These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

$400 Million Wasted on Computer System

Mr. Philip Mayfield (Cariboo—Chilcotin, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Hession report reveals that $400 million was wasted on the failed computer system of the firearms registry. The government's answer to this problem? Outsourcing. But the privacy commissioner has concerns with this outsourcing.

Given the government's slipshod record with hundreds of millions of dollars and its lack of concern for citizens' privacy, could the justice minister tell us how many external groups hold personal information databases related to the firearms program, and when was the last privacy impact assessment done?

Hon. Martin Cauchon (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is quite obvious that when we are talking about the money invested in the gun control program we are not talking about a waste of money. We have built a good program and we, as well as Canadian society, are starting to see the benefits of the program. When we talk about the technology is in place, we have a good tool for public safety that we are using as a government and that police forces are using in order to make sure that we will keeping building a safe society.

With regard to the question of privacy, of course there is a question involved there and it is not the first--

The Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Elk Island.

Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, our daughter lives in Saskatchewan, the presumed home of medicare. She told me that two of her friends had to travel to Alberta and Manitoba to get critical health care. Her father-in-law had to wait six months for a critical heart operation and was told to be very careful while he was waiting. Our daughter was very upset about this. This is her question, and I quote, “Why does the government insist on spending billions of dollars on a useless gun registry when this money is so badly needed for health care?”

Hon. Martin Cauchon (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me come back to the gun control program, which is a very important part when we are talking about public safety. One more time, we are not talking about $1 billion. Second, we have never said, and the Auditor General as well has never said, that money has been wasted. We have to talk about an investment in a very good program. We are starting to see the benefits of that program, and as we have said in the past, we will keep proceeding with that fantastic public safety tool.