NDP Debating Tactics in the House of Commons

The New Democratic Party has lost its way. Years ago, the CCF and their successor, the NDP represented the common man and advocated for justice. I respected that. Today, the NDP have chucked any vestige of respectable behaviour by telling one lie after another in debating the bill to eliminate the unregistered long firearm registry:

  • Repeatedly they stated the registry saves lives in spite of many murders and suicides being committed with registered firearms and sticks and stones and knives.
  • Repeatedly they stated police referred to the registry thousands of times a day when in fact police search central databases that automatically ping the registry. Police never rely on it to bring evidence to court or to determine whether or not officers are in a safe situation.
  • Repeatedly they stated that the registry solves crimes when in fact the registry is a way to harass firearms owners whose firearms are stolen. Criminals don’t register firearms.
  • Repeatedly they stated that the registry prevents suicide when in fact suicidal people will use whatever device comes to mind whether jumping from a high place or into water, taking poison, using a knife, etc.
  • Repeatedly they stated that registering a firearm is the same as registering a vehicle. It’s not. You don’t go to jail for failing to register a vehicle.
  • One even claimed the PC party was catering to “a minority”. That’s not even logical. How many votes can a minority give? The NDP used to care about protecting minorities. Now the NDP wants to bully minorities.
  • Repeatedly they called firearms “weapons” when the vast majority of firearms are never used to harm or to threaten any person.
  • Despite acknowledging that criminals don’t register firearms the NDP sees value in requiring law-abiding people to register firearms. The registry never solved the problem it was supposed to solve, violence with firearms. Violent people don’t care about or respect the rule of law.
  • The NDP repeatedly insisted it made sense that to retain the flawed data in the registry for the province of Quebec. The basic unfairness of having future purchases of firearms not being registered while past purchases of firearms would continue to be registered. How can the NDP support equality before the law for all people while proposing that fairness should not apply to owners of firearms.
  • The NDP also chose to ignore the citizens of Canada who voted in abundance to support the PC party which campaigned on a platform including elimination of the registry.
  • Repeatedly the NDP recounted the stories of women murdered using firearms. The fact that no legislation or piece of paper would change the mind of violent criminals who would do such things was ignored over and over. One even said the registry “protects women and girls”. That’s a lie.
  • The NDP claimed the registry costs $4 million per annum to run, neglecting the costs of all the transactions in retail establishments, and the time wasted by police offers having to dodge the weight of paper the database supposedly spits out and failed attempts to use the data in court where lawyers can easily have it thrown out on the basis of the documented error rate.
  • One NDPer even claimed the registry saved lives but chose to ignore the fact that 17 police officers were killed by means of firearms in spite of the registry existing.

In all of this is the assumption that people in Canada do not have a right to own firearms. I have lived in regions of Canada where bears hunted people. People better have an unfettered right to own firearms for protection. Several NDP MPs lost their seat in the House at the last election because they did not have the spine to vote as their constituents required.

The Government announced that there was no agreement on how long the debate should last and they set some days for future debate so we should soon be rid of this nonsensical law.

UPDATE Some snippets from Hansard:
Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I must advise that an agreement has not been reached under the provisions of Standing Orders 78(1) or 78(2) concerning the proceedings at report stage and third reading of Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act.
Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the Crown will propose, at the next sitting, a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at those stages. My plan is to allot one further day of debate at report stage and two days for third reading.

Mrs. Maria Mourani (Ahuntsic, BQ):

The firearms registry is an effective crime prevention tool, and I will give some examples. Of course, this government believes that all the statistics we quote are fictitious, but we will quote them nonetheless. In Quebec, the rate of homicides committed with a firearm dropped by 40% between 1995, when the registry first came into effect, and 2006. Of course, this registry has also had an impact on the rate of suicides committed with firearms.

Doesn’t that take the cake? Homicides include suicide. Did suicides fall during the time? No. They increasd. Do suicides check their registrations before doing the deed? No. When did fuzzy emotional thinking replace practicality in the NDP?

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to NDP Debating Tactics in the House of Commons

  1. Clarence Moon says:

    I will have to apologize for my curt dismissal of this issue, Mr. Pogson. Your passion for it did pique my interest and after some review of articles on the internet, I now appreciate the magnitude of this fiasco. It borders on the US war in Iraq as an example of runaway lunacy on the part of governments. Perhaps it will all be over soon.

  2. Clarence Moon wrote, “Does the Canadian government charge a license fee for this registration or is it merely documenting who owns what?”

    It’s far worse than that. One has to pay for a course of study. One has to get a firearms possession/acquisition licence which process is costly and involves police interviewing people. Then a fee had to be paid at time of purchase to register the firearm and legally, the buyer was a criminal until the registration is granted months later… Then you have to lock up the firearms just so and allow police to inspect them on short notice…

    It’s a huge boondoggle and the while the firearms owner pays some of it the majority of the cost of police officers’ time is paid by the taxpayer. The actual registration fee might pay for one interview and they do several. Then there is the incessant information overload the database gives officers. No kidding. Every time a car is pulled over for broken light or speeding, the database gets queried and the police officer gets a peek. People have been arrested and carted to jail just because the bureaucrats in government offices messed up the paperwork. One police officer was charged with not registering and was taken to court. He managed to get off because he had access to the people who filed the paperwork in the local police office. He could prove they messed up. Defense lawyers routinely site cases where the registry was proven defective to present “reasonable doubt” to jurors so the thing is not useful for prosecutions. It’s just not useful for anything.

  3. Clarence Moon says:

    I don’t have a dog in this race, Mr. Pogson, but I do have some questions. Does the Canadian government charge a license fee for this registration or is it merely documenting who owns what?

    Down here in the world, the gun fans seem to have an irrational fear that the liberal Gestapo will come knocking some night and appropriate all the firearms registered to these last defenders of freedom and so they strongly oppose registration laws using much of the same arguments as you present, namely, “If guns are criminal, then only criminals will have guns.”

    I personally think that it is not so harsh of a condition to require law-abiding people to register such a weapon and there is no danger that, without substantial changes to the American way of life, there is no way for a state or federal government to confiscate them. If such a thing came to be, then the situation would be far worse than an inconvenience over registration. As to the criminality of the issue, at least the possession of an unregistered firearm is prima facie evidence that it was obtained surreptitiously and the one possessing it is properly suspect of whatever other crime it may be linked to.

    No doubt you need your gun where you live, but no one is denying you your right to have one as near as I can tell from the posting here. You just think that someday a ban would be more easily facilitated if the names of the owners were on record. Rather than guard your gun, you should guard your rights.

  4. nt_jerkface wrote, “I’m fine with regulating pistols but going after hunting rifles is ridiculous.”

    Yep. We told ’em, but the politicians thought this would be a great lever for female voters and city-dwellers. I even wrote the Governor General on the basis of the English Bill of Rights. There are more than 20 million long firearms in Canada and the registry only managed to record a few million of them. That boondoggle cost $billions and gave no benefit whatsoever.

    In the 1950s when I was a boy, 75% of Canadians lived outside of cities and every family (almost) had a few firearms, many old bolt-action rifles that were war surplus, .22 rimfire and shotguns. Of those millions, only a few hundred have ever been used in a crime. The registry was a solution in search of a problem. Now 80% live in cities and view firearms as tools of criminals while predators and rabid animals roam the countryside. In the tundra, women carry rifles when out with the kids picking berries. Firearms are a necessity. City-dwellers get 3-minute response times for police but in the tundra it might take 3 days even if you could make a phone call. The number one threat to life in the rural areas are bears. They are always looking for food and come into conflict with farmers, kitchens and camps in the bush. The grizzly bears on the tundra know if it moves, it’s food and act accordingly. Polar bears definitely prefer seals but you just don’t want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time without a rifle up there. About as many Canadians are attacked by bears each year as are killed by firearms. The province of Alberta has about one attack per year. Manitoba advises residents to use a firearm if attacked by a bear. Nothing else is a reliable defence. Bears are unpredictable and an attack may come on suddenly. In my life, I have several times had close encounters with bears. In one I was protected by being near operating farm equipment and in another I encountered a cub but did not draw an attack by the sow. The cub climbed a tree and I walked away as if uninterested. In both cases I could have had a firearm handy but did not. It was entirely up to the bear what happened.

    Other instances where government prevents residents from protecting themselves from bears occur in parks. There, firearms are prohibited but the bears are familiar and contemptuous of people and many attacks occur.

  5. nt_jerkface says:

    I don’t think many realize how remote some Canadian towns are and buying a long gun in those areas should be no different than buying any other survival equipment. Baseball bats are used far more often in crime than hunting rifles, maybe the U.S and Canada we should have a baseball bat registry along with a required course in how not to beat someone over the head.

    I’m fine with regulating pistols but going after hunting rifles is ridiculous.

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