From the National Post: Opposition may keep registry on life support
Posted by cgccanada on November 5, 2009
Posted: November 05, 2009, 10:59 AM by NP Editor
The cagey MP sat back holding his glass of merlot and smirked at my naive assertion that the gun registry was indeed dead.
A private member’s bill killing the billion-dollar registry was endorsed with surprising strength in the House of Commons on Wednesday and is heading off to committee for fine tuning and, in theory, a rubber stamping.
Not so fast, apparently.
“It’s going to the Public Safety committee,” the sly Liberal MP cautioned. “Have you checked out the membership of that committee?”
Um….I’ll get right on it.
Let’s see. It’s chaired by Garry Breitkreuz, a promising sign given the Saskatchewan Conservative MP has been the most tenacious anti-registry fighter throughout its costly history.
Then come the vice-chairs. Two opposition party MPs, both supporting the registry. Uh-oh.
Okay, down to the basic members who will propose amendments or oppose it outright. Yikes. Five anti-registry types. Four supporting it.
Add it up and the 12-member committee is deadlocked at six votes on each side of the issue. But, but, but…. anti-registry chairman Breitkreuz won’t vote unless there’s a tie. And if all the regular members show up and vote their views, the pro-registry side has a 6-5 headlock over committee decision-making. Yikes again.
What all this procedural mumbo-jumbo means is that the public safety committee can, and in this case likely will, rag the puck for the full 60 sitting days they are allowed to debate it. They can even request a 30-day extension, which the pro-registry six-pack will undoubtedly do. They can amend at will, which means the bill might not deliver a definitive death blow when it resurfaces in the Commons next year.
There’s always the prospect the committee will recommend the bill be killed outright, although that would not likely get support in the Commons if yesterday’s voting holds.
All this is to say that, sorry duck hunters of Canada, reports (including my babble) of the gun registry’s imminent demise may be a tad premature.
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