|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Firearms Registry Scandal
Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, there is an even bigger scandal waiting for Justice John Gomery to investigate.
The government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on computer contracts to implement the gun registry and plans to spend hundreds of millions more on computer contracts in the years ahead.
To put this spending into perspective, we can register 40 million cows for $8 million.
Will the minister please explain why it has cost $1 billion to register only seven million guns?
Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this program has an $85 million cap. The operating budget for the entire program in 2005-06 is $82.5 million.
As it relates to the gun registry component of the program, we imposed a $25 million cap in 2005-06. In fact, the registry component of the program will cost only $15.7 million. In fact the costs of this program, since 2000, have gone down consistently.
Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is pretty obvious that the minister still refuses to take responsibility for her role in this federal firearms fiasco.
The cattle industry can locate a cow in any barnyard in Canada in seconds. The gun registry still cannot locate hundreds of thousands of gun owners and is still missing millions of guns.
How many lives could have been saved if we had spent this wasted billion on DNA analysis, cancer research or more police on the streets?
The gun registry is either a huge scandal or gross incompetence. Which is it?
Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I just indicated, the costs of this program are under control and going down.
Let me also share with the hon. member that since December 1, 1998, more than 13,500 individual firearm licences have been refused or revoked. The program is accessed over 2,000 times a day by front line police officers.
In spite of the ongoing protestations of the hon. member, it is time he pulled his head out of the sand and understood that--
The Speaker: The hon. member for Haute--Gaspésie--La Mitis--Matane--Matapédia.