Quebec court backs gun registry, sets stage for federal legal battle

God bless the Charter!!!

Oh wait, this is Quebec.

Quebec court backs gun registry, sets stage for federal legal battle

MONTREAL — The province’s gun-control advocates were buoyed Friday by a strongly worded Quebec Superior Court judgment that recognized the recently abolished long-gun registry as an effective and economical crime prevention tool, laying the groundwork for a long legal battle with Ottawa.

The federal government reacted quickly and decisively, in what will no doubt lead to a Supreme Court showdown over the future of the divisive national registry. It said the ruling doesn’t diminish the government’s resolve to scrap it “once and for all.”

Last week, Judge Marc-Andre Blanchard extended to June a temporary injunction that orders the Conservative government to continue registering long guns in Quebec and prevents it from destroying 15 years of data collected over the lifetime of the national registry.

His 19-page written judgment, made public Friday, gives his reasons for that order. A hearing for a permanent injunction is scheduled for three days beginning June 11.

“The beneficial effects of maintaining the registry in Quebec appear greater than the urgency of applying the new law which will do away with the long-gun registry and destroy the data,” Blanchard concluded.

The case is exceptional, Blanchard wrote, because two democratically elected governments have diametrically opposing views on what might be called the common good.

“Canada claims the new law, Quebec the old one, both allegedly adopted in the public interest,” he wrote.

Quebec Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier called the judgment a victory for Quebec and held out a hand to the federal government to co-operate with the province to establish its own registry.

“The federal government can’t behave as if it’s the only government in Canada,” he said at a news conference at the Montreal courthouse. “We know Quebec can set up its own registry so why not help it?

“Why throw away the 15-year-old historical trail of these guns?”

Julie Carmichael, spokeswoman for federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, wasted no time in responding by email.

“Our government will strongly oppose efforts to set Bill C-19 aside and will fight for as long as it takes to ensure the long-gun registry is scrapped once and for all to ensure freedom for law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters.”

Gun-control advocates, including survivors from the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique shooting of 14 women and the 2006 shooting at Dawson College, were relieved that the judge didn’t buy the federal government’s long-held view that the registry is ineffective and wasteful.

“At least in Quebec, the courts are protecting our safety,” said Heidi Rathjen, spokeswoman for gun-control advocacy group Polysesouvient.

“The sad part is other provinces haven’t followed Quebec’s lead, but hopefully this ruling, which shows that Quebec has a serious and substantial case, might influence other governments.”

The temporary injunction, first ordered April 5 by Superior Court Judge Jean-Francois de Grandpre, is considered unprecedented because it was ordered just hours before the bill to kill the registry, Bill C-19, received royal assent.

Article 29 of the law requires that the government immediately begin deleting the database and all copies, but the injunction prevents that. The injunction also requires that gun registration in Quebec continue and that the information be accessible to police.

The law to abolish the registry is exempt from regulations requiring the government to archive its records and make them available to the public.

According to former auditor general Sheila Fraser, the government spent a billion dollars over 10 years to implement the entire gun control law, including combating trafficking, screening candidates for permits, registration and licensing. Issuing two million licences accounted for most of the cost. The registry costs just a few million dollars a year to maintain, according to an independent report commissioned by the RCMP.

There are about 1.5 million long guns in Quebec, according to Eric Dufour, the lawyer who argued for the injunction on behalf of the Quebec government. On average, the registry saved about 300 lives a year, he said.

The Tories had promised for years to kill it, claiming it’s costly, doesn’t prevent violent crimes and criminalizes law-abiding gun owners. Quebec police consult the registry about 1,600 times a year, according to Dufour. In 2010, 2,561 guns were confiscated in Quebec.

Quebec court backs long-gun registry, sets stage for federal legal battle | News | National Post
#2  Top Rated Post
The government should refuse to register any long guns.

The section of the Criminal Code that required registration no longer exists. Therefore, any attempt to force an individual to register a firearm is extra-judicial, and unconstitutional.

The injunction against the destruction of the data is a different matter, and should have to go through the courts (which the Feds should win)......although the police should be cut off from access to the info until the case is there is NO requirement in this country to register long guns.

And the bloody judge needs a solid kick in the arse.

The role of the judiciary is to interpret law, NOT MAKE IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG.
Free Thinker
How is Quebec exempt from federal law? ANd how can a tame provincial court judge rule on Federal law?
Better yet can we all opt out of federal laws that we don't agree with?
Free Thinker
Quebec gets a special treatment as usual. The federal government is too soft on us.

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