THUNDER BAY – Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is remaining steadfast in his support of the federal long-gun registry. Ignatieff has released the text of a letter that he has sent to law enforcement boards and associations.
Here is the text of the letter from Ignatieff:
Canadian Association of Police Boards
157 Gilmour Street, Suite 302
Canadian Police Association
141 Catherine Street, Suite 100
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
582 Somerset St. W.
May 3, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Thank you for your joint letter regarding your support for the maintenance of the National Firearms Registry.
Your support is precisely why I am committed to doing everything possible to not only keep the gun registry, but to improve it so that it works for all Canadians.
I couldn’t agree more with you that the registry is a valuable system that helps police services across Canada in ensuring community and police safety.
You are part of a growing movement across this country – one that also includes health professionals, social workers, municipal officials and women’s groups – that is speaking out in favour of the registry in advance of the vote on the Conservative Private Member’s Bill (known as the Hoeppner bill) that aims to scrap the registry.
The Liberal Party stands behind you in your quest to keep the registry intact. Police officers are the front line of our system of justice, and I am committed to giving you the tools you need to do your job properly and safely.
We want to maintain the integrity of the gun registry in order to protect public safety, while at the same time address the legitimate concerns of Canadian long-gun owners by committing to making the registry more effective.
Recently, in a speech to frontline police officers at a meeting of the Canadian Police Association, I announced a series of reforms that I believe will improve the long-gun registry while also keeping communities safe. Details of these reforms are as follows:
• First-time failures to register long-guns would be treated as a simple, non-criminal, ticketing offence, instead of a criminal offence as they are currently, where there are no aggravating factors;
• Fees for new licenses, renewals and upgrades would be permanently eliminated; and
• The registration process – especially the forms – would be streamlined to make registration as easy as possible.
My party will oppose the Conservative government’s effort to scrap the gun registry altogether and will vote against the Hoeppner bill in the House of Commons.
On behalf of the Liberal Party and my Parliamentary caucus, thank you for your vocal support in the battle to maintain the firearms registry. Every voice counts in this fight – and none is more important than yours.
Michael Ignatieff, M.P.