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Results: 1 - 7 of 7
View Rick Norlock Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and to keep this appropriate and proper, through you to my fellow committee members, as was mentioned the people who really make this committee work, I call them the unsung heroes, are the Library of Parliament, our analysts, and the clerk.
I tell everyone I meet that the only non-political people, the people you can go to for a straight answer if you need one, the people who are always there to help you and not set little traps for you are those at Library of Parliament, the analysts and the clerks. These are the people who actually make this place work, the technicians, the folks who make sure we have enough to eat and drink, and see to our needs, like unplugging things and plugging things. And of course, there are the translators, who I think try to do their best to sometimes use the proper words when we can't find them.
After nine years on the committee and three parliaments, I must say that of the committees that I've sat on and been a part of during that time—of course, we sit in for our members—I always feel right at home at this committee. Despite my sparring with Mr. Easter, I respect every member of Parliament.
I was at a class of gifted students in three different grades and I always try to be somewhat apolitical. I tell them to talk to their parents, go on the Internet, find out who they are first, then see which political party best represents who they are and recognize, as I did, that you may change, that you may change your political views as time goes by.
Mr. Chair, when someone leaves this place—this is my second retirement—there's always some bitter sweetness and this is for sure is bittersweet. I have to say that in only one Parliament did this committee not work that well and it was a minority government, so things got pretty hairy. But, generally speaking, this is the best committee I've ever been on in both this and the last two Parliaments.
I must say, Randall, LaVar hit it right, when we went to another country, you represented yourself and us in the true style of what a member of Parliament in another country should do. You made sure there were differences, because there are, but you did it in a way that if we all used....I must admit if I used your tact and your way, I'd be prouder of myself at times. You are a true gentleman. Your whole team has reflected well on your party.
I don't think we've ever said anything truly hurtful to each other at this committee. When I had my little tirade with Wayne, it was political in nature, it was not personal in nature, and I think he understands that. I think we all do.
Everybody sees us during question period and I call it a blight on our democracy because we should respect our political leaders, but that respect has to start with us. I always say that question period starts off with the question: “Why are you the worst government that ever existed? You're a bunch of liars and cheats, etc.” Then we get up and respond: “We are the best government that ever was and you can blah, blah, blah”. If we want people to respect us, we need to respect each other and we need to show that. I don't think that's ever going to stop with question period.
Behind the scenes, we have our political handlers, we have the people who feed us the questions, we have the things we're trying to say. Hopefully, someday, Randall, we'll adopt a kinder, gentler way, and I hope I'll see that, but I don't think I'll see it in my lifetime, but it may happen.
This is the time, when you're leaving, as Shakespeare said—of course, I'm not dead, but I'm referring to my political career—“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones”. Let's just say I'm burying all the old bones, and I'll try to have nothing but good memories of this place.
To all of you from me, a very heartfelt thanks, and an apology if you felt hurt by anything I said. It was strictly political, and we know we all hold different views, but we all have—as Diane mentioned in her hope—the best interests of our country at hand. If we always remember that, I think this country will continue to be the best place on God's good earth to live, to raise a family, and to work.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Rick Norlock Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and through you, thank you to the witnesses for appearing today.
Thank you for mentioning the need to make firearms regulations more simple so that the average person who owns a firearm, or even a pellet gun, or a BB gun, can rationalize its use. I'll be asking another witness a different question, based on my grandkids, but let's get around to some of the testimony that was given and to some of the questions asked at our last meeting.
You mentioned in your opening statement that the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters delivers a hunters safety course on behalf of the Province of Ontario. I guess it would be more appropriate, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, to say that it's in collaboration with the Province of Ontario, based on a curriculum that you both have agreed to. You also mentioned that you give the firearms safety course in conjunction with the federal regulations.
Would it be correct to say, with regard to the 100,000-odd members of your organization, that you speak on their behalf, and that the credibility of your voice would be representative of most hunting and fishing organizations throughout Canada, with whom you converse on a regular basis, from coast to coast to coast? In your opinion, would you say that most would be agreeable not only to this bill but to the opinions you've expressed here?
View Rick Norlock Profile
CPC (ON)
Would you say that one of the primary responsibilities you would take on as an organization, and your members accept wholly, is that you are conservationists first, because you want to conserve our fish species and you want to conserve the game animals that we hunt? I say “we” because I am a member. I am an avid hunter. I'm also a member of Safari Club International.
Would you not agree that conservation is the number one issue that we deal with, and that your members, in addition to conservation, simply want to be able to engage in angling and hunting, and want those laws that govern those two activities so that they can understand and properly teach their children and other people proper fishing and hunting responsibilities?
View Rick Norlock Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you for mentioning that, because that was actually going to be my next question.
To your knowledge, based on the fact that you are intimately involved with hunting and fishing, not only in the Province of Ontario but across this great country of ours, would you say that some folks wouldn't realize that, if this legislation does not go through, some—and I will say so publicly—overzealous police officer who goes into a house and sees a BB gun in the corner might look at the Criminal Code and say, “My goodness, there is a charge here”?
Most police officers wouldn't lay a charge unless there were some other indications, something very serious in conjunction, but would you agree that if we leave the Criminal Code and firearms regulations in such a complicated way, because of a whole mishmash of different people who think they are doing good things, the majority of those folks who want to engage in a lawful, peaceful, and healthy pastime could end up being on the wrong end of the law?
View Rick Norlock Profile
CPC (ON)
The following questions are primarily directed towards Dr. Austin.
Dr. Austin, I know there are records kept in hospitals with regard to injuries. Would I be correct to say—you're a pediatrician—that most of those injuries involving young people are fairly serious injuries such as knocking out of teeth, injured eyes, and concussions, which would be the result of games like hockey, baseball, being hit in the head with a bat, and a hockey puck in the mouth? I have a few teeth missing because of playing hockey when I was very young. Also, I wonder if there are statistics with regard to knives. I do know that with my grandchildren and me, one of the first weapons we were given as Boy Scouts and as hunters—we're hunters and fishers—was a knife.
Yet, as a pediatrician, I don't see you advocating for the registration of knives, baseball bats, or even Nerf guns. My grandkids, who are going to be visiting today to see grandpa near the end of his career as a politician, got some Nerf guns. I know for a fact that their mom and dad are explicit that they don't shoot near the eye, because if you use a Nerf gun and it hits the eye, it can cause an eye injury or, for sure, pain.
I wonder whether you would like to comment on that, as opposed to just firearms, because we're singling them out because they look bad: there's that firearm that you said really looks intimidating. I was a police officer for 30 years and there are replicas; there are plastic guns.
We had an incident where an intellectually challenged young man was sitting by the highway with a plastic gun and he didn't realize what was happening. Of course, police were dispatched and a very bad thing could have happened.
Why do we have to make criminals out of parents and young people because they put the BB gun under the bed or in a closet that wasn't locked?
View Rick Norlock Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much.
I really enjoy being told that it was a previous Conservative member of Parliament, a cabinet minister and actually prime minister, who brought in the original FACs, which the outdoors community had no problem with. It's only when the Liberals tried to up the ante and brought in the long-gun registry.... She never brought that into law and quite frankly would not have gotten it past most Conservatives in this country. I need to get that out of the way.
When the opposition talks about tracking sales, that's code for a new kind of registry through the back door; that's what it's all about. In actual fact, they're not entirely wrong, because under the old FAC, there was a tracking of it, and we might have had something like that anyway without all the kerfuffle, but the Liberals, always trying to one-up everybody else, brought in the long-gun registry, and we know what that caused in this country: great debate.
I'd also like to talk about safe storage and proper handling of such things as BB guns and pellet guns. For the edification of those here, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters works in partnership with the Ontario government in delivering the hunter safety courses. Of course, because they support this legislation, one would have to assume that their partners in education also would support this piece of legislation, which I agree with you is simply bringing common sense back. Here's what you would have.
We have, of course, mostly young people using BB guns and pellet guns. I know my two grandchildren have received gifts of those, and their fathers go out with them to teach them proper firearm safety such as you talk about. The opposition talk about the value of education. I'd like to talk about the value of education as given by mom and dad. We don't need the big hand of the state in every form because in some legislators' eyes you can't trust mom and dad to do the good thing but have to have the state do it. My dad taught me firearm safety beginning with BB guns. So I have to agree with you there.
Here's the problem I have with the current legislation, if we don't adopt this bill to deal with a flaw in the law. We potentially could have a lot of young people ending up in young offenders court because they put the BB gun in a closet and didn't lock it up or didn't put a trigger lock on it. That's what would happen, as far as I'm concerned, because police officers, like anybody else, each interpret the law, and that's why all the laws say a police officer “may” charge.
When I became a police officer, we were told that you lay a highway traffic offence when a warning won't suffice. I can tell you, having a son in the police, that the education is completely changing. It's that you charge people first, unless you think a warning will suffice. So there is a change.
I have to agree with you. When any private member of Parliament sees something that they think needs to be corrected in law, it is their right to bring legislation forward. To suggest that any member of Parliament bringing a private member's bill forward who happens to be part of the governing party shouldn't bring it in, that it should be the party that does so.... You're right: we have a duty as legislators to do it.
If you wouldn't mind, given what we heard about injuries that could be sustained by BB guns and pellet guns, could you talk about the injuries that could be sustained by knives or baseball bats? I wonder whether you'd like to talk about any of the subjects that I've just ranted over.
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