OTTAWA — Gun control advocates briefly hoped Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament would kill a private member’s bill to scrap the long gun registry.
But their hopes have been shot down, thanks to procedural reforms introduced 15 years ago.
The bill, under examination by a parliamentary committee after winning first and second reading votes in the House of Commons, will simply return at that stage once Parliament opens March 3.
Until the mid-1990s, proroguing or suspending Parliament wiped the legislative slate. All bills, no matter how many months they’d been debated or how close they’d been to passing, died on the order paper.
“For a fleeting moment, I was hopeful (the gun registry bill was dead) but it was clarified pretty quickly,” said Wendy Cukier, president of the Coalition for Gun Control. “We got lots of joyful email and then we looked into it further and realized that we were no further ahead than we were before.”