Conservatives give up $21 million in waived gun fees
Published On Thu Mar 24 2011
Tonda MacCharles Ottawa Bureau
OTTAWA—The federal Conservative government that oft laments the cost of the long-gun registry is giving up almost $21 million by cutting gun-owners a break on licence renewals.
The 2011 budget that was tabled Tuesday allocated “funding of $20.9 million to continue to waive firearms licence renewal fees for all classes of firearms.”
That’s five times what it costs to actually operate what Prime Minister Stephen Harper calls the “wasteful and inefficient” long gun registry.
Under the Conservatives’ ongoing amnesties, gun owners will not have to comply with the legal requirement to pay up to $80 to renew a licence from May 2011 until May 2012.
The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police complain in a news release that the Conservatives “found millions to waive firearms licence registration fees but no money to continue the Federal Police Officers Recruitment Fund” that was originally promised to hire 2,500 new police officers across the country.
The Ontario police leaders have long supported the gun registry as key to public safety, and are critical of the “misinformation” put forward by registry opponents.
The OACP says the long gun registry “has been operating effectively and efficiently” since the RCMP took over its administration in 2006.
“The cost of maintaining the registry on an annual basis has been vastly reduced to approximately $4 million annually. This equates to less than 15 cents per Canadian per year — cost effective by any person’s standards,” the association says in another release.
The $4-million cost estimate is confirmed in a Feb. 2010 report produced by the RCMP. The Canadian Firearms Program Evaluation says killing the gun registry would lead to cost savings of $1.19 million-$3.65 million for the first year, and possible savings of $1.57 million-$4.03 million in subsequent years.
In January, Harper promised that despite the defeat of a Conservative MP’s private member’s bill to kill it, that “One day … we will get rid of that wasteful and inefficient registry of long guns.”
The RCMP’s media relations office said Thursday no one was available for an interview on the subject, and could not provide current registry costs.
The anti-registry Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters called the $21-million fee waiver “good news.”
The CPC Government has simply extended what Liberals began many years ago. The waive policy was begun by the Liberal Government of the day.
Seeing as they were hellbent on cramming useless law that was founded on discrimination to criminalize an otherwise responsible segment of Canadian society. It was only natural for the Liberals to use whatever deceit they could muster to further criminalize and entrap more peaceful Canadian citizens.