Harper Opposes Gun Control
December 08, 2005
Today Conservative leader Stephen Harper attempted a remarkable feat of political gymnastics – simultaneously refusing to support the Canada Handgun Ban announced by Prime Minister Paul Martin but also claiming to reporters he does support gun control.
But public record tells a very different story.
In 1991, when Justice Minister Kim Campbell brought in a number of gun control measures, Mr. Harper was employed as policy advisor to Reform Party Leader Preston Manning and Deborah Grey. Ms. Grey voted against the gun control bill.
As a Reform MP, Mr. Harper voted against two Liberal government bills to introduce tighter gun control – Bill C-68, which established the Canadian Firearms Program and Bill C-41, which set minimum sentences for crimes involving the use of firearms.
During his tenure as leader of the Canadian Alliance and then as Conservative leader, Mr. Harper consistently stated that he would repeal the firearms registry, a program that contributes significantly to the safety of Canadians.
He has even gone so far as to call the Criminal Code amendments this government proposed last year to strengthen minimum sentencing for gun crimes “crummy”. The Liberal government doesn’t believe there’s anything “crummy” about making Canadian communities safer.
Just last month, when he united with the Bloc Quebecois and NDP to bring down the minority government, Mr. Harper voted to effectively kill Bill C-82 – Liberal legislation that would have enhanced mandatory minimum penalties for firearms smuggling and trafficking, and the illegal possession of loaded handguns in public places. The legislation Mr. Harper turfed would also have created new offences of break and enter to steal a firearm and robbery where a firearm has been stolen.
These actions are not those of a leader who truly supports gun control.
The Canada Handgun Ban and Safer Communities Strategy announce by the Liberals, on the other hand, will make a real difference in communities across this country as we work with the provinces and territories to get handguns off the streets.