The following is a report from Prince George -Peace River Member of Parliament Bob Zimmer. This report is about the Common Sense Firearms Act, the Canada 150 Fund, and other events pertaining to the region.
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May 2015 has been a busy and productive month in the riding and Ottawa!
Earlier in the month, I had the opportunity to visit classes at Bert Bowes Middle School in Fort St. John and Cedars Christian School in Prince George. I always enjoy speaking with the kids and especially answering any questions about what it is that I do as an MP from Northern BC. I was impressed by the students’ knowledge of our Canadian political process.
I also travelled up to Pink Mountain or Mile 147 of the Alaska Highway where I joined many constituents and local and industry representatives in a conversation with the community. The meeting was informative as I was updated on the development in the area and in turn brought news from Ottawa about what we are doing for residents and industry. I look forward to the next meeting late this fall.
I also held a round table with local community groups to inform them about the new Canada 150 Fund. This funding program will support communities in their celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in ways that are unique and meaningful to them. Many community groups and organizations that you know may be eligible for this funding. More information can be found at: www.Canada150.gc.ca, or contact my office.
Back in Ottawa, I was proud to have the first hour of debate in the House of Commons on my Private Members’ Motion, M-589, regarding the UN firearms regime.
The motion highlights Canada’s extensive firearms safety regulations and discourages the government from adopting the United Nations resolution 55/255 concerning firearms. The UN resolution includes a section on the marking of firearms, asking countries to have each imported firearm marked with an identification code, identifying the country of import. This would mean that all firearms imported into Canada would have to be marked with ‘Canada’ or ‘CA’, potentially creating another form of a firearm registry and needless costs to the law-abiding firearms community.
Our Government has already taken steps to repeal the expensive and ineffective long-gun registry and I want to ensure that any door that could re-open the long-gun registry remains firmly closed.
I was also proud to be in the House when our Government passed third reading of Bill C-42, the Common Sense Firearms Act. This Act does many positive things, including requiring mandatory safety training for potential first-time owners, a streamlined licensing system, and the removal of the requirement to carry a separate document to transport firearms to activities such as target practice or a competition at a shooting range. The Bill will also amend the Criminal Code to ensure that the property rights of lawful firearms owners are protected. These common sense measures have now moved to the Senate to continue the legislative process.
Near the end of the month, I travelled back to Fort St. John for the annual Heroes Mess Dinner which recognizes our local heroes from the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, firefighters, paramedics, and the many others who help keep our communities safe. The dinner was also a fundraiser for Honour House in Vancouver which provides a home away from home for anyone in uniform. It was once again an honour to be there to bring greetings from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence. Special thanks to Dan Davies for organizing the event!
We are back in Ottawa to finish up our legislative agenda as well as our committee work before the summer recess. I look forward to being back in Northern BC for the summer to meet with residents and to continue to work on issues important to you!
As always, if you would like to get in touch with me, please feel free to contact my office in Fort St. John at 250-787-1194, Dawson Creek at 250-719-6848, Prince George at 250-561-7982, or Ottawa at 613-947-4524.