Intervention on Bill C71: How are we protecting Canadians from domestic gun violence?

Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich—Gulf Islands:

Mr. Speaker, I support Bill C-71. I am particularly grateful to have this chance on this debate. I attempted to gain the floor a few times before today.

I did want to draw attention to one amendment I am particularly pleased to note was achieved through collaboration, which is always nice to see, and non-partisan co-operation in the clause-by-clause. One of my amendments was adopted, changed, and re-emerged as an amendment by the hon. member for Oakville North—Burlington. I am grateful to her. I want to mention this amendment again, and ask my friend from Scarborough—Guildwood for his thoughts on it.

What we have done is expand those things for which prospective gun owners will be screened to include any history of threats of violence against an intimate partner. I am feeling optimistic that the legislation may help protect usually women, but not always, from being killed at the end of a bad relationship. I cannot begin to describe how bad that is.

The history of violence against women in the country has to come to a stop, and threats of violence against intimate partners are now in the fabric of the legislation as a reason that someone would not be able to buy a gun.

Hon. John McKay, Member of Parliament for Scarborough—Guildwood:

Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more.

Given the past summer, given the evidence we heard, given the tragedies spelled out by witness after witness, not only with murder and assault but also with suicide, also with intimate partners, I just cannot imagine how anyone would not support this amendment, which might go some distance toward reducing that. Just a basic inquiry into the violent history of an individual or the psychiatric history of the individual seems to me to be a step forward.