THUNDER BAY – The interim leader of the federal NDP Nycole Turmel has started answering letters that concerned people have written her regarding the sanctions placed against Thunder Bay’s two federal Members of Parliament.
Here is what Ms. Turmel is saying:
“Thank you for writing. We appreciate having the benefit of your comments.
“First, please know that the New Democrat position on the gun registry is clear. We want to address the legitimate concerns of rural, northern and Aboriginal Canadians, while ensuring that the police have the tools they need to keep our streets safe. We believe in working together to build solutions that unite us and firmly reject the Prime Minister’s approach of playing political games that divide.
“It has always been the policy of the New Democratic Party that government bills are subject to a whipped vote and on private members’ legislation MPs can vote their conscience. Bill C-19, Ending the Long Gun Registry Act, is
government legislation and both Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty were aware there would be consequences if they broke ranks.
“As it stands, our party has very serious concerns regarding Bill C-19. In particular, we oppose the surprise provision to completely destroy existing files. These records are valuable for public safety in this country and a considerable amount of public money has already been allocated and used in building this information and database.
“With this legislation Conservatives have shut out provinces and territories that may wish to utilize the records to enhance public safety. Our party caucus believes the registry’s data should be made available to provinces that want to maintain their own registry especially as an ongoing tool for their police forces.
“Again, we appreciate having your thoughts on this matter”.
Office of Nycole Turmel, M.P.
Interim Leader of the Official Opposition
New Democratic Party of Canada