June 14, 1995 For Immediate Release
ROCK FUDGES ANOTHER QUESTION ON THE REAL COSTS OF GUN CONTROLS
"We ask simple questions and all we get are non-answers," complained Breitkreuz.
Ottawa - After rising on a Point-of-Order in the House of Commons three times in the last week, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, finally got what the Liberal government claims is an answer to his Order Paper Question #137. Breitkreuz asked his question, in writing, way back on February 6, 1995 and requested an answer within forty-five days. It took 127 days for the government to finally duck our question: "How many full time and part-time staff are involved in and what is the total cost of administering the current firearms laws and regulations for all of Canada and what share of the costs is borne by the three levels of government: Federal, Provincial and Municipal?"
Allan Rock failed to answer the question by saying he and his government don't know how much it costs provincial/territorial and municipal governments. "I find this very hard to believe because the Minister of Justice is currently re-negotiating financial agreements with the provinces to compensate them specifically for these costs," explained Breitkreuz. Rock's department only gave figures for 1993/94 fiscal year. Staffing for both the Department of Justice and the Firearms Registration Section at the RCMP was 57 full time and term employees. The Minister claims that operating budgets for administration of the current gun control laws by the federal government is $15.5 million. This includes $8.4 million "transferred to the provinces pursuant to financial agreements." Some of the provinces say that the Federal government is only compensating them for one-third to one-half of the costs to administer the last round of gun controls implemented in 1992 with the passage of the Conservative's Bill C-17.
"I am convinced that last month, when the Province of Quebec said it "will seek up to $300 million from Chretien's Liberal government to cover the cost of applying the new gun control laws in the province", that this was not a number picked from the sky," said Breitkreuz. "I believe the $300 million was Quebec's demand during the negotiation of the new financial agreements with Allan Rock's department. When Canadians find out the true costs of this flawed gun control bill, Allan Rock, Jean Chretien and Wendy Cukier will be the only ones left in Canada supporting it."
For more information please call:
Yorkton: (306) 782-3309
Ottawa: (613) 992-4394