April 5, 1995


"Allan Rock is worried closer public scrutiny may derail his gun control bill just like the Charlottetown Accord," says Breitkreuz.

Ottawa - "Democracy took another kick in the teeth today in the House of Commons," says Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville. With forty-two Reform MPs waiting to speak in second reading debate of Bill C-68, the Firearms Act, the Liberal Government forced an end to the democratic debate by using "time allocation" or "closure". Thirty Reform MPs have spoken in support of a motion, introduced by Breitkreuz, to split the bill into two parts, the anti-crime part and the anti-gun part. The anti-crime part could then be passed quickly with amendments so the police could get these measures into effect as soon as possible to reduce real crime. Then the bill's anti-gun part could be thoroughly evaluated and debated before any vote. Breitkreuz' motion will be voted on at 5:30 this afternoon followed by a vote to end 2nd reading debate and send the bill to Committee. The last time this disgusting political tactic was used was in June of 1994 when the Liberals rammed the Yukon aboriginal self-government and land claim legislation through Parliament.

Breitkreuz was caught by surprise by the Liberal's anti- democratic move and was not able to get back to Ottawa from Saskatchewan in time to vote against the closure motion and the bill. Breitkreuz was in Saskatchewan for medical reasons and to help prepare for Reform Leader, Preston Manning's visit to Saskatoon. Manning will make a major public statement on the gun control issue at a Reform rally on Thursday night. Breitkreuz said, "With over forty Reform MPs on the list to speak, I thought the 2nd reading debate would go well into May. I guess the fierce opposition to Rock's gun control measures, especially from Saskatchewan, has him worried. Obviously, Rock wants to force it through the House of Commons before more voters learn about his flawed legislation. He doesn't care if MPs have had a chance to express their constituents' wishes," commented a disappointed Breitkreuz.

"I thought with an issue so contentious the Minister of Justice would be careful and not run roughshod over the democratic rights of Canadians. Allan Rock has shown us what he is really like by ramming Bill C-68 through the House so that he can avoid serious public scrutiny. Rumour has it that the Liberal dominated House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice will limit witnesses to national groups which would seriously restrict opposition voices from Saskatchewan from being heard. Keep a close watch folks because now you are getting a first hand look at what Liberals are really like." Breitkreuz finished with these words of encouragement for voters, "Don't give up. This bill could still be stopped in the Senate. Maybe we should be giving our Senators a call? In any event, this fight will really not be over until election day in 1997."

If you need more information please call:

Yorkton: (306) 782-3309

Ottawa: (613) 992-4394

After reading Bill C-68, I should have expected as much. Section 110(a) to (v) outlines four and half pages of regulations that may be made by Order in Council (in reality, the Minister of Justice). Section 112(6) says, "For greater certainty, a regulation may be made under Part III of the Criminal Code without being laid before either House of Parliament". Breitkreuz concluded, "The search and seizure provisions of Bill C-68 are similar to what most people think could only happen in Russia or China, so following this Liberal logic, running roughshod over democratic rights and principles makes sense, at least to Allan Rock and all Liberal MPs who vote in favour of closure and in favour of Bill C-68."

Powers of inspection proposed in the bill would allow any police officer "at any reasonable time" to enter and inspect "any place" that he or she believes "on reasonable grounds" contains firearms, ammunition, etc. or "a record in relation to any of those things". Further, the law-abiding citizen would be forced by threat of criminal offence to provide the evidence necessary to incriminate themselves in court.