On September 22, Members of Parliament are poised to vote on legislation to dismantle the Canadian Firearms Registry and Colette Proctor is taking action to help defeat Bill C-391.
Colette Proctor is volunteering to lobby in support of saving the Canadian Firearms Registry. This week, Proctor will meet with her Member of Parliament, Carol Hughes, for Algoma Manitoulin Kapuskasing in northern Ontario, to discuss the Bill and offer congratulations for her recent decision to vote to keep the long-gun registry. She will also be calling on CUPE members who live in her region to get involved and contact their MPs.
Many CUPE members are first responder workers, paramedics, and police officers. Proctor understands that the registry is important for the safety of our members, and all first responders, in addition to helping them do their jobs.
Proctor’s son-in-law is a police officer with the Waterloo Regional Police and her nephew is detective with the North York Regional Police. When she learned that long guns kill approximately 77 per cent of police who die in the line of duty, she felt compelled to take action.
“Having family that work in policing, I want them to have everything they need to make their job safer and more effective,” said Proctor.
The gun registry is also an important tool in tackling domestic violence. Police across Canada access the registry more than 10,000 times a day, including when intervening in cases of domestic disputes.
Women comprise more than two-thirds of CUPE’s membership and the union has always engaged in social justice and equality issues including women’s equality issues. Proctor supports the gun registry because she is alarmed by the amount of violence against women and she believes that stricter gun control measures can save lives.
Prior to becoming a national representative at CUPE, Proctor worked as a registered practical nurse at the Espanola General Hospital in Ontario. While on the job, she saw first-hand the effects of gun violence and met with victims of domestic abuse.
“I worked on the ambulance service for one year, treating many patients who had been shot or who had attempted suicide with a gun,” said Proctor. “Our MPs need to do the right thing by voting to save the gun registry.”
While preparing to lobby, she learned that approximately 90 per cent of guns in Canada are registered - that’s about seven million shotguns and rifles. This allows police to track the presence of firearms in any situation and has led to many convictions. The gun control registry is partially responsible for decreasing homicide rates since the Firearms Act was implemented and Proctor hopes this may help prevent incidents of domestic violence and other threats.
Proctor firmly believes Bill C-391 will cause great harm to workers on the front line of public safety and women.
She asks all CUPE members to, “Help us put pressure on our MPs to defeat Bill C-391 and preserve the life-saving gun registry!”
Colette Proctor is a National Representative with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario and former president of Local 1332.
- For a list of Membersof Parliament, their contact information and lobbying tools, please read the article entitled Lobbyists asked to mobilize in support of gun registry.