Peter Stoffer’s reluctant pledge to save the gun registry could be the deciding factor

Despite his personal objections, NDP MP Peter Stoffer has officially fulfilled the promise that he hinted at last week by confirming that he will vote against a bill designed to scrap the long gun registry on Wednesday.

Out of the twelve NDP MPs who voted in favour of the bill during its second reading last year, he is the sixth to announce such a switch. And it looks like Niki Ashton may become the seventh, given the proper support and encouragement from her constituents

“At the end of the day,” Stoffer said, “I have to represent my constituents.” Although he’s personally not a fan of the registry, he notes that 62% of his constituents would rather preserve it and revise it than scrap it altogether.

Sadly, it’s a discrepancy that has made him question his own leadership. “It is unfortunate that I have failed them,” Stoffer told the press. “It is unfortunate that I did not do my job accordingly or properly.”

If everything goes according to projections on Wednesday, then Stoffer’s vote will tip the scales. At the moment, 153 votes are expected to be cast against the bill, while 151 are expected to be cast for killing the registry.

So yes, it’s still a close one – and as I mentioned in a previous post, it could just as easily be the abstainers who decide this one. Despite his apparent reservations about his own leadership, credit is due to Stoffer for voting in service of his constituents despite his own views on the bill, and pledging that he will not abstain from voting.

By the way, Peter Stoffer is also mentioned in an article that This Magazine posted earlier this afternoon, entitled “The 7 Private Members’ Bills That Shouldn’t Die in Parliament, But Probably Will.” The article notes that Stoffer is the MP who introduced Bill C-224, which proposes that a right to housing be written into the the Canadian Bill of Rights. Not a bad idea, Mr. Stoffer!

Posted in Save the Gun Registry