OTTAWA - The former Liberal government "broke every rule in the book" when it signed a $273-million computer contract for the federal gun registry -- now the subject of a "stop-work" order -- and never reported the costs or terms of the deal to Parliament, a long-time Conservative gun-registry critic alleges.
Saskatchewan Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz, who discovered the existence of the 15-year contract last fall, said it was never reported to Parliament in government estimates on spending, or disclosed by the Treasury Board, which controls the government purse.
I can't help but think how this provides Breitkreuz the opportunity to push to completion the anti-gun registry agenda. There was some concern recently that since the promise to scrap the registry was not one of Harper's 5 priorities it could pushed to the wayside in this session of parliament...
But now, with this report, Breitkreuz has everything he needs to seal the political deal. There is no better way for the Harper government to deal with the Auditor General's report than to scrap this wasteful experiment in gun control for duck hunters and farmers.
Will he do it? It's very well possible that he has another strategy in mind. Though I think Breitkreuz and the rest of the anti-registry crusaders in Ottawa have just received a huge wonking piece of ammo to use to get rid of it - especially in a minority conservative parliament.
Though this does provide Harper with something: fresh "sponsorship scandal" ammo. The Liberal Party of Canada apparently has much more corruption blowback to deal with in the near future. I wonder if Liberals will be considering this when selecting their new leader in the fall.