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Ashton still mum on intentions for controversial bill

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/9/2010 (3199 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WHERE is Niki?

One of the biggest questions during debate on the long-gun registry Tuesday was the whereabouts and voting intentions of Manitoba NDP MP Niki Ashton.

Ashton is the only NDP MP who has not declared her intentions for today's vote. Last fall she was one of the 12 who voted with Hoeppner's bill to scrap the registry.

Last week her office said she planned an announcement on the gun registry while she was in Flin Flon on Friday, but that announcement was cancelled without explanation that morning.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/9/2010 (3199 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WHERE is Niki?

One of the biggest questions during debate on the long-gun registry Tuesday was the whereabouts and voting intentions of Manitoba NDP MP Niki Ashton.

Niki Ashton: hasn't declared her intentions

THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES

Niki Ashton: hasn't declared her intentions

Ashton is the only NDP MP who has not declared her intentions for today's vote. Last fall she was one of the 12 who voted with Hoeppner's bill to scrap the registry.

Last week her office said she planned an announcement on the gun registry while she was in Flin Flon on Friday, but that announcement was cancelled without explanation that morning.

She has not been heard from since and did not take her seat in the Commons Monday or Tuesday. Someone from her constituency office in The Pas said Ashton was in Ottawa on Tuesday and directed all media calls to Ashton's Hill office.

NDP Leader Jack Layton, however, said he believed Ashton was in her riding.

All her Ottawa-based spokesperson would say is Ashton will be at the vote Wednesday but has not announced how she will vote.

The pressure on Ashton lessened Monday when Nova Scotia NDP MP Peter Stoffer said he would no longer be supporting Hoeppner's bill. Stoffer's vote gives the save-the-registry side 152 votes compared to the 150 votes now declared to scrap it.

Layton said he was not pressuring Ashton to change her vote, saying he had spoken to her and said he told her the same thing he's said publicly — that the registry should be amended to fix what is wrong but a compromise should be reached to keep the registry for the good it does.

When asked what advice she would give to Ashton as a fellow female MP from Manitoba, Liberal Anita Neville said she would quote her former Manitoba Liberal colleague, Tina Keeper, who represented Ashton's Churchill riding between 2006 and 2008. Keeper apparently said when it came to the gun registry, she had an image in her head of a woman running down the road in a First Nations community with a gun pointed at her.

"If you haven't seen it, imagine it because it's real," Neville said she'd say to Ashton.

 

— Mia Rabson

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