Information from a long-deleted gun registry still exists and could be used by the Liberal government to round up legally obtained firearms, says a central Alberta MP.
Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins said he was recently shown data indicating registrant information, collected for the now defunct long-gun registry, and thought to be long destroyed, is still around and being used by the Liberal government.
In a Facebook video, Calkins claims that a lawyer recently showed him information that indicates the names, addresses and ownership records of “law-abiding” firearms owners in this country were not deleted as they were supposed to have been in 2015.
The Liberal government first “raised some serious questions” about this last year, when Canada’s Public Safety Minister Bill Blair proposed a plan to confiscate legally obtained firearms that have now been made illegal, and an “ill conceived” government buy-back program, said Calkins.
The local MP questions how the Liberals could know their gun buy-back program would cost between $300 and $400 million unless they had referred to information collected from the gun registry.
And when the Liberals stated they expect to purchase from owners 150,000 to 200,000 newly banned firearms, many of them non-restricted, “how would they know that?” said Calkins.
“This can only be accomplished with the Liberals having information that would approximate the number of these newly banned firearms owned in Canada, and where to find them.” Calkins said the only place that information could be found was in the — supposedly — deleted long-gun registry.
When he asked Blair to explain last month, he was assured there is no gun registry in Canada.
“Canadians now know differently,” the central Alberta MP added.
The Conservative government, under former prime minister Stephen Harper had ended the long-gun registry in 2012. The same bill also called for the destruction of all the records associated with the registry, said Calkins.
The government of Quebec later launched, and then lost, its battle to retain records that pertained to Quebec when the Supreme Court ruled against it.
And Calkins said every bit of registry information was supposed to have been deleted in 2015, after Harper introduced another bill stipulating any outstanding long-gun registry data — including details that had to be maintained for a time for police investigations — be destroyed.
Former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter Henschel confirmed that same year that this data was deleted, said Calkins.
“But if in fact, what (Henschel) said is true, and the long-gun registry was destroyed, how was it that I was able to see RCMP documents six years later showing data on ownership of non-restricted firearms created in 2019?” he questioned.
“Mr. Blair, Mr. Trudeau, you’ve got some explaining to do,” he added, vowing to keep fighting for “law-abiding Canadians.”
Mary-Liz Power press secretary for Blair’s Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness said these allegations are false.
All official registration records for non-restricted firearms were destroyed in the Canadian Firearms Information System by April 2015, said Power.
According to a court order, a copy of the Quebec records was retained for a time. “Our government’s Bill C-71, which received Royal Assent in July 2019, required that these records be provided to the Quebec Ministry of Public Security. The Canadian Firearms Program completed the transfer of these records in 2020, after which the last remaining copy was deleted,” she added.