Feb. 15, 2006. 03:59 PM
CANADIAN PRESS


OTTAWA The Conservative government has created a committee of two cabinet ministers and a backbencher to figure out how best to kill the long-gun registry as soon as possible.

Registry critic Garry Breitkreuz, who is working with Justice Minister Vic Toews and Public Security Minister Stockwell Day, said he has been given wide leeway to deal swiftly with the registry.

"I wouldn't be fighting for what I'm fighting for if I didn't think that would be the case," the Saskatchewan MP said in an interview.

"We couldn't have had two better appointments because they're giving me the opportunities to put in place whatever is needed to stop the flow of money right now."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised voters during the election campaign that the long-gun registry would be scrapped and money redirected to public safety.

When the Liberals added the registry to the federal gun control program in 1995, they said it would cost taxpayers no more than $2 million. But the most recent estimates put the figure in the hundreds of millions of dollars, bringing the total cost of the gun program to more than $1 billion.

The Conservatives have called the registry a waste of taxpayers money that targets duck hunters rather than criminals.

Breitkreuz would say little about how the government will kill the registry while maintaining background checks it promised on would-be gun owners.

"I still have to work through Stockwell Day and Vic Toews so I can't tip my hand as to what we're doing but we're working on that."