This May, shocking allegations emerged in the Toronto Sun, suggesting that the RCMP continues to hold records and documents relating to the long-gun registry, despite them having been ordered destroyed by law in April 2012.
The possibility that the long-gun registry exists would mean a profound breach of Canadians’ privacy and has grave implications for the integrity of Canada's legislative, judicial, and law enforcement processes.
Speaking with the Toronto Sun, criminal defence lawyer Ed Burlew was "shocked and disgusted" to discover that this registry is still in existence and believes that "this shows that there is someone within the RCMP who has deliberately lied to Parliament and the courts."
For the Conservative Party, it is abundantly clear that these claims go beyond firearm legislation. It’s about respect for Canada's democracy. To put it simply, if true, this is deeply, deeply troubling, and violates the rights of law-abiding firearms owners across Canada, and in our riding of Peace River – Westlock.
You’d think that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Public Safety Minister Bill Blair would be concerned by these allegations. Instead, there has been cold silence from the Trudeau government. There’s been no action, no letters demanding transparency — there hasn't even been a murmur on their social media.
Their lack of action can only be understood as a way to punish a law-abiding community, including residents in our riding of Peace River – Westlock and puts the rights of all Canadians in jeopardy.
Last week, Conservatives wrote to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki demanding transparency. Residents in Peace River – Westlock deserve to know whether this highly personal information was retained illegally. The RCMP should be an institution that Canadians can trust. They should want to clarify this issue and assure people that they answer to the citizens they serve.
Minister Blair needs to put politics aside and stand up for Canadians’ rights. He needs to pick up the phone and demand transparency from the RCMP. It’s unacceptable that this hasn’t yet taken place.
Albertans deserve to know if their privacy has been violated. Conservatives will continue to support common-sense firearms policies that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and stand up for law-abiding Canadians.
Arnold Viersen, MP
Peace River – Westlock