Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

April 23, 2010 11:14 ET

Opposition parties hijack committee process

Liberal MP Mark Holland undermines witness selection in gun bill debate

Attention: Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, Sports Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor ON, OFAH MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - April 23, 2010) - In a blatant attempt to undermine the democratic process, and in direct conflict with a general agreement between party Whips to allow witnesses on both sides of an issue to appear at committee hearings, opposition members on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security led by Liberal MP Mark Holland, Ajax-Pickering, are leading a revolt aimed at stacking the witness list and preventing testimony by supporters of Bill C-391, an act to repeal the long gun registry. If passed, the bill would eliminate the badly flawed long gun registry.

Earlier this week, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced that members of the Liberal caucus must vote the party line and oppose private members Bill C-391 on Third Reading. The decision means that eight Liberal MPs who supported the bill at Second Reading, will have to vote against their conscience and the wishes of their constituents.

"It's apparent that Liberal members on the committee are prepared to go to any lengths to save the ill-fated long gun registry, which was passed into law by the Chretien government. Not content to stifle debate in the House, Liberal members of the Public Safety Committee are clearly intent on denying witnesses who support the bill an opportunity to appear before the Committee," said Greg Farrant, O.F.A.H. Manager of Government Relations & Communications.

Committee hearings on Bill C-391, a private members bill introduced by Candice Hoeppner, MP for Portage-Lisgar, Manitoba, are slated to take place on May 4, 6 and 13, 2010. This simple bill is designed to do one thing and one thing only, repeal the much-maligned long gun registry. It passed at Second Reading on November 4, 2009, with the support of 12 NDP and 8 Liberals members. Passage of the bill would not impact on firearms safety training, licensing, background checks, safe storage or transportation.

In 2002, the Auditor General of Canada reported that the department responsible for the system had not proven that it saved lives or prevented crime. It has cost Canadian taxpayers almost $2 billion, a cost overrun of 1000 percent, threatened the privacy of individuals through repeated breaches of CPIC, and targets legal, licensed farmers, hunters and recreational sport shooters, while doing nothing to stop criminals, who use illegal guns smuggled into Canada, from committing crime in our communities.

With 100,000 members, supporters and subscribers, and 660 member clubs across Ontario, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the voice of anglers and hunters. Visit www.ofah.org for more information.

IN: ENVIRONMENT, POLITICS, SPORTS

Contact Information

  • Greg Farrant, Manager, Government Relations and Communications, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Primary Phone: 705-748-6324 ext. 236
    Secondary Phone: 705-875-0274
    E-mail: greg_farrant@ofah.org