These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Government Hires Lobbyists

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the fourth minister of the firearms fiasco maintained his government's track record of keeping Parliament in the dark. It is clear from his feeble responses that even he does not know how much the gun registry has cost so far.

Newspapers reported that shortly after the government gave $380,000 to the Coalition for Gun Control, it went out and hired two paid lobbyists to lobby the government to spend even more on the billion dollar gun registry.

Why is the government using tax dollars to make it look like it has more support for its fiasco than it really does?

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I know the member for Yorkton--Melville has done a lot of research into the gun control issue. I know he has a certain mindset and it is all negative toward trying to make the streets and communities safer.

However it amazes me that with all the research he has done that he would be so much in the dark as to the benefits of this program and to the efficiencies we are trying to bring into the program with the passage of the bill yesterday.

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I have had to put in over 260 access to information requests to try to piece together this stupid fiasco the government is pushing on us. That is not open and accountable government. That is keeping Canadians in the dark.

I would like the minister to answer the two questions that I posed to him yesterday and that he ducked. How can he justify funding the Coalition for Gun Control to the tune of almost $400,000 and at the same time cut $65,000 from an effective firearms safety training program? How many more types of guns did he promise the coalition he was going to ban?

Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, what is really interesting about the member for Yorkton--Melville is that he only tells the Canadian public and the House half the story.

The fact of the matter is what access to information should have told the hon. member, and I assume it may have, is that the contract for safety training was for one year. It was worked out with the province of Saskatchewan. Those people did a good job of training individuals on the gun safety program.