Garry Breitkreuz, M.P.
News Release

Number of Firearms "Involved in Crimes" Still in Dipute
"The Justice Dept. says RCMP firearms statistics are "simply not possible" – RCMP Commissioner disagrees."

For Immediate Delivery

April 28, 1998

Ottawa – Under questioning by Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, RCMP Commissioner Murray and Deputy Commissioner Zaccardelli stood steadfastly behind the accuracy of their firearm statistics at a Justice Committee meeting yesterday afternoon. In a letter sent to the Department of Justice last July, the RCMP Commissioner stated in 1993 they investigated 88,162 actual violent crimes where only 73 of these offences, or 0.08%, involved the use of firearms. On March 31st, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice commenting on the RCMP’s statistics said in the House of Commons, "This is simply not possible."

When Breitkreuz asked why the Justice Department claims that the number of firearms "involved in crime" was nine times higher than the RCMP figure, Deputy Commissioner Zaccardelli responded, "The Justice Department used a more liberal interpretation of the word involved." The Deputy Commissioner explained that the RCMP analysis included only those violent offences where firearms were directly involved or used in the commission of the offence. Despite their defence of the Department of Justice methodology, the RCMP Commissioners refused to answer Breitkreuz’ question about whether or not they were now prepared to swear to an affidavit in court that the Justice Department’s presentation of RCMP firearms data was "accurate."

"Unfortunately, only the Justice Department’s ‘liberal interpretation’ of the number of firearms ‘involved’ in crime has been made public, used in Parliament to defend Bill C-68, and used in court by the federal government. Until now the RCMP’s more accurate analysis has remained a secret," disclosed Breitkreuz. "Millions of Canadians want to know why."

"Whose firearms statistics are the public, the police and Parliament supposed to believe?" asked Breitkreuz. "The RCMP’s or the Justice Department’s?" The Saskatchewan MP proposed a simple solution, "First, the Justice Minister must clarify why her Parliamentary Secretary is accusing the Commissioner of the RCMP of producing false and misleading firearms statistics. And second, the RCMP must swear an affidavit in the Alberta Court of Appeal attesting to the number of violent offences where firearms were involved."


For more information, please contact:

The Office of Garry Breitkreuz, M.P.

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