Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/4/2012 (3456 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA -- The Conservative government vowed during the 2011 election to eliminate the long-gun registry. On Wednesday night, the bill to officially end the registry had its final vote in the Senate -- leaving only a signature from the Governor General needed to officially kill the registry.
That signature signing Bill C-19 into law should come this morning.
Senators approved the bill by a vote of 50-27, marking the last political hurdle needed to kill the registry.
A few Liberals rose to vote in favour of C-19, including Sen. Charlie Watt and Sen. Lillian Eva Dyck. Each received applause from the Tory benches when they had their names called during the vote.
Sen. Anne Cools, who sits as an independent, also received applause when she voted and a few jabs from the Liberal benches, where she sits.
"It's called democracy," she said during the vote.
There was no such applause for independent Sen. Elaine McCoy, who voted against the bill.
The vote was quieter than the one that took place last month when C-19 passed its final vote in the House of Commons. There, the public gallery was packed with onlookers. On Wednesday, five people sat in the public gallery of the Senate to watch the vote.
Watching the vote on the floor of the Senate were Conservative MPs Cheryl Gallant, Robert Sopuck and Candice Hoeppner, who had originally pushed to end the registry.
"We are all counting the hours until the moment comes when law-abiding Canadians will no longer have to register their long guns," Hoeppner said earlier in the day in the Commons.
"We are grateful that we are going to be able to follow through on our commitment and end the long-gun registry once and for all."
After the vote, the three exited the Senate, heading to the Commons for a budget vote. A few hours after the vote, Gallant tweeted a picture of her and Hoeppner high-fiving outside the Senate doors.
The federal law will end the requirement for lawful gun owners to register their long guns, and it relaxes rules around selling or transferring guns -- the latter being a point of concern for Liberal senators when they reviewed the bill at the committee stage.
Gun licences for individuals will still be required, and the registry for restricted and prohibited firearms such as handguns will be maintained.
Gun control has been ferociously debated in Canada for decades, particularly since the École Polytechnique massacre of 1989, when a gunman shot and killed 14 women with a rifle. That prompted the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien to tighten gun controls and create Canada's first mandatory long-gun registry in 1995.
"Virtually all major safety groups in the country support the registry," said Wendy Cukier, president of the Coalition for Gun Control.
"The costs of keeping the gun registration of rifles and shotguns are modest -- less than $4 million a year -- while the costs of gun violence are immense."
But the battle over the long-gun registry is not over. On Tuesday, Quebec Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier announced he would challenge in Quebec Superior Court the constitutionality of Bill C-19.
The Quebec government has asked repeatedly records on Quebec residents be transferred so the province can create its own registry, but the federal government has steadfastly rejected the request.
-- Postmedia News