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2010-09-07 at 18:06

Area MPs say they'll still vote to end long-gun registry

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By Jamie Smith

Both area MPs say they’re not changing their vote when it comes to killing the long-gun registry.

Although fellow NDP MP Glenn Thibeault announced Tuesday that he’ll now vote to keep the registry when Parliament votes on a Liberal motion Sept.22 which would put an end to a Conservative private members bill aimed at quashing the controversial registry. MP Bruce Hyer (NDP Thunder Bay-Superior North) said he will not be changing his vote.

"I absolutely will vote to continue the debate I will not vote to kill that bill," Hyer said.

If the Liberal motion is defeated, Hyer said the bill to end the registry won’t go before Pariliament for a couple of months. In that time compromises, amendments or new information could come up that would change his mind but he’s doubtful. Hyer said he didn’t want to speculate on what those changes could be.

"You know two months is a long time…I’d be very silly to say that I will never ever change my mind," said Hyer. "I’ve learned that it’s never over until it’s over I’m not pre-judging and I don’t have certain ones in mind myself."

Although NDP leader has been criticized for weak leadership in allowing his members to vote freely on the issue, Hyer said he’s proud that his party hasn’t decided to whip the vote. At odds with Layton over the registry, Hyer said he has been getting some pressure to change his vote but as the NDP caucus meets next week to discuss its options, Hyer said he hopes his party can find a solution.

"We’re going to be searching our souls and our heads for good ideas on how to come out of this with a win-win if that’s at all possible," Hyer said.

MP John Rafferty (NDP, Thunder Bay-Rainy River) said he will not be changing his vote to end the registry and expects pressure from both sides of the issue to increase before the Sept. 22 vote.

Rafferty and Hyer were two of 12 NDP MPs voting with the Conservatives to end the long-gun registry.

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