These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Free Firearms Licenses

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Liberal brain trust over there is giving away free firearms licences to 770,000 randomly selected gun owners and is charging the other unlucky licence holders $60 each to renew their licences.

Does this Liberal lottery not violate their charter rights to be treated equally under the law? And for the 25th time in two years I ask, how much is the firearms program going to cost to fully implement and how much is it going to cost to maintain?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I find it slightly passing strange that the party that ridiculed the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the last election would now invoke it in this context, but I guess that is a party that is quite happy to have it both ways.

Let me reassure the hon. member that on this side of the House we remain committed to an effective and efficient gun control program. In fact we are working closely with firearms owners, users and other stakeholders to make--

The Speaker: The hon. member for Yorkton—Melville.

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I think everyone in this country already knows that the last part is not true. This is just the latest example of poor program planning and nine years of Liberal mismanagement.

When will the minister admit there are better places to put $100 million a year than on a firearms program? How about clearing the backlog of more than 1,700 DNA cases in the RCMP forensic laboratories? How about clearing that away?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this government's commitment to public safety is clear. That is why we are working on a number of fronts, including DNA. I guess the hon. member missed the press release from the RCMP recently indicating how successful our DNA identification program has been.

We are committed to public safety, whether it is DNA, whether it is the sex offender registry, whether it is gun control and dealing with smuggled guns and gun crime in our major cities. This government takes a back seat to--

The Speaker: The hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.