As I wrote yesterday, the cost overruns associated with the Gun Registry should be a non-issue when it comes to a decision as to whether it should be kept or killed. And this because, as the AG herself has noted on several occasions, including here, the current management team of the CFC (Canadian Firearms Centre) has performed competently and costs are now under control, whatever problems there might have been in the past.
In fact the cost overruns are a smoke-screen designed to conceal the fact that the Tories are after the Registry for purely ideological reasons, and so they may throw some red meat to their rural base. What has only gradually become clear to me is the loathsomeness and occasional near-illegality of the anti-Registry faction's tactics.
For example, they've been sending hate-mail to Miramichi, the main processing office for the CFC:
[Miramichi Mayor John] McKay said yesterday he has received dozens of letters in recent weeks from Western Canadians who feel he has no business defending the roughly 200 jobs created by the gun registry in the economically depressed region.
"It's hate mail," he said.
McKay said he always believed there was a disconnect between Western Canada and the East, but the letters he is receiving indicate a depth of hatred and disgust he never would have suspected.
Furthermore, the Tories have been instructing the CFC to ignore the legislation that governs the Registry, to ignore the law, in other words. As the CBCs Robert Sheppard writes:
But this is an issue that is not just going to fade away. Just over a month ago, the Canadian Firearms Centre sent a bulletin to the RCMP reminding them that the gun registry was the law of the land, and that it is the police's job to seek out those who have not renewed their licenses and get them to re-register or give up their weapons.
The government then promptly told the centre to "cease and desist" this tactic, according to Conservative MP Gerry Ritz. He told the Lloydminster Meridian Booster that there is "a tremendous fight" going on now between the government and the CFC, adding metaphorically, of course: "I think we're going to have to hunt a few of these CFC folks down and show them how serious we are. We're in control now."
One certainly hopes that Mr. Ritz comments were intended metaphorically.
Update 1:15 pm Best Blog post this morning on the issue is Red Tory's here.