October 24, 1995 For Immediate Release
BILL C-68 - ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE ASSOCIATION JUST SAYS "NO!"
"Rock is playing a dangerous game - passing laws not supported by the police and the public."
Ottawa - Today in the House of Commons, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, informed Justice Minister Allan Rock of the growing opposition to Bill C-68 - the Liberal Government's gun control bill which is masquerading as crime control. Breitkreuz provided a long list of those opposed to gun registration: 100% of the 19 Chiefs of Police in Saskatchewan, 91% of RCMP officers in Saskatchewan, 85% of the Mounties in Alberta, over 70% of the members of the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers, 4 provincial and 2 territorial Justice Ministers, and the British Columbia minister of health. Breitkreuz also referred to two Environics polls which show public support in national polls dropped 30% in the last year.
"Does the Justice Minister realize that he is destroying the trust people have in the criminal justice system by forcing through a law that a large segment of society, including the police, do not support?" asked Breitkreuz. Rock smugly answered, "No, Mr. Speaker" and sat down.
Breitkreuz then informed the House of a vote taken by the Ontario Provincial Police Association(OPPA) at their annual meeting last week. The resolution, which passed with near unanimous support, stated: "That the Ontario Provincial Police Association not support Bill C-68 in its current form." OPPA President Brian Adkins said there were 51 delegates present at the meeting representing 4,600 OPP officers.
Breitkreuz asked Rock another question, "The Justice Minister repeatedly says he is bringing in gun registration because the police are requesting it. Now that it is obvious that the police oppose gun registration, will he act on the wishes of the police even though they conflict with his personal views? Rock chided Breitkreuz for bringing up "questions about the right to bear firearms" when the House "is engaged in debate on the future of confederation." Rock turned a blind eye to the mounting opposition and went on to claim that the police and the public still support his flawed gun control bill. "The trouble is," said Breitkreuz, "the Minister is living in the past and ignoring the reality of the present. He is quoting polls that were taken last year and votes that were held this past spring."
"Information continually comes forth indicating that Rock did not consult fully as he says he did. Finally, the police are being properly surveyed and the opposition to C-68 by the people who have to enforce it is overwhelming. Law and order in a country breaks down when people and police don't respect a law. The Justice Minister refuses to admit he made a mistake. He still had time to do the right thing. I hope the Senate gives him the opportunity," concluded Breitkreuz.
If you would like more information please call:
Yorkton: (306) 782-3309
Ottawa: (613) 992-4394