(Quebec) The cost explosion which undermined the federal long-gun registry is “preventable,” said Philippe Couillard, on Thursday as the government tabled a bill to create the Quebec version of the program.
The Liberal government calculates that it will cost 17 million to build the new Quebec registry. This will be supplemented fee of 5 million per year to maintain and update.
The Prime Minister considers “crucial” that his government learns from mistakes made during the creation of the Federal Register in 1995. The program would cost less than five million originally, but the bill has exploded to reach one billion.
“The important thing is to properly control the costs of the establishment, which are currently valued between 15 and 20 million dollars, said Mr. Couillard. And then, the annual operating cost would be much lower. ”
The Conservative government of Stephen Harper has abolished the federal registry of long guns in 2012. The Supreme Court has permitted to destroy the data of the program, but in June, the Federal Court ordered Ottawa to preserve the Quebec data .
Quebec is currently in talks with the Trudeau government to collect what remains of Québec data, said Minister of Public Safety, Pierre Moreau.
The registration of long guns in Quebec registry is free and can be done on the web. Mr. Moreau is hopeful that this will reduce the resistance fighters, among whom the federal project was very unpopular.
“If there was resistance, it would be more ideological than based on practical arguments,” said Moreau.
If the bill passes as is, the long-gun owners will have 12 months to enroll in the registry. The measure will target 1.6 million long guns in circulation in the province, 94% of the total number of firearms.
The establishment of the Quebec registry will prevent those at risk can keep in their possession of firearms, said Mr. Moreau. But he acknowledges that the program will have less impact than if it were Canada-wide, since it will be impossible to track the movement of weapons between provinces.
The creation of a Quebec registry is a consensus in the National Assembly. Mr. Moreau was flanked by members of the Parti Quebecois, the Quebec Coalition future and Québec solidaire when he presented his bill.
The Polytechnique massacre witnesses were also present at the announcement. Heidi Rathjen, of the Coalition for Gun Control, was pleased that Québec confirms its commitment to three days of the anniversary of the tragedy.
“To all anniversaries, it is 26th, one always takes stock on gun control, said Ms. Rathjen. And for the last nine years, it was always bad news, it was extremely difficult birthdays. ”
“For the first time in nine years, she added, this anniversary is extremely positive.”
“For us, this is very good news, added Nathalie Provost, a former student of the Polytechnic. It begins to be in classes of civilized countries. ”