NDP betrayal on firearms Bill C-391 vote
With the notable exception of MPs Peter Stoffer, John Rafferty and Bruce
Hyer, NDP members who previously supported Bill C-391 and scrapping the
long gun registry, will ignore the views of their constituents, the outdoor
community, hunters, farmers, recreational and Olympic shooters and
thousands of front line police officers across Canada, and back a Liberal
motion to kill the bill.
“The complete abdication of responsibility by these NDP Members of
Parliament, who were elected to represent their constituents is
disappointing but not unexpected,” said Greg Farrant, Manager of Government
Affairs and Policy, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. “Threats by
the Liberal opposition; intimidation by the NDP leader and caucus
colleagues; misinformation by anti-gun lobbyists; and a propaganda campaign
under the guise of ‘public information’ by the Canadian Association of
Chiefs of Police (CACP) appear to have done the job.
“These MPs have abandoned their principles, betrayed their constituents;
ignored the overwhelming results of eighteen national and regional public
opinion polls in favor of scrapping the long gun registry; placed their
faith in half-baked ‘compromises’ that are neither workable or
constitutional; overlooked the fact that the long gun registry has neither
saved lives nor enhanced public safety; and supported the continued waste
of taxpayers’ dollars on a badly flawed system that places front line
officers in jeopardy if they rely on the information it contains.”
Ontario NDP MPs Carol Hughes, Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing; Claude
Gravelle, Nickel Belt; Glenn Thibeault, Sudbury; Charlie Angus,
Timmins-James Bay; and Malcolm Allen, Welland each supported Bill C-391 on
Second Reading. In fact, some went so far as to indicate that they intended
to keep doing so until the bill was passed.
“I was happy to cast a vote in support of C-391 on behalf of the people of
Nickel Belt, and I am pleased that this bill is moving forward to
committee… I will continue to support this bill through the rest of the
legislative process, and I look forward to casting a final vote to abolish
the Long Gun Registry when it comes back to the House.” Claude Gravelle,
“I’ve got to go with what the people who brought me here (to Parliament),
what they say. I’m the MP for Sudbury and my constituents are telling me
that’s what they’d like.” Glenn Thibeault, December 2009
Thibeault has said he received more than 500 phone calls and e-mails in
favor of eliminating the long gun registry. He received roughly 50
responses from constituents who wanted to keep the registry.
“Jack Layton stated he would allow his caucus to vote their conscience on
this issue. If that’s the case, why the bullying and intimidation of NDP
members by their caucus colleague MP Joe Comartin, Windsor-Tecumseh to
switch their vote,” Farrant asked.
“The Liberals claim that the RCMP report is proof that the registry works.
If they’re so convinced of that, then why have two previous Liberal reviews
of the long gun registry never been released and remain protected by
Cabinet confidentiality? Former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin said the
registry was badly flawed, and promised the outdoor community that he would
fix it. He even appointed a Minister to review the registry and make
recommendations, which were dismissed in Cabinet and buried out of sight.
“The hypocrisy on the part of both the NDP and Liberals in this debate is
staggering. Liberal and NDP members who voted in support of Bill C-391 and
have now flip flopped, have abandoned their principles and thrown their
constituents under the bus in the name of political expediency.”
* The Auditor General of Canada reported in 2002 and 2006 that the
Canadian Firearms Centre was unable or unwilling to demonstrate how the
long gun registry had enhanced public safety or saved lives.
* Crimes using long guns have been declining since the early 1970’s
long before the registry ever existed.
* The rate of firearms related death declined from the mid 1970’s to
2002 but has increased by 24% since the introduction of the long gun
registry, largely due to the increased use of illegal firearms smuggled
into Canada to commit crime.
* The female spousal murder rate fell by more than 50% between 1979
and 2000, the year before the long gun registry began.
* Between 1995 and 2008 the use of knives were used more often to kill
women than firearms.
* The firearms used by abusive spouses are almost all possessed
illegally, something that the registry has no effect on.
* Over 400,000 are prohibited by court order from possessing firearms,
including 36,000 with restraining orders, but are not tracked by police.
* Instead of tracking legal firearms owners, Police in Baltimore, New
York City, New Jersey and Virginia have instituted prohibited offenders
registries targeting those prohibited from possessing firearms because of
criminal activity – crime rates due to firearms violence have decreased
dramatically in these cases.
* The Coalition for Gun Control says the long gun registry has saved
lives, but offers no fact-based evidence to support that contention.
* A recent RCMP report indicated that police are divided on the
* The report contained the admission that the registry contains
inconsistent and contradictory data.
* The report noted that the long gun registry costs $23 million
annually to operate, not the $4 million claimed by the CACP.
* The report stated that the registry has an error rate of 1 – 2% =
70,000 to 140,000 inaccurate entries in the database.
* Police associations in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton
have supported scrapping the registry, as has the Saskatchewan Federation
of Police Officers.
* There is only a 30 – 50% compliance rate after 15 years.
* The Department of Justice found that 84% of firearms used in the
commission of crimes were unregistered, and overall 74.9% were illegal guns
smuggled into Canada.
* A new report in the Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
found that about 2/3 of the firearms seized in Canada were smuggled in from
* Illegal handguns are responsible for 92% of gun crime in Canada,
despite the existence of a handgun registry since 1934.
* The CACP claims that Chiefs attending the recent CACP meeting in
Edmonton unanimously supported the registry when in fact, the report they
were asked to endorse contained not one mention of the long gun registry.
* The CACP claims that police use the registry 11,500 times a day –
Figures on the Canadian Firearms Centre website indicate that the real
number is actually less than 20 times.
* Ottawa Police Chief Vern White disagrees with the CACP, adding that
most hits to the registry are automatically generated and not an actual
check of the system.
* Calgary Police Chief Rick Hansen thinks the registry is flawed and
fails to tackle the real issues of gun violence.
* Abbotsford B.C. Police Chief Bob Rich believes we are having the
wrong debate and the gun registry misses the real gun crimes plaguing the
community – 90% of firearms used in crime in his jurisdiction were
smuggled in from Washington State – the number of smuggled firearms used
to commit crime in Toronto is 70%.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 670 member
clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit fishing, hunting and
conservation-based organization in Ontario, and the voice of anglers and
For more information, visit www.ofah.org.