Quebec gun registry spared (very) temporarily


Yesterday, a Quebec Superior Court judge granted a five-day injunction against the Harper government’s attempted early destruction of the long gun registry. You’ll remember that I reported back in December that they were totally going to go ahead and destroy it once the law passed even if the court case was ongoing. Well, the court case has at least another four days now, and the government is disallowed to jump the gun, so to speak.

Via the CBC:

The Quebec government sought the injunction in court in Montreal Thursday, in anticipation of royal assent for C-19, the Harper government’s legislation to fulfil a longtime campaign promise to scrap the registry.

The injunction granted Thursday applies to the data collected on residents of the province of Quebec, but also covers the accessibility, availability and integrity of the system holding the registry, as well as the equipment and tools that allow access to the Quebec data. That means the federal government can’t take further steps on ending the registry while the injunction is in place. And Quebec can keep adding data to the registry.

[…]
A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews emphasized the injunction isn’t permanent.

“This is an interim order that is in effect until [5 p.m. ET] on the last day of the hearing of Quebec’s application, presently April 13, 2012,” Julie Carmichael said in an email.

“This injunction is temporary and doesn’t diminish our commitment to ending the long-gun registry once and for all. We are disappointed to see that, contrary to the will of Canadians and of Parliament, the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry is still alive.”

Let me reiterate, yet again, that the will of the Harper government is not the “will of Canadians”. Their policies represent at absolute best the 22% of eligible voting Canadians who turned up and voted for them. Let’s not forget why the long gun registry came into being.

Comments

  1. Paul Weaver says

    “Let me reiterate, yet again, that the will of the Harper government is not the “will of Canadians”. Their policies represent at absolute best the 22% of eligible voting Canadians who turned up and voted for them.”

    The reasonable implication is that those who chose not to vote did not consider the matter important enough to vote on – that they were content to abide by the decisions of those who did vote to override the ban.

    Such assertions – that legal votes in democratic countries aren’t REALLY valid because there’s not a high enough percentage of voters on individual issues – are absurd. If the voting process in it’s entirety is open and fair, then the decisions made under such processes should be accepted, even when an issue with which one disagrees doesn’t generate enough overall interest to obtain a high voter turnout.

    Rather than complain that the vote isn’t representative, one should examine why the voter turnout was low, and find ways to motivate higher numbers of people to vote in the future.

  2. vandelay says

    “Such assertions – that legal votes in democratic countries aren’t REALLY valid because there’s not a high enough percentage of voters on individual issues – are absurd. If the voting process in it’s entirety is open and fair, then the decisions made under such processes should be accepted”

    Agreed.

    I’ve had countless arguments with fellow Canadians over the previous year about the First Past The Post system, and the concept of political platforms. I’m always astounded by people who assert that FPTP and platform-based mandates are outdated notions that are completely irrelevant to what a modern democracy should be, and yet think they can fix that problem via those same institutions.

    If you truly believe that our current government is so fundamentally illegitimate, then you have no excuse for not supporting anything less than full on revolution.

  3. Fionnabhair says

    The Harper government isn’t interested in increasing voter turnout. Why would they? They keep winning the elections. Conservative voters are voting, and non-Conservative voters are not.

    Parliamentary democracies with some sort of proportional representation system in place tend to have higher voter turnout compared to countries that do not. Even if Harper was presented with absolute proof that if PR was introduced in Canada, voter turnout would increase, he’d bury it.

    This government has an agenda, especially with regards to the long gun registry, and the number of people who actually support that agenda is irreverent, so long as Harper gets the votes he needs to pass his bills.

    Furthermore, it is not at all reasonable to imply that people who did not vote are happy with the status quo. I know some people who didn’t vote because they hated all the options, and/or the way our electoral system is run. Other reasons why people couldn’t vote can include: people who were ill, people who couldn’t get to their polling station (and people who were lead to the wrong polling station, or a non-existent polling station), immigrants who identify as Canadian and are bound by the laws of the elected government, but who are not eligible to vote because of their immigration status, parents who couldn’t get somebody to watch the kids while they went to vote, people who could not vote due to work obligations, and so on. People might hate our current government, but were unable to vote for any number of reasons. We cannot assume apathy.

  4. says

    @1: Voter turnout was low, in my estimation, for four reasons: a public disillusioned by negative campaigning, a concerted and directed effort to redirect voters to the incorrect locations, a large contingent of young voters who believe the present government is exactly why you shouldn’t bother trying to vote, and the anemic Liberal showing which, while the NDP directly benefited, wasn’t nearly a strong enough swing to knock the Cons out of office.

    This was the first election where the NDP looked viable, but not enough Liberal voters switched to make the pendulum swing fully. And the Liberals didn’t do enough to peel away enough Tory voters. They were barely holding their own in debates; Iggy was simply the wrong guy for the job to hold the war on two fronts that he attempted.

    As for fracturing the gun laws, I think if this injunction holds, it gives other provinces hope that they might be able to overturn this ludicrous pandering to the tinfoil hat crowd. You know damn well this isn’t about privacy, where Harper and Toews are trying to put the internet under total warrantless surveillance.

  5. says

    It’s interesting that none of the anti-registration folks seem to be interested in ending vehicle registration, for which much of the argument against gun registration also applies. Specifically crimsinals don’t obey the laws, while the cost and effort required inconveniences law abiding citizens, evil hacker types could do evil things with the collected data, and the government could use registration data to confiscate your vehicle.

  6. says

    Actually, Tim, I’ve heard a few people who are against any sort of registration at all, including cars, small guns, and just about everything else short of citizenship. (That, they’re really keen on making sure our paperwork is all neat and tidy and totally accessible the next time the jack-booted thugs say “papers please”.)

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