CUFOA

Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association
Association canadienne des propriétaires d’armes sans permis

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41st PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION
EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 075
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

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Hon. Vic Toews (Minister of Public Safety, CPC):
Madam Speaker, I will leave that issue to the government House leader.

With respect to the debate on this particular issue, we have debated this issue both in the House of Commons and in coffee shops across the country for the past 17 years.

I recall when the hon. Allan Rock came to see me when I was the provincial attorney general in Manitoba and tried to compel the Province of Manitoba to enforce his long gun registry. I made it very clear to him then, back in about 1997 or 1998, that we would not do that. In fact, the Manitoba government has consistently not enforced the long gun registry. The NDP Manitoba government knows that it is a waste of time and money. It is focused on real crime, as is this government, rather than treating law-abiding hunters, farmers and sports shooters as criminals.

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Hon. Vic Toews:
Madam Speaker, we made it very clear during the elections in 2011, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2000, 1997, and the predecessor parties, that our goal was to abolish the long gun registry, that we are opposed to the long gun registry. That was our platform. When we became government we did not change our platform. We said the things that we ran on as our platform are the things that we are going to implement.

The opposition is saying that it is going to try to delay and stymie the process for as long as possible, that there should be another four years to debate this and then have another election and, indeed, never get this accomplished. I think Canadians understand. The issues are very clear on where the NDP stands. I do not think there is one person in this Parliament who has not already made up his or her mind on this particular bill. That member and that party continue with a charade when in fact they simply do not want the bill passed. They do not want to hear the democratic will. They do not want the bill passed.

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Hon. Vic Toews:
Madam Speaker, I am puzzled. The long gun registry was passed pursuant to Parliament's criminal law power. A breach of that provision is a breach of the criminal law. A person who breaches the criminal law and is found guilty is a criminal.

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Hon. Vic Toews:
Madam Speaker, I think I have heard all the arguments that could possibly be made in respect to this bill. The argument essentially boils down to the opposition wanting to criminalize the farmers, hunters and sports shooters in my riding. Having said that, I do not know what the opposition members want to do once they have criminalized them. We know they do not want to send anyone to prison. Hopefully they do not want to send farmers, hunters and sports shooters to prison for this.

The point remains that it is a criminal offence for a decent, law-abiding, ordinary individual not to register a firearm even though that individual is properly licensed to acquire a firearm.

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Hon. Vic Toews:
Madam Speaker, our government did hear that concern expressed by the Government of Quebec. We heard what the Government of Quebec said. We weighed that issue. We indicated very clearly that when we made the commitment to the people of Canada to abolish the long gun registry, what we said is that we would abolish that long gun registry.

What is the registry? The registry is the data. We cannot say that we will abolish the long gun registry but keep it active through the back door. That is simply not appropriate. It would be in breach of our undertaking to the people of Canada.

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Hon. Vic Toews:
Madam Speaker, I wanted to impress upon the members opposite how long this debate has been going on. Sometimes we have to use practical examples as illustrations that people can understand.

I think people can understand that someone being born and coming to the age of majority is a very long period of time. It is 18 years. As I said, it is almost as long as some of the members across the way have been alive.

This is not a rush through the House of Commons or the parliamentary process. For that member to twist my words in an untoward fashion like that is simply inappropriate.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1&DocId=5364852#OOB-6526634