AUGUST 22, 1995 For Immediate Release
91% OF SERVING RCMP OFFICERS OPPOSED TO REGISTRATION OF GUNS
"Views of police on the street opposite of RCMP top-brass and Chiefs' Association," says Breitkreuz.
Ottawa - Today, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, did what Solicitor General Herb Gray has been afraid to do for over two months - he released the results a of survey of serving RCMP officers in Saskatchewan revealing their views on Bill C-68. Mr. Gray and the Commissioner of the RCMP were given the results of two surveys of RCMP officers in Saskatchewan and Alberta on June 7th and 8th - Gray and the RCMP brass have been ducking an Access to Information request ever since. Breitkreuz, tired of waiting for an answer from the higher-ups, obtained the results of the RCMP survey from a copy of the July 1995 issue of the RCMP "F" Division newsletter, "Newsbreak" which is distributed to all detachments throughout the Province of Saskatchewan.
"The results of our straw pole[sic] survey have been received and the final outcome of our question: ARE YOU IN FAVOUR OF REGISTRATION OF ALL FIREARMS AS PROPOSED BY BILL C-68 is as follows: YES - 26 NO - 265.
Most of the comments accompanying the survey indicated that they felt the legislation would be unenforceable, too expensive and labour intensive.
The results of this survey were given to the Solicitor General of Canada, Mr. Herb Grey[sic], at our recent CO/DSRR Conference. For your information, Sask. and Alta. were the only two RCMP divisions that conducted this type of survey."
Breitkreuz' source says that the survey was completed by "F" Division Staff Relations representatives during the month of March 1995. The "Newsbreak" bulletin is sent to each detachment and section in the division every couple of months - it is not sent to each RCMP member in the province. The source considered the response rate quite high for this type of survey. Rumors from RCMP in Alberta say their survey shows 95% against the proposed legislation but we have been unable to obtain copies of the actual results.
"RCMP opposition to Bill C-68 matches exactly what city police, conservation officers and jail guards in Saskatchewan have been saying and proves the Chief of Police and the RCMP's top-brass are wrong to back Rock's flawed bill," commented Breitkreuz. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police are meeting with Allan Rock in Regina on Thursday, they should tell him they are going to do what their officers are telling them and not blindly say and do what their political masters dictate."
If you need more information please call:
Yorkton: (306) 782-3309
Ottawa: (613) 992-4394
OTHER TALKING POINTS
The stand taken by Chiefs of Police and RCMP brass is at odds with what the real experts (the police on the street) are saying. By continuing to back Bill C-68 the Chiefs not only alienate the trust of over 90% of the officers who work for them but it also destroys the trust of over 70% of the people in the province who they depend on for their cooperation to uphold the law.
Ninety-nine percent of the members of the Saskatoon City Police Association voted against the controversial Bill C-68. Polls taken in Estevan, Prince Albert, Weyburn and Moose Jaw show 95% of city police are also opposed to the bill.
An estimated 290 workers from the Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina correctional centres voted 93% against Justice Minister Allan Rock's gun control legislation.
The Saskatchewan Association of Conservation Officers is opposing the proposed mandatory registration of all firearms. At their annual convention on March 25 and 26, the officers unanimously passed a resolution opposing this aspect of Bill C-68.
Breitkreuz released results of surveys of police officers in the United States which verified that 85% of police officers felt that gun control had little potential to reduce crime. The difference in the USA is that the Chiefs of Police agree with their officers on the streets. "Now the first evidence is emerging in Canada that police on the street think the same as their American counterparts," commented Breitkreuz.
"The Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Police Association will eventually have to hold democratic votes of their members to see if the majority really want their associations to support the Liberal's anti-gun bill and continue to send money to the Coalition for Gun Control," predicted Breitkreuz.
"I want to thank all those police officers for having the courage to provide their expert opinion on this costly, intrusive, totalitarian piece of legislation. They are true public servants who put their duty to the people ahead of politics. I encourage all police officers across the nation to match the courage of their Saskatchewan counterparts and democratically determine and publicly express their views on Rock's bill," concluded Breitkreuz.
87% OF SERVING RCMP OFFICERS IN SASKATCHEWAN & ALBERTA
OPPOSED TO REGISTRATION OF ALL FIREARMS AS PROPOSED IN BILL C-68
SASK. RCMP - 291 Officers responded - 265 opposed(91%) 26 support(9%)
ALTA. RCMP - 469 Officers responded - 399 opposed(85%) 70 support(15%)
760 Total 664 opposed(87%) 96 support(13%)