THUNDER BAY – The hot-button issue of gun control is one that pits the three political parties at each other’s throats.
Today, Canada’s Outdoor Network, representing over 500,000 outdoor enthusiasts across the country, are calling for the release of a long-buried Liberal study on the effectiveness of the controversial long gun registry.
The group states, “In 2004, after admitting there were ‘flaws’ in the long gun registry, former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin appointed Cabinet Minister, Albina Guarnieri, to undertake a thorough review of the registry”.
“Gaurnieri spent three months criss-crossing the country, talking to stakeholder groups and firearms owners while compiling a document that would support the Prime Minister’s personal promise to firearms groups that changes would be coming”.
The ON states, “However, Ms. Guarnieri’s full report, much like a previous report by Liberal MP Shaughnessy Cohen in the 1990s, has never been made public. Both reports remain protected by Cabinet confidentiality”.
As part of their election platform, the Liberal party has included its vision of a “new and improved” long gun registry, hoping to convince Canadians that they have a solution to the ongoing debate over the badly flawed firearms system they created. The acknowledgement that change is needed, stands in direct contrast to comments made by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff last fall, when he made it clear that the Liberal policy is “strict and unrelenting gun control.”
“Mr. Ignatieff claims he is against secrecy and withholding information from the public”, said Greg Illebrun, the firearms spokesperson for the Outdoor Network. “If this is so, why won’t he release the results of his own party’s study of the long gun registry done by Liberal MPs in 2004. What is he afraid of?” asks Illebrun. “Do these reports make it clear how many tens of millions the Liberals have wasted on a program with no positive results, while effective public safety programs are ignored for political expediency? It’s time Mr. Ignatieff walks his own talk and shows us the report now.”
It is the goal of the Outdoor Network, says Illebrun, to make sure all Canadians understand the concerns of outdoors enthusiasts in Canada. Illebrun says the divisive registry debate underlines a lack of tolerance for a lifestyle largely misunderstood in some urban centres. He believes attacks on legitimate gun owners demonstrate a lack of tolerance that is “un-Canadian”.
Canada’s Outdoor Network:
Alberta Fish and Game Association
Alberta Outdoors Coalition
BC Trappers Association
BC Wildlife Federation
BCWF Political Action Alliance
Canadian Institute for Legislative Action
Canadian Section of the Wildlife Society
Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association
Delta Waterfowl Foundation
Fédération Québecoise des Chasseurs et Pecheurs
Fur Institute of Canada
Friends of Fur
Hunting for Tomorrow Foundation
Long Point Waterfowl
Long Point Waterfowlers Association
Manitoba Wildlife Federation
National Wild Turkey Federation
New Brunswick Wildlife Federation
Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Federation
Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen’s Alliance
Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
Prince Edward Island Trappers Association
Prince Edward Island Wildlife Federation
Ruffed Grouse Society
Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation
Yukon Fish and Game Association