QUEBEC CITY — The Quebec government marked the 23rd anniversary of Canada's deadliest school shooting by reiterating its plans to create a provincial gun registry.
Public security minister Stephane Bergeron said in a statement that his Parti Quebecois government will soon table a bill to impose mandatory firearms registration.
He made the comments as he marked Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique massacre where gunman Marc Lepine fatally shot 14 women in 1989.
Bergeron also mentioned the deadly shooting at Dawson College in 2006, as well as the fatal shooting that disrupted Premier Pauline Marois' victory speech on Sept. 4.
"Quebec believes in a system of firearms registration, essential to the administration of justice, to police work and to the safety of the population," he said.
The Tories have dismantled the national registry created by the previous Liberal government but Quebec successfully persuaded a judge to stop Ottawa from destroying data related to Quebec gun owners.
In a ruling Sept. 9, Superior Court Judge Marc-Andre Blanchard ordered the federal government to transfer the data to the province while safeguarding any relevant equipment or personnel.
He said "uncontested evidence" shows that gun-related suicides and crimes, including homicides, dropped in the years following the creation of the registry.
Police associations and shooting victims have supported the registry but the Conservatives, as well as shooting and hunting clubs, say the database is costly, ineffective and infringes on the rights of legal gun owners.
Polls indicate a split in public opinion, with most English Canadians opposing the registry.