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Author Topic: And the registry fiasco continues...
sir_springer
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posted 28 November 2003 12:33 AM      Profile for sir_springer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Gun registry debacle continues
National Post

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Garry Breitkreuz, the Saskatchewan MP and Canadian Alliance firearms critic, says the federal gun registry will burst through the $1-billion expenditure barrier by 2004, rather than 2005, as once predicted. We see no reason to doubt him. Mr. Breitkreuz has been riding the gun registry file hard from the outset. And despite Liberal efforts to play shell games with the program's soaring costs, he's almost never been wrong.

The polite, balding, 58-year-old former school teacher from Yorkton, Sask., has filed more than 400 Access to Information requests concerning the registry's inner workings. That may seem like obsessive behaviour. But sadly, these requests are the only way to make the federal government come clean on this boondoggle. It is quite possible the Alliance's deputy whip now knows more about the registry than the justice ministers and solicitors-general who have been in nominal charge of it during his watch.

Mr. Breitkreuz was the first to expose the registry's massive cost overruns, the ridiculously high error rates and delays in applicant screening, the numerous licences issued to the wrong applicants, the $200-million-plus computer system that still does not work properly despite a series of costly retrofits, and the multiple snafus in which registry staff have approved the transfer of guns known by police to be stolen.

All along the way, the Liberals have scoffed at Mr. Breitkreuz's claims, even questioning his sanity. But the Alliance MP has never backed down.

Most famously, when the Liberals were still insisting the registry had cost no more than $400-million and would still break-even through user fees, Mr. Breitkreuz patiently insisted the registry had already blown through $687-million, only a tiny fraction of what might be recovered from the charges levied against gun owners for licences. Jean Valin, then the registry's official spokesman, sniffed that the $687-million figure was a "gross exaggeration" and a "story that the gun lobby and some members of the Reform party has been spreading."

But over time, Mr. Breitkreuz's claim was vindicated. In her well-publicized exposé of the registry last December, Sheila Fraser, the Auditor-General, pegged the cost of the registry to the end of March this year at $688-million, just one million off the sum Mr. Breitkreuz and his legislative assistant had arrived at on their own.

No one who read that AG report will find it hard to believe the registry will hit the billion-dollar mark 12 months ahead of schedule. Ms. Fraser called the registry the worst cost overrun ever seen by her office. She even pulled her auditors from the registry audit early because the books were so poorly kept they couldn't make full sense of them.

If anything, $1-billion may prove to be a conservative figure. The Library of Parliament has estimated the total cost of enforcing Ottawa's firearms law -- including the cost of taking police officers off the streets to check the authenticity of registry certificates, and having Crown prosecutors try alleged violators of the mandatory licensing provisions -- will contain hundreds of millions in indirect costs.

Mr. Breitkreuz also revealed yesterday that the Liberals have awarded a $300-million contract to an outside computer firm to clean up the very same database on which it has already wasted $227-million since 1995.

If the gun registry really protected Canadians, perhaps all of this waste might be viewed as an embarrassing footnote to an otherwise worthy government program. But as the three gun murders in Toronto this past weekend illustrate -- the city's 56th, 57th and 58th murders of the year -- the registry is useless in preventing the gun crime Canadians fear most. By definition, criminals aren't law-abiding to begin with. So no matter how much of our money Ottawa is prepared to squander, the people most likely to use a gun in a crime are the people least likely to register those guns in the first place. Early this year, when Toronto was suffering a similar spate of murders, Julian Fantino, the city's police chief, admitted his officers had never encountered an incident in which the registry "enabled us to either prevent or solve any of these crimes."

Wildly expensive and totally useless: Perhaps that should be the registry's motto.

© Copyright 2003 National Post


From: Kootenays, BC | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
sir_springer
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posted 28 November 2003 12:36 AM      Profile for sir_springer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Firearms registry signs $300-million computer deal

Tim Naumetz
The Ottawa Citizen
Thursday, November 27, 2003

The Canadian Firearms Centre has awarded a $300-million contract to two high-tech firms to replace the eight-year-old gun registry computer system that has already cost $224 million, government documents reveal.

Justice Department briefing notes obtained by Canadian Alliance MP Garry Breitkreuz say the 15-year contract was awarded last year, despite firearms centre claims that it has awarded only the initial phase of the contract for system development.

The reference to the new computer system is included in several hundred pages of documents concerning the transfer this year of the firearms program from the Justice Department to the Solicitor General's Department.

"A $300M contract was awarded to Team Centra (a partnership between two companies, CGI Group and BDP Business Data Services) to design a new licensing and registration system ($34 millions) and operate it over the next 15 years ($266 million)," the note says.

Earlier this year, the firearms centre refused to confirm rumours about the total cost of the computer contract, saying only that the startup phase would cost slightly more than $30 million.

Mr. Breitkreuz called the new system a waste of money, since the Justice Department already forked out more than $200 million for the existing system.

Computer development and operations are the largest components of $1 billion the firearms program is forecast to cost over a 10-year period beginning in 1995.

Mr. Breitkreuz noted that the department's performance report on the gun program, tabled in the Commons earlier this fall, did not mention the forecast of $300 million in new computer costs.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2003


From: Kootenays, BC | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jimmy Brogan
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posted 28 November 2003 09:56 AM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post


From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 28 November 2003 11:12 AM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And then there is this press release, from the notoriously radical Canadian Professional Police Association (January 14/03):

quote:
"There is a need to set the record straight about the value of Canada's gun control program to public safety, and the safety of police officers", stated Canadian Police Association Executive Officer David Griffin during a press conference held in Ottawa today.

Since 1990, the Canadian Police Association (CPA) has supported and continues to support the licensing of all firearms owners, and the registration of all firearms. For the CPA, it is evident now, that opponents of the program are using the recent Auditor General report to attack its foundation. "It is unfair to suggest that the cost of firearms registration is one billion dollars. Registration is only one component of a comprehensive national gun control program. Licensing of gun owners has in actual fact been the most significant cost component to date", said Griffin. "People and organizations that have opposed this program since its inception, and who have also contributed to the escalation of costs, are now suggesting that costs are the reason to abandon the firearms registry. Most critics of the program say they support licensing of gun owners, but then use the costs of licensing to justify eliminating the firearms registry. That's irresponsible and misleading and the truth is without the registration of firearms, the program will not work."

"Currently, on average, police officers are using the gun control database 2,000 times a day and receive the results within less than one second", added CPA Vice President Mike Niebudek. "Illegal guns start off as legal guns. It makes it more difficult for firearms that are legally owned to fall into the wrong hands. Registration provides better information to assist in investigation of thefts and recovered firearms can be tracked to the registered owner using registration information. Licensing and registration of firearms reduces misuse of firearms. Registration is critical to enforcing licensing. Without registration, there is nothing to prevent a licensed gun owner from selling an unregistered weapon to an unlicensed individual."

"In short, the system is now up and running. Approximately 90% of gun owners have been licensed, and at least 70% of all estimated firearms in Canada have been registered. It would be irresponsible to suspend or abandon any element of this program, now that it is starting to deliver the intended results", concluded Griffin.


[ 28 November 2003: Message edited by: bittersweet ]

[ 28 November 2003: Message edited by: bittersweet ]


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
BleedingHeart
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posted 28 November 2003 11:24 AM      Profile for BleedingHeart   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The one area the press doesn't seem interested in looking at is where is the money going?

I mean how difficult is it to set up a registrry. Lets see, name address, make of gun, serial number. Most teenagers could do that using Microsoft Access. Okay I know its a little more complicated than that but you get the picture.

I suspect part of the "overruns" are coming from existing programs being transferred to the gun registry. In conspiracy mode, I wonder whether civil servants sympathetic to the gun nuts are trying to sabotage the process.


From: Kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 28 November 2003 11:40 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There are massive enforcement issues, among other things. The organizational start-up costs for any such thing are going to be immense. Expecting it to be just a few million dollars is utterly unrealistic. Having a reliable, large-scale database is several orders of magnitude more difficult than just using MS Access.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
banquosghost
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posted 28 November 2003 02:01 PM      Profile for banquosghost     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The only argument against the gun registry that holds any water whatever with me is this: if the radical right manages to hi-jack the country I will want it to be very easy to arm myself and go hunting neo-con peckerheads.

I am not a nice, peace loving man when it comes to dealing with fascists.

Clear?


From: north vancouver, bc | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 28 November 2003 02:16 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One would assume that if the neo-con peckerheads ever did gain power, it would be very easy to get your hands on a gun . . . hell it may be required that you carry one at all times or be jailed for treason.

Of course, in reality, neo-cons are just using firearm registration as a political wedge issue. They don't really care whether citizens have access to arms (and I suspect that if they were in power, they would be the first ones to come after the firearms if they felt in any way under threat from those same firearms . . . eg: Iraq under US control)


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
BleedingHeart
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posted 28 November 2003 04:05 PM      Profile for BleedingHeart   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
One would assume that if the neo-con peckerheads ever did gain power, it would be very easy to get your hands on a gun . . . hell it may be required that you carry one at all times or be jailed for treason.

No they and their well organized massive police force with have guns. You will not be allowed to have one. Count on it.


From: Kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 28 November 2003 04:10 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
No they and their well organized massive police force with have guns. You will not be allowed to have one. Count on it

Nope, that's Allan Rock and his ilk, not neo-cons.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 28 November 2003 04:45 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Nope, that's Allan Rock and his ilk, not neo-cons.

You have a gun (or could own one if you wanted) do you not?? So obviously your statement is false.


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 28 November 2003 04:51 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Allan Rock came out and said that only the military and the police should have guns.

While I don't own a gun, I am able to get one. I was disagreeing with BleedingHeart's assertion that you (sounds like a generic you to me) will not be allowed to have one.

Are we arguing at cross-purposes here?


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 28 November 2003 04:57 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
BH was refering to the ability to own a firearm if the neo-cons ever came to power (what neo-cons would do is seen clearly when we look at current day Iraq, where the average citizen is being stripped of their firearms) . . . as for Rock, and his statement, where is he now?
From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 28 November 2003 05:00 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq is an exception to the rule, not the rule.
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 28 November 2003 05:12 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, the neo-cons have only had power a short time, and in limited locations, but of the three places they have exercized their power (the USA, Afghanistan, and Iraq) which one have they respected the "right to bear arms" philosophy. . . . two for three . . . you do the math HF, and tell me again which place you would call the "exception"!!??

At least the "left wing gun grabbers" (assuming their motives are to grab all the guns) try to do it through legitimate democratic means!!

[ 28 November 2003: Message edited by: No Yards ]


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 28 November 2003 05:20 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is a bit fallacious to compare the US, Iraq, and Afganistan.

In the latter two, the US is present as an occupying force in order to establish a democratic (and hopefully friendly) government. There really is no other democratic nation with a neo-con gov't like the US's.

Were Iraq to elect a neo-con gov't and they instituted a sieze-guns law, then perhaps your position would have merit.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 28 November 2003 05:27 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, we know, there is always some excuse that can be used to excuse neo-cons of thier disregard for democratic principles . . . even in the USA, they can always come up with some sort of excuse for ignoring democracy and human rights.

When are we going to drop the excuses and face the reality?? How long do we wait for the neo-cons to finish the "ground work" and start showing us how the finished product might look . . . personally, I think we are already looking at the finished product.


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 28 November 2003 05:31 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, an update to the neo-con gun grabber list . . . Israel!! If this keeps up, as a "legt wing gun grabber" I may have to start voting for neo-cons!!

[ 28 November 2003: Message edited by: No Yards ]


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 28 November 2003 05:32 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And socialism really works. Please ignore China, Cuba, and Russia.
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 28 November 2003 05:50 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sure if you ignore Haiti, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Argentenia, Mexico, geez I'm still in this hemisphere and wait till I get to Africa ...
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged

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