A last-minute letter of thanks to Jack Layton

This is going to be my last gun registry post before the vote tonight, and I’d like to thank you all for being supportive, or at least patient, during the past few weeks as I’ve rambled on about this issue.

If you’ve been following this blog – or another, hopefully better source of relevant information – then you know that the fate of the bill and the future of the registry largely depend on the twelve NDP MPs who voted in favour of the bill during its second reading in November. At the moment, six of those MPs have pledged to change their vote, one seems to be on the fence, and the other five look set to support the bill.

Last night, I took a moment to send some emails out to these twelve MPs – and to party leader Jack Latyon, who also happens to be my MP. I thanked some for pledging to make the right decision, and I urged the rest to join them. Even though it’s late in the game, I’d like to share my letter to Jack, because a lot of the things I said and a lot of the issues I touched on will be relevant for many days to come, regardless of the outcome of tonight’s vote.

If we win this thing, as it looks like we might, then I think we ought to celebrate together. But no matter what happens tonight, we’re going to have plenty of work to keep on doing tomorrow.

Anyway, here’s the meat of the letter:

“It was an unexpected pleasure to run into you in Toronto this weekend, and I hope the journey back to Ottawa has been a good one. I am writing to you today to once again express my gratitude for the work you have done not only to raise national awareness of Bill C-391 and the value of the long-gun registry, but also to encourage your MPs to vote in favour of further dialogue.

“Those of us who support the long-gun registry have feared for its future since the introduction of Bill C-391. But in the wake of the removal of RCMP Chief Superintendent Marty Cheliak from his position as the director of the Canadian Firearms Program – and the similarly shameful and anti-democratic tactics that the Conservative Party has pursued in the days that have followed – we have come to recognize that there is more to Bill C-391 than the fate of the long-gun registry.

“Many have rightly recognized the Conservative Party’s campaign in support of this bill as yet another symptom of a crisis of democracy in Canada. We have watched as the Conservatives have told Canadians what they believe, and downplayed the polls that contradict their assertions. We have watched them suppress evidence that goes against their dishonest claims, and we have watched them punish the noble public servants who dare to stand up to them. We have watched them put a narrow political agenda ahead of public safety and security.

“We are also proud to support all those in Parliament with the courage to say that enough is enough. And I believe I would be negligent in my support of the party if I didn’t remind you now that the reason I joined the NDP in the first place was to support you and your vision of a better government. There are times when it is especially difficult and politically controversial to stick to such a vision – and these are surely the times when a leader and his fellow representatives, having the courage and integrity to do so, are most deserving of the support of their party members.

“I thank you as always for your service, and I look forward to tomorrow’s vote with hope for our gun registry and our government alike.”

Posted in Save the Gun Registry