September 25, 2002
For Immediate Release


“In 1999, less than one-half of one percent of all deaths in Canada involved firearms and sadly the Liberal’s billion-dollar gun registry won’t make it any better.”

Yorkton Today, Garry Breitkreuz, Official Opposition Critic on Firearms and Property Rights, released the Library of Parliament’s analysis of Statistics Canada’s most recent report on causes of death in Canada.  Causes of Death, 1999, Catalogue Number CS84-208/1999 was released by Statistics Canada in June of 2002.  The attached Library of Parliament paper is titled Selected Canadian Mortality Statistics 1999 Causes of Death, Number of Deaths, Percent of Total Deaths, Frequency of Occurrence. “Let’s look at what’s actually killing Canadians and let the people decide the best way to spend their hard-earned tax dollars,” said Breitkreuz. “If the Liberal government were really worried about saving the most lives, they would set their spending priorities by using this kind of common-sense analysis.”

The government’s own estimates show that spending on their totally useless gun registry is now approaching one billion dollars, and yet Statistics Canada data demonstrates that less than one-half of one percent of all deaths in Canada in 1999 involved firearms (i.e. 0.07% of homicides with firearms, 0.02% of fatal gun accidents and 0.37% of suicides with firearms).  “The sad fact is that registering the more than 16 million legally owned guns in Canada isn’t going to improve this statistic, in fact, it may make it worse,” commented Breitkreuz. “This is money that should have been spent on measures that are proven to save lives like more police on our streets and highways, more MRIs, more heart disease treatment programs, more cancer research and reducing waiting times for surgery.”

The Library of Parliament chart shows the leading causes of death in 1999 for Canadians were:

The Library of Parliament chart is broken down to compare causes of death for both men and women including:

 “Do you suppose that any of these men and women cared what kind of weapon their murderer used to kill them?” asked Breitkreuz.  “Clearly, the problem isn’t a shortage of weapons for the murderers or whether the weapons were registered with the government or not.  What will everyone say ten years from now when we’ve spent $2 billion registering legally-owned guns and hundreds of men and women are still being murdered every year?  In 1999, the Library of Parliament determined that police reported just over 291,000 incidents of violent crime but the “Use of a Firearm in Violent Incidents” was only 1.4%.  Canadians should be asking the government what they’re doing to stop violent crime -- not how many legally-owned guns they have registered,” concluded Breitkreuz.