Liberal Michael Ignatieff dismisses the concerns of Western and Rural Canadians.
In one of his most cynical political moves to date, the self described member of Canada’s “Political Class,” Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has decided to distance himself from western and rural voters by ordering his MPs to vote against Bill C-391. In doing so, he bowed to the demands of a core group of extreme lobbyists and the far left wing of his party by whipping the vote when C-391 comes back to the House of Commons for Third Reading.
This shift in position demonstrates, once again, how “out of touch” the Leader of the Opposition is with the majority of Canadians who, in poll after poll, have supported eliminating this costly and useless holdover from previous Liberal Governments.
In an effort to justify his decision Mr. Ignatieff has proposed changes to the current process by eliminating some fees, “streamlining” the process and decriminalizing the failure to register a long gun. But in true Liberal fashion, he fails to mention that decriminalizing will only apply to the first offence, after that it’s business as usual, and one can only smile at his offer to streamline any government program.
It is hardly a coincidence that this announcement was made when the Leader of the Opposition was addressing the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, a group who have been very supportive of the retention of the registry. One can only wonder how much of this support is tied to the significant financial donations to the CACP by CGI Group, the firm contracted to supply millions of dollars worth of computer equipment to the registry.
In the past Michael Ignatieff has recognized the importance of eliminating the registry by noting that the Liberal party will never make a breakthrough in the west as long as the registry exists. The message to western and rural Canadians from his most recent actions couldn’t be more clear.
“Apparently Mr. Ignatieff feels that the concerns of millions of Canadians are of little importance when compared to his need to perpetuate the failed polices of the Liberal party. His action to whip the vote against C-391 demonstrates the contempt he and his party have for rural and western Canadians,” stated Tony Bernardo, Executive Director of the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action. He added, “Canadians want their leaders to work for, and care about, the whole country, instead of attempting to shore up a diminishing voter base in crowded urban centres. His actions have guaranteed him Opposition status.”
Canadian Shooting Sports Association Executive Director Larry Whitmore said, “It is incredible that a person that purports to be a national leader could be so out of touch with the needs of Canadians. In poll after poll Canadians have stated they want the registry to end. Why is the Liberal party so far out of step with the people?”
It is considered traditional never to whip a vote against a Private Member’s Bill and to do so is an affront to Parliamentary tradition.
In the Second Reading vote of C-391, eight Liberals voted to end the registry. “We sincerely hope these MPs will do the right thing and continue to vote for their constituents. These MPs must stand tall against the bad judgment of their leader and continue to vote C-391 through Third Reading,” added Bernardo. “Canadians are counting on them.”
For more information contact:
Tony Bernardo: 905-571-2150 or Larry Whitmore: 519-254-7744
Contact the Opposition members who voted in favour of C-391 in Second Reading.
Opposition Members Parliament Constituency
Office Fax Office Fax
IND Andre Arthur (Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier) 1613-995-1637 1418 285-0073
Lib Anthony Rota (Nipissing-Timiskaming) 1613-996-7993 1705 474-6964
Lib Jean-Claude D”Amours (Madawaska-Restigouche) 1613 996-9736 1506 789-4581
Lib Keith Martin (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) 1613 996-9779 1604 474-5322
Lib Larry Bagnell (Yukon) 1613-995-0945 1867 668-6570
Lib Scott Andrews (Avalon) 1613 992-7277 1709 834-3628
Lib Scott Simms (Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor) 1613 996-7622 1709 256-3169
Lib Todd Russel (Labrador) 1613 996-7132 1709 927-5830
Lib Wayne Easter (Malpeque) 1613 995-7408 1902 964-3242
NDP Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay-Superior North) 1613-996-9785 1807 345-4752
NDP Carol Hughes (Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing) 1613 995-6661 1705 848-1818
NDP Charlie Angus (Timmons-James Bay) 1613-995-0747 1705 266-9125
NDP Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt) 1613-995-9109 1705 897-2223
NDP Dennis Bevington (Western Arctic) 1613-992-7411 1867 920-4233
NDP Glen Thibeault (Sudbury) 1613-995-2569 1705 673-0944
NDP John Rafferty (Thunder Bay-Rainy River) 1613-995-3515 1807 623-6001
NDP Malcom Allen (Welland) 1613-995-5245 [email protected]
NDP Mark Maloway (Elmwood-Transcona) 1613 995-6688 1204 984-2502
NDP Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) 1613-993-9007 1250 871-4141
NDP Niki Ashton (Churchill) 1613 996-5817 www.nikiashton.ca
NDP Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore) 1613-996-9655 1902 861-4620