Garry Breitkreuz, M.P.
News Release

RCMP Won't Swear Affidavit That Firearms Statistics Introduced by the Justice Department in Alberta Court of Appeal are "Accurate"

For Immediate Delivery

April 2, 1998

Ottawa Yesterday, Members of Parliament Jack Ramsay, Garry Breitkreuz and Peter MacKay, met with officials from the RCMP and the Department of Justice to hear them "clarify" misleading firearms and violent crime statistics published in a federal government report, The Illegal Movement of Firearms in Canada published in May 1995. "It became clear as I listened to the explanation of the government bureaucrats that their report was grossly misleading," said Breitkreuz.

All three MPs took Department of Justice officials to task over how they presented their data in Table 3 of the report which is titled, Firearms Involved in Crime: Type of Firearm Recovered According to Offence.Under questioning, the Justice Department officials admitted that many of the firearms recovered by police were not actually "involved in crime" as the title of the table suggests. "They confessed that using the word ‘involved’ in the table was not the best choice of words," said Breitkreuz.

"The RCMP officer would not say that the Justice Department’s presentation of firearms statistics was ‘accurate’, only that it was ‘reasonable’. Breitkreuz declared, "You don’t put together statistics to make them look ‘reasonable’. You gather statistics to reflect the facts. Reasonableness is a very subjective view. Reasonable in whose eyes? Canadians need accurate statistics from their government, not ones bureaucrats think are reasonable! There’s obviously still a problem when the RCMP advise they would not be willing to swear an affidavit in court attesting to the accuracy of the RCMP statistics used in the government report and filed six times in the Alberta Court of Appeal," said Breitkreuz. The RCMP’s excuse for not swearing an affidavit: "We didn’t reconstruct the data set."

"Now the government, Justice Department officials and the RCMP are saying the statistics presented in RCMP Commissioner Murray’s letter dated July 21, 1997 are wrong," reported Breitkreuz. The RCMP Commissioner clearly stated, "The RCMP investigated 88,162 actual violent crimes during 1993, where only 73 of these offences, or 0.08%, involved the use of firearms." During the meeting the RCMP official said it is "unreasonable" to say that only 73 offences involved firearms. On March 31st in response to questioning in the House of Commons, Eleni Bakopanos, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice said, "The Member for Yorkton-Melville indicated that only 73 of the 88,000 violent crimes investigated by the RCMP involved firearms. This is simply not possible."

"The presentation of the number of firearms involved in violent crime in Justice Department’s 1995 report are false. The government says the statistics in the RCMP Commissioner’s letter are false. Does anyone in the government know what the truth is? The federal government used this false firearms information in at least six affidavits filed in the Alberta Court of Appeal. When will this false and misleading information be corrected in court and in public?" asked Breitkreuz.


For more information, please contact:

The Office of Garry Breitkreuz, M.P.

Yorkton: (306) 782-3309
Ottawa: (613) 992-4394