North

Ryan Leef says Larry Bagnell can't be trusted on long-gun registry

Yukon Conservative candidate Ryan Leef is telling Yukon voters that Liberal Larry Bagnell wants to bring back the controversial long-gun registry. "A categorical 'no'", says Bagnell.
A rifle owner checks the sight of his rifle at a hunting camp property in rural Ontario in September 2010. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Yukon conservative candidate Ryan Leef hammered the message during the 2011 election campaign, and he's doing it again this time around: telling Yukoners that Liberal Larry Bagnell can't be trusted when it comes to the long-gun registry.

"Larry said once that he would vote to get rid of it, and he lied," Leef said. "Now he's saying that he wouldn't bring it back or the Liberal party wouldn't bring it back. It's not credible."

Bagnell has been an outspoken critic of the long-gun registry, which was first introduced by the Liberal government in 1993. But in 2010, as MP for Yukon, Bagnell voted with his party to keep the registry in place.

Yukon Liberal candidate Larry Bagnell says his party will not bring back the long-gun registry.
"Some people were understandably upset about that and I certainly realize that," Bagnell said.

He says his decision then was guided by party discipline. Bagnell did not want to be ousted from the Liberal party caucus.

"If you're not in caucus, you can't really help your constituents on a whole bunch of other files. So it was that trade off."

That trade off may have kept Bagnell in the Liberal caucus, but it also likely cost him some votes in the 2011 federal election. In 2012, the Conservative government fulfilled its campaign promise to scrap the registry.

Bagnell says despite what Leef asserts, his party would not bring it back. "A categorical 'no'," he said. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has also recently stated that he would not bring back a long-gun registry.

Campaign postcards sent by Yukon conservative candidate Ryan Leef. (Conservative Party of Canada)
Leef's campaign advertising suggests otherwise, telling Yukoners that Leef is the only local candidate who will oppose a reinstated registry.

"If Larry Bagnell comes back, a long-gun registry comes back," a Leef flyer reads.

Yukon NDP candidate Melissa Atkinson says her party also opposes a long-gun registry. The Green Party platform says it supports a reformed registry. 

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