(Churchill MP Niki Ashton after voting to scrap the gun registry Wednesday. APTN photo)
APTN National News
OTTAWA–The federal gun registry will live to face a different vote on another day after MPs on Wednesday evening narrowly passed a motion to quash a Conservative bill aimed at killing the gun registry.
The final vote tally was close with 153 MPs voting in favour of keeping the gun registry alive, and 151 MPs voting against it.
Among those voting to scrap the registry were six NDP MPs who sided with the Conservatives.
NDP members like Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington, who represents the Northwest Territories, and Churchill MP Niki Ashton, who represents a northern Manitoba riding, said they voted against the registry because of their large Aboriginal constituency.
“We had a free vote and my party pretty well understood where my constituents come from on the issue,” said Bevington. “We have questions of Aboriginal rights that are very important to this party and those have expressions within our party.”
Ashton, who was confronted by angry Canadian Auto Workers union members after the vote, said she cast her vote to give voice to her Aboriginal constituents.
“Aboriginal people need to be heard and these are their voices speaking,” said Ashton. “They were never consulted (on the registry) and that is the majority I represent.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said before the vote that his party would continue to fight to scrap the registry even if they lost that evening.
“After 15 years, opposition to the long-gun registry is stronger in this country than it has ever been,” said Harper. “The people of the regions of this country are never going to accept being treated like criminals and we will continue our efforts until this registry is finally abolished.”