Before Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner and her private member's bill to kill the long-gun registry, there was Saskatchewan Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz and his private member's bill to kill the registry. Breitkreuz eventually allowed his bill to die so Hoeppner could pick it up. But Breitkreuz is still working to kill the registry. Here's a note he's sending to those NDP MPs that appear ready to vote with the Tories to kill the registry. NDP MP Charlie Angus, who is one of those NDPers who opposes the registry, writes back just below:
From: Breitkreuz, Garry – M.P.
To: Angus, Charlie – Personal
Sent: Tue Aug 31 11:43:59 2010
Subject: Please consider …
I thought you might like to see a recent opinion piece I was asked to write for The Mark website.
I can appreciate that the NDP M.P.s who supported Bill C-391 are now under tremendous pressure to flip-flop by supporting the motion to kill the bill on September 22. This is just a short note to remind you that nothing has changed since you supported Bill C-391 on November 4, 2009. The vast majority of your constituents asked you to help scrap the long-gun registry then, and they have not changed their minds. If anything, they are even more resolute and growing in numbers today.
In light of the Liberal leader’s decision to whip his caucus into killing Bill C-301 on September 22, your voice is even more important. A Canadian Press/Harris Decima poll shows that the majority of NDP supporters favour scrapping the registry – you will be representing them with pride when you vote against the motion on September 22.
Here's the reply Charlie Angus sent back to Breitkreuz:
From: Angus, Charlie – Personal
Sent: August 31, 2010 2:48 PM
To: Breitkreuz, Garry – M.P.
Subject: Re: Please consider …
Thanks for taking the time to personally email me.
I was more than a little surprised to hear from you about the registry, again. It’s interesting that this is the only rural issue you ever seem to want to talk to us about. You and your government have hardly been collegial with rural New Democrats on addressing the concerns of our citizens.
No matter. I supported getting Bill C-391 to committee because I felt rural Canadians had legitimate concerns about the costs of the registry, its effectiveness and whether or not it is used effectively by police. I was really hoping we could all work together as Parliamentarians, listen to the problems with the registry, hear from various witnesses and finally get answers to these fundamental questions.
Unfortunately, your government has fought against information getting out, actively suppressed departmental reports and publically attacked police officers who dare disagree with you.
But I do appreciate your letter. Thanks to your opinion piece, I learned that the Harper government believes the real reason police are “strident” on this issue is because they “don’t want Canadians to own guns”. And you seem to claim the real reason police want to keep the registry is not for public safety, but so they someday will be able to burst into family homes and seize grampa's 20 gauge.
Sorry Gary, but that's just crazy talk about our police.
I’m not sure how it is in your city, but where I come from folks don't see their police as a threat. They trust the police – the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep the rest of us safe. Your extreme attitudes and wild claims just don’t reflect what Canadians are like.
We all remember your last attempt to bring in gun legislation, when you tried to slip in new regulations that would make it a-okay to carry restricted firearms like hand guns and semi-automatic assault weapons in cars in cities. That one just didn't pass the smell test, did it?
So Gary, let's be frank: we're just not on the same page here at all. Rural New Democrats have brought forward legitimate concerns of rural residents and are looking to have those issues addressed. The Harper Conservatives, on the other hand, would rather try and just stir up rural Canadians with all manner of wild and crazy conspiracy theories about our local police forces. And just for the sake of a quick fundraising buck and some negative partisan advertising.
Thanks for the advice, but no thanks.