Politics

Canadian Conservative government scraps controversial long-gun registry, celebrates with cocktail party

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives for a press conference in the foyer of the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada, on March 25, 2011.

Credit:

AFP

According to Canadian newspaper the National Post, Stephen Harper's Conservative government has scrapped the country's controversial long-gun registry. Members of the party celebrated later that day on Parliament Hill at a cocktail reception with pro-gun lobbyists.

The bill passed in the House of Commons, where there is a Conservative majority, by a margin of 159 to 130. It will now go to the Senate, where the Conservatives also have a majority. The bill was, surprisingly, also supported by two members of the NDP (New Democratic Party), a political party far left of centre. According to Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, all other NDP, Liberal, Bloc Québécois and Green Party members of parliament voted against it.

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The Globe also reported that Prime Minister Harper has been trying to kill the long-gun registry since taking office in 2006, but his efforts have been stopped until now by opposition parties. The Post reported that the Conservatives tried to get rid of the registry with a private member's bill that was defeated in Oct. 2010.

The long-gun registry was created by Jean Chrétien's Liberal government following the massacre of 14 women at Montreal's École Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police are strongly in favor of keeping the registry. The Globe reported that police consult the registry, on average, more than 10,000 times a day.