On the Use of Tasers

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): - Mr. Speaker, I have been calling for a full review of the use of tasers since 2004, shortly after their implication in the deaths of two people who lived in my riding of Vancouver East.

We learned yesterday that after only 30 seconds on the scene at the Vancouver airport, the RCMP tasered Mr. Dziekanski at least twice, with charges of 50,000 volts. Moments later, he was dead.

In too many instances, tasers are being used on the homeless, people with mental health problems or drug use problems and essentially the most marginalized people in our communities.

There are no clear national standards for the use of tasers and little understanding of their impact. Two more men died in Quebec after being tasered earlier this year. We cannot wait for one more victim before action is taken.

Until strict standards are in place, until we can know that tasers are safe and until we can be sure that tasers are being used properly, they should not be in use. We call for a full and comprehensive review of the use of tasers.

This Statement in the House of Parliament was posted on November 15, 2007
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