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4/14/2006

Canada's Gun Registry Program to Suffer Major Blow in Coming Report

PUBLICATION: The Ottawa Sun
DATE: 2006.04.14
EDITION: Final
SECTION: News
PAGE: 10
BYLINE: KATHLEEN HARRIS, PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU
COLUMN: Parliament Hill
WORD COUNT: 272

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AG SET TO GO BALLISTIC OVER GUN REGISTRY?
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A potentially explosive audit could "put the nail in the coffin" of the controversial gun registry, according to a Conservative MP.

Auditor General Sheila Fraser is slated to release a damning audit on the Canada Firearms Program next month and has cryptically hinted at a major finding.

"In carrying out our audit of the Canada Firearms Centre, we noted a matter with significant implications for Parliament's control of public spending," she writes after a brief summary of eight chapters.

Tory MP Garry Breitkreuz, a long-time critic of the gun registry, believes the AG will expose more numbers fudged by the former Liberal government. He said Fraser could blow the lid off murky enforcement costs and a shadowy $273-million computer contract he uncovered while in Opposition.

"She could be highlighting the fact that contracts were given out and there's not a proper paper trail," he said. "That's a damning indictment of how a government does business if there's no paper trail and you're shovelling millions of dollars out the door."

Breitkreuz has filed about 550 access to information requests on the gun registry, but still doesn't know the true costs. He predicts the AG's report will be a "significant event that will finally "put the nail in the coffin" of the registry. . . .

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