MONTREAL – Protesters gathered outside Parti Québcois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau’s office in Saint-Jerome Saturday morning to voice their opposition to the proposed provincial long-gun registry law.
The Firearms Registration Act, or Bill 64, would require all non-restricted firearms to be registered with the province.
Premier Philippe Couillard’s government has said the province – where the 1989 Polytechnique massacre led to calls for a federal registry — needs its own registry to ensure police have information on the whereabouts of guns.
When the bill was tabled in December Couillard told reporters at the National Assembly that there was unanimity around the idea of establishing a registry, with the PQ supporting it in principle.
And that is precisely why organisers targeted the Opposition leader’s office for one of three planned demos across the province this weekend.
According to Guy Morin, vice president of Tous contre un régistre Québécois des armes à feu, a group of citizens opposed to the creation of a long-gun registry, the official opposition failed in its duty.
In a phone interview, Morin told Global News that the Opposition’s job is to debate and question the party in power and that in this case the PQ failed to do that.
The group maintains that a registry is not only expensive but also inefficient.
Morin pointed to the Canadian long-gun registry saying that it was a financial fiasco and that it was abolished for a reason.
In a written statement the group argued the money invested in a new bill would be better spent on improving access to mental health services.
The estimated cost of the proposed bill is between $15 and $20 million.
With a file from Global’s Kelly Greig
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