These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Database Crashes

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.

[English]

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 regulations.

On December 5, 2002 the governor in council enacted four regulations under the Firearms Act. These were published in the Canada Gazette on December 18.

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.