Garrison questions why the Public Safety Minister is ordering RCMP to not collect firearm data


  Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we always support better mental health on this side, but we voted against the Conservative budgets because they did not get the job done.

    My question is for the Minister of Public Safety. Yesterday, the minister dashed off a threatening letter to Commissioner Paulson, ordering him to report on provincial efforts to keep records on firearm sales in their own provinces and ordering the RCMP not to co-operate with provincial chief firearms officers.

    Why is the minister issuing orders to the arms length RCMP, and why is he interfering with provinces that are trying to take action to make their streets safer?

    Hon. Vic Toews (Minister of Public Safety, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I would recommend the reading of the relevant legislation as to the jurisdiction of the minister of public safety in respect to his responsibilities for the RCMP.

    However, I might indicate that Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to end the wasteful, ineffective long gun registry. The ending the long gun registry did just that. Any action that runs contrary to the will of Canadians, as expressed by this Parliament, is unacceptable. While I understand that provinces may wish to create a wasteful, ineffective long gun registry, they must do so under lawful authority.