The following is the results of various ATI (Access To Information) requests by MP Garry Breitkreuz on the subject of how many times the police actually query the Firearms database for firearms-related information. The original web page may be found here.
November 24, 2004 - At a Standing Committee On
Justice meeting held on November 24, 2004, Garry Breitkreuz, MP asked
Public Safety Minister Anne Mclellan the following question:
I want to follow up what my colleague was asking here. I didn't intend
to do this, but when I talk to front line police officers, there's a real
disconnect between what they tell me and what you are telling the committee
For example, this figure of 2,000 hits per day or 14,000
per week is very misleading. In actual fact—I don't know if you've
been told Madam Minister—when a police officer accesses the CPIC
system, I understand, very often it also searches the firearms registry
automatically and he has no interest in what that has to say as far as
the information he wants, but you count that as a hit to the firearms
registry and it's included in those 2,000 times per day.
been unable, after several years of questioning, to find out exactly who
and what information is being searched. That is a very misleading statistic.
29, 2005 – We finally get an answer in response to our Access To
Information Act Request – Canada Firearms Centre File: A-2005-0016]
000270- E-MAIL #1 DATED DECEMBER 6, 2004 – TO KEN MCCARTHY, REGISTRAR
OF FIREARMS AND BEVERLY HOLLOWAY, OPERATIONS DIRECTORATE FROM JAMES DEACON,
DIRECTOR OF POLICY:
“Can we differentiate between “automatic
hits” and what is counted in our 2000 figure?”
000270- E-MAIL #2 DATED DECEMBER 6, 2004 – TO JAMES DEACON, DIRECTOR
OF POLICY FROM KATHLEEN ROUSSEL, SENIOR COUNSEL:
what is missing in the responses below is exactly what that automatic
query gets you – as I understand it from RCMP CPIC services, it
tells you that some info is returned from the CFRO but you don’t
get access to exactly what that is without some extra button-punching.
I also understand that the 2000 hits we count come from this secondary
search, whether done after an automatic “matching or independently.
[Section blanked-out under authority of ATI Act, section 23,
Solicitor Client Privilege].”
ATI PAGE 000271- E-MAIL #3 DATED DECEMBER 3, 2004 – TO JAMES
DEACON, DIRECTOR OF POLICY FROM KEN McCARTHY, REGISTRAR OF FIREARMS:
sum, CFRO is indeed automatically queried in many cases when police officers
ATI PAGE 000271- E-MAIL #4 DATED DECEMBER 2, 2004
– TO KEN McCARTHY, REGISTRAR OF FIREARMS ‘ET AL’ FROM
PIERRE RIOPEL, FIP COORDINATOR:
“MP Garry Breitkreuz
is partially correct in his assertions that CFRO queries are generated
automatically. This statement is however not true in all cases.
While, it is confirmed that all queries done through the CIIDS in British
Columbia does generate automatic CFRO query, it is unknown if all other
provincial CIIDS users do the same. It is also unknown how many
other police agencies querying CFRO through there local interface system
automatically query the CFRO.
ATI PAGE 000272- E-MAIL #5 DATED DECEMBER 1, 2004 –
TO KEN McCARTHY, REGISTRAR OF FIREARMS ‘ET AL’ FROM GINA NJOLSTAD-LALONDE, PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT, STATISTICS AND ANALYSIS:
many provinces, approx. 50% of the queries against the CFRO (by RCMP only)
do come through the Computerized Integrated Dispatch System (CIIDS) as
this query is set as a default in CIDS.
Jean-Paul St. Pierre, any police department using an interface to CPIC
can have their system automatically queried against CFRO. According to
both Jean-Paul and Mike Lavigne of the RCMP, there is no way to tell which
agencies or how many queries.”
000272 E-MAIL #6 DATED NOVEMBER 30, 2004 – TO DIANE BOUDREAU, ACTING
MANAGER, BUSINESS ANALYST FROM KEN McCARTHY, REGISTRAR OF FIREARMS:
Deacon advised me that the Commissioner’s Office needs specific
information relating to CFRO usage by police. Specifically, MP Garry
Breitkreuz is alleging that our CFRO statistics (2000 hits per week) are
He argues that CFRO is automatically
queried (intentionally or not) whenever a police officer checks CPIC.
As such, police are not really using the system. Would you please confirm
whether this is true (or not).
Can we safely say that these 2000
hits are intentional queries of the CFRO? Can we prove it?
can we find out the percentage of CFRO hits coming from police officers,
versus other public agents. You should get Gina involved in this analysis.”
000321 - E-MAIL #7 DATED JUNE 6, 2005 –TO IRÈNE ARSENEAU,
DIRECTOR, COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS FROM AND KEN McCARTHY, REGISTRAR
OF FIREARMS FROM PIERRE RIOPEL, FIP COORDINATOR:
have followed up on the Ontario Stats and the reason why the CFRO query
stats have gone up so dramatically is as follows:
Metro Telecommunications had requested a change in their Intergraph Dispatch
System that would auto query all address responses that was returned from
their records management system. The requested change was never fully
researched and for some reason was implemented as an emergency maintenance
issue. Toronto Metro Technical Security Branch was contacted and they
stated they are going to remove this feature ASAP. The address query responses
from CFRO are not being passed on to anyone. There is a privacy issue
about this type of query. Note that the CFRO auto query of addresses is
based on any valid address query response returned through their Intergraph
This means that if a parking ticket had a valid
address and was returned the Intergraph system, it would generate a CFRO
There is nothing here and the Ontario stats should
return to normal (4,000 to 5,000) queries per week in CFRO once the auto
query through Intergraph is removed.”