Saturday, September 04, 2010

Unloaded Principles: Harper Voted For The Long-Gun Registry

Before he was against the long-gun registry, Stephen Harper was for it.

He was for it when he thought it was good policy, claiming it could be "helpful" and voted for its creation twice; but when his principles conflicted with getting elected, Stephen Harper was quick to unload them.

Stephen Harper as a Reform MP, contrary to his party's stance, voted for bill C-68, the act that established the long-gun registry. He voted for it claiming that the bill could be helpful in reducing gun violence.

On June 12 1995 in the House of Commons during the third reading of the bill C-68 that created the long-gun registry Stephen Harper stated, "From my own personal standpoint I believe there are elements of gun control and specifically of this bill that could be helpful."

And Harper was right, the long-gun registry was helpful. The RCMP report that there has been a decrease in long gun homicides since bill C-68 was passed and Quebec’s Institute of Public Health has credited the registry with preventing 300 long-gun deaths a year. In light of such results and the registry's low annual budget, the RCMP, the Canadian Police Association, and the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs all support the long-gun registry.

However, though the soon-to-be Prime Minister voted with his principles for the long-gun registry twice, at first and second reading, he would oppose it at the third reading, saying his flip-flop was due to the changing opinion of some of his constituents.

Stephen Harper while still admitting the bill had merit, explained he was changing his opinion and opposing it based on certain concerns, concerns that in today's context do not exist.

At the time he explained that there was still support for the registry’s general principles but that “there are some very severe concerns about specific matters, about some of the penalties for non-registration, the confiscatory elements of the legislation and the cost concerns."

Based on those concerns Stephen Harper gave to justify his flip-flop then, and seeing as today the long-gun registry has no penalties for non-registration, no threats of confiscation, and only costs $3.6 million a year, Canadians would expect Mr.Harper to support the long-gun registry, that is if he still had principles.

But as it happened in 1995, it happens today, Stephen Harper's principles lie on the floor like empty shell casings and Canada's public safety, including our police officers, are the ones in the crosshairs.

24 comments:

Philip said...

Or perhaps Harper believed the lies the Liberals told to convince people to support the registry and like so many others changed his opinion about it after he learned the truth. The Liberals promised to scrap the registry if the costs went over 150 million, shouldn't they be voting to scrap it as well? Oh that 3.6 million cost is a lie, they spend more than a million a year on postage and envelopes the true cost is closer to 23 million, but that is ok we are used to seeing registry supporters lie, it is all they have.

Philip said...

Follow this link and see what a Chief Firearms officer sees as her role and have a look at the sort of safety practiced by government officals

http://www.cdnshootingsports.org/2010/09/PEI_CFO_Wants_Your_Firearms.html

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Philip, the RCMP and independent auditors say the gun registry operates at $3.6 million a year. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/cbc/100825/topstories/canada_long_gun_registry_report_rcmp_5

Now you present an interesting view on Stephen Harper, you suggest he is naive enough to believe an opposition party. I don't think Harper or any MP would vote to support something simply because opposing MPs endorse it. MPs will either vote for a bill because they think it's good or because they think it will get them something.

And in this case Harper did both; voting for the long-gun registry because it was good policy and now opposing it to get votes. Stephen Harper isn't naive Philip, he's an opportunist.

Philip said...

Canada First Class Postage is $0.57

With each registry certificate, they send three letters:
a) buyer: one saying they will be sending the cert, and another with the actual certificate.
b) seller: one saying it has been sold

740,204 transfers per year, times $1.71 in stamps, is $1,265,748

That doesn’t include the cost of envelopes (a contract that went to a family business of a Liberal MP) or paper, nor does it include the cost of the certificate.

In the committee hearings on bill C-391 evidence was presented showing that only half of the firearms have been registered so when we talk about these numbers we are really talking about the cost of half a registry.

Since your article delves into motives let’s look at Liberal motives for keeping the registry. The RCMP report (link above) offers no empirical evidence that the registry provides any benefits at all. The Liberal cost benefit analysis was made a cabinet secret so no one could learn the cost or benefits of the registry. But thanks to the Gomery inquiry and by looking at donations made to political parties we learn that the Liberals received hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and illegal donations from companies that received registry contracts. Given their current financial dire strait, their motives for keeping the registry are certainly more suspect than Mr. Harper’s for scrapping it.

Philip said...

Four million doesn’t pass the smell test even the staff costs more than four million.

http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr/2008-2009/inst/rcm/rcm-eng.pdf

Registration: 65 staff, $8.4 million
Firearms Licensing and Support Infrastructure: 297 staff, $57.4 million
 Royal Canadian Mounted Police Departmental Performance Report 2008-2009

The staff for all registration costs 8.4 million.
Now if you break that cost down

non-restricted registered firearms: 6,829,885 (90%)
restricted and prohibited registered firearms: 684,500 (10%)
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/facts-faits/index-eng.htm

The increases in costs for staffing should be linear, it is possible there is a step cost but it would be a single employee and wouldn’t make that much difference, if 8.4 million is the current registration budget, then it should be:
non-restricted registration: 7.63 million $ (59 staff)
restricted/prohibited registration: 765 thousand $ (6 staff)

So the cost of the staff alone for the long gun registry is 7.5 million.

Philip said...

I think that Harper didn't understand the purpose of the registry is confiscation. It has never solved a crime, nor has it prevented a crime, it doesn't effect criminals as all as they are not included in it but gun registries have allowed the government to seize hundreds of thousands of firearms owned by law-abiding citizens.

Anyway the less than four million lie. If you look at the actual RCMP report you will find a report marked Table 1 on page 13, it shows the planned expenditures for registration are 22.3 million dollars. If you want you can correct my post to say 22 million, I was 700k high.
http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/08/rcmps-report-on-the-long-gun-registry-sent-to-mps.html

That is what they admit they are paying for the registry.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Philip the RCMP state in their report that since the long-gun registry came into effect long-gun homicides have decreased. A brief from Quebec Institute of Public Health more specifically states the long-gun registry prevented 300 long-gun deaths every year.

Confiscation was in the bill when Harper voted for it twice, he then somehow claimed that confiscation suddenly became a concern at third reading of the bill but I believe it was actually pressure put on by the Reform Party.

Harper in voting for the gun registry was opposing his Party and I imagine at third reading the pressure was really on him to vote against a policy he liked and vote the party-line.

As for your 22 million dollar figure that is not the operating cost of the long-gun registry, that is the total cost of registration for the whole of the Canadian Firearms Program which includes all guns.

Allen said...

The 22.3M includes 13.3M in salaries and 9.0 O&M and the chiefs are saying that it costs 3.6M total for the LGR. That leaves 18.7M in associated costs for handguns and prohibs? I don't think so sport. There are about 7,000,000 long guns registered anad about 600,000 restricted registered.

Also, there are about 740,000 transfers done on average every year. Each transfer requires 3 mailings. That's $1.71 X 740,000 = 1.265M in postage alone. The chiefs figures don't leave much for salaries and benefits does it?

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Allen it wasn't the Police chiefs' numbers I was referring to, it was the RCMP. The RCMP say $3.6 million and they used auditors. Unless you are a certified accountant and have all the numbers I don't put any stock in your unverified and unrealistic numbers. I trust the RCMP and multiple news organizations more than I trust an anonymous commenter.

Terence said...

It is simply amazing to me how this PM gets away with so much hypocrisy and lying. For a government whose underlying principles are supposedly Christian values, they certainly don't walk the talk.

Harper should change his God bless Canada line to God bless Tory lies.

The gun registry in whatever form must stay and if defeated the Libs must promise to bring it right back after the next election. Police chiefs are lobbying hard to keep it and that in itself should be reason enough not to dump the LGR.
In my opinion the costs are dirt cheap if it helps save lives which it does.

Philip said...

Hmm all the info I posted didn't come up but I will try again. Notice I have sourced the staff costs.

Registration: 65 staff, $8.4 million
Firearms Licensing and Support Infrastructure: 297 staff, $57.4 million
http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr/2008-2009/inst/rcm/rcm-eng.pdf
 Royal Canadian Mounted Police Departmental Performance Report 2008-2009

The staff for all registration costs 8.4 million.
Now if you break that cost down

non-restricted registered firearms: 6,829,885 (90%)
restricted and prohibited registered firearms: 684,500 (10%)
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/facts-faits/index-eng.htm

The increases in costs for staffing should be linear, it is possible there is a step cost but it would be a single employee and wouldn’t make that much difference, if 8.4 million is the current registration budget, then it should be:
non-restricted registration: 7.63 million $ (59 staff)
restricted/prohibited registration: 765 thousand $ (6 staff)

So the cost of the staff alone for the long gun registry is about 7.5 million.

Philip said...

Let's look at postage

Canada First Class Postage is $0.57

With each registry certificate, they send three letters:
a) buyer: one saying they will be sending the cert, and another with the actual certificate.
b) seller: one saying it has been sold

740,204 transfers per year, times $1.71 in stamps, is $1,265,748

That doesn't even count envelopes, certificates, the computers and printers needed to store the data and print out the letters and certificates. The buildings they need. There is no possible way the registry costs anywhere near four million dollars. The salaries alone cost more than that. Clearly the four million number is a lie.

Philip said...

Can you please give me a link to the Quebec document that shows the registry saves lives. Statistics Canada doesn't seem to support that view.

Philip said...

Since your article delves into motives let’s look at Liberal motives for keeping the registry. The RCMP report (link above) offers no empirical evidence that the registry provides any benefits at all. The Liberal cost benefit analysis was made a cabinet secret so no one could learn the cost or benefits of the registry. But thanks to the Gomery inquiry and by looking at donations made to political parties we learn that the Liberals received tens of thousands of dollars in legal and illegal donations from companies that received registry contracts. Given their current financial dire strait, their motives for keeping the registry are certainly more suspect than Mr. Harper’s for scrapping it.

Philip said...

@Terence
The CACP also lobbied against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms saying that the Charter would make policing impossible. Their President, Chief Blair, is most famous for mass arrrests of innocents at the G20 summit and of course his famous "five meter" rule. I'm not sure they are the people I'd want on my team, but maybe you feel differently than I do about rights.

Think you can create another registry after this one is gone. Good luck is all I can tell you, you are going to need it.

Allen said...

As a matter of fact I am a trained accountant and I have the RCMP report right in front of me. Page 13 unequivocally supports the salary and O&M costs I gave you.

As for the postage etc. that is basic math and the numbers of transfers can be verified on the RCMP website.

Where the $3.6M figure originally came from is anyone's guess. First it was a SAVING of $2.5M which for someone magically became associated with COST. All of a sudden it was $1.5-$4M and now it's $3.6M.

No where in that report is $3.6M even mentioned and if you don't believe me go to the CFC website and download a copy.

As for auditors, the first RCMP report, the Management Control Framework report (no mention of $3.6M either) was led by a team of internal auditors that had been employed by the RCMP and other government agencies before.

The second report to which you are referring was performed by the National Program Evaluations Services team with the HELP of outside auditors. Why? I suppose because the CFC and the long gun registry had been under a lot of scrutiny, Cheliak wanted a semblance of impartiality when the audit was carried out.

The outside auditors may have come from KPMG LLC which the RCMP has used in the past for forensic audits. Also, it is worth noting that many KPMG senior executives are former RCMP officers.

You can trust the RCMP and the heavily liberal biased news organizations all you like. I'm sure everything you read in the Toronto Star is true. The problem with that is that there are no journalists left that do any actual research on a topic before they spout off. I talk to journalists everyday and most of them think the long gun registry and firearms licenses are the same thing.

After having studied the DPRs from the Justice Dept and the RCMP since C-68 became law I stand by my figures. I certainly will not accept the word of someone who does no research, nor accept at face value the word of the RCMP in a self aggrandizing report. A report I might add that makes no mention of actual criminals.

I've been in this fight since C-17 and then C-68 started targeting law abiding firearms owners. There is nothing you can say about the long gun registry that I can't refute using logic, fact and truth.

And as for the PM flipping on an issue, that’s laughable. Dion and Ignattief flip-flopped so often on so many different issues you could wear them as beach sandals.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Philip and Allen let me be a little more succinct. I trust the RCMP saying the long-gun registry costs $3.6 million more than I trust two anonymous commenters.

Allen said...

So you trust the RCMP over the irrefutable evidence laid out before you. Just a few reasons why I don’t trust them to come clean on the long gun registry.

ROBERT H.D. HEAD, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER (RTD.), ROYAL CANADIAN
MOUNTED POLICE: A life member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. At that time, it was reported that Bill C-68 was
wholeheartedly endorsed by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP). Nothing could
have been further from the truth.

L.H. Nicholson, Commissioner of the RCMP was quoted in the 1970s as saying ―mere registration has never solved a crime and only harasses the legitimate gun owner….It is simply the thin edge of the wedge towards confiscation and serves no legitimate useful purpose‖.

Although the RCMP management indicated support for Bill C-68, it is fairly obvious that
the government ensured that the Force must toe the line. ―Politicization of the RCMP‖ by Retired RCMP Assistant
Commissioner, Robert H.D. Head – November 15, 1999


RCMP Commissioner says Justice Department Misrepresented Statistics for Firearms and Violent Crime During Debate of C-68
For Immediate Delivery
March 9, 1998
Ottawa -- "Last July, the Commissioner of the RCMP accused officials in the Department of Justice with misrepresenting RCMP firearms statistics by overstating the number of firearms involved in violent crimes. He also criticized the use of these false and misleading statistics during the debate of the still controversial Bill C-68, the Firearms Act,"

Here are some excerpts from RCMP Commissioner J.P.R. Murray’s letter to the Deputy Minister of the Department of Justice dated July 21, 1997:
"The RCMP investigated 88,162 actual violent crimes during 1993, where only 73 of these offences, or 0.08%, involved the use of firearms." "‘The Firearms Smuggling Working Group was concerned with the number of long guns involved in crime.’ This statement is not significant when we consider that in 1993, the RCMP investigated 333 actual homicide offences, including attempts, but only 6 of these offences involved the use of firearms according to the statistics provided to the Firearms Control Task Group."
"We determined that our statistics showed that there were 73 firearms involved in a violent crime compared to the Department of Justice findings of 623 firearms involved in a violent crime."
"It is of particular concern that the Minister of Justice and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police relied on these statistics while Bill C-68 was being processed in Parliament as evidenced by statements in the report, ‘Illegal Firearm Use in Canada."and cause researchers to draw erroneous conclusions. Considering the data is clearly marked as belonging to the RCMP, we must accept ownership and responsibility for the harm the data may cause. For these reasons, something must be done to remove it from circulation."

How will we ever know when Justice Department officials are telling the truth? Justice Minister Anne McLellan has to tell us if she and her predecessor, Allan Rock, knew about and condoned the use of these false statistics by their officials. Public servants should not be playing politics." concluded Breitkreuz.

RCMP Won't Swear Affidavit That Firearms Statistics Introduced by the Justice Department in Alberta Court of Appeal are "Accurate"
For Immediate Delivery
April 2, 1998


That's it, I'm done. believe the RCMP all you want. I will remain skeptical of their figures and their motives.

harbl_the_cat said...

"I trust the RCMP saying the long-gun registry costs $3.6 million more than I trust two anonymous commenters."

If the RCMP said it would make ours society much safer if we forced every Jewish citizen to wear a yellow star, would you trust them then?

Even if the RCMP claimed cost of $3.6 million is accurate (which I don't believe it is), that still $1.6 million per year more than what the Liberals said it would cost all together.

Use basic logic and ask simple questions. Government employees don't work for free. There are 200 employee's at the Miramichi facility whose sole purpose is to administer the gun registry.

Do you honestly believe the Canada Firearms Centre does not pay rent and employee's have a salary of $18000 a year?

Philip said...

So when the RCMP said everything was done properly when they tasered Robert DziekaƄski did you believe the RCMP or did you believe your own eyes when you saw the video? I have given you sourced costs from government websites showing that number is wrong and you are holding your hands over your ears going "lalala"
Very well can you show me exactly where in the RCMP report it says the saving will be 3.6 million and where they show how they arrived at that number?

Cal said...

Gun crimes are already extremely low in Canada, also gun crimes were already lowering before the registry came in if you look at all the facts, so this could easily be the true reason for gun crimes lowering since the registry being enacted. Also one more thing to look at, everyone compares Canada's murder rates to the states, well anyone ever bother comparing our rape rate to theirs, much higher here, usually double, probably because everyone carries a pistol there. (Also btw were only behind Australia, who has much tighter gun laws than Canada, the highest in the civilized world) Personally I'd rather have a gun, take the chances of defending myself with my legal gun against a criminal who will find a way to obtain his illegal one, registry or not. And yes, most likely harper is just another politician, but he beats the hell out of ignatieff, he's an american wannabe, never liked Canada until he started running for pm (said the only reason he'd come back is for some park he liked) and his great grandfather worked under the Russian Tzar. And this type of person isn't uncommon for liberal candidates, look at Pierre Trudeau, in his biography he admitted being anti-semite, admiring hitler and mussolini and was a separatist. (BTW hitler was one of the originators for the gun registry before what he did to the jews, and also invented passive smoking as a danger and pretty much started anti-smoking propaganda) Be aware of who's policies your following.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap_percap-crime-rapes-per-capita

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=0c1b3dca-544a-45d8-8ce3-f577f9cb43a6

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tobacco_movement_in_Nazi_Germany

Liberals are continuing from the 1940s nazi movement, but their followers probably won't care until the victims of policy, change from just the conservative public it seems.

Cal said...

Also 92% of real cops want the registry scrapped, its just their lobby groups that support it, and once again they're basically just politicians, I'd much sooner trust a cop than a politician and i don't even believe cops. But if anyone knows how useless the registry is, it's them, this should help also prove my point. One also said that it gave them a sense of false security, as not having a gun registered, doesn't mean a whole lot when it comes to criminals.


http://tyrantman.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/92-of-police-want-registry-scrapped/

http://www.cdnshootingsports.org/2010/08/Press_Release_Police_survey_20100819.html


And this isn't false information, they probably would've been sued by countless people if it was, it just doesn't meet the liberal media's criteria.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Cal 92% of cops don't want the registry scrapped. That number was from an online poll on a forum that was open to anyone to vote in. I am a member of that forum and I'm no cop.

A scientific survey was done by the RCMP and independent auditors and found 81% of police are for the registry.

Cal said...

Why don't you show me the proof then? I've never seen any stat put out saying that cops support it unless they were just throwing it out as a suggestion to gain votes or if it was the police lobbies. And also it was a survey done by an edmonton officer in a national police survey, no national survey open to the public is that high, its usually 3/4 against it such as the one on cbc. Let's also not forget that over half of longguns aren't even in the registry (even handguns is fairly low and that registrys been around over 50 years). Your in the minority now nobody wants their money wasted on a useless registry, also btw think of how much better use that $2 billion could have gone to cancer research, I bet that would have saved plenty more lives. And why no argument against the rape? No defence, right?