BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
As Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus, I am deeply concerned about the shocking allegations that have emerged suggesting the RCMP continues to hold records and documents related to the long-gun registry.
According to reports, criminal defence lawyer Ed Burlew discovered this information while preparing for a case. In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Mr. Burlew said he was “shocked and disgusted” to discover that this registry is still in existence and believes that “this shows that there is someone within the RCMP who has deliberately lied to Parliament and the courts.”
I’ve also done extensive research into the long-gun registry and asked the previous Liberal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale questions in the House of Commons about its continued existence.
In 2012, I proudly voted in support of Bill C-19, which ordered all records and documents related to the long-gun registry be destroyed.
Now, almost a decade later, these allegations suggest that despite this order from Parliament and statements from the RCMP that all records have been eliminated, the records within the registry still exist and are in use.
This would mean a profound breach of Canadians’ privacy and have grave implications for the integrity of Canada’s legislative, judicial, and law enforcement processes.
You would think the prime minister and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair would be alarmed by these allegations and demanding transparency from the RCMP.
Instead, there’s been nothing but silence.
This lack of action by the Liberal government is not surprising given that the prime minister and Minister Blair have shown repeatedly that they would rather target our law-abiding firearms community than focus on the real problem of illegal firearms in our cities.
My colleague, Shannon Stubbs, Conservative Shadow Minister for Public Safety, has written to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki looking for answers. Canadians deserve to know whether their privacy has been violated using this personal information that should not be in use by authorities.
We are also calling on Minister Blair to put politics aside and address not only these allegations but ensure that Canadians’ rights are not being violated.
The fact that he has yet to demand answers is unacceptable.
I have, and always will, support common sense firearms policies that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals, while also standing up for lawful firearms owners and the privacy of Canadians.