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The McCallion Letters

Harper Government’s plan to scrap Long Gun Registry UNANIMOUSLY opposed by Mississauga Council. Retain data urged.

December 16th, 2011  

Let’s get to it.

Today’s video (special thanks ROGERS Cable 10 Mississauga), complete with video transcript.

Harper Government’s plan to scrap Long Gun Registry UNANIMOUSLY opposed by Mississauga Council (1:56 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

 [VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BEGINS]

Motilall Sarjoo, President, Brampton-Mississauga & District Labour Council,  Mississauga Council December 16, 2011

Thanks.

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council December 16, 2011

I have a motion I’d like to read while you’re here to deal with it.

Moved by Councillor Crombie and seconded by Councillor Dale. Councillor Dale is on our Police Services Board. So he knows the support of Peel Regional Police.

Whereas on October 25, 2011 the Minister of Public Safety —woweee, that’s quite a title! “Public Safety”. Introduced Bill Cat[laughs] an act —he might have a conflict, an act to amend the Criminal Code and FireArms Act ending the Long Gun Registry Act and requiring the destruction of the existing information.

And whereas Peel Regional Police, among many other agencies and organizations as well as individual citizens, believe that the Long Gun Registry is an important tool in preserving the safety of citizens —and officers, in their day-to-day duties,

Now therefore, be it resolved that Council of the Corporation of the City of Mississauga requests the Federal Government to reconsider the proposed legislation, or at a minimum, permit the provinces to retain the information currently in the Registration database.

A letter sent to the Prime Minister, transmitting this resolution, with copies to the MPs, and requesting their support, any response from them as to any action they are prepared to take —on this issue.

You’ve heard the motion.

And I’m going to ask for a recorded vote because the Mayor wants to vote on this.

City Clerk, Crystal Greer, Mississauga Council December 16, 2011

All those in favour of the motion, please stand.

The motion carries unanimously.

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council December 16, 2011

Thank you.

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

Here is a cut-and-paste from the Council Agenda December 14, 2011 Part 2 at mississauga,ca. You can read Deputy Chief Paul Tetzlaff’s original email to Mayor Hazel McCallion at:  www.mississauga.ca/file/COM/2011CouncilAgenda_14DecPart2.pdf

Item I-2

 

From: Tetzlaff, Paul
Sent: 11/24/2011 11 :36 AM
To: Carol Horvat
Subject: FW: Long Gun Registry Bill C-19

Good morning Carol,

Chief Metcalf has requested that I respond to your inquiry regarding the federal government’s
proposal to end the long-gun registry.

Peel Regional Police believe that the long-gun registry is an important tool in preserving the
safety of our citizens and our own officers in their day to day duties. On a daily basis, we
access the registration database to be forewarned of situations where a firearm may be
encountered, and to identify the rightful owners of firearms that come into our possession. We
are concerned that not only does the legislation end the registration of long-guns on a go forward
basis, it requires the destruction of the existing information.

In the interest of community and officer safety, PRP cannot support the government’s position
on this issue. If the government is intent on enacting the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act, as
it appears they are, at a minimum the provinces should be permitted to retain the information
currently in the registration database.

I have attached a ‘Long Gun Registry Background’ document for your further information.
As an aside, I am meeting with Motilall Sarjoo and members of the Labour Council on Monday
next at 10 AM.

If I may be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me directly.

Regards … Paul
Paul Tetzlaff
Deputy Chief of Police

Item I-2a

 

Background

On 25 October 2011, the Minister of Public Safety introduced Bill C-19, an Act to amend
the Criminal Code and Firearms Act in the House of Commons. The short title of the bill
is called Ending the Long-gun Registry Act.

The government’s stated purpose of the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act is to ensure
Canadian firearm laws target real criminals and protect the safety of the public. The
proposed legislation will remove the requirement to register firearms that are neither
prohibited nor restricted. In other words, the main objective of the Act is to remove the
requirement for long-gun owners to register their hunting rifles and shotguns. The new
legislation will also require the destruction of existing records, held in the Canadian
Firearms Registry and under the control of chief firearms officers that relate to the
registration of such firearms. Additionally, the purpose of the new legislation is to amend
several sections of the Firearms Act, primarily to reflect the change that registration
certificates will no longer be required for non-restricted firearms.

Anticipated Effect on Police Officers and Police Services

In general, the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code will mean that a failure to
hold a registration certificate for a non-restricted firearm will not give rise to any of the
offences related to unauthorized possession of a firearm. Additionally, since the failure to
hold a registration certificate for a non-restricted firearm will no longer constitute an
offence for unauthorized possession, police will not be able to seize a non-restricted
firearm. Police will want to be alert to any issues concerning officer safety as a result of
this limit on the ability to seize certain firearms when an individual cannot produce a
registration certificate.

It should also be noted that firearms owners will still require a valid firearms licence to
purchase or possess firearms and to purchase ammunition. Firearms owners will also still
be required to undergo background checks, pass a firearms safety training course and
comply with firearms safe storage and transportation requirements for all firearms. While
the long-gun registry will be gone and only prohibited and restricted firearms will be
covered under the registry system, it is clear from the above that certain safety measures,
such as background checks and training courses, will remain in place.

The proposed legislation will order the destruction of all records in the Canadian
Firearms Registry related to non-prohibited and non-restricted firearms. This will greatly
impact police forces as they will no longer have access to such infornation. The repeal of
the requirement for long-gun owners to register will affect police ability to accurately
query CPIC to determine whether a gun might be encountered in a situation. Police forces
rely on the firearms registry search on a day-to-day basis for a variety of reasons,
including officer safety. With the elimination of registration certificates and the
destruction of the firearms records for nonrestricted firearms, many gun-owners will not
be captured in the search and an officer’s ability to rely on such searches for safety
purposes will be significantly diminished.

 

 

Item I-2b

 

Additionally, the new legislation may have negative consequences on police
investigations. The registry assists police officers in their investigations because it allows
them to trace the owners of firearms used to commit criminal offences and identify
owners of stolen firearms. Under the current legislation, when police officers recover a
non-prohibited or non-restricted gun at the scene of a crime, they can trace it to its
rightful owner. This will no longer be the case once the long-gun registry is abolished
under the proposed legislation. The gun registry is an essential tool used by police when
taking preventive action and in enforcing prohibition orders. The registry is used to
ensure that all firearms are removed from an individual’s possession when the situation
warrants it. Abolishing the requirement of registration for long-guns will diminish the
gun registry usefulness to police as a crime prevention tool.

Finally, the licensing process screens gun owners for risk factors and registration holds
them accountable for their guns. These two things taken together reduce the risk that
dangerous people will have access to firearms. As a result of the removal of long-gun
registration, it may very well be that police forces could be faced with an increase in gun
related issues.

What follows is the entire Bill C-19 – Long Gun Registry deputation complete with debate, the motion and voting —21:38 minutes worth. Thanks to MississaugaNewsREEL (and of course ROGERS Cable 10 Mississauga)

Retain Long Gun Registry Bill C-19 existing records, Mississauga Council debate (21:38)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES from Mississauga Council Agenda
(cut-and-pastes)

 

Item I-1



From: Motilall Sarjoo
Sent: 11/17/2011 9:39 PM
To: Hazel McCallion; SusanFennell
Subject: Long Gun Registry Bill C-19
Dear Mayor S. Fennell and H. McCallion

As you may be aware, the Long gun Registry Bill C-19, will be tabled in Parliament very
soon for it’s third and final reading. The Brampton-Missisauga and District Labour
Council represents over twenty six thousand members within the Region of Peel.

As President of this organization, I am seeking your support in form of a letter to the
Prime Minister requesting that he understands our quest to stop gun related violences
within our community by keeping the Gun Registry intact.

Please see attached fact sheet and letter to Premiere Dalton McGuinty from Ontario
Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan for further information.

Thank you for your continued support.

Motilall Sarjoo (SARJ)
President
Brampton-Mississauga & District Labour Council

Item I-1a

 

The Conservative Government has tabled Bill C-19, an Act to amend the Criminal
Code and the Firearms Act. The Bill would eliminate the mandatory registration of
non-restricted firearms (rifles and shotguns) and destroy all of the data it has
collected so far.

The gun registry is part of a package of provisions established in response to public
pressure following the tragic loss of 14 young women’s lives on December 6, 1989.
By introducing stronger gun control laws, Canada has reduced the amount of
firearm-related violence and death. Now the Conservatives want to take us back 15
years and put the narrow interests of the US-backed gun lobby ahead of the lives
and safety of Canadians.

Let’s get real.

The Gun Registry is an important tool for workplace and community safety.

Police have estimated that they use the registry over 17,000 times a day, and say it
helps them prevent, investigate and solve crimes. Social workers, paramedics,
firefighters and other first responders use the information in the database to help
them keep safe on the job. They need to know when there is a gun in the home or
whether there is a risk of gun violence before they enter a situation, so they can
quickly devise a plan to ensure the safety of workers, clients and patients.

There are currently seven million registered “non-restricted guns”. This category
includes rifles and shotguns, such as the powerful semiautomatic Ruger Mini 14
used in the Montreal Massacre, and sniper rifles, including the .50 calibre sniper
rifle. Rifles and shotguns are the most used weapons in domestic violence, suicides
and to kill police officers. They also figure prominently in incidents of workplace
violence, like the 1999 tragedy at the OC Transpo bus yard in Ottawa.

Gun violence is not only a big city issue. Domestic violence, suicide, and murders of
police officers with firearms occur more often, on a per capita basis, in rural
communities. Women experiencing domestic violence in rural areas report threats
and intimidation using firearms.

A 2010 Ipsos Reid poll showed that two thirds of Canadians support the gun
registry. Even in rural areas, supporters equal opponents. Although they are less
vocal, the vast majority of people living with gun owners, and the majority of rural
women, support the registry.

According to the RCMP, abolishing the long-gun registry would save less than
$4 million per year. The costs involved with destroying the data have not been
identified by the government. The money to set up the registry has already been
spent – what a waste of taxpayers’ investment to simply throw it away.

Item I 1-b

 

The gun registry helps reduce violence.

Statistics Canada reports that rates of homicide involving rifles or shotguns in 2010
were about one-fIfth of those seen 30 years ago.

Firearm-related suicides have decreased by 43 per cent since the introduction of
stricter gun laws in 1991 and by 23 per cent since the introduction of the Firearms
Act in 1995.

Workers in shelters and child welfare agencies believe that the long-gun registry
helps keep vulnerable women and children safer. Since its enactment, the rate of
women murdered with ftrearms by their intimate partner has decreased by 69 per
cent.

Listen to the experts

The Conservative government is fast-tracking the passage of this bill in order
to avoid a full discussion of its implications on the safety of workplaces and
communities. Here’s what they don’t want to hear:

“The registry is a valuable tool that assists law enforcement with investigation,
prevention, tracing, accountability and provided at the national level is cost effective
and consistent across the country.”
-Canadian Police Association

“We treat patients on a regular basis who are suicidal and who are victims of
domestic assault. We know that a long-gun in the home puts both types of patients
at a signiftcantly higher risk of being killed. Since many of these patients come to
the hospital accompanied by police, we work with the police, who use the registry
regularly to determine if the patient has a gun registered in the home. This
knowledge, together with information as to whether the police then removed the
ftrearm, helps us to assess the patient’s safety plan and to ensure that these
impulsive potential methods of injury or death are removed.”
-Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians

“Violence against women is a $4 billion problem in this country. Every year,
100,000 women and children leave their homes fleeing violence and abuse. Longguns
and rifles are used to intimidate women and the threat of a rifle is often a
significant reason that women don’t risk leaving to seek help. YWCA Canada
supports the long-gun registry as a public safety tool as there is clear evidence that
it helps make women and children’s lives safer. Our shelters tell us it is both useful
and needed. Our rural shelters tell us police consult it every time they go to a
domestic violence incident. These are deliberate and speciftc searches for the
presence of firearms in the home. In 2009, approximately 7,000 registration
certiftcates were revoked for public safety concerns. Dismantling the registry is not
in the interests of women living at risk of domestic violence”
-Paulette Senior, CEO, YWCA Canada

Item I 1-c

 

The best way to protect the data is to save the gun registry.

Some provinces have said that they would keep the registry going in their
jurisdiction if the federal government eliminates it. Some are calling for an
amendment to the legislation to save the data. But the cheapest and most effective
way to save the data is to keep the national registry.

Protect workplace and community safety

The Canadian Labour Congress supports the long-gun registry as an effective tool
for workplace and community safety. Eliminating it will put workers and Canadians
at risk.

Write your Members of Parliament and tell them to listen to the evidence, consider
the impact of this legislation, and oppose Bill C-19.
SSjfll/cope225

Item I 1-d

 

November 10,2011
Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto ON
M7A 1Ai

RE: Federal Government’s Decision to Cancel the Long-Gun Registry and Destroy the
Registry’s Current Records

Dear Mr. McGuinty:

The Ontario Federation of Labour is opposed to the federal government’s recent decision to
cancel the long-gun registry and, in addition, destroy the registry’s current records. I am writing
you today to call on you and your government to stand with the government of Quebec,
women’s and labollr organizations, physicians and police associations in publicly opposing Bill
C-19 and dernandirlg the Ontario data collected by the gun registry be turned over to
Ontarians.

Ontarians know the gun registry has helped save lives. Statistics Canada reports that rates of
homicide involving rifles or shotguns in 2010 were one-fifth of those seen 30 years ago.
Workers in shelters and child welfare agencies know that the long-gun registry helps keep
vulnerable women and children safer. Since Its enactment, the rate of women murdered with
firearms by their intimate partners has dropped by 69 per cent We also know that firearmrelated
suicides have decreased by 43 per cent since the introduction of stricter gun laws in
1991 and by 23 per cent since the introduction of the Firearms Act in 1995.

The gun registry is an important tool for workplace sidely. Police estimated that across
Canada they use the registry over 17,000 times a day Police agencies are very clear that the
registry helps them to prevent, investigate and solve crimes. Social workers, paramedics,
firefighters and other first responders use the information in the database to help keep them
safe on the job. They need to know when ihere is a gun in the home or whether there is a risk
of gun violence before they enter a situation, so they can quickly devise a plan to ensure the
safely of workers, clients and patients.

Opponents have criticized the registry for its “judgement” onaw-abiding Canadian hunters,
alongside its apparent ineffectiveness at preventing actual gun-related crimes. Yet while this
popular rhetoric has debated the rights and day-to-day realities of hunters almost incessantly,
there has been much less discussion as to how the gun registry relates to the rights of women.

Item I 1-e

 

We know firearms play an important role in explaining the disproportionate number of domestic
violence-related homicides in rural and remote areas. A 2010 report by the VictimNVitness
Assistance Program of East Region, Ontario notes that women in the rural community of GreyBruce
‘reported the use of or threat with a weapon at more than twice the national rate as
reported in the Stats Canada Family Violence Survey”‘. Accordingly, the High Risk Review
Assessment Tool for Domestic/Partner Violence of South Hastings, Prince Edward County,
Ontario lists “Partner has a gun or has easy access to one” as the fourth out of eleven high risk
indicators used to assess the risk of lethality for women living With or leaving a relationship
where there has been past domestic violence’. In fact, almost every region in Ontario, rural or
urban, includes screening for access to firearms in their assessment of women’s safety in
domestic violence investigations. With the registry scrapped, these firearms will become
invisible.

The facts related to women, firearms and domestic violence have been regularly diminished
throughout the political deliberation of the long-gun registry. Now, with the federal decision
nigh, they appear totally absent. Women’s disproportionate vulnerability to domestic violence
and sexual assault, in particular, means that women’ experience of these crimes in context with
the threat of firearms violence is different than men’s experience of the threat of firearm
violence.

I urge your government to consider the needs of women in your assessment and response to
this important issue. In particular, we ask that you:

• In alliance with Quebec’s provincial response, ask the federal government to allow
Ontario to keep the data from the soon-to-be-destroyed federal long-gun registry
• Actively challenge the federal government’s intention to fast-track the bill that will bring
the registry to an end through the House of Commons. We believe that this action is
intended to limit debate on the subject of the registry which, in itself, IS a problematic
process
• Actively challenge the federal government’s intention to limit debate on the subject of
the registry. This topic requires debate, as public opinion across provinces and
demographics is clearly not unanimous
• Consider how to create enforceable best practices that strengthen the registry’s
compliance measures instead of simply labeling the registry as ineffectual
• Consult with survivors of firearm violence, including those who survived the Montreal
Massacre and survivors of domestic violence. Incorporate their expertise in future
reviews of firearm-related policy and law as was done following the December 6, 1989
incident
• Consult with service providers and advocates that support women experiencing
violence and incorporate their expertise in future reviews of firearm-related policy and
law,

I Kasdorff, Deborah and Barbara Erb, “Serving Victims of Violence in Rural Communities: Chcdienges and Best Practices”,
Victim/Witness Assistance Program, East Region, January 2010,13
High Risk Review Assessment (Domestic/Partner Violence), HART Centre and South Hastings, Prince Edward County, and
DART Bancroft, p. 1

Item I-1f

 

Though the set-up and maintenance of the registry has a cost, this is small when compared to
the costs of murders of women and children, inquests related to these occurrences and
prosecutions of violent men who use firearms. This Federation acknowledges the financial cost
of the registry as well. We strongly feel that addressing violence against women is indeed a
financial investment, however one worth taking.

Sincerely,
Patrick (Sid) Ryan
President

c.c. Honourable Laurel Broten, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues
OFL Executive Board
OFL Women’s Committee
Ken Georgetti, CLC President
Andrea Horwath, MPP, Leader, New Democratic Party of Ontario
Tim Hudak, MPP, Leader Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario

sf/cope343

Peel Police 2011 Police Package Dodge Charger at Mississauga City Hall Celebration Square

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