Bagnell’s, Stoffer’s positions to prove fatal to firearms bill
By Jason Unrau on September 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm
Photo by Whitehorse Star
Larry Bagnell will vote Wednesday to end debate on a private member’s bill aimed at scrapping the long-gun registry, ending speculation on how the Lib-Yukon MP will vote.
Bagnell has twice voted to support Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner’s private member’s bill to kill the long-gun registry, but is now faced with a whipped vote on the issue from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.
“I will be there on Wednesday for the vote ... I am still planning to vote to cease debate on the private member’s bill that would end the registry,” writes Bagnell in an e-mail that his Yukon constituency office provided the Star.
Hoeppner’s Bill C-391 was due for third and final reading in the House of Commons later this month, but it may not get that far if the majority of MPs support a Liberal procedural motion Wednesday to end debate on bill.
Bagnell is currently with family members in Calgary after his wife, Melissa Craig, suffered a miscarriage, and was not available for comment.
Two weeks ago, Hoeppner was in Whitehorse as part of her cross-Canada campaign to pressure rural MPs to support her bill.
The MP for Manitoba’s Portage-Lisgar riding said Bagnell’s vote could be crucial.
News today that NDP MP Peter Stoffer changed his mind – like Bagnell, Stoffer has twice supported C-391 – has put the pre-vote tally at 153 opposed and 151 in support.
At the end of August, Bagnell and Stoffer appeared together on the CBC radio program The Current, where Bagnell said he had not asked Ignatieff if he could skip the vote, adding he would “explore all options that are open to me.”
During that same radio interview, Stoffer said he would support Hoeppner’s bill, but this morning, made an about-face.
On two occasions following Bagnell’s radio appearance, the Yukon MP refused to answer a direct question from the Star – would he or would he not vote in favour of Hoeppner’s bill?
Instead, Bagnell offered the following on Sept. 8:
“I made it quite clear that I would be exploring options right up until the vote, but it doesn’t appear that I’ve been offered any leeway.”