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Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty and Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer went against the NDP's official position and voted with the government during the second reading of the bill to abolish the controversial long-gun registry.

Two Thunder Bay-area New Democratic Party MPs have been punished for voting in favour of the abolition of the long-gun registry.

Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer and Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP John Rafferty will not be allowed to make statements or ask questions in the Commons chamber. 

They were also removed from their critics' roles.

Spotted

The NDP's decision to punish two MPs spurred strong reaction and debate amongst CBC community members.

"I am disgusted by political parties that force their MPs to vote against the wishes of their constituents," said yellowcanoe.

"These people were elected as members of the NDP, and if I had voted for them, I would expect them to follow the party line," said Randy75.

See what else you had to say on our community blog.

The term of their discipline is unknown but Rafferty said it will last until the gun registry issue has been dealt with in Parliament.  

The two went against the NDP's official position and voted with the government this week during the second reading of the bill to abolish the controversial long-gun registry.

Jack Harris, the NDP's justice critic, said Rafferty and Hyer had been warned they would suffer "the consequences" if they broke ranks.

Harris said the two members were sanctioned by NDP Interim Leader Nycole Turmel. Dennis Bevington, the NDP member for the Western Arctic in the Northwest Territories, abstained from voting and Nathan Cullen, who is a candidate for the NDP leadership, left the house before the vote.

Turmel did not indicate Wednesday if the party line would be enforced more rigidly when the long-gun registry comes to a final vote.

Instead, she said there is more work to be done in committee and that the party caucus is unanimous in believing the registry's data should be made available to provinces that want to set up their own registry.

With files from The Canadian Press