To the Hon. Stephen Harper, (Leader of the Opposition, the Canadian Alliance)
I have always applauded the Canadian Alliance's dedication to holding the current government to fiscal account, and I am as concerned as all Canadians about the cost overruns the Auditor General has uncovered in the government's gun control registry. However, I warn you that I, like the majority of Canadians, believe in the principles behind gun control, and in the need to register all firearms. We believe that, overall, Canada's gun control laws have been a resounding success.
The gun control legislation passed by this administration did not materialize in a vacuum or out of the minds of Ottawa bureaucrats. It materialized out of the hard work of ordinary Canadians sickened by the availability of automatic weapons and their place in homicides, suicides and accidents. Despite attempts by a vocal minority to hurt the current government politically for passing the current gun control legislation, ordinary Canadians remembered Bill C-68 when they voted, and have returned successive Liberal majority governments to power.
On this, the thirteenth anniversary of the deaths of fourteen women in the L'Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, you would do well to remember that it is ordinary Canadians and not mere politicians who will fight any attempt to loosen our gun control laws. You should remember that ordinary Canadians do not see anything onerous about registering an item that is more dangerous than the highly regulated private automobile, even though automobiles are not designed to kill people. Canadians from all over the country, from your average homeowner to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, will always want all firearms to be registered. If you wish your party to see greater support across this nation, you would do well to understand this sentiment, which has adherents even in Alberta.
While we believe that the current government should follow up on the Auditor General's report and get their fiscal house in order, we ordinary Canadians will not allow your party to use this as an excuse to undermine the principles upon which the gun registry is founded.
cc. The Hon. Minister of Justice