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2012-02-15 at 19:45

Hyer, Rafferty vote against gun registry

By Leith Dunick,
Substance UseAre you pregnant and struggling with addictions during pregnancy? Talk to your healthcare

The federal long-gun registry is dead and MP Bruce Hyer says he’s glad he didn’t give in to party pressure and vote to save it.

Labeled a maverick by the national media, the Thunder Bay-Superior North NDP MP on Wednesday voted with the ruling Conservatives to kill the registry, long detested in rural ridings and Northern Ontario communities where hunting is a way of life.

Fellow Northern Ontario NDP representative John Rafferty (Thunder Bay-Rainy River) also sided with the Conservative government on the third reading Bill C-19, who finally saw the registry scrapped after many aborted attempts under minority rule, winning Wednesday’s vote 159-130.

“Well, for eight years and four elections I’ve been quite clear on what I was going to do and I know the majority of my constituents agree with me,” Hyer said, reached by phone outside the House of Commons in Ottawa. “It was the right thing to do.”

Hyer said there’s a  misunderstanding of just what the long-gun registry covered, and pointed out Canadians still have fairly strict gun-control measures in place.

“We will still have the possession and acquisition licence that requires all legal gun owners to jump through many difficult hoops, including police checks, etc. before they can have a gun,” Hyer said.

“It means that police always know who every legal gun owner is and where they live.

"The registration of hunting rifles and shotguns was well-intended and redundant and ineffective, and was very costly and wasteful. It was greatly resented by many rural Canadians, especially those who hunt or fish or trap, and Aboriginal people.”

It has been a costly process for Hyer and Rafferty, who had sanctions laid on them by interim party leader Nycole Turmel, who has also said more consequences could be forthcoming for their latest vote on the long-gun registry.

Both MPs lost speaking and party travel privileges, though Hyer is convinced the sanctions will be lifted soon.

“I’m counting down the day, hours, minutes and seconds until we get a new leader,” he said, adding at least four of the candidates – Paul Dewar, Nathan Cullen, Thomas Mulcair and Niki Ashton –  have ruled by persuasion, not dictation and under their leadership the sanctions never would have been put in place. 

“I’m hopeful one of those four is our next leader,” he said.

Rafferty in a release issued after the vote took place, said he was proud to stick to his convictions and fulfill a long-standing election promise.

"It is important to stand by one's commitments and to show the people who supported you all these years that you can be taken at your word when the time comes and that their opinions matter," he said.

"Violent crime and gun crime are decreasing, which is good, but at roughly the same pace over the last 15 years before the registry came into being and the five years since there has been a registration amnesty for long guns. I am certain that my constituents will be no less safe with the passage of C-19 or I would have opposed this bill with all my energy."

The bill will now go to the Conservative-dominated Senate for approval.

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trent says:
Well done. Thumbs up to both.
2/15/2012 8:28:20 PM
Delbert Grady says:
It was a great moment! 17 years in the making just to get rid of this giant mess.

It was really sweet watching the commie party get stabbed in the heart from our two locals. I enjoyed the disgust on the rest of the NDP partys faces. Some looked like they were crying like the children they are.

Anyway, its not done yet, still the Senate, but thats Conservative dominated as well. Then royal assent, then coming into force date.

So dont burn the certificates yet, but its sure to happen soon enough.

Now we just have to make the rest of C-68 go away. Its utterly ridiculous, and is even more so now with c19 passed.
2/15/2012 9:05:16 PM
realist says:
"Commie party?" That's rich coming from a guy who supports a Conservative party that's all for removing our freedoms and liberties.

I for one, don't wish to live in a police state.
2/16/2012 1:16:35 AM
Delbert Grady says:
If you can ever get your hands on the party's documents which encompass the planks and focus of their beliefs, you might agree with me.

Just because you call a party "democratic" doesnt mean it is. It just fools the weaker minded people.

Youre not one of those people are you? Because Im pretty sure we have a considerable number of them here in Thunder Bay.

The Conservative party you mention just passed a law yesterday that gave us a chunk of our freedoms and liberties back.

Your supposedly "democratic" party fought it tooth and nail, every step of the way.

Just who's the freedom party in your world? Luckily the majority of Canada knew better than you do and voted for a majority Conservative government to lead Canada back from the edge of the abyss the Liberals took us too.

Your commie party wants to take us over that same edge, but it will be OK to them if they throw freedom loving Canadians down first so they can try and land on them.

No thanks commies!
2/16/2012 12:14:44 PM
TheFloyd says:
Not totally for scrapping gun registry but am definitely all for politicians who listen to their constituents. I may never vote NDP again but I certainly do support Bruce and John for doing what the majority of people wanted. Shame on Nicole Turmel!
2/15/2012 9:10:12 PM
ranma says:
So once again, our MP's listen to their people and do what we want. Yet again the stupid interm leader of the NDP says she is going to punish them for listening to their voters. Is anyone else going to throw a party when this female dog is thrown out?
2/15/2012 9:51:30 PM
tsb says:
I only voted NDP to keep the Liberals out since the Conservatives ran a really crappy candidate here, but this kind of makes up for that.
2/15/2012 10:46:44 PM
myopic not foolish says:
Hey that's funny! I voted for the Conservative candidate since the Liberals ran a really crappy candidate here. Actually crappy Liberal candidates on both sides of the city.
2/16/2012 9:58:46 AM
tsb says:
The Conservatives had no chance in this end of town running Comuzzi, and I don't want to vote for anyone from that political family anyway, so I voted NDP out of fear that the left wing vote would split in favour of the Liberals, allowing Boshcoff to get back in. Support for him during the election was 73%. I greatly underestimated the strength of the NDP surge; I was quite certain that Rafferty would lose votes, not gain them.

If I lived in TBSN I would have voted for Richard Harvey, but I don't live there, so I couldn't.
2/16/2012 12:38:06 PM
Nitesky says:
Good for Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty. Thanks for listening to your constituents and not voting the party line. Isn't it about time we dispensed with party line voting?
2/16/2012 6:48:50 AM
Dan Dan says:
The Conservative government is the worst in Canadian history. I support Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty, but if the leader of the NDP disciplines them again, the NDP party may lose my support permanently.
2/16/2012 9:17:28 AM
yer joking says:
A little bit of Grandstanding. Th same could have been accoplished by being absent for the vote. I don't believe they represented ALL of the constituents. But we do live in a democracy, so they should be entitled topreferences.
2/16/2012 9:34:07 AM
psmith says:
This is what integrity is like. Rafferty and Hyer said what they were going to do, repeated over many election campaigns (and with the blessing of their leader Jack), and then they did it. That's what voters expect.

I wasn't an NDP voter until these guys came along, and maybe I'm still not, but Rafferty and Hyer have my support no matter what party banner they run under.
2/16/2012 9:37:53 AM
whitecrow says:
Luckily the majority of Canada knew better than you do -------Sorry Delbert --- The majority of Canadians did not vote for your CON party . I guess you are wrong again .This is getting to be a habit with you .
2/16/2012 6:58:08 PM
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