12/18/2011 04:08 EST | Updated 02/17/2012 05:12 EST

Conservative Party Jumps The Gun On Registry Law


The NDP is taking issue with a claim made by the Conservative Party of Canada in a newly published web site aimed at promoting their promise to abolish the long-gun registry.

The website in question reads, in capital letters, "SCRAPPED."

That's followed by, "The Harper Government has followed through on their promise and has scrapped the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry."

In a telephone interview with CBC News, NDP justice critic Jack Harris calls the claim "preposterous."

"They are not telling the full truth. Clearly, there are a few more steps to go before this will happen," said Harris.

Although a Conservative majority guarantees the passage of bill C-19, the government's bill to end the long-gun registry was left on the shelf as the House of Commons adjourned last Thursday, and that until Jan. 30, 2012.

The NDP also has a bone to pick with the Conservative party over the next line of its newly published website:

"Now that the Conservatives have a majority, the NDP and Liberals can't play political games to keep the useless registry any longer."

Harris also calls that claim "preposterous."

"That's all [the Conservatives] have done for the last five or six years, is play politics with this issue. They made no effort to change any of the irritants that were in the registry that was, in fact, making it difficult for the registry to work and to be acceptable.

"And in their zeal to push the politics as far as they could, they actually decreased public safety," said Harris.

"I think they're the ones who have not only been playing politics with it, but have been blinded by their own politics in terms of taking irresponsible steps as a government."

In a news release issued Sunday, Conservative spokesman Fred DeLorey said, “Canadians gave us a strong mandate to scrap the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry, and the Harper Government is doing exactly that.”

The Conservative Party of Canada is launching the nationwide radio ad campaign Monday to promote its promise to abolish the long-gun registry.

In the 30-second radio ad, a man and woman are heard talking over the noise of clanking cutlery. The man is heard saying, "Hunters and farmers wont be treated as criminals anymore."

To which the woman replies, "Don't forget the billions that were wasted on creating and maintaining the registry, money that could be put to better use like on the economy or actually fighting crime."

Fundraising motives?

The NDP is not alone in its oppositon to the government's bill to end the long-gun registry.

Liberal public safety critic Francis Scarpaleggia accused the government of "trying to squeeze the last dollar of political donations out of the issue" and suggested the government may have delayed passing C-19 on purpose.

"The radio ads are obviously not intended to win votes in an upcoming election campaign as the next election is four years away," Scarpaleggia said in a statement to CBC News. "They are likely meant as airwave support and reinforcement for a mail-out fundraising campaign."

On Wednesday, Government House Leader Peter Van Loan said that C-19 was not passed before Christmas because the government had several bills to deal with and didn't have enough time.

"There are a number of bills that are still important priorities for us, that we'll have to deal with in the next parliamentary session and when we come back in January," Van Loan told reporters who were asking why some bills were rushed through while others were not.

Last Tuesday, Quebec Public Security Minister Robert Dutil announced his government's decison to go to court to stop Ottawa from destroying the data already collected.

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