"We're having a debate on gun control right now in Canada on the long gun registry, a very hot debate. What if the NRA came into Canada with petitions and advertising campaigns, trying to influence Canadian policy and Canadian decisions? People would be outraged. People. would. be. outraged."
"If all goes well in the Canadian parliament, Dominion gun owners will be freed from 14 years of living under the crushing weight of a bureaucratic, scandal-ridden, wasteful, invasive, $2 billion, error-ridden and inarguably worthless long gun registry."
"The NRA of America supports and endorses the work done by the CILA [Canadian Institute for Legislative Action] and strongly encourages all Canadian firearms owners to become CILA supporting members."
"We have been working hand in hand with the NRA regarding international issues for the past three and a half years...in fact, the NRA was instrumental in the formation of CILA…the NRA provides CILA with tremendous amounts of logistic support."
In December, an NRA official was scheduled to offer a "legislative training workshop" at the annual meeting of CILA's parent organization.
"How do we protect our rights?" went the promo for the event. "By being more politically active and effective at the grassroots [level]. And who better to show us how than the most powerful lobby group in the world, the National Rifle Association and their Institute for Legislative Action."
Bernardo, a frequent guest on NRA chat shows updating U.S. gun owners on the fight to kill the Canadian registry, said the NRA was instrumental in helping him set up his Canadian lobby group, CILA, the lobbying arm of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA), and a mirror group of the Institute for Legislative Action, the NRA's lobbying arm.
"While Brant was working with Garry Breitkreuz, he acted as liaison with the CSSA on a variety of gun-related issues, including the long-gun registry. The CSSA worked with the MP's office on Bill C-301 and later Bill C-391," explains Bernardo."
Michael Bryant, formerly Ontario's attorney general, said the NRA has been agitating in Canadian political backrooms for years.
Canadians need to know the role the NRA has played in the gun registry debate, Bryant said.
"For a lot of people in Canada, if they knew that the NRA was part of the effort to get rid of the gun registry, they would think more about their views," he said.
"And they would think, 'well, wait a minute, I thought this was about, you know, wasting taxpayer dollars. The NRA's involved? Really? That makes me very uncomfortable … ' "