These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Contrary Statements by Ministers

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, a former head of the Canadian Firearms Centre, at the public accounts committee yesterday, said that no one was fired or demoted because of the firearms fiasco. This is contrary to what the Prime Minister told the media, and I quote:

Some people have been demoted; some lost their jobs in the process. It's not the same people who are in charge today.

The reason the same people are not in charge is because they have all been promoted, not demoted. Does the Prime Minister regret making this statement?

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member for Yorkton—Melville likes to stick with the past. The government has moved on since those days. We have moved on and we have moved progressively on. In fact, we have passed legislation in the House that will create more efficiencies in the system.

I would think that the member should be looking at helping us to move that program forward in the country and have gun owners come into the system so that we have safer streets.

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the best thing the government could do to move on is scrap Bill C-68.

Yesterday the Solicitor General told the House that his billion dollar gun registry does not even track the addresses of 131,000 criminals who have been prohibited from owning firearms by the courts.

The Solicitor General said that this information on the most dangerous people in Canada with firearms was not necessary for the management of the program and, therefore, was not authorized by the Privacy Act.

Could anyone on that side of the House please explain why these criminals are protected by the Privacy Act, but two million law-abiding firearm owners are not?

Hon. Wayne Easter (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as usual the member's facts are not quite on target. The fact of the matter is that in the month of December 2002 there were 325 actual police investigations using the services and information databases of the Canadian firearms program. Those investigations went some distance in terms of using the registry to find illegal weapons, to find stolen weapons and to make our communities safer. Will the hon. member start to get with the program?