Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP and NDP leadership candidate Nathan Cullen lashed out at the bill to end the gun registry put forward by the Conservative government on Tuesday, in particular the idea of destroying the records related to it.
“For the life of me I can’t understand why they did that. It seems ignorant and spiteful. Who burns records? Canada has spent $2 billion on the gun registry and their idea is to put a torch to all that…Destroying the records won’t get the $2 billion back,” he said.
“There are big issues with the registry, but burning the records is just spiteful. It’s just stupid.”
Federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says the records would be destroyed partly so that provincial governments would have to create their registry from scratch and the current registry couldn’t be brought back by future federal governments – including a possible NDP government – and because of privacy concerns.
“They have to change this legislation because it actually undermines the Privacy Act. You can’t just destroy government records because it is politically beneficial,” said Cullen.
According to numbers from CBC, the RCMP access the registry database 17,402 times per day, with over six million queries from September 30, 2010 to September 30, 2011.
“The RCMP have said they were fine with scrapping the registry and asked if the records could be transferred and they could work with it. You would think the government would be helpful since they are concerned about the safety of our men and women in uniform, but apparently they don’t care,” said Cullen.
A spokesperson for the RCMP said they do not comment on proposals.