This is page numbers 115 - 148 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 7th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was chairman.

Topics

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 121

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Mr. Ningark.

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 121

John Ningark Natilikmiot

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize a very special person, my better half, Celine, and two of my grandchildren.

---Applause

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 121

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Ningark. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Mr. Ng.

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 121

Kelvin Ng Kitikmeot

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to, once again, recognize the Honourable Helen Maksagak, Commissioner, and her husband, John.

---Applause

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 121

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Item 6, oral questions. Mr. Patterson.

Question 64-12(7): Northerners' Concerns Reflected In Proposed Firearms Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 121

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Justice. Mr. Speaker, we all know that the federal Minister of Justice tabled new gun control legislation this week. Through the good offices of Mr. Kakfwi, the federal Minister had a chance to directly hear concerns of Members of this House regarding the potential impact of this new legislation on northerners, particularly those who maintain a traditional lifestyle. We told him how people use guns, how they share firearms, et cetera. I would like to ask the Minister of Justice, who I believe has had a chance to review this complicated piece of legislation, if he feels that the concerns expressed this past fall by northerners and Members of this Assembly were heard and are reflected in this proposed legislation? Thank you.

Question 64-12(7): Northerners' Concerns Reflected In Proposed Firearms Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 121

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Minister of Justice, Mr. Kakfwi.

Return To Question 64-12(7): Northerners' Concerns Reflected In Proposed Firearms Legislation
Question 64-12(7): Northerners' Concerns Reflected In Proposed Firearms Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 121

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, on just an initial review of the legislation -- a more detailed, analytical review is taking place now, in consultation with other provincial governments -- it is my initial impression that most of the concerns we had -- although they may have been clearly understood and received by the federal government -- are not reflected in this legislation. There were perhaps only two areas where changes may have been made. But for the most part, our concerns about registration were: We felt registration was not necessary; it was going to be costly; impossible to implement; and, was a major intrusion into the lives of northern people and into the lifestyle of aboriginal people in particular. And that registration is going to go ahead as planned.

As I said, most of the concerns we had have not, on first review, been dealt with by the federal government. The legislation is tabled, it is going to be taken up by the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and they will be having hearings across the country. We will be inviting them to come and hear northerners first hand. Perhaps at that time, we will not only be heard loud and clear but also, we will have some political movement to meet the concerns that we will be expressing again. Thank you.

Return To Question 64-12(7): Northerners' Concerns Reflected In Proposed Firearms Legislation
Question 64-12(7): Northerners' Concerns Reflected In Proposed Firearms Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 121

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Kakfwi. Item 6, oral questions. Mr. Ningark.

Question 65-12(7): NWT Residents' Concerns Re Proposed Firearms Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 121

John Ningark Natilikmiot

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the same Minister, the Minister of Justice. To some gun owners, a gun is regarded as a toy, sometimes it is regarded as a show piece, sometimes it is used for evil deeds. But for community people of the NWT, it is a hunting tool used as a means of survival. Like my colleague, Mr. Patterson, I would like to ask the Minister responsible for Justice -- he has outlined some of the key points that the NWT people made concerns about -- my question is, what are these other key

points -- that he did not answer to Mr. Patterson's question -- that people are concerned about in the NWT?

Question 65-12(7): NWT Residents' Concerns Re Proposed Firearms Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 122

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Minister of Justice, Mr. Kakfwi.

Return To Question 65-12(7): Nwt Residents' Concerns Re Proposed Firearms Legislation
Question 65-12(7): NWT Residents' Concerns Re Proposed Firearms Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 122

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The registration proposal that the federal government has entailed in this piece of legislation will make it mandatory for all of us to register our rifles and our guns by the year 2003. Failure to do so will be a serious criminal offence. It will require that each of us that wishes to use a gun and to hold one, will be required to apply for a possession permit and failure to do so will also be a serious criminal offence.

The provisions for sentencing under this part, as we see it, are very, very serious. So if you fail to register your guns or if you are in possession without having a possession permit or you are in possession of a gun that is not registered under your name, you are subject to the criminal code that says the sentence will be a maximum of 10 years. On a second offence, the minimum sentence will be a year. On the third and forth sentence, the minimum will be two years. This is not a light suggestion by the federal Minister; it means that, theoretically, all of us will be committing criminal offences on a regular basis.

Every time, for instance, a hunter leaves his gun in the boat of a friend that he is hunting with, he is leaving it in the possession of someone else; he will be committing a criminal offence. Every time you use your father's gun or a relative or friends gun and it doesn't belong to you, you are committing a criminal offence. Every time you store a gun in the protection of someone else's home, a cabin, a tent, a truck, a boat, a skidoo, you will be committing a criminal offence. So it is not a light matter that we are discussing here, there are very, very heavy implications for all northern people and particularly for aboriginal people.

We had extensively discussed with the federal Minister a requirement that there should not be one national safety course for firearms, that in the Northwest Territories aboriginal people use guns from an early age on a regular basis, and we do have our own programs for training in firearms safety. We do not need, for instance, to know about black gun powder, we do not need to know ballistics, we do not need to know about how you figure out calibers, we do not need to know about parts of guns and some of the many technical features of hand guns in order to qualify for a possession permit and a permit to be able to use guns. And yet, in the legislation, it does provide that there will be one course.

So we do not see anything in there that reflects what we thought were some assurances given that there would be flexibility to meet the concerns that we had expressed. These are the concerns that we have expressed; one, on the view that we have that guns are tools for us, they are not weapons. They are not used as weapons to commit offences and ours is a very different perspective from the perspective of people living in Toronto and Montreal where yes, a gun, if you have it in downtown Toronto, is not going to be used for hunting, it is going to be used for committing a criminal offence, in most cases. So these are the concerns that we expressed and where we see the federal proposals falling short. Thank you.

Return To Question 65-12(7): Nwt Residents' Concerns Re Proposed Firearms Legislation
Question 65-12(7): NWT Residents' Concerns Re Proposed Firearms Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 122

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Item 6, oral questions. Ms. Marie-Jewell.

Question 66-12(7): Annual Registration Fees Under Proposed Firearms Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

February 16th, 1995

Page 122

Jeannie Marie-Jewell Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Justice regarding the gun control. Mr. Speaker, many northerners who live a traditional lifestyle own a number of firearms and on the other hand, they do not have a great deal of discretionary income. I would like to ask the Minister of Justice, does the proposed federal gun control legislation require annual registration fees for all firearms or is it an annual fee per firearm? Thank you.

Question 66-12(7): Annual Registration Fees Under Proposed Firearms Legislation
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 122

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Minister of Justice, Mr. Kakfwi.