November 20, 1995 For Immediate Release

GUN REGISTRATION ESTIMATED TO COST MUNICIPALITIES OVER HALF A BILLION A YEAR "Western Senators were right to take hearings directly to the people," says Breitkreuz.

Ottawa - Today, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, released a copy of a presentation made to Senators in Dauphin, Manitoba on November 6, 1995. Mr. James H. Barker, a retired town councillor for Dauphin appeared before the Senators during their review of Bill C-68 -- the Liberal government's illogical attempt to reduce the number of gun-toting criminals by registering all the guns owned by law-abiding citizens.

Barker analyzed the costs of implementing a firearm registration system for the Town of Dauphin and conservatively estimated that by the year 2003, the Town of Dauphin will have to hire two more RCMP constables and two police clerks to handle the additional workload. He says his estimate assumes a minimum problem with registration evasion. "The ratepayers of this town will have to budget a minimum expenditure increase of $200,000 per year. While I in no way intend to state that my assumptions apply to all areas of Canada, it is interesting to note that if these costs are at or near average, then the total cost to the lower levels of government in Canada for firearms registration would be around $540,000,000 per year," testified Barker. He also reported that similar cost increases will be experienced by the judicial and the prison system but neither has been factored into the cost estimates provided by the federal government.

"The Senators from the west are to be commended for taking these hearings on the road," praised Breitkreuz. "Mr. Barker's presentation provided evidence that has not been heard by either the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice or the Senate Standing Committee on Legal Affairs. Why is it that Senators in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada did not give their citizens the same opportunity to be heard as voters in the West? Senators are supposed to represent the views of the sparsely populated regions of the country and I thank the Senators from Western Canada for doing their job."

In his closing remarks Barker had this recommendation for the Senate of Canada, "I plead with the committee to use its greater resources to investigate along the lines I have suggested before approving this legislation." Breitkreuz concluded with his own question, "Is the federal government going to reimburse the municipalities for these extra costs or are municipalities going to have to increase property taxes?"

For a copy of Mr. Barker's presentation please call:
Yorkton: (306) 782-3309
Ottawa: (613) 992-4394