|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Mr. John Maloney
(Erie—Lincoln, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Canadians are concerned upon
learning that during a period of high volume last December, the
information inputted into the gun registry system may have been lost. Can
the Solicitor General assure gun owners who attempted to register during
this time period that their information is in the system? What about those
gun owners who may have been unable to register?
Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker,
it is in fact the case that people were unable to log into the system last
December, but I want to clear up some confusion around the issue. No vital
information was lost.
We want to ensure that those who tried to log onto the system in December
and did not get logged on are not under the perception that they did get
through. They can call the 1-800 number or the Internet line, which is now
working. We want these people to have the opportunity to register and obey
the laws of the land.
Hon. Don Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the
House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House an hon.
member raised a question of privilege concerning the registration of
firearms. I promised to get back to the House as soon as possible, which I
am now doing.
As promised, I wish to give the House more information on the question of
privilege raised yesterday by the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville.
The hon. member alleged that the Minister of Justice did not comply with a
requirement under subsection 119(4) of the Firearms Act that requires the
minister to table in the House a statement of reasons concerning certain
On December 5, 2002 the governor in council enacted four regulations under
the Firearms Act. These were published in the Canada Gazette on December
Subsection 119(4) of the Firearms Act requires the minister to table a
statement of the reasons, which the marginal heading to the subsection
describes as a “notice of opinion”.
The Minister of Justice tabled the statement of reasons for these
regulations and this is noted in the Journals of March 17, 2003. Under
“Returns and Reports Deposited with the Clerk of the House”, it states
that pursuant to subsection 119(4) of the Firearms Act, a notice of
opinion was laid upon the table for the above-noted regulations.
As further evidence, this notice is cited as Sessional Paper No.
8560-372-779-01, with which we are all familiar, and was permanently
referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. In other
words, the statement of reasons for all of these regulations was properly
tabled and the Minister of Justice has fulfilled his statutory obligations
under the Firearms Act.
As a result, I would suggest to the Chair that in fact there is no
question of privilege before the House. The point is moot and should not
have been raised to begin with.
The Speaker: I thank the government House leader for his
intervention in this matter. Fortunately the Chair had done some research
as a result of the question of privilege being raised and had discovered
facts very similar to those alleged in the minister's statement.
Accordingly, I find the question of privilege is not well taken and that
is the end of the matter. I thank him for his assistance, as always. And
the member for Edmonton North is always very helpful as well. All hon.
members always strive to help the Chair.