Long-gun registry must end
Posted By CANDICE HOEPPNER
CPC MP for Portage-Lisgar Manitoba
This opposition grew when the auditor general reported the costs of the Liberal program had reached at least $1 billion.
That’s why last May I introduced Bill C-391 to end the long-gun registry. The bill passed second reading in the House of Commons.
My bill will only end the requirement to register long-guns. Stringent licensing requirements will continue for all firearms and police will have the capacity to know who owns a gun and where that person lives.
Some have asked why I introduced this bill, especially as a woman and a mother who does not even own a long-gun. I became politically active almost 10 years ago. Our justice system was eroding and money was being poured into programs that did nothing to fight crime, like the long-gun registry.
I knew I had to show my children the importance of acting instead of just sitting back and complaining.
Irrational government policy had to be challenged. I still believe that.
The long-gun registry is a massive Liberal policy failure and it needs to end. It makes no sense to force law-abiding individuals with firearms licences to register their long-guns. It makes no sense to believe the registry will prevent a gun crime from taking place.
Canada’s auditor general, Sheila Fraser, exposed the wastefulness of the registry. Hundreds of millions of dollars ended up in the pockets of big consulting firms and did nothing to prevent or fight crime. Almost $2 billion has been wasted thus far.
This money could have gone toward frontline police officers, or for programs to help our at-risk kids.
Gun violence is not a gender issue. In 2008, 175 men were killed in Canada with firearms, compared with 25 women. When someone in Canada dies at the hands of a gun, all of us suffer. Kids lose a parent, parents lose a child and spouses lose each other.
In order to make our communities truly safer we need to re-tool our criminal justice system and focus on the real problems. We need to strengthen the Criminal Code with tough anticrime and anti-gang measures and make sure criminals serve the time they deserve. We plan to do that.
Since introducing Bill C-391, I have been accused by opposition members of being against women. In demeaning fashion, I have been called a “showpiece” and “little foot-soldier.” I have been told numerous times to “sit down and be quiet” by members of the Liberal Caucus.
These attacks appear to be motivated, in part, by the fact I am tackling an issue that is not, in the Opposition’s mind, “women’s work.”
They are telling women who are part of families that farm, hunt or sport shoot to also sit down and be quiet. They are telling women if they don’t think as the Liberals do on these issues, they should be silent.
This may come as surprise to Michael Ignatieff and his caucus, but not all Canadian women think alike and they will not be put into a Liberal Pink Box. It is 2010 and not 1970– Ignatieff and his caucus must abandon their paternalism and begin to respect the various viewpoints of all women and their right to express them.
Canadians have spoken loudly and clearly on Bill C-391. That is why I will continue to work to protect Canadians’ interests and their tax dollars, and see an end to the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry once and for all.
Tory MP Candice Hoeppner represents the riding of Portage-Lisgar in Manitoba