THUNDER BAY – The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) has written an open letter to the Interim Leader of the federal New Democratic Party regarding the moves to censure Thunder Bay Superior North MP Bruce Hyer and Thunder Bay Atikokan MP John Rafferty.
Here is the text of that letter:
M. Nycole Turmel, M.P.
New Democratic Party of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Dear M. Turmel:
On behalf of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), our 100,000 members, supporters and subscribers and 670 member clubs across Ontario, we are writing to express our profound disappointment in your actions against John Rafferty, M.P. (Thunder Bay – Rainy River) and Bruce Hyer, M.P. (Thunder Bay – Superior North) for their support of Bill C-19, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act.
Given the fact that the New Democratic Party of Canada has never had an official party policy on the long gun registry; that the issue is not mentioned anywhere in the NDP Policy Book; and that repeated attempts to pass resolutions for or against the long gun registry at NDP conventions over the years have failed, it defies belief that you would seek to discipline the two members of your caucus who have steadfastly voted their conscience on this issue, and in doing so, have represented their constituents, the very reason that Members of Parliament are elected in the first place.
The long gun registry is an issue that has long divided rural and urban Canada. Mr. Rafferty and Mr. Hyer represent rural ridings where the vast majority of residents hunt and fish, and where sentiment against the long gun registry runs deep, something that Mr. Layton understood, regardless of his personal position on the issue.
In voting the way they did on Bill C-19, Mr. Rafferty and Mr. Hyer acted as we expect our elected representatives in Parliament to act, when given a mandate by the electorate in their riding. For them to be silenced in the House and removed from Committees for their actions is not only a gross overreaction on your part, but an affront to the parliamentary system.
We urge you to rethink your position in this matter and immediately restore the privileges removed from these members for simply doing their job.
Yours in Conservation,