I’ve just learned that the government will be tabling legislation in the Senate to scrap the long-gun registry. Current legislation is already on the order paper in the House of Commons, introduced by Conservative MP Gerry Breitkreuz as a private members bill (C-301) whereas the legislation in the Senate is a government bill.
Private members bills usually have a tougher time reaching the stage of Royal Assent and thus government legislation will be given a higher priority and indicates that the government is interested in moving to eliminate the long-gun registry as soon as possible.
The bill is being introduced in the Senate and was initiated by Public Safety minister Peter van Loan. It is being introduced in the Senate due to parliamentary procedure which limits redundant legislation from being concurrently considered by the same Parliamentary body. I’ve learned that the government is moving to fast-track the scrapping of the long-gun registry putting the legislation on the government’s agenda.
The scrapping of the long-gun registry would fulfill an election promise for the Conservative Party of Canada that goes back to 2004 when Stephen Harper ran for leadership of the party promising accomplish this.
The bill is expected to receive majority support in the House of Commons when it is moved from the upper chamber to the House of Commons for its consideration.
UPDATE: The Senate bill is S-5. (no link yet available)
UPDATE: Public Safety is calling it the “long-gun registry repeal act”
UPDATE: A link to the legislation is now available.
UPDATE: In a fundraiser speech last night, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff indicated that he would whip his Liberal senators (sober second thought, indeed) to vote against the legislation so that it wouldn’t even make it to the House for Canada’s elected representatives to consider. Expect the PM to make his case against the appointed Senate and for Ignatieff to lose any perceived ‘gains’ out west. Ladies and gentlemen, the Liberal Party of Toronto.
Our office in downtown Ottawa today hosted potential Ontario PC leadership candidate Tim Hudak for a meet and greet with friends and colleagues on Parliament Hill today. Many thanks to Dimitri Pantazopoulos and Phil von Finkenstein for coordinating and to Chris Froggatt for tieing it all together.
Hudak spoke about returning Ontario to a clear sense of conservatism and will be attending the Manning Centre conference this weekend.
On the developing news front, I’ve learned that Hudak is receiving the endorsement of Rob Nicholson, the federal minister of Justice. Does Froggatt’s involvement with today’s event mean that endorsement from his boss John Baird will follow?
The Manning Centre is hosting a reception tonight prior to our conference and I can confirm that Tim Hudak, Christine Elliott, Randy Hillier and Peter van Loan will be in attendence. The Manning Centre conference will be the first significant venue for leadership pre-campaigning.