Justin Trudeau and the firearms registry

10 December 2012 · Comment   

In the speech he gave when he launched his campaign for the leadership of the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau declared that “the only ideology that must guide us is evidence. Hard, scientific facts and data. … instead of inventing the facts to justify the policies, we will create policy based on facts.”

Mr. Trudeau did not wait very long before he contradicted himself. Last week, he declared that the registry for long guns was a failure, and this after voting several times against our government’s decision to abolish it. Why was it a failure? Because it was “deeply divisive” for Canadians. For him, the fact that registry is gone is the proof of its failure. What a completely incoherent argument this is!

Moreover, he said that he would again vote to keep the registry and he supports the Quebec government’s decision to set up its own registry. Does anyone have a clue where he stands?

Some weeks ago, I noted how Mr. Trudeau had reversed the cause and the effect in his explanation of economic growth. This time, he once again confuses the cause and the effect when he talks about the firearms registry. It’s not because it is gone that the registry was a failed policy; it is because it was a failed policy that our government abolished it!

As I wrote on this blog three years ago already, this registry has been an administrative and financial disaster since the start. According to government estimates at the time, it was supposed to cost 2 million dollars; instead, it cost 2 billion dollars, a thousand times more! Imagine what could have been done with all this money.

The auditor general had stated in one of her reports that there was no evidence that the registry had helped reduce crime. Very few crimes are committed with hunting rifles. The police can already find out who possesses a firearm by consulting the list for firearms possession and acquisition licenses.

A government policy should not be judged on its intentions but rather on its observable consequences. The intentions that led to the creation of the registry, saving lives and reducing criminality, were no doubt laudable. But it did not work. If Justin Trudeau wants to put forward positions based on hard facts, that’s the argument he should be using.

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