MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
“The Opposition Is Still Targeting the Wrong Gun Owners”
One vote. One MP. 15 years. A couple of billion dollars. Definitely far from priceless.
It was a blow to those of us who have been working since 1995 to bring down the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry when Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner’s private members’ bill to finally put it out of its worthless existence was defeated in the House of Commons this week by a vote of 153-151. A tie would have kept the legislation alive.
Yet in the end, the biggest blow was to the image of all politicians because a dozen or so opposition MPs decided – some forced by partisan coercion – to vote against their principles. Some of those MPs, regardless of political affiliation, I have known for years as good, solid elected representatives.
As much as I am disappointed that the registry will continue on, for now, to waste tax dollars under the deceitful claim of an “essential life-saving tool”, I feel for those MPs whose leaders turned what was supposed to be a free vote on private members legislation into an untenable choice.
And I only raise the following statement, sincerely, not to take a partisan snipe, but because it demonstrates the kind of cheap, misleading, illogical arguments that have consistently been used to fuel hysteria, mostly in urban, eastern Canada, that scrapping the gun registry will unleash a barrage of violence.
Michael Ignatieff’s official spokesperson told the National Post that, “Candice Hoeppner thinks it’s okay to get rid of the lifesaving gun registry, because in her mind, domestic violence committed with a firearm is a not a criminal activity."
The lowest moment in an already low point in Canadian democracy.
Despite the outcome, I applaud my colleague Ms. Hoeppner for her hard work in bringing the legislation, Bill C-391, this far, even in the face of personal attacks. She handled it all with class, integrity and fearless determination.
I applaud Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson for having the guts to put himself on national TV, eschewing the more politically-safe stance taken by many of his counterparts in other cities, to make a direct appeal to Canadians on why the long-gun registry should end.
Chief Hanson stood in front of a cache of guns seized on the streets of his city from the hands of criminals that the gun registry will never address.
I applaud the Globe and Mail, the National Post and the Sun newspapers, among other media outlets, for digging beneath the layer of deception and misinformation to report the truth.
The Globe put a bullet in claims by proponents of the registry that its annual cost is just $4-million, saying it sounded suspiciously like the “Big Lie” 15 years ago that the whole scheme would cost just $2-million.
And I applaud you, my constituents, for your unwavering support as my colleagues and I have fought this battle in Ottawa. It is NOT over. There will always be police officers like Chief Hanson and MPs like Ms. Hoeppner who will someday bring an end to one of the most wasteful, ineffective government programs ever devised.