Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stephen Harper, Garry Breitkreuz and the American NRA

Garry Breitkreuz has always had strong ties to the NRA, contributing regularly to their website. And as the NRA video confirms, they have been involved for at least thirteen years. THE CBC today confirms this.

The National Rifle Association, a powerful lobbying group in the United States that advocates fewer gun controls, has been actively involved in trying to abolish Canada's long-gun registry for more than a decade, CBC News has learned. Documents and correspondence obtained by the CBC show the NRA has provided logistical and tactical support to organizations such as the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action (CILA), established in 1998 to lobby Ottawa to shut down the registry.

The NRA provides the Canadian gun lobby group with "tremendous amounts of logistical support," and while the NRA's constitution prevents them from providing money, "they freely give us anything else," Tony Bernardo, an Ontario gun advocate and CILA's executive director, said in Canadian Firearms Digest in July 2001.

In 2001 Garry Breitkreuz got into a bit of trouble when he posted on the NRA website that Canada harboured terrorists, while going after gun owners. (Did I mention that the man was nuts?)

A Canadian Alliance MP has defended his appearance on the U.S.-based National Rifle Association Web site and his assertion that Canada has harboured terrorists while persecuting gun owners. But in an interview Thursday, Saskatchewan MP Garry Breitkreuz said he has no evidence to support his claims that Canada is a terrorist haven and its negligence contributed to attacks in the United States. "We should not be targetting duck hunters and trying to put them in jail. (Alliance MP Defends Remarks, Leader-Post (Regina) / CP, October 5, 2001)

Save Lives, save the gun registry has posted a timeline:

In 2009, former Chief of Staff to Maxime Bernier, Bob Valcov was named as executive director of the Canadian branch of the international gun lobby group,Safari Club International, a group with strong ties to the NRA. Another former Conservative staffer, Brant Scott, who was Executive Assistant to Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz, became Director of Communications to the Canadian Sports Shooting Association which also has strong links to the NRA. Media reports earlier this year reported that the NRA is helping Canadian groups like the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, Canadian Firearms Institute and the
Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association to fight the registry by raising money and coaching them on how to lobby politicians.

In 2006, Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz co-hosted with the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, a forum featuring then-NRA president Sandra Froman, as keynote speaker at the CSSA annual meeting in Toronto.

In 2006, then-Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day appointed the Minister's Firearms Advisory Committee which was composed exclusively of opponents of the gun registry, including many with direct ties to the National Rifle Association, including Professor Gary Mauser whose research had been directly funded by the NRA. Former Canadian Alliance MP Jim Pankiw appeared in an NRA video in 2001 claiming that the gun registry turned law-abiding Canadian citizens into “instant criminals.”

Former Conservative MP Art Hanger appeared in an NRA infomercial in 2000 claiming that the Canadian government “wants every firearm seized in this country.” Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Jerry Ouellette also appeared in the video claiming that the government was intent on confiscating guns saying, “It's coming. We've got the test waters here in Canada to prove it and you're next on the list.” He claimed his comments had been pre-vetted by then-Premier Mike Harris’ office.

In 1995, then-NRA executive director, Tanya Metaksa, wrote to Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien threatening a tourism boycott of Canada if the long gun registry Bill passed: “An overwhelming negative reaction can be anticipated and it could seriously erode revenue into Canada generated by visiting U.S. sportsmen and women.”

Naturally, the Reformers are denying their involvement:

The Conservative government is dismissing allegations by the Opposition Liberals that its intent to scrap the federal long-gun registry is linked to or influenced by the National Rifle Association. The comments come a day after CBC News reported that the NRA, a powerful U.S. lobbying group that advocates fewer gun controls, has been involved for more than a decade in efforts to get Canada's long-gun registry abolished. Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said the Liberal "conspiracy theory" attempts to "demonize" rural Canadians who have been already unfairly criminalized by the registry.

Give it up Pierre. The whole "Liberal conspiracy theory" is nonsense. I just heard Charlie Angus (NDP) on TV saying the same thing that the Liberals did. This is not a rural/urban issue. It's about the NRA and Canada's gun nuts.

There is a very good open letter from Thunder Bay Chief of Police Robert P. Herman that's well worth a read.

4 comments:

  1. Quoting the CBC as an authority on firearms and government issues like the Firearms Act is okay if you are simply left wing and looking for someone to cheer for your side. The CBC has consistently towed the Liberal line on gun control. They never bothered to give the Firearms Act a thorough review. Nor have they given the sports community equal time to present their case. Hardly a laudable standard for a so-called national news outlet. You are heavy on opinion but your facts don't bear close scrutiny and I see no science or empirical studies to back your rant. Charley Angus has the official NDP stance but as a rural Canadian, sport shooter and EX Liberal supporter, I can say with authority that it is an urban rural split that culled ignorant urban votes while presenting law abiding Canadian sportmen as potential criminals in need of disarming (remember Alan Rock's statements) and control. The Firearms Act was as cynical a piece of legislation that I have seen in my 68 years. You see only what you want to and it is not a balanced view by any stretch. You seem to find it strange that the government would actually have expert advice on the Advisory Committee rather than packing it, as the Liberals did, with anti-gun lobbyists. The most outrageous example being the Coalition For Gun Control. The then Liberal government gave the Coalition nearly $500,000 to lobby in favour of the Firearms Act! It is all in the Auditor Generals Annual Report. You must be desperate to throw your lot in with a disgraced political party on the verge of extinction as a national party. Your hatred for the present Conservative Party and disrespect for law abiding firearms owners knows no bounds and poisons your opinion thus reducing it to a rant.

    I challenge you to produce evidence for your comment about Prof. Mauser. If not, then apologise and withdraw the comment.

    Ronald Wilson
    Westmeath ON

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  2. Opps, my dissident comment did not make it on-line. It't okay, I forwarded it to those that would appreciate it. It is enough for you to know that you are fooling no one. Quoting police chiefs denies the massive dismissal of the long gun registry by front-line cops that do not risk their lives on the political statements of their chiefs who are safe behind a desk! If you are a fair person you will reconsider your position. If it is not of consequence then you only preach only to the choir.

    Ronald Wilson
    Westmeath ON

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  3. Welcome to 'smear city.' It was the same thing with myself, many years ago, when I challenged the validity of the 'gun control' bill put forth by Pierre Elliot Trudeau in 1969. Although I was a single individual voicing strong opposition to that bill, and successfully defeating those chosen to debate the issue, I was accused of 'being a voice of the NRA and receiving great sums of money.' Hardly -- but the truth then (as now) has no meaning to those opposing legitimate firearms ownership/use by lawful persons. Gotta make you wonder -- or does it?
    William (Bill) Jones

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  4. Really. You are trying to defend the Consevative record of its close ties to the NRA? You think that reporting that exposes this fact is biased? Really? I have not cross referenced the sources in this article, due diligence I might typically undertake before commenting publicly. Why? As joe Blow, ordinary Canadian citizen - I don't need more "authoritative figures" to prove to me that the Cons and the NRA are tight. The evidence is in plain sight, if you just pay attention to the similarities.

    Who wants the gun murder rates and mass shootings of the US here in Canada? You? Keep trying to undermine the work of those who give a damn, and you might just get your idea of a gun toting, Wild West Xanadu. Most Canadians, I can assure you, do not desire your vision for Canada.

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