Mr. Speaker, the statement by the Minister of Justice has left us somewhat puzzled about the government's leadership in what has come to be known as the gun control boondoggle.
The minister made three statements in as many months on the same issue. Each one contained nothing but platitudes, without ever condemning the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars have disappeared into this black hole. This speaks volumes about the Liberal government's incompetence and lack of transparency.
Worse still, the Minister of Justice is now basing his actions on the recommendations contained in the report commissioned by a former deputy minister. It is as though he were trying to duck the issue, to distract our attention from the fact that he is the one who is responsible for this waste of almost $1 billion.
The Liberal government, and the Minister of Justice in particular, are abdicating their responsibilities. Their strategy is based on passing Bill C-10A, which has been amended in the Senate, and has yet to be adopted by the House, which in itself negates the powers and privileges of our House. The whole situation is a hypothetical one.
Furthermore, the minister, who had to quickly backtrack on pouring a further $72 million into this infamous program to prevent his majority government from being brought down, today announced that he was planning on asking for additional funds yet again.
He justifies this by citing major changes to the management of Canada's firearms registration program, by moving it under the responsibility of the Solicitor General. This is an undeniable admission of his department's incompetence, and the incompetence of his predecessor in particular, who is now the Minister of Industry.
The real problem, the one that affects the crux of this government initiative, lies in the Liberals' lack of vision and especially in their chronic and typical lack of transparency. A program that was supposed to have been carefully thought out was totally out of control for years before anyone learned about the scope of the disaster.
This veritable boondoggle has given gun control opponents plenty of ammunition. They are now basing their reasoning to abolish the program on the need to stop the waste of tax dollars.
Those opposed to gun control are trying to influence public opinion with arguments that do not take into consideration the positive results of the program, in terms of preventing and solving serious crimes.
For the Bloc Quebecois, the need for such a program remains critical. We believe that it would be quite inappropriate and irresponsible to eliminate it. The Bloc Quebecois will ensure that all aspects of the program currently managed by Quebec will continue to be so managed.
However, this argument for the Canadian Firearms Centre should not be interpreted as support for the Liberal government, but rather as an appeal for the accountability of managers and, above all, the protection of society as a whole.
The Bloc Quebecois has always been very open and accountable in the debate on protecting society and the maturity with which major social issues are addressed.
The minister is talking about accountability, a term the Liberals have bandied about for several weeks now. This process should start at the highest levels of government, beginning with the Ministers of Industry and Health, both of whom also held the Justice portfolio.
In closing, remember that it is not only the administrative ability of the ministers, who have both been Minister of Justice at one time, that must be called into question. Beyond that, we must identify those responsible for this sad situation, starting with the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, who kept the purse strings closed when he was Minister of Finance and who did not have the courage to sound the alarm.
The Minister of Justice's intentions, stated without the slightest regret, justify our mistrust. More than ever, the Bloc Quebecois will keep a watchful eye on this arrogant and incompetent government.