JOLIETTE, QC, Nov. 1, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Québec's public health
directors today reitereted their stance against Bill C-19 (An Act to
amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act - Ending the Long-gun
Québec's public health directors believe that the existing Firearms Act (C-68), adopted in 1995, is an effective measure and an essential means
of preventing suicides, homicides or accidental deaths and that it is
crucial to keep intact the firearms registry.
According to Dr. Jean-Pierre Trépanier, director of public health for
the Lanaudière region and the spokesman for Québec's public health
directors, "the directors' stance hinges on three key factors:
the existing Firearms Act (C-68) is an effective measure;
the coming into force of the Act is linked to a reduction of 300 gun
deaths per year;
firearms are dangerous for everyone."
The existing Firearms Act (C-68) is an effective measure
The adoption of Bill C-19 would lead to the dismantling of an effective
system that saves lives and prevents serious injuries. "While the
implementation of the Firearms Act (C-68) engendered considerable costs, the amortization of these amounts
over a long period will make it possible to maximize the funds
invested. The dismantling of the firearms registry, proposed by Bill
C-19, would mean the irreversible loss of the funds that the Canadian
government has invested in addition to the money saved through the
hundreds of lives saved, around 400 million dollars per year" Dr.
300 deaths avoided per year
The licence to possess non-restricted firearms and the obligation to
register each of the weapons owned are two indissociable measures that
link each weapon to its owner. They are aimed both at making firearms
owners aware of their responsibilities and facilitating the work of the
police. As Dr. Trépanier noted, "in 2000, the Supreme Court of Canada
recognized the indissociable nature of these two measures, the licence
and registration, as an essential condition for ensuring public
Moreover, between 1998 and 2004, the Institut national de santé publique
du Québec estimates that the coming into force of the Firearms Act (C-68) was linked to a reduction of roughly an average of 250 suicides
and 50 homicides, per year, equivalent to nearly one death a day.
Firearms are dangerous for everyone
The issue surrounding Bill C-19 goes beyond the problem of crime. Most
firearm-related deaths in Canada are caused by rifles or shotguns,
which are non-restricted firearms within the meaning of the Act. Over
75% of firearm-related deaths are suicides that mostly involve
non-restricted firearms and occur in the victims' homes.
The members of a household in which a firearm is present are roughly
five times more at risk of suicide and nearly three times more at risk
of homicide than in a home without a firearm. In most cases, the
victims do not have a criminal record and the acts in question are
often committed by individuals grappling with family problems, conjugal
violence or mental health problems.
"The presence of a firearm in a home poses more of a threat of injury
than it constitutes a means of protecting the members of the family,"
Dr. Trépanier said.
SOURCE QUÉBEC'S PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTORS
For further information:
Source: Québec's public health directors
| Information: || Pascale Lamy |
Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Lanaudière
450-759-1157, ext. 4437