a time allocation motion in the House to limit our ability to debate this at committee. After that passed, and after they forced a closure motion on my ability to speak in the House on that time allocation motion, then time allocation came to a vote. They did not really like what I had to say and wanted to shut me up, which is why they moved the closure motion. This meant that, in committee, every party, but our party in particular, only had five minutes to discuss each amendment and clause. There were many amendments and clauses, and their impacts were very far-reaching.
    The Liberals restricted us significantly on time in committee; Conservatives, having only that limited time, were sure to use every last moment of it. We were at committee until, I think, almost one in the morning on Thursday, doing our due diligence on this bill. The bill should have taken weeks to thoroughly examine and question the officials at length on. Our debate was severely limited in many important ways.
    Again, there are 2.3 million lawful firearms owners in this country whom many of these measures in Bill C-21 will impact. Therefore, I know the firearms community and their families were deeply concerned about that debate, as well as the fact that the NDP and the Liberals, working together, severely limited it.
    However, that was last week, and here we are this week. This is likely our very last opportunity to debate this in the House, and today is the report stage amendment debate. I moved a number of amendments in a last-ditch effort to really fight for the people who are wrongfully impacted by Bill C-21. These are the lawful and good Canadian people who are the target of the Liberal government. Meanwhile, criminals get away free with bills like Bill C-5 and the government's reckless and dangerous catch-and-release bail policies, which were brought forward in 2019.
    That is all going on; meanwhile, the firearms community, particularly hunters and Olympic sport shooters, will be deeply impacted by what is happening with Bill C-21. We have made that very clear; they also made it clear when they had the opportunity to come to committee and put words on the record.
    Today, with my limited time, I want to address a few of the issues the minister has brought forward in recent days to communicate on his bill, Bill C-21. There are a number of falsehoods, or at least things I believe he is not telling the whole truth on.
    The first thing I would like to talk about is that the minister mentioned recently, and it seems to be his go-to talking point, that 87% of Canadians support him in what he is doing. We found out at committee from the parliamentary secretary that this statistic is from one poll. For Canadians who do not follow polls, it is mostly an inside baseball political thing. An average poll has about 400 to 1,500 people. Okay, polls do tell us a lot; however, it is one poll.
    Interestingly, a few years ago, the Liberal government spent $200,000 on a public consultation on its gun control ideology. This consultation was on what it is trying to do with Bill C-21 and its so-called buyback program, as well as the secret firearms advisory committee coming forward, which will ban hundreds of hunting rifles in the coming months. A couple of years ago it spent $200,000 of taxpayer dollars and consulted about 133,000 people.
    There were 133,000 people consulted. Let us say that the poll, which the minister is arguing is the reason he is claiming the support of Canadians to do all this damage on the firearms and hunting community, likely included 1,000 people. There were 133,000 people who responded to this consultation, and 81% responded “no” on the question of whether more should be done to limit access to handguns, while 77% responded “no” on the question of whether more should be done to limit assault weapons.
    Of course, “assault weapons” is a term made up by the Liberal government. It is not a real term. The Liberals are trying to make it one. When they say, “assault weapons”, we know they really mean things like hunting rifles and sport shooting rifles. We heard this first-hand from firearms advocates from the hunting, indigenous and sport shooting communities, notably Olympians.
    Regardless of Liberals' using their tricky language, 77% of 133,000 people still said they did not want anything more done to limit assault weapons. Moreover, 78% said to focus on the illicit market. This is brilliant, because that is what police and anti-violence groups are saying. We know criminals are being caught and released because of this reckless bail system they brought in a few years ago.

  (1015)  

    Canadians overwhelmingly agreed that we should go after the illicit market. I will say this again: This was based on consultation with 133,000 people. That is what all the data and the evidence says would have the biggest impact when we are talking about reducing gun violence, which I think every single party and every single person in the House of Commons supports. It is just the way that they are doing it that is so contentious, so divisive.
    It is not just one thing. The minister also mentioned that he is focusing on the border. Oh, the border—

  (1020)  

    Does the hon. member have a phone near the microphone? The interpreters are asking us to check.
    The hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul.
    Madam Speaker, with the CBSA, he talks about all these investments, hundreds of millions of dollars of investments he says he has made, because gun smuggling is the major contributing factor to gun violence. In this one regard, I agree. We have heard from the Toronto police that eight to nine out of every 10 handguns used in crimes are from the U.S. We know that smuggling is also a huge problem in Montreal and Winnipeg. I have seen them myself from Winnipeg police. If we are going to tackle this problem, of course, we need to focus on the border. The problem is this: Where is all the money really going? Is it having a real impact?
    The minister says it is, but if we look at the employment numbers, when the Liberals first came to power in 2015, there were 8,375 frontline officers, or just under 8,400. These are hard-working investigators and all the people who are the last front line at our border to stop drug smuggling, gun smuggling, human trafficking and all other illicit behaviour. Eight years later, with all this spending that he has announced, there are only 25 more frontline workers.
    If the money is not going to the frontline workers who supposed to be, and are working on, stopping gun smuggling and drugs and all the other terrible things coming across the border, where is that money going? It is going to middle management. Again, we absolutely respect our public service, but when it comes to stopping gun violence and gun smuggling, we need those frontline officers. However, he has taken the number of middle managers from 2,000 in 2015 to 4,000 in 2023. Those are the numbers that we have. He has doubled the number of middle managers and done nothing for the frontline officers who are actually doing the hard work. Therefore, I am not going to give him a lot of credit when he wants to claim victory on the work he is doing at the border. I am not seeing it reflected in the hard-working and brave frontline officers we need to stop this problem.
    Lastly, I will talk about police. The minister mentions police. I have given him credit; I think it is important to be fair. It is important that he has made some investments in police. When I talk to police, what do they tell me? I have talked to police in every corner of the country. Actually, I would love to go to the north. It is the last place I need to go to talk to police.
    What they tell me is that funding is great, but what really impacts their day-to-day work is the fact that they are rearresting the same dangerous, violent repeat offenders every single weekend. Sometimes, they know these individuals on a first-name basis, because they arrest them so many times. Sometimes, they rearrest them in the same day. They are getting out and back on the streets, terrorizing innocent Canadians and inflicting violent crime on them.
    We see this in Toronto. Last year, 40 individuals were responsible for 6,000 violent crime incidents in this country. Just to be specific, 40 individuals had 6,000 interactions with police that included violent crime in one year. We can imagine how much more good the police would be able to do if we could just tackle those 40 people. How many more drug rings, gun smugglers, human traffickers and all those complex crime rings could they take down if they were not caught up with 40 people causing 6,000 incidents, causing mayhem for the people of Vancouver? That is the same across every city that I have heard about.
    Police are burnt out, exhausted and suffering from serious PTSD, because they are overworked. No amount of money is going to fix that. What will fix that is a government that comes in and focuses on getting tough on crime; jail, not bail, for violent repeat offenders; fixing the parole system, so that we are not letting people who are very dangerous out into our parole system and overburdening our parole officers; and fixing conditional sentencing, where people are now under house arrest after raping women. The conditional sentencing issue is because they brought in Bill C-5, which impacted people who commit sexual assaults; they can now serve their sentences from the comfort of home. Those kinds of things would sure help police fight violent crime and really make a difference in fighting gun violence.
    That is what they want to see. That is what Toronto police and letters to government are universally saying. Premiers from every political stripe agree and have written multiple times to the Prime Minister, demanding bail reform. Those are the things that would really have an impact on reducing gun violence, not spending what estimates say is $6 billion on their so-called buyback regime, which is really a confiscation regime. That is where the resources they want to spend are going to go. Those are their priorities.
    A Conservative government led by the member for Carleton would actually deliver results to Canadians, clean up our streets and reduce gun violence. That is our commitment to the Canadian people.

  (1025)  

    Madam Speaker, through you, I would like to address the member opposite, who made some comments on this.
    First, she asked about the definition of “assault weapons”. I would suggest that she speak to anyone who has lost a loved one to an attack by someone using an assault weapon to understand what those are. More than that, I realize that there has been a lot of communication with the gun lobby. In particular, the member has spoken to them. She mentioned in her comments that she filibustered committee, as well as that gun ownership is a right. Lastly, the member opposite mentioned the inability to debate this. There were two late night sittings, when there was an opportunity to debate these motions; the member opposite did not participate in either of them.
    Is there a reason, other than fundraising through the gun lobby, that the member is raising these issues?
    Madam Speaker, perhaps the member has not been paying a lot of attention, but I believe the Minister of Public Safety has met with groups that are advocates for firearms ownership as well. I would be surprised if he did not.
    Hon. Marco Mendicino: I did.
    Ms. Raquel Dancho: Madam Speaker, he just mentioned that he did, and I am glad that he has. Perhaps he should talk to the member who just asked the question. Is she suggesting that we do not talk to those who fight for our hunters and sport shooters? I am really unclear in that regard.
    I will say that the individuals with whom the minister and the government are consulting are part of a group of doctors for gun control; this group wants to ban all civilian ownership of firearms. This includes banning ownership by indigenous Canadians, hunters and Olympic sport shooters. A main member of that group has met with the Liberals over 20 times; that member has been a key stakeholder in advising them what to do when it comes to firearms and has said publicly, on the record and multiple times on Twitter that all civilian ownership of firearms should be illegal and that it should all be banned. That is their true intention.
    Perhaps the member does not represent any indigenous Canadians, hunters or sport shooters, but I would urge her to ask them what they think of that.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am rather surprised to see the amendments that my colleague is tabling today at report stage. Perhaps my colleagues did not follow what happened in committee last week. We spent several hours together debating Bill C-21, and there was a good consensus.
    Yes, the Conservatives used every five-minute period they had to rise to speak. They took turns so that new people were coming in and asking the same questions as their colleagues did before. In the end, they voted in favour of all the amendments for ghost guns. They also voted in favour of the Bloc Québécois's amendments to require a valid licence to purchase cartridge magazines. There was firm consensus on the yellow-flag provisions, in particular.
    Today, the Conservative Party is saying that there is nothing good about this bill and that it wants to do away with the amendments. I do not really understand the Conservative Party's rhetoric.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate working with the member. I think that I had a clear record of working very well on the public safety committee until November, when the Liberal government snuck through the largest hunting rifle ban in Canadian history at the eleventh hour. The government blew up committee with that. The minister then made us wait six weeks before we could resume.
    It was the Liberals' fault that months went by and then weeks went by before we resumed. When we finally did, they had the support of the Bloc, which has largely abandoned its rural hunting community, unfortunately. The Bloc worked in lockstep with the Liberals and the NDP to call time allocation.
    When we only have five minutes to talk about complex things, that can be very concerning. There were a number of times when we could have talked about issues at length, but we were not allowed to do so. The member is absolutely right. We used every five minutes that we could, that they allowed us to have.
    Madam Speaker, it is hard to know where to start with the disinformation. I am perplexed by the issue of report stage amendments. The Conservatives have filed amendments that do the contrary to what their position was at committee. I can understand why the member could not defend the report stage amendments. They are kind of bizarre and contradictory.
    On the issue of the filibuster, we have had law enforcement right across the country say, effectively, that we needed to put in place these provisions that combat ghost guns, which are used only by criminals. We have seen this on the lower mainland. There is a proliferation of ghost guns; in some cases, anecdotally, a 100% increase in ghost guns has been seen per month.
    Why did the Conservatives, for weeks, block provisions around ghost guns that are desperately needed by law enforcement?
    Madam Speaker, the member is spreading purposeful misinformation or disinformation. I know, for a fact, that I have done more consultation with police than that member has, particularly on ghost guns across the country. I have been on that committee for a year and a half, and we have talked extensively about ghost guns.
    What surprises me is that the Liberal government did not include ghost guns in the original form of its bill. If ghost guns were so important to the government, why did it not do that?
    Why did it make us wait for months to talk about it? Why did the minister make us wait for six weeks? It is not on us to make up for all the time that he wasted.

  (1030)  

    Madam Speaker, it is a privilege to rise today on legislation that I know will help save lives in our country.
     I am very pleased to see the member for Kildonan—St. Paul. We missed her at committee the last couple of days.
    There are two points of order, and one is my fault. The hon. member is a bit too early for his speech, which is my mistake.

[Translation]

    I should have recognized the hon. member for Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia first.
    An hon. member: No.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès): Agreed.

[English]

    I want to remind the hon. member that we do not refer to the absence or the presence of members both in the chamber and at committee. I believe that is the hon. member's point of order.
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, since the subject is about me. I would like to know if the member would like to see a doctor's note. Is he my father now? Do I need his permission not to go to committee—
    We do not refer to the presence or absence of members. The hon. member should apologize to the hon. member for making reference to that.
    The hon. member for Vancouver Granville.
    Madam Speaker, I apologize to the member opposite unequivocally.
    The hon. member has the floor for his speech.
    Madam Speaker, as has now become very clear, I am a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. We have spent months on the legislation.

[Translation]

    I thank my colleague from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia and my colleague from New Westminster—Burnaby for their work and their co-operation. We worked together to introduce a better bill for Canada and for Canadians.

[English]

    It is also important that we remember something the CCFR probably does not want us to know but Canadians should. In committee, the Conservatives voted time and time again to support our amendments on this bill. Many of those good people know that legislation gets done in the committee room and not on social media. It is important to realize that.
     I want to thank those members who were there to debate and to ensure that we improved the legislation. I want to particularly thank the member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, who put forward an amendment that we all supported. That is how we should get things done in the House.
     The process has been long and challenging, but we have ended up in a place where we have legislation that would keep our communities and our country safer, but would also preserve the way of life of many who hunt.
     We have heard from professionals, victims of crime and their families, and also indigenous communities and hunters. Our government promised Canadians that we would provide a comprehensive and effective strategy to protect communities from gun violence, and we are making good on that promise.
    Developing good laws is not just about theory. It is about much more than sitting in a black box and making things up. It is about learning and understanding.
     When we started debating the bill, I was challenged by members opposite to take my PAL course so I would understand how firearms worked, because that was the claim that some made but, most important, to understand gun owners, those who want be gun owners, hunters and gun enthusiasts.
    It was an important process for me to take that time to talk to them, both urban and rural, to build my understanding of what they thought and what mattered to them. I did this because at committee we had folks who would come and claim that they spoke for gun owners across the country. It very quickly became apparent that they did not.
    First, the vast majority of gun owners support common-sense gun laws and they want safer communities for all of us. They are not fiercely partisan people with an axe to grind with our government or other governments. They are not interested in fiery rhetoric or in gaslighting people with silly tweets and rage-forming videos of out-of-context clips from the House of Commons.
    They are good people who love our country and know that sometimes we must make difficult decisions to keep the country safer. They abhor ad hominem attacks on their fellow Canadians, and they are disgusted by the type of vitriol spread by organizations like the CCFR.
    They find it distasteful when they see politicians choosing to use this “taking their guns away” narrative for personal gain or to fundraise by misleading them and taking them for fools. They know better than to be told by members opposite that gun ownership is a right in Canada, that we have some equivalent to a U.S. amendment right. They know that is simply not true. They have my utmost respect, and I want them to know that we have heard them.
    Second, I learned, and I heard from them, that they take seriously the responsibility of gun ownership, particularly when it comes to getting guns intended to kill as many people as possible off our streets. They know, just as we do, that gun crime is not just an urban issue; it affects Canadians of all walks of life. They know that when it comes to suicide, guns in the home are a major issue we need to address.
    The vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens and, contrary to what they might hear, this law would not affect them. The four criteria that make something a prohibited firearm are: first, a firearm that is not a handgun; second, discharges centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner; three, designed with a detachable cartridge magazine with a capacity of six cartridges or more; four, and the one thing that members opposite conveniently forget to include, that it is designed and manufactured on or after the date on which this paragraph comes into force.
    We keep forgetting that. It is really important that Canadians hear the truth. Let us think about that in the context of what we hear from the opposition. If a gun does not meet those criteria, it is not considered to be prohibited. I am not sure why those members choose to mislead Canadians.
    Our government understands that for some communities the ability to hunt means being able to feed their family. It is part of the way of life for many Canadians, particularly in the north, where it is a matter of survival. The bill would protect their ability to do that.
    We have also ensured that the bill respects the right of first nations, Inuit and Métis communities from coast to coast to coast. It includes a specific amendment that states clearly that nothing in this definition would infringe on the rights of indigenous peoples under their section 35 rights of the Constitution. By including this non-derogation clause for indigenous people, we are reaffirming their section 35 rights and we are meeting our UNDRIP obligations.

  (1035)  

    We also have to ensure that we do what is required to keep our communities safer. For me, the element of the bill that I am most keen to see us get right is to get ghost guns off our streets.
     Law enforcement agencies across the country want us to act quickly. They have seen an increase in the use of ghost guns, and today we have an opportunity to respond to their request and ensure we do what we can to keep pace with criminals and hold them accountable. We have a chance to address unlawfully manufactured, unsterilized, untraceable firearms and their parts.
    For those who do not know, ghost guns can be 3-D printed or modified using readily available kits. Blueprints for these guns are available online. People can download them and literally print them at home. With modern 3-D printers, they can produce a durable firearm capable of shooting hundreds of rounds without a failure. Combined with parts they can order online, they have a viable gun ready for use in crimes in no time.
    I had the privilege of getting to know and hear from Michael Rowe, an inspector with the VPD. He has been a vocal advocate for dealing with ghost guns. He is among the experts in the world on this topic. He told our committee:
...one of my teams recently completed an investigation in which we executed search warrants on a residential home. Inside this home, we located a sophisticated firearms manufacturing operation capable of producing 3-D printed firearms. They had firearm suppressors and they were completing airsoft conversions—converting airsoft pistols into fully functioning firearms..
    He also said:
...one of the trends we're seeing out here in Vancouver right now is the use of privately made firearms or “ghost guns”. During the gang conflict, we're seeing more ghost guns, specifically in the hands of people who are involved in active murder conspiracies or people who are believed to be working as hired contract killers
    Let me be clear that the only people using ghost guns are criminals. There is no legitimate reason to have one.
    When we previously withdrew amendments to Bill C-21, an important definition was removed, and I am so pleased that the definition is now back and supported by so many in the House. This definition will define firearms parts in the Criminal Code. Ensuring that those buying barrels, slides and trigger assemblies online are subject to the same rules as those buying guns will make it harder for criminals to hide. It will make it harder for criminals to make their guns at home.
    The amendments that we have introduced to address ghost guns are yet another reason why Bill C-21 is so important and why we must get this passed. I believe strongly that all members here can agree that this growing issue needs to be addressed urgently. These ghost gun amendments received wide support from all members of our committee, and it is important to recognize that. It is a need that our law enforcement agencies have addressed and we must take it on head-on. Police services across the country have sounded the alarm on this and we have responded.
    We have also introduced other provisions in the bill that are important and are aimed at fighting gun smuggling and trafficking. We are going to change the laws that will increase maximum criminal penalties and provide more tools for law enforcement agencies to investigate firearms. We have already made substantial investments and continue to invest in strengthening the RCMP's and CBSA's capacity to intercept guns coming across our borders. We know that it is working, because they intercepted nearly double the number of firearms coming in across the border than they did last year.
    A lot of work is being done, but it is also important for us to remember all the people who have asked us for action.
     Today, as I stand here, I am thinking of the important rights that we must preserve for indigenous communities. The ways of life in the north must be preserved. However, I also think of the victims of the Quebec City mosque massacre, of the Danforth families, of the Polytechnique families, of the women who go home and are threatened by intimate-partner violence, of those who turned to their firearms for suicide, and many more. So many of those are victims of gun violence perpetrated by legal guns. To them, we owe a responsibility, and for people like Ken Price who has been an advocate for those parents who will never see their child grow up and for the 17 kids at the mosque in Quebec City who lost their dads.
    Every day that I walked into the room to debate this bill, in the back of my mind there was a thought for those and all that we lost as Canadians every time one of these incidents happened: the lost potential, lives cut short, the person who might have been the scientist who cured cancer, the Olympic skier, the friend we could count on when things got tough, the young woman who might have been prime minister, the families that will never be the same and the communities that have been torn apart forever. For them, we must do our part. It is not just about thoughts and prayers; it is actually about stepping up and taking action. If we do not, we will only have ourselves to blame the next time something terrible happened.
    In every faith tradition, we speak of the preservation of life. In my tradition, the Quran says, “whoever chooses to save a life is as though he had saved all mankind.” I hope that in the House we will count ourselves among those who make that choice.

  (1040)  

    Madam Speaker, I listened with great interest to the member's speech, and I heard much of the same rhetoric as I did during my participation at the public safety committee, although I do not think the member and I overlapped in our time at committee.
    However, I do find it somewhat discouraging that, whenever the Liberals seem to be losing on any issue, and it is not limited to this, they simply say that the Conservatives are being partisan. They say things like we are bringing American-style politics into it, when the reality is that we heard from firearms owners across the country, many common-sense Canadians, who are feeling their voices silenced because of the Liberals' refusal to engage with that ownership community and so many others across the country who have valid concerns about Bill C-21 and the government's approach to confiscating, in many cases, the legally owned firearms of Canadians.
    How can that member reconcile what he just said with the fact that so many Canadians are being silenced by his actions?
    Madam Speaker, I do recall overlapping with him, and we had excellent exchanges at committee.
    I think it is important for Canadians to get their information where the information actually resides, and not from misinformation. The facts are clear. The legislation is clear, and the amendments are clear. I would invite any Canadian who is concerned about whether they are affected to read the law and what is contained within it. I think they will be satisfied that the vast majority of gun owners in this country would not be affected.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I applaud the government for withdrawing its amendments on assault weapons in February and for tabling a new and, I think, improved version in May. However, not everyone is happy with this new version because it only applies prospectively. It affects only new weapons that will be coming on the market in future.
    In May 2020, the government's order in council came under criticism because it was considered incomplete. People would have preferred an order in council banning guns that met the Criminal Code definition of a prohibited weapon. It was missing the definition. Now, the definition is there, but the government has decided to keep 480 models of firearms on the market even though most of them were developed for military purposes.
    At this point, with the passage of Bill C-21, the right thing for the minister to do would be to ban these firearms by order in council, taking care not to ban those that are reasonably used for hunting. Would my colleague agree with me that this is what the minister should do at this point?

  (1045)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her comments and her hard work on this file in committee.
    I cannot speak for the minister, but it is important for us to work together to improve our laws when we have the opportunity to do it, so we can protect Canadians' lives. The reality of a minority Parliament is that we have to collaborate with the other parties. I am very proud of the work we have done. I think that this bill is now an excellent bill for all of us, for the country. However, it is always possible to make improvements and to work together to do just that.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I enjoy working with my colleague, as I do with all members at committee, but there have been concerns about the bill over the year that it has been sitting in the House. We have had an increasingly urgent concern about ghost guns, which criminals are using across the country. Anecdotally, as members are well aware, in some parts of the country, over this period, there has been an increase of 10 times in the use of untraceable ghost guns by criminals, and in other parts of the country, it is up to 40 times. This is an epidemic.
    The Liberals tabled amendments without consultation back in November, to the delay of the bill. Then, we had the Conservatives filibustering over the course of the last month, basically blocking clause-by-clause consideration of the bill, and I think I would say that two wrongs do not make a right. Could the member explain why Conservatives blocked putting into place provisions that are so urgent for law enforcement?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his hard work on this and his partnership in committee.
    However, it is not for me to determine why Conservatives would choose to block such an important piece of legislation. The only thing I can say is that it has been a very useful fundraising tool, and I think perhaps that may be their motivation, but I cannot speak to anything beyond that. I am perplexed as to why anyone would want to block measures that law enforcement have been asking for, that are truly creating a—

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia.
    Madam Speaker, I am going to talk a bit about how—

[English]

    Order. A colleague just started her speech. Could hon. members honour that it is her time to speak?
    The hon. member has the floor.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, thank you for your intervention.
    I could spend all day talking about how the study of the bill proceeded in committee. I found it very interesting. It was my first real experience with a bill in committee since I was elected in 2019. I worked from beginning to end on the bill with my colleagues Ariane Francoeur, who is a constituency assistant, and Maxime Duchesne, a researcher.
    We often see the government and the Conservatives surrounded by their armies of assistants and staff. There were only two of us, sometimes three, and we did what we could. I think we can be proud of the progress we made and the improvements we made to the bill.
    Before getting into the details, I want to talk about a motion to amend that we added to the Notice Paper today. It is an amendment we were unable to present in committee because of a little procedural hiccup. We wanted to change a section in committee, but since it had just been modified by an amendment, we were unable to. Since we could not propose our amendment in committee, we went to work yesterday to ensure we could present it during the study of the bill at report stage. It concerns the “yellow flag” measure.
    For those who are unaware, the yellow flag measure is intended to protect people who are directly in danger of gun violence, often women who are victims of domestic violence. It allows chief firearms officers to revoke a licence in cases of domestic violence or criminal harassment, when a protection order has been issued against the licence holder or when an emergency prohibition order is issued by a judge.
    The government had the right intention when it came to implementing the yellow flag measure. However, some concerns were raised. Some people were given too much discretion. In this case, the owner was given the choice to surrender their firearm to anyone and too long a time to do it. We therefore wanted to change the deadline for licence holders to surrender their firearms to 24 hours following the revocation of their licence. That is what we changed by proposing the relevant amendment with the government, the NDP and the Green Party.
    Then, when it came time to make a change regarding the person to whom owners would have to surrender their guns, we were unable to do so. That is what the amendment in today’s Notice Paper is about. It is the amendment we are presenting, and I am very happy to see that the government is presenting the exact same amendment. Our goal is the same, namely to protect women who are victims of violence. This reinforces the yellow flag measure.
    The study in committee was extremely interesting. We were able to improve the bill. It is expected that the opposition parties will criticize bills, and that is a good thing. A year ago, when the government introduced Bill C-21, it was far from perfect. Instead of simply criticizing it, we made constructive proposals and submitted a bundle of amendments with a view to improving it.
    There is more to this than just presenting an amendment in committee; we have to work behind the scenes with our colleagues to make our intentions clear and explain what it will change. Members of Parliament do not work alone. They also work with organizations that are paying close attention to the bill.
    We were approached by groups who support gun control, people who have had very difficult experiences and who are familiar with the subject. I would particularly like to mention the work of the National Association of Women and the Law, which filed an entire brief. If everyone prepared such comprehensive briefs, it would help us in our work. Having such well-worded suggestions showed us exactly where we had to amend the bill and the reasons why it would be beneficial to do so. I would really like to thank these groups. I named only one, but there are many of them, and I am sure they know who they are.
    The Bloc also made progress in all of this. We were talking about the infamous list of firearms the government wanted to include in the Criminal Code last November. We understood that not everyone was on board. The government failed to properly explain its reasoning. No one could make heads or tails of it and no one understood anything.
    Amending the Criminal Code is not an easy task. It was necessary to include firearms that were prohibited in the 1990s and others that were prohibited in 2020, and to add new ones. All of them had to be lumped together to amend the Criminal Code. We know that the only list of prohibited firearms that is constantly being updated is the one maintained by the RCMP.

  (1050)  

    This list complicates the Criminal Code for nothing. The same work is done twice, and everyone is confused. We told the government that a list was not the best way to go. It confuses everyone. In addition, it makes hunters nervous. We saw this when a rumour went around that firearms that are reasonably used for hunting might be added to the list. I understand why hunters were afraid that the firearms they use for hunting would be prohibited as a result of this measure. The Bloc said that the best solution was to provide a good definition of a prohibited firearm, meaning a military assault-style weapon, and to make a clear distinction between this type of firearm and firearms used for hunting.
    Two weeks ago, the government came back with its proposed amendment. The new proposed definition was not accompanied by a list. That is good news. If any hunters are listening today, they will understand that the firearm they use for hunting will not be included in the Criminal Code. That is very good. It is good news for them. The downside is that we are still leaving the 482 models on the market. When Bill C-21 is passed, we may have better gun control in Canada, but there will still be hundreds of assault-style models in circulation.
    We therefore made a suggestion to the minister. We said that we were aware that those models included some firearms that are reasonably used for hunting. The government had identified a dozen of them. We suggested that it take those 12 models and give them to the firearms advisory committee that the government wants to resurrect. We understand that the committee will include people who are in favour of better gun control, representatives of indigenous communities, hunters and various other experts. These experts could issue an unbiased recommendation to the minister. In the meantime, the minister could immediately issue an order prohibiting the remaining 470 models, since we know full well they are military-style weapons that civilians should not have in their possession. That is what we proposed to the government.
    Here is another good thing the Bloc Québécois did, and it is really not an exaggeration to say that we worked hard at it. The first version of the definition of a prohibited firearm included semi-automatic hunting rifles. They wanted to prohibit a firearm that is not a handgun, but that is a semi-automatic hunting rifle. How can we tell hunters that their hunting rifle will not be prohibited if the words “hunting rifle” appear in the law and in the definition? I think that removing these words in the French version, which were different in English, also reassured many people. I am very happy they were removed.
    In its initial form, Bill C-21 would have prohibited airsoft guns, which are used in games. These airsoft guns could be described as toys. The problem is that, over the years, manufacturers wanted so much to make them resemble real firearms that it has become confusing for police officers. Someone walking around with an airsoft gun can be confused for someone holding an assault weapon. The government therefore intended to simply ban them all, like the firearms that are already prohibited.
    Airsoft aficionados across the country expressed their outrage. We can understand that. Why should they, who use airsoft for sport or as a hobby, be penalized? We succeeded in removing airsoft guns from the bill. That is very good news, a great achievement for the opposition parties. The Bloc Québécois, the NDP and the Conservative Party voted in favour of removing airsoft from the bill. The government abstained, so we were successful. That is very good.
    I understand that I do not have much time left, but the good news is that I will be back tomorrow. I will also be here all day for questions and comments. We can discuss the bill further then.

  (1055)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech. One thing we heard from the Conservatives is their refrain that we want to take hunting rifles away from hunters and Canadians living in rural areas. We know that is not true.
    I believe that the member also represents a rural riding. Can she explain why she is comfortable with this definition of firearms so we can reassure Canadians from rural areas?
    Madam Speaker, I attended a dinner in Saint-Alexis-de-Matapédia last week at a club for people 50 and over, and one of the organizers is even a member of the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs.
    It was a pleasure talking with him and letting him know that there has been a great deal of disinformation about Bill C-21, and that everyone was under the impression that hunting rifles were going to be prohibited, although that is not at all the case.
    At that point, we had just adopted the definition. Hunting rifles were not at all affected by Bill C-21 as amended. This is still true, after the committee study. I want to reassure hunters because the Bloc Québécois worked hard to ensure that hunting rifles are not affected.
    Is the definition perfect? No. Could it be? We can never really achieve perfection, but we could certainly do more about the assault rifles that remain in circulation.
    However, it would be false to say that hunting rifles are affected by Bill C-21.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague brought up a very important part of the bill in terms of the red and yellow flag provisions. It is my understanding that both the red and yellow flag provisions could potentially put victims of violence at further risk and have a profound impact on our indigenous communities as well.
    I am wondering if my hon. colleague could expand on the potential risks of the red and yellow flag provisions and whether any stakeholders came forward, specifically women's groups, and asked for these provisions to be put into the bill.

  (1100)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague asks a very good question. Yellow flag measures are effective measures that can help protect women who are victims of violence. We even improved some of the clauses pertaining to yellow flag measures in the bill. We have no problem with that.
    When it comes to red flag measures, however, I do not know how many Quebec and Canadian women’s groups appeared before the committee, sent us briefs, wrote open letters and sent letters to the Minister of Public Safety saying that the government thought it was helping them with the red flag measures when it was doing precisely the opposite.
    These groups are afraid that this type of measure will put women who are victims of violence at even greater risk, that it will relieve police officers of their responsibilities if, for example, a woman in danger calls the police to ask them to take away her violent spouse’s guns. They are afraid that the police will say that a woman can now go see a judge for a protection order or an injunction—I get those mixed up—and that the police officer will not do anything because the measure is now an option. It is an additional tool.
    Since all women’s groups were unanimous in this, we could not vote in favour of it. The Bloc Québécois voted against the red flags, but the government and the NDP decided to go ahead with them anyway.
    Madam Speaker, I enjoyed working with the hon. member. If this was the first time that she had been involved in such an intensive clause-by-clause study, it did not show. She has always been very professional at all points of the debate during which we studied the bill clause by clause.
    At the report stage, I note that some of the amendments proposed by the Conservatives are comical and bizarre, because they contradict what they have always said. The Bloc Québécois, on the other hand, tabled a motion that I think is important and which seeks to close the loopholes that currently exist for manufacturers and importers, which will now have to undergo a process. For the time being, it is an honour-based system.
    I want to ask a question of my colleague from the Bloc Québécois. Is it important that we close this loophole that has existed for years and makes it so that manufacturers and importers find ways to circumvent legislation that was put in place?
    Madam Speaker, that is a very good question. This is something that we have tried to incorporate into the bill for reasons that I will not explain, as it will take too long. We were unable to table the amendment. That is why we have returned today, at report stage, with this amendment. It is such an important measure.
    I understand that this was rejected by the Chair, but there is still hope because, when the Minister of Public Safety announced the new definition of a prohibited weapon two weeks ago, he also announced his intention to proceed by regulation. There are things that can be done both by legislation and sometimes also by regulation.
    I think that ensuring that firearms are pre-classified by the RCMP could be a—
    Resuming debate. The hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by pointing out that the purpose of report stage is to consider motions in amendment.
    As I mentioned earlier, I find it odd that the Conservatives are putting forward amendments that do the exact opposite of what they proposed in committee. It will be up to them to defend their intentions in that regard. The other report stage motions will, I think, improve Bill C-21. That much is clear after this whole process.
    Some major gun control organizations, including the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns and the National Association of Women and the Law, appeared before the committee. They all proposed amendments that improved the bill.
    Bill C-21 also provides a technical definition that is important. These are all important elements to consider.
    The NDP was instrumental in bringing in an approach far more sensible than that of the Liberal government with the amendments it presented last November. Those amendments were brought forward without any consultation with indigenous communities and hunters.
    The amendments that strengthen every aspect of the red flag and yellow flag measures significantly improve Bill C-21. That is extremely important.

  (1105)  

[English]

    I cannot speak about the bill without speaking about the Conservative filibuster. I found it profoundly disingenuous. On the one hand, Conservatives protested that they were not filibustering the bill, and on the other hand, on social media, they were making speeches and saying very clearly how they were filibustering the bill.
    Yes, it is true that the Liberals tabled amendments that were done without forethought and without any understanding of the consequences. Amendments G-4 and G-46 were tabled without any consultation at all. The NDP pushed back against that. I cannot show this, but I have my amendment book in front of me. It would be considered a prop for me to show G-46 withdrawn, so I will not do that, but I find it strange that, since then, Conservatives have continued to act as if those amendments were still on the table. We just heard the Conservative public safety critic, yet again, talk about amendments that have been withdrawn.
    The NDP played a key role in this. Members will recall both my statements in the House and the presentation of a motion at committee by the member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, which basically put pressure on the Liberals to withdraw those amendments, so they are non-existent, and for the Conservatives to pretend they are there is passing strange. Maybe that contradiction between, on the one hand, Conservatives trying to take credit for withdrawing the amendments and, on the other hand, trying to pretend the amendments are still there plays out with the report stage amendments, which, again, do the opposite of what Conservatives said they wanted to do with the bill. It is very strange.
    I think it is fair to say that the filibuster was finally ended with the support of members of the House from virtually every other party, so that we could have a common-sense approach, article by article, with 20 minutes per clause. It is important to note that the 20 minutes was renewed numerous times. It was part of the motion that we could renew it, that if there was all-party agreement we could renew the discussions.
    I think it is fair to say that members of the Conservative Party who participated in the deliberations in clause-by-clause were very constructive. The member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound presented an amendment that was adopted unanimously, to provide provisions for those legal, law-abiding firearms owners who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. Conservatives voted with the other parties, so all parties voted together, on the vast majority of the amendments, including those around ghost guns. That is important because ghost guns are of a critical nature. We have seen an explosion of the use by criminals of untraceable firearms across the country, so the ghost gun provisions are absolutely essential.
     Law enforcement has been calling for them for some time. In the United States, the Biden administration has seized over 20,000 ghost guns used in the commission of criminal acts over the course of the past year. In Canada, we are not even aware of what the full numbers are. I have requested that the Ministry of Justice start tracking the use of ghost guns, but anecdotally, in some parts of the country, there has been a 10-fold increase in a year. In other parts of the country, it is even higher than that.
    The ghost gun provisions were absolutely essential. Again, it is fair to say the Conservatives actively participated in that. They seem to be singing a different song now in the House, but the reality is the committee process worked. The committee process went through all of the amendments, despite the fact, and I think it is fair to say, sometimes the Conservatives were repeating their questions numerous times trying to slow down the process. However, we got through all the essential amendments, with one exception, and that was on indigenous rights. That passed unanimously.
    The committee process absolutely worked. The fact one can renew a 20-minute clause discussion absolutely worked, and the Conservatives were not able to block the ghost gun provisions, which law enforcement needs. Why the Conservatives were blocking ghost gun provisions, they will have to explain to the Canadian public.
    It is not just that. We talked a few minutes ago about the importance of closing the loopholes for manufacturers and importers. We have functioned on an honour system, and this is something that simply cannot be permitted to continue, so closing those loopholes were absolutely essential.
    The NDP tabled amendments, as well as all other parties, and we worked to strengthen the red flag and yellow flag provisions of the bill. It is fair to say, from the comments of the National Association of Women and the Law about those provisions, that those improvements are absolutely critical. There is no doubt the bill was improved. It was over a very intense week, but a week that allowed us to go clause-by-clause and work through the bill. The product is now before the House with a number of helpful report stage amendments and some, as I mentioned, inexplicable amendments from the Conservatives that contradict all the positions they have taken up until now.
    The NDP also tabled amendments on airsoft, and this was vitally important to ensure the airsoft community could continue to engage. That is important. Airsoft has approached the whole issue of a framework around it in a very open way. There had been provisions that would have basically pushed airsoft aside. The NDP pushed the motion on that and succeeded in getting it through.
    The indigenous rights component is absolutely fundamental. I know my colleague from Nunavut, who has been one of the foremost advocates for indigenous rights in the House of Commons, would say as well that the provisions, which are that nothing in Bill C-21 abrogates or derogates from indigenous rights under section 35 of the charter, are fundamental and should be in place in all government legislation moving forward.
    We are tackling criminals. We are ensuring that manufacturers and importers now have a legal process to go through, and we are enhancing indigenous rights. We have also ensured, by pushing the government to reconstitute the firearms advisory committee, that it will include indigenous people, hunters, farmers and people who are advocates for firearms control. Putting Canadians in a room and letting them have those discussions and consultations is absolutely, fundamentally important.
    All of these things are extremely essential. The one amendment that needs to be passed, hopefully in the Senate, would be to ensure the International Practical Shooting Confederation is also part of the exemptions around the use of handguns. This is essential. Other countries that have outlawed handguns allow an exemption for that organization.

  (1110)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his work in committee and for his efforts in helping us all work together. I think we can all agree that we have achieved a good piece of legislation together.
    The work we did on ghost guns is critically important. Those of us from the Lower Mainland in Vancouver have heard police forces talking a lot about the importance of getting this right.
    The member opposite asked me a question after my speech. I have been reflecting on that question, and I would like to ask him a very similar question. We saw the Conservatives, time and again, filibuster and try to delay. They would vote for some of the amendments, but then delay again.
    I would love for my hon. colleague to explain to me why he thinks Conservatives filibustered, and why he thinks they continue to pretend that these amendments, which have been withdrawn, still exist. Perhaps, most importantly, why does he think that, today, they are putting forward amendments that contradict their own voting record in committee?
    Madam Speaker, it is really up to Conservatives to defend their record on this, but in committee, I proposed about a dozen times for a time extension to continue clause-by-clause. A dozen times, the Conservatives said no, and a dozen times, I asked to let us keep working.
    Even last Tuesday night, we finished at 6:30 p.m., and I moved for unanimous consent to keep working, but Conservatives shut it down. That happened a dozen times, until the House of Commons directed the committee with a structure that allowed us to get through every single amendment, which was a really effective committee study.
    I cannot explain how Conservatives acted in committee. I cannot explain how they are acting at report stage. I can say that the parties that have worked together have produced a bill that—

  (1115)  

    We will continue with questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.
    Madam Speaker, I recall over a year ago, when Bill C-21 was introduced, just how giddy with glee the NDP was until it had an epiphany about the impact this was going to have on its rural ridings. Those ridings include Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, Courtenay—Alberni, Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, North Island—Powell River, Skeena—Bulkley Valley, South Okanagan—West Kootenay, Timmins—James Bay and Nunavut. All of those MPs reversed course on Bill C-21 when they, in fact, were supporting it at the beginning.
    Canadians are not stupid. Members in those ridings and the citizens in those ridings are not stupid, and they will remember what the NDP did with Bill C-21.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague just mentioned some of the best members of Parliament in the House of Commons. They are members of Parliament who stand up for their constituents. They are members of Parliament who actually do things to make a difference in people's lives.
    The reality is that it is the NDP who stopped both the G-4 and G-46 amendments. Conservatives pontificated, but they did not move anything procedurally. For weeks and weeks, Conservatives just sat there. They fundraised, of course. They love fundraising off of misinformation, but they did not do anything in the House. The difference between New Democrats and Conservatives is that New Democrats get the job done.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to talk about consistency. Over the past few months, the Conservatives have repeatedly criticized Bill C-21 on the grounds that it attacks sport shooters and athletes. Clause 43 actually mentions these elite sport shooters to protect them from the handgun freeze, but—surprise, surprise—the Conservatives want to delete that clause. I wonder if my colleague can explain to us why they are saying that, on the one hand, we have to protect shooters and, on the other, we have to delete the only clause that protects them.
    Madam Speaker, that is an excellent question. The Conservatives say they have to have exemptions, but now they want to get rid of this exemption. That is ridiculous, and it goes to show how the Conservative Party is just not taking the Bill C-21 debate seriously. They did nothing to delete the amendments the Liberals put forward in committee in November. They did nothing to improve the bill. I am glad they supported amendments from the NDP, the Liberal Party and the Bloc, but the Conservative Party contributed absolutely nothing at any point in the process. Now the Conservatives are even contradicting themselves. They are proposing amendments that cancel measures they themselves said were essential.

[English]

Business of the House

    Madam Speaker, I request that the ordinary hour of daily adjournment of the next sitting be 12 midnight pursuant to the order made Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

[Translation]

     Pursuant to order made Tuesday, November 15, 2022, the minister’s request to extend the said sitting is deemed adopted.

[English]

Criminal Code

     The House resumed consideration of C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), as reported (with amendments) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.
    Madam Speaker, it is very important that I rise to speak to this bill today for a number of reasons. This bill reflects the will of the House, the will of the committee and the will of Canadians.
    On a somewhat personal level, I will say that we are all here as a members of Parliament. Our families have jobs that they do back home, and so do our brothers and sisters and so forth. One of my siblings, one of my brothers, has been a first responder for the Vancouver Police Department for a long time. If I can put a date on it, my brother and the Minister of International Development, the former defence minister, actually went through police training together many decades ago.
    I reside in Ontario. My family all resides in British Columbia and, for the longest time, when my brother did his job, I never thought about his safety. Recently though, over the last few years, I do think about his safety quite a bit. My heart goes out to all of those families who have been impacted by gun violence, particularly, of course, the first responders who are doing their job, day in and day out, whether it is in Prince Rupert, Prince George, Halifax, Vaughan or the Lower Mainland in Vancouver as part of the Vancouver Police Department. This legislation we have brought forward, after exhaustive consultation, is another piece of recognizing that we must do something. We must act.
    I am glad to see that the committee on public safety has incorporated amendments. I am glad to see that hunters, folks pursuing a traditional way of life, sports shooters and so forth, can continue to do what they do because I know many of them, on both sides, from my time growing up in northern British Columbia in the riding of Skeena—Bulkley Valley. I remember going up to the Skeena River and people going hunting and shooting for moose or deer. As well, in my riding of Vaughan, many folks go up to northern Ontario to go hunting. It is important that they continue to do those pursuits. I am glad to see that.
    At the same time, handguns and AR-15 style weapons have no place, in my view, in our society. We need to make sure Canadians feel safe in their community. We need to make sure that Canadians know they are safe and that is what our government is doing.
    I wanted to put that thought forward because not a day goes by now when I do not think about my brother on duty and what he does for the Vancouver Police Department keeping the citizens in Vancouver safe. Not a day goes by now that I do not try to call to ask how he is doing and how he and his family and his daughters are doing because that is where we are today. I am glad we are acting.
    I am pleased to join the debate on Bill C-21, an act to amend certain acts and to make certain consequential amendments, firearms. We have said all along that this bill is historic. It is the most significant step in gun reform in a generation. Canadians deserve safe, common-sense firearms laws, while, virtually every day, we see media reports of gun violence in our communities.
    Each one is a tragedy involving someone, whether a child, a parent, a partner, a friend, a brother or a sister, who was loved and is now missed by their community. That is exactly why we have taken the time to reflect, consult and discuss Bill C-21 with survivors, indigenous communities, industry groups and hunters, and why, after meticulous study and consideration, we recently brought forward amendments to the bill. We know that gun safety cannot wait, but we have been careful to balance the urgency of this bill with the need to get it right. This government has done more than any other to advance gun safety.
    Three years ago, we banned 1,500 assault-style firearms, those that have no place outside the battlefield of war. We introduced the bill before us today, Bill C-21. This bill would inscribe into law the national freeze on handguns.
    It would target organized crime, with stiffer sentences for trafficking guns and new charges for altering the magazine or cartridge of a gun to exceed its lawful capacity. It would take much needed steps to address the role of firearms in gender-based violence. While there is no obligation for survivors of gender-based violence to use these laws, they can help prevent handguns from falling into the wrong hands and stop needless tragedies before they occur.
    Someone who currently or previously had a restraining order against them would no longer be able to obtain a firearms licence. We are proud to introduce new red flag laws that mean courts could take firearms away from those who are a danger to themselves or anyone else. Bill C-21 also contains new yellow flag laws to allow chief firearms officers to suspend an individual's firearms licence if the CFO receives information calling into question their licence eligibility.

  (1120)  

    Furthermore, with the support of our colleagues in SECU, we adopted amendments that would help protect victims of violence and those at risk of self-harm by a firearm. Firearms licences would be revoked within 24 hours in cases of domestic or intimate partner violence, and there would be new exemptions for those who use a firearm for their employment. When a weapons prohibition order or protection order is issued, this would be reported to authorities within 24 hours. Further, if a person is undergoing a mental health crisis, they would be able to temporarily transfer their firearm to another person or business, helping to keep themselves or their loved ones safe.
    Again, survivors of violence are under no obligation to take such actions, and measures would be taken to protect the identity of vulnerable individuals who do provide information to the courts. Canadians' safety is our utmost, paramount concern. Bill C-21 is another step to bring in needed, prudent and necessary measures on ending and preventing gun violence.
    We have heard jarring statistics from my colleagues that the more available guns are, the higher the risk of people dying unnecessarily in tragic situations of homicide and suicide. We can all look at the statistics in the United States for that fact. Let me be frank, the only sensible response to these kinds of cold, hard facts is the kind of gun reform we are discussing here today. As soon as we know that something is dangerous and unnecessary, we have an obligation to remove that risk from our communities and protect the people in them. This is particularly true when those who are at highest risk are already marginalized in our society and vulnerable to violent outcomes.
     When it comes to assault-style firearms, we are compelled to act now. We know that if the most lethal guns are unavailable for purchase, if they are present in fewer numbers in our communities, we can drastically reduce the number of victims of gun violence. Some folks talk about causation and correlation. One fact we know is that in the United States the use of AR-15 type assault rifles is killing people needlessly. In Canada, we are not going to allow those types of U.S. gun laws to come here. We are going to make sure we have sensible gun laws that make sure that those types of weapons do not exist in our country.

  (1125)  

    We know that if the most lethal guns are unavailable for purchase, if they are present in fewer numbers in our communities, we can drastically reduce the number of victims of gun violence. This is what Canadians want. The proposed technical definition of prohibited firearms allows us to proactively address advances in the firearms market and keep firearms designed for the battlefield off our streets. Incorporating technical criteria in this definition puts the onus on industry to do their part in protecting our communities from assault-style firearms.
     We also brought forward amendments to address emerging threats, such as ghost guns. Bill C-21 would make all illegally manufactured firearms, also known as ghost guns, prohibited firearms, create new offences to prohibit the possession, access, distribution, making available or publication of digital files and blueprints, and regulate the transfer and importation of certain parts to ensure they are not being used to create ghost guns. Again, this is not about taking guns away from responsible handgun owners, hunters or sport shooters. This is about tackling violent crime and preventing senseless, tragic deaths.
     That brings me back to the amendments to Bill C-21 we recently introduced that were adopted last week in committee. I applaud the committee members for their hard work on this very important piece of gun safety legislation. It is prudent legislation to prevent needless, senseless deaths by guns. Guns kill people.
    As I mentioned earlier, we have taken the time to speak with constituents from coast to coast to coast. It does not matter where one goes in this great country, in every corner, we could find skilled, experienced hunters who are more than happy to chat for hours about how it is more than a hobby for them, how it is been passed down through generations, and how it forms a key part of their culture and way of life.
    That is why these latest amendments provide clarity and protections around responsible gun ownership. We are focused on the most pressing issue, keeping Canadians safe. Again, as we have said from the beginning, no single initiative would end gun violence, but Bill C-21 is a major component. It is one of three key pillars of our plan. The second pillar is strengthening resources to tackle gun crime, including smuggling, preventing firearms from entering our borders in the first place and targeting ghost guns. The third pillar is about investing in communities. Initiatives like the national crime prevention strategy, the gun and gang violence action fund, and the building safer communities fund get straight to the roots of violence. They stop it before it starts.
    I look forward to questions and comments.

  (1130)  

    Madam Speaker, at the very beginning of his speech, the member mentioned that there is no place for handguns in Canadian society. I think I quoted him almost verbatim. While I agree there is no place for illegal handguns that criminals are using to commit crimes, I would like to remind him of a quote, especially since sitting very close to him there is a proud Olympian who might find this quote interesting.
    It is by Lynda Kiejko, an Olympian in women's pistol shooting. She said, “I take great pride in representing my country on the—”
    I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. The rule applies both ways. We do not mention the presence or absence of members in the House.
    The hon. member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.
    Madam Speaker, I should say the member has a good Olympian on his team over there, who may be interested to hear this.
    Lynda Kiejko said:
    I take great pride in representing my country on the world stage, as do all athletes. I'm sad that due to the handgun ban, the order in council, Bill C-71 and this proposed legislation, I will not be able to represent Canada on the world stage. Athletes who come after me won't even have an opportunity to compete, as they will have no access to competition firearms.
    What would the member opposite like me to tell this Olympian, who has proudly represented our flag at the Olympics in the past?
    The hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I know that sometimes tempers can rage in this place, but I believe that the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport was using language that, I am pretty sure if you were to look at the Standing Orders, would be deemed unparliamentary. Although I do not think it was meant to be on the record, we need to hold ourselves to a high standard in this place.
    I am wondering if you would rule as to whether or not the language he used was appropriate.
    I cannot make a ruling because I did not hear it.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I am deeply apologetic if I offended the member opposite with any words that I used sitting here by myself.
    Madam Speaker, I would now like to answer the question of the hon. member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.
    There seem to be some conversations going on.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, the member opposite is continuing to heckle, telling me to be a man about it. This kind of misogynistic language in this House of Commons is not welcome. He is telling me to be a man about after I stood and apologized. I do not know what he would like me to do. I was talking to myself and muttered something under my breath.
    That type of misogynistic language has no place in this House.
    The hon. member did apologize and the matter should lay there and we will respect the people who are trying to speak in their allotted time.
    The hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.
    Madam Speaker, I very much enjoy watching the highlights at the Olympics for trap shooting and clay shooting. My understanding is that with the legislation, Olympians here in Canada pursuing such sports would have an exemption to do so. If I am incorrect, I will retract that statement, but my understanding is there is an exemption for that.
    When I have travelled to visit relatives in Italy, there are police officers and families who practise that sport, and I have watched them. It is interesting to me and something that goes to sensible gun legislation—
    The hon. member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, there is an exemption for Olympians, but not for someone who is not in the Olympics, so no one would be able to train to get there.
    That is part of the debate. The hon. member answered the question.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia.
    Madam Speaker, I do not know whether my colleague is aware, but on May 16, 2022, the National Association of Women and the Law sent a letter to the Minister of Public Safety on behalf of dozens of women's associations, including the YMCA of Greater Toronto, the Canadian Women's Foundation, Women's Shelters Canada, and the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale, to name but a few. In this letter, they tell the government that they do not want the red flag measure, that they are afraid that it will put women at greater risk and that law enforcement will shirk its responsibilities when it comes to removing a gun from a licence holder whose spouse is a victim of domestic violence.
    Can my colleague explain to me why the government, despite the advice of all these women's groups, has nevertheless decided to introduce this red flag measure?

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, it is very important that we invest $250 million in the building safer communities fund.

[English]

    In terms of the question on the red flags law, we know gender-based violence exists and we know gender-based violence is a problem. We need to ensure that, when individuals are reporting it to police, proper preventative measures are taken by police officers across this country. We in no way want to put anyone in harm's way after any reports are made, so it is very important that we protect particularly the women across this country from gender-based violence, from any subsequent acts that may occur from the initial one.
    Madam Speaker, much has been said about the rights of hunters and the rights of guns owners, but perhaps not enough about the victims. The hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge would know that all too well, given the mass shooting that occurred at the condo in his riding; five people were murdered, and my dear friend, Doreen DiNino, was the lone survivor.
    Is the hon. member satisfied understanding that the shooter was a PAL owner and did have legally acquired firearms? Is he satisfied that the legislation, Bill C-21, would help prevent the future atrocities and tragedies of a mass shootings like the one that has occurred in his riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge?
    Madam Speaker, there was a mass shooting in the city of Vaughan. It happened just around the Christmas period, and it needlessly impacted so many families. Bill C-21 is, again, another step. We have multiple pillars to reduce senseless gun violence in Canada. That is an example that unfortunately has impacted a number of families and a number of people who were not going to be able to be with their families any longer. Bill C-21 would be a big significant step in combatting gun violence, in terms of the example of what happened in Vaughan where people are still grieving from that needless tragedy.
    Madam Speaker, I want to be very clear: The Liberal government does not want us to debate Bill C-21. It wants it to be imposed on this House and on Canadians.
    Today, we are limited to just a single day of debate, because the Liberal government decided to force a closure motion through the House to prevent parliamentarians from debating this legislation in detail. This is fundamentally undemocratic, and it is certainly not in the best interest of those who will be affected by many of its problematic measures.
    When Bill C-21 was announced by the public safety minister last fall, Conservatives were hopeful that this bill would include measures that are tough on crime and that would crack down on illegally smuggled handguns, which are contributing to the 32% increase in violent crime since the Prime Minister took office.
    However, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security was instead presented with a deeply flawed piece of legislation that needed to be amended countless times by the Liberal government and opposition parties. We have heard from numerous witnesses and stakeholders that this bill will do nothing to crack down on the violent criminals who are terrorizing our streets.
    The constituents of Liberal, NDP and Bloc members in rural ridings know very well what this legislation does. If it passes, the only people it will materially affect are law-abiding firearms owners who use their firearms as tools to hunt, sport-shoot and protect their livestock, while street gangs and criminals can continue to use their illegally smuggled firearms.
     To reiterate, this legislation affects 2.3 million law-abiding firearms owners, thousands of small businesses and jobs, and, as a result, hundreds of millions of dollars of the economy. Before getting into the specific deficiencies of this legislation, I want to take a moment and revisit how the Liberal government made a mess of this situation.
    In late November, forgoing the usual practices of doing any form of consultation or technical briefings for parliamentarians and the media, the Minister of Public Safety table-dropped amendments at the eleventh hour that constituted what would be the largest ban on hunting rifles and shotguns in Canadian history.
    The Liberal government would like people to believe that the only ones who opposed its misguided amendments were members of the Conservative Party. In reality, the push-back against the Liberal Party's poorly planned amendments and legislation was driven by a grassroots movement of hunters, sport shooters, indigenous groups and farmers who are concerned about their livelihood, their sport, their culture and, above all, public safety.
    Naturally, hunters, sport shooters, farmers, indigenous groups and provincial and territorial premiers from coast to coast took notice and voiced their concerns. Even members of the Liberal caucus stood up and said that they would not be able to vote in favour of Bill C-21 if these amendments were included in the bill. Canadians saw these amendments for what they were: the largest assault on law-abiding firearms owners in Canadian history.
    As a result, the Liberals withdrew their amendments, and the opposition parties on the public safety committee began consultations, which the Liberal government had failed to do, on the proposed amendments to Bill C-21. We heard from a diverse range of voices that shared their concerns with the amendments and the lack of consultation from the Liberal government.
    I would like to highlight one individual’s testimony in particular. Chief Jessica Lazare of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake spoke to us and stated that no consultations were done prior to drafting the government’s amendments to Bill C-21 or prior to Bill C-21 itself. She noted that while she appreciated the Minister of Public Safety taking the time to meet briefly with the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, she did not consider that meeting to be a consultation.
    Unfortunately, the Liberals dismissed legitimate concerns such as these by repeatedly, in the House and in committee, calling them disinformation and misinformation.
    My colleagues and I wrapped up these consultations with stakeholders on March 10 and waited patiently for the Minister of Public Safety to come before our committee and testify. In fact, I think many Canadians at home would be surprised to know that our committee waited six full weeks, until April 25, to hear from the minister.
    Shortly after, the Liberals introduced new amendments, which, to be clear, are the same as the old ones, and the commonly used hunting firearms targeted by the Liberals in the fall would likely be added to the ban by the new Liberal firearms advisory panel. Conservatives have no confidence that this advisory panel would do anything other than advise the minister to take legally obtained firearms away from law-abiding Canadians.
    Now that we have discussed the abuse of process and the failure of the government regarding this legislation, I will go on to outline some of the problematic measures in Bill C-21, which have widespread opposition from stakeholders.

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    First, the Liberal government introduced a regime known as “red flag laws”. We have heard almost unanimously from stakeholders that Bill C-21’s proposed red flag measures are costly, ineffective and redundant. We have red flag laws in this country under section 117 of the Criminal Code. Police services have the authority to act immediately, with or without a warrant, when there is a genuine concern for public safety. However, Bill C-21 attempts to introduce a regime whereby victims would have to stand in front of a judge in a secret hearing without the other party present and without any access to police resources in order to have firearms taken away from a dangerous individual.
    During our deliberations on this bill, we heard from women's and community groups such as the National Association of Women and the Law, PolySeSouvient and the Battered Women's Support Services, which all said that the proposed red flag laws were unnecessary and counterproductive and could be even harmful.
    We also heard from indigenous leaders, such as Terry Teegee from the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations and Heather Bear from the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, who both expressed concerns with the fact that these provisions do not clearly outline how they would respect the hunting rights of indigenous individuals.
    Even further, we heard from medical professionals, such as Dr. Atul Kapur from the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, who stated, “Placing the onus on victims of interpersonal violence or on a family member of a depressed person...is largely unworkable and an unwelcome hindrance to getting the guns temporarily out of the homes of those in crisis.”
    We also heard from law enforcement officers, such as Dale McFee from the Edmonton Police Service, who stated that this law “would pose a significant draw on police resources should numerous applications be granted at a time when many Canadian police services are [already] stretched thin.”
    Conservatives on the public safety committee listened to this testimony. They recognized that these measures are harmful and proposed to have them removed entirely from the bill. Unfortunately, the Liberal-NDP coalition voted against that, effectively silencing the voices of women's groups, indigenous leaders, law enforcement and medical professionals.
    Another issue that the Liberal government touted as being tough on crime is increasing maximum sentences from 10 years to 14 years for illegal gun traffickers. While we support these measures in principle, we know that the current government's soft-on-crime policy means that not a single person has ever received the current maximum sentence for these crimes in the eight years that the Liberals have been in power.
    Finally, this legislation targets competitive sport shooters in such a severe way that it would literally lead to the demise of the sport. The legislation effectively means that those who use lawfully obtained handguns to safely participate in an internationally recognized sport would no longer be able to do so. Noah Schwartz, a professor of political science at the University of the Fraser Valley, commented on these measures, noting that “firearms, and the shooting sports that they facilitate, allow people to connect with family, friends and a broader community of gun owners. At a time when making social connections is more difficult than ever, it seems strange to sacrifice these communities for a false impression of safety.”
    Bill C-21 would outlaw competitive sport shooting, except for individuals who are already training for the Olympics. I would encourage the Liberal members to consider how one can become an Olympic athlete without training and practice. Reasonable amendments to this prohibition from the Conservatives to allow members of the International Practical Shooting Confederation to continue their sport were unfortunately voted down.
    What may be surprising to many is that members of the Liberal government tried to stop a rural member of their own caucus from speaking out against these measures at the public safety committee. Thankfully, the Conservative members on the committee gave up some of their own time so that he could speak. That member spoke out against the restrictions on competitive sport shooting, stating, “If there is one organization outside of Olympic shooters this committee and indeed this government should consider, I think it's IPSC.”
    This is more evidence that the government does not want to hear the voices of hunters, sport shooters and farmers. It is not interested in the lives of the rural Canadians whom the legislation would impact.
    It is time for the Liberals to get serious about tackling the root causes of criminal violence. In the eight years since the Prime Minister took office, violent crime has increased by 32% and gang-related murders have doubled. I have no faith that this legislation would do anything to reverse that trend. Only a Conservative government would invest in policing and secure borders to address the real root cause of crime, rather than spending billions of dollars on confiscating firearms from law-abiding farmers, hunters and indigenous people.
    In closing, we were all elected to this House to represent the voices of our constituents, and the limited time we have today to debate this legislation stifles our ability to do so. I would like to thank the members of my community and individuals across Canada who have reached out to me about this important issue. They can rest assured that I will continue to advocate for law-abiding Canadian firearms owners, despite the Liberal government's draconian tactics.

  (1145)  

    Madam Speaker, one of the things I find most interesting about this whole debate, whether it is Bill C-21 or anything related to guns, is that the Conservative Party members consistently spread misinformation and they do that in order to generate funds for their political party, literally millions of dollars over the year. That is the primary reason for the spreading of misinformation that we see.
     My concern or my question for the member is this: Does he not see the benefit in terms of having legislation that would make our communities safer? When will the Conservative Party put the safety of our community ahead of Conservative fundraising?
    Madam Speaker, there are so many questions there that I am not sure which ones I will answer in the short five minutes I have.
    First of all, I have never done any fundraising on this issue.
    I have been on the public safety committee now for a year and a half and have sat through hours and hours of discussion on this topic. Do I think this is going to make our communities any safer? No, not whatsoever. This is going to affect law-abiding firearms owners, not the illegal criminals who are bringing handguns across the border. That is really where the issue is, and this will not affect that whatsoever.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I think my colleague would agree with me that the public has an interest in seeing an end to illegal gun trafficking. In Bill C-21, the government increased the maximum penalties for firearms trafficking.
    Does my colleague believe that this measure is sufficient?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, as I mentioned in my speech, and if people were not listening I will repeat that part, in the past eight years, I believe, the maximum has never once been given. Yes, we agree with longer sentences, but if the maximum is not being given, what is the point of increasing it?
    We need to work on reducing crime, and we believe in giving harsher sentences, especially to people who are committing harsh crimes with firearms across the country.
     Madam Speaker, there is no doubt my colleague does effective work on the public safety committee.
    The reality is that Conservatives worked very productively with the other parties, I thought, once the House of Commons said that they had to end their filibuster and get back to work. We managed to get unanimous agreement on the vast majority of amendments as we worked through clause-by-clause.
    However, there are some Conservatives who continue to talk about amendments G-46 and G-4. As members know, I cannot present props in the House, but clearly in my amendment book, G-46 has been withdrawn. I would ask my colleague if he can confirm that G-46 and G-4 were withdrawn at the beginning of February, which means Conservatives should not continue to talk about these amendments as they no longer exist.

  (1150)  

    Madam Speaker, what I would like to talk about in response to that is factual information. It was amazing how much the NDP and the Liberals were siding with each other in those debates the member is talking about. We sat in that committee for so long, and I am curious to see what members from places such as Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, Courtenay—Alberni, Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, North Island—Powell River, Skeena—Bulkley Valley, South Okanagan—West Kootenay, Timmins—James Bay and Nunavut all have to say in the next election—
    The hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, those are all some of the best MPs in the House, but the member is mispronouncing every single riding name, which shows a—
    That is not a point of order, unfortunately.
    The hon. member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.
    Madam Speaker, I was not mispronouncing the ridings whatsoever. They are great areas. I have been to some of them and I would like to get to even more. I was in Nunavut last summer and it was very interesting.
    What I was pointing out is that all of these rural ridings I am sure will be very interested to know that the members of the NDP were siding with the Liberals at all the committee meetings and on all of the votes with respect to the firearms concern.
    Madam Speaker, one of the concerns coming out of report stage is about the firearms advisory committee that the public safety minister spoke about, and the power it is going to have to potentially ban firearms going forward. Could the member speak to that briefly?
    Madam Speaker, that is a great question. Yes, there is a lot of concern over that. We have no details on it, which is very concerning. We do not know who is going to be on the committee. We are assuming its members are going to be appointed by the Liberals. We feel that, down the road, the exact same hunting rifles and farmers' tools that were placed on the past G-4 and G-46 amendments will be placed on this ban bill again by the firearms advisory commission once it is up and running.
    Madam Speaker, it is a real honour to rise in the House to acknowledge the very hard work of the public safety committee and many members in the House who have been tireless in their advocacy and their consultations with various groups across the country, and to speak to the importance of the bill, as we aim to strengthen public safety in our communities and ensure they continue to be safe.
    I would be remiss if I did not at the onset of my speech acknowledge that my home riding of Milton has been impacted by gun violence in the last couple of years. It has been extraordinarily difficult to come to terms with the fact that guns are making their way into our communities, when criminals have access to more guns. When there are more guns in society, criminals will find their way to these guns.
    There have been deaths in my community, and I want to express my condolences to the friends, family and co-workers of those individuals who have lost their lives due to this senseless violence. I committed to them that I would stand in the House and ensure that we would pass fair and responsible laws that would protect families and people in my riding who do not want more guns in their community. They want fewer guns and safer communities.
    That is what we are doing today, and I am proud to be supporting the legislation.
    Over the last couple of days, there has been a lot of indignation in the House. The Conservatives have been indignant that they have not had enough time to speak to the bill. At the same time, those same members have been filibustering at committee, wasting time and the opportunity to debate. We finally are at place where we can vote on the bill and protect Canadians with more responsible gun laws. I am grateful for all of the members' hard work and their ability to endure that filibuster. It is really unnecessary.
     This indignation is the result of the progress being made collectively with all other parties in the House. Every other party except the Conservative Party supports these responsible gun laws moving forward. I want to thank them for that.
    I also want to express disappointment that the gun lobby has found so many strong voices in the Conservative Party. Time and time again, the Conservatives have stood in the House to say that they are standing up for indigenous hunters or Olympic athletes, when all they are really doing is parroting lines from the gun lobby. Many of the members have been keynoting fundraisers for the gun lobby. They have been speaking at their events.
     At the same time, the member for Carleton, the leader of the Conservative Party, will send out tweets saying that the Liberal government wants to take their guns, that they should sign a petition or that they should sign up with the Conservatives and send them a donation if they disagree. That type of fundraising on the back of the gun lobby and that NRA-style of politics has no place in Canada.
    I would like to move on to a very difficult to talk about issue, and that is domestic abuse and suicide and the role that guns play in households across the country with respect to that.
    Abusers with guns in the home are five times more likely to kill their wives and children. It does not matter if they are legally owned or if they are licensed firearms, that statistic rings true. Domestic abuse continues to be an absolute plague. I will also call it “men's violence against women”. Domestic abuse does not put a fine enough point on it in my view.
    More guns in society means more gun murders. I used to live in Florida, where there were hundreds and hundreds of guns in every community. There are more guns in the United States than there are people. People often say that Canada is nothing like the United States, and thank God for that. Let us ensure we continue to be different than the United States, where there are mass shootings on a daily basis, where there are tragic school shootings on such a frequent basis that people try to ignore it when it is on the news.
    We need to acknowledge that we have had some really tragic shooting events in Canada as well. We need to stand and say that these are preventable with more responsible gun laws. This bill, Bill C-21, and the amendments henceforth will strengthen those laws and ensure that we build a country going forward that has fewer guns and fewer tragedies as a result.
    I want to move on to another very difficult to talk about issue in Canada, and that is with respect to suicide and mental. Studies show that homes that have guns in them are far more likely to experience death from suicide. It is a terrible fact that in some cases, and this is very challenging to talk about, it is easier to pick up a gun than a phone.

  (1155)  

    It is true that we need to ensure there are better services for people with mental health who are struggling with suicidality. The statistics really bear this out. If there are more guns in society when people are struggling, it results in really horrible outcomes for people and families.
    There needs to a phone closer to peoples' bedside tables than a firearm when they are struggling. That is true in cases of domestic violence and suicidality. However, when I think about the country I would like my kids to grow up in, if I am lucky enough to ever have kids, it is one with fewer firearms and a safer community where we do not need to worry about these types of consequences and tragedies happening so often.
    I will move on to something a little less difficult for me to talk about, which is sport. I am the parliamentary secretary for sport and I have a lot of friends who have gone to the Olympics for sport shooting. Repeatedly, over the last hour or so, I heard the Conservatives talk about how we are taking guns away from Olympic athletes, and that just could not be further from the truth. There are a number of categories of individuals who are licensed to carry certain firearms in Canada, and Olympic sport shooters and those training to go to the Olympics are a part of those.
    There are about 4,000 athletes in Canada, with whom the federal government works, on national teams for the Olympics and the Paralympics, but over 8,000 athletes are licensed to own certain types of firearms and use those firearms in the context of sport. I want to ensure that everybody in the House is aware of the fact that in the 10 events at the summer Olympics, because there is one in the winter Olympics as well if we include the biathlon, of the 10 types of guns used, four of them are air guns.
    The modern pentathlon has moved to a laser gun. They do not want to worry about various restrictions in some countries and bringing these guns on planes and across borders and so on, so they are taking a more modern approach to the sport and using a laser gun. In the 10 sport shooting categories, four of those guns are air pistols or rifles. They are not in those banned categories. The rifles are bolt action, so single shot, which are also not banned. The other ones are shotguns, which are also not on any list.
    All of the hysteria from the other side about how this law will make it more difficult for athletes to train for their event at the Olympics is a false narrative. Those members have continually said that they are standing up for Olympians and pointed over at me, as the Olympian in the House, as to say I should be standing up for my friends and colleagues. I had a lot of meetings with them.
     I was talking to members from the Canadian Olympic Committee as early as today about this issue. Those athletes are exempt and protected, and we will continue to work with athletes if they have other concerns, because these laws are not meant to take guns away from sport shooters or certainly not Olympians.
    I would like to move on a bit and talk about hunting and indigenous rights. Hunting is a way of life in Canada. It is a matter of food security. It is a matter of tradition. It is a matter of a way of life in Canada. That is why, over the last couple of months, the Minister of Public Safety has taken time to meet with hunters in Yukon and the Northwest Territories, as well as in closer urban centres. The measures we have taken reflect that work. They reflect that engagement and that communication so we respect the traditions of northerners, not just indigenous people but a lot of people who rely on firearms to ensure there is food in the freezer over the course of the winter. These amendments do not touch guns commonly used for hunting. They apply for a forward-looking definition to protect our communities.
    I also heard the Conservatives repeatedly say that they are standing up for indigenous rights. I do too. Ensuring indigenous people and their traditional ways of life are protected is a priority of mine and many people in the House. I want to reiterate that these amendments do not touch guns commonly used for hunting. In addition to that, these amendments also respect the rights of first nations, Inuit and Métis, including a specific amendment that states clearly nothing in this definition will infringe on the rights of indigenous people under section 35 of the Constitution. The non-derogation clause for indigenous people is reaffirming the section 35 rights of indigenous people and reinforcing our UNDRIP obligations. I do not need to point out for members of the House that Conservatives voted against this, which is very sad.
    I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to Bill C-21.

  (1200)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague said that he wanted communities to be safer.
    In Bill C-21, the government is increasing the maximum sentences for firearms trafficking. However, it is very rare for an individual to get the maximum penalty for such an offence because criminal networks use people with no criminal records who are then given shorter sentences.
    My colleague says he wants to live in a safer community. Does he believe that increasing maximum sentences that are never actually imposed will be enough to accomplish that?
    Mr. Speaker, it is very important to reassure our community about how important this bill is in preventing firearms trafficking.

[English]

    A record number of guns last year were seized at the border, but we need to do more. Bill C-21 would do more. It would invest in the CBSA, after the Conservatives cut so much of the funding for our border services agency. They like to say that all these guns are coming in from the United States, yet we are standing up and ensuring that does not happen.
     I hear the member's comment with respect to the maximum sentence, which also needs to go up so that the worst offenders spend more time in prison. I know that bail reform is forthcoming from the Minister of Justice, and I am looking forward to that as well, because it has been a topic of conversation in the House and elsewhere.

  (1205)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am gratified that the NDP was able to force the withdrawal of amendments G-4 and G-46 in February, which caused such consternation to law-abiding gun owners across the country. What has replaced them, as members are well aware, are provisions that tackle the ghost guns used by criminals. We have seen an epidemic in various parts of the country, like in my region where we have seen a tenfold increase in the use of untraceable firearms by criminals. That has to be addressed immediately. Law enforcement is calling for the powers that have now been put in through amendments to Bill C-21.
    I would ask my colleague this. Why do the Conservatives seem so hell-bent on filibustering the bill and filibustering the considerations around ghost guns, so law enforcement can actually take action against criminals who use these ghost guns?
    Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge the hard work of my colleague on the public safety committee. I know he is always committed to ensuring that the NDP gets credit for its good work, but a lot of great rural members of Parliament from other parties, including mine, stood up and said that it did not reflect the will of a lot of their constituents. I am grateful for all of those voices. That is how this place works, and I thank the member for bringing those voices forward.
    However, to the substantive question, I do not know why the Conservatives are so hell-bent on preventing this bill from going forward. It is responsible gun legalisation. We are standing up and ensuring that the voices of law enforcement, victims and many other groups are heard.
     The only group that the Conservatives are standing up for is the gun lobby, and very consistently. They have been keynoting at gun lobby events. They have been fundraising off its back. They have been using the same rhetoric in the House of Commons and on their social media. It is disgraceful to be using that NRA-style rhetoric in the conduct of our work as Canadian parliamentarians. This is not the United States. We do not want to have outcomes like they do in the United States with respect to gun crime. We have a safe country because we have responsible gun laws, and these are the next steps to that.
    I would like to thank the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby for his hard work.
    Mr. Speaker, over the last decade, 81% of violent crimes have increased with the use of guns. The member mentioned future generations being impacted by this. I would ask him if this bill would help alleviate the concerns around an American-style gun culture in the future of Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, one thing I did not get to talk about is all of the investments and programming that the government has made with respect to changing culture and ensuring that there is a place to go and an alternative to crime, particularly in urban areas, so that young men, primarily, have access to sport, the arts, mentors and role models. That is what is missing in so many of those communities: making sure there are services and programs available. I used to work with a justice-involved youth organization called MLSE LaunchPad, in downtown Toronto. It was an extraordinary organization that made sure there were options for kids so they could make good choices. That is exactly what Bill C-21 would do.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about Bill C-21, which was tabled by the Liberal government in May 2022. When Bill C-21 was tabled, the Prime Minister stated that its purpose was to stop gun crime before it starts. Canadians now realize that the purpose of the bill was never to improve public safety, and the proof is in the details.
    Since the Prime Minister came to power, his party has said one thing and done another. Violent crime is on the rise, street gangs do not fear law enforcement due to the Liberals' revolving-door justice system, and Canadians have reason to be afraid.
    The Conservatives never supported this bill because we knew that it was more about Liberal ideology than the safety of Canadians. We knew that it was about confiscating the property of hunters and law-abiding Canadians, because it is not the first time the Liberals have tried to do that. With Bill C-21, the Liberals also added amendments without allowing for debate in the House. It was not until Carey Price spoke out against them publicly that the Liberals cancelled their decision.
    It is now clear that they did not learn anything from that public humiliation, because they are proposing to create an advisory committee that will do their dirty work for them. At the end of that exercise, hunters, sport shooters and law-abiding Canadians will have their property confiscated by this government. Step by step, amendment by amendment, the Liberals will achieve their end goal, and that is why they must be voted out.
    The “red flag” measure in the bill has been rejected by law enforcement and victims' groups like PolyRemembers. This just makes the stench of Liberal hypocrisy even more blatant.
    The government always does the same thing. It claims to have solutions and solemnly promises that it will fix everything, but, as we can see from Bill C-21, it does the opposite. Regulating people whose weapons are already very well regulated will do nothing to improve public safety.
    The “red flag” measure is also being implemented. It is a rule that could potentially have been useful. I thought that the “red flag” measure would apply to cases where a gun owner who has mental health problems is reported, for example. The problem is that, the way the measure was designed, it is the victims who bear the burden of proof.
    This week, we mark Victims and Survivors of Crime Week. We should think about the victims a bit more often. Victims bear the burden of filing a complaint with the court. That makes no sense. It has been denounced by groups like PolyRemembers and many other victims' groups, as well as by the police. Initially, doctors' groups supported the idea but, after taking a closer look, they ultimately said that it made no sense.
    I was at committee when the vote took place. The Bloc Québécois agreed with us on it. We listened to the same presentations from victims' groups. The Conservatives and the Bloc members voted against the “red flag” amendment. We do not know why the Liberals dug in their heels, with the support of their NDP buddies.
    When discussing public safety, we should always put victims and potential victims first. What we understand from the philosophy behind Bill C-21 is that law-abiding citizens are being controlled and victims are not even being listened to, even though they are the main people involved. I look at it from every angle, but I still cannot understand.
    Why is the government, with the support of the NDP, still taking a path that defies all logic? Who is it trying to please and, above all, to what end?
    Ultimately, what we all want, or should want, is to protect public safety and Canadians. Think about what has been done in recent years. Think about the rules that were put in place under Bill C-5, which was implemented last fall. It is a disaster. Even our friends in the Bloc said that they should not have supported the Liberal government with that bill and that changes needed to be made.
    Bill C-75 was passed a few years ago. At the time, the Conservatives once again pointed out that the legislation was shoddy, particularly with respect to bail. Today, the government sees that it did a bad job drafting the legislation and that it is no good.
    Every time, the government accuses the Conservatives of wanting to be hard on criminals.

  (1210)  

    Meanwhile, it develops and passes legislation that gives criminals a lot of latitude. Ultimately, criminals make a mockery of the justice system—and again, the victims pay the price. The victims do not understand.
    As proof, since the government took power in 2015 and implemented all these changes, there has been a 32% increase in violent crimes. That is quite clear.
    We can see the signs. Criminals are not afraid. Criminals are making a mockery of the justice system. They are making a mockery of law enforcement. Unfortunately, the police must enforce the law and the courts must apply the law as it is passed here in the House. Their hands are tied. Criminals see that and scoff at the whole thing.
    A few weeks ago, I introduced Bill C-325, which will be debated when we return in two weeks. My bill addresses three things. The first is conditional release. I recently learned that some prisoners accused of serious and violent crimes, drug trafficking crimes or other crimes who are granted conditional release face no consequences when they fail to comply with the conditions. The police arrive, they see a criminal who is not complying with their conditions and all they can do is submit a report to the parole officer. I learned that, in 2014, one of our former colleagues had introduced a private member’s bill to address that. Unfortunately an election was called. My bill seeks to change the law to bring in consequences for breaching conditions of release.
    The second element of my bill provides that parole officers must report to authorities when one of their “clients” is not complying with their conditions. In such cases, the parole officer must report to the police so there can be an arrest. We are talking about violent offenders.
    The third element of my bill seeks to correct the problem that was created by Bill C-5, namely allowing violent criminals to serve a sentence in the community, watching Netflix at home. People saw what happened last fall. This makes no sense. It does not work. One of the components of Bill C-325 amends the Criminal Code to put an end to these situations that show the public how criminals are laughing at the justice system. That is not how we should be living in Canada. I will discuss my bill in greater detail in two weeks.
    I will come back to Bill C-21. Me, I am a gun owner. When the Liberals accused us of being in the pay of the gun lobby, I felt personally targeted, since I am a gun owner myself. I have my licences. I have everything required. I am not a criminal. I passed my tests. Moreover, Quebec has the Act to protect persons with regard to activities involving firearms, the former Bill 9, which contains additional measures to ensure compliance. Membership in a gun club is mandatory. People must go there to shoot at least once a year to abide by the law in Quebec.
    Therefore, when we look at all the rules in place that people must obey, I do not see why we should suddenly feel like criminals. Bill C-21 is directly aimed at people like me. I began shooting at the age of 17 in the Canadian Armed Forces. I have always obeyed the law. I have always done what I was asked to do. Daily checks are conducted in the RCMP system to ensure that law-abiding people with registered licences obey the law. That is what is done.
    Why am I now being targeted by people saying I am a criminal and in the pay of lobbies when I have my licences and obey the law?

  (1215)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I will get a chance to expand upon this, but members should not try to fool anyone who is following this particular debate. The Conservative Party of Canada has consistently spread misinformation, whether it has been by trying to give the impression to hunters that we are after their guns, or whether it has been on indigenous rights. I believe it is being done intentionally for one reason, and that is to raise funds.
    The question I would put to the member opposite is the same question I asked his colleague: When will the Conservative Party put the safety of Canadians ahead of raising money for its political party?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to my colleague’s question. What disinformation have we spread?
    When the G-4 and G-46 amendments were presented in November, everyone wondered what that was about. First, Carey Price posted great social media posts to ask why he was being attacked.
    Everyone, even the NDP, had to work very hard in the corners. The Bloc Québécois said that this was not going to work. Where is the disinformation? Were some models of guns on that list common hunting rifles used by hunters and indigenous peoples? The answer is yes. That is why the amendments were withdrawn.
    Now they have come up with another way of reworking it. They will ask a committee to draw up a new list of firearms, in the end. That is how they will wash their hands of any responsibility. Where is the disinformation? They have directly attacked hunters and indigenous peoples.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not strictly have questions. Instead, I have comments on what I have learned from my colleague's speech.
    He began by saying that the Conservative Party never supported Bill C-21. I would remind him that in committee, the Conservative Party voted in favour of most of the amendments that were on the table. However, it is understandable that they were particularly in favour of measures on ghost weapons and yellow flags, so it is not entirely true to say that they are against everything in it.
    Next, I have a lot of respect for my colleague, but I would be careful before praising Carey Price. He knows that very well. We remember that when Carey Price posted his photo with a firearm in hand that was not even affected by Bill C-21, he did so praising a firearms lobby that offered a promotional code to its members for lobby promotional material or equipment by using the code “Poly”. This is a reference to the Polytechnique killings that took place some years ago and it offered this to its members. I find that disgusting.
    Now, the Conservative Party says that Carey Price knows what he is talking about. I am a hockey fan and I have a lot of respect for Carey Price's talent, but I would be careful before praising someone who praised a firearms lobby and uses the promotional code “Poly”. I will reassure him. He says that the government takes him for a criminal because he has a permit and he will no longer be able to be a sport shooter and continue to practice. If he has a permit at this time, he can continue to practise his sport. The freeze means that there are people who do not have a permit at this time and they will not be able to get one in the future.

  (1220)  

    Mr. Speaker, indeed, Carey Price did not know that the whole story behind the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights' Polytechnique discount code. I believe that if Carey Price had been aware of it, he would not have endorsed it in this way.
    The fact remains that the principle is quite clear. Setting aside the promotional aspect, which was inappropriate, Carey Price's message essentially was to flag the story about amendments G-4 and G-46, which were in fact changed. That shows that there was truth in what Carey Price said.
    As far as Bill C-21 is concerned, we are against it. However, we proposed some amendments and supported others, just as we would for any other bill. Still, in the end, we cannot support the bill as a whole. It is a bit like a budget. There are things in a budget that we can support, but if there are too many things that do not suit us, we will vote against it.
    We have never been against gun control in Canada. We are already one of the best-controlled societies in the world with the rules in place. As I said earlier, we have permits, we are monitored and that is great. We are not asking for less. It is just that sometimes, things are done in a way outside of what should be done to ensure general public safety.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to speak to Bill C-21. It is important for us to recognize that often legislation, like the budget, is brought into the chamber that is a reflection of what Canadians expect of the Government of Canada.
    Leger did a poll regarding the manner in which the Government of Canada is moving toward the issue of gun control. There were 84% of Canadians who feel that this government is on the right track when it comes to gun control and the legislation being brought forward.
    I would like to quote an article. The headline is, “MCC report calls for stricter gun laws”, and it states, “The final report of the Mass Casualty Commission (MCC) investigating the April 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia that left 22 people dead makes several recommendations to meaningfully change Canada’s gun laws.” This is significant.
    The commission is a non-partisan body. The chair of the commission, Michael MacDonald, is a retired Nova Scotia chief justice and the other commissioners are Leanne Fitch, who served for seven years as the chief of police for Fredericton Police Force, and Kim Stanton, a lawyer and legal scholar. Many recommendations called for stricter gun laws. This was earlier this year. The article went on to say, “The commission also determined that the safety of women survivors of intimate-partner violence is 'put at risk by the presence of firearms and ammunition in the household.'“
    One of the Conservative members was critical of the red flag. When I think of the red flag component of the legislation, I think of a domestic abuse victim having to be put into a position where the spouse is a gun owner. Under the red flag now, this individual would be able to raise the issue in court and have the person's name kept off the record. I see that as a positive thing. If not directly, indirectly the commission refers to that. Those are the types of things in the legislation.
    We hear members talk about ghost guns, something very real. If we were to check with law enforcement agencies from coast to coast to coast, we would find there is concern about the growing appetite to produce these ghost guns. We need this legislation. It would assist law enforcement officers to deal with this very serious issue. Let us think about it. A 3-D printer and someone with a mischievous criminal mind are a bad combination. The legislation before us would deal with that.
    I want to pick up on a question that I posed to members opposite, because I really do believe that the Conservative Party's primary motivation in opposing this legislation is not because of gun owners, but because of the way Conservatives have manipulated the issue to the degree that they have raised millions of dollars for their party over the years. It is somewhat ironic when we stop and think about it. When the gun registry, for example, came into being, it was actually a Conservative idea. A Conservative senator brought it to Kim Campbell and Kim Campbell moved forward with it. She was a Progressive Conservative prime minister, and I underline the word “progressive”.

  (1225)  

    The current Conservative Party has abandoned that word. It has taken such a hard right turn. The other day, someone sent me a Twitter feed of the current leader of the Conservative Party. I could not believe it. Do we want to talk about motivation to run in elections, feeding conspiracy theories? It is totally amazing how far-fetched the leader of the Conservative Party is. He is in the non-reality zone, if I could put it that way, absolutely fact-free.
    If we take a look at the gun issue, I genuinely believe that the Conservative Party is using this legislation as a mechanism to continue to spread information that just is not true. The member says, well, what kind of information? Trying to give hunters the impression that the government is after their guns: it is hard to believe. It is not true. We are not. There is absolutely no doubt about that, but we would not know based on some of the social media postings that we hear about coming from the Conservative Party.
    At the end of the day, whether it is issues such as the gun registry from many years ago or other types of legislation that have come forward, the far right within the Conservative Party wants to use anything and everything that it can feed to that grouping of people in order to generate funds.
    I think that when we listen to some of the reports that have come out, like I cited at the very beginning with the MCC, an apolitical, non-partisan commission, a commission that everyone supported, the report that it came forward with is very clear.
    If we take a look at the information that we received from Canadians as a whole, such as, as I say, the Leger poll, 84% are saying we are on the right track.
    When we talk about gun crimes, we have actually seen a decrease by 5% between 2020 and 2021.
    Unlike the Conservative Party, we are after illegal guns that are coming up from the United States. Last year, 1,200 guns and tens of thousands of weapons were seized at the border. I will compare that to any year of Stephen Harper.
    It is a combination of things that this government is doing to make our communities safer when it comes to gun violence, whether it is budget measures, supporting our border control officers, providing supports for law enforcement officers or enhancing the tools that are going to make a difference.
    These are all the types of actions that this government has taken in response to what we know Canadians are genuinely concerned about.
    I would suggest that my Conservative friends need to put the safety and concerns of Canadians ahead of political party financing and fundraising, to look in the mirror and understand the true value of this legislation, which is supported by all members, except for the Conservative members, I must say, and get behind it.
    This is a good opportunity for them to take a flip-flop and support this legislation. By supporting this legislation, they would be telling Canadians that they support safer communities. They support legislation that is going to make a positive difference.
    That is a powerful message and, coincidence would have it, it is factual and it would be nice to see coming from the Conservative Party.

  (1230)  

    Mr. Speaker, as a rural member of Parliament, I find it deeply troubling that it seems to be that, of all the left-leaning parties in this House, the only people the Liberals can get to speak to this legislation seem to be urban members of Parliament. There are Liberal members of Parliament who have a very different view, but the Liberals even tried to silence those opinions from being shared at committee. They are censoring them and it is absolutely shameful.
    The conversation around flip-flops is something. Can the member acknowledge that the Liberals have flip-flopped so many times on the gun issue? It was the Liberal Prime Minister, when he first ran in 2015, who promised Canadians that he would not come after their guns and promised that he would not bring back a front or backdoor gun registry. He bragged about being able to play with the weapons of his protection detail when he was a kid. Supposedly, at one point, he understood it, yet now we have the Prime Minister who has said there are farmers and hunters who will lose their guns because of this legislation.
    He wants to talk about flip-flops. Can the member at least acknowledged that the Liberals have flipped and flopped so many times on this issue? They are playing politics that are damaging the rights of so many Canadians who are simply looking for security when it comes to firearms ownership. The law-abiding individuals who own those guns in our communities, the indigenous folks who own those guns in our communities and so many others, are sick and tired of being targeted by the Liberal partisans.

  (1235)  

    Again, just a reminder to keep questions and comments as short as possible so everyone can participate.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Mr. Speaker, the member just made my point. He is giving a false impression. He is trying to say to farmers, hunters and indigenous people that we are going to take away their guns. That is balderdash. That is not the case.
    Does the member not realize that he is doing a great disservice to the whole debate, a debate that Canadians from coast to coast are concerned about? They want safer communities. This legislation would provide safer communities.
    On the record, in terms of rural versus urban, the member might note that I periodically get the chance to stand up and address legislation. I always welcome that. I never look at it as an urban-rural split. I like to think that I am very sensitive to all rural issues. It is one of the reasons I spend a lot of time talking about agricultural issues.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased with some of the changes made to Bill C-21 along the way, and I really want to highlight the extraordinary work of my colleague from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia. We saw her take charge and manage this file for the Bloc Québécois. We are all very proud of what has been done on this file, which was very complex and whose path was very chaotic. I believe that the final result is very impressive.
    One of the issues of great concern to people in my riding, and probably in many others as well, is that of airsoft guns, the controversial replica toy guns. Many people back home will be satisfied. As we worked on Bill C-21, we also raised the issue of smuggling, crime and gun trafficking at the border. I would like my colleague from Winnipeg North to tell us more about this.
    What will Bill C-21 do to fight organized crime and gun trafficking at the border?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, right off, I would mention the issue of ghost guns. That is a growing issue that has been raised by law enforcement officers all over the country. I believe this is a great attempt to deal with that specific issue.
    I want to pick up on the member's comments that there has been a great deal of co-operation, in good part because of the NDP and the Bloc. We have seen stronger, healthier legislation than when it was first introduced. It goes to show that if the opposition works with the government and the government works with the opposition, we can have better legislation. We do appreciate that support.
    Uqaqtittiji, I am very proud of the work that my NDP colleagues have done in ensuring that indigenous peoples' rights are protected, that hunters and lawful gun owners are also protected.
    Why is it so important to make sure that this bill is passed right away so we can make sure there is a better sense of public safety in urban settings?
    Mr. Speaker, there is a sense of urgency to the legislation. One of the reasons it is going to be able to pass is because of the support of the New Democrats to bring in the time allocation that will be necessary.
    The Conservative Party of Canada has made it very clear that Conservative members will not support it; they will go out of their way to ensure that this legislation never sees the light of day. Without the support of at least one opposition party, the Liberal government would not be able to get the legislation passed, because we need time allocation. Otherwise, the legislation would not pass because of the commitment by the Conservative Party not to see it pass.
    Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to be able to stand in this place and debate the issues that are so important to my constituents and Canadians.
    It is interesting. As we enter into debate on this subject, I have heard, today and over the course of the last number of months, an emphasis on a massive disconnect that exists. I have heard this in the previous members' speeches. I have been hearing it in questions and comments. I heard it at committee. I was a regular member of the public safety committee in the previous Parliament, but not in this Parliament. However, I had the chance to participate in some of those meetings.
    We are seeing a massive disconnect between rural and urban Canada. There are many Liberals who would try to diminish that and use fanciful language to suggest that they are somehow listening to those voices and whatnot. However, I can say very clearly that when I have canvassed and spoken with many constituents, they feel entirely abandoned by the Liberal government and say that its political and ideological agenda is unfairly targeting them.
    We are debating Bill C-21. Many Canadians have followed this debate very closely. It is interesting, because the debate has evolved quite substantially. I am going to go back to 2015; at that time, we had the then leader of the Liberal Party, who is now Prime Minister, making it very clear that he thought that the situation with firearms in Canada was in a good place. He promised not to bring back a gun registry. He was quoted saying that his protection detail used to let him play with their service revolvers and that he had a great deal of respect for those firearms owners.
    However, it seems that as the years have gone by, scandals have erupted, and there has been a gradual diminishment of Liberal support from across the country. Thus, the Liberals seem to fall back on an old tactic. When they are failing, they go back to attacking those whom they think they can score political points against.
    I would suggest that with the introduction and the amendments that were initially proposed, and now as the Liberals have rammed through this legislation that is supposed to be about firearms and is messaged in the guise of public safety, it is really just an attack. It is an attack from a government that is floundering and needing to change the channel from scandals, mismanagement and where the country is at, because so many Canadians are suffering.
    Instead of dealing with the real issues that Canadians are suffering from, the Liberals are saying, “Look over here.” They are simply going to something that they think they can score political points on. That is cheap politics. It increasingly furthers that rural-urban divide that I mentioned. Moreover, when those sorts of games are played, it does not actually create good public policy. We have seen that here.
    We have a very large bill with a significant level of complexity, with far more than I would be able to fit in a 10-minute speech. However, while the Liberals say that this is about Canadians' safety and taking guns off the streets, it is ironic that they absolutely fail to acknowledge that the problem is not law-abiding firearms owners. The problem is not those who go through training, who keep up their certification and licensing, and who are legally allowed to own firearms in this country.
    There are more than two million firearms owners, many of whom I am proud to represent, coming from a rural area. Those individuals are hunters, sport shooters and farmers. In fact, for many farmers and ranchers, a firearm is a tool. I am not sure the Liberals quite understand this. It is a tool like any other. It is important to acknowledge that.
    Yet, we have the Liberals attacking these individuals with this gun-confiscation regime, and they are saying that it is about public safety. The reality is that it does nothing. In fact, when I asked at committee whether some of the policies that had been brought in at a provincial level had resulted in any reductions in crime, the Liberals could not answer those questions.

  (1240)  

    I think it is ironic and unfortunate that we see the politicization of this issue. We see a Prime Minister who is bogged down by scandal, corruption and mismanagement targeting 2.1 million Canadians for cheap political points. When Canadians can hardly afford to put food on the table, what do the Liberals do? They go back to talking about guns.
    However, I want to talk about the public safety issue specifically, because that is a huge issue. We have seen a massive increase in violent crime. We have seen a massive increase in the illegal use of firearms, yet we see how, instead of the Liberals addressing the real root of the problem, they just go after the easy target of law-abiding firearms owners. They target them instead of doing the hard work that is required to deal with smuggled guns, violent criminal behaviour or a broken bail system.
    The unfortunate reality is that there are Canadians who are dying as a result of violent crime. There are victims, and it is because of a soft-on-crime agenda that the Liberals refuse to acknowledge as part of the problem. My constituents are sick and tired of it. They see how damaging the soft-on-crime agenda is to the public safety of our entire country, including rural and urban areas and everywhere in between. However, instead of doing anything about it, the Liberals say it is those who are trained and vetted, those who have a check run against them in the police system every single day to ensure that they continue to be allowed to own those firearms.
    The fact is that law-abiding firearms owners are some of the least likely individuals in this country to commit a crime. Members from the Liberal Party talk about not wanting to import American-style politics into the debate. It is that party that is playing those sorts of divisive games and trying to throw 2.1 million Canadians under the bus so they can score a few points. Further to that, it was not Conservatives who had a former presidential candidate come and speak to their party convention, it was the Liberals. Since they are spouting off rhetoric about firearms, I would simply ask the question of whether they agree with Hillary Clinton's position on the second amendment, because she is pretty pro-gun compared with some of the things they are saying.
    The hypocrisy is rich, and the consequence is that the Liberals' dividing for political gain is putting many of my constituents in an untenable position. I have many constituents who are proud of that rural heritage, that sporting heritage and that conservation heritage. I do not have time to get into the conservation aspect of hunting and how important it is for wildlife management across this country. We see how the Liberals are throwing that away.
     I would just note a point I made in committee yesterday. We see a virtual ban on handguns. We see so many firearms, including hunting rifles, that will be confiscated. We see that the Liberals have devastated many small business owners across the country, those who would own gun shops and sporting goods stores. The Liberals are pretty quick to accuse regular, law-abiding Canadians of all the worst possible things, yet even in the bill there is a carve-out for federal police forces.
    For example, there is the ability of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to allow its peace officers to carry firearms. Moreover, all of us in this place very much appreciate the good work that our security personnel do around here. They carry guns, and that is okay. We have the RCMP, municipal police forces and provincial police forces; their officers all carry guns, and that is okay. The Liberals are saying that they want the protection but that they do not trust Canadians.
    We have here a massive disconnect between how one would actually solve concerns related to public safety and how the Liberals are simply taking an easy path, playing cheap politics and targeting many of my constituents. I would suggest that there is a clear difference in the way Conservatives would approach issues of public safety in this country. There is a political party that will go after those who do not commit the crimes and let those who do commit them back out on the streets, with weak bail and parole systems that are literally seeing people killed. That is not an exaggeration.
    What is the Conservative plan? We hear often from the Liberals that they want to hear the Conservative plan, so I will give a bit of what that looks like. We would stop going after those who are least likely to commit the crimes and put the violent repeat offenders behind bars, where they belong. We would ensure that a true balance was met so that Canadians could trust the fact that they are not being targeted simply because they go through the process and are trusted to own a firearm, unlike those who are not.

  (1245)  

    Mr. Speaker, we can talk about cheap politics, petty games and filibusters. Indeed, my colleague opposite talked about some of the petty games, but he did not reference the fact that so much of the time that they have been asking for has been wasted by the Conservatives through this filibuster process.
    As the gun lobby is attacking members of Parliament like me on social media for standing up for public safety and responsible gun laws, it is simultaneously retweeting Conservative MPs and the leader of the Conservative Party. It seems to me now that, similar to the United States, the Canadian gun lobby and the Conservative Party of Canada are one and the same. They are clearly bed buddies.
    My colleague said that we are all urban MPs on this side, but I am not. I am a semi-rural MP, and I have a lot of avid hunters and farmers in my community as well.
    However, I have two questions. First, do Canadians need AR15s to protect their farms? Do they use them for hunting? Do they use assault-style weapons and weapons of war for these “sports”, as he put it? Second, has the member opposite ever benefited from fundraising? Has he ever keynoted a gala for the Canadian gun lobby, as many of his colleagues have?

  (1250)  

    Mr. Speaker, the member would certainly be welcome to come and visit some of the rural communities that are absolutely furious and frustrated with how they are so quick to attack those who choose to follow the law versus those who do not.
    If the member wants to talk about American-style politics, who headlined their convention? It was a supporter of the second amendment, Hillary Clinton. The hypocrisy is rich coming from that party. Specifically, it is interesting that the member was pretty quick to brag about his history in the Olympics in his pre-political life, yet what the bill would actually do, and a common-sense amendment—
    I believe we have a point of order.
    The hon. member for Milton.
    Mr. Speaker, every time the member gets up, he accuses me of bragging about something. I do not have to brag about going to the Olympics. I represented Canada four times. That is not bragging; it is a fact. I am not bragging—
    That is not a point of order; we are getting into debate.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, I certainly would brag about the member going to the Olympics. I wish I could accomplish such a feat.
    Again, we are descending pretty deep into debate here.
    The hon. member for Milton.
    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand up in this House to make sure that the rights of both responsible gun owners and those who aspire to compete in the Olympics are upheld, which the legislation does.
    Again, we are into debate.
     The hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot.
    Mr. Speaker, when a common-sense amendment was brought forward to expand the exemptions to various associations related to sport shooting, including those who went to the Olympics, the Liberals voted against it. In fact, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety said that they want to ban handguns. Therefore, it is a little bit rich to have the elitist-type attitude coming from members opposite, who would target law-abiding Canadians, while we see criminals walking free on our streets. Canadians can judge for themselves.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech and his passion in this particular area. One of the things he mentioned was the training aspect, which is interesting, along with the amendments to the bill. I would also like to commend my colleague from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia for her leadership in getting hunting guns removed from the bill, for example.
    Could this aspect be strengthened? What is the role of a shooting range in a given municipality or region? Is it too easy to get a permit? These are legitimate questions that are being raised under the circumstances. I myself obtained a firearms possession and acquisition licence without ever having fired a shot in my life, which is a bit ironic. Hunting has become a hobby for me, a way to spend some quality time with my family in the woods.
    Can this aspect be strengthened? Who does this gun possession legislation apply to, other than the black market references? How can we make sure it targets the criminals?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, there are unique constitutional exemptions that place some of the roles of the chief firearms officers directly into the hands of provinces. I am sure the member from the Bloc Québécois, especially with his attitude toward Quebec, provincial autonomy and whatnot, would be very much onside with ensuring the Liberals would respect provincial jurisdiction. It is pretty evident that they do not.
    I do applaud him because he, unlike so many in the House, has taken the time to get what I am assuming is a possession and acquisition licence, which would require going through a course to learn how to use a firearm and the respect required. Those of us in the House, who are making the rules, regulations and laws surrounding so many different issues, all make an effort to engage on the subject matter. We may not be able to become experts, but we should do our best to learn and engage with the subject matter.
    I applaud any member of this place who would take the time to get their PAL to understand the rules and regulations as they are now. Those who go through that process would learn that maybe we have a pretty good system designed to keep Canadians safe. While they target those individuals who follow the law, they are letting criminals out on our streets and people are dying as a result.

  (1255)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thought the logic of the last argument made by the member for Battle River—Crowfoot was quite fascinating. According to him, I should not be able to make any laws on CPP or OAS, for example, because I have never been the recipient of either of those programs. Nonetheless, I digress.
    This bill—
    There is a lot of noise going on in the anteroom. I want to make sure the lobbies know to keep their doors closed, and if there are people coming to visit us, they keep them closed.
    There we go. I will be able to hear the member now. The hon. parliamentary secretary has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, Conservatives are trying to paint this bill as something else, but in their defence, they have spent so much time doing that, that it would be literally impossible for them to try to backtrack on it. The member for Battle River—Crowfoot has shared so much misinformation about this bill, as have so many other Conservatives, that to try to reverse that position now would be blatant hypocrisy. They have no choice but to continue to push the same agenda. I feel for the situation they are in.
    This bill would primarily do three things: put a freeze on handguns; introduce the red and yellow flags, which I will speak about in a couple of minutes; and combat smuggling. In particular, for crimes related to smuggling, there would be an increase in the penalty from 10 years' imprisonment to 14 years' imprisonment.
    Let us start with some of the statistics from Statistics Canada, which are quite contradictory to what the member for Battle River—Crowfoot said a few moments ago. According to Statistics Canada, gun crime in Canada is down 5% between 2020 and 2021. In 2022, as the other parliamentary secretary said before me, 1,200 guns and 73,000 weapons were seized at the border. Those are 100% and 50% respective increases from 2021. In Toronto, one of the major cities in Canada, gun violence dropped by 22% between 2020 and 2021.
     Eighty-four per cent of Canadians believe that the government is on the right track in its reforms to gun control. The 16% of Canadians that remains, whom the Conservatives are apparently working hard to make so much money off of through fundraising, must be incredibly important to them for them to be laser-focused on this particular issue and that 16% of Canadians.
    The red flag provisions, as I alluded to in my opening, would allow for the petition of an individual to the court for emergency prohibition purposes. That is extremely important because another statistic is that a woman who lives in a household that has a gun in that household is statistically five times more likely to become a victim of violence that involves that weapon. That is a statistical fact. What we are trying to do with this red flag provision is give potential victims the opportunity to flag to the court that perhaps this gun should not be in the household. How do Conservatives respond to that? The member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, in committee, said that this would increase “malicious false claims”.
    The default reaction of the Conservatives is not how do we help protect women who we know are the victims more often than not? How we protect them is not the member's concern. His default concern is about the malicious people who are out to get their former spouse or farmer partner and that people are going to make a fake report so they can get that weapon taken away. That is the Conservatives' concern. Their concern is not the potential victims of the violence, and I find that extremely troubling. The 16% of the population in Canada who do not agree with the gun control reform we are bringing in must have a lot of money because that is whom the Conservatives are laser-focused on.
    I am reminded of the 2021 election. I really wish I could use a prop in the House because, if I could, I would hold it up and show it to everybody, but I will not. I will describe it to members. It came into my riding.
    By the way, I am in a semi-rural riding. I hope it is rural enough for the Conservative members who were making fun of the member for Milton during his last question for claiming that he has a semi-rural riding. The islands in my riding, in addition to pretty much all of the areas north of the 401 and east of the Cataraqui River in Kingston and the Islands, are rural areas.

  (1300)  

     I come from a strong family of hunters. All three of my mother's brothers hunt and own hunting properties in Ontario. My late father-in-law grew up in a hunting lodge where visitors from Canada and the United States would come to be taught how to hunt, fish and explore the outdoors responsibly, so I take great offence to the members who come into the House to try to lecture other members because they believe their ridings are not rural enough.
    Nonetheless, the National Firearms Association showed up in my riding, as it did in many other ridings in the 2021 election, dropping off pamphlets at doors that looked an awful lot like the pamphlets we were already delivering. It had literally copied the Prime Minister's stock photo, put the Liberal red on it, and had “Meet Your Liberal Team” written on it, with a QR code to get to the website. By the way, that website is still up right now, as I just went to it.
    I heard the back-and-forth earlier with the member for Battle River—Crowfoot, who challenged the assertion made by the parliamentary secretary and member for Milton that the gun lobby in Canada and the Conservative Party are one in the same. If we go to that website, we can literally see every single question from Conservatives in period question on it. That website does not only talk about gun laws. Literally every Conservative grievance is there, so, yes, there is a lot of money to be made in this, as the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader said earlier.
    Conservatives are laser-focused on that. They had no problem encouraging their partners to go to ridings to drop off these pamphlets to try to trick Canadians into thinking it was a genuine “Meet Your Liberal Team” flyer to go to the website to see the candidates who were running. However, this was a flyer that was printed, manufactured and links to a website that is all under the control of the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights, a branch of the Conservative Party of Canada.
    I think it is extremely unfortunate, as members have said before me, that time and again Conservative members get up in the House to misrepresent the law we are creating, the facts and the statistics, all in the name of raising more money. They are trying to capitalize off this as much as possible. Who knows, maybe later today we will have the Leader of the Opposition filming a video as he is running out of the House of Commons, with the mace in the background, as he did with a previous bill we had, just to raise a last bit of money before the issue is dead. It is shameful that His Majesty's opposition operates in this way, yet we see it time and again.
    Canadians should take great comfort in knowing that, despite the differences that exist between the Liberals, the Bloc Québécois, the NDP and the Green Party, we are all united around this legislation because we know it is what Canadians want. We know it is the right step forward, and there are adults in this room who are making sure that we do everything we can for the safety of Canadians throughout our country. Unfortunately, the Conservatives are not acting that way.

  (1305)  

    Uqaqtittiji, I am very proud of the work the NDP has done to ensure that the rights of indigenous peoples are being protected. I wonder if the member could educate us on what the NDP amendment to add section 35 rights would mean for indigenous peoples.
    Mr. Speaker, the primary objective of the NDP was to ensure there were no unintended consequences of the bill that would affect indigenous communities throughout our country and their ability to continue to hunt and use firearms in a safe manner for their intended purpose of hunting.
    I applaud the NDP, quite frankly, for working with the government and doing the right thing at committee by trying to put forward meaningful amendments to the benefit of the intent of the bill, as opposed to Conservatives, who were going to committee and criticizing amendments as tools that would result in people making false claims to the courts about weapons in their household.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the change-up in the routine here. I wanted to ask my hon. colleague from Kingston and the Islands about this. I am good friends with the hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot. On both sides of this House I want to identify this particular type of polarization and hope that we can arrest it.
    My friend from Battle River—Crowfoot said that the Liberals did not care what rural Canadians think and so on and so forth. Rural Canadians are just as much at risk from gun violence as anyone else. I think in our language and the way we talk about things in this place we should be mindful of the mass casualty report of the killings in Nova Scotia from April 2020. It is very clear, about those horrific days, that the report revealed that for more than a decade before various reports went into the RCMP that this particular individual had guns, legal guns and illegal guns, and no one followed up. The whole thing was in the context of gender-based violence and domestic violence and the police took the view that that was a lesser offence than other things.
    I just want us to find a way in this place to get over what I think is societal long COVID and start working together to protect Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member made a very good point. For some reason, people tend to think that gun violence is something that only happens in downtown Toronto. Gun violence happens right across our country in urban areas and in rural areas.
    In particular, the example that she referenced would have been a situation where the red flag provision could have come in, such as with a petition to the court in an emergency circumstance where an individual has grave concern over weapons in a household that are being stored or could potentially be used in a violent manner.
    Mr. Speaker, as we come to report stage on this piece of legislation, one of the concerning things that the Minister of Public Safety has said is that there will be a creation of a firearms advisory committee. It is unknown at this point, in advance of this bill passing, what the makeup of that committee will be like, who is going to be on it and what decisions it will be making.
    We do know that it is going to look at certain firearms and make recommendations to the government. Then it will be up to the government through an order in council to determine whether in fact it is going to ban these firearms. It is effectively a backdoor way of banning firearms that the committee would advise to be banned and that the government wants to ban.
    I am wondering if the hon. member has any opinion as to whether in fact this should be the case in the absence of any information and whether this is a good idea or not.

  (1310)  

    Mr. Speaker, other than the fact that the minister has indicated he is going to do something, the rest of the question is based on a hypothetical situation that the member suggested might be the case or may happen. I would be reluctant to comment on the hypothetical situation other than to say that I do not have any other information than he would at this point with respect to what the minister will be bringing forward exactly. When that does come forward, I look forward to reviewing it and discussing it at that time.

[Translation]

    There is a point of order.

[English]

    The hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very sorry to interrupt my colleague from the Bloc.
    In one of the previous questions, the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands referenced that the worst shooter in Canadian history was legally allowed to own guns. That is false. He was under a prohibition order. They were not legal guns. There should be an apology.
    That is a part of debate so it is not a point of order.
    The hon. member for Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it was December 6, 1989, at École Polytechnique de Montréal, January 29, 2017, at the Quebec City mosque and so many other dates. Those dates need to resonate with my colleagues when they consider voting on this bill.
    The Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of Bill C-21. We can say without hesitation that the Bloc Québécois's contribution is undoubtedly why this bill is finally acceptable. I would like to note the exceptional work of my colleague from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, without whom this bill would certainly not have progressed in the same way.
    That said, it is far from perfect, as it was initially botched by the government. We can see that, as with Bill C-10, Bill C-11 and so many other bills, the Liberal signature is to introduce flawed bills and be able to brag about having done this and that. In reality, it is others who improve them and deal with the problems and shortcomings of each bill that the government proposes. Bill C-21 is a flagrant example.
    The bill was tabled in May 2020. It was essentially a freeze on handgun acquisitions and a grandfather clause. In that respect, the government did in effect prohibit most models of assault rifles with its order in council on May 1, 2020, which was issued quickly, a short time after the killings in Portapique, Nova Scotia, but several models were not covered, while new models continue to enter the market. Also, the prohibition on May 1, 2020, did not cover all “modern” assault weapons, thus allowing weapons like the very popular SKS, which is frequently used in mass shootings in Canada, to remain legal.
    In the briefing to members and political staffers, officials also confirmed that the government planned to amend the bill to add other measures, which was unheard of for a newly tabled bill. There was no rhyme or reason.
    In other words, the bill was not at all ready and the government only tabled it to ride the wave of support for gun control following the latest unfortunate shooting. That is called opportunism. I would even add a real lack of desire to be truly effective. In short, the government was not necessarily able to bring forward a fair and reasoned bill, but action was required because it was the right time and looked good. The results are there.
    In fall 2022, the government tabled a package of amendments to its own bill. More than 400 pages of amendments were submitted to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, although the studies were already completed. These amendments included new measures to combat ghost weapons, but also a definition of a prohibited assault weapon and a list of more than 300 pages of prohibited weapons.
    Here is another demonstration of what the Liberal government has made us accustomed to: anything. These amendments were tabled without explanation, without briefing and without a press scrum. Even Liberal members of the Committee seemed unable to explain these amendments. The various positions of the advocacy groups have become entangled—that is normal, of course—in a mish-mash of various readings and interpretations, most of which were justified or unjustified, since we were in a sort of grey area.
    By drawing up this list, the government created a host of ambiguities and possibilities for circumvention, and, at the same time, penalized hunters and airsoft sport shooters. This does not include the weapons market already trying to circumvent the list. The concerns kept growing.
    Hunters' fears are a good example. The Bloc Québécois listened to hunters. We therefore proposed reopening the study so that experts could be brought in to testify on the matter of assault weapons. The Bloc Québécois opposed the list in the Criminal Code because it made it needlessly long. The Criminal Code is not a real-time reflection of models of weapons and their classification.
    It is my colleague from Avignon—La Métis—Matane—Matapédia who was a guiding light and kept the reason for logic throughout the process. Through pressure from all over, her team's research and her consultations with scientists and advocacy groups, she and the Bloc Québécois research team made a big difference in the study process of this bill.
    It makes me very proud, today, to take the floor and re-tell the entire story. The government then tabled a gag order to quickly conclude the study of Bill C-21.

  (1315)  

    However, the government itself is responsible for the slow progress of Bill C-21. It preferred to bring forward an incomplete bill quickly after the killings rather than take a few more months to table a complete bill.
    Despite these shortcomings, the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of Bill C-21. Initially, the bill was criticized by hunters, pro-firearms control groups and air gun enthusiasts. Thanks to the Bloc Québécois, it was improved and satisfied most of the groups. Again, the Bloc was proactive and made such fair proposals that they could not be refused.
    The government has acted softly for years, leading to gun violence everywhere, particularly in Montreal. Prohibited weapons are circulating illegally. Bill C-21 is a poultice on a wooden leg, as my father would say. It is not nothing, but it is little, and the time wasted with the parliamentary exercise of cobbling together a badly designed bill does not save time. However, time is running out.
    It was a mistake to try to create a bill full of shortcomings, that practically put hunters, sports enthusiasts and killers in the same boat. What a lack of will and respect for the afflicted, the victims, and for the innocent. In fact, the ultimate urgency was to table a bill developed by experts and scientists and improved by consultations with associations and as many representations as needed. The government is proposing quite the contrary, and that is unfortunate.
    As usual, the Bloc is being valiant. We have done the work by bypassing and adapting the limitations and mistakes of the government. The next step is urgent. Weapons are flowing into Canada. What will the names of the next victims be? Who will lose a mother, a father, a daughter or a neighbour? What does the Liberal government plan to do to prevent illegal weapons from crossing the border?
    I hope it will learn from its mistakes. Above all, I hope that the next steps in the fight against crime will be firm and frank gestures, based on clear legislation and taking into account the realities and needs of organizations that oversee, that work and that intervene in the area of public safety.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate a number of the comments that the member has put on the record, but I would like to emphasize that, as a government, it is more than just the legislation. She expresses a little bit of disappointment. Maybe I can give her some words of encouragement.
    We have seen, for example, a very high number of guns being confiscated at the border in the year before. I would suggest that this was probably one of the higher years of gun confiscations that we have seen, maybe, in the last decade-plus. I think that we have seen budgetary measures that support our border controls, as well as enhancements for law enforcement officers. There has been the legislation that we are talking about today. I think that, for the first time in a long time, we actually have a government that understands the issue, and 84% of Canadians, through a Leger poll, are indicating that the Government of Canada is on the right track.
    Could she provide her thoughts in regard to the overall approach of the government in dealing with this very serious issue?

  (1320)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I will not list what is happening in Montreal.
    Although I applaud the efforts of our government, this obviously does not solve the problems, since killings are causing the dead to pile up. It is absolutely necessary to do things that I would describe as more focused and more draconian, and probably invest more in all kinds of areas.
    It is not just border control. There is also education. There is also psychological support in social matters. I welcome the government's efforts, but clearly, in Montreal alone, the feeling is that it is not enough.
    Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague for her speech. That called to me when she said that they listened to people, hunters and so on.
    I remember very well that from the beginning, they were in complete agreement on Bill C-21. One of her colleagues was even in favour of amendment G-4 and was very comfortable tabling it. All of a sudden, they turned right around.
    What happened for them to, first of all, be in full agreement with the Liberals and the NDP and then, after seeing that there was some grumbling, they went back over their work?
    I would like to know what my colleague thinks of the decision by her colleague, who was very comfortable with amendment G-4.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his constructive question.
    We agreed on the principle of the bill and on the urgent need to pass a bill until we realized the shortcomings of the bill. Consultations were then held. It was in light of the consultations on the ground that we revised our priorities and adjusted the steps taken in committee so that the bill would best reflect what the representatives of each group had told us. That is the direction of our party.
    Mr. Speaker, the bill will ban ghost guns. It will also close loopholes for manufacturers and importers. As members know, right now, firearms can be imported and classified by the companies themselves, which makes no sense.
    I know that the Bloc Québécois is tabling an amendment at report stage to change that. That is something we agree on. Can the member talk about the importance of closing these loopholes and ensuring that ghost guns are no longer available in Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, there are obviously all kinds of variables that dictate whether we feel we can align ourselves with the NDP and the government. Sometimes we can and other times, we cannot. I would like to point out that, throughout the process, the NDP also insisted on watering down the ban on assault weapons and the handgun freeze, but that the Bloc Québécois succeeded in thwarting most of the NDP's tactics in this regard. There are times when we oppose their position and there are times when we agree with them. That is part of the parliamentary process.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise to speak on behalf of my constituents of Niagara West once again. I never take this privilege for granted and I always want to thank them for their trust in me.
    This time I rise to relay my constituents' concerns on the Liberal government bill, Bill C-21. My office received hundreds of regular mail, phone calls and emails disagreeing with what this bill would do. Since its introduction, Bill C-21 has had a long journey. I want to assure folks in my riding who are watching today that I have fought against this bill every step of the way.
    Let me start by acknowledging something that always comes up in conversations around firearms, perhaps rightly so. Yes, gun crime in Canada is a real problem, but let us not forget that gun crime in Canada is almost always committed with illegal guns, trafficked and smuggled over the border from the United States. Last month, a police operation in Toronto seized 173 firearms and over 1,400 rounds of ammunition. All of that was smuggled across the border.
    Since the Liberals were elected in 2015, violent crime has increased by 32%, and gang-related murders have doubled. Let us contrast that with the previous Conservative government, which saw a record 33% drop in gun crimes. That is a huge difference and a huge difference in approaches. Today, in cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, there is a real and concerning gang presence.
    Criminals and their illegal guns put Canadians at risk every single day. This is a problem that needs to be addressed, yet somehow the Prime Minister cannot seem to figure it out or does not want to. In fact, the government is making life easier for violent criminals by repealing mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes with Bill C-5, and made it easier to get bail with Bill C-75. On top of everything, the Liberals continue to fail to stop the flow of illegal guns across the U.S. border.
     We also need to acknowledge that legal firearms in Canada are very tightly regulated. The process to obtain one is long and can take several months. Someone who wants to obtain a firearm legally must take safety courses, exams and go through rigorous background checks. After the process is complete, the firearm can only be used at a range and to hunt.
    We would think that with all these safety precautions, legal gun owners would be the least of the government's worry. However, they are not. The government seems to think that gang members are attending firearms safety classes and studying diligently for their exams so they can go hunting or shooting on the range after.
     The logic of the Liberals use on legal firearm owners is mind-boggling. It does not seem like they understand a simple fact, which I will repeat. The overwhelming majority of guns used to commit crimes are smuggled into Canada through the U.S. border and are obtained illegally.
    Instead of addressing the root cause of gun crime, the Prime Minister takes the easy route and groups our law-abiding gun-owning grandpas with some of Canada's worst criminals. While the government attacks hunters and sport shooters, criminals and gang members stock up on guns and continue to use them to cause mayhem on our streets. For some reason, the government believes that taking away legal guns will solve crimes committed by illegal guns.
    Over eight long years of the tired government, it seems the Prime Minister just cannot stop taking things for himself. He wants to take Canadians' money by skyrocketing taxes, their freedoms and, now, their legal firearms.
     Back in 2020, the then Minister of Public Safety's office said the government would not target guns designed for hunting. In 2023, it has done exactly the opposite. In 2020, it also said it would treat law-abiding gun owners with fairness and respect. In 2023, that could not be further from the truth.
    For millions of Canadians, legal firearms ownership is a way of life. It is a culture that feeds families and ties communities together.
     For example, sport shooting clubs in my riding and across the country provide opportunities for people to learn about firearms. They train and learn how to use them safely and responsibly. These clubs are not a hub for criminal activity, but rather they give both recreation and education to folks who are interested in hunting or sports shooting.
    For hunters, guns are not just a tool of recreation, but also a tool with which they feed their families. For millions of Canadians, hunting is a means to feed their family, bond with others and connect with their culture. Humans have lived off the land by hunting for many generations, but the Prime Minister wants to end this lifestyle. Hunters, farmers, sport shooters, indigenous people and so many others all use their firearms for benefit, yet the government seems to think they are one of Canada's biggest threats.

  (1325)  

    As I mentioned earlier, I have received an incredible volume of correspondence from constituents who are all against this bill. These are usually folks who acknowledge the risk illegal and smuggled firearms pose to the safety of our communities. However, they are also very clear that legal gun ownership is not the issue. These folks are also confused as to why they are being targeted and are worried their legally obtained hunting rifles will be taken away.
    As we heard throughout the day, the opposition to this misguided bill is not just in my riding but also across the country, and even in some ridings of the Liberal Party. Even some NDP members oppose it. However, do they admit that anymore? They will need to answer to their constituents when they return to their ridings. I would love to hear the reasons they will give their constituents. More than likely it will just be Liberal talking points.
    In the face of the strong opposition to the bill, the Prime Minister is trying to do everything he can to ram this bill through Parliament. He knows Canadians are against it. In my view, I think he is just desperate to make it seem like he is in control. It is a destructive pattern I have noticed over the last eight years of trying to gain control over the lives of Canadians, while simultaneously infringing on some of their most basic freedoms.
    This is where I will repeat something I said many times in this place, especially in the last three years, which is to let folks live their lives. Leave them alone. At this point, the Liberals have pushed and rushed Bill C-21 through committee because they do not want to hear some of the views and opinions of hunters, farmers and indigenous people. The government knows what committee witnesses will say about the bill.
    However, this is not happening just in committee. The Liberals are rushing Bill C-21 through the House, to have as little debate as possible here as well. What is even more interesting is their ever-changing terminology. To dodge scrutiny, they are redefining Bill C-21 as a ban on “assault-style” firearms when they are just trying to take the firearms away from law-abiding gun owners. It is that simple.
    The government is trying to make it seem as if this new definition will save hunters and legal gun owners. Instead, all this definition does is give the Liberals more time to reapproach the issue in the fall and come up with another ill-defined and ineffective ban. All this definition does is put hunting rifles and shotguns at risk of being confiscated in the future.
    I also need to mention that farmers are also deeply affected. Farmers use firearms for various important purposes on the family farm, such as protecting cattle from predators or handling pests. Let us be clear that Bill C-21 is not about stopping criminals and it is not about fighting gang violence. The Prime Minister has already admitted and is on record that he wants to ban legal hunting guns, and he said so himself in an interview on CTV.
    This is about the Prime Minister doing everything he can to take more rights away from Canadians. He is not satisfied after three years of wedging, dividing and stigmatizing Canadians at every opportunity possible. If it really were about fighting crime, the Prime Minister would stop removing mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes. It is that simple. He would stop making it easier for criminals to get bail and get back on the streets. Once again, it is that simple.
    Already in 2023, half of the murder suspects in Toronto were out on release. The Liberals try to paint Bill C-21 as being tough on crime. This is ridiculous and they know it. They want the country to believe they are coming in like a knight in shining armour to save the country from an evil dragon, the hunting rifle of one's uncle.
    Canadians see this bill exactly for what it is, a fairy tale. Canadians are tired of the government's fairy tales. They are tired of seeing their rights be diminished and stepped on by the power-hungry, overreaching and intrusive government.
    Let me share what Bill Baranick, a volunteer firearms safety instructor, said about Bill C-21. Bill lives in my riding and he is also a grape grower. He said, “Bill C-21 appears to be nothing more than a wedge issue to be used in the next election. By banning the sale and transfer of legally owned handguns, entire collections and family heirlooms etc. have zero value now, taking hundreds of millions of dollars out of the economy. These firearms cannot be passed down to the next generation or sold. It's a devastating blow to shooting sports in this country as well as affecting thousands of jobs in the firearms industry. C-21 in it's current form needs to be redrafted to be tougher on criminals and addressing root causes of gun violence, and not going after the safest demographic in Canada...legally licensed, daily vetted women and men of the hunting and sport shooting community.”
    I am absolutely in when it comes to fighting crime with tough measures. None of us on this side of the House do not support that issue. We very much thing that when it comes to fighting crime we need to have tough measures.
    I think I can speak for my Conservative colleagues that we must work together as a country to fight gun violence and work toward safer streets. However, how do we do this? It is simple. We need to do this by tackling illegal guns used in criminal activities, targeting gun smugglers and being tough on gang activity. We must bring back serious sentences for violent gun offenders, while supporting common-sense policies for farmers, sports shooters and indigenous peoples.

  (1330)  

    What we must not do is take away the rights and freedoms of lawful Canadians. The rights of lawful gun-owning Canadians must be respected.
    Mr. Speaker, the people I know in my community who are gun owners are among the most sterling citizens. They have a tremendous sense of responsibility. I would say that if their civic duty was shared by all Canadians, we would be better off as a society.
    I take the member's point that many people who are killed by guns are killed by illegal guns. However, I am sure that the member would agree that some people are killed by legal guns, whether it be in the context of domestic violence or suicide.
    Is the member saying to this House that it is absolutely outside the realm of possibility that a red flag or a yellow flag made possible by this law could ever save a life?

  (1335)  

    Mr. Speaker, as we look at trying to reduce violence and at trying to get illegal guns off the street, we need to go to where these issues are happening.
    Time and time again, as stated in my remarks, we have seen that over half the people have been out on bail. That is a great place to start. We need to deal with the people who are actually perpetuating most of this crime. That would help to make our streets safer.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague, but it is rare to see so much disinformation in a short speech.
    If Conservatives were actually concerned about criminals, they would not have tried to block all of the provisions that hit only criminals around ghost guns. For the last few weeks, we have had Conservatives waging a filibuster to block those provisions that law enforcement is calling for.
    The reality is the bill targets criminals' use of ghost guns. What the bill does not do is what my friend has referred to and keeps talking about, as other Conservatives do, which is about amendments G-46 and G-4. Clearly, in the amendment pages, they have been withdrawn. I have asked this question to other Conservatives and have yet to have a clear answer. Will Conservatives admit that G-4 and G-46, thanks to the NDP push, were actually withdrawn? Most of the member's speech really is not relevant to what is in the bill.
    Mr. Speaker, one of the things that we are concerned about is the continual change of definitions.
    At the end of the day we talked about how this would be a ban on assault rifles, but what we have now seen creep into this is hunting and sport shooting, etc.
    The question would be, as we return in the fall and down the road, what guns would get added into those definitions that the Liberals have left wide open?
    Mr. Speaker, I really want to follow up with the member for Niagara West, from an earlier moment when you were presiding over a point of order that was not really a point of order.
    I am waiting to use the opportunity where I do have the right to speak to the member for Niagara West to confirm that what I was trying to point out to the hon. parliamentary secretary, in an earlier exchange, is that we do not want to see Canadians divided, rural versus urban. There are legitimate issues to discuss in this bill.
    My point was that in order to really understand the threat to rural Canadians, one should read the mass casualty report on the horrific events in Nova Scotia on April 18-19, 2020. To correct the record, as far as I am aware, the person who committed those offences, killing those people, was under no prohibition order that he could not own weapons at the time. He owned many weapons, all of them illegally but some of them were legal weapons. Just to clarify the record, that is more of a comment than a question.
     Maybe the hon. member has some thoughts on the importance of not allowing us to be polarized along rural-urban lines.
    Mr. Speaker, it needs to be clear that the shooter did not have a licence, so he was in possession of illegal firearms, full stop.
    We support safety measures in this country. We support training. We support the fact that there should be a number of steps that need to be taken to be able to obtain and use firearms safely. At the end of the day, if some or all of these measures are not followed, therein lies the breakdown in what has gone on here.
    Mr. Speaker, I always get a kick out of listening to Conservatives talk about Liberal talking points while they are reading a speech written by God knows who. I would remind the member that the actual number of weapons that have been seized at the border, both weapons and guns, has actually doubled in this year alone from last year, despite his comments.
    Mr. Speaker, it is great that it doubled, but I guess the question would be how many we are missing, at the end of the day. That is one aspect we need to do. We need to deal with the border, but we also need to deal with this revolving door of bail and the fact that people are out on bail who should not be. We have seen many people's lives endangered as a result of that.

  (1340)  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on Bill C-21, a piece of legislation that I have engaged with very closely over the last seven months as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
    From my many months of working on the bill, I can only conclude that Bill C-21 is not about public safety. If it was about public safety, the bill would have sought to deal with the disastrous bail and parole policies, which have led to many violent repeat offenders being released back onto our streets to commit more acts of violence. Unfortunately, it did not.
    What Bill C-21 is really about is politics. It is about pitting one group of Canadians against another through fear, misleading policies and willful ignorance about the reality of lawful firearms ownership in this country.
    Canada is a peaceful country. Since the 1970s, Canada has experienced a significant reduction in violent crime. Only the past eight years of the current Liberal government have broken that long-standing trend, with a staggering 32% increase in violent crime since 2015. Unfortunately, instead of addressing this staggering 32% increase, the Liberals have chosen to target hunters and sport shooters instead.
    Now, Statistics Canada has released very interesting data on firearms and violent crime. A report released this past December dealt specifically with violent crime in Canada involving firearms in 2021. The data showed that of all instances of violent crimes recorded in Canada, a rifle or shotgun was only present in 0.47% of cases, less than half a per cent. Out of this 0.47% it is not clear how many of them could be classified as so-called "assault-style firearms". The number could be very close to zero, but it is likely less than that 0.47% that includes all rifles and shotguns.
    Bill C-21 is not public safety legislation. The amendments that define an assault-style rifle do not address the firearms that are being commonly used by criminals. The guns being used by criminals are primarily smuggled illegal handguns and high-capacity magazine weapons that are already illegal in Canada. While Bill C-21 would formalize the so-called “handgun freeze” that prevents any new registration certificates for handguns, it is quite obvious that the handguns being used by criminals to commit violence in our streets are not registered firearms. This so-called “freeze” does nothing to stop the criminals; it only prevents law-abiding people from owning a handgun. When I asked the officials at committee to provide evidence to demonstrate that this handgun freeze would reduce violent crime, they could not provide any evidence.
    Now, the Liberals have been clear that their end goal is to eliminate legal ownership of guns in Canada. Other than possibly reducing instances of legal guns being stolen or straw purchased, which is extremely rare for obvious reasons, this would do nothing to address the real problems, which are smuggled handguns and the emergence of ghost guns.
    There was agreement at committee that the issue of ghost guns needs to be dealt with, and that is why Conservatives supported multiple amendments that would make it an offence to distribute instructions to manufacture ghost guns with the intent to produce illegal firearms. We also supported adding regulations and penalties regarding essential firearms parts, which can be used to assemble ghost guns. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions, I fear these policies would do little to deter those who plan to use this emerging technology for criminal purposes. After all, anyone who is in illegal possession of one of these ghost guns is already in contravention of the Criminal Code. Additional charges for the possession of schematics or essential firearms components are unlikely to dissuade criminals who are already committing a crime.
    Bill C-21 is also not about public safety, because the so-called “yellow and red flag laws” are unnecessary and potentially harmful to victims. In fact, the Liberals and the NDP both rammed through these so-called “red flag laws” over the very strong opposition of women's groups, which rightfully pointed out that forcing women to go to court to obtain an order to seize firearms is not practical, nor is it safe. In fact I received a very kind message from one of these advocacy groups thanking Conservatives for voting for what, in their words, was their most important amendment, and they noted that the Liberals voted against this amendment.
    Police have already been clear that they—
    We have a point of order from the hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Mr. Speaker, I have been listening attentively, and I want to continue to do that, but there is a lot of background noise. Perhaps we could ask some people to deal with that.

  (1345)  

    Yes, I actually sent someone out there.
    Just a reminder to all the folks in the chamber to tell our folks who are outside in the lobbies that when we are coming into the chamber to make sure that we try to keep our friends quiet as we check out the nice glass door that is on the front there.
    We will go back to debate with the hon. member for Sturgeon River—Parkland.
    Mr. Speaker, another reason why these red and yellow flag laws are so unnecessary is because police have already been clear that they have the authority without a warrant to act immediately to seize firearms if they determine there is a risk. Canada already has red and yellow flag laws. I even read recently about a gentleman in the Ottawa area who has hunted his entire life. However, during the pandemic, sadly, his wife and a sibling died, and the mental toll caused him to check into a local hospital. While he presented no threat, his firearms were seized proactively. He had to go to court and convince a judge that he should be allowed to have them back, and the judge sided with him. Clearly, we already have yellow flag laws in existence in Canada, as this case demonstrates.
    Now, it should go without saying that Canada is not the United States. While going to court to seize firearms may be necessary in the United States, it is not the case in Canada. As I said before, in Canada when there is a threat, the police have the authority to act immediately without a warrant to secure firearms. Unfortunately, these Liberals will spend more time role-playing as members of the U.S. Congress rather than addressing the distinct issues that exist here in Canada.
    Finally, and what I see as the clearest demonstration of the punitive nature of Bill C-21, is the exemption for Olympic sport shooters. Groups like the International Practical Shooting Confederation, IPSC, came to committee to plead for an exemption for their sport, but they were rejected by the Liberals. There has been no evidence presented at committee that IPSC, cowboy-action shooting or any other high-level sport shooting discipline posed any risk to public safety, and yet they were treated with utter contempt by the Liberal Party.
    Now, the pressure is so high in the Liberal caucus to shut down any shooting sport in Canada that they even tried to silence one of their own members at committee who expressed concerns about this heavy-handed ban. The MP for Kings—Hants raised a very good point about a constituent who competed internationally with IPSC, and through no fault of his own, his sporting firearm was lost by Air Canada. Now, because of Bill C-21, he would never be able to pursue his passion again. Even in countries like the United Kingdom, where handguns are completely banned, there are exemptions for IPSC and sport shooting.
    The Liberals provided no public safety justification for this move. They have determined that their objective is to eliminate all legal handgun ownership in Canada, and they could not allow an IPSC exemption, because it would allow a small group of people to continue pursuing their passion, which brings me to the real reason Bill C-21 was created.
    The Liberals can try and point to raising maximum penalties for smugglers, but this is just a fig leaf to cover the real purpose of the bill. The real purpose of the bill is the sterilization of the culture of legal sport shooting in Canada. It is well known in the firearms community that ranges are funded by dues-paying members who are required by legislation to be a range member as a condition of a restricted licence. Without any new licence-holders, the income for gun ranges will dry up, leading to the closure of almost every gun range in Canada. The prevention of any sport shooting exemption beyond Olympic-level sports ensures that only a very elite few, we are talking about maybe a couple of people, would be able to legally acquire a handgun in Canada.
    I am also very concerned about the Liberals' Canadian firearms advisory committee. It appears to me that this advisory committee would not be very independent and that the Liberals have already prejudged what kinds of firearms will be banned, including many commonly used hunting rifles. The effect of this will reverberate throughout the country as firearms retailers shut down, trade shows close shop and sport shooting clubs close due to a lack of members. That is the Liberal agenda in black and white: the wholesale elimination of an entire part of our country's culture and heritage, and passions enjoyed by millions of Canadians through generations. Maybe if there were a public safety reason for all of this we could do a cost-benefit analysis, but there was no evidence provided, and there is no truth to the claims that this will improve public safety.
    This legislation demonizes a group of law-abiding Canadians for the political benefit of the Liberal Party. It provides a convenient distraction from the abject failure of Liberal ideology to keep our communities safe. After all, has the country ever become safer since Bill C-71 has been implemented, or the May 2020 OIC or since the handgun freeze has come in? Has it stopped handgun violence in our streets? Absolutely not. This country has only descended further into violence and lawlessness.
    NDP members had an opportunity to take a stand on the side of hunters and sport shooters and instead they sold out. They would not support Conservative amendments to ensure exemptions for sport shooters and hunters. Instead, they chose to prop up the Liberal government. The fact is, they had the support. We could have united together. I have been getting calls in my office from people who live in the riding of Edmonton Griesbach, because they cannot get through to their NDP MP to tell him how upset they are with the NDP stance on the bill.

  (1350)  

    The Conservatives will always stand up for law-abiding firearms owners. We are going to stand up against this punitive Bill C-21 legislation, which would do nothing to improve public safety in our country.
    Mr. Speaker, in his discussion today, the member specifically said that this was Canada, that it was not the United States. I find this interesting because another member earlier referenced the United States and an American politician. This is not the United States. In the United States, the ownership of a firearm is a right; in Canada, it is privilege. There is a big difference between the two.
    Could the member comment as to whether he believes that a privilege is the right system and the right environment to own firearms in Canada or does he believe it should be a right, like it is in the United States?
    Mr. Speaker, I believe that Canada has a robust system of firearms laws that have largely worked for generations. It is ironic because it is the Liberal Party of Canada that is intent on importing American culture war politics in our country. I cite none other than the member for Markham—Unionville, when he brought forward the amendment that the Liberals had to withdraw, who said that we needed California-style gun control laws in Canada.
    I am a Canadian, I believe in Canadian solutions and I reject American solutions for Canadians.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech, particularly when he talked about sport shooting. I really wonder about that.
    Clause 43 of Bill C-21 protects sport shooters so that they can continue to practise their hobby. The Conservatives moved Motion No. 12, which seeks to remove this clause that exempts sports shooters and protects them so they can continue to practise their hobby. I am wondering about the consistency of saying that they are not protected while removing the very clause that protects them.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, what the government really put forward was that anyone who currently had a restricted licence, who had possession of one of these firearms, could continue to use these firearms. However, part of this legislation is that there can be no new applications, other than a very narrow exemption for Olympic sport shooters. A Liberal member talked earlier about this great Olympic exemption. I would ask that member how people could become Olympic-level kayakers if the government said they were never allowed to buy kayaks in the first place to practise.
    What the government is really doing is putting a time limit on the culture of responsible firearms ownership in our country. Over a number of decades, it is going to die out and we are going to lose this important part of our culture. Therefore, it is not a protection in the least.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciated the member's work on committee. The Conservatives voted with the Bloc, the NDP and the Liberals on almost all the amendments that were brought forward in the marathon sessions last week.
    I also appreciate that the member has been the first Conservative to admit that G-4 and G-46, the Liberal amendments that have been part of the Conservative talking points now for months, were actually withdrawn. I appreciate his honesty in admitting that the Conservative talking points were false.
    I get calls from Alberta. These are constituents in Alberta ridings who cannot reach their Alberta Conservative MP at all, so they contact me in British Columbia. One of the concerns they raise is about criminal activity and ghost guns. The reality is that Bill C-21 deals with ghost guns in a substantive way.
     The member was talking about cracking down on criminals. Criminals use ghost guns. Law enforcement needs this legislation. Why did the Conservatives filibuster it for weeks and weeks?

  (1355)  

    Mr. Speaker, the New Democrats were quite thankful for the filibuster back in December when they were still deciding what stand they were going to take in support of our hunters and sport shooters. They had no idea which way they were going to swing on this issue, and I was thanked by them at the time. They thanked me for giving them time so they could take it back to their caucus and figure out what they were doing on this. The Conservative Party says they are welcome, that it gives them the extra time so they could finally find the right path forward.
    As for the withdrawn G-4 and G-46 amendments, the government is introducing a backdoor mechanism so it can achieve the very same ends, and the NDP supported it on that. I fear that the firearms advisory committee is not going to be an independent committee. I believe the government has already prejudged what kinds of firearms it is going to ban and it is just putting forward this front group so it can do the dirty work for the government.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by thanking all the firefighters in Alberta. I want to also thank all the communities that have stepped up.
     There are fires across northern Alberta. Many communities that I represent are dealing with fires or they are dealing with the evacuees. They have opened their homes and evacuation shelters. They have opened up spaces for pets, horses and livestock from across the area. I want to recognize the Alberta spirit in that. When neighbours are in trouble, other neighbours step up, help out and do whatever is needed.
     Members of the legion in Fox Creek have stepped up to feed all the firefighters and first responders, and I thank them for doing that.
     I want to thank the Alberta government for being at the ready in the midst of an election to help fight the fires. I want to thank all the Canadian Armed Forces members who are on the ground, doing good work in Alberta and doing all the things necessary to fight these fires.
     Like you, Mr. Speaker, I am praying for rain and for the growth of the new grass so we can get out of this fire season and get on with seeding and getting this year's crop in the ground. I note that in most places it is going fairly well, but the fires are definitely putting a damper on it.
     My heart goes out to all those families that have lost property, lost their life's work with respect to building up a place, or an acreage or a farm. In some cases, businesses have been lost due to the fire.
     I also want to recognize the wildlife officers who are doing yeoman's work in managing the wildlife that is being chased around by these fires as well. Some interesting things have happened with that as well.
     My thoughts and prayers are with all those who are dealing with the fires in northern Alberta at the moment, including some of my family members who are on the firefighting crews.
    That brings me to the bill at hand, Bill C-21. I do not think there can be any more stark difference with the way the parties have dealt with the bill in the House of Commons. The Conservatives are the only party that stands up for law-abiding firearms owners in our country. The Liberals are fundamentally opposed to firearm ownership. They have basically said that out loud.
     We have said that the firearms of hunters and sport shooters must be protected. It is the right of Canadians and it is a big part of our Canadian heritage to own and use firearms. We have been concerned that the Liberals are targeting law-abiding firearms owners, wanting to take away their firearms.
     Fundamentally I think Liberals are just opposed to firearm ownership across the board. This goes against all our Canadian heritage and history. We have enjoyed firearm ownership for the entire history of our country. We are not the wild west and we are not the United States. Canada has always had a good regime of firearm ownership.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

Pathways Clubhouse

    Mr. Speaker, on May 11, I had the honour to attend Pathways Clubhouse's 16th annual gala.
     Pathways Clubhouse is a non-profit organization that aims to create an inclusive community and provides mental health assistance for Richmond residents. Its mental wellness program helps people who seek support in mental health, by helping them develop an active lifestyle and a healthy diet.
    Mental health is health. I am very fortunate to have such an organization in the Richmond community to care for those in need and to champion an accessible and diverse health care system for residents in Richmond
    I thank Pathways Clubhouse for all it does for our community, and I thank all the staff, volunteers, supporters and donors for putting together an amazing gala, “Building Pathways for Hope”.

Wildfires

    Mr. Speaker, for the last while, communities in Brazeau, Clearwater, Lac Ste. Anne, Parkland and Yellowhead counties have experienced severe wildfires. I have answered emails and phone calls from people who fear what they will see when they return home. The emotional toll this is having on Albertans breaks my heart. It is truly a strenuous time for thousands of families.
    Today, I commend the businesses, communities and farmers who have come together during this difficult time. Firefighters, rescue squads and community members continue to work tirelessly. They bravely put their lives on the line to ensure everyone's safety.
    The support shown to one another during such a difficult time is a reminder of what it means to be an Albertan. I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose my home and belongings.
    It is truly heart-wrenching to know the suffering my friends and neighbours are living through by what these fires have mercilessly destroyed.

Pakistan

    Mr. Speaker, today, I rise to speak in support of all Pakistanis advocating for free and fair elections, the rule of law and the protection of human rights. Political leaders, journalists and demonstrators should not fear unlawful detention, violence or death. I want to assure Pakistani Canadians that Canada stands in support of their right to fairly elect a leader.
    We stand in solidarity with Pakistani Canadians, especially those in my riding who have approached me with their concerns, - many of whom fear for the safety of family members and friends in Pakistan.
     We have a large Pakistani Canadian population in Canada and welcome newcomers from Pakistan. The mental health and peace of mind of these Canadians is affected by what is happening in Pakistan.
    Working through our international alliances and with individual allies in the region, we must do our part to ensure that the human rights of Pakistanis are protected and to address the concerns of Pakistani Canadians. Canada has always been a strident defender of these values, and I am proud to continue to speak out against violations that threaten some of the core foundations of democratic constitutionalism, regardless of where they are committed.

[Translation]

National Police Week

    Mr. Speaker, we have been celebrating National Police Week since 1970. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to express our gratitude and recognition to those who keep the peace in our society.
    Times have been tough for our peace officers since September. Across Canada, 10 of them have sacrificed their lives for the common good. As parliamentarians, we have a duty to not only better protect those who ensure our collective safety, but also give them all the resources they need to stay safe on the job.
    Let us not forget that our police officers are also responders, confidants, psychologists and social workers during their shifts. The work they do to keep our communities safe is essential. I saw that myself recently in Amqui when the tragedy unfolded there. More often than not, police officers lend their support to help people overcome the horrors they have witnessed. For these reasons, we owe them a debt of gratitude for their dedication.
    To all members of law enforcement, to our everyday heroes, we wish you a happy National Police Week.

34th Edition of Festival d'été francophone de Vancouver

    Mr. Speaker, the 34th edition of the Festival d'été francophone de Vancouver will be held from June 14 to 25 at the Centre culturel francophone de Vancouver, which is in Vancouver Granville, and at other venues across Vancouver.
    This year, there will be 12 concerts featuring francophone artists from British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario and elsewhere. As usual, the festival will draw big names in French music, established artists and local and national rising stars. This important festival is supported by our government and celebrates our francophone communities and their diversity.
    It is also a wonderful way to celebrate music, creativity and the incredible talent of francophone artists from across Canada. I look forward to attending many events, and I invite everyone to attend.

  (1405)  

[English]

Walter Charles Nelson

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a great Canadian farm business leader, Walter Charles Nelson from Avonlea, who recently passed away at the age of 95. He accomplished more than most could dream of and touched the hearts of many, while making transformational changes in the agricultural industry. He founded what is now the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association. His belief that farmers should have the choice to market their own commodities was a fight he took up in 1970 and finally won in 2012. For his many accomplishments, he was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1990, and he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2015.
    He leaves a legacy that will positively impact his family, his community, his province and our entire country for lifetimes to come. Wally was not only my mentor, but he was also a friend. My heart goes out to his son, Bill, his daughter, Janet Day, and his many grandchildren as they mourn his passing.
    May Wally rest in peace knowing that what he fought for has prevailed. Farmers will always remember him as a true champion of free marketing.

Palestine

    Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 75th anniversary of the mass displacement of Palestinians known as “the Nakba”, or “the catastrophe”. During this time, around 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes by Israeli forces, and over 400 villages were demolished as land was taken from Palestinian families; 78% of historic Palestine was captured, while the remaining 22% was divided into what is now the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.
     Today, there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees, and this is the longest-standing refugee crisis in the world. Many Nakba survivors and their descendants still live in refugee camps or in exile. The legacy of the Nakba continues and deeply impacts many Palestinian Canadians, many of whom sought out refuge in Canada after their families were displaced in 1948.
    Canada will continue to condemn the injustices and violence towards innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children in Gaza, who suffer the most as they are forced to grow up in the face of grave conflict. In all circumstances, civilians must be protected, and international law must be upheld. Our government will continue to work diligently with our international allies to maintain the de-escalation of this conflict and protect innocent lives from harm.

National Physiotherapy Month

    Mr. Speaker, May is National Physiotherapy Month; it is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the incredible work physiotherapy professionals do to improve the health of Canadians. This year's focus is on pain management and rehabilitation. Nearly eight million people are affected by chronic pain in Canada. In recent years, the convergence of the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have intensified the urgent need for a new approach to pain care in this country. Canadian physiotherapy professionals are taking the lead in implementing innovative approaches to non-pharmacological pain management.
    It is an honour to be here today to speak about National Physiotherapy Month and to recognize the 27,000 physiotherapy professionals in Canada for their groundbreaking collaborative work across the health care system.

Victims and Survivors of Crime Week

    Mr. Speaker, as we mark Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, we are reminded that individuals and families often feel the fallout long after a crime is committed. Victims and survivors of crime can carry undue burdens, such as physical or psychological trauma, financial loss or property damage.
    The federal government has a critical role to play when it comes to protecting victims and survivors of crime. In 2014, the Conservative government of the time created the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. This enshrined the rights of victims into federal law for the first time in Canadian history. Conservatives remain committed to ensuring that the voices of victims and survivors of crime are heard, that their rights are protected and that community safety is always the top priority of our justice system.
    Conservatives will never abandon victims and survivors of crime. We will restore balance to our justice system and demand accountability from anyone who threatens the public safety of Canadians.

  (1410)  

Living and Learning in Retirement

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate a monumental milestone: the 50th anniversary of Living and Learning in Retirement at York University's Glendon College. For five decades, LLIR has been a beacon of intellectual growth and community engagement for seniors in Don Valley West and across Toronto. LLIR is lifelong learning at its best, proving that education knows no age limits. On the Glendon campus, it has nurtured curiosity, fostered friendships and expanded horizons through courses, seminars and lectures, empowering seniors to explore new passions and get new ideas.
    My thanks go to the dedicated staff, volunteers and cherished members who have made LLIR a leader in lifelong learning. Investing in seniors enables them to make invaluable contributions to our society while inspiring the next generation.
    As we celebrate 50 years of LLIR, let us reaffirm our support for seniors' initiatives across Canada, creating a better and brighter future for us all.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years, the current Prime Minister is out of touch and Canadians are out of money.
    With summer just around the corner, many Canadians are too worried about how they are going to put food on the table or pay their bills, let alone afford a vacation. In the meantime, the Prime Minister has taken five lavish vacations this year alone. He has travelled to New York, living it up with celebrities and taking selfies. He has vacationed in Jamaica, where his accommodations, at a cost of $80,000, were paid for by Trudeau Foundation donors. This is all while the cost of his government has been driving up the cost of living here at home.
    With his plans for a 41¢-a-litre tax on gas, heat and food, Canadians are planning their staycations. They have never had it worse.
    Canadians are out of money; the Prime Minister is out of touch and out of the country.

Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, the current Liberal government continues to play a game of over–under with Canadians.
    While the Liberals gamble with our future through overtaxation and overspending, Canadians receive underwhelming results and overwhelming debt. While the Liberals and their elite friends rule over us, Canadians are under the heavy burden of doubling mortgage and rent costs, as well as record-high credit card debt. The Liberals remain above the law, despite scandal after scandal. They tell us what we can own, watch, read, drive, say and even think. Canadians are quickly getting over it, and they are tired of being under it.
    Conservatives know how overwhelmed Canadians are and how undermined they feel. The common-sense people of this great country are rising up to take over the people's House and elect a prime minister who can see beyond our perils and speak to our potential. Such a leader will realize that the key to us overcoming the challenges we face is in using what is under our feet, whether that be our oil and gas or the land itself, to produce, grow and develop our path to a more prosperous, secure and self-reliant future.
    Let us bring it home and, together, let us get over it.

Physician Assistants

    Mr. Speaker, health care and long wait times at emergency rooms are top of mind in Nova Scotia. Investing in physician assistants or PAs is key to reducing wait times in Canada and extending the careers of physicians. However, every year, there are fewer than 70 spots available for close to 3,000 applicants who apply to be PAs.
    There is good news. Our federal government has invested over $46 billion in new funding into the Canadian health care system. This historic funding, in partnership with the province, will mean the first-ever PA program in the Atlantic, with 24 new spaces at Dalhousie University. I would like to thank the members of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants for their advocacy and their important work. I will continue to work alongside them.
    Addressing the health care crisis is crucial, but because of transformational investments in our health care system, PAs will increase in Canada and wait times will decrease.

Seniors

    Mr. Speaker, in the 2021 election, New Democrats made a promise to senior citizens that we would fight to implement a national dental care plan, and this year, that promise will be made a reality.
    When I went door to door, I met seniors who told me that they could not afford to get their teeth fixed. Dental care is fundamental for health, dignity and well-being. We know that Conservatives will fight us all the way to stop seniors from getting what is rightfully theirs, but we will follow through on our commitments. However, that is just part of the job ahead of us.
     Seniors are falling behind. Their pensions are not keeping up with inflation, and the government has created a two-tiered status for senior citizens. New Democrats say that those under age 75 deserve as much support as those over 75. We also need a full overhaul of the pension system, particularly for those who are still working. Conservatives may denounce pension deductions as a tax, but workers fully understand that they are a necessary investment into their retirement future.
    New Democrats will always stand up for the dignity and rights of senior citizens.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

François Guy

    Mr. Speaker, certain artists, certain songs take us back in time, maybe even to our youth. There are even some that bring us back to a specific era, perhaps to an important milestone, for example.
    I do not need to sing the following lines; it is enough to recite the following:
     Quebec's future will be sound,
if it does let itself get pushed around.
     We all know how it goes and immediately want to sing, “Quebeckers, we are Quebeckers”.
     This takes me back to the 1970s, to the excitement of René Lévesque's first term in office and the Parti Québécois.
    That was François Guy.
    Although François Guy embodied a past era of Quebec song, he also embodied its future. François Guy was about the Société pour l'avancement de la chanson d'expression française, or SACEF. He was about mentorship and “Ma première Place des Arts” awards. He was about love for the French language and the desire to see a new generation of artists sing in French.
    François Guy passed away on Friday. To his family, to his wife, Isabelle Lajeunesse, to all his loved ones and all Quebeckers, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I extend our deepest condolences.
    Thank you for the memories, but, more importantly, thank you for mentoring the François Guys of the future.

[English]

Conservative Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians cannot find much comfort at home lately. Rents and mortgages have doubled, and the out-of-touch, jet-setting, climate-crisis hypocrite is out of the country again.
    We will soon have a new Conservative prime minister. He will bring home lower prices by ending inflationary deficits and scrapping the carbon tax on heat, gas and groceries. He will bring home powerful paycheques by lowering taxes and clawbacks to reward work again. He will bring homes workers can afford by firing the gatekeepers and freeing up land to build on. He will bring home safety by ending catch-and-release policies for repeat violent criminals. He will bring home freedom from foreign interference and woke government censorship.
    Conservatives will fix what the Liberals have broken. For Canadians' home and our home, let us bring it home.
    Order. I just want to remind the hon. member that calling others names is not parliamentary behaviour. I just want to remind everyone in the chamber of that.
    The hon. member for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook.

Veteran Homelessness Program

    Mr. Speaker, veterans and their families deserve a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why I am so pleased that the newly announced veteran homelessness program will provide comprehensive support to veterans experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
    A total of $79.1 million in funding will be available by way of two streams. One will provide rent supplements and wraparound services, while the other will support research on veteran homelessness and capacity building. Eligible recipients, including veteran-serving organizations, can apply to either or both funding streams through an online portal on the Infrastructure Canada website. Applications are open until June 23, and I encourage all organizations to make an application.
    Canada’s veterans have long served and sacrificed for our country, and it is our duty to support them.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, not long ago, the Prime Minister told us that inflation was falling, and his finance minister said that deficit spending would simply pour gasoline on the inflationary fire.
    A few weeks later, however, she did pour $60 billion of new inflationary fuel on the fire in her budget, at an additional cost of $4,200 to each Canadian family. Today we found out that inflation is rising again.
    When is the government going to reverse this Prime Minister's inflationary policies?

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, the reality is that inflation is going down. Inflation was 8.1% in June and 4.4% in April. That is a big difference.
    The Bank of Canada expects inflation to reach 3% this summer and to drop below 3% by the end of the year. As for our economy, our AAA credit rating remains intact.
    Mr. Speaker, she is the one who said that deficits add to inflation. In fact, she said that inflation and rising interest rates were related to the deficits, the same types of deficits that she was going to introduce a few weeks later in her budget. She added $60 billion of inflationary deficit spending.
    In the Prime Minister's city, one in five Montrealers can no longer pay their monthly bills.
    Will the Prime Minister finally give Montrealers and Canadians a bit of a break by eliminating these deficits?
    Once again, the Conservatives do not want to talk about the reality of the Canadian economy.
    The reality is that Canada has the strongest economy of all the G7 countries. We also have the strongest fiscal position and the lowest deficit of all the G7 countries.
    It is thanks to the work of Canadians that we have a very low level of unemployment. Inflation is dropping—
    The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, not long ago, the Prime Minister told us that inflation was falling, and his finance minister said that she would avoid deficit spending because that would simply pour gasoline on the inflationary fire. She did pour $60 billion of new inflationary fuel on the fire; as a result, today we see inflation is rising again, led by higher mortgage payments for the average Canadian.
    Will the government stop pouring fuel on the fire so that Canadians could afford to pay their bills?
    Mr. Speaker, yet again, despite the best efforts, which actually are not that good, of the Conservatives to mislead Canadians, the Canadian economy is strong. We have the strongest fiscal position in the G7, and our AAA credit rating was reaffirmed after I tabled the budget.
    On inflation, I know that the party opposite does not really know too much about the Bank of Canada, but the Bank of Canada follows CPI-trim and CPI-median; those are the core indicators. CPI-median and CPI-trim went down between March and April.
    Mr. Speaker, actually, when I said two years ago that deficits would cause inflation, that was controversial. Now, everyone agrees that I was right, including the Governor of the Bank of Canada, who now says that inflation is caused by deficits. The finance minister has agreed that I was right, when she said that deficits pour fuel on the inflationary fire. She poured $60 billion of that fuel. That is $4,200 per family.
    Canadians cannot afford to eat, heat their homes or house themselves. Will that minister stop pouring the fuel on the fire so Canadians can again pay their bills?
    Mr. Speaker, I have another request: Would that ex-minister stop leading Canadians astray, urging them, recklessly, to invest in crypto? That is an area where we actually really do disagree.
    I want to talk about the core inflationary measures that the Bank of Canada follows, which determine the path of interest rates. One of them is CPI-trim. CPI-trim peaked at 5.6% in June of last year. It was 4.4% in March, and fell to—

  (1425)  

    The hon. Leader of the Opposition.
    Mr. Speaker, actually, the Governor of the Bank of Canada said that his measure of inflation is CPI. CPI is up today, even though she said it would be down. It is up, interestingly, after the $60 billion in new spending that she brought in her budget. What is up the most, though, is mortgage payments, and she can tell us why, because she admitted that deficits “make inflation worse and force rates higher for longer.” They force rates higher for longer, and that is why Canadians are paying 28% more in mortgage payments.
    Will she get off the backs of Canadian homebuyers so they can put a roof over their head?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians know better than to listen to the Leader of the Opposition when it comes to money, because he did, after all, urge them to invest in crypto. They know better than to rely on the Leader of the Opposition when it comes to the Bank of Canada, because his answer is to fire the independent Governor of the Bank of Canada. What the Bank of Canada looks at is CPI-trim and CPI-median. CPI-median peaked at 5.2% in June. It was 4.5% in March and went down to 4.2% in April.

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, they called their gimmick the Century Initiative. It does not translate well, and that is by design. They want everyone to become English. They said—
    I am going to interrupt the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly. There are discussions happening between the two sides, and we cannot hear the question. I am going to ask everyone to calm down and take a deep breath.
    The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly may start his question over again.
    Mr. Speaker, the government agreed to a gimmick it called the Century Initiative, which we will not bother translating into French. It does not deserve to be translated because, at that point, we would all be speaking English. The Liberals said that they would drop the slogan. That is fine.
    Then, the Liberals said that they would abandon the idea of 100 million Canadians by the end of the century because we did not like it. In any case, we will all be dead in 77 years. However, they decided to keep the target of 500,000 new immigrants per year as of 2025. That is what is going to shrink Quebec and bring about its permanent downfall.
    Do the Deputy Prime Minister, the voice of reason, and her government really think that Quebeckers are that stupid?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to be very honest and straightforward with our Bloc Québécois colleagues and all Quebeckers. French in Canada is very important and the Quebec nation is a priority for our government and for me personally. We truly understand how important the linguistic and cultural vitality of the Quebec nation is, and I must say that, as the Minister of Finance—
    The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly.
    Mr. Speaker, we have an expression in Quebec that essentially means people need to walk the talk. I will explain that some day.
    That being said, this government has messed up on immigration, with one million cases being backlogged. The Liberals are incapable of managing the foreign students file. They are incapable of managing the temporary foreign workers file. In a year and a half, they have been unable to do it. What would make us think that a year and a half from now they are going to suddenly be competent enough to deal with 500,000 immigrants?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to continue by saying that we truly believe in Quebec. We truly believe in the importance of the Quebec nation. That is why we are investing in the French language across Canada. That is also why we are investing in Quebec's economy.
    We are investing in health care. We are investing in child care. We are investing in the green plan for industry. All these things are priorities to Quebeckers, and they are our priorities as well.

[English]

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, I have a very simple and direct question for the Minister of Housing. I am going to give an example of a single mom with two kids in the city of Toronto, paying the average rent, which is $3,300 a month for a two-bedroom, and earning an average salary, which in Ontario is $62,000 a year.
    How much money would this single mom with two kids have left over, after paying her rent, to buy groceries for her kids?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, helping that single mother with two kids is a priority for our government. That is why we have invested in early learning and child care, and brought the fees down by 50%. That is why the grocery rebate is so important, and I am glad people will get their cheques on July 5. I absolutely agree with the member opposite that housing is a very significant challenge for Canadians. That is why I am glad we have delivered on the tax-free first-time homebuyers savings account. That is why we have guidelines to protect Canadians with mortgages who are facing—
    The hon. member for Burnaby South.
    Mr. Speaker, the answer is $470. That is not very much.
    Let us take another example, of a single mom with two kids in Vancouver, earning an average income in the city of Vancouver and paying the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment, which is $3,800 per month. How much money would that single mom have left over? The answer is that she would not have anything left over. That is how serious things are in this country for renters.
    People are not earning enough to pay their rent, so when will the government understand how serious it is and do something about it?
    Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows very well, supporting families with children is one of the greatest priorities of our government, and for that single mother in Vancouver, child care fees coming down by 50% is meaningful. That single mother in Vancouver, depending on the age of her children, could be getting $12,000 a year through the Canada child benefit. I bet that helps.
    I do agree that we have more work to do on housing. That is why I am glad that, in the budget, we created an additional $4 billion to implement a co-developed urban, rural and northern indigenous housing strategy.

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, government members should stop arguing among themselves. Liberals have delivered many gut punches to Canadians over the past eight years, including their failed carbon tax scam, a housing crisis and $1.2 trillion in debt. This morning, Canadians woke up to another one because the finance minister has no fiscal restraint, and her $63-billion budget bonanza gave Canadians another inflation rate increase. The finance minister gave every struggling Canadian household an extra $4,200 of cost because of her failed budget.
    What did the minister think was going to happen when she threw a $63-billion jerry can of fuel on the inflationary fire she started?
    Mr. Speaker, let us talk for a minute about fiscal responsibility and about inflation, which is coming down. In terms of Canada's fiscal position, the truth is, moving past the overheated and, frankly, metaphorically challenged Conservative rhetoric, that Canada has the strongest fiscal position in the G7. Our AAA credit rating was reiterated by S&P after I tabled the budget. We have the lowest deficit in the G7.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am just going to wait until all the chirping goes down. There is some chirping going back and forth. It is just the odd voice, and it is making it very difficult to really concentrate on the questions and the answers. We all want to hear what the question is, and we all want to hear what the answer is. Let us all stay quiet and listen.
    The hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn.
    Mr. Speaker, the finance minister must be practising dodge ball with the Prime Minister, the way they duck, dodge and deflect questions in here. They sound like a broken record on that side, but not as broken as what Canada feels like after eight years of their failures.
    The finance minister just gave $4,200 of debt to struggling Canadian households, and she made the inflation rate go up. Now, she looks like she is auditioning for her next career. This is not a part-time job.
    If she does not want to do her job anymore, why does she not just get out of the way so Conservatives can fix everything the Liberals have broken?
    Mr. Speaker, I am standing in the House right now, doing my job, and it is a privilege to do it. I was in Japan last week, at the meeting of the G7 finance ministers, where we talked about the global economy, where we talked about continuing to support Ukraine against the illegal Russian invasion and where we talked about economic security in the face of an aggressive China. I was proud and privileged to represent Canada there.
    Are the Conservatives proposing that finance ministers should not attend meetings of the G7?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1435)  

    Before I go to the next question, we have been noticing there are a few members who have been banging on their desks. That is loud, and it is difficult for the interpreters to begin with. We want to be friendly to our interpreters. After all, without them, it would be very hard for us to conduct business.
    The hon. member for Thornhill.
    Mr. Speaker, I have bad news. Canadians are seeing even higher inflation today. Now we know for sure that Liberal deficits drive Liberal inflation, and the finance minister's last budget is driving every Canadian household 4,200 bucks more into debt.
    Where is the accountability? Where are her answers? Why does she talk to Canadians like they are in kindergarten? The effect of her own failures is playing out right in front of her very eyes. Does she not see what everybody else sees?
    Mr. Speaker, the people who talk to Canadians as if they are in kindergarten are the Conservatives. The Conservatives behave as if Canadians do not understand that the judge of Canada's fiscal responsibility is not overheated Conservative rhetoric. The judge is the ratings agencies, and they have reaffirmed Canada's AAA rating.
    Conservatives do not understand that we, in fact, have the lowest deficit in the—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am sorry. There is just too much chatter going on.
    Could the minister go back about 15 or 20 seconds and start from there, if she does not mind?
    I do not mind at all, Mr. Speaker.
    Canadians understand that Canada has a very strong fiscal position. We have the lowest deficit in the G7. Our AAA rating was reaffirmed by S&P after I tabled my budget.
     Canadians also understand that, contrary to what the member opposite suggested, it is not the government that sets interest rates. It is the Bank of Canada, and the Bank of Canada looks at CPI-trim and CPI-median, both of which went—
    The hon. member for Thornhill.
    Mr. Speaker, the judges of the Canadian economy are the families who cannot pay their bills. The finance minister's budget of broken promises speaks to her own credibility. She told Canadians that we would see a declining debt-to-GDP ratio, a line that she would not cross. She crossed it.
    She projected an eventual surplus, and she spent $60 billion instead. She told Canadians that she would balance the budget in five years, and now it is never. Today, again, inflation is on the rise. That means everyone in Canada will pay more for everything. She is not the victim. Canadians deserve answers. When will they get them?
    Mr. Speaker, what we see day in and day out, as the world reels from the effects of the pandemic, and while we deal with the global effects of inflation, where Canada is doing better than the G7 average and the G20 average—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Hon. Mark Holland: Mr. Speaker, they can yell across the way as much as they want. The difference is that we have a finance minister who is trying to protect and ensure that children get dental care. We have an opportunity when we are dealing with child care.
    What they are talking about is cutting these programs. Therefore, they can attack and be partisan, as that is what they do, but underneath it is about cuts. It is about not being there, and it is misrepresenting world events.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance herself said that spending too much would fuel inflation. There are more than 20 Liberals, including ministers and the Prime Minister, who represent the Montreal area.
    After eight years in government, their record is appalling. There are 360,000 families in the greater Montreal area, or one in five households, who do not have enough money to pay their rent and meet their basic needs. The situation is so serious that Marie Leblanc told Le Devoir that “suicide is around the corner”. Ms. Leblanc has almost nothing left for food and clothing.
    Why are the members from Montreal abandoning her?
    Mr. Speaker, it is important to reiterate that our budget is fiscally responsible and agencies such as S&P reiterated our AAA rating. As for the average Canadian, it is our government that shows them compassion. It is our government that invests in families. it is our government that invests in health care. It is not the Conservatives, who only want to cut, cut, cut.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, the minister talks about her responsible budget, but not a single Montreal-area MP rose to answer this question.
    Inflation is still on the rise, causing prices to go up across the board, including food and basic necessities. The system safeguards, interest rates, have slashed housing starts by almost 50%. The housing crisis will get worse. More and more people will have trouble making ends meet, yet the 20-odd Montreal-area MPs have not said a word about the Prime Minister's inflationary policies.
    When will the Prime Minister, the Montreal-area member for Papineau, clue in to common sense and stop sending more and more Montrealers to food banks?
    Mr. Speaker, the government knows that a lot of people are going through tough times. That is why we have responded with a range of programs for child care, health care and more.
    Here is the real issue. Where exactly are the Conservatives, who have a habit of leaving Canadians to their own devices, going to make their cuts? It is all well and good to say we are spending too much, but when they say that, what they mean is that they are going to spend on their programs.
    What program are they talking about? Support for seniors, for youth, for families, for housing? Which is it?

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about Chinese interference.
    On Saturday, The Globe and Mail reported that CSIS has contacted at least two other MPs who may have been threatened by Beijing in 2021. That means that at least three elected members of the House were known targets, and none of them were informed until now. This is serious.
    It was hard enough to believe that the Prime Minister had not been informed about the member for Wellington—Halton Hills, but three members, frankly, is unbelievable and unacceptable. Why did he withhold this information for two years?
    Mr. Speaker, I share my hon. colleague's concerns. That is why the government, with help from CSIS, will continue to provide briefings. That is why, in budget 2023, there are federal resources to set up a coordinator to fight foreign interference. That is why there are additional resources for the RCMP to protect all Canadians.
    We need to protect our democratic institutions. That is not just the job of the government, but of all members of the House.
    Mr. Speaker, the government is going to set up a committee that will think about making a plan.
    It is only right that elected officials be informed if they are targeted by foreign intimidation or interference. It is not right for them not to be informed when they or their loved ones are being victimized or threatened.
    Finding out this kind of news two years after the fact raises even more questions for the Prime Minister. First, why did the government not inform these MPs sooner? Coincidentally, it was two Conservatives and an NDP member who were targeted.
    Had they been on the right side of the House, would they have been informed in a timely manner?
    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague from Public Safety mentioned, we take these threats of foreign interference very seriously, particularly when they affect members of the House.
    That is precisely why we gave clear, specific instructions to the intelligence agencies. We did that to ensure that the intelligence agencies inform us when they become aware of such circumstances affecting MPs or senators. We will ensure that the elected officials in question are informed and that the appropriate measures are taken.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are still waiting to hear back from their rapporteur, but what alternative does he have except to recommend an independent public inquiry?
    There is no other option. China targeted three members with threats. One Liberal was alleged to have been involved in the Chinese interference somehow. Interference is making headlines every day. The matter obviously warrants an inquiry. At this stage, waiting for the rapporteur is nothing but a waste of time, or a stalling tactic.
    When can we expect an independent public inquiry?
    Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we are working to secure our democratic institutions. From the time we formed the government, we have worked to strengthen the mechanisms needed to counter foreign interference, something the Conservatives never did during their years in power.
    We constantly look for new ways to strengthen the existing mechanisms even further. Like our colleague, we are eagerly awaiting the report of the Right Hon. David Johnston in this matter.

  (1445)  

[English]

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' Bill C-75 entrenched the catch-and-release bail system that is devastating Canadian communities. Violent crime has shot up 32% under the Prime Minister's watch. Premiers, police officers and victims groups have been desperately calling on the government to fix their broken bail system, but the bill they introduced today is nothing more than a slap in the face. It will not keep repeat violent offenders behind bars. The Liberals' catch-and-release system remains in effect.
    When will these Liberals finally end catch-and-release for violent criminals?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question, as misguided as it is. I had the honour today to introduce in the House Bill C-48, which represents targeted measures to strengthen our bail system to meet the concerns raised by provincial premiers, our counterpart justice and public safety ministers across Canada, police associations and others.
    Let me read to members what Tom Stamatakis, president of the Canadian Police Association, has said. He said, “we appreciate that [the ministers] have worked collaboratively with stakeholders and introduced this common-sense legislation that”—
    The hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul.
    Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that this minister celebrated when the Liberal government's catch-and-release policies were brought in by Bill C-75. We need an entire overhaul of the Liberal system that has created the violent crime surge across the country and has led to the deaths and harm of innocent Canadians from violent repeat offenders.
    The reality is that the only way this gets fixed, the only way that violent repeat offenders get jail, and not bail, and the only way that the rights of victims are put first, is with a Conservative majority government. Is that not right?
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that on the other side of the House, they believe that complex criminal justice policy resolves itself into a simple, silly slogan. That is not true. We resolve complex problems in criminal justice by working with provinces, territories, stakeholders—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am sorry. The chirping is starting again, and it is getting a bit loud.
    I am going to ask the hon. minister to start over again, so everyone can hear the answer, please.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that on the other side of the House, justice policy resolves itself into a simple, silly slogan. That is not the case. It is complex. One has to work with provinces, territories, experts and police associations, and that is exactly what we have done.
    I will tell members what Jon Reid, president of the Toronto Police Association, has said. He said, “Ensuring the public maintains its confidence in the administration of justice is paramount, and I believe the introduction of Bill C-48, and the clear message being sent by the government that public safety remains a top priority, will help victims of crime, as well as all Canadians”.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, ever since Bill C‑75 was passed by the NDP-Liberal coalition, criminals no longer fear law enforcement officers because they know they will be released the same day.
    We are currently marking Victims and Survivors of Crime Week. Since 2015, under the Liberal government, this seems to be the era of repeat offenders, while victims come second.
    The premiers are certainly going to ask that the Prime Minister fix this colossal mistake, this legislation resulting from C‑75. Will he do it?
    Mr. Speaker, today I had the honour of introducing Bill C‑48 precisely so we can work with the provinces, with the territories, and with police associations across Canada to strengthen the bail system in Canada.
    Let me read from Tom Stamatakis' statement today. He wrote, “we appreciate that [the ministers] have worked collaboratively with stakeholders and introduced this common-sense legislation that responds to the concerns that our members have raised.”
    Mr. Speaker, all the government is trying to do is fix the mistakes it has made in the past few years.
    The legislation resulting from Bill C‑75 is a mistake; the government is trying to fix it, but has not yet succeeded. Bill C-5 is a serious mistake; it must be fixed. All the government is doing at this time is making mistakes that cause problems in the system of checks and balances for public safety.
    Can the minister confirm today that the bill he introduced will completely solve the legal problem arising from Bill C‑75, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times, the justice system and the penal system cannot be reduced to a mere slogan. To improve the system and ensure that Canadians have confidence in the system, we must work with the provinces, territories, stakeholders and police associations.
    That is exactly what we did for Bill C‑75. That is exactly what we have done for Bill C‑48. That is exactly the government's approach, and it will yield results.

  (1450)  

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, an environmental disaster is unfolding in Kanesatake.
    Toxic water leaking from an illegal dump is spreading across Mohawk territory and draining into Lac des Deux Montagnes. The smell is terrible. The damage is real. Community members are fed up. They are being intimidated and left to fend for themselves. Federal action is urgently needed.
    Will the Liberals listen to the community of Kanesatake and call a parliamentary inquiry to determine the specific causes of this disaster?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, Indigenous Services Canada, indeed the federal government, has been working with Kanesatake leaders to determine a solution to move forward in a way that protects the health and safety of the community. We agree that we must do better to protect our lands together, and that is exactly what I am doing with the leadership of Kanesatake.

Automotive Industry

    Mr. Speaker, Windsor families are worried. There are 2,500 good-paying union jobs at risk at the new Stellantis plant, because this Liberal government cannot seem to get its act together. It is pointing fingers at the provinces instead of fighting for working-class Windsor families. This government cannot say that it stands with workers and they play political games with their livelihoods. They need real leadership now.
    When will this government get back to the table, live up to its commitments and finally make Windsor workers a priority?
    Mr. Speaker, no government has invested more for our car sector and our auto workers than our government. We proved that with the NAFTA negotiations, we proved that when we got Canada carved into the U.S. EV incentives and we proved that with the VW investment. We are doing the same thing with Stellantis.
    We are going to ensure a fair deal for Canadians across our whole country, and that does mean that Ontario needs to do its fair share, and it means that Stellantis needs to do its fair share as well.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, it is easy to make up empty slogans and unrealistic promises, but it is harder to do the work diligently and concretely address the complex issues in order to protect Canadians and ensure our justice system is fair and efficient.
    Can the justice minister update this chamber on the bail legislation he promised in March and actually introduced today?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge for his hard work on this issue.
    Canadians deserve to be safe and they deserve to feel safe. That is why today I introduced Bill C-48, a targeted bail reform bill to address violent repeat offenders, gun and knife violence, as well as gender-based violence. It is the product of collaboration with the provinces and territories.
    We have had input from mayors, police, parliamentarians as well as indigenous leadership and the legal community. The police associations are already reacting favourably. It is proof of what we can do when Canadians work together.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, Liberal inflation has sent food, housing and gas prices soaring, but there is one substance that has gone down in price by 90%: powerful opioids. After the Prime Minister announced $100 million—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am sorry, but I am going to interrupt the hon. Leader of the Opposition. We are just getting distractions from all over.
    I would ask him to start from the top please.
    Order.
    Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister has sent inflation for gas, heat and groceries soaring, there is one product that has actually come down in price: powerful opioids.
    The Prime Minister has spent $100 million on so-called safe supply. One Global News reporter went into the street to find out where all these drugs were going. It turns out they are being resold to other addicts in order to raise the money to buy deadly fentanyl.
    Will the Prime Minister cancel the dollars for drugs and instead put the resources into treatment for addicts?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are pretty fed up with this fight against evidence-based programs that actually are saving lives. We cannot allow the Conservatives to take us back to the failed ideology of the past. Even Harper's adviser, Ben Perrin, thinks they are speaking nonsense. So just stop it and save lives.
    Mr. Speaker, no common sense.
    The evidence is seen in the tragic faces of addicts who lie overdosed on the pavement in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver where, after this Prime Minister spent $100 million handing out free drugs to addicts, he has led to a 300% increase in overdoses.
     Will he stop giving dollars for drugs and instead follow my common-sense plan to put the resources into treatment and recovery to bring our loved ones home drug free?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. One person at a time in this chamber, please.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, 46,000 overdoses have been reversed in safe consumption sites. The member says that he will stop that. I want him to speak to the parents of the people who would have been lost if there were no safe consumption sites and no safe supply. This is ridiculous.
    Mr. Speaker, people are dying because the minister and the Prime Minister are flooding the streets with dangerous drugs and killing these people. Since they brought in this policy, there has been a 300% increase in drug overdose deaths, and 30,000 people have lost their lives. Investigative journalists have shown that the drugs that she is funding with Canadian tax dollars are flooding the streets and being sold for a dollar—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I am hearing yelling on both sides.
    The hon. Leader of the Opposition can start from the top, please, so we can hear the whole question. I do not want to hear any screaming or shouting in the background, and then we can hear an answer as well.
    The hon. Leader of the Opposition.
    Mr. Speaker, people are dying because the policies of the Prime Minister are killing them. His policies are flooding the streets with drugs that now go for $1 a hit. Someone can buy 26 hits of hydromorphone, which is an analog to heroin, for $30. These are drugs paid for by Canadian tax dollars under a program by the government that has led to a 300% increase in drug overdose deaths.
    Why will the Liberals not get some common sense, end dollars for drugs and put our people in treatment?
    Mr. Speaker, people have to stay alive long enough to get treatment. People are dying because of the toxic drug supply. Safe supply allows people to stay alive long enough. In a CMHA study—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1500)  

    Order. Please start from the top, the same courtesy I gave to the opposition leader.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, people have to stay alive long enough to get to treatment. People are dying because of the toxic, tainted drug supply. When people are on safe supply, the CMHA article from yesterday talked about how there is less drug use, fewer overdoses and less petty crime. This is an evidence-based project and program that meets the test of evidence and science, not a journalist who will only speak to the people who agree with him.
    Mr. Speaker, the theory is that if we flood the streets with hydromorphone, an opioid, then people will not use more dangerous drugs like fentanyl. The reality—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. We want it to be quiet on both sides. I want everybody to take a deep breath. We want to hear the question, as well as the answer.
    The hon. Leader of the Opposition, from the top.
    Mr. Speaker, the theory is that, if the Prime Minister puts $100 million of hydromorphone on the streets, people will not use more dangerous drugs. The reality is that, in both reports from the National Post and The Globe and Mail, and the data from the ground, the addicts are taking the hydromorphone, selling it to kids, and taking the profits to buy fentanyl and dying of overdoses. The kids then get bored of hydromorphone and they take the deadly fentanyl. That is why people are dying.
    Will the government stop the policies that are killing people and put our people in treatment instead?
    Mr. Speaker, some things are just beyond the pale.
    Our Minister of Mental Health is one of the most respected members of this House. Unlike the Leader of the Opposition, who is a career politician and has done nothing else, she is a doctor. She devoted much of her life to delivering babies and bringing forth life.
    I heard the Leader of the Opposition shout across the aisle, “You are killing them.” That is shameful. That is entirely unacceptable.

[Translation]

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced consultations to develop a plan to meet the biodiversity commitments made at COP15. At the same time, that same minister—
    I am sorry, but I must interrupt the hon. member. I still hear members yelling on both sides of the House.

[English]

    There is shouting going on, talking really, just loudly. It is not a place where you have a conversation, while somebody else is talking, across the floor. Listen to the one person who is speaking. If members really want to speak to each other, they could cross over and whisper or go into the hallway.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced consultations to develop a plan to meet the biodiversity commitments made at COP15. At the same time, that same minister is authorizing BP to drill for oil right in the middle of the largest marine refuge on the east coast.
    On the one hand, the minister wants to protect marine areas, and on the other hand, he is authorizing drilling in those same marine areas. Dr. Jekyll of the environment has become Mr. Hyde of the government. He knows full well that drilling does not protect marine areas.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question, which gives me a chance to remind the House that no other country on the planet was ready to step up and host COP15. Canada was there for the international community, for science and for the protection of nature. We succeeded where everyone thought we would fail. We managed to secure an international agreement that most people would call historic. That is what leadership in Canada looks like when it comes to protecting nature.
    Mr. Speaker, with his government's approval, 14 drilling permits will be auctioned off to allow drilling in areas that encroach on the most important marine refuges on the east coast. If the Minister of Environment and Climate Change does not see the contradiction in authorizing drilling precisely in areas that are supposed to be protected, then his pandering to the interests of big oil truly knows no bounds.
    He needs to explain this. If the designation “marine protected area” does not protect marine areas from oil drilling, what are they protected from, real estate speculation, perhaps?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, to begin, I want to make it clear that we are talking about exploration, not production. Before our government took office, less than 1% of our oceans were protected. Today, over 14% of our oceans are protected and we will get to 30% by 2030.
    If members want to talk about this subject, then we can talk about the fact that, when the leader of the Bloc Québécois was serving as the Quebec minister of sustainable development, environment, wildlife and parks, he allowed drilling on Anticosti Island. He said, “I will tell you in no uncertain terms, the Government of Quebec intends to make progress in developing the oil industry in Quebec.”

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, it is utterly shocking that the Liberal government believes the only treatment for addicts in this country is palliative care. No other treatment required, just move straight to palliative care.
    Since this reckless plan, using taxpayer dollars for high-potency drugs, was introduced, seven people a day, in January alone, in British Columbia, have died. The overdose crisis cannot be fixed by giving people more drugs. It is only making it worse.
    When will the Liberal government realize that the Conservative common-sense plan to give addicts rehabilitation and not free drugs is the way to end the overdose crisis?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadian drug policy and international drug policy have all four parts: prevention and education, harm reduction, treatment, and enforcement. We lived through 10 years of the Conservative government taking harm reduction out. We are now having to build back. As Ben Perrin said, “rehashing Conservative, war-on-drugs tropes that have been long since discredited and have been found to be not only ineffective but costly and deadly.”
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says that spending tax dollars to give free hard drugs to addicts is safe. He is wrong. Instead, he supercharged the drug crisis that is killing our sons and daughters, seven dying a day in B.C. alone. There is no time to wait. We need a common-sense plan that saves lives. Stop flooding our streets with crack, heroin and cocaine. Addicts need rehab, access to treatment beds and a path to a drug-free life.
    The Prime Minister is out of touch and our youth are at risk. Will he do what it takes to bring home our kids drug-free?
    Mr. Speaker, we cannot allow the Conservatives to take us back to the failed ideology of the past. Our government will use every tool at our disposal to end this national public health crisis. Supporting a safer supply is just one of the evidence-based, comprehensive public health responses to the toxic drug and overdose crisis. They do include prevention, treatment and enforcement.
    Our government is working with stakeholders that help support a safer supply and build that evidence, like the recent CMHA study around this promising, life-saving practice.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, even though this situation is raging in British Columbia and across Canada, every Canadian, every Canadian family and every Canadian parent is concerned about this issue.
    What we are seeing is that over the years, under this Liberal government, the situation has gotten worse. Not only is it not improving, but it is getting worse.
    Is it not time for the Prime Minister and his government to realize that since the situation is getting worse, it is time for a new common-sense approach?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from the Quebec City region for asking that question.
    Like me, he must know that in Quebec City, there are people in my riding and all over who save lives not only with early intervention and not only with harm reduction, but also with supervised consumption sites.
    If my colleague is willing, he is welcome to come visit these people. Many of them are in Quebec City's lower town. Every day, these people, who are far removed from the ideology of his leader, fortunately, are there to help people in our region.

  (1510)  

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, at COP15 last December, Canada and 195 other countries adopted a historic framework, the Kunming‑Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. This framework aims to protect nature around the world and halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030.
    Yesterday, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change launched consultations with Canadians on the 2030 biodiversity strategy for Canada.
    If my Bloc Québécois friends are willing to listen, would the minister tell us more about these consultations?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    Canada has demonstrated leadership by being one of the first countries to launch its 2030 national biodiversity strategy and kicking off its consultations.
    I am proud not only to launch these consultations with Canadians, but also to honour our promise to protect at least 30% of Canada's land and water by 2030. We also launched consultations about adding the monarch butterfly and the bumblebee to Canada's list of species at risk.
    There is still much work to be done, and we must act now.

[English]

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the so-called safe supply policies of the Liberal-NDP coalition are deadly. Seven people a day are dying in B.C. alone. Unsafe tent cities abound. Kids are being sold the safe supply drugs and overdosing at an alarming rate. Then users have the cash to buy deadly fentanyl. Our sons and daughters are paying the price.
    When will the Liberals make treatment beds a priority, not free hard drugs, so that we can bring home our loved ones drug-free?
    Mr. Speaker, once again I will quote from Ben Perrin, the public safety and justice adviser to former prime minister Stephen Harper:
    There is no indication that prescribed safe supply is contributing to illicit drug deaths.
    Safer supply has been tested and found to be beneficial for people who have been unable to have treatment for whatever reason, and are long-term substance-abuse users. We’re talking about essentially substituting a contaminated street drug with a drug that has known contents and potency to help people stay alive, first of all, and also to be able to stabilize.
    Mr. Speaker, the careless attitude the Liberal government has taken toward the overdose and addiction crisis in Canada is unacceptable. In British Columbia alone, as I mentioned previously, seven people a day were dying in January. We have heard the Liberal addictions minister refer to the reckless distribution of hard drugs without mandatory treatment as a necessary step.
    When will the Liberal government listen to science, realize that its decriminalization experiment is a failure, give addicts rehab, not free drugs, and bring our loved ones home?
    Mr. Speaker, it is impossible to bring one's loved ones home if they are dead. I am—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Please continue.
    Mr. Speaker, the toxic drug supply means that people in construction or in the mines are using once and dying. We have to move to a safer supply of drugs, as we have with alcohol, cannabis and the other ways people actually use substance to numb their pain. Former prime minister Stephen Harper's adviser said, particularly on using people using drugs as props, “I was really disgusted by it. I honestly was so disturbed to see Pierre—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order, please.
    Time had run out long before. I just want to remind hon. members, when they are referring to someone, to refer to them by their titles or their ridings. I know it gets emotional in here and we forget sometimes, but I just want to remind everyone on all sides.
    The hon. member for Essex has the floor.

Labour

    Mr. Speaker, the government continues to disrupt people's lives and cripple companies like WestJet. The labour and transportation ministers have once again failed to bring union and management to the table. Now Canadian travellers may be stranded over the long weekend. The Prime Minister's high taxes and high inflation continue to destroy this country while our air pilots are leaving to work abroad.
    Our pilots are vital. When will the ministers do their job and ensure our pilots are back in the cockpit?