In a speech to the Canadian Police Association this morning, Michael Ignatieff laid out the Liberal approach to crime, with three proposed changes to the gun registry.
First, we’d change the law, so that people who forget to register their gun can be issued a ticket, rather than face a criminal charge. This will give front line officers the tools you need to distinguish an honest mistake from a threat to public safety. Someone who habitually breaks the law and flouts the regulations should be treated far differently from someone who makes a one-time mistake. One kind of behavior is criminal, the other isn’t. And you need the appropriate tools to deal with each situation. That’s a message we heard loud and clear.
Second, we’ll permanently eliminate fees for new licenses, renewals, and upgrades.
And third, we’ll streamline paperwork, to make registration as quick and easy as possible.
Liberals will apparently be required to vote against Conservative Candice Hoeppner’s bill—a private member’s initiative that would effectively end the registry—when it comes up for a final vote. Eight Liberals (Simms, Russell, Rota, Martin, Easter, D’Amours, Bagnell and Andrews) voted in favour of the bill on second reading and two (Guarnieri and Karygiannis) abstained. In his speech, Mr. Ignatieff said the party had been working with these MPs on the proposed reforms.
Even if you move those 10 votes to the no side, the bill would pass by a count of 156-147.