February 14, 1994 (35th Parliament, 1st Session)


John Cummins


Mr. Cummins

Mr. Speaker, I should have prefaced my remarks and probably forewarned the parliamentary secretary that my question was to be directed to him, but as I stated I do agree with the disabling force portions of the legislation. I do not have any difficulty with that and I understand that this disabling force will be used only against foreign vessels.
My concern is with the provisions for use of firearms with suspects fleeing from arrest. As I indicated fisheries officers are police officers. They do carry weapons. In instances in which poaching is going on it occurs at night as a rule and in secluded areas. Weapons have been produced and people have been shot. Sooner or later by the law of averages someone could end up dead.
The problem as I see it is that these are very trying times when these sorts of things happen. These police officers or fisheries officers are working alone or with a very small group of people in very isolated areas. Things happen quickly in the dark of night. Yet if someone is killed these people not only will have to live with their actions but they will also have to deal with an interrogation and possible court appearance. They will be taken to task by the very people who are supposed to be their bosses for enforcing the law of the land. I find that rather curious.
Could the parliamentary secretary please comment on that particular aspect of the law.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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