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Beartooth Regular
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Gun registry moves from Justice


By ALLISON DUNFIELD
Globe and Mail Update

Control of the much-maligned firearms registry has been shifted to the federal Solicitor-General's department from the Justice Department, Martin Cauchon announced Friday in the House of Commons — a move immediately criticized as "damage control" by opposition parties.

"This tranfer... will serve to streamline the implementation operation [ of the registry]," the Justice Minister said in the Commons.

"The measures I am announcing today focus on improving the administration of the program," he said.

Solicitor General Wayne Easter will now be responsible for the registry.

Mr. Cauchon said the decision to change who oversees the department, based on the advice of independent consultants, will save millions of dollars. The Justice Minister said handing over control to Mr. Easter's office will reduce the cost of the registry to $67-million by 2008 and 2009.

The gun registry caused a major political and public outcry after an Auditor General's report revealed that its cost could balloon to $1-billion by 2005 from its original $2-million pricetag.

Although further funding to the gun control registry has been frozen by Parliament, critics including the Official Opposition note it continues to function.

The transfer of responsibility for the gun program was slammed by Opposition parties, who said that it would not change the fact that the firearms registry program was administered badly.

The Canadian Alliance once again called on the government to dissolve the program.

Alliance MP Garry Breitkreuz said moving the gun-registry bureaucrats over to the Solicitor-General's office will not change the underlying problems with the registry.

"He [Mr. Cauchon] should give his head a shake, Mr. Speaker," Mr. Breitkreuz said in the Commons. "Does anyone know what they're doing over there?"

The Bloc Québécois said that although their party favours a gun registry it does not support the way the government is handling its institution.

"The minister is admitting the incompetence of his department and predecessor. The real problem is the lack of ...transparency on the part of the government. It's a real fiasco," Bloc MP Madeleine Dalphoned-Guiral said.

"It leaves us perplexed about leadership shown by the government," she said.

"We should rename it the damage control program becasue clearly that is what it has now become," NDP MP Libby Davies said.

But Mr. Cauchon maintainted that the registry is working, noting that 1.19 million firearms owners have obtained their licences.

The program was introduced in 1995 by then-justice minister Alllan Rock.

A report prepared earlier this month said the federal Justice Department had no idea of the massive technological job involved in registering every firearm in the country said the registry will likely cost another $291-million over the next ten years.

A bureaucrat, asking not to be identified, says the Solicitor General's Department is a natural fit for gun control because of its day-to-day contact with law enforcement. The Solicitor General is also the ministry responsible for the RCMP.

Responsibility would be transferred from the Justice Department on April 1.

With a report from CP

Bye
Jack
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #2
From Garry Breitkreuz
BREITKREUZ’S RESPONSE TO

THE MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

ON THE CANADIAN FIREARMS PROGRAM

by Garry Breitkreuz, MP (February 21, 2003)

Mr. Speaker, today the Justice Minister’s announcement of an “Action Plan” to fix the gun registry is very much like sending the deck hands of the Titanic out with rolls of duct tape to fix the gaping gash in the side of the ship. Except the Minister’s duct tape is made out of pure gold.

The Minister’s Action Plan means that in a very few years Parliament will be debating a TWO BILLION dollar boondoggle. This is because he failed to address the real problems in the legislation and in the registry itself.

The Minister proudly proclaims that even with everything he announced today the gun registry is still going to cost $67 million a year.

The Minister’s admission means that his great “Action Plan” is only going to save $5 million a year from the $72 million a year Mr. Hession’s report estimated the gun registry would cost without “streamlining”.

But does anyone believe the Justice Minister’s estimates. Take any one year and look at how much they forecasted to spend in the Main Estimates and then how much they actually spent.

The Auditor General uncovered the fact that the Justice Department made inappropriate use of the Supplementary Estimates. She said and I quote, “Between 1995-96 and 2001-02, the Department obtained only about 30 percent of $750 million in funds for the Program through the main appropriations method; in comparison, it obtained 90 percent of funding for all of its other programs through the main appropriations.” [end quote]

This means that the Justice Department’s estimates were consistently WRONG and understated by 70%. This would be a good rule of thumb for Parliament and the public to use when they are trying to figure out how much the gun registry will really cost to fully implement and how much it will cost to maintain each and every year after that.

How can the Justice Minister claim he’s being transparent when he has been keeping Parliament in the dark for the last 11 weeks? He was more open with the media this week when he admitted his “cash management” program consisted of NOT PAYING HIS BILLS.

His “Action Plan” and his cost estimates are fatally flawed because he refuses to acknowledge that he has to correct eight years of operational mistakes by his bureaucrats.

I’ve prepared a list of the most critical mistakes:

- More than 5 million firearms registered in the system still have to be verified by the RCMP

- Up to 4 million records in the RCMP’s Firearms Interest Police (FIP) database have to be corrected

- Seventy-eight percent of the registration certificates have entries that were either left blank or marked “unknown” and they all have to be corrected

- Hundreds of thousands of gun owners still don’t have a firearms licence and can’t register their firearms without a licence.

- More than 300,000 owners of registered handguns don’t have a firearms licence authorizing them to own one; and they can’t re-register their guns without a licence.

- Up to 10 million guns still have to be registered or re-registered in the system.

- Yes, six million guns are registered but not with the owners name & address on them! The provinces have registered 18.6 million cars and they all have the owners’ name and address on them.

- Police will not even be able to tell where the registered guns are stored.

The Justice Minister thinks moving the gun registry bureaucrats to the Solicitor General’s department is going to improve things. He should give his head a shake and fire a few bureaucrats – instead of promoting them.

Mr. Speaker, does anyone know what they’re doing over there. For example, on Monday, if the government had had their way, they would have used closure to ram Bill C-10A through the House.

This bill would have created a Commissioner of Firearms reporting to the Justice Minister and moved the RCMP Registrar of Firearms under the direct control of the Minister.

Four days later, he’s now proposing to move all these positions to another department. This means that in very short order, Parliament will be debating another gun registry bill. This wasn’t one of Mr. Hession’s 16 recommendations.

And still we’re left not knowing how much it’s really going to cost to fully implement and how much it’s going to cost to maintain year after year after year after year. He won’t even tell Parliament or the public what it cost to run the program for the last 11 weeks. Does he even know?

And for what benefit? The Minister tells us it will improve public safety while in the meantime police chiefs tell Canadian people the truth.

In December, when Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino was asked about the escalation of firearms crime in his city, he said: “A law registering firearms has neither deterred these crimes nor helped us solve any of them.” In January, the President of the 66-member Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police said the gun registry laws are “unenforceable” … “until the mess is sorted out.” It is clear that the “unenforceable mess” Chief Tom Kaye was referring to isn’t going to be fixed by the amendments in Bill C-10A.

After 8 years, the Justice Minister is still trying to convince the public and the provinces that the gun registry is gun control and that this is a wise way to spend police and public funds. Well, it’s neither and only the Liberals don’t seem to get it. This government out of control and we should be putting more police on the street

Bye
Jack
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #3
Hi, Gents:
I don't know what to make of this shift of responsiblity from the Minister of Justice to the Solicitor-General. Justice Minister Cauchon has ambitions, aided by some puffery from the Prime Minister. He may just want to dump a very hot potato into Solicitor-General Wayne Easter's lap, who is a potato farmer :eek: Easter does have a bad habit of talking tough, and may get serious about enforcement.

So far the Canadian firearms forums haven't had much to say about this shift, so perhaps everyone else is a puzzled as I am.

Bye
Jack
 

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Jack,
it seems as though the reason for this, although I'm not familiar with the intricacies of the Canadian government, is to begin to put people in jail and seize their weapons if they haven't been registered. Let the first stage of the disarmament begin.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Jack, sounds like they are just trying to confuse the opposition, and buy some more time for the program. Sort of like our friends in Iraq....
 

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Mike,
I understand the "hot potato" idea, but I really don't think it's by chance that it's being dished off to the chief prosecutor of the land. They had a deadline, which I believe has passed, and now it's time to start enforcing the will of the people. It must be the will of the people because Canadians elect their officials, for the most part, from what I understand of their system. If the system, which I'm sure we all disagree with, is to be implemented with any results, it has to be tied in with the Canadian FBI, which is the RCMP if I'm not mistaken, as well a provincial and local law enforcement. They've got to "get the guns out of the hands of the criminals" who became criminals when they didn't submit to the tyranny of their government. They will be criminals for doing NOTHING!.It could be part blame game, but I'm guessing it's just the first step in imposing the punishment for the crime of not registering your firearms.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Hi, Gents:
There's a chance this is just internal Liberal Party politics, since there's a war on between Prime Minister Chrétien and heir apparent Paul Martin. The RCMP is doing the occasional SWAT team raid on elderly gun collectors, but the smart ones in the force know they're making a PR disaster. The Feds aren't getting any co-operation from 8 of the provinces and all 3 territories. The Indians are fighting the registry in court and will drag it out for years. Many of the deadlines have been extended and I would guess that non-compliance is over 50%. A number of Liberal backbenchers are refusing to vote the registry any more money and killed a bill amending the Firearms Act earlier this week. My guess is that the registry is on life support now, but the Liberals will try anything, legal or not, to keep it alive. It's a good question as to whether it's operating legally now, after the denial of it's budget.

Bye
Jack
 

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It seems that any politician could see, or bring to public light, that no matter how many crimes registration will solve (a handfull a year at best), which is the reason it was sold to the public I'm sure, many more would be solved by spending $70 million more dollars on law enforcement. The scheme of gun resistration, if it is for what it is said to be for, is so transparent it's ridiculous. $70 million in law enforcement or $70 million a year to keep track of what guns a couple million honest people own. Hmm, let me see, I think that there might be an alterior motive involved.
 

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The only reason it was moved to the justice department was to make it easier to get convictions!!! They will be coming to arrest those how have not registered there guns soon. The confiscation to take place eliminates the need to register millions of guns - of cource these guns will be destroyed, that' s where they will be save the money plus the fines they get from the folks who didn't register!!
You Canuks are screwed!!!!
 
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