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View Malcolm Allen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Malcolm Allen Profile
2010-11-04 9:57
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you to everyone who's here.
Let me take the liberty of just quoting from a couple of the submissions you brought with you. The one I'm referencing first is from Ms. Lachance, who writes in the third paragraph:
Going back to work after 15 weeks is utterly unthinkable, unrealistic, but since the bills continue to pile up, you need an income in order to pay them.
In the other story, Ghislaine Fréchette says:
Did I go back to work? I tried. I would have liked things to be as they had been, but I didn't have the energy to complete a seven-hour day. I couldn’t go to work every day. The few days provided for this incident under my conditions of employment had long since been used up.
I hate to reference this in one sense because it feels almost crass, from my perspective. But it brings me to a sense of looking at the employer's productivity level, in the sense of having an employee come back so soon—in one case after 15 weeks of what ostensibly becomes a sick leave benefit from EI, and in the other case where an employee returns, knowing she's not able to complete 7.5-hour days or full work weeks. In my estimation and I think if we asked the employers, they would say their productivity level would diminish. So it doesn't seem appropriate to force an employee back who actually isn't really going to be a productive employee. And Mr. Provencher articulated, I thought, very clearly to us earlier that his employer recognized that, but he had a favourable employer. That's not to cast them all in a bad light; they simply run the rules of the system, whatever it happens to be. That's why I think this is important that we recognize the system. I'd like folks to think about that.
I have another sense of it, when it comes to costing. Again, I hate to put things in a dollar-and-cents fashion, but for me sometimes it's a way of saying why it's necessary to do things in a certain way. I have this sense, and I've always believed in what I call “a total cost”. What I mean by that is the total cost to society and indeed to the public purse. So when we look at the public purse, when we look at things like someone going off on an extended leave, as we were suggesting and as Madam Bonsant's bill suggests, with some form of remuneration that helps get them past this financial hurdle, do we then reduce the cost? Do we reduce the cost of folks ending up on social assistance or welfare, as we call it here in Ontario, or becoming a burden to the health care system because of addiction and homelessness issues, because they haven't had money to keep their home and they actually lose it, and the whole sense of lost productivity?
I recognize, Madame Gaudreault, that perhaps, as you said, this is a study that needs to be done. I would love for you to be able to point things out to me that show what those costs are. I think that's a great ask, to be honest, from me to suggest that you actually have that at your fingertips at the moment. But I think that's a study that needs to be completed, and I'd like you to comment on some of that. I'm quite happy to allow whoever wants to make a comment on that piece.
I have one last comment. I really appreciate, from a personal perspective, your raising the mental health issue. It's very close to me and my family, so I commend you and I thank you from our family for raising that as another piece of this, which I believe needs to be added too. It's immensely important for those of us who have family with mental health issues, that they be recognized for the illness it truly is and the impact it has on not only our immediate family but our extended family as well. So I congratulate you and I thank you for doing that.
I would allow those folks who want to make a comment to those bits and pieces I've kind of laid out there, if you would....
View Andrew Kania Profile
Lib. (ON)
Have any mental health or health organizations come out saying that the gun registry should be ended?
View Andrew Kania Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay. Thank you.
This question is for the three retired police officers.
I'll tell you how I believe the registry system does help, and I'm going to give you examples and I'm going to ask you to agree with me.
First, it helps to enforce court orders, because if you have an order from a judge to go into a house and confiscate all weapons, and you know there are 13 registered in that house, that will help you enforce the court order to remove all the weapons, because some could be hidden and you wouldn't know.
I want to go through the list first.
Second, if you have a domestic violence call and you go to a house and you know there's a risk that somebody could cause harm to another person, and you also know, through the registration system, that there are, once again, 13 guns in that house, you can look for them. If you don't know, you will have no idea if some are hidden or just not accounted for.
Third, people who are at risk of suicide are unstable. The same thing applies: if you know that circumstance, and there's a court order or there's an order from a doctor to do something about it, in terms of committing somebody, and you know there are 13 guns in that house, you can go into the house and look for the 13 guns.
Fourth, registration facilitates proof of possession of stolen and smuggled firearms because if the arms have a registration and they're in illegal hands, you will know who is authorized to have those and you'll be able to do something about that.
Accountability. If I'm a gunowner and I have 13 guns registered to me, some gunowners, at least, will be more responsible if they know those particular guns are registered to them in their name. They may not loan them out, they may not sell them, and they may not refuse to keep them locked up properly if they're responsible and they know there will be consequences if they don't follow the law.
Police investigations. If you go to a crime scene and there's a gun there, and it's registered and you can link it to somebody, that will aid you in your investigation, rather than if there's nothing at all. And if there is nothing at all, in terms of the system, and you have to find that gun, you're going to spend police resources and money trying to locate the source of that gun.
So for all those reasons, I believe you must agree with me that the registration system, although not perfect, and I'm not saying it's perfect, must at least make our streets a little bit safer. I can't believe all three of you would say we're not at least a little bit safer based on all those examples.
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