Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to the question from my hon. colleague from Calgary with respect to the gun registry but I first have to comment on the intervention by the former solicitor general from Prince Edward Island. He used the number $1.1 billion. I acknowledge that there are other numbers out there, some as high as $2 billion, but I would be embarrassed to stand up and admit that I spent $1.1 billion on a database for law-abiding citizens in this country.
What could that money have been used for? In my hometown of Sydney, British Columbia, we have an RCMP detachment that has usually been about 20% short of officers. I know they are training more at Regina now but for years and years the government cut the RCMP training academy to the point that we were not able to fulfill the RCMP positions across the country. We could put more police on the streets.
How can the government spend $1.1 billion on the most useless registry that makes not an iota of difference and then try to spin it by saying that it does not want people carrying guns on the streets? Nobody on this side wants that either. People never did before they had this registry. It is not the Canadian way and it would never be accepted.
However, then, after spending $1.1 billion, to add insult to injury, the government wants to crank out another $120 million. At some point in time the government should cut its losses and admit that it did a stupid thing and that it was a really bad idea.
But, no, the Liberals try to torque and spin this issue so that it is all about people not walking the streets with guns, which is ridiculous. As I said, not a Conservative member of Parliament wants anyone walking around on our streets with guns.
The people the gun registry impacts are farmers who have rifles. My father was an avid outdoorsman and when I was a child he would take me grouse hunting. He was a judge for 30 years and I remember him having to register his firearms. He said that it was the most ridiculous thing.
I am absolutely amazed. I always thought it might have been the former prime minister's pet project. I thought the current Prime Minister would actually see the light and say that the money should be put into law enforcement or into our health care system where people have been struggling. The money could be put to good use in so many other areas but, no, the government continues to pour more and more money on top of bad money already spent and it is not making any difference.
I would urge members on the other side of the House, at the first opportunity they have, to kill the funding for this incredibly wasteful program