The Harper government’s bill to end the long gun registry passed the House last night by a count of 159-130. Two NDP MPs—John Rafferty and Bruce Hyer—voted with the Conservatives, as they had on second reading. Mr. Hyer explains his vote.
The reasons that I have voted this way include: Jack Layton and the NDP knew my position over almost a decade and 4 elections, and allowed me to run on that promise to my constituents; The NDP has never had an official policy on the registry. Then Leader Audrey McLaughlin, and all but one NDP MP, voted against the registry when it was introduced by the Liberals; This bill will maintain the registration of restricted firearms; and The most effective part of the remaining legislation is the requirement that every legal firearm owner must be licensed, and that the police will continue to know who they are. Before anyone can be licensed they must take a safety course, pass a difficult test, have spousal approval, pass a Canada-wide police screening, and wait at least 28 days for approval.