Iggy does nothing new – again!


Iggy may think he’s taking a stand against rebellious MPs, by offering up this “compromise”, but his plan doesn’t include anything new that can’t be or isn’t being done now,

Here’s a quote from Iggy from the LPC webpage:

“It would be wrong to ignore the frustration and legitimate criticisms that we have heard about the gun registry, particularly from rural Canada,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “That’s why, today, we’re announcing what a Liberal government would do to make the gun registry more effective, and to respond to these concerns.”

Mr. Ignatieff announced that a Liberal government would implement the following improvements to the long-gun registry:

[1] First-time failures to register firearms would be treated as a simple, non-criminal, ticketing offence, instead of a criminal offence as they are currently;

[2] Fees for new licenses, renewals and upgrades would be permanently eliminated; and

[3] The registration process – especially the forms – would be streamlined to make registration as easy as possible.

[1] Already provided for under FA ss 112 and 115, below.

[2] No Parliament can “permanently eliminate” fees; one Parliament cannot tie the hands of a subsequent Parliament. This is contrary to the theory of the “Supremacy of Parliament”. What one Parliament can do, another Parliament can undo.

[3] When do you ever have to fill out forms for registration? When you buy a new gun from the dealer? Most “registrations” are as a result of a transfer, which is done by phone, isn’t it?

From wikipedia:



In Canada summary offences are referred to as summary conviction offences. As in other jurisdictions summary conviction offences are considered less serious than indictable offences because they are punishable by shorter prison sentences and smaller fines. These offences appear both in the federal laws of Canada and in the legislation of Canada’s provinces and territories. For summary conviction offences that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government (which includes all criminal law), section 787 of the Criminal Code of Canada specifies that, unless another punishment is provided for by law, the maximum penalty for a summary conviction offence is a sentence of 6 months of imprisonment, a fine of $5000 or both. Section 786 of the Code has a statute that prohibits persons from being tried for a summary conviction offence more than 6 months after the offence was committed unless both the prosecutor and defendant agree otherwise.

As a matter of practical effect, some common differences between summary conviction and indictable offences are provided below.

Summary conviction offences

* Accused must be charged with a Summary Conviction within 6 months after the act happened. Note that the Statute of Limitations does not apply to the Criminal Code. Limitation periods are set out in the Criminal Code directly.
* The police can arrest under Summary Conviction without an arrest warrant.
* Police need to have seen the accused commit the offence before they can charge under Summary Conviction.
* Accused does not have to submit fingerprints when charged under Summary Conviction.
* Appeals of Summary Conviction Offences go first to the highest trial court within the jurisdiction (e.g. Provincial Superior Court in Alberta is the Court of Queen’s Bench).
* After Prov. Superior Court a further appeal would go to the Provincial Court of Appeal (e.g. the Court of Appeal of Alberta), and then finally to the Supreme Court of Canada, but as a practical matter very few Summary Convictions are ever heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.
* Accused convicted under Summary Conviction are eligible for an automatic pardon after 3 years provided the accused is not convicted of any further offences during that period.
* Almost always heard first in a provincial court (although some exceptions apply, such as a summary conviction offence included for trial with an indictable offence).

Indictable offences

* There is no time limit to when charges can be laid, e.g. an accused can be charged 20 years after an act has occurred. The exception to this point is treason, which has a 3-year limitation period.
* Police require a warrant to arrest under an Indictable Offence (warrants are required to be signed by judge).
* Police only need to have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the accused has committed the offence (as opposed to having directly witnessed the act as in a Summary Conviction offence).
* Accused does have to submit fingerprints when required to appear to answer to an indictable offence.
* Appeals always go to the Provincial Court of Appeal first, and then on to the Supreme Court of Canada.
* Accused convicted under an Indictable Offence can apply for pardon after 5 years.

This is important because the Firearms Act incorporates “summary conviction” in s 112:


Failure to register certain firearms
112. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), every person commits an offence who, not having previously committed an offence under this subsection or subsection 91(1) or 92(1) of the Criminal Code, possesses a firearm that is neither a prohibited firearm nor a restricted firearm without being the holder of a registration certificate for the firearm.


(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to
(a) a person who possesses a firearm while the person is under the direct and immediate supervision of a person who may lawfully possess it, for the purpose of using it in a manner in which the supervising person may lawfully use it;
(b) a person who comes into possession of a firearm by operation of law and who, within a reasonable period after acquiring possession of it, lawfully disposes of it or obtains a registration certificate for it; or
(c) a person who possesses a firearm and who is not the holder of a registration certificate for the firearm if the person

(i) has borrowed the firearm,

(ii) is the holder of a licence under which the person may possess it, and

(iii) is in possession of the firearm to hunt or trap in order to sustain himself or herself or his or her family.


(3) Every person who, at any particular time between the commencement day and the later of January 1, 1998 and such other date as is prescribed, possesses a firearm that, as of that particular time, is neither a prohibited firearm nor a restricted firearm is deemed for the purposes of subsection (1) to be, until January 1, 2003 or such other earlier date as is prescribed, the holder of a registration certificate for the firearm.

Onus on the defendant

(4) Where, in any proceedings for an offence under this section, any question arises as to whether a person is the holder of a registration certificate, the onus is on the defendant to prove that the person is the holder of the registration certificate.



115. Every person who commits an offence under section 112, 113 or 114 is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

This means that when Iggy talks about his “compromises”, he essentially doing nothing that isn’t already in effect now…and can’t be done better by the Conservatives.

%d bloggers like this: