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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 093

CONTENTS

Tuesday, June 21, 2022




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 093
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1000)  

[Translation]

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the annual progress report on the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

[English]

Women, Peace and Security

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2020-21 progress report on Canada's national action plan for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolution on women, peace and security.

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 17 petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

Interparliamentary Delegations

    Mr. Speaker, as president of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association, and pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the following four reports of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association: the report respecting its participation at the joint meeting of the defence and security, economics and security, and political committees in Brussels, Belgium, from February 17 to 19, 2020; the report on the 66th annual session by video conference, from November 18 to 23, 2020; the report on the spring session by video conference, from May 14 to 17, 2021; and the report on the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from November 19 to 21, 2021.

Committees of the House

Liaison 

     Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 107(3), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the liaison committee, entitled “Committee Activities and Expenditures: April 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022”. This report highlights the work and accomplishments of each committee, as well as detailing the budgets that fund the activities approved by committee members.

  (1005)  

[Translation]

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs entitled “Review of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons: Part 1”.

[English]

    I have a second report to present. I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, entitled “The Inclusion of Indigenous Languages on Federal Election Ballots: A Step Towards Reconciliation”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
    I would like to thank all members and everyone involved in making this happen. We have worked fairly well as a committee.
    To ensure that we continue progressing and getting work done, while I am on my feet, I move, seconded by the member for Winnipeg North:
    That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.

[Translation]

    The question is on the motion.
    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

[English]

    The hon. opposition House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division.

[Translation]

    Call in the members.

  (1050)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 161)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Bains
Baker
Barron
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blaney
Blois
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fergus
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Garneau
Garrison
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Morrice
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Singh
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thompson
Trudeau
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 173


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chabot
Chambers
Champoux
Chong
Cooper
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Ferreri
Findlay
Fortin
Gallant
Garon
Gaudreau
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Larouche
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
MacKenzie
Maguire
Martel
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
Normandin
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perkins
Perron
Plamondon
Poilievre
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Rood
Ruff
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Strahl
Stubbs
Thériault
Therrien
Thomas
Tochor
Tolmie
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vignola
Villemure
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 148


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Criminal Code

Bill C-21—Time Allocation Motion  

    That in relation to Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the said bill; and
    That, at the expiry of the five hours provided consideration at second reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period.

[English]

    I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places or use the “raise hand” function so the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in this question period.
    The hon. opposition House leader.
    Mr. Speaker, once again we are seeing the hammer drop. It is on Bill C-21 this time, which further strengthens our resolve. You and I are unfortunate to have a front row seat to the further decline in democracy in this place and another attack on the institution of Parliament.
    There has been three hours and 24 minutes of debate on this bill, which is a very substantive bill. Just last week, the Conservatives made an offer to the government: split the bill so we can work on portions of it that we can support, such as domestic violence and other matters within the bill. That was rejected by the government.
     This bill would do nothing to solve gun and gang criminal activity in this country. This past weekend there were seven shootings in Liberal-held ridings just in Toronto. Instead of dealing with the situation, what the Liberals are doing is further traumatizing, stigmatizing and dividing Canadians through a bill by not offering to work and do the right thing.
    My question for the minister is this. Is it true that, for the purposes of further dividing, stigmatizing and wedging, and using this bill as a politicized weapon, the Liberals have earmarked almost $1 million for an ad campaign in the summer to target opposition parties that are looking to better this bill as opposed to oppose it?

  (1055)  

    Madam Speaker, I have personal respect for my colleague. He knows that, and I would like to think we reciprocate that. Unfortunately, I do not respect his position on this particular motion.
    The reason why we are taking this step is betrayed by the way in which he has characterized the bill, which is that Bill C-21 would not be helpful in reducing gun violence. That is categorically untrue. In particular, I would point his attention to the fact that the bill, among other things, would raise maximum sentences against illegal gun smugglers. He seems not to take any particular note of that. He also does not address the fact that it was his party, sadly, that sought to filibuster this debate, consistent with the posture that the Conservative Party has taken on any number of important questions and matters of priority for Canadians, whether it is on the economy, on health or on the environment. Conservatives are always blocking debate. We want to advance debate.
    This debate will now move to committee, where there will be more study of Bill C-21, which would help ensure that we protect Canadians.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, it is not a question of whether we are for or against Bill C-21. We know that the bill is not perfect, but it is important.
    This is about how the Liberal government has managed its legislative agenda. To be frank, honest and sincere, it has been a complete disaster. I have never seen a legislative agenda managed like this. We are meeting again today and we will likely sit until late on Thursday because we do not have the right people on that side of the House to manage the legislative agenda effectively. It is not the opposition's fault. It is not the fault of the Conservatives, the Bloc Québécois or the NDP. It is the government's fault. They keep imposing closure because they are unable to manage their legislative agenda properly.
    The fact that we have gotten to this point, today, is serious. The government could have tabled its notice of motion on the weekend, but what we are seeing here is the government's inefficiency across all departments and in managing the legislative agenda.
    Madam Speaker, first, I share my hon. colleague's concerns, because there have been far too many tragedies related to gun violence, not only in Quebec, but across the country. That is exactly why we urgently need to deal with the situation.
    The Conservatives are the ones who have been engaging in obstruction tactics. It is unacceptable. There is a lot of support, I hope, from the Bloc and the other opposition parties, like the NDP, for debating this bill and moving forward with a constructive discussion. However, we must manage the situation, and the only way we can move this debate forward is through the committee's fine work. It is important to ensure the safety of the Canadian public.

  (1100)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I have said this before: We have two bloc parties in the House of Commons, the Bloc Québécois and the “block everything” party. The Conservative Party has been systematically blocking everything over the course of the last few months, refusing to let through even bills that people are looking for. We are talking about teachers looking for tax credits. We have been besieged by letters throughout the course of the last few months. The Conservatives have said that nothing is going to pass at all. They do not even want bills to go to committee for improvements or, when they do go to committee, for amendments to be considered. It has been absolute chaos because of the Conservatives.
    Why have the Conservatives wanted to block everything? Why would they not seek to go to committee so that we could hear from witnesses?
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for putting his finger precisely on the problem in his chamber, which is that there is one party, and that is the Conservative Party of Canada, that continues to obstruct on public safety, the economy, health and the environment. Rather than embracing the debate, which is the hallmark of our democracy in this chamber, what we see instead is relentless tactics to filibuster and postpone debate.
    What we have before us is a bill that would help us advance the fight against gun violence. I would certainly urge the Conservatives to embrace the opportunities that would manifest in the committee stage, where we could look at Bill C-21 and hopefully find some common ground on addressing handgun violence, addressing organized crime, and addressing the connections between domestic abuse and gun violence. That debate will continue there.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I listened to my counterpart from the Bloc Québécois talk about managing the legislative calendar.
    However, managing the parliamentary calendar depends on the good faith of all parties and their willingness to not systematically block bills, such as Bill C‑8, which helped us provide assistance to Canadians in this pandemic and inflationary environment.
    I would also like to point out to my friends and colleagues in the Bloc Québécois that Quebeckers support additional measures to control firearms, handguns and assault weapons. The Minister of Public Safety is advocating for these measures, and I invite him to tell us again why we should hear from Quebeckers and Canadians on this issue.
    Before recognizing the Minister of Public Safety, I would like to remind members that there are more than 20 minutes remaining for questions and comments. I ask members to wait their turn to ask their question or share their comments.
    The hon. Minister of Public Safety.
    Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague is absolutely right. Strengthening our efforts in the context of the fight against gun violence is a priority for Quebec. That is why I am in constant contact with my Quebec counterparts, including Minister Guilbault, Mayor Plante in Montreal, and Mayor Marchand in Quebec City, who all support the bill.
    Everyone understands that this is a step in the right direction. I want to work with the Bloc Québécois and with all the members to better protect our communities.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I have been talking with law enforcement officials from across my riding about the bill, and they have some serious reservations. We know that when the minister enacted the Emergencies Act, he said that he had advice from law enforcement officials to enact it, but in the meantime we found out that was actually false.
    I want to ask the minister whether he has received advice from law enforcement on whether the bill is actually practical, and if he has, whether he could share with the House who it is that he received this advice from.
    Madam Speaker, I am all too happy to answer my hon. colleague's question. Among other branches, of course we are in the midst of consulting with law enforcement at the federal level with the RCMP. However, we saw the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which represents the most senior levels and executive levels of law enforcement, say that Bill C-21 would be a step in the right direction toward better protecting our communities. Of course, that in no way diminishes the fact that we need to debate the bill and study the bill.
    The problem with my hon. colleague's position is that her party has stood in the way of debate. It is her party that is standing in the way of the free speech that should be exercised in studying the bill.
    We want to pass the bill so we can deal with gun violence and better protect our communities. I would hope that my colleague would embrace that effort.

  (1105)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, earlier my NDP colleague said that there is the Bloc Québécois and the “block everything” party, in other words, the Conservatives. What he forgot to say is that in politics the primary principle is to establish a balance of power. Since the marriage between the NDP and the Liberal Party that balance of power no longer exists.
    That leads my colleague from Mirabel to believe that the New Democrats are spending so much time at the Liberals' feet that they are going to get oral thrush. It is quite dangerous.
    On Bill C‑21 in particular, we have seen many proposals from the member for Rivière-du-Nord, and we know that the main problem is the illegal guns. We will not be able to discuss the matter, however, because of the closure motion.
    Madam Speaker, I completely agree with my colleague's statement that we need to study the bill. The problem is that the Conservatives continue to use tactics to create delays and pick fights, in an attempt to shut down debate. That is not good.
    I hope we can work with the Bloc Québécois and even the NDP. The NDP understands that, through compromise and dialogue, we can make progress in the House. There is a sharing of ideas. Even the Bloc Québécois understands that we need to share ideas. I am always looking for solutions to strengthen Bill C‑21. However, the Conservatives need to stop with the nonsense. When they act like this on something that is such an important concern, their actions only hurt Canadians.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we saw this with Bill C-11: Conservatives blocking witnesses at committee, blocking the tabling of amendments, blocking systematically improvements that needed to come to Bill C-11. Fortunately, we were able to—
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    It is very disrespectful to be calling members names, and I would ask the member to apologize for doing so.
    The hon. member for Peace River—Westlock.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to apologize for disrupting the House and calling the member names.
    Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, but, quite frankly, “sticks and stones”. We have seen the Conservatives' antics for the last six months and what they say does not bother me at all. What they do, though, does bother me, and this is what we saw at the committee level—
    Sorry, we have a point of order.
    The hon. member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke.
    Madam Speaker, according to the rules, the number of questions is supposed to be according to the proportion of people in a given party and what they received in votes at election time, instead of just going party to party. Since there were more votes and more seats won by the Conservatives, we should be getting more questions rather than just merely going around in a circle.
    It is up to the Speaker to decide who speaks, and I am being fair. Members will see that certainly when it comes to the government, because it is its motion, the Liberals are getting fewer questions.
    Returning to the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.
    Madam Speaker, hopefully the Conservatives will not interrupt a third or fourth or fifth time. It just proves my point of how disruptive they have been. They have abandoned their voters and come to the House and they just cause chaos. That is what they seem to think their role is, and it is tragic. We saw that at committee, and now they are blocking a bill that needs to go to committee for improvements. There is no doubt that there needs to be work done and witnesses need to be heard from.
    Why are Conservatives refusing to have the legislative process that allows for due consideration for witnesses, for amendments and for improvements on a bill?
    Madam Speaker, I do not know why. I wish Canadians could get into the heads of some of the tactics that we have seen here in this chamber. We embrace the idea of having a very vigorous debate about how to better protect our communities from gun violence, but, instead, we saw on the first day that was scheduled for Bill C-21 that Conservatives filibustered and we have seen similar tactics at committee.
    As my hon. colleague the leader for the NDP in this chamber pointed out, it is not just on the matters related to public safety. It is on matters related to creating jobs, improving the economy, dealing with climate change and dealing with priorities related to Health Canada. I do want to take a moment to thank the New Democrats for their efforts at making this chamber work, which is what the vast majority of Canadians are entitled to expect from us, especially on matters related to public safety.

  (1110)  

    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise on behalf of the citizens of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
     The hon. minister has talked about the fact that we need to have resolute debate in this place, and here we have the antithesis of that, the cutting off of debate with the help of the government's coalition partners in the NDP. How does the minister reconcile the fact that Conservatives are more than prepared to address certain aspects of this bill and more than prepared to split the bill and put it forward on the areas we agree on? Constantly, we hear we cannot get things done because we are not agreeing on things. Here we are, prepared to agree, and it is the Liberals who are pushing that away. How does the minister reconcile that with his recent comments?
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member is saying, on the one hand, from his mouth to this chamber, that the Conservatives are prepared to work on certain elements of the bill and then, earlier this morning, we heard the House leader for the Conservative Party of Canada saying there is nothing in this bill that would protect Canadians. It is for that colleague to reconcile that logical inconsistency. Canadians expect better.
     My hon. colleague, as a very accomplished, very intelligent individual member in this chamber, knows full well that the debate of Bill C-21 will continue at committee, where, of course, we embrace the exchange of ideas and potential improvements and amendments to the bill so we can better protect Canadians from the scourge of gun violence. I would urge the member to vote in support of this motion so that we can continue debate at committee.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am getting sick and tired of hearing the government call out the opposition for doing its job. The Liberal government has moved a series of closure motions in the past month and is now blaming the Conservatives and the Bloc for the lack of progress. The government cannot criticize the opposition for doing its job. It cannot criticize members on this side of the House for asking questions. The government keeps imposing closure because it cannot manage its own legislative agenda, even with the support of the NDP.
    I listen to my NDP friends during question period, and I am not sure if they have noticed this, but no one listens to their questions anymore. No one is interested in what they have to say. They should give us their questions. Ever since they cozied up to the government, no one is interested in what they have to say. They criticize us for obstructing our work here, even though we are here to ask questions. That is what we have been doing since the beginning of this session.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's passion for the subject. On this side, we understand our responsibility, which is to protect all Canadians. That is exactly why we need to move forward with debate on this bill—to better protect Canadians across Canada, including Quebeckers. As a matter of fact, it was the Bloc that encouraged the government to take more action. We must take action. Debate on this bill is our opportunity to better protect all Canadians. That is our priority.
    Madam Speaker, we need to talk about the question from the member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert. Obviously, Quebeckers are watching and listening to the NDP's questions, because we are seeing growing support in Quebec polls. As my colleagues know, if we had proportional representation—
    The member for Battle River—Crowfoot on a point of order.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is my understanding that, when time allocation is moved, it is an opportunity not for the NDP to defend its actions and the decisions it has made in this place, but rather an opportunity for the government to defend the shutting down of debate on a particular—
    This is more a point of debate.
    The hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, Bloc and Conservative members are so sensitive. It is incredible.
    The member for Provencher on a point of order.

  (1115)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I know it is at the discretion of the Chair, but it seems to me there are a lot of members who would like their opinions expressed here during this debate, and you keep deferring to the same member of the NDP. I think it is time to spread out the questions.
    It depends upon who within the party gets up, so I would just indicate again that it is at the will of the Chair to recognize members.
    The hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.

[Translation]

    Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. You do an excellent job. I know that it is not easy when there are parties that are blocking everything and that do not want to co-operate. You do an excellent job, and I thank you on behalf of all Canadians.
    In my opinion, there is an unhealthy dynamic here. Some members are blocking everything. They do not want things to move forward. They do not want anything to be studied in committee. They do not want to hear from witnesses. They do not want any subamendments to be proposed and they do not want the bills to be improved.
    I have a simple question for my colleague. Why are these parties refusing to improve the bills?
    Madam Speaker, honestly, I do not have an answer to his question because what the government cares about is working with all members on one of the highest priorities for the country, and that is protecting all Canadians. Even in Quebec, we are working on this bill with the mayor of Montreal, the mayor of Quebec City and my provincial government counterpart in a spirit of co-operation.
    We want to continue the debate in committee. That is why we need to move forward in a spirit of co-operation.
    Madam Speaker, I completely agree with the member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert that invoking closure over and over again sets a dangerous precedent.

[English]

    I am someone who has been in the House long enough to remember when time allocation was rare. When Stephen Harper started bringing it in over and over again, I counted. I put to the ministers then that between 1920 and 2000, we had seen these kinds of debates 40 times, and in the previous 18 months we had seen them 40 times.
     I would urge my hon. friends in the Liberal Party and in the NDP to consider what we are doing here. When we make time allocation routine, it means that the next government in the next session will weaponize it further, and the rights of individual MPs to debate bills properly will be further eroded. I ask them to please not do this thing.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her comments and her notes of caution. Of course, we are using this particular procedural motion to advance debate. I would hope that she would know that there is always going to be an open mind on studying this bill and that there will always be an open mind on improving this bill. Of course, I remain open to her suggestions and to the suggestions of all parliamentarians, and indeed of all Canadians, on how we can better protect Canadians.
    My hon. colleague spoke about the weaponization of procedural motions. I am concerned about the weaponization of lethal firearms in our communities. Of course, this past weekend was a very harsh reminder that, tragically, innocent lives are being lost. Instead of getting any kind of collaboration from the Conservatives, we have seen delay tactics. That has to stop. Debate will continue at committee.
    Madam Speaker, I disagree with the member from the Green Party. As I have said before, no one likes time allocation, but it is a tool that is necessary when we cannot negotiate and have co-operation.
    We must remember that the mandate was not just given to this government in terms of co-operating. The mandate to co-operate was given to all political entities in the chamber. All it takes is any one opposition party to prevent any piece of legislation from passing, which will force the government to bring in time allocation or to concede the legislation and never see it pass.
    My question to my colleague is this. Would he not agree that, at the end of the day, this is important? This is what Canadians want to see, which is the type of legislation that would have an impact on our lives. That is why we have to push it—
    I will allow the hon. minister to answer. There are other members who would like to ask questions.
    The hon. minister.
    Madam Speaker, in short, I wholeheartedly agree with my hon. colleague and the observation he makes that Bill C-21 is vitally important to Canadians, because it seeks to address the increase of gun violence, which has been statistically studied by StatsCan and other individuals over the past decade or so.
    We have seen gun crime go up. We have seen handgun crime, specifically, go up. We have seen intimate-partner violence and gender-based violence go up in connection with the presence of guns. Rather than being able to advance the bill in this chamber, we have seen Conservatives partake in filibustering, which is why we have brought forward this time allocation motion. It does not stop debate. Of course, this bill will continue to be studied by the committee so we can better protect Canadians from the scourge of gun violence.

  (1120)  

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the government defending its use of something that Liberals previously said was an absolute affront to democracy: time allocation. It is incumbent upon us to talk about the fact that the bill has been debated for three hours and 20-odd minutes. This is not a bill that has been “filibustered”; this is a bill that has barely received scrutiny. There are valid questions that have been raised.
     I believe that it is really important to point out right now, especially for the record, that the concerns that are being heard in my riding of Fort McMurray—Cold Lake and many ridings across the prairies are very different from the concerns that are being heard elsewhere. I think that this government would be very well suited not to move time allocation on this and instead hear directly from these witnesses. I would urge the minister to come to the prairies. He can come to my riding and talk to people who have serious concerns about the bill and what it would mean for their day-to-day living. Will he come to my riding to talk to the gun owners?
    Madam Speaker, I would be happy to accept my hon. colleague's invitation, and I thank her for it. Also, I am pleased to alert her to the fact that I have previously visited the ridings of some of her colleagues in opposition, including Lethbridge, Alberta, where I had the chance to interact with law-abiding gun owners, for whom we have a tremendous amount of respect.
     I would point out that we are not stopping the debate on this bill. All of the urging that my colleague has impressed upon me and the government to hear from witnesses and to continue with debate is an effort that will continue at committee. We have to move on with the bill, because this is an urgent issue, and we look forward to making sure that we can study this bill and ultimately pass it to better protect Canadians.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, what needs to be acknowledged this morning is that this government refuses to accept its status as a minority government, and has never accepted it, since 2019. Its minority status means that it has to work with the opposition parties. It refused to do so from the beginning, so the government called an election in the middle of a pandemic to try to win a majority. When that did not work, the government found a third party to be its puppet, and now it can do whatever it wants. Then it complains that the opposition is trying to obstruct proceedings in order to buy time. Of course, the government should not expect collaboration when it refuses to respect its collaborators.
    We were told yesterday that we would be sitting until midnight tonight. No one knows who was consulted. The government House leader is not communicating with the House leaders of the other parties. If that is not contempt, I do not know what is. I urge the government to open its eyes and, more importantly, its ears and work with the opposition parties so we can stop debating about not debating. This is ridiculous.
    Madam Speaker, I have a great deal of respect for my colleague's role and the opposition's role. That is exactly why we came up with concrete and practical solutions for Canadians during the pandemic and obtained a consensus in the House. This was done very publicly and I am very proud of the result.
    At the same time, with respect to gun violence, I am working with my Quebec counterparts, as I have mentioned several times. We must act. We will continue to debate this bill in committee with all members, including the Bloc members.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I just want to say that this is getting disturbing. I hear the Conservatives time and again spending all the time of the House trying to tear this place down, instead of fighting for people in their ridings.
    People are struggling right now. I say that with great frustration, because just in May there were three women murdered in Winnipeg—

  (1125)  

    I have a point of order from the hon. member for Peace River—Westlock.
    Madam Speaker, at page 662 of Bosc and Gagnon, it states:
    The intent of the question-and-answer period after closure motion has been moved is to promote ministerial accountability, and it provides an opportunity for the government to justify its use of this measure.
     This is not an opportunity for the fourth party in this place to hold the opposition to account.
    I take the hon. member's comments. As he knows, I have been here for almost 14 years. Even when it was a Conservative government, the same line of questioning was actually happening. We have to have debate, and the debate is to hear both sides.
    The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.
    Madam Speaker, I will repeat that it is disturbing to listen to the Conservative Party taking people down instead of fighting for people in their ridings in question period after question period, and stalling things at committees.
    It is concerning to me because, in my riding of Winnipeg Centre, there were three women murdered in the month of May. One other woman was hit and left to perish. These are serious issues that we are dealing with. If the Conservative Party and people in the House are so concerned about having time for debate, then maybe they should stop playing procedural games. I have concerns about debate, so I am making sure that we have proper time for debate.
    I want to ask the minister this. How is he going to ensure accountability at committee to make sure that due process is followed and make sure that we can come up with something that truly helps individuals in Canada?
    Madam Speaker, first, I want to thank my colleague for her advocacy, and express my condolences and support to my hon. colleague's community for the recent tragic losses owing to gun violence. That is precisely why we have to continue to be motivated to have debate and—
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I hope if you seek it you would receive unanimous consent for the extension of the question-and-answer period by 15 minutes. I think there is incredibly valuable discussion that is yet to be had on this particular subject.
    I would ask for unanimous consent to extend this period by what I think is a very reasonable 15 minutes.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.
    An hon. member: Nay.
     Madam Speaker, I will conclude by saying that we will continue to have at least five more hours of debate on Bill C-21. Then it will go to committee, where I know there will be a very extensive, thorough and comprehensive study of Bill C-21. This is a good bill. It has the broad support of Canadians across a wide array of constituencies.
    We embrace the idea of debating, and passing, this bill so we can better protect communities from the scourge of gun violence.
    It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time and put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House. The question is on the motion.
    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    The hon. member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake.
    Madam Speaker, I would request a recorded division.

  (1210)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 162)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Barron
Battiste
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bibeau
Bittle
Blair
Blaney
Blois
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fergus
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Garneau
Garrison
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Julian
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Miller
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Petitpas Taylor
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Singh
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thompson
Trudeau
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Virani
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 170


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Barsalou-Duval
Beaulieu
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bérubé
Bezan
Blanchette-Joncas
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Brunelle-Duceppe
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chabot
Chambers
Champoux
Chong
Cooper
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
DeBellefeuille
Deltell
d'Entremont
Desbiens
Desilets
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Ferreri
Findlay
Fortin
Gallant
Garon
Gaudreau
Généreux
Genuis
Gill
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Larouche
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lemire
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
MacKenzie
Maguire
Martel
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Michaud
Moore
Morantz
Morrice
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
Normandin
O'Toole
Patzer
Paul-Hus
Pauzé
Perkins
Perron
Plamondon
Poilievre
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Rood
Ruff
Savard-Tremblay
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Ste-Marie
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Thériault
Therrien
Thomas
Tochor
Tolmie
Trudel
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vignola
Villemure
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 150


PAIRED

Nil

    I declare the motion carried.

[Translation]

Second Reading  

    The House resumed from June 20 consideration of the motion that Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms) be read the second time and referred to a committee, of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, I will begin by saying I will be sharing my time with the always incisive member for Rivière-du-Nord.
    Some debates are complex, difficult and delicate. They elicit strong reactions, and even divide us and help create rifts in our society. The debate on Bill C-21 is a striking example.
    I remember that this is the first file I commented on publicly after I was elected for the first time in fall 2019, and here we are at the end of the session in my second term, in June 2022, and we are still talking about it.
    I would like to point out that the Bloc Québécois will still be voting in favour of Bill C-21 at second reading, but we believe that the bill should be improved in committee. My colleagues can rest assured that the Bloc will try to be as constructive as possible, but our now-famous dynamic duo, namely the hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord and the hon. member for Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, could explain it better than I can, since they have asked the Minister of Public Safety many questions on the issue. I will begin my speech by addressing certain aspects of Bill C-21, then certain points more specifically related to femicide and, lastly, other points focusing on domestic violence.
    First, given the numerous events in the news in Montreal lately, Bill C-21 is a step in the right direction, but it will have little effect in the short term and change practically nothing in the streets of Montreal. The most important new feature in this bill is a complete freeze on the acquisition, sale and transfer of handguns for private individuals. Legal handguns will therefore disappear on the death of the last owner, since it will be impossible to bequeath or transfer the guns to others.
    However, the bill includes exceptions for people who need a handgun to perform their duties, such as bodyguards with a licence to carry, authorized companies, for filming purposes for example, and high-level sport shooters. The government will define by regulation what is a “sport shooter”.
    Those who already own a handgun will still be able to use it legally, but they will have to make sure to always renew their licence before the deadline or lose this privilege. The bill freezes the acquisition of legal handguns, but we will have to wait many years before all of the guns are gone, through attrition. In contrast, the number of illegal guns will continue to grow.
    The federal government estimates that there are more than one million legal handguns in Canada and that more than 55,000 are acquired legally every year. The federal freeze would therefore prevent 55,000 handguns from being added to the existing number, but it does nothing about the millions of guns already in circulation. The Bloc Québécois suggests adding handguns to the buyback program in order to allow owners to sell them to the government if they so wish. In short, we are proposing an optional buyback program.
    However, one of the problems is that, according to Montreal's police force, the SPVM, 95% of the handguns used to commit violent crimes are purchased on the black market. Legal guns are sometimes used, as in the case of the Quebec City mosque shooting, and it is precisely to avoid such mass shootings that the Bloc Québécois supports survivor groups in their demands to ban these guns altogether.
    Bill C‑21 does nothing about assault weapons either, even though manufacturers are custom designing many new models to get around the May 1, 2020, regulations. The Bloc suggests adding as clear a definition as possible of the term “prohibited assault weapon”, so that they can all be banned in one fell swoop, rather than on a model-by-model basis with taxpayers paying for them to be bought back. The government wants to add to the list of prohibited weapons, but manufacturers are quick to adapt.
    Also, Bill C‑21 will have no real impact on organized crime groups, which will continue to import weapons illegally and shoot people down in our streets. The Bloc Québécois has tabled Bill C-279 to create a list of criminal organizations, similar to the list of terrorist entities, in order to crack down on criminal groups that are currently displaying their gang symbols with total impunity while innocent people are dying in our streets. My colleague from Rivière-du-Nord will discuss this bill in more detail, since he is the sponsor.
    The most important thing for getting to the heart of the problem is reducing the number of guns available. Bill C‑21 increases prison sentences for arms traffickers, from 10 years to 14, and makes it an offence to alter cartridge magazines. It was already illegal to possess cartridge magazines that exceed the lawful capacity, but the government is now making altering cartridge magazines a crime.
    Second, as the Bloc Québécois critic for status of women, I am regularly asked about this type of bill. What is interesting in this case is that Bill C‑21 incorporates the red- and yellow-flag system from the former Bill C-21. With the red-flag provisions, the Criminal Code will allow any individual to ask a judge to issue an order to immediately confiscate firearms belonging to a person who could be a danger to themselves or others, and even to confiscate weapons belonging to a person who might make them available to a person who poses a risk. The order would be valid for 30 days, and judges could take measures to protect the identity of the complainant.

  (1215)  

    The yellow-flag provisions would allow chief firearms officers to temporarily suspend a person's firearms licence if they have information that casts doubt on the person's eligibility for the licence. This suspension would prevent the person from acquiring new firearms, but it would not allow for the firearms they currently own to be seized. However, the person would not be allowed to use those firearms, for example at a firing range.
    A new measure in this version of Bill C-21 is the immediate revocation of the firearms licence of any individual who becomes subject to a protection order or who has engaged in an act of domestic violence or stalking. This measure has been lauded by many anti-femicide groups, like PolyRemembers. There are several such groups, far too many, in fact.
    This includes restraining orders and peace bonds, but also, and this is interesting, orders concerning domestic violence and stalking, including physical, emotional, financial, sexual and any other form of violence or stalking. A person who was subject to a protection order in the past would automatically be ineligible for a firearms licence.
    However, there is another problem in relation to gun smuggling. The bill contains only a few measures and, I will say it again, it does not mention a buyback program for assault weapons or even the addition of a prohibited assault weapons category to the Criminal Code, two things that are absolutely necessary.
    It is important to point out that 10- and 12-gauge hunting rifles are not affected by the ban. The gun lobby tried to sow doubt with a creative definition of a rifle's bore, which is now limited to under 20 millimetres. The bill therefore does not affect hunters. I know that many hunting groups are concerned about the new measures, but we need to reassure them that assault weapons are not designed for the type of hunting they do.
    Getting back to assault weapons, the government as already planning to establish a buyback program through a bill in order to compensate owners of newly prohibited weapons, but it did not do so in the last legislature. If the government persists in classifying guns on a case-by-case basis, the number of models of assault weapons on the market will continue to rise. That is why the Bloc Québécois suggests adding a definition of “prohibited assault weapon” to the Criminal Code so that we can ban them all at once.
    The Liberals keep repeating that they have banned assault weapons when there is nothing preventing an individual from buying an assault weapon right now or going on a killing spree if they already have one, since a number of models remain legal. Having already come out against this in Bill C‑ 5, the Liberals are also sending mixed messages in removing mandatory minimum sentences for certain gun crimes.
    Third, I know that this bill will not stop all cases of femicide, but it is significant as part of a continuum of measures to address violence. There is still much work to be done, for example in areas such as electronic bracelets and health transfers, to provide support to groups that work with victims and survivors.
    On Friday, the Standing Committee on the Status of Women tabled its report on intimate partner and family violence in Canada, and that is essentially the message I wanted to convey in my supplementary report. I hope it will be taken seriously. We will also need to work on changing mindsets that trivialize violence and try to counter hate speech, particularly online.
    To talk a little bit about the bill, it relates to cases of violence, and we mentioned electronic monitoring devices. The bill would provide for two criminal offences that would qualify for electronic monitoring, including the authorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm or ammunition. That is a good thing. Something worthwhile came out of the work that we did at the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.
    In closing, we are not the only ones who are saying that this bill does not go far enough or that it needs more work. The mayor of Montreal herself said that this bill does not go far enough. She said, and I quote:
    This is an important and decisive measure that sends the message that we need to get the gun situation under control. The SPVM is making every effort to prevent gun crime in Montreal, but it is going to be very difficult for police forces across the country to do that as long as guns can continue circulating and can easily be obtained and resold.
    There is still work to be done, and we must do it. We owe it to the victims. Enough with the partisanship. Let us work together constructively to move forward on this important issue. We cannot stand idly by while gunshots are being fired in our cities, on our streets and in front of schools and day cares. Let us take action to put an end to gun culture.

  (1220)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the fact that the Bloc members are going to be voting in favour of the legislation, yet I am a bit surprised about the most recent vote. Surely to goodness they recognize that the Conservative Party of Canada does not support the legislation and that it is the Conservatives' intent to see the bill never go to committee, yet the Bloc seems quite content to allow the Conservative Party to filibuster it at second reading. I was surprised that the Bloc is not recognizing the value of having time allocations, given the track record of the Conservative Party.
    To that end, my question to the member is this: To what degree does the Bloc party want to see this legislation ultimately passed? She made reference to the fact that it is an important issue, which we know it is. If it goes to committee, she indicated there could be some possible amendments. Would she like to see the legislation ultimately passed before the end of this year?

  (1225)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Winnipeg North for his question.
    I believe I mentioned this in my speech, but we do want to work on the bill. We do want to study it in committee. That is not the issue. The previous vote was to condemn an affront to democracy.
    Right now, the Liberals are constantly imposing closure. They are ultimately the only ones responsible for their legislative agenda, and they have done nothing. They are also responsible for the Conservatives' current filibustering. These two parties have led us to a dead end.
    That is what we were condemning in the previous vote, not Bill C-21. Frankly, this government offends against democracy. It is acting like a majority government when it is in fact a minority government. That is the mandate it was given by voters. That offends me.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Shefford for her fantastic speech, as well as for her passion, especially on this issue that affects her profoundly and personally. Bravo.
    Our constituents ask us about this issue. It comes up all the time in my riding, Drummond, because there are many airsoft fans there. They are concerned. They do not understand why these toy guns were not immediately excluded from the bill, since they only look like weapons and are essentially harmless.
    The fact that we are unable to debate this bill for any length of time means that details like that may be ignored and overlooked. That troubles me. I would like to know what my colleague thinks.
    Madam Speaker, we are also concerned, and that is why I said that the bill is incomplete. We need to review the matter of airsoft guns and rework the bill accordingly in committee.
    This is obviously not the final bill. We hope to be able to make amendments and rework it constructively in committee, as I said before. We should not be accused of being obstructionist because of the previous vote. As I mentioned to my colleague from Winnipeg North, that is what some people are saying in light of the Conservatives' filibustering, but we do not want to be associated with that. We really want to move this bill forward by proposing constructive amendments.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, to follow up on the question that was just posed to the member, is it the position of the Bloc Party that there should be no restrictions on airsoft guns?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, that is not what I said.
    I am saying that there is work to be done. We must be able to identify these weapons and study the entire issue in committee. The member for Winnipeg North tends to put words in my mouth at times, as he does with many other members. That concerns me as well. When we talk about misinformation—
    Order. The hon. member for Drummond.
    Madam Speaker, since we are on the topic, I will follow up to the question.
    I am glad we discussed airsoft guns, even if the discussion was far too brief. Airsoft fans themselves have proposed some solutions for clearly identifying the guns so they could not be used to commit crimes.
    There were proposals on the table long before Bill C-21 was introduced. That is what my colleague wishes we could have discussed. I simply wanted to add my two cents.
    Madam Speaker, yes, this type of proposal was made. Groups that make proposals must be heard, just as the political parties seeking to improve bills in committee must be heard.
    With a minority government, it is even more important to listen to what the other parties are saying and not act like a majority government. That is one example—
    Order. Resuming debate.
    The hon. member for Rivière‑du‑Nord.
    Madam Speaker, I will try to live up to the compliments my colleague from Shefford just gave me. I think she does outstanding work on the status of women, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her.
    As we have said, Bill C‑21 is a good bill. The Bloc Québécois plans to vote in favour. That said, it does need to be improved in committee.
    Let us talk about the pros. It puts a freeze on the acquisition of legal handguns. That is a good thing. As we know, right now, over one million such weapons are in circulation across Canada. Every year, over 55,000 of them are acquired legally, increasing the total number of handguns in circulation in Canada. We do not need one million handguns in Canada. We hope it will be possible to cap and significantly reduce the number of weapons in circulation, which do nobody any good and can be very harmful under certain circumstances, as we have seen in recent years.
    To deal with that issue, the Bloc Québécois is proposing that the government bring in a voluntary buyback program. That was not included in Bill C‑21, but we would have really liked to see that in the bill. The owners of these legally acquired weapons are not breaking any laws, but considering that these weapons are so harmful that we want to freeze their acquisition and restrict their circulation, let us go for it. This is a step in the right direction, as is often said, but let us go one step further and bring in a buyback program. It would be voluntary, not necessarily mandatory, at least not at this time. The government should be able to take these handguns off of people who want to hand them over, thereby reducing the number of such weapons in circulation.
    Now let us talk about assault weapons. Gun manufacturers are finding ways around the regulations adopted over two years ago on May 1, 2020. Everyone knows this. Manufacturers just have to modify the models slightly so that they no longer match the prohibited models. The government has decided to draw up a list of banned assault weapons. Of course, like any list, it is not exhaustive, and there are ways to get around it.
    An hon. member: Even the “Liberalist”?
    Mr. Rhéal Fortin: Madam Speaker, even the “Liberalist” can be circumvented, but that is another matter.
    What we are saying is that we would resolve a big part of the problem that was mentioned regarding air gun users. We are proposing that the bill include a clear definition of what constitutes an assault weapon, rather that listing all the weapons that are banned. There are currently 1,800 weapons on that list. It is never-ending. Weapons would need to be added to the list annually or even monthly to cover everything that needs to be covered. We would not be able to keep up. Instead, we should establish a clear definition of what constitutes an assault weapon and then ban them all. A weapon that does not meet the established definition would be allowed. That would surely satisfy the many firearms users who are telling us that the gun they use is being banned when there is no reason for it because it is not a real assault weapon. If we clearly define what constitutes an assault weapon, we can avoid a lot of discussion and problems regarding air gun users.
    What really takes the cake is hearing the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Justice tell us that the increase in maximum sentences set out in Bill C‑21 will solve a lot of problems with crime, shootings and so on. We have been opposing Bill C-5 for months because the bill is unexpectedly and inopportunely going to eliminate minimum sentences for gun-related crimes. We are saying that the minimum sentences for gun crimes must not be reduced. People want us to do something about the shootings. In the case of that bill, the minister told me not to worry about it because criminals do not care about the elimination of minimum sentences. That does not concern them. There is not one criminal who worries about what the minimum sentence is before they commit a crime.

  (1230)  

    Today, not even a week later, the Minister of Public Safety is boasting about how great the government is for taking action on shootings by increasing the maximum sentences. Something does not add up here. I do not get it.
    About increasing the maximum sentences from 10 to 14 years, I think that someone committing a firearm offence cares more about not getting caught. Is the maximum 10 years or 12 years? I would be surprised if that person thought long and hard before committing the crime. Having said that, we obviously cannot be against this measure. I think it is a good measure, but it will have virtually no effect on the growing crime rate.
    Then there are the yellow-flag and red-flag provisions. This is a good thing. For quite some time, many women's groups and victims' groups in the community have been saying that someone who becomes threatening or violent should have their licence and weapons taken away. The red-flag provisions would allow for the confiscation of a firearm from someone who is a danger to themselves or others. If someone is accused of domestic violence or stalking and a protective order is issued against them, their licence could be revoked or at least suspended.
    The red-flag and yellow-flag provisions are a good thing, and the Bloc Québécois is happy to support them. We thank and commend the government for them.
    As far as cartridge magazines are concerned, they are already limited to five bullets or a bit more depending on the type of gun. We were glad it was limited because no one who goes hunting needs a cartridge magazine with 20 bullets, unless they are a bad shot. If so, they would be better off staying at home. Limiting the capacity of cartridge magazines to five bullets was already a good thing. Bill C‑21 also seeks to prohibit the alteration, import or resale of these cartridge magazines and make it a Criminal Code offence. These are good provisions that the Bloc Québécois supports.
    Again, I want to reiterate what my colleague from Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia and I have been saying for weeks in the House: There is a problem. Bill C‑21 is a good bill, but 95% of the shootings happening right now every day in the streets of Montreal and elsewhere are committed with illegal handguns that were acquired on the black market.
    That is what people want us to tackle. People talk very little about legal guns, if at all. They do talk about them, that is true, but those guns are not used to commit most crimes, although it does happen. Once again, the Bloc Québécois is in favour of Bill C‑21, but what is the government doing about the illegal guns that are used to commit 95% of crimes?
    The Bloc Québécois is very worried about that because our voters are worried about it. Perhaps Liberal voters are not worried about it, but I will let the Liberals discuss it with their voters. People are talking about it in our ridings. People call my riding office and ask me when will we solve the problem of people shooting at one another in the streets of Montreal like in a western. It is outrageous, and we must act. However, Bill C‑21 does nothing about that.
    Last week, Quebec announced $6.2 million to tackle gun smuggling through Akwesasne. That is a good thing, and we were pleased. However, Quebec should not be paying for it, given that border control is a federal responsibility. It would seem that the Liberals are not interested in managing things that fall under their jurisdiction. It is disappointing and worrisome for the public, and for the Bloc Québécois.
    As my colleague from Shefford stated, the Bloc Québécois will be voting in favour of Bill C‑21. However, once again, we are very disappointed with this government's complacency on the issue of guns illegally crossing our border.

  (1235)  

    The hon. member for Drummond on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, out of curiosity, I just want to make sure that we have quorum for today's debate.
    And the count having been taken:
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès): We do have quorum. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I suspect the member was curious about quorum because there were no Conservatives, but I will not say anything further on that.
    To the member, I want to go back to air guns, which look like and appear to be real guns, although they are replicas. What is the Bloc's position on that? Does it believe air guns that replicate real guns are a danger to society?

  (1240)  

    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I know it is against the rules of this place to reference the presence or absence of members, and I would suggest that the statement made by the parliamentary secretary may have approached, and possibly even crossed, that line. I would encourage you to make a ruling on that matter.
    The hon. member is quite correct, and I would like the hon. parliamentary secretary to take note.
    Madam Speaker, I would apologize for making note there were no Conservatives in the chamber.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary knows that we cannot say indirectly what we cannot say directly. I would like to insist on that.
    Madam Speaker, unreservedly, I apologize.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, in response to my colleague's comment about air guns, I will say that the bill needs to explicitly define what an air gun is. I think that the assault weapons that this bill is meant to ban need to be better defined. Such a definition would necessarily exclude air guns, which are for recreational purposes. We could also define what kinds of air guns are acceptable, based on the air pressure in the cylinder, for example. There are a variety of criteria that could be used. I am not a firearms expert.
    One thing is certain: What matters most is not the toy guns being used for play, but the real guns shooting real bullets in our streets. I would like people to stop avoiding the topic and stop talking about toys. We need to be talking about the real weapons that are being used to kill real people in our communities every single day.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I was glad to hear the member say that the Bloc is supporting the red flag laws, which would allow for the removal of firearms from homes, because we know that, in this country, there are about 10 intimate partner violence incidents a week involving firearms.
    Would he agree with me that is one of the reasons for urgency in getting this bill through Parliament? Despite other concerns we have about the bill, I think it is very important that we do something to help remove firearms from homes with intimate partner violence.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I completely agree with my colleague. This needs to be done as soon as possible. It is past time. In my opinion, it should have been done long ago. I never understand why the government waits and stalls like this, but I agree that this should be done quickly. I thank my colleague for his question. I am not saying that we will support each and every clause in the bill. We will see as we go. However, we will do whatever it takes to ensure that it moves forward and to steer clear of unnecessary, counter-productive roadblocks.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Rivière‑du‑Nord for his speech. The group PolyRemembers has some concerns about Bill C‑21, including the fact that it does not ban assault weapons outright.
    How important does he think it is that this be added before the bill is passed?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his excellent question. We do think that assault weapons are a serious problem.
    With all due respect to the government members, I feel like they are slow learners. Two years ago, they learned that they needed to ban assault weapons, but they did not know how, so they drew up a list of about 1,800 weapons, as I said earlier. That is a step in the right direction. I cannot say it is a misstep, but we would like them to learn a little faster.
    We are suggesting that the government clearly describe what an assault weapon is, and then ban that. That would save us a lot of discussion and enable us to move faster and prevent gun manufacturers from skirting the rules by slightly tweaking the assault weapon models in circulation. There may be better solutions, and I invite my colleagues to propose some.

  (1245)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his brilliant speech.
    I would like him to explain why our Liberal colleagues do not support Bill C-279, which seeks to create a list of criminal organizations.
    Madam Speaker, that is another excellent question from an excellent colleague. I thank him for it.
    The bill that I introduced, Bill C‑279, says that we need to do something not only about guns but also about those who use them. It seeks to create a registry of criminal organizations, like the one we have for terrorist entities, in order to crack down on organized crime and eliminate it altogether.

[English]

    If we go back to 2009 and compared it with today, what we will find is that there has been a substantial increase of 81% in violent offences involving guns in a relatively short period of time. We should all be concerned about that. This piece of legislation would continue to move us forward. It is an issue the government has been familiar with for a number of years. In fact, one only needs to take a look at the other pieces of legislation we have brought forward and our budgetary motions and measures to deal with the issue of gun violence.
    Canadians as a whole are concerned. It has been estimated that getting close to 50% are concerned about gun violence and what impact it is having on our communities. As a government, not only have we taken a look at legislative measures, which we are talking about today in Bill C-21, but we have also taken other actions, actions that have led to restrictions on some types of assault weapons and actions such as supporting Canada's border control.
    We often hear members of all political stripes talk about the smuggling of weapons into Canada from the United States. That is something we take very seriously, unlike Stephen Harper, who cut back on agents at our border.
    An hon. member: Blame Harper.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Madam Speaker, yes, let us assert blame where it is to be asserted in this situation. We are a government that has supported our border agents, recognizing how important that is.
    There is a different mentality in the United States versus Canada. Consider the number of mass shootings with more than one victim. They take place virtually every day in the United States. In fact, some of the numbers shared with me indicate that there are well over 200 cases of mass shootings in the United States already where there have been two or more victims. It is a totally different mentality.
    One thing that makes us feel good about being here in Canada is that we understand and appreciate the importance of having safe communities and the role, which we see day in and day out in the United States, that weapons have in our communities.
    We are talking about issues such as gang activities, and literally tens of millions of dollars, going into over $200 million, have been invested through budgetary measures to deal with gangs. This is not to mention the other additional resources that the government, through infrastructure projects and through working with different levels of government, has been able to put into place, with programs aimed at reducing crime in our communities, especially with an emphasis on gun-related crimes.
    Bill C-21, I believe, is legislation that has a wide level of support from the public from coast to coast to coast. We might hear a great deal about gun crimes in some of our major cities, but I do not believe it is just limited to our major cities.
    That is one of the reasons that the approach the government is taking today in Bill C-21 is the right approach. We see that in the support the legislation is receiving. The New Democrats are supporting the legislation. I understand that the Green Party is supporting the legislation. The Bloc party is supporting the legislation too. However, it is no surprise that the Conservative Party is not supporting the legislation.

  (1250)  

    That is why I posed a question to my friends in the Bloc earlier today. Their first speaker talked about how important it is that we get this legislation passed. She has been waiting for it for a number of years already, yet as we have witnessed over the last number of months, the Conservative Party, the official opposition, has taken the approach that legislation is not to pass inside the House of Commons as much as possible, and it will put up barriers to prevent that from taking place.
    At times, the Bloc members have already recognized this, because there have been times when they supported time allocation. However, today, the Bloc party did not support the need for it, knowing full well, as members will find in the next number of hours of debate, that Conservative after Conservative will stand up in opposition to Bill C-21. As they have demonstrated on other pieces of legislation, the Conservatives will continue not only to put up speakers but to also move amendments.
    An hon. member: That's our job.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Madam Speaker, as the member opposite says, that is their job as opposition. That is right. To a certain degree, though, there is also an obligation for members of the official opposition to actually work as parliamentarians and recognize that if they do not want time allocation on all things, they have to at least recognize that eventually legislation has to pass and go to the next stage.
     A member from the Green Party posed a question earlier today. If there were a higher sense of co-operation in recognizing that members cannot indefinitely hold up legislation—
    An hon. member: Yes, they can.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Madam Speaker, no, members cannot, because if they do that for every piece of legislation, including budgetary measures, the government will not be able to do anything. As we have recognized in the last mandate given to us, we have to work with opposition members to do the things we want to do, as we are doing.
    Fortunately, there is at least one opposition party that has recognized the value of co-operation, contributing to the debate and trying to effect change. That is in fact what Bill C-21 would do. It would provide a safer community for all of us. We talk about the issue of yellow flag and red flag laws through this legislation. Once passed, this will have an immediate impact. It is an aspect of the legislation that many advocates and different stakeholders recognize the value of.
     Having a freeze on the sale, purchase and transfer of handguns has been called for for a while now. It has taken the government, through consultations, a great deal of effort to make sure that we get the legislation right. It is not about killing the air gun industry. It is recognizing that air guns that replicate real guns do have an impact. A law enforcement officer in an awkward or difficult position has no way of telling what is real and what is not because of the resemblance.
    This legislation has been well thought out. There has been a great deal of consultation, and I believe this is reflected by the type of support, minus the Conservative Party, that the legislation is seeing. I would like to think that passing it to committee would enable Canadians to contribute more directly and listen to what the experts say, because I am sure it will be back come fall time for an additional lengthy debate.

  (1255)  

    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise on behalf of the people of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
    What we just saw was what I would call feigned magnanimity. Quite candidly, this is the most divisive government I have ever seen, and we have the hon. member here waxing eloquently and even pontificating. Seeing as the Pope is coming to Canada, let us call it that. He is pontificating about the need to co-operate in this place, saying everybody should co-operate. There is such a disconnect between his government's words and his government's actions.
    He said there has been an 81% in increase in crimes involving guns and said, “It is an issue the government has been familiar with for a number of years.” The government has been in power since 2015, when the Nur decision, which struck down the mandatory minimums in section 95, was decided, yet we have all of this rhetoric.
    When will the government start cracking down on illegal guns, and why is that not in Bill C-21?
    Madam Speaker, the government, virtually from day one, has been taking budgetary and legislative actions to make our communities safer, and we will continue to do so. Bill C-21 is yet another legislative measure that would have a profoundly positive impact, and I can cite it specifically. From the selling and purchasing of handguns to the idea of the yellow flag and red flag laws, these are issues that will provide a higher sense of security in our communities. The Conservatives will have to justify to these communities why they oppose that.
    In terms of their overall behaviour with regard to all legislation, even legislation they support, they will go out of their way to filibuster in order to fill time and force the government to—
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to speak to the democrat and parliamentarian in my colleague and ask him whether he is not a bit embarrassed about the sad spectacle Canadians have been seeing in the House over the past several months. I am talking about the constant stream of closure motions on essential bills that will change Canadians' lives.
    Since he has served in the House in previous Parliaments and has even served in provincial legislatures, is my colleague not a little upset about the absolutely degrading spectacle we have been seeing here in recent months?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, when Stephen Harper was the Prime Minister, I sat almost exactly where the member opposite is sitting in the third party, and even in the third party, I made it very clear that at times there is a need to bring in time allocation. When we do not have any sense of co-operation coming from opposition parties, we have to bring in time allocation as a tool. It is unfortunate.
    It would be wonderful if there was more of a consensus on the programming that takes place so that it allows for legislation or opposition days. We see that today on private members' bills, we see that today on opposition day motions and we see that through emergency debates. There are limitations. It means that for the bills that are really controversial, we can maybe have more debate time, and for the bills that are not as controversial that everyone supports, maybe we do not need as much debate time. We need to recognize that there is only so much time in a day, in a week and in a year, and that is something the Conservatives fail to recognize.

  (1300)  

    Uqaqtittiji, during the 2019 election, the member's party promised to make sure that the CBSA had the resources it needed to detect and stop the flow of weapons at our borders.
    Why has the Liberal government not restored the more than 1,000 positions cut by previous Conservative governments, which are required to stop the flow of weapons at the Canada-U.S. border?
    Madam Speaker, we realized that the Stephen Harper government did in fact make serious cuts, and as a result, it weakened our borders. We have invested heavily in borders virtually from the very beginning, recognizing that illegal weapons are a very serious issue. We will continue to look at ways to minimize illegal weapons coming into Canada.
    Madam Speaker, I am very proud to rise in this House today, especially following my illustrious colleague, who never seems to run out of words and manages to fill the time slot all the time.
    I represent a riding that, like many others in a large urban centre like Toronto, has a tendency to have a lot of violence, and the majority of that violence is gun violence, so I am very pleased that Bill C-21 is on the table.
    The part that bothers me about Bill C-21 is the fact that we will not get it to committee and back before the House rises. I, and some of my colleagues, would have been more than happy to remain until the middle of July or the end of July to pass this bill, but it takes consent to do that, which was not available. We will get the bill as far as we can in this session, and as soon as we come back in the fall, I hope this will be the first item the committee deals with, understanding its importance. I wonder how many more lives could have been saved had we been able to get the bill through, but there are a lot of things that governments do, and there is a lot of legislation that is important. I am glad that we finally got as far as we have. Let us hit the ball home and get this through committee and back to the House.
    We have a very close relationship with our neighbours to the south. Clearly, whenever we see what is going on there, we know it is going to happen here. It is just the way it is. We are a smaller country, and these things tend to be exposed later, but we follow the U.S. in so many ways.
    I think I speak for all of us as parliamentarians when I say that we are sick and tired of turning on the news and feeling heartbroken at yet another act of gun violence. The common response from all of us as elected officials is to send our thoughts and prayers. However, as time goes on and these instances of violence continue to occur, the overwhelming response is that thoughts and prayers accomplish nothing and that we need action. I have been hearing this in my community for the 30 years that I have been elected to office, and several members of my own family have been victims of gun violence. We have been waiting and pushing and asking when we are going to get tougher on illegal handguns.
    This is certainly not about hunters, God bless them, who can go right ahead and do their hunting. I have family who hunt deer, moose and all of that, as well. That is not what we are talking about with this bill. We are talking about gun violence, handguns. That is what is doing the killing in my riding and throughout the city of Toronto.
    Last Sunday afternoon, there were four separate incidents of gun violence. Thank God, none of it was in my riding, which is always my first thought, selfish as it is. It was in other parts of our city, but there is a lot of it. This bill is just one more tool that we have in the tool box. It will not do everything we want it to do, but at least it tries to address the number of guns that are flowing. There was a shooting yesterday from a car window, which missed the person evidently, but again, this is becoming just like in the U.S. Whatever we can do as parliamentarians here, and whatever our government has the courage to move forward on to try to tackle this issue, is what we are elected to do. We are elected to deal with the tough issues, and this is one of them.
    I am very proud of the government, and while some may have wanted this legislation later, I would have liked to see it sooner. I am tired of responding with thoughts and prayers, of saying “I feel sorry for you.” I am sorry for the families who have gone through this and yes, I will do what I can, but we do not do enough. Frankly, I do not know what is enough, but this is at least another step forward, which is why I wanted to make sure I had an opportunity to say some words today.
    Since 2015, when our Liberal government came in, we have banned AR-15s and 1,500 models of assault-style firearms. These kinds of weapons do not belong in the homes or on the streets of this country, or any country, unless they are in a war, as in Russia or in Ukraine, but there is no reason for them to be needed on the streets of this country of ours.

  (1305)  

    Cracking down on illegal trafficking by investing in law enforcement and enhanced border security is another key part of it, because it seems that no matter how much more security we get at the borders, somehow the guns are getting smuggled in. They are coming from somewhere. We are not manufacturing all of these handguns here, so they are coming across borders and we are not doing enough to prevent that from happening. I know we have put millions more into CBSA, and here and there, but it never seems to be enough. This is, again, one more step to try to decrease the number of guns on our streets.
    The other issue is, why do we have so much gang violence? In my riding, as in others, I deal with a lot of families that have had tremendous trouble, and we need to look at the root cause of why they would pick up a gun and decide to take somebody else's life. In a round-table session I had a few years ago with young men and women, I questioned them and said, “You know who these people are on the street. Why would you not discourage them from using a gun?” They said, “Why? You don't value my life, so I don't value your life.” I never forgot that statement, because I do value their life, but they do not seem to think that we as a society value their lives. That is important because people need to understand that every life is valuable. Every life matters to all of us, but to think “I don't care about you because you don't care about me” leaves a real challenge.
    Since I had that conversation, I have gone out of my way, to the extent possible, as an elected official to make sure that the people in my riding and everywhere else know that we do care and we are trying to help them, but they have to help themselves. This is not a one-way street, where we are out doing everything for them and they are waiting to see what we are going to give them. It takes all of us working together. If people are having issues, they should talk to somebody, reach out and get the help they need, just not think that their life does not matter.
    The ability to trace guns is another issue we have talked about for some time, looking at how to better identify where those guns have come from. The red flag laws are another important thing that should have been on the books a long time ago. It is really important.
    I have to thank my staff for putting a speech together that somehow I never got to.
    I am proud that the government is doing this. We all need to work harder at decreasing gun violence in a variety of ways. This is one more tool in the tool box, and we owe it to the people who have sent us here to reflect their views and thoughts and do what is necessary to decrease gun violence. I hope we get this to committee soon, make some changes and improvements to it and move forward together on this legislation.

  (1310)  

    Madam Speaker, the member talked about military-style assault rifles. Could she provide me with the definition of what a military-style assault rifle is? She mentioned the AR-15s, which were banned by the order in council of May 1, 2020. Could the member please let the House know how many crimes have been committed in the history of Canada with AR-15s?
    The member talked about reducing gun violence. We have 100% agreement in the House that we all want to reduce gun violence. Could she tell me about the metrics within Bill C-21, specifically around handguns, that are going to do that, considering that all restricted firearms and handguns are registered so that the police are able to track exactly how many crimes have been committed? How many crimes have been committed with legal handguns?
    Finally, the member talked about red flag laws. Would she admit that we currently have red flag laws in our legislation that help prevent this?
    Madam Speaker, unfortunately, whatever happens to the south of us ends up being duplicated here in Canada, whether it is a month later, six months later or two years later. When we look at the killings and those mass shootings in the schools, when there are 19 babies killed, those were not done with a handgun. We have already banned some of those, but the handguns we are talking about are the illegal handguns.
    Madam Speaker, the member spoke about people needing to take responsibility when referring to gang violence, about people helping themselves and about people caring.
    I want to point to something very specific, indigenous women. Thousands have gone missing and been murdered. They are 12 times more likely to experience violence. We know all the stats. They are 4.5 times more likely to go missing or be murdered. This is not a feeling. This is an actual genocide that is occurring in this country. I found it a little out of touch and was a little put off by this kind of history, which the member acknowledged, of incremental justice, particularly when we are talking about femicide, which is most often experienced by indigenous women.
    Why does the hon. member continue to have those views, knowing that her government has performed incremental justice that has cost the lives of indigenous women? I found it a bit callous and insensitive, and certainly not consistent with research and facts, and actually with positions that her own government—
    I have to give the hon. member the opportunity to answer.
    The hon. member for Humber River—Black Creek.
    Madam Speaker, I want to acknowledge the continued great work that the member is doing as a member of Parliament.
    I was very focused on so many people in my particular riding who have been asking for such a long period of time for more to be done to eliminate handguns in our communities. If we did an analysis, we would probably find that one in four is carrying a gun in my riding of Humber River—Black Creek. That is very frightening. People are asking for action.
    In the same way, we are moving forward and taking more action to protect more indigenous women, as well as all women in Canada. Indigenous women have certainly experienced a lot of sorrow and violence, and we are looking at trying to eliminate that as well.

  (1315)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech and her testimony, knowing that members of her family have been affected by gun violence. The fact is that there are one million handguns circulating in Canada. That number increases by 55,000 every year.
    What are my colleague's thoughts on the Bloc Québécois's proposal to create an optional handgun buyback program?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, when it gets referred to committee in the immediate future, there will be an opportunity at the committee level to discuss all the options on the table, including the issue of buyback.
    Whatever we can do to get guns off the street is something I am very supportive of.
    Madam Speaker, I am always grateful to stand up and represent my constituents of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound. However, in this case, I am representing all legal firearms owners, our law enforcement, our military, our security forces around the country and even our Parliamentary Protective Service. I challenge every MP to talk to them and ask their opinions about this bill, as well as to get the opinions of sport shooters, hunters and the vast majority of my constituents in Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound.
    I am disappointed that we are already curtailing debate on this important bill, especially considering that we have only had seven Conservative MPs speak to it, and that was only because we split our time.
    On that note, I will be splitting my time with the member for Brandon—Souris.
    I am going to focus on three key aspects in my speech. Number one is data and facts, number two is openness, transparency and honesty, and finally, number three is respect. The key to all of this, and the key to reducing gun violence in Canada, is education.
    Let me speak first to the data and the facts. I asked the previous member speaking to define military-style assault rifles, which is a question I have been asking the government for almost three years now. The definition does not exist. I asked that question in a written submission to the government, and its response was to please check a commissioned report by Hill+Knowlton Strategies. If we read that report, do we know what it says? The government really needs to define what it means by assault rifles or military-style assault rifles. A definition still does not exist, and that adds to the confusion so many Canadians face when we are trying to deal with the important issue of reducing gun violence across Canada.
    I am going to go back to the original, key piece of legislation in the past couple of years. It was from the last Parliament around the order in council that banned 1,500 so-called military-style assault rifles. In that document, there was actually no definition or criteria for what determines or establishes what is a military-style assault rifle. When I asked what criteria were used, I was told there were none.
    The government used three principles. Number one is that the guns are semi-automatic in nature, with a high sustained rate of fire. That statement is a contradiction. If it is semi-automatic, the rate of fire is controlled by the shooter and not by the firearm, so whether someone has a slow finger or a fast finger determines whether a firearm should be prohibited or not. It does not even make logical sense.
    The second principle the government used is that the firearms are of modern design. I asked what was meant by modern design. That means post-World War II. If the firearm was designed post the Second World War, we should be banning it.
    Number three is that they exist in large quantities in Canada. Again, this does not pass the common sense test. Let us take firearm x as an example. There are 100,000 of them in Canada that have been used in zero gun crimes. Let us ban it. With firearm z, let us say there are only 10 of them in Canada and all 10 have been used in firearms crimes. It is good to go and will not be banned. Again, there is no logic behind the principles, and there are no criteria to determine that list.
    I have been asking for evidence and data that support any of the firearms legislation the current Liberal government has brought forward. I submitted a written question to the government asking for any evidence or metrics behind how the government thinks any of this legislation is actually going to reduce gun violence. I received a response on January 29, 2020, that would only take me 30 seconds to read out. There is no evidence or metrics on how this is going to reduce gun violence in Canada.
    The member for Winnipeg North stood and said that this has been broadly consulted on. It has not been consulted on in my riding. In the previous Parliament, the minister of public safety at the time came to my community and talked about Bill C-71 from the 42nd Parliament. I can guarantee he walked out of there and there was not a single person who talked to the minister during that consultation session who supported Bill C-71.

  (1320)  

    I will go back to my point around data. Where is the data that shows legal firearms owners are responsible for gun crime in Canada? I talked about education. I spent 25 years in uniform carrying all sorts of restricted and prohibited firearms, because I could as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. I was an infantry officer. I walked around with a fully automatic firearm. That is what assault weapons are: fully automatic. They have been banned in Canada since 1977. During my last two deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, I walked around everywhere with a handgun. Handguns do not kill people; people kill people.
    To get to the point about education, despite all that, when I got out of uniform and became a civilian, I had to get a possession and acquisition licence and a restricted possession and acquisition licence, a PAL and an RPAL, in order to potentially buy a firearm or a restricted firearm. Those courses are extensive. Did I learn a lot about safety on those specific firearms? No. I was safe and had no problem passing the practical portions of both of those courses, but I did learn a lot about our laws. As I suggested in the last Parliament, it would benefit every member who wants to sit here and debate firearms legislation to do the PAL or the RPAL course because it would teach them a lot about our very restrictive firearms laws that currently exist in Canada.
    To continue on education, when I was door knocking in 2019, I heard similar concerns that have been addressed by other members during the debate about why anybody would need that firearm. I was shown a picture from a Cabela's magazine or some other magazine that someone had received in the mail, and they asked me why anybody would need that. I looked at it and compared it with another firearm in the brochure. I pointed to the firearm that they thought was so scary and said I would walk 200 metres down the street and stand there. They could shoot at me all they wanted and I would not even move.
    I asked if another firearm was okay, and they said yes. It was just a hunting rifle. I said that if I stood another few hundred metres away, as soon as someone started shooting at me with that firearm, I would take cover. Again, it is the lack of education in understanding firearms. Just because they look scary does not mean they are more dangerous. It is based on their capabilities and criteria.
    I asked the minister, when he first introduced Bill C-21 in the House last week, about handguns in particular. As I mentioned earlier in my speech, handguns are restricted and they are registered. I asked a simple question about how easy it is for law enforcement to track how many gun crimes in Canada have been committed by legal firearms owners with legal handguns. He refused to answer that question. It was the same question I had asked his officials the week prior during the technical briefing. Again, I ask that they please get us the data. It would help so much.
    I would point out that restricted firearms owners are the most law-abiding demographic in Canada. In fact, they are three times less likely to commit a crime than the average Canadian. I would argue, it is even less likely than that for the majority of the Liberal caucus.
    Openness and transparency are key around all of this. Let us debate this. Everybody wants to reduce gun violence in Canada, but we need to do that based on data, based on evidence and based on statistics. Law enforcement demands this. One of the things that a lot of Canadians do not understand is that our law enforcement and security forces depend on these restricted firearms for their own safety and training. They do not get the time on the range to do this, so a lot of legal firearms owners are in law enforcement who own these firearms on their own. I get that Bill C-21, specifically on handguns, says that they would still be able to own them, but let us remove the politicization around this and talk about what is important to solve this.
    My final point is on respect and trust. Let us respect parliamentarians in the House, let us respect legal firearms owners and, most of all, let us respect Canadians by talking about the real key facts.
    In conclusion, there are data and facts, openness and transparency, and respect and trust. Let us educate Canadians on the root causes of gun violence in Canada, i.e., crime, drugs, the illegal trafficking of firearms and, most importantly, poverty instead of going after law-abiding Canadians.

  (1325)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to pick up on some of the closing comments from the member. He said that we should respect parliamentarians, respect the process and respect Parliament. We would not know that, coming from the way the member and his colleagues have been acting in the House over the past several months. They are refusing to let the bills they supported in their election platform go through the House.
    The member talked about the limited amount of time people have had to speak to the bill. Has he had the opportunity to reflect on how much more time he would have had if the Conservatives had not been playing procedural games and delaying bills such as the fall economic statement to provide more supports to Canadians? Had they actually let that stuff go through as it should have, fairly easily, he would have had so much more time to speak to this and other bills that the Conservatives are genuinely passionate about.
    Madam Speaker, I am not going to even provide a dignified response to that. The fact of the matter is that every member of Parliament should be able to speak to every bill at every stage, if it means something to their constituents. That is why we are here: to represent our constituents, whether we are Conservative members of Parliament or Liberal backbenchers. It would be nice if that member or the member for Winnipeg North would let somebody else in the Liberal caucus speak.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. What is the member implying when he says that I am not allowing other people to speak? Is he suggesting that I am suspending other people's democratic opportunities? He is implying that I am suppressing other people's ability to speak—
    Indeed, we should not, in any way, make those kinds of accusations. I would invite the hon. member to perhaps reflect on his comments. We should not be assigning intentions to other members. I would really appreciate it if the hon. member would withdraw the comment.
    Madam Speaker, I withdraw that comment.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. He knows I love him. We were on a 12-day mission together not long ago and I had a great time. We had some great discussions, but we could not get away from debating guns. We disagree, and that is just the way it is.
    I would like to know what he thinks about the Bloc Québécois's proposal to create a list of groups in our cities that stir up trouble with shootings all over the place. We would like to have a list of these groups, like the one we already have for terrorist organizations.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I have a great deal of respect for him.

[English]

    I have no issues with lists of criminal organizations right across this country. The challenge I have in my riding, as in a lot of rural ridings, is how we quantify that and get down to it, etc. I have no issues with criminal organizations being listed. I think that is important information that law enforcement should have if it can help, because I think it really gets to the root causes of gun violence in Canada: illegal crimes and gangs. Let us fix that.

  (1330)  

    Madam Speaker, there is a lot in my colleague's speech I would disagree with. I spent a number of years chairing a public safety task force in the city of Calgary talking about guns, gangs and gun violence. Also, I was a member of the police commission in Calgary. My colleague talked about data and using data on gun crimes. In western Canada, in Calgary, it was identified that the majority of guns used in crimes were obtained through legal means: through legal purchases and ownership.
     I would like to ask my colleague this. Knowing that data point, what can we do to make sure that those legally obtained guns are not used in a crime? Those were the majority of the guns in the data provided by the Calgary Police Service last year at the Calgary police commission. What can we do to prevent that from happening? What would he want to see in this or other bills to make sure that guns and gun owners' rights are—
    I have to give the hon. member the opportunity to answer. The hon. member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound.
    Madam Speaker, as my first question, let us provide that data. I would love to see it. Please email me that data, because that data has not been tabled. I have been asking for the government to table any data around firearms crime that has been committed by legal firearms owners or by legal firearms, but the government has refused to table it and bring it forward.
    I guess the best bet, going back to a previous speech and the amendment, which is what we are actually debating here, would be to refer this whole study to the committee of public safety and deal with it there. Then we can bring back legislation that actually makes sense and is informed, rather than being based just on political—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Brandon—Souris.
    Madam Speaker, right off the bat, I want to point out that our Conservative team was willing to split this bill so that the House could swiftly pass the clauses on which we all agree. There are parts that we still need to debate, but we were prepared to make sure that the other elements could quickly proceed. We would have immediately sent on to the committee stage the elements of Bill C-21 that are focused on protecting potential victims of firearms crime and tightening up laws that address firearms smuggling. Those elements would have also included red flag provisions to allow law enforcement to remove firearms from dangerous domestic situations more quickly and to allow more severe penalties for criminals smuggling guns.
    It was a reasonable proposal and it was disappointing that the government did not accept the offer. As with all firearms-related legislation, the government is far too comfortable with labelling those who disagree with it as firearms lobbyists. It is more than willing to disparage us and law-abiding firearms owners than to propose legislation that fixes the root issue of firearms violence. In the 2019 election, the Liberals tried to scare people into voting for them in our riding by sending out a brochure with firearms on it. It did not work, and they got 12% of the vote. The Liberals once again tried to scare people in the 2021 election, and the result was the same:12% of the vote.
    The good people of Westman are not buying what the Liberals are trying to sell. A couple of years ago, I took my RPAL, my restricted possession and acquisition licence, and went for training in the basement of the late Don Teale. Like hundreds if not thousands before me, I sat in his makeshift classroom in his home in Brandon with a dozen or so Westman residents who had signed up to take their firearms training. As I walked into the room, I could tell that a few of the other students were slightly perplexed about why I was taking the safety training with them.
    Not long afterward, Don, who was a plain-spoken and straight-shooting veteran, told them how happy he was that a sitting member of Parliament was educating himself for the firearms act. Don was right. I was not in his basement because I wanted to purchase a firearm; I took the training to get a better idea of the rigorous process that Canadians must go through before they can get a firearms licence.
    As a lot of MPs might know, there was a movement a couple of years ago from law-abiding firearms owners urging legislators to get their PAL or their RPAL. They were tired of politicians getting up and speaking about the firearms act without ever reading or understanding it. They were upset that too many are quick to disparage firearms owners without understanding the law or the process.
    There is no evidence to justify many changes found in the Liberals' firearms legislation. In fact, they are only further burdening law-abiding firearms owners, rather than actually going after the people who commit the crimes. I, for one, would prefer that our law enforcement agencies and our Government of Canada spend their time, energy and resources in cracking down on gangs and criminals.
     Since the Liberals announced Bill C-21, I have received countless emails from law-abiding firearms owners who feel that once again the government is using them as a scapegoat instead of tackling the root of firearms violence in Canada. I have heard from retired law enforcement officers, veterans, competitive sport shooters and everyday Canadians who are tired of being blamed and shamed by the Liberal government. They are fed up with the Minister of Public Safety's gaslighting.
    To give just one example, the minister said, “Bill C-21 doesn't target law-abiding gun owners, it targets handgun violence, it targets organized crime.” Of course this bill targets law-abiding firearms owners. Suggesting it does not is an insult to the intelligence of those who have been following this debate. I am looking forward to watching the deputy minister appear at the public safety committee to inform the MPs that we have all just misunderstood the minister once again.
    The reason firearms businesses have run out of stock is that as soon as this bill was announced, everyone with an RPAL went out to purchase a handgun before the freeze takes effect. Anyone who tries to phone the RCMP firearms centre right now will sit on hold for hours, as everyone is trying to purchase or transfer a firearm right now. How could the Minister of Public Safety go on national television and say something so erroneous? Does he actually believe what he is saying? He knows perfectly well that Bill C-21 is going to prevent Canada's RPAL holders from ever purchasing a handgun once this legislation passes.

  (1335)  

     The truth of the matter is that the Liberal government decided to target law-abiding firearms owners from the moment it came into office. The Liberals repealed various elements of the common sense firearms act that my colleague just talked about, Bill C-71. They deleted the sensible change of introducing an automatic authorization to transport firearms and they then removed any oversight of the classification of firearms.
    Let us fast-forward to 2020, when the Liberals reclassified hundreds of firearms as “prohibited”. With the stroke of a pen, they made millions of firearms illegal to use in Canada. Some of these firearms have been in people's possession for decades, and now the government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase them so they can be destroyed.
    If those hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on policing, social programs or literally anything, there would be a much better chance of reducing crime. Once again the government has failed to make a serious case for one of its bills, and in doing so, it is unnecessarily going after millions of law-abiding firearms owners who have done everything by the book.
    According to Brian Sauvé, president of the National Police Federation, “it is the experience of law enforcement that most of these guns are illegally obtained,” and I would add, “from the United States”.
    As our Conservative shadow minister of public safety said in her speech, the committee recently studied guns and gangs and had a very robust debate. It had police and crime experts appear, and not one recommendation in its report was to ban handguns. That is because none of the experts, none of the police experts and none of the community anti-gang experts said that banning handguns would be a solution. All of them said that such an approach would not work.
    In relation to some questions we just had, the committee heard from the Toronto police that over 85% of handguns used in violent crimes are smuggled in from the United States. From Quebec, Chief Inspector Benoît Dubé said that most firearms linked to crime seized in his province come from the United States. He said, “We need to focus our efforts on the borders between the United States and Canada.” According to Chief Inspector David Bernard from the Montreal city police service, approximately 80% of illegal firearms seized in Quebec have been smuggled in from the United States.
    To date, we have seen very little evidence from the government to suggest that law-abiding firearm owners are responsible for the rise in firearm homicides and shootings. What we do have is a gang and organized crime problem in Canada. On a weekly basis, we are hearing about deadly shootings happening across the country. All this violence has led to the tragic loss of too many, and it is having an impact on countless communities and neighbourhoods.
     According to the latest Statistics Canada data, there were 8,344 victims of police-reported violent crime in which a handgun was present during the commission of an offence, which is a rate of 29 per 100,000 population. Since the Liberals were elected in 2015, gun crime has gone up steadily each year, and for residents in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and other cities, gun violence is an everyday occurrence.
    I have always stood for common sense firearm safety and strong consequences for those who commit firearms offences. If the Liberals had proposed a bill that explicitly focused on guns, gangs and criminals, they would have found a much more receptive audience on this side of the House.
    For years, we have been calling on the government to address gun smuggling and improve the ability of border agents to prevent the flow of illegal firearms into Canada. I cannot and will not support legislation that specifically targets law-abiding firearms owners and ignores the root problems of illegal firearms.

  (1340)  

    Madam Speaker, I listened to the intervention from the member and I could not help but reflect that he was here when the Conservatives were last in power. I realize that part of his argument, as it often is from the Conservatives on gun-related issues, is about cracking down on illegal guns that are coming across the border, but I cannot help but reflect on the previous government. He was part of that government, as he was a member of the Conservative Party when Stephen Harper was the prime minister, and that government actually significantly reduced funding that border services needed in order to crack down on this kind of stuff.
    Can the member inform the House how he responded to that when Stephen Harper was the prime minister and he got to sit in a caucus meeting with him? Did he often and routinely raise the issue that the government of the day should not be removing money needed by border operations in order to crack down on this illegal activity?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question, as ill-informed as it might be.
    I just wanted to say, though, that for the last three elections, if he has been paying any attention at all, this side of the House has been calling for greater efforts to stop smuggling guns into Canada. All of the police chiefs and heads of police in the provinces that I just spoke of in my speech—and I know he was listening to it, because that was what he was referencing—show us that 80% to 85% of these crimes are caused by illegal guns that have been smuggled into the country, and that is where our focus should be. That is where the dollars can be spent the best to try to prevent the unconscionable street crime that we are seeing.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from Brandon—Souris on his speech, and I have a message for him from the member for Jonquière, who wants to congratulate him on his hard work.
    In Bill C‑21, the government opted to include a list of prohibited assault weapons, specifying models. Our colleague from Rivière-du-Nord suggested a completely different approach, which is to precisely define what constitutes an assault weapon so that weapons can be prohibited if they meet the criteria in the definition, not just if they are a certain model. What does my colleague from Brandon—Souris think of that?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for Jonquière for his compliments on my abilities.
    This is exactly the point that my colleague was just trying to make: The government has never come up with a definition of an assault rifle. My colleague, as we know, has gone to great lengths to try to find that in all of the debates and in all of the information that is available today. The government cannot even define it for us.
    That is why this legislation is such a flawed piece of work. It needs to go to the public safety committee so that it can come back, as was indicated by the member and my colleague from Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound here, with recommendations that will really help fix the problem, instead of blaming law-abiding firearms owners.

  (1345)  

    Madam Speaker, I always enjoy hearing the member for Brandon—Souris speak and I have enjoyed my conversations with him as we have travelled across the country back and forth.
    He said that the Conservatives are anti-crime, and I believe that, but there is a question that perplexes me. He knows, as he has been in the House for a long time, that when the Harper government was in power, it destroyed, gutted, the crime prevention programs right across the country.
    In British Columbia, we had a very active crime prevention sector. It was gutted and eliminated, and it does not make sense, because for every dollar we invest in crime prevention, we save $6 in policing costs, in court costs and in jail costs. Putting in place effective crime prevention strategies and funding them adequately actually makes a great deal of sense.
    Why did the Conservatives do that? Why did they gut crime prevention programs when we know they are very cost-effective and help to reduce crime?
    Madam Speaker, I respect my colleague as well. We have had many of those good conversations.
    I want to say that it is not the registration of a firearm but the licencing of it that will help prevent crimes. The only difference is that firearms should be licensed according to their function, not their form.

Criminal Code

    Madam Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:
    That, notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House:
(a) on the day the House begins debate on the second reading motion of Bill C-28, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (self-induced extreme intoxication), no later than the ordinary hour of daily adjournment or when no member rises to speak during the debate, whichever is earlier, the bill shall be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at the report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed on division; and
(b) the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights be instructed to undertake a study on the subject matter of Bill C-28 when the business of the House resumes in September 2022, during the course of this study the Minister of Justice be invited to appear as a witness, and the committee report its findings to the House no later than Friday, December 16, 2022.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.

[Translation]

    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

     (Motion agreed to)

[English]

Criminal Code

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), be read the second time and referred to a committee, of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.
    Madam Speaker, today, I will be sharing my time with the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.
     Before I start my speech, I want to acknowledge that today is June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day. It is a day that I recognize with a lot of love because of my beautiful granny. She went to residential school in Lejac between the ages of four and 16, and her strength and integrity keep our family strong. I also want to acknowledge my Auntie Dean from Stellat’en First Nation. Her traditional name is Hatix-Ka’wah, which means peace within the frame of a house. Because of the day, I wanted to acknowledge her as the lead of our family before I started.
    I am here specifically to speak to Bill C-21, an act to amend certain acts and to make certain consequential amendments in regard to firearms. I want to start by thanking the member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford for his hard work on this file. It is not an easy one, and these discussions are always rife with conflict as we try to navigate our way around this issue. I will say that I am ready to support this bill getting to committee. I also recognize that I still have a lot of questions, and I am hoping the committee will be able to work through some of those questions to get me answers.
    I represent a rural riding. I grew up in a household where several of my family members were legal gun owners. They followed the rules, and I was taught gun safety at a very young age as a matter of respect. I grew up eating wild meat, and hunting was a significant part of my family's life.
    I have met with many legal gun owners in my riding who have talked about the frustration they feel about the rules always focusing on them, rather than addressing some of their legitimate concerns about illegal guns and how they get into our communities. That is an important part of our conversation today, and it should continue to be. Those conversations do concern me greatly. My riding also has a high level of people retiring from the military who maintain their skills as a commitment to their years of service. It is important for us all to recognize those who use firearms to protect and serve our communities.
    I have also heard from constituents who are very, very concerned about gun violence in their communities and in our region. There have been, sadly, several examples in my riding over the past few years, which has resulted in my office receiving more concerns about gun safety than we have ever seen before. This is especially concerning when it comes to cases of domestic violence where guns are used. In 2020, 160 women and girls were killed in Canada. One woman or girl is killed every two and a half days in this country. Therefore, as Canadians are seeing an increase in gun violence across our country, I believe that all Canadians do want to see this addressed.
     About three years ago, a constituent in my riding invited me to come to the shooting range with him. He wanted to showcase this for me, so I would understand the rules and how he followed them. I agreed so that I could learn more about the realities of these folks living in my region. Of course, he was also a retired service member for the military, and I always take an opportunity to spend time with people who served us, and who served us so well.
    The first thing he told me was that I would have to come to his house and ride with him because he could not stop on the way through town to pick me up. The rules in Canada meant that he had to go straight from his home, not stopping for anything else, and go to the range. At his home, he was able to show me the way he stored his guns separate from ammunition, with everything locked away and secured. He also showed me how he transported the guns and how that was done safely.
    I learned a lot, and I really appreciated his effort to take that time to educate me. He also shared that he was concerned about the gun violence in Canada and what that did for him as a legal gun owner and as somebody who was really practising safely. He knew of things that had happened across the country, and he knew that people were more fearful.
    These are important conversations to have, especially at that community level where we can have those open conversations and discussions about how we can come together. My constituent did feel that the majority of gun owners followed the rules very carefully, but he was also concerned that there are legal gun owners who do not always follow the rules, and he wanted to make sure that those issues were addressed. Of course, he was also very concerned about the fact that we do have illegal guns in this country, and those folks can really make a bad name for people who are doing their best to be safe.
    The facts are that, in Canada between 2019 and 2020, there were notable increases in rates of firearm-related violent crimes being reported, especially in places like southern rural British Columbia, which had an increase of 34%; the northern rural part of Ontario, which increased by 32%; rural Alberta, which increased by 32% in the north and 31% in the south; the Northwest Territories, which saw a 23% increase; and Nova Scotia, which increased by 22%. Handguns were the most serious weapon present in most firearm-related violent crimes.

  (1350)  

    Over my seven years here, I have heard two things repeatedly from constituents: one is that we need to look at gun policy in Canada, focussing on illegal guns and how they get to our country; and two is that we need more education in Canada about the strong rules that we do have and how they work. I believe these are important areas to discuss.
    I have also heard a lot on this bill specifically about concerns from the airsoft community that Bill C-21 would prohibit imports, exports, sales and transfers of all replica firearms, which would include airsoft guns that are designed or intended to look exactly like or resemble a real firearm.
    This does concern me, because there is the safety issue on the one side that we should consider carefully. We have heard stories of people using these to emulate real guns, and that is a safety concern for all people who are involved in that situation. We also hear the other side, and that it will impact paintball retailers and facilities, as most rely on income from both airsoft and paintball use.
    I understand that in this country there are very few regulations, and I think it is something we need to look at. We have heard from this sector that they have not been meaningfully consulted. We want to make sure that when we further the discussions, we could address that.
    I have learned that people have successfully altered airsoft weapons to hold real ammunition, and this really surprised me. I had no idea that that was even possible. Unfortunately it is, and it is a growing concern. We need to work with this sector to make sure that we look at the realities they are facing, and make sure the solution is workable, so they can continue their practice and not have a huge impact on their income. However, we also need to make sure the safety of Canadians is addressed.
    Illegal guns are a huge concern for my constituents, as I mentioned earlier. This bill does not offer what I would like to see on measures for gun smuggling. I represent 19 Wing Comox. Its crews do tremendous work on our coastline to keep our community safe. They have found people trying to ship things illegally across our borders, whether it be guns or drugs, and they have stopped that. I really appreciate their work, but I am concerned there is not going to be the amount of support needed to continue that work and to expand that work.
    We know that this bill would increase the maximum penalty for trafficking, smuggling and other firearms offences from 10 years to 14 years. It would require the commissioner of firearms to give the minister an annual report. It would allow proactive information sharing between the RCMP and local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of investigating or prosecuting firearm trafficking offences, and it would also provide eligibility for wiretapping on additional Criminal Code firearms offences.
    What it does not include in a meaningful way is more support for the Canadian Border Services Agency. We know that, under the previous Conservative government, over 1,000 positions were cut. Under the Liberal government, some of those folks are back, but definitely not the number that is required to actually address the guns that are being smuggled into our country illegally.
    We also know, as our leader wrote to the Prime Minister in 2018, that we need to see more changes within our policies in this country to support the root causes of gun violence in some of the more vulnerable communities. We need to address things such as poverty. I was at an event just a few days ago in my community, and I was very surprised by how many people talked to me about the increasing homeless population. They spoke of how more and more people are really struggling to make ends meet and how often they are going towards violence because they cannot feed themselves. They are not safe in their own area.
    We need to make sure there are supports provided to our communities to address these key issues because the more poverty grows, and the more people are disenfranchised, the more violence is the result. We need to look at these things as correlating numbers.
    I am here to discuss this. I hope that all of us in the House can have a meaningful conversation, because these things are important to our communities, and if we do not address them in an open and transparent way, it will lead to more conflict.

  (1355)  

    Madam Speaker, I was particularly interested in my colleague's comments on airsoft guns and the impact on that industry. It is an issue in my riding. I believe this is absolutely a good bill, but with airsoft guns, quite frankly, it overreaches. The problem is this: An airsoft gun that is a replica of a gun that is not banned would be banned, so we would be banning toys.
    Does my hon. colleague have any concerns about that? Does she feel this is something that could be addressed through amendments at committee?
    Madam Speaker, I have spent a lot of time with the member in committee, and I always appreciate his feedback and his thoughts. In this case, I completely agree with him. These are very important questions because we know there are a lot of industries that use airsoft, and it is a toy. It is something people play with, but if it is used in the wrong hands, either changed so it can actually shoot or used to replicate something else, that is concerning.
    We have to look to our committee to do the work to make sure we offer a workable solution, so we would not only be protecting the industry but also making sure we are keeping our communities safe at the same time. That is why it is so important that we come together on the bill and have meaningful dialogue. It is because these are life-and-death situations, in some cases, both in terms of economics and in terms of safety.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[English]

Italian Heritage Month

    Madam Speaker, during the beautiful month of June, there is a lot to celebrate. The sun is shining, the ice cream trucks are back and there are numerous cultural heritage months to acknowledge, but in my riding of Richmond Hill there is one occasion we are especially excited to celebrate.
    June marks Italian Heritage Month, a time to commemorate all of the contributions of our neighbours, friends and fellow community members of Italian descent. I am proud to represent a riding that is made more vibrant and inclusive thanks to community-led organizations such as the Golden Age Italian Social Club, the Richmond Hill Social & Bocce Club, and the Richmond Hill Italian Community Club, all of which work to connect and engage seniors.
    To all Italian Canadians in my community and across Canada, I wish them a happy Italian Heritage Month, and if this happens to be the last time I speak in the House before the session ends, to all my constituents in Richmond Hill, I wish them a most pleasant and healthy summer.

Ukraine

    Madam Speaker, for the last two months, several members' offices, including mine, have had the opportunity to have Ukrainian interns working with us as part of the Canada-Ukraine parliamentary internship program. During this time, we have had the chance to gain insights as to what is happening on the ground and in the everyday lives of the Ukrainian people. I am proud to say that Canada stands with Ukraine, and it is vital that we continue to provide our support through our welcoming of refugees and our military aid to those in Ukraine.
    Every day, we learn about atrocities being committed in Ukraine. The brave young women and men of Ukraine, including those who have been with us on the Hill, need the continued support of Canada so they may be the leaders, doctors, lawyers, professors and artists of Ukraine's future.
    Victory for Ukraine is victory for democracy. I urge all Canadians to continue to stand with the Ukrainian people, and I would like to commend the brave young women of the internship, who have been tremendous advocates for their country. I wish them my continued support as many of them head back to Ukraine at the end of this month.
    Slava Ukraini.

Canada Summer Jobs Program

    Madam Speaker, each year businesses and not-for-profits in my riding of Oakville North—Burlington look forward to participating in the Canada summer jobs program.
    This program provides them the opportunity to create employment opportunities for young people 15 to 30 years of age. Since I was elected, I have worked hard to grow this program in our riding. This year, 71 businesses and not-for-profits in my riding are creating over 400 jobs for youth in our community in a variety of fields, ranging from sports and recreation to computer sciences and more. These positions will provide not only meaningful work experience for young adults, but also a much-needed boost for small businesses and not-for-profits still recovering from the effects of the pandemic.
    I look forward to spending time in my riding this summer visiting some of these organizations, meeting with the youth and employers, and learning more about the impact being made in our community.

[Translation]

National Indigenous Peoples Day

    Madam Speaker, I am proud to rise on this 21st day of June to honour National Indigenous Peoples Day.
    May this, the brightest day of the year, serve as an opportunity to showcase the full spectrum and richness of indigenous language and culture. On this special day, let us become better acquainted with and learn about the diversity and wealth that offer so many pathways to a greater understanding of each other through theatre, knowledge, music, craft, literature, tradition and visual art.
    May this day to celebrate the robust identities of indigenous peoples foster respect, dialogue and equality among nations. Today, Quebec as a whole salutes indigenous peoples' heritage and contributions going back thousands of years. They have left their mark on our land and on our existence through the centuries and do so to this day.
    On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to thank my brothers and sisters of the Abenaki, Algonquin, Atikamekw, Cree, Maliseet, Mi'kmaq, Huron-Wendat, Mohawk, Inuit and, of course, Innu and Naskapi nations for glowing so brightly and generously sharing their light with us.

[English]

High School Graduates in Orléans

    Madam Speaker, this week marks the beginning of graduation for our grade 12 students, and I want to take a moment to congratulate the 1,745 graduates from Orléans’s 10 high schools.

  (1405)  

[Translation]

    This year, I am pleased to be attending several grade 12 graduation ceremonies in Orléans. It will be an opportunity to once again celebrate the students' accomplishments with their friends and family.

[English]

    I cannot express enough how, in the past two years, I have witnessed their strength, resilience and community spirit.

[Translation]

    It is always a great honour for me to personally sign the diplomas of each of our graduates every year and to wish them well in the future. They have accomplished so much and are now starting a new chapter in their lives.

[English]

    No matter what path they decide to take, now that they have completed high school, I know they have enough tools and supports to achieve anything they put their minds to.

[Translation]

     Congratulations to all graduates of 2022.

[English]

Westman Farmers

    Madam Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Westman’s farmers and ranchers. Despite the challenges Mother Nature has thrown at them, they press on each day. A Colorado low hit in late spring that hurt the livestock producers as calves were being born. A constant barrage of rain delayed seeding and turned fields into mud. A late frost bit canola and other crops just as they were peeking out of the ground, and now flea beetles are running amok. Somehow, our farmers pushed through. They persevered. They are out there as we speak, producing the food on which the world relies.
    As the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, many are worried about the price and quantity of food in the year to come. Our farmers can help. Now more than ever, we need them to succeed.
     I salute all those men and women working around the clock doing what they do best: growing and raising the food we eat every single day.

National Sickle Cell Awareness Day

    Madam Speaker, over the weekend we celebrated National Sickle Cell Awareness Day in Canada, and today I am rising in honour of those affected by sickle cell disease and to honour the incredible organizations and volunteers who work so hard to support people living with it.
    When I first joined Senator Jane Cordy and sponsored Bill S-211, the National Sickle Cell Awareness Day Act, I had the honour of really getting to know the incredible advocacy organizations across Canada. Groups like the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Atlantic Canada, the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario and the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada were doing everything they could to raise awareness. They knew that with greater awareness come more support, more research, better treatments and possible cures for this disease.
    I am so thankful for the privilege to work with the sickle cell community, and I ask everyone in this House to please rise and join me in honouring those who live with sickle cell disease and the incredible organizations across Canada that support them.

Netivot HaTorah Graduates

    Madam Speaker, the last two years have been hard for many Canadians. As a mother, like many parents, I have had concerns about how my two daughters, among millions of kids across this country, have navigated their studies, their social connections and their emotional well-being. Our educators in schools large and small, from day care through high school, have nurtured and cared for our children, making sure they received not only the educational tools and resources they needed, but emotional and resilient support while navigating the challenges they faced.
    This June has brought with it graduations from coast to coast to coast for students and the resumption of grad trips, which are part of the milestones of exploring our wonderful country.
    Today, I and colleagues from across this House welcomed Netivot HaTorah middle school graduates to West Block to see and learn how their House and the democratic institutions we cherish work, and that the diversity of this place reflects our Canada.
    As a mother, it is not every day that I get to welcome my kid into this place. I congratulate the graduates, including my daughter, Eden. Their future is bright and we are proud of all they have accomplished and all they will do in their future.
    Yasher koach.

Edward Alvin Odishaw

    Madam Speaker, on June 3, Conservatives lost a truly remarkable and long-time activist, Ed Odishaw, at age 86.
    Edward Alvin Odishaw was born and raised in North Battleford, earning his law degree from the University of Saskatchewan. In 1973, he moved to Vancouver, where he practised corporate law with Swinton & Company and then Boughton Law.
    As a friend of my older brother, Greg Findlay, I first met Ed when I was a teenager.
    From the age of 26, he spent five years as executive assistant to Premier Ross Thatcher. Later, his love of politics flourished within the Conservative Party. He first served the leader of the official opposition, John Reynolds, and then proudly worked with Prime Minister Harper. He mentored me and so many.
    Ed was eloquent, genuine and true to his word. Ed loved Canada and lived his life with integrity and dignity. He leaves behind an enormous legacy of friendships, and his loving wife of 40 years. I offer my condolences to Theresa and extended family. Devoted husband, wise colleague, trusted friend and a true patriot, Ed was one of the good guys.

  (1410)  

Retirement Congratulations

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the career of Deb Harvey, the executive director of the Grand Theatre in London. She is retiring after 23 years, coming from Nova Scotia on a six-month contract when the theatre was at serious risk of closing due to significant debt.
    Since taking the helm, Deb has led the theatre to two decades of surplus, only having a small bump in the road due to COVID-19. Deb is deeply respected in our community. She has been unwavering in her desire to ensure the Grand is a teaching theatre, one that mentors students and apprentices. Deb was instrumental in leading the $9-million Reno2020 project as well, ensuring a safe, new, welcoming space for artists, patrons, staff and volunteers. Undoubtedly, Deb’s departure marks a significant loss for the arts community in London and leaves very big shoes to fill.
    I congratulate Deb on a truly successful career. It has been a pleasure to work with her, and our community owes her an enormous debt of gratitude. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement.

Money Laundering

    Mr. Speaker, Canada is a money-laundering paradise. The Cullen commission, a British Columbia inquiry into money laundering, just released its final report. It details significant gaps and concerns with our money-laundering laws and regimes in Canada. Canadians have heard stories of hockey bags full of $20 bills going into casinos to come out laundered. The Cullen commission even questions whether B.C. should start its own reporting regime and have its own commissioner of money laundering.
    Global criminals are flocking to our shores, using our country and institutions to finance drugs, human trafficking and other crime. This activity also increases the demand for housing, pushing up real estate prices for Canadians across Canada. The government must step up and take responsibility. We now have facts that can no longer be ignored. Anything else would mean being willfully blind.
    Of course, the beneficial registry in my private member's bill is a small step, but there is much more to be done. That is why I am calling on the government to launch a national commission and inquiry into money laundering across Canada and give Parliament tangible calls to action to stop this activity and say no to global criminals.

Thornhill Athlete

    Mr. Speaker, it is not another Raptors NBA championship, but it is worth celebrating. Last week, Andrew Wiggins was instrumental in the Golden State Warriors winning their fourth NBA championship in eight years.
    He is a Thornhill boy and that is why it matters. He went to Glen Shields Public School and then Vaughan Secondary School, where he became the world’s top-ranking high school ball player. From there, Andrew pursued a college career in the United States, where he flourished too. After just one year, he was drafted first overall in 2014.
    In the final game of the championships, Andrew lit it up, scoring 18 points with six rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. Andrew Wiggins is a great example of all the talent in my community and what we have to offer Canada and the world. Buckle up, Canada, because Wiggins is just getting started. When people watch Wiggins fly, they should just remember that it all started in Thornhill.
    I say, “Bring the trophy home, Andrew.”

[Translation]

Canada Summer Jobs Program

    Mr. Speaker, a hundred or so businesses, organizations and municipalities in the riding of Châteauguay—Lacolle will benefit from the Canada summer jobs program again this year.
    I am happy for the opportunity being given to some 400 young people in the region to acquire work experience, often related to their field of study, through the Canada summer jobs program.

[English]

    Canada summer jobs also allows about 100 companies, organizations and municipalities to train the next generation. People will certainly come across some of these wonderful young people in day camps, tourist attractions or elsewhere. We should encourage them with a smile. They are our leaders of tomorrow.

National Indigenous Peoples Day

    [Member spoke in Inuktitut and provided the following text:]
    ᐅᖅᑲᖅᑎᑦᑎᔨ, ᓯᕗᓪᓕᕐᒥ ᑳᓇᑕᓕᒫᕐᒥᒃ ᓄᓇᖃᖅᑳᖅᓯᒪᔪᓄᑦ ᐅᓪᓗᕆᔭᐅᑎᓪᓗᒍ, ᐅᓪᓗᖃᑦᑎᐊᖁᕙᓯ.
    [Member provided the following translation:]
    First of all, I wish you all a wonderful Indigenous Peoples Day.
[English]
    I am honoured to speak on National Indigenous Peoples Day. There are many stories that I could share. Inuit, first nations and Métis in Canada have made historic achievements. Among these achievements are the creation, education and graduation of the joint degree program in Canadian common law and indigenous legal orders at the University of Victoria.
    I thank the indigenous elders and former students of the residential schools. By their sacrifice, we are regaining our strengths as indigenous peoples. It is by their determination that we are able to celebrate our heritages, languages and hope for future generations. I am so thankful to them.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

La Baie

    Mr. Speaker, on June 13, a house in the beautiful area of La Baie was destroyed by a major landslide. Since then, 95 homes have had to be evacuated, which means 192 people do not know if or when they will be able to return home.
    My region is no stranger to natural disasters. In 1996, 600 residents of La Baie lost all of their worldly possessions in a flood and, in 1971, a landslide in Saint‑Jean‑Vianney destroyed 42 homes and took the lives of 31 people.
    History has taught us that people back home are resilient. The concern and compassion expressed today are already being replaced with the courage, determination and solidarity typical of people from Saguenay—Lac-Saint‑Jean.
    In closing, I urge authorities from all levels of government to work together to ensure that this disaster becomes just a bad memory as soon as possible. All of Quebec stands with my friends in La Baie.

[English]

Food Security

    Mr. Speaker, every Canadian and every human being should have access to food.
    On June 8, I attended the retirement of Jim Cornelius, the accomplished executive director of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank for over 24 years, five of which overlapped my time with that organization.
    Established in 1983, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank has a footprint that can be seen all across Canada in growing projects in farm fields. Local community groups, farmers and church groups dedicate the proceeds of a crop, which are matched by additional Canadian donors and then matched again by the federal government, to efforts to alleviate hunger. My own riding has several such growing projects in Chatham, Leamington, Wheatley, Blenheim and South Buxton, with over 220 across Canada.
    Collectively, we were making progress toward ending hunger, but conflicts and war have reversed those improvements. Now, with Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, the world needs more Canadian grain, more Canadian energy and more Canadian expertise in food production.
    A recent U.S. president stated, “The world needs more Canada.” I agree. Our own security is enhanced when global destabilization does not happen because of global food and energy insecurity.

National Indigenous Peoples Day

    Mr. Speaker, today is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. On top of celebrating indigenous history, culture and resilience, today also marks the one-year anniversary of the royal assent of Bill C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
    UNDRIPA breathes life into aboriginal and treaty rights, and concretely advances reconciliation. For over 30 years, indigenous groups advocated at the United Nations and in Canada to be self-determining nations. UNDRIPA turns the page on the colonial legacies of the past and moves us to a new chapter based on the recognition of indigenous people's inalienable rights. As we collaboratively work to implement UNDRIPA, it will be the foundation for a renewed relationship based on fair, just and consensual relations between nations.
    Our government is committed to not just celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day, but continuing to co-develop legislation that will improve the quality of life for indigenous people across Canada.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[English]

Sport

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that government officials were made aware four years ago of reports of sexual assault by players at Hockey Canada. They did nothing and no one was held accountable. The only thing the Liberals did was give Hockey Canada another $14 million.
    For a Prime Minister who claims to be a feminist, there seems to be a pattern of covering up and rewarding bad behaviour. It seems women really do not matter to the Prime Minister. How could he have let this happen?

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, as a government, we have continually stood up to push back against sexual misconduct and harassment in organizations and workplaces across the country, and Hockey Canada is no different. Organizations and people in leadership positions must do their utmost to take decisions to end this culture and the trivialization of sexual violence in sport. It is why we commissioned the financial audit to shed light on the use of public funds. We want to get to the bottom of this, and all options are being considered to determine the next steps. This behaviour is unacceptable.

COVID-19 Response Measures

    Mr. Speaker, it is a repeat pattern and the Liberals are either complicit or incompetent. Either way, women are being harmed.
    Now the NDP-Liberals are going to force a continuation of hybrid Parliament for another year. The Prime Minister and his Liberal ministers can travel around the world and the NDP can go on junkets, but they do not want to show up here to work. They want to collect a full-time paycheque while doing part-time work.
    It is true the Prime Minister does not want to be here because he is afraid of accountability, but the New Democrats do not want to be here because they are afraid of hard work. Is that not the truth?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that this pandemic has created hardships in workplaces around the country, but indeed people adapted. That was one of the innovations we brought in with a hybrid Parliament. IT allowed people suffering from COVID, while public health measures kept us safe, to be able to work.
    I know there are many more people who continue to benefit from being able to do work remotely. We need to understand that this is a workplace, like others, and ensuring that there is an ability to do this work in responsible ways, while adjusting to the realities of the future, is something we will continue to do.
    Mr. Speaker, gas station attendants, factory workers, nurses, janitors and farmers all show up for work, but the New Democrats, with the help of the Liberals, want to work from the comfort of their homes. How entitled are they? The New Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for propping up the Liberals and even more ashamed of themselves for not wanting to come to Ottawa to do their job.
    Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and put an end to the hybrid Parliament so that we can all be here in Ottawa doing our jobs for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, how we work in Parliament is determined by parliamentarians working together to determine the Standing Orders and how best to represent constituents and to be there for Canadians to debate, talk about and pass important legislation. We have seen the Conservatives consistently use obstructionist tactics to try to slow down gun control measures, to slow down child care and to slow down supports for Canadians in every possible way they can.
    We will continue to do our work, to be accountable and to engage with Canadians in every way possible.
    Before we go to the next question, I just want to remind everyone that we want to hear the questions and the answers. I want to make sure that everybody calms down. I know everybody is excited because next week we will be in our ridings and we are looking forward to being with constituents. However, right now we are representing them here in the House and we want them to be proud of us.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.

Passports

    Mr. Speaker, the only one here making it harder for Canadians to travel is the Prime Minister himself. The only thing preventing Canadians from having access to a document as important as the passport is the Prime Minister's incompetence.
    The passport situation is a national crisis. According to columnist Mario Dumont, who spent the night at the Guy‑Favreau complex to get a passport for his daughter, people in line are being treated like cattle. That is not true. Cattle farmers never leave their animals without water. There is a big difference.
    How can the Prime Minister be so bad at delivering services from his government?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that this is a difficult, stressful and completely unacceptable situation. Canadians have started travelling again and we are seeing an increase in the number of passport applications.
    We have created new centres to increase processing capacity. We have hired 600 new employees and will be hiring 600 more. We created a new online appointment tool and we will continue to work night and day to get more passports out to Canadians. We recognize that this is a problem and we will fix it.

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, we have been getting the same answer for three weeks, yet absolutely nothing has been done. Canada normally processed 90,000 passports a week before COVID‑19. Now it cannot manage to process 48,000 a week. What is the problem?
    Everything this Prime Minister touches goes wrong. All he has to say in response to the passport issue are the same talking points he was giving us two or three weeks ago. The Prime Minister has never had to line up for a passport. He does not need to wait when he returns to the country from a vacation.
    Why is he okay with making all Canadians wait?
    Mr. Speaker, we are doing everything we can to ensure that Canadians can get their passport on time.
    We have issued more than 360,000 passports since April 1. Fully 100% of passport office counters are open. Employees continue to work overtime every day and on weekends to process applications and we are getting help from staff at Employment and Social Development Canada on the weekends.
    We will continue to do everything necessary to resolve this situation for Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, as we have said, it is chaos. There are people sleeping outside for three nights and paying the price for delays caused by the government. Journalists are even being removed from passport offices under police supervision.
    Can the Prime Minister show some courage, get a backbone, as they say, and tell the House that he is responsible for this fiasco?
    Mr. Speaker, we understand that there has been a surge of passport renewal applications since travel restrictions were lifted, which is why Passport Canada staff have been working day and night to issue passports to Canadians.
    We understand that people are facing unacceptable delays and an extremely difficult situation, but we are continuing our work every day to resolve this situation, and we will resolve it.
    Mr. Speaker, he was the only one who did not realize that there would be a surge of applications.
    When the Prime Minister travels, he has a chartered plane paid for by taxpayers, and someone takes care of his passport. He even has friends who invite him to the tropics, all expenses paid.
    When ordinary taxpayers travel, they save up to be able to go on vacation or to try to reunite with their family. They submit their passport application, and the Prime Minister tells them they might not be able to go.
    Before leaving on his trip this week, does the Prime Minister want to try sleeping in the rain for two days?
    Mr. Speaker, in January, we began hiring hundreds of new employees for passport services, because we saw this coming.
    Workers are swamped. There is a huge number of passport applications, and we are increasing the number of employees and resources, and accelerating solutions for passport delivery so that Canadians can travel this summer and see their families. That is exactly what we want to do for Canadians, and that is what we are going to fix.

[English]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, over 10,000 days have passed since the people of Neskantaga have had clean drinking water. That is over 10,000 days without something that people count as normal in communities across this country. The people of Neskantaga have not had clean drinking water for over two decades. This is a complete and abject failure of leadership.
    The government has to acknowledge that this failure must be remedied. When will the government ensure that the people of Neskantaga and all first peoples of this land have access to clean drinking water?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Leader of the NDP for asking a question on indigenous issues on this National Indigenous Peoples Day.
    It is extremely important that we deliver clean water to people right across the country. That is why we made a commitment on ending long-term boil water advisories. When we got into office in 2015, there were 109 in place. We have now lifted over 120, but there are more to do. I can assure members that in every community where there is a long-term boil water advisory, there is also a plan, a project manager and the resources in order to lift that drinking water advisory for good.
    We will continue the work to make sure we are creating real opportunities for indigenous peoples across this country.

  (1430)  

    Uqaqtittiji, yesterday the government announced billions for Arctic defence. Arctic sovereignty is always colonial and patriarchal. The High Arctic relocatees who live in Grise Fiord and Resolute can attest to being sent there without the resources they needed to survive and thrive.
    Investments in the north need to help northerners access safe housing, clean drinking water and fresh food. Current investments are not working. How will Nunavummiut benefit from the billions being invested in Arctic defence?
    Mr. Speaker, we know that protection of sovereignty in our Arctic happens and passes through the people who have lived there for millennia.
    That is why, in our investments in northern security, in our investments in NORAD modernization, the Nunavummiut, the Premier of Nunavut P.J. Akeeagok and others, including Natan Obed and the ITK, have been involved in these discussions. We know that as we build infrastructure for safety and protection in the north, we need to be hand-in-hand with the people who live there and create benefits for them as well as we invest in safety in the north.
    That is what we will continue to do, hand-in-hand, in the true spirit of partnership and reconciliation.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has continually gotten inflation wrong.
    First she said deflation was the concern. Then she said inflation was transitory—wrong and wronger. Now she says she is considering cutting taxes at the pumps. Good. When Alberta did this, it reduced its inflation rate as higher energy prices drive inflation.
    Every G7 country is doing something on gas prices. When will she start fighting inflation and give Canadians a break at the pumps, or is she that content to be the wrongest person in the room at the next G7?
    Mr. Speaker, let me just point out that, when Canada meets our G7 partners, we are the envy of our peer countries.
    The IMF, the OECD and Moody's have all pointed out that Canada is expected to have the strongest rate of growth this year and next year in the G7, and we have the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7 and the fastest rate of fiscal consolidation.
    When it comes to affordability, our government is taking meaningful steps, starting with the OAS benefit going up this summer.
    Mr. Speaker, these speNDP-Liberals love warning labels so much, there should have been a mandatory “this product causes inflation and will be harmful to your economy” sticker on the last budget.
    This Minister of Finance is fond of saying that her government “can walk and chew gum at the same time”. Okay, then, could she explain to the House how she can inject a post-COVID-19 stimulus of $100 billion into the economy and fight inflation at the same time?
    Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the verdict of some objective experts when it comes to Canada's government policy.
    I am going to start with S&P, the ratings agency whose job it is to judge fiscal responsibility. After I tabled the budget in April, S&P confirmed Canada's AAA rating with a stable outlook going forward. Let me also point out that Canada, today, is tied with the U.S. for the fastest rate of fiscal consolidation in the G7, that means bringing down the deficit. That is fiscal responsibility, and it is appropriate.
    Mr. Speaker, the current NDP-Liberal budget spending is the most outside of a crisis in three decades. It is driving runaway costs of living and rising inflation. Food is up 9.7% since last year, the biggest jump since the eighties. Gas is a record high, over $2 a litre across Canada. It is almost $3 a litre in big cities like Vancouver and Montreal. It is hard in rural areas too. Since last year, fertilizer is up 44%, feed is up 8% and farm fuel is up 32%.
    Why do the Liberals not care that Canadians are really struggling right now just to get by?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, our government absolutely understands the challenges Canadians are facing today with the cost of living, but let me actually remind the member opposite of a statement that one of her colleagues made during the private members' statements just a moment ago. One of her colleagues pointed out that higher food prices today are being driven by Vladimir Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine. We have to remember who is responsible for the challenges that Canadians are facing today.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals racked up more debt than every other government before it, combined. That puts all Canadians on the hook and they are worried whether they can make it. Scotiabank says the Liberals “are doing nothing of any significance to slow inflation at the moment” and “missed their chance to nip it in the bud”, the inflation they caused. RBC and BMO predict tomorrow’s inflation to be 7.4%, over double from May last year. Liberal spending caused this skyrocketing inflation and is forcing Canadians to choose between heating and eating.
    Why do the NDP-Liberals always make things so much worse for working everyday Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, let me take another opportunity to point out to Canadians listening to us that Canada is tied with the United States in the G7 for the fastest rate of fiscal consolidation and the fastest rate of bringing down our deficit.
    Canadians know inflation is a global phenomenon. It is driven by Putin's war in Ukraine. It is driven by China's COVID-zero policies. I will give some numbers to back that up. Our latest inflation number is 6.8% in Canada. That is lower than the U.S., which is at 8.6%; Germany at 7.4%; the U.K. at 9.0%; and the OECD average of 9.2%.

[Translation]

Canada Revenue Agency

    Mr. Speaker, Radio-Canada's Daniel Leblanc reported this morning that the Canada Revenue Agency closed the criminal investigation into a tax evasion scheme by KPMG a year ago. At noon, KPMG confirmed that it had been cleared of any wrongdoing.
    Members will recall that, in 2017, the Minister of National Revenue stated, and I quote, “We’re going to get to the bottom of this, and we’re going to catch them. When everything comes out publicly, it will be easier.”
    I have a very simple question for the Minister of National Revenue. She has known for a year that this case was closed, so why did she not speak to anyone about it?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased and very surprised to my colleague opposite's enthusiasm for tackling tax evasion.
    He knows very well that I cannot comment on specific cases. Furthermore, my colleague should know that the Canada Revenue Agency conducts its investigations independently. I do not intervene in investigations, nor do I conduct them.
    We will continue to work hard to address tax evasion in Canada and abroad.
    Mr. Speaker, this is the same minister who, weeks ago, kept telling us that the net was tightening. The reality is that she is the one getting caught up in the net.
    In 2017, she said that she was going to make this public and that the whole truth would come out. The investigation has been over for a year and the minister said that once everything was public, it would all become clearer and they would comment on it. Now, for a whole year, she has said nothing.
    Why, once again, is the government refusing to get to the bottom of this? Why, when it is time to talk, do its representatives have nothing to say?
    Mr. Speaker, as I said, I cannot comment on specific cases.
    My colleague should know that the Canada Revenue Agency is independent, and that we do not interfere with or direct investigations.

Passports

    Mr. Speaker, the situation at passport offices is getting out of hand. According to TVA, at the end of the ordeal, the lucky ones who do get their passports at Guy-Favreau complex in Montreal are still being charged extra fees. Despite the minister's instructions today, people are being charged $110. Despite the minister's instructions, the federal government is making Quebeckers and Canadians pay for its mistake. The minister has no control over her department.
    When will she finally ensure that people can get their passports without extra fees?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, once again, I will tell my colleague that the instruction given to all Service Canada employees is that if passports are issued outside the standard service times, there is no additional charge. We will say it again. It is clear and the directive has been given across the country. We are going to make sure it is enforced on the ground.
    Mr. Speaker, nothing is clear these days. People are being treated like cattle at passport offices. Instead of managing the crisis effectively, security officers at the Guy-Favreau complex reportedly threw out a journalist who was reporting on the line-ups.
    If things are so bad that they cannot be shown on TV, the answer is not to kick out the media. The answer is to do a better job of managing the crisis.
    When will the government extend hours of operation, reassign public servants, treat citizens with respect and ensure that everyone gets their passport?
    Mr. Speaker, the situation in Montreal is completely unacceptable. I have heard about this situation and it is clearly not what should be happening.
    I assure my colleagues that anyone in Montreal who is travelling in the next 48 hours is getting their passport. Applicants are being triaged in line. Senior management is on the ground to help manage the situation, and although the volume of applications has skyrocketed, this situation is unacceptable.

Agriculture and Agri-Food

    Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Finance once again made an announcement about inflation without giving one cent to our farmers.
    She has been warned for months that agriculture is at risk. Inflation strikes farmers three times, not just once. The price of fuel, fertilizer and animal feed has skyrocketed and added $1.5 billion to their costs.
    If Ottawa does nothing, producers could go bankrupt and the price of food will continue to rise. Farmers submitted specific requests to the minister. When will she finally support them?
    Mr. Speaker, once again, I agree with my colleague that our farmers work extremely hard and that, just like society as a whole, they are faced with very high prices right now for food, inputs and energy.
    That is why we are helping them in different ways. Last year, the Department of Agriculture had its largest budget ever, with $4 billion for the agricultural sector.
    I assure my colleague that we are working on different options to see how we can provide our farmers with more assistance.

[English]

Passports

    Mr. Speaker, the utter chaos experienced by Canadians simply trying to obtain a passport from their own government is a crisis solely of the Prime Minister's making. A summer that should have provided much-needed relief after two years of significant stress has instead turned into an endless nightmare of dangerous passport office all-nighters and infuriatingly long hold times, often ending in abruptly dropped calls. A year ago, as this fully predictable situation was brewing, the Prime Minister called a completely unnecessary election.
    Will he now admit that he was wrong to put his political interests ahead of the Canadians he was elected to serve?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have mentioned several times in the House, we are experiencing an unprecedented volume in terms of passport applications. We have, in fact, been planning for this surge and that is why 600 employees were hired since January. Another 600 are in the process of being hired. We are rearranging and reallocating resources within Service Canada and also within other government departments. We understand the situation. We understand the frustration of Canadians, and we will continue to do everything that we can to support Canadians in getting their passports in a timely fashion.
    Mr. Speaker, Sally still has not received her new passport that she applied for in March. She needs it next week. The government says that she can now travel five hours to the nearest passport office to get an emergency passport printed. It told her to line up at 4 a.m., but will not guarantee that she will get served that day. It has also said that she must not arrive at the passport office sooner than 48 hours before her flight time in order to qualify for the said emergency printing.
    Why does Liberal incompetence mean that Sally is forced to drive five hours one way to stand in line all night with no guarantee that she will have her passport by the time her flight leaves?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are currently triaging people in line because of the unprecedented volume to ensure that people do not miss their flights. We have ensured that, when people get to the passport office, they are receiving their passports. The member opposite can certainly work with my office to support that constituent. I have been pleased to work with many members opposite to support their constituents and make sure that they can get their passports on time. We will continue to support them and Canadians as we go through this surge in volume to support Canadians with their passports.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the passport crisis is quite simply shocking and unacceptable.
    Mario Dumont, the well-known TVA host, said that the government is treating Canadians like cattle. Let us think about that. People are exasperated and desperate, but the minister says that everything is fine and has been repeating the same platitudes from day one. She needs to get every employee back in person, and open passport offices evenings and weekends, not just by appointment.
    When is the minister going to fix the problem?
    Mr. Speaker, I understand Canadians' frustration. We are doing our best to fix this situation.
    I have to correct my hon. colleague. All the employees who work on passports at Service Canada are in the office, and have been for months. When he talks about public servants working from home, they are working. They are the same public servants who got the Canada recovery benefit out to Canadians. In all, nine million Canadians received benefits thanks to the hard-working employees of Service Canada.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, wherever we look these days, we see the NDP-Liberal government in chaos. If it is not chaos at our airports, it is chaos at our passport offices. Every week, dozens of constituents call my office looking for help. People have been waiting since January, with little to no response. People are lining up overnight just to get to the office. Some are even being turned away and asked to come back another day after waiting for hours.
    What other G7 countries have their citizens sleeping on the ground overnight in order to receive basic government services?
    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague points out, this is not a situation unique to Canada. In fact, people in the United States, the U.K., France, Australia and Sweden are waiting for 10, 11 and up to 27 weeks. This is precisely something that is happening right around the world. It does not make it acceptable here, and that is exactly why we are throwing everything we have to fix this situation and to ensure that we can do this better, but almost all of our peer countries are going through the exact same thing.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, KPMG literally counselled the wealthiest Canadians to use offshore tax havens. It told Canadians to put their money and their assets into the Isle of Man tax-free haven and that it would help them recover them, tax-free. It sounds pretty shady to me. It also sounded shady to the CRA, so it launched a criminal investigation, which found that there was no wrongdoing, which clearly means that we need to change the laws.
    When will the government finally change the laws to make sure that the wealthiest Canadians are not able to use offshore tax havens and avoid paying their fair share and actually contributing fairly like the rest of Canadians do?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I just love my colleague's enthusiasm for tackling tax evasion.
    They Canada Revenue Agency is fighting tax evasion in Canada and abroad. We have a solid network of tax agreements. Our investments are bearing fruit. It is getting harder and harder to hide money abroad.
    I have a simple message for everyone considering tax evasion: The CRA will find them no matter where they are.
     Mr. Speaker, KPMG did in fact counsel the wealthiest Canadians to use tax loopholes. That is unacceptable.
    The government has the power to repeal the laws that allow this.
    Will the government at long last amend the legislation to make the ultrarich pay their fair share like everyone else?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want my colleague to know that the CRA is independent. I do not intervene in investigations, nor do I conduct them.
    Ongoing work to address tax evasion is a priority for our government. That is why we invested over $2 billion. We will keep working to tackle both tax evasion and tax avoidance.

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of National Defence announced our government's plan to modernize our continental defences, including replacing the North Warning System. Through this plan, our government will invest in state-of-the-art capabilities so that we can modernize and enhance our ability to defend Canadians against new and emerging threats. This modernization will benefit all Canadians and all North Americans.
    Can the minister please outline the importance of moving forward with these investments, as well as the importance of doing so in partnership with northern and indigenous communities when investing in the defence of the north?
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday our government announced the largest investment in continental defence and NORAD in four decades. As part of that, we will ensure that we partner with indigenous communities in multiple areas, including in the area of infrastructure. We need to make sure they are together with us in terms of the investments we will make to keep Canadians safe and to ensure that our Canadian Armed Forces have the resources and supplies they need. The safety and security of Canadians is our top priority.

Ethics

    Mr. Speaker, the government continues to interfere with democratic process. There was the SNC-Lavalin scandal, and now we see, based on the Mass Casualty Commission, that the then public safety minister and the Prime Minister put pressure on Commissioner Lucki.
    Why did the Prime Minister and the public safety minister use the death of Canadians to advance their political agenda?
    Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, I want to express on behalf of the government and, I hope, all members of this chamber, our sympathies and our condolences to the families of the victims. I had the—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am just going to make a comment. It is shameful that I cannot hear what is being said, so I just want to remind everyone to keep their voices down so we can hear the answer.
    From the top, minister.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you for creating some pause in this chamber as I express, I hope on behalf of all members, our condolences and our sympathies to the families of the victims, some of whom I have had an opportunity to meet. This continues to be a very difficult moment for them.
     In the interim, we know the public commission is doing its important work independently of government. There needs to be due process; there needs to be a trauma-informed process to this, and at the end of the day, we will do whatever we can to support that process, so that there can be justice for the families. They deserve it.
    Mr. Speaker, it is very clear from recent news reports that the Mass Casualty Commission confirms that the Prime Minister and the then public safety minister interfered with the release of numbers of casualties. We know that what the quote says is that, in reference to victim numbers, it was 100% Minister Blair and the Prime Minister.
    Is that not true?
    I just want to remind the hon. members, when referring to someone else in the chamber, to refer to them using their title, not by their name.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to advise this House that this issue has already been dealt with by the Mass Casualty Commission. The commissioner of the RCMP has confirmed for the commission that no such direction or pressure was ever exerted by me or by any other member of this government. Among the important work of the Mass Casualty Commission is examining a number of the significant communication challenges that that event involved—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am going to have to stop the minister. I am having a hard time hearing, and I am about 20 feet away from the minister, so I am going to ask everyone to be quiet and ask the minister to take it from the top, because I missed most of that.
    The hon. minister.

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to advise this House that this matter was dealt with a number of months ago. The commissioner of the RCMP has confirmed for the Mass Casualty Commission that no such direction or pressure was ever exerted by me or any other member of this government. Among the important work of the Mass Casualty Commission is to examine the important communication challenges that were evident during this tragic event.
    We look forward to fact-based findings and recommendations for improvement.
    Mr. Speaker, this is critical, because, according to the commander's notes in the Mass Casualty Commission report, Commissioner Lucki promised the Prime Minister's Office and the public safety minister's office that they would release the information in an active investigation that she was discussing.
    It would appear that somebody from the Prime Minister's Office and the public safety minister's office was directing Commissioner Lucki to interfere in an active police investigation, when the investigators on the ground said they did not want to.
    Who in the PMO and the public safety minister's office directed Commissioner Lucki?
    Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to confirm that no one in the Prime Minister's Office or in the public safety office exerted any pressure or direction on the commissioner of the RCMP. The commissioner of the RCMP engaged with our officials, and she has already confirmed for the Mass Casualty Commission that no such direction or pressure was ever given by any member of this government.
    Mr. Speaker, that is contradictory evidence, according to the commission's report. According to the commanders on the ground, Commissioner Lucki became extremely upset that the commissioners were not releasing the information in an active investigation, despite the fact that the commanders on the ground said they were not willing to do it because it would compromise the investigation.
    Again, I ask this: Somebody in the Prime Minister's Office and somebody in the public safety minister's office directed Commissioner Lucki to get that information. Who was it?
    Mr. Speaker, the commissioner of the RCMP, in the operations of her police service, is entirely independent of government. I can confirm for the House, as the commissioner has also confirmed, that no such direction or pressure was exerted by any member of this government to influence the commissioner's exercise of her authorities over her police service.

[Translation]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, if someone owes the Canada Revenue Agency $20, the CRA will hunt them down to the ends of the earth, but not so for companies like KPMG, which helps millionaires hide their income in the Isle of Man tax haven. Today we learned that KPMG has been cleared by the Canada Revenue Agency. In contrast, in 2005, the United States fined KPMG for the same financial arrangement and filed criminal charges against nine of its executives. In Canada, it did not get so much as a slap on the wrist.
    Why is the minister giving a free pass to executives and companies that promote the use of tax havens?
    Mr. Speaker, I will say it again to my colleague opposite. Since 2015, we have invested over $2 billion to fight tax evasion. If my colleague wants to contribute directly to the outcome of the investigations, I would be pleased to write him a letter of recommendation and send him to work for the RCMP as an investigator.
    Mr. Speaker, in 2017, when the minister was asked if charges would be brought against KPMG, she said: “Yes, because setting up schemes is criminal too.”
    Today, the Canada Revenue Agency is letting them slip through the net. After clearing the fraudsters, the minister is clearing KPMG. It is unacceptable. Under the law, the minister can order a new investigation and require a third party to direct this investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.
    Will she personally order this investigation, or does she plan to accept the tax avoidance scheme orchestrated by KPMG?
    Mr. Speaker, fighting tax evasion and tax avoidance has always been a priority for our government. For the information of my colleague across the way, who is new, the Canada Revenue Agency is independent, and I do not manage or direct investigations.

  (1500)  

[English]

Sports

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday at heritage committee it was revealed that in June 2018, a senior official at Heritage Canada was made aware of the allegations of sexual assault at Hockey Canada, yet for four years the government continued to give Hockey Canada millions of taxpayer dollars while no action was taken to hold anyone accountable or address the dangerous culture that enabled harassment and assault.
    For four years, Hockey Canada continued to receive millions. Why?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, when Hockey Canada reported one case in 2018, it told Sport Canada that the investigation had been handed over to the London police. Now that we are aware of these allegations and there has been an out-of-court settlement, I have commissioned a financial audit to ensure that no public funds were used to cover up this story. It is a appalling story, and this is not the end.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday at the heritage committee, when they were asked questions about the cover-up culture that is so a part of their institution, a Hockey Canada official said, “we're on a journey”. Specifically, they were being asked questions about an alleged sexual assault case involving a gang rape by eight players. The response, “we're on a journey” seemed trite and altogether inappropriate.
    I simply would like to know this from the minister: Are you happy with the response that was received yesterday? If not, what tangible actions will be taken immediately?
    Before I go to the hon. minister, I would like to remind everyone in the House to put their questions through the Chair and not directly to each other.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, like all Canadians, I am disgusted and horrified by this situation, and I am not satisfied with the explanation from Hockey Canada yesterday. This is why we will conduct a financial audit to make sure that no public funds were used. I am looking at all the options to move forward in this case.
    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, we heard damaging testimony from Hockey Canada in relation to the horrendous allegations of an alleged sexual assault that happened some four years ago. Hockey Canada needs to own this. My fear is that someday some of these players will become coaches. The department was notified some four years ago of these allegations. Why did the minister continue to issue funding to Hockey Canada for the last four years?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, as I said recently, there will be a financial audit to ensure that no public funds were used to cover up this story. Like all Canadians and like my colleague, I am horrified by what we heard yesterday, and we are going to ensure that Hockey Canada is held accountable for what happened.

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, this weekend, the G7 culture ministers concluded their first meeting to discuss issues and challenges related to culture and media—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I must briefly interrupt the hon. member.

[English]

    There is a shouting match going back and forth between a couple of MPs. I do not want to point them out, but I do want to ask them to control their emotions or, for lack of a better word, their anger.

[Translation]

    I will ask the hon. member for Laval—Les Îles to ask his question again.
     Mr. Speaker, this weekend, the G7 culture ministers concluded their first meeting to discuss issues and challenges related to culture and media. This was a very important meeting, allowing the G7 countries to work together to protect and promote our cultures and democracies.
    Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us how Canada is a world leader on these issues?
    Mr. Speaker, that is a great question and was far better than any of the questions from the opposition. I congratulate my colleague on the excellent, or even extraordinary, work he is doing. I am happy to hear that the opposition appreciates him.
    Our G7 allies are very interested in what Canada is doing in matters of culture and democracy, especially with respect to Bill C‑18, which would require that the web giants compensate Canadian journalists. Countries around the world are experiencing the same problem. The web giants use our journalists' content and often do not compensate them. This needs to change and we will make these changes with our allies.

  (1505)  

[English]

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, there can be little doubt that there was political interference from the Prime Minister's Office and the then public safety minister's office because of the handwritten notes by Darren Campbell, a superintendent in the RCMP in Nova Scotia. In his notes, he wrote, “The Commissioner said she had promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister's Office that the RCMP...would release this information.”
    To release information in an active investigation could have jeopardized the investigation. Who in the Prime Minister's Office, and who in the public safety minister's office, authorized Commissioner Lucki to speak to the RCMP?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, the answer is no one. Second, perhaps the member opposite is not aware that the Commissioner of the RCMP is the Commissioner of the RCMP and does not require any authorization from anyone else to speak to her own organization. What is also clear, and what the commissioner has made very clear to the Mass Casualty Commission, is that no pressure, no direction and no orders were given to her by any member of this government about doing the job of running her organization.
    Mr. Speaker, this is not funny, because in his notes, in particular, the Nova Scotia RCMP superintendent said that Lucki had accused them of disobeying her instructions to include specific information about the firearms used by the perpetrator. In his notes, Campbell also wrote that he had told the RCMP strategic communications not to release information about the perpetrator's firearms out of concern that it would jeopardize the investigation.
    The RCMP commissioner said that she had received instructions from the Prime Minister's Office and Mr. Blair's public safety office—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. John Brassard: Mr. Speaker, they were from Mr. Blair's public safety office to interfere—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    When it happened once, we brought it up, which is nice. However, when it gets brought up again, I understand that drama is good for TV, but it is not good for this chamber.
    The hon. minister.
    Mr. Speaker, it is very apparent that the House leader of the opposition is more interested in drama than in truth.
    There is a fact here. The commissioner has confirmed that no direction and no pressure was given by me or by any member of this government to direct her in any way. This is a line of which I am most familiar, and no direction on an operational matter was given to the commissioner of the RCMP by me or any member of this government. She has confirmed the truth of that.
    Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but this is not drama. This is about a police commissioner actively—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.
    Mr. Speaker, I do apologize, but this is not drama. This is about direction to a commissioner of the RCMP to actively be involved in a case, an ongoing investigation in Nova Scotia, from the Prime Minister's Office and the then public safety minister's office.
    That is the accusation that has been made in this case, so this is a serious matter. The police were actively investigating something, and they were being told by the Prime Minister's Office and the public safety minister's office that the commissioner was to interfere. Who told them?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times already today, and I will say again, no one told the RCMP commissioner or gave her any direction or exerted any pressure.
    The conversations that the commissioner has with her subordinates in her organization is entirely independent of government, and the commissioner is doing her job, but she has already confirmed for the Mass Casualty Commission, a public inquiry intended to get to the facts of this matter, that no such direction was given by any member of this government.

  (1510)  

International Trade

    Mr. Speaker, Canada is a trading nation and a strong proponent of the international, rules-based, multilateral trading system. That being said, Canada is always driving forward to find solutions, even at a time when global trade is facing unprecedented challenges, especially at the World Trade Organization and with Canada's leadership with the Ottawa Group.
    As the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development just returned from the WTO last week, could she give us an update on the outcome of the 12th ministerial conference?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada is indeed a trading country. One out of six jobs depend on international trade.
    I just returned from a historical ministerial conference at the World Trade Organization, where we reached several multilateral agreements with all 164 member countries unanimously. I will give members a couple of highlights.
    We worked to adopt a response to the COVID-19 pandemic so that the WTO can be more resilient in future pandemics, including reaching a consensus on the TRIPS waiver. We also reached an agreement so we can work on the impasse of the appellate system, which Canada and our companies depend on so much.
    This is multilateral trading at its best, and it is a good day for—
    The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal's failure to fund a single new shelter or transitional home since announcing their violence prevention strategy in 2020 is putting indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people at risk. This inaction is costing lives. We need oversight.
    Call for justice 1.7 of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls calls for an independent ombudsperson and tribunal to ensure accountability. When will the minister implement this call for justice?
    Mr. Speaker, addressing the ongoing violence against indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ+ is a whole-of-government approach that requires living up to our goals as a country and all the calls for justice. That is why budget 2021 put $2.2 billion over five years to address the violence toward missing and murdered indigenous women.
    We will ensure our initiatives are trauma-informed and focused on those who are still suffering in silence, as well as those who are courageously speaking out to put an end to this tragedy.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, the government says that housing is a human right, but in my riding of Edmonton Griesbach, the lack of housing is an emergency. In the last three years alone, 453 people have died on the streets of Edmonton because they did not have shelter, many of whom were indigenous.
    Under the Liberal government, the issue is getting worse. The Liberals are more interested in big developers' profits than putting a roof over people's heads. People in Alberta Avenue and across my community are not seeing results. When is the government going to drop the talking points and build homes for people who cannot afford them?
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's concern on this issue. We have invested in the rapid housing initiative, for example, a program that is aimed at the most vulnerable. The member's city of Edmonton has actually benefited, to the tune of hundreds of permanently affordable new homes for the most vulnerable through our investments in the co-investment fund and our expected investments through the housing accelerator fund. We are even bringing future money to this year to get more money out the door, to the tune of 22,000 new affordable homes for the most vulnerable.
    There is more work to be done, but we have made a lot of progress.

Hon. Member for Portage—Lisgar

[Tributes]
    It being 3:14 p.m., pursuant to an order made on Monday, June 20, 2022, there is an agreement between the parties to have some brief statements at this time.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    Mr. Speaker, I am truly honoured to rise today to say a few words in the House about our leader, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and leader of the official opposition.

[English]

    The Winnipeg Free Press has described her as, “Arguably one of the hardest-working MPs in Canada”. Without a doubt, she is one of the hardest-working MPs in Canada. That is exactly why the member for Portage—Lisgar successfully rose to the challenge of interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, as the short leadership race began that will allow members to choose a new leader on September 10.
    The member for Portage—Lisgar has shown us that she is not only a hard worker, but that she is a principled woman of values who knows how to listen to others and, above all, knows how to make decisions while respecting the differences of each of the other members of the team.

  (1515)  

[Translation]

    It was no accident that Candice was able to take up the responsibilities of leader of the official opposition with such ease. Over the years, she has gained experience that few of us on either side of the House will ever get the chance to match, no matter how much we want it or how skilled we are.
    Candice was elected as the member for Portage—Lisgar in 2008, after being a Conservative Party supporter for years. She is a principled woman, as I mentioned earlier. One thing that made her get into politics as a supporter was the then Liberal government's spending spree. It is funny how times never change. She chose to take the bull by the horns and became the Manitoba campaign manager for the leadership bid of the man who would become Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Hon. Stephen Harper.
    She did not want to sit on the sidelines. She had a desire to serve the people in her riding and all Canadians. As I mentioned, she was elected in Portage—Lisgar in 2008 by an overwhelming majority. Not only did her constituents and the people of Manitoba choose a strong voice to defend their interests, but Canadians quickly came to know her and, more importantly, to recognize her as a woman with an infinite amount of love for the great Canadian family.
    In 2011, she was appointed as the parliamentary secretary to the then minister of public safety, the Hon. Vic Toews. In her role as parliamentary secretary, she had the opportunity to work alongside the minister of public safety, notably on Bill C-19, the ending the long-gun registry act, which came into force the following year, 2012.
    In 2013, the Right Hon. Stephen Harper recognized the undeniable talent of the member for Portage—Lisgar and, most importantly, her immense compassion for Canadians who were suffering and needed a strong voice to represent them. Candice became the hon. member of Parliament for Portage—Lisgar and entered cabinet as minister of state for social development. During her tenure, she worked hard to improve Canada's efforts to combat homelessness, as well as provide better support for people with disabilities.
    In September 2016, Candice broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman in the history of the Conservative Party of Canada to hold the role of House leader. Conservative leader Rona Ambrose recognized her as a strong woman who could make quick decisions and a team player who could organize the work of the official opposition to ensure that the voices of all Canadians would continue to be heard and relayed in the House of Commons.
    She does her job brilliantly. The Liberal government's first years were not a walk in the park, far from it. Candice was able to use all parliamentary options to make the government understand that it did not have carte blanche to turn the House into a tool to do its bidding.
    The new party leader, the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, also recognized the spirit and talent of the member for Portage—Lisgar, and asked her to continue serving the country as the House leader of the official opposition. With all this experience, it is no surprise that she became the deputy leader for the member for Durham, the leader of the Conservative Party. All our party leaders under whom she served her country as an MP entrusted her with important responsibilities because she is a woman who can be trusted.
    In February, the Conservative caucus also recognized her ability to bring people together. We knew she was a true-blue Conservative. Most importantly, we knew she was capable of taking the helm following what had certainly been a tumultuous time.
    Having watched her work so hard for so long, her peers elected her to serve as official opposition leader. Let us not think of her as a temporary or interim leader. She is the interim Conservative leader, but she has never, ever taken the job for granted. From day one, she set to work fulfilling her mandate, which is to lead the Conservatives during a leadership race, present a strong and united opposition to the Liberal government and speak on behalf of every single Canadian.
    On behalf of all my colleagues, I am confident in saying that she has succeeded across the board. She really is the leader of all Conservatives and she has made us all forget her interim status.
    Now I would like to talk about Candice as the woman who rallied Conservatives during tough times. I have to admit that, before I began spending time with her on a daily basis, when she gave me the tremendous privilege of serving alongside her as deputy leader, I was aware of her talent as a politician and her skill as a parliamentarian, but I did not really know the reasons for her success.

  (1520)  

[English]

    I have been in politics for almost 25 years, and I was intrigued by the path of my colleague from Manitoba. Today, I will share a secret with Canadians. The secret to the success of the MP for Portage—Lisgar, the leader of the official opposition and the Conservative Party, can be summed up in three words: respect, values and principles.
    Candice is a woman of faith and the youngest of eight children. She grew up in a family with Mennonite roots.

[Translation]

    As the baby of the family, she surely had to learn at an early age to listen to others. She has applied the lessons her family taught her throughout her life, both personal and professional. She believes that every member of the caucus deserves to be heard and that all points of view deserve to be considered.
    I truly believe that she sees the caucus as her family. She understands and accepts differences. She may tolerate some misbehaviour, but she will do everything she can to keep the family together at all times. Where conflicts may arise, she will build bridges. She will push each member of her caucus to use their skills for the good of the team. Like the family values within her, she wants to instill in each of us the conservative values that unite us and make us who we are.
    She does not give in to every little whim. She will defend her principles and her convictions tooth and nail, while recognizing that her colleagues might have opinions that differ from her own, and that is one of her greatest qualities. She is not afraid to take a stand, even though that can be hard at times, because she relies on her convictions and values in doing so. She will work to find whatever unites people, rather than trying to be right at all costs. She asked us, her leadership team, to demonstrate the same openness and to listen to our colleagues, and she did so with an iron will.
    She is a strong and proud mother who wants the best for everyone in her family. I truly believe that she considers each of us as part of her extended family. I think I speak on behalf of all my colleagues and all members of our party when I say this: Thank you for accepting us as we are. Yes, we do have some faults, but we also have all our good qualities.
    Before I conclude, I have to mention one important part of our leader's life. She is very proud of the family values that were instilled in her by her parents, including her mother Anne, whom she regularly visits in Morden. Her children are a big source of inspiration for her and will always come first. Luke, Delaney, who is here in Ottawa, and Parker can be unbelievably proud of their mother. She is unbelievably proud of them.
    I do not think that Candice, the mother, would mind my saying that she is also the proud grandmother to two grandchildren, Arcaydia and Lance, whom she loves a lot. There is also her husband, Michael, her partner on this great political adventure, who sometimes joins her in singing and playing music as a form of relaxation and, perhaps, to offer an occasional reprieve from the little squabbles that can come up within our political family.
    I thank Michael and Candice's children and grandchildren for sharing her with us.
    I think I speak for all members in the House when I say that the leader of the official opposition is an extraordinary person.

[English]

    She is respected. She has devoted much of her life to public service, to defending the people of her riding of Portage—Lisgar and to wanting to improve the future for all Canadians.
    On behalf of all my fellow Conservatives, I want to thank Candice for leading our party and caucus in a strong yet gentle way, showcasing everyone's strengths and respecting everyone's opinions. Candice showed us that we can be proud of who we are. She gave us back the pride of being united as a team. She taught us the pride of being Conservative in 2022.

  (1525)  

[Translation]

    The House will soon rise for the summer, but I would like to tell the Liberals one thing: Candice is still our leader until September 10, so they should not expect to have a quiet little holiday before Parliament resumes this fall.

[English]

    Thank you, Candice, for having trusted us.

[Translation]

    Thank you for your hard work on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is always a privilege for me to rise in this House to speak, and today it is on behalf of the governing benches and the Liberal Party about a woman who has my appreciation.
    I know that my colleague across the aisle was elected back in 2008 for the very first time, and she has served her riding of Portage—Lisgar ever since. It is actually not that long ago that the same member and her party occupied the seats on this side of the House. The member for Portage—Lisgar served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and then went on to serve as Minister of State for Social Development.
     Then in August of 2016, I was honoured to be named as the first and, to this day, only woman to serve as government House leader, and nearly a month after, the member for Portage—Lisgar was named the official opposition House leader, as the member for Mégantic—L'Érable shared, the first Conservative woman in this role named by one of the many former opposition leaders in this House, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle. I, for one, cannot remember which sequential leader, interim or otherwise, he is, as since 2015 alone, the Conservative Party has gone through so many leaders, but I do know that he is one of many, as is my colleague and friend from Portage—Lisgar.
    Though most would not know this based on my deliberations or debate with her in this place or in the media, and though our politics do not align and though we often agree to disagree, and to be fair even our initials are opposite, but all of our differences aside, I can say that she has served our country with conviction. I, for one, know that she respects this institution, because when two women were involved in running this House, the Order Paper was cleared at the end of the session. I, for one, can say that I knew this member and her work before she took on the very esteemed role of the interim leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition.
    While I believe that my colleague across the way, rightfully, was honoured by this responsibility and all the glitz and glamour that it comes with, I, for one, can say that I may not have been as eager to move into Stornoway as perhaps she was. However, now with this experience, I would welcome her thoughts and any additional insights on public or government-funded housing.
    I cannot say I miss her as an adversary, as she was a formidable one, but I know that even despite our differences, we will continue to work towards the same goal, and that is leaving this place and our country better off. I know that she has worked hard for her constituents, her family, including three children who never stop making her proud, and her two grandchildren whom she loves unconditionally. From this side of the aisle, I know that Liberals look forward to seeing what comes next, and we know she will serve well in whatever she continues or takes on.
    To my colleague and friend opposite, I thank her for her service to Canadians during her time as interim leader of the official opposition. We thank her family for sharing her time and talents, and we wish her all the best in her endeavours. Keep well and safe.

  (1530)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to acknowledge the last speech by the member for Portage—Lisgar in her capacity as the interim leader of the Conservative Party.
    We know that being the interim leader of a political party in the midst of a leadership race is a challenging and sometimes thankless role. It is an exercise that definitely requires tact, balance, and the ability to proceed with caution and to avoid committing the party to positions that are not official and that can change quickly. All of that must be done while also keeping the troops happy and united. It is all the more difficult when these concerns are not shared by the warring parties in the leadership race, who confront one another as ferocious adversaries and sometimes ignore the future consequences.
    The member will undoubtedly agree with the great Jacques Parizeau, who said that politics is a “sea of toes” which one must avoid stepping on. Let us salute her efforts to navigate this stormy sea.
    The member for Portage—Lisgar did an excellent job in her role as interim leader. She was at the helm of her party during the storm, without losing sight of the priorities of the people of Manitoba who put their trust in her. We wish her a good summer break. It is well deserved. We look forward to seeing her in her new parliamentary role, which will no doubt be a reflection of her dedication.
    All the best to the leader of the opposition. See you in the fall.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to recognize the contributions of the member for Portage—Lisgar.
    The hon. member's record is an enviable one. Elected in 2018, the hon. member was re-elected in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2021. She has also served in her time here in this place as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of public safety, as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of state for social development, as the shadow minister of natural resources, as the opposition House leader, as deputy leader of the Conservative Party and of course now as the interim leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition.
    It is a tremendous record, and I am sure she is not done yet. Of course, these important roles do not cover her many other contributions to this place. One only has to learn about her family life and her motivation in entering politics to understand her drive to contribute to this place. She has also been an effective defender of her constituents' interests.
    While we fundamentally disagree on many issues, I have much respect for the opposition leader. This place, and every other legislative body in this country, has a long way to go before being truly representative of Canadian society. In fact, the 2021 election was a record year for female members of Parliament, with 103 women elected to the 338-member House of Commons of Canada, and yet that is still just 30% in this chamber.
    It is 30%, but I thank the member for her incredible work of showing leadership in what women in this place can do. I hope that as part of her ongoing legacy she would encourage more women to run in her party. We all would like to see them here in this place in every party. It is my hope that with every election, this chamber will become more representative of the communities we are elected to represent. I am sure the hon. member will continue to contribute in this place, if in a different capacity.
     I would be remiss if I did not also thank her family, her spouse, her three children and two grandchildren for their capacity. We know how much they give to allow us to be here to do this work. It is a type of work that does not give us a lot of time, and I know the many sacrifices she has made, but I also know her dedication and her love for her family.
    We cannot do our jobs effectively if we do not have the people who love us standing with us. I know she respects and honours their contribution to her place here in this House.
    On behalf of all New Democrats, we thank her and wish her all the very best in the future.

  (1535)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to say a hi and give an affectionate hug to the hon. member for Portage—Lisgar. Some in this place may be surprised by that, but when I was first elected in 2011, I remember exactly the moment I first hugged the hon. member for Portage—Lisgar. It was right after I had said that we were all going away for Christmas now and preparing for the birth of our Lord, and there was a very genuine affection between us that was immediate.
    We do not have anything else in common—yes, we do. We have something else in common that I want to mention.
    I also hugged her on another occasion. We hug a lot. It was when the Conservatives succeeded in passing a bill I did not want to see passed, a bill that killed the long-gun registry. I ran over to congratulate the hon. member for Portage—Lisgar because she, unlike so many in this place, did not go into politics because she had been a career door knocker, a political nerd wanting to someday be an MP. Her career path was more like mine. She cared about issues and she let caring about those issues bring her into politics to make a difference.
    I know how devastated the hon. member for Portage—Lisgar must have been back in the 40th Parliament when her private member's bill, Bill C-391, failed. It would have gotten rid of the long-gun registry, but it came back once the Conservatives had a majority. There is something about commitment and persistence that resonates with people, whether they agree with the goal or not. I respect the persistence. I respect the integrity. I respect the fact that the hon. member for Portage—Lisgar is here because she cares about issues, not because she seeks personal power. I reflect on that with genuine care and affection and hope that someday she will agree with me on climate change.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Speaker, that was very, very nice. It is amazing how when we want to be kind in this place, we can be very kind. It is just a little dig. I got that one.
    No, that was really kind of everyone, and I do want to thank my deputy leader. I want to thank the leader of the Bloc Party. I want to thank the member for North Island—Powell River and the House leader for the Green Party and the member for Waterloo for those very kind comments.
    Elizabeth, we did hug another time, one that you do not remember. It was in the studios at CTV. I think a pipeline had just been approved, so it must not have been under the Liberal government, but a pipeline was approved and Elizabeth came in and she was devastated. I was pretty happy, but she saw me and she said “I need a hug. I can't believe this pipeline was approved.” Remember that one? Yes, so we may have hugged another time.
    I am very humbled and I am grateful for all of the kind words. It has really been an honour of my life to lead my Conservative colleagues and our party over the last several months, and it is not over yet. As the deputy leader said, I am still the leader until September 10, but I know this part of my leadership is coming to an end here in the House of Commons.
    It has been not only an honour; I have also really enjoyed it immensely. It has been incredible to work alongside each one of these amazing MPs around me to make decisions that we believe are the best decisions for the people of Canada and our party, and we have done that together.
    The last several months have been very gratifying as I have watched our caucus and our party heal some rifts and come together and be in probably one of the strongest positions that we have been in for a very long time. We are over 600,000 memberships strong. As I said to my caucus many times, we are not always uniform in our ideas and our perspectives, but we are genuinely unified in our goals.
    This caucus has been an incredible group to lead, and I want to thank them for putting their faith in me. I was not expecting to be the leader of the party and it all happened very fast, literally over the course of a few hours, and there was no recess or riding week to get ready.
    The House of Commons sat the next day, and I and the people around me stepped into our roles without missing a beat, or at least trying not to miss a beat, during a bit of a tumultuous time in our caucus and actually in our country. It was a pretty difficult time in the country. I want to take a moment, if I could, to thank a few people who were especially helpful during that time.
    First of all are my whip, my House leader and the leadership team around me who stepped into their roles and were just amazing and so supportive, and they are very good friends. They have been servant leaders. We hear that term “servant leadership”; I would say these individuals around me have been true servant leaders to our caucus and I am so grateful for what they have done.
    I also want to say a big thanks to three of my Hill office staff members, Neal MacDonald, Kim Baker and Grace Gallien. They were not hired to work for the leader of the Conservative Party, but when that happened overnight, all three of them just stepped into these roles and were amazing, and I am just so grateful. I know they sacrificed a lot.
    I also want to thank my riding staff, Deb Giblin and Colleen Kyle, who have not seen much of me in six months. They have kept things going very successfully in the riding, and I am very grateful for them.
    I thank as well William Stairs, my chief of staff, and Nancy Heppner, my director of communications. William actually came out of retirement to, as he said, make sure the ship stayed afloat; Nancy left her family and her home in Saskatchewan to be here for the last six months, and that is a real sacrifice. I am very grateful for what they have done.
    As members of Parliament and as leaders, we get the credit a lot. We are in the limelight, but is these people, our staff members, who put up with a lot and work hard, and I want to make sure that they get the credit today that they deserve.
    I do want to thank my family. My leadership came as a big surprise to my kids. They are not watching question period or the news all day every day, so on February 2 in the evening, they turned on the news and saw that their mom and grammy was the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. My children have sacrificed a lot over the last 14 years, but I know that they would say they gained a lot. Luke, Delaney and Parker are the very best kids in the world, and I am so grateful for their love and support. They are always proud of me and show it, and I love them very much. I thank them very, very much for being my kids.

  (1540)  

    I give a big thanks to my husband, my love, Michael, who has been a partner and my partner in this every step of the way. He has helped me be a better member of Parliament and a better leader because of his wisdom, his sense of humour and his support.
    Although I will not be the leader after September 10, I know I still have a lot of work to do as a leader within our caucus and within our party and our movement. I am looking forward to working with our new leader and Conservatives around the country to do just that.
    To close, as members know, and as the member for Waterloo mentioned, Michael and I did move into Stornoway and we will be there until the new leader is chosen. We have enjoyed being able to use it as a working house and a place for colleagues and others to gather, meet and talk about important issues facing our country.
    Members will be interested to know that I am getting some mail at Stornoway addressed to past opposition leaders who lived there previously. Actually, I have gotten some mail for some of our previous leaders, and I plan to give it to them the next time I see them. However, if anyone on the Liberal side happens to know where Michael Ignatieff is these days, I think he may have won a prize in the lottery or something, because I got a piece of mail for him. Perhaps we can wait until after the next election, when the Liberals will be taking over Stornoway again. Maybe Michael Ignatieff will come back to visit and one of them can give him that piece of mail.

  (1545)  

    Leave it on the desk.
    I will leave it on the desk.
    All joking aside, again, I thank everyone for their kind words. It has been a fun six months and it has been an incredible session. Our work is not over, but I know we will all finish strong because that is the kind of people we are.
    I thank everyone here, including all members of Parliament, all of the support staff and the Speaker. We are getting ready to rise and go back to our ridings, so I wish all members a wonderful summer as we head back and work for our constituents.
    Godspeed to everyone in the days ahead and God bless Canada.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

Government Orders

[Government Orders]

[English]

Online Streaming Act

    The House resumed from June 20 consideration of the motion that Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.
    It being 3:45 p.m., pursuant to order made on Thursday, November 25, 2021, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion at third reading of Bill C-11.

[Translation]

    Call in the members.
     And the bells having rung:

[English]

    The question is on the amendment. May I dispense?
    Some hon. members: No.
    [Chair read text of amendment to House]

  (1600)  

    (The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 163)

YEAS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chambers
Chong
Cooper
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
Deltell
d'Entremont
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Ferreri
Findlay
Gallant
Généreux
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
MacKenzie
Maguire
Martel
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Moore
Morantz
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
O'Toole
Patzer
Perkins
Poilievre
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Rood
Ruff
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Thomas
Tochor
Tolmie
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 116


NAYS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bennett
Bérubé
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Blois
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Brunelle-Duceppe
Cannings
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Champoux
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeBellefeuille
Desbiens
Desilets
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fergus
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Garneau
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gill
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Joly
Jones
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lemire
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Michaud
Morrice
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Pauzé
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Savard-Tremblay
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Singh
Ste-Marie
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thériault
Therrien
Thompson
Trudel
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vignola
Villemure
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 209


PAIRED

Members

Genuis
Miller

Total: -- 2


    I declare the amendment defeated.
    The next question is on the main motion.
    If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.
    Mr. Speaker, I would request a recorded vote, please.

  (1610)  

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)
 

(Division No. 164)

YEAS

Members

Aldag
Alghabra
Ali
Anand
Anandasangaree
Angus
Arseneault
Arya
Ashton
Atwin
Bachrach
Badawey
Bains
Baker
Barron
Barsalou-Duval
Battiste
Beaulieu
Beech
Bendayan
Bérubé
Bibeau
Bittle
Blaikie
Blair
Blanchet
Blanchette-Joncas
Blaney
Blois
Boulerice
Bradford
Brière
Brunelle-Duceppe
Cannings
Carr
Casey
Chabot
Chagger
Chahal
Champagne
Champoux
Chatel
Chen
Chiang
Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Cormier
Coteau
Dabrusin
Damoff
DeBellefeuille
Desbiens
Desilets
Desjarlais
Dhaliwal
Dhillon
Diab
Dong
Drouin
Dubourg
Duclos
Duguid
Duncan (Etobicoke North)
Dzerowicz
Ehsassi
El-Khoury
Erskine-Smith
Fergus
Fillmore
Fisher
Fonseca
Fortier
Fortin
Fragiskatos
Fraser
Freeland
Fry
Gaheer
Garneau
Garon
Garrison
Gaudreau
Gazan
Gerretsen
Gill
Gould
Green
Guilbeault
Hajdu
Hanley
Hardie
Hepfner
Holland
Housefather
Hughes
Hussen
Hutchings
Iacono
Idlout
Ien
Jaczek
Johns
Jones
Jowhari
Julian
Kayabaga
Kelloway
Khalid
Khera
Koutrakis
Kusmierczyk
Kwan
Lalonde
Lambropoulos
Lametti
Lamoureux
Lapointe
Larouche
Lattanzio
Lauzon
LeBlanc
Lebouthillier
Lemire
Lightbound
Long
Longfield
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacGregor
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Maloney
Martinez Ferrada
Masse
Mathyssen
May (Cambridge)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McDonald (Avalon)
McGuinty
McKay
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
McLeod
McPherson
Mendès
Mendicino
Miao
Michaud
Morrissey
Murray
Naqvi
Ng
Noormohamed
Normandin
O'Connell
Oliphant
O'Regan
Pauzé
Perron
Petitpas Taylor
Plamondon
Powlowski
Qualtrough
Robillard
Rodriguez
Rogers
Romanado
Sahota
Sajjan
Saks
Samson
Sarai
Savard-Tremblay
Scarpaleggia
Schiefke
Serré
Sgro
Shanahan
Sheehan
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Simard
Sinclair-Desgagné
Singh
Ste-Marie
St-Onge
Sudds
Tassi
Taylor Roy
Thériault
Therrien
Thompson
Trudeau
Trudel
Turnbull
Valdez
Van Bynen
van Koeverden
Vandal
Vandenbeld
Vignola
Villemure
Virani
Weiler
Wilkinson
Yip
Zahid
Zarrillo
Zuberi

Total: -- 208


NAYS

Members

Aboultaif
Aitchison
Albas
Allison
Arnold
Baldinelli
Barlow
Barrett
Benzen
Bergen
Berthold
Bezan
Block
Bragdon
Brassard
Calkins
Caputo
Carrie
Chambers
Chong
Cooper
Dalton
Dancho
Davidson
Deltell
d'Entremont
Doherty
Dowdall
Dreeshen
Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Ellis
Epp
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Fast
Ferreri
Findlay
Gallant
Généreux
Gladu
Godin
Goodridge
Gourde
Gray
Hallan
Hoback
Jeneroux
Kelly
Kitchen
Kmiec
Kram
Kramp-Neuman
Kurek
Kusie
Lake
Lantsman
Lawrence
Lehoux
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
Liepert
Lloyd
Lobb
MacKenzie
Maguire
Martel
Mazier
McCauley (Edmonton West)
McLean
Melillo
Moore
Morantz
Morrice
Morrison
Motz
Muys
Nater
O'Toole
Patzer
Perkins
Poilievre
Rayes
Redekopp
Reid
Rempel Garner
Richards
Rood
Ruff
Scheer
Schmale
Seeback
Shields
Shipley
Small
Soroka
Steinley
Stewart
Strahl
Stubbs
Thomas
Tochor
Tolmie
Uppal
Van Popta
Vecchio
Vidal
Vien
Viersen
Vis
Vuong
Wagantall
Warkentin
Waugh
Webber
Williams
Williamson
Zimmer

Total: -- 117


PAIRED

Members

Genuis
Miller

Total: -- 2


    I declare the motion carried.

    (Bill read the third time and passed)

Criminal Code

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), be read the second time and referred to a committee, of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in this place to speak to Bill C-21. I am going to try to deal with a number of complex issues in a short amount of time and hope it works.
    It relates to Bill C-21, and that is the use of firearms. I want to comment on some of the discussion during question period about the Portapique shootings. I think it is important to reflect on what I take away from the news media at this time, when I have a moment to say it. There is no chance of interrupting question period to put it into perspective.
     As a Nova Scotian originally, I was devastated, as we all were, by the shootings at Portapique. The RCMP officer who was killed, Heidi Stevenson, was a friend of mine and I know her mother well.
    It was awful to watch what happened. We will see what the Mass Casualty Commission produces as a result, but it is pretty clear to me, and I want to speak clearly to this, that the RCMP in Nova Scotia failed the public badly. I know a commission is looking at this, but the RCMP had information that was not shared. It failed to put out a warning and 22 people were killed. I know this inquiry is very important to all the families who lost loved ones.
     There appears to me to have been an uncalled-for assumption by some members in question period, who put into question the integrity of the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister's Office. I am not an apologist for the Liberals, but I thought that was not what the evidence revealed. When I look at the CBC reports of what they found out, it appears to me that in the aftermath of the shooting, the Nova Scotia RCMP was all too quick to try to obscure facts from the public, rather than reveal them.
    It appears to me that the RCMP commissioner, Brenda Lucki, provided more transparency and provided real information. If anyone in PMO instructed her anything, it seems to me that it would have been to tell everybody what has happened and just be transparent. I am very concerned that we let any false rumours or assumptions to besmirch the reputations of others, including Brenda Lucki, be spread in this place.
    It appears to me, as in a number of other shooting incidents, that sometimes the police get it wrong. They did not move in Uvalde, Texas, when they should have, to save those children. There is a common denominator that I discern, which is that when the RCMP is slow to move or the police are slow to move, it is because the people they would have to deal with are heavily armed. I do not find the police slow to move against unarmed protesters. I do not find the police slow to move against indigenous people. However, they delay when they are at risk for their own safety, all too often. It is not always, but all too often.
    In the case of the Nova Scotia shooter, we know his name. I do not want to repeat it, because of the crimes he committed. However, he was well known to the RCMP and in the early hours after the shooting, the Nova Scotia RCMP, not the commissioner, put out false statements that he was not known to them. He was known personally to them. They had warnings about him.
    This goes to make the bridge and the connection to Bill C-21. This goes to a number of the provisions of Bill C-21 that, if Bill C-21 had been law at that time, could have saved lives. The neighbours of the multiple shooter in Nova Scotia, and we can just call him the evil dentist for the time being, reported him to the RCMP on numerous occasions, but no action was taken. Neighbours were so frightened of him that they literally sold their dream home and moved away, yet nothing was done to even conduct a search of the property or even to inquire why he is buying a car that looks just like an RCMP vehicle. Why does he dress up like an RCMP officer? These details were known in the community, and a number of them were reported to law enforcement authorities.
    Could this bill have made a difference? I think it could have, but only if the RCMP or local police are prepared to use the information that comes to them. That is why one of the provisions in this bill that I particularly like is the ability to seek an ex parte motion on the strength of concerns from people who are concerned that some person may be threatening others, not just with firearms, by the way, but with crossbows or with explosive substances. This is really important. This is found under “Application for emergency prohibition order” in clause 4 of this bill, which would amend section 110 of the Firearms Act.

  (1615)  

    It is really important that we recognize what an ex parte order is. That means that people can go to the court without notifying the person they are scared of that they are going to court, and there can be an emergency search and seizure without a warrant. This violates every instinct of my being, searches without warrants, because I am a civil liberties lawyer, but there is a history of violence by people in the community, people we know.
    There is a lot about this law that I hope we will have time to study thoroughly, and I want to speak to that. There are the red flag and yellow flag provisions, the ability to go to a judge without fear of retribution from someone who is well armed or who has crossbows. It may be in cases, as we know all too frequently, of intimate partner violence. It may be in cases of the random and reckless killing of others, as in the case of Portapique or the desperately sad case of Lionel Desmond, who killed his wife and mother and kids. He was, of course, suffering from PTSD from his service in our armed forces and did not get the help he needed, even though he had gone to a hospital the day before. There are many and varied circumstances when the presence of firearms in a home makes the difference between life and death, and where the provisions in Bill C-21 would indeed, I hope, save lives.
    I want to turn to a process question at this point: Why rush this bill? I am very concerned that we just invoked time allocation on a bill that we had only had before us for debate for three hours. This bill is complex. It has many moving parts. The government itself has changed its views on key aspects of this bill between its version last year, which was also Bill C-21, and its version this year, which is the current Bill C-21. The Liberals changed their minds, and wisely, on the question of voluntary versus mandatory buyback. They changed their minds, wisely, on the question of any jurisdiction other than the federal government regulating guns. Those were wise choices, and this bill has changed in that way.
    Bills get better when they are studied. Any attempt to achieve consensus will improve a bill. A decision on the government side that the Conservatives are only going to obstruct and delay and filibuster is entirely a justified conclusion, given conduct so far in this Parliament, but that does not excuse shortening the time for debate, shortening the time for study and shortening the time to try to find consensus in this place, which is possible.
     I want to put forward some of the things that would help achieve consensus. One is to observe the rules, which are our rules. It does not take changing the Standing Orders to ban the practice of reading a speech. How does that connect? When a whip or a House leader in a party knows that they can rally however many MPs they have, like cannon fodder, and give them a speech to deliver in 10 minutes, they can clog up the works of this place with people giving speeches.

  (1620)  

[Translation]

    If the rules prohibited members from reading a speech and required them to express their thoughts in their own words, there would be fewer members rising to speak during a debate on a bill.

[English]

    We need to get control of this so that we can have real debate among fewer MPs, because fewer MPs would be able to stand up and speak without a written speech.
    The next thing we need to do is consider how many days we sit in this place. We have this panic this time of year, every year, as though a disaster will strike if we do not adjourn on a day that is set. We could sit for more days. We sit for far fewer days than the U.S. Congress, and even fewer days than the British Parliament.
    I voted against time allocation, because this is a complicated bill and we should take the time it needs, to respect each other and come up with the best bill.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her thoughts and reflections on this.
    I have a question regarding her criticism of the requirement for time allocation. I know she spends a lot of time in the House and is certainly aware of what goes on in this House. I am sure she is aware of the fact that on numerous occasions the Conservatives have been continually using any tactics possible to literally make the government grind to a halt. They do not even pick one or two issues that will be the hills they die on, but seem to just be willing to do anything at any point to stop debate.
    Given the member's comments and concerns with respect to time allocation, I wonder if she can reflect on that.
    Madam Speaker, I have seen that. Sometime before the 2019 election, I remember we had a quick move by a Conservative, who was very pleased with it, to hoist a motion on a private member's bill to declare a Canadian day to acknowledge our Spanish heritage, and he managed to have a mandatory debate that lasted five hours. People were running out of things to say. They were saying that they liked sombreros and they made gazpacho, but there was nothing to say. Everybody was in support of the motion. It was clearly a delay tactic.
    We have to work harder to preserve our basic core principles and values in this place, which are that every MP should participate in reasonable debate, within which we respect each other. It is not just the Conservatives; in another Parliament it will be somebody else. We cannot allow the worst conduct of any particular Parliament to drive lesser rights for members of Parliament in the next Parliament.

  (1625)  

    Madam Speaker, I think there are some really germane facts about the Mass Casualty Commission that people need to understand, since the member brought it up. Certainly, that action was perpetrated by illegal guns, not by a legal gun owner, so I think that is important to point out.
    The other important thing to point out here is that what we need to talk about in this House is so important that we should all get a chance to do it. The time allocation that the government has brought with respect to this bill is absolutely ridiculous. When we continuously see ministers misleading the House with information, it is very clear. We now know that we cannot trust anything they say, so how can we expect to move these bills forward? That is the point of debating this at the current time.
    Madam Speaker, I would say this to the member for Cumberland—Colchester, in whose riding these killings took place. The Mass Casualty Commission has revealed some things and we have to wait for its final conclusions. I think it was a mistake not to require all of the RCMP officers who participated in the events to be part of the inquiry and to testify. I know some of the families have even withdrawn participation because they are so disappointed with the path of the inquiry. What I will say is this. Whether the guns were legal or illegal, many neighbours tried to tell the RCMP they were scared of this man and nothing was done.
    Bill C-21 will help deal with that.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I take issue with the same things that the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands does: the time-wasting tactics and the reduced time for debate prevent us from getting to the bottom of things.
    I would like to know whether my colleague was as bothered as I was when we were called to vote twice instead of once to decide which Conservative member would speak. I cannot get over it and I would like to hear her thoughts on that.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my Bloc colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé.
    I think that closure, or time allocation, is wrong and undermines our democracy. We need to take the time to really examine the issues.
    Bill C-21 is important. I think I support it, but it raises a number of issues on which I may want to see amendments, particularly regarding law-abiding citizens who use recreational firearms.
    We must make every effort to come up with solutions together. That is why I oppose closure motions.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I very much appreciate the opportunity to speak on Bill C-21, an act to amend certain acts and to make certain consequential amendments regarding firearms. I am proud to support such crucial legislation, which is going to make a real difference in keeping communities like mine safe and free of gun violence.
    Gun violence is on the rise in Canada. It presents a serious and significant threat to communities across the country, in the streets and at home. Every six days, a woman is killed by an intimate partner. This is not just an urban statistic but a rural one. Women in rural Canada are particularly vulnerable to homicide by firearms. When it comes to domestic violence, shotguns and rifles, usually legally obtained and commonly kept in rural homes, have been called “weapons of choice” by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. In violent homes, these guns are the tools of choice to intimidate and control women living in rural Canada.
    The data is clear. Since 2009, violent offences involving guns have increased by 81% and 47% of Canadians say that gun violence poses a serious threat to their community.
    There are going to be those who argue that if we regulate guns, we simply penalize law-abiding citizens and gangsters will still get their guns. That is simply not true. Most Canadian mass shooters did not have criminal records and got their guns legally. Let us recap: Fredericton, 2018, no criminal record, four dead; Danforth, 2018, no criminal record, two dead, multiple wounded; Quebec City, no criminal record, six dead, multiple wounded; and the Moncton shooter, 2014, three dead, multiple wounded.
    Let us not pretend it is only gangs and illegal weapons that are the problem, because that is simply not true. Here is a sobering stat. The reality is that 75% of gun fatalities have nothing to do with gangs or criminals. It is because they are suicides.
    When it comes to kids, let us look at facts. According to the Canadian Medical Association, one child in Ontario is hurt by a gun or firearm every single day, with 7% of those kids ending up dead.
     This morning I woke up to an email from Susan, who is from my riding. She wrote me the following email: “Good morning MP Taleeb. Strongly recommend Bill C-21 to be given Royal Assent and pass in Parliament during this session. My brother was shot in his living room several years ago while writing a letter to me that was never completed.”
     Susan is a real human being whose family has suffered the real consequences of firearms. This is why we must act. Gun violence affects people in all of our communities, whether rural, urban or suburban and all socio-economic backgrounds. We need to do more. We need to do more to protect our kids, our parents, our neighbours and everyone in between.
     Every Canadian deserves to live without fear of violence. We know that inaction on gun control has real consequences. This is why, through Bill C-21, we are taking a national approach to protecting our communities from the harmful effects of gun violence.
    Let us be clear about a couple of things. The bill is focused on putting a stop to tragedies, preventing gun crime and keeping our neighbours safe. It is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach. That is exactly what we are doing through Bill C-21, through robust, direct action in key areas that puts in place a diverse strategy on this issue from all sides.
    Action on handguns cannot wait. We are putting a national freeze on handguns to address the alarming increase in gun violence to allow a rapid and effective response. This means that, going forward, no one would be able to sell, purchase or transfer handguns by individuals within Canada or bring newly acquired firearms into the country. I want to stress this, because people are going to make a point about this. Legal gun owners would continue to possess and use their registered handguns, and could sell or transfer their registered handguns to exempted individuals or businesses.
     The other key pillar of the bill centres on addressing the tragic trend between gender-based violence and guns. We see this link in our workplaces, communities, at home and online. This trend continues to persist. Protecting the safety and security of survivors of violence, particularly intimate partner violence and gender-based violence, is paramount. Victims need to feel heard and supported when they reach out for help.
    That's why we are introducing red flag and yellow flag laws and expanding licence revocation. Through red flag laws, survivors can make an application to the courts for an emergency weapons prohibition order to immediately remove firearms for a period of up to 30 days from an individual who poses a danger to themselves or others.

  (1630)  

[Translation]

    It is also essential as a preventive approach, to ensure that victims of domestic and gender-based violence feel safe, to ensure protective intervention for those experiencing a mental health crisis, and to be able to intervene in cases where people are showing warning signs of violence.
    Through yellow flag provisions, an individual's licence can be suspended for up to 30 days.
    Combatting gun trafficking and smuggling, and strengthening law enforcement to tackle gun violence are key aspects of our multi-faceted solution. With Bill C-21, we are working to increase the maximum penalties for firearms offences from 10 to 14 years in prison to keep our communities safe.

[English]

    Taking the necessary steps to ensure we eradicate gun violence across our country will help build safer communities for generations to come. Through Bill C-21, we would ensure kids feel safer walking home from school, women will feel safer when dealing with violent partners, and racialized communities will worry less about being murdered while praying. That is what this bill would do.
    This is legislation that might well have prevented the Quebec mosque shooting, the Danforth shooting, and the Moncton and Fredericton shootings. For the victims of gun violence, thoughts and prayers cannot be the best we have, but preventing the next attack by making it harder and harder for firearms to enter our communities would ensure the deaths of those who have passed would not be in vain.

  (1635)  

    Madam Speaker, coming from a rural riding, I feel like I am probably a bit more well versed in what rural people think about guns than someone who comes from an urban riding.
    That being said, I would like to update the House on what the CMA policy says around the prevention of firearm violence. What it says is that they recommend guidance on the prevention of firearm violence, education for the safe handling of firearms and the regulation of firearms, while also identifying areas for further research. Recommendations include creating evidence-based education programs to prevent firearm violence, improving access to publicly funded mental health services and requiring strong record-keeping for firearms retailers, distributors and private sellers to help prevent the illegal acquisition and use of firearms.
    Madam Speaker, it is striking the member quotes the CMA and he quotes the importance of being able to register and regulate firearms, yet it is curious his party has consistently opposed any efforts to register firearms. It has opposed firearms registries and pretty much everything, so I am glad he is looking at the research put out by medical professionals, who have said that, in fact, gun violence kills or harms one child every single day in the province of Ontario. That should mean something.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am not sure I understood. Perhaps something was lost in the interpretation. I do not know, but I am going to ask my colleague to clarify what he said.
    He is telling us that it is all right if Bill C‑21 does not address street violence, because statistics show that there are more gun deaths related to suicide than to street violence.
    Is the member seriously comparing those two concepts?
    Why did he give such a frivolous example?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would not call it a futile example, because it is at once important for us to recognize that guns kill people, whether it is in the commission of crimes or when people are taking their own lives. Our obligation to protect Canadians is to make sure that we make it as difficult as possible for crimes to be committed and for people to use guns to take their own lives. We have an obligation to protect one another and to take care of our communities. This and mental health are all important elements that go into protecting society, but taking guns out of people's hands where violence can occur is a critical component and responsibility of the House.
    Madam Speaker, I agree with much that was stated today, and for all those reasons, we need to see action happening around this issue. We know that 99,000 Canadians were victims of intimate partner violence, predominantly composed of women. Of those, in 500 incidents of intimate partner violence in that same year, 2018, firearms were present.
    What does the member propose to tackle the increasing rates of intimate partner violence using guns?
    Madam Speaker, through the use of the yellow flag and red flag I think we would start to move in that direction, but there is a lot more we need to do. Working together with organizations that have been advocating for us to do better, we will continue to do so. I think that means doing everything, including ensuring people who pose a threat or risk to their partner cannot get their hands on guns. That is a very important step, and by passing this law we would make it harder for those who choose to engage in partner violence by taking that option off the table for them, which is critically important, because we have to protect our families, our communities and people in our society.
    Madam Speaker, I just want to know how long the member researched that speech. Did he in fact make a material contribution or was it prepared for him?
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member is more than welcome to come over here to look at my notes and look at my computer, if he would like.

  (1640)  

[Translation]

     Is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, Correctional Service of Canada; the hon. member for Spadina—Fort York, Taxation.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, as always, it is an honour and a privilege to be able to enter into debate on the important issues that are facing Canadians.
    It is interesting. I have been listening closely to the debate that has transpired over the course of today. Contrary to the government's justification for moving closure, the only three hours and 26 or 24 minutes of debate that has taken place on a previous day on what is a significant piece of legislation that impacts millions of Canadians, millions of law-abiding firearms owners, failed to actually address the lofty submissions that the government has tried to make clear.
     I am proud to be a member of Parliament who represents a large rural area. I have spoken to numerous constituents over the last number of days and weeks since the most recent iteration of the Liberals' attack on law-abiding firearms' owners and it fails to address the real problems that are leading to a significant increase in violent crime in our streets and a troubling and alarming increase in crime in rural areas. It fails on both those fronts.
     I have spoken with many constituents, young, old, professionals, those who have grown up using firearms and those who came to use them later in life. Notably, two stuck out from my calls over the past couple of weeks. One was a retired school principal and his wife, who came into the hobby of sport shooting. They called and asked me to reach out to them to discuss Bill C-21. They pleaded with me to try to bring some sense to the debate that is taking place regarding firearms in this country, to which I promised that I would try. Unfortunately, it seems that politics and rhetoric have blinded those on Canada's left to actually having a constructive dialogue.
    I spoke yesterday with a 24-year-old man who is very concerned about how this would impact his ability to participate in his favourite hobby. He is a young, budding electrician, just finishing up his time at a polytechnic in Alberta, who is excited to get to work and start being able to invest in his hobby, yet the Liberals are taking away those opportunities.
    Here we are again. Time and time again, when the Liberals dive in the polls, we can expect this sort of legislation to come forward. We see the importation of wedge issues into discourse within our country. We have seen it time and time again, certainly over the course of the time I have been elected. As I look back over my involvement in politics, this is the exact way the Liberals approach these issues.
    Whether it be firearms, the issue of abortion or vaccines, an issue that was not controversial up until our Prime Minister decided to run an election campaign on it, that sort of wedge politics does not actually result in good public policy, and we see that being the case here today.
    I did want to share a couple of statements that I think, hopefully, the governing Liberals would take seriously: “The long-gun registry, as it was, was a failure and I'm not going to resuscitate that”. Do we know who said that? It was the Prime Minister.
    He went on to say, “I grew up with long guns, rifles and shotguns”. The Prime Minister said that, and then, going on, he said, “Yes, the RCMP guarding me had handguns and I got to play with them every now and then”, adding that the RCMP were very responsible around him and his siblings.
    The now Prime Minister, then individual who was running to be Prime Minister of the country, went on to say:
    I was raised with an appreciation and an understanding of how important in rural areas and right across the country gun ownership is as a part of the culture of Canada. I do not feel that there's any huge contradiction between keeping our cities safe from gun violence and gangs, and allowing this important facet of Canadian identity which is having a gun.