These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Key Information Hidden

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, on Monday the justice minister tabled the 27 page version of the Hession report in Parliament. Then I found out that the media received an additional 65 page report containing all the financial information Mr. Hession used to prepare his report and recommendations.

Why does the justice minister persist in hiding key information and keeping Parliament in the dark? Why?

Hon. Martin Cauchon (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I must say that the hon. member is keeping himself in the dark.

I said yesterday that obviously he did not go to the briefing session and it shows even more today. We have tabled two reports, two very important reports, in order to prepare our plan of action. The report which was produced at the briefing session and which the media have had access to, and other members of Parliament as well, is a report which has been used as a backgrounder to prepare Mr. Hession's report.

He called the department yesterday and received a copy. I guess he finally has read the press release.

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, one of the Auditor General's biggest complaints about the gun registry issue was that Parliament was kept in the dark. After her report was released, the minister promised to be open and transparent.

The 65 page report was released to the media but was not tabled in this House.

How can Canadians trust the minister when he deliberately withholds important information concerning the future costs of this billion dollar boondoggle?

Hon. Martin Cauchon (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I did not have to table those two reports in the House. I did it because I want to work in a very transparent way. I did it because I want to work with parliamentarians in order to make sure that all together we produce a good plan of action.

If he would have done his homework, he would have been at the briefing session and would have had access to the documents that have been used by the media.

The problem is that they do not believe in gun control and they do not believe in public safety. On this side of the House we believe in gun control and public safety and we will proceed with that program. We will fix it once and for all.

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC): Mr. Speaker, earlier today the Minister of Justice confirmed that the government intends to continue to fund the gun registry.

Will the Minister of Justice tell the House whether the government intends to use closure on Bill C-10A which the government needs to pass before any changes can be brought to the gun registry? Will he advise whether the government will allow a free vote on this gun registry bill?

Hon. Don Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I think the right hon. member has his facts incorrect. First of all, Bill C-10A is not before the House. It is an amendment produced by the Senate to C-10A, the result of which is to lower the cost of gun control. He is now trying to depict that it increases the cost. He has the facts backwards. The facts speak for themselves again.