The Coalition for Gun Control/Pour le Controle des Armes

From the Ottawa Sun: Tories step up gun registry fight

Posted by cgccanada on October 26, 2009

By KATHLEEN HARRIS, NATIONAL BUREAU CHIEF
Last Updated: 24th October 2009, 7:10pm
Ottawa Sun

Conservatives are ramping up their fight to kill the gun registry with a series of hard-hitting ads targeting a dozen or more opposition MPs, Sun Media has learned.

The series of radio spots to hit airwaves Monday will directly call on Liberal and NDP MPs in designated rural ridings to stand up for their constituents in a Nov. 4 vote to repeal the registry.

Conservatives expect the vote on C-391, a private member’s bill sponsored by Manitoba Tory MP Candice Hoeppner, will be “very close” due to vacancies in the House of Commons.

While the objective of the ad buy is to twist the arms of some MPs, Conservatives also warn the recorded votes will be fodder for the next election campaign if C-391 is defeated.

“The Conservative party recognizes that the road to a majority government is going to be paved, in part, through some of these rural ridings. And these are some of the ridings being targeted,” said a Conservative source.

The ads will run in ridings where a large portion of the constituency is known to oppose the registry. Some of the MPs targeted are Liberals Anthony Rota (Nipissing-Temiskaming) and Todd Russell (Labrador) and New Democrats Dennis Bevington (Western Arctic), Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) and Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley.) If the member publicly offers support for the bill to abolish the registry, Conservatives say they will pull the ad in that riding.

“On Nov. 4th there will be a vote in Ottawa to scrap the long-gun registry and protect our local way of life. The vote will be close. Every vote will matter,” says one sample ad. “Our MP, Anthony Rota, could make the difference. But his political bosses in Ottawa want him to vote to keep the long-gun registry.”

The ad recites the phone number of the MP’s constituency office and urges residents to call and encourage a vote to abolish the registry.

As Sun Media reported last week, Conservatives will also be distributing household flyers called “10-percenters” to drum up support in opposition ridings. Hoeppner said it’s important for every MP to have a “free, open” opportunity to stand up and vote.

The gun registry, dubbed the “$2-billion boondoggle” by its opponents, has been dogged by emotional debate since it was brought in 14 years ago. The Nov. 4 vote would move the bill into committee and bring the registry one step closer to abolishment.

“It might surprise some political observers there are a number of rural seats which are held by opposition parties that Conservative strategists believe could be picked up in a general election. A number of these ridings being targeted in this campaign,” said the Conservative source. “It’s designed to put pressure on MPs who in their own riding say they support the repeal of the gun registry yet when they are in Ottawa don’t make those views known under the weight of their political masters.”

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