After a summer-long battle against federal Bill C-19 – a federal bill that would destroy Canada’s national long-gun registry – Quebec has won a significant legal victory in its quest to maintain its provincial registry.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc-André Blanchard ruled on Monday that because the federal government had developed the registry in partnership with individual provinces, it could not unilaterally destroy the data.
In the 42-page document detailing his decision, Blanchard wrote that Bill C-19 “impinges in a very substantial way, even exorbitantly, on provincial powers, and there is no rational or functional justification or any necessity to do so.”
Blanchard’s ruling granted a permanent injunction against the destruction of the data and gave the federal government thirty days to relinquish all of the data on Quebec long-gun ownership to the provincial government.
He also ordered that Canada’s attorney general and the federal director of the registry continue to maintain and update the registry so as not to create a gap in the data, according to the Montreal Gazette.
Public Safety Minister and supporter of Bill C-19 Vic Toews said in a statement that he was disappointed with the ruling, and “will thoroughly review the decision.”
According to the CBC, federal ministers are in the process of studying the ruling to decide whether to bring the case to Quebec’s Court of Appeal or even to the Supreme Court of Canada.