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While election 2021 #ELXN44 did not go our way, it could have been worse. The Trudeau government called the election thinking they were going to gain a full majority government which would help advance their agenda, rushing bills through parliament at a rapid pace. This was not the case as Canadians pushed back, only giving Trudeau a minority government.
This election delivered a stinging loss for not only the PC Party, but Canada as a whole! Under the leadership of Erin O’Toole, the Progressive Conservative Party appeared divided on key policies. Internal discord was obvious and many have reflected on Mr. O’Toole seemingly steering the party towards the progressive left appearing to alienate some of the core electorate.
During the election Mr. O’Toole flipped and flopped on many different issues including carbon tax, vaccine passports and gun control. O’Toole, armed with his strategy to capture more votes from the left leaning, ended up doing exactly the opposite. It is clear from final results many voters who originally supported O’Toole’s stance on these flip flop issues redirected their support to the smaller fringe party, The People’s Party of Canada. The result was both clear and harsh; losses in key swing ridings to Trudeau’s Liberals.
While it is hard to find a positive in this expensive, fruitless election the closest would be that the Conservatives were able to hold the Liberals from getting a full majority.
Guns A Wedge Issue?
During and before the election many polling companies were at work determining the key issues of concern for Canadians. At the top of the priority list was the economy and covid. The ‘gun control’ issue was only a playing card the Liberals were holding in their back pocket. When struggling for support after a rough start to the campaign the Liberals trotted out their sudden concern for how Mr. O’Toole would handle their gun control legislation, framing this as a top concern for Canadians that simply failed to make the many advanced polls. This deceptive Liberal election strategy put Mr. O’Toole in a tough spot. He chose his words very carefully trying not to lose support from the firearms community while simultaneously appealing to the left leaning undecided voter.
My thoughts on O’Toole’s statement indicating he was not rolling back the assault weapons ban were that he had no intention of rolling back the legislation introduced in 1977. He also went on to indicate he would not change the May 1ST 2020 order in council “assault style weapons ban” and he would review the firearms act and classification system. This all lead me to believe he was planning to keep the OIC in place while diligently evaluating the entire classification system. After a fair review the firearms that were included in the OIC should be reclassified back to their original status. A play on words, sure, but Mr. O’Toole was backed into a corner and felt he had to secure the left leaning votes that could flee. The unexpected back lash was alienating some firearms community voters causing them to protest by either moving their vote to another party or simply not going out to vote at all.
- Toughen our laws on banned assault weapons by making it mandatory for owners to either sell the firearm back to the government for destruction and fair compensation or have it rendered fully and permanently inoperable at government expense.
- Crack down on high-capacity magazines and require that long gun magazines capable of holding more then 5 rounds be permanently altered so that they can never hold more than 5 rounds.
- Ban the sale or transfer of magazines that could hold more than a legal number of bullets, regardless of how they were intended to be used by the manufacturer.
A few of the highlights listed in the 2021 Liberal election platform that legal hunters and safe sport shooters need to be deeply concerned about.
Now that the election is over, and politicians are heading back to Ottawa we can quickly expect a re-introduction of what was C-21 before Trudeau dissolved government. The bill will have to be re-introduced and will probably not hold the same name C-21. I suspect they will make changes to the bill from the original one to add the provisions listed above. The Liberals were clear in their election platform that the buyback from the “assault style weapons ban” will be mandatory after facing backlash from the anti-gun groups.
What is the outlook for firearms owners in possession of prohibited class firearms? Not good at all, the Liberals have yet to figure out the actual cost of a ‘buyback program’. Deepening the suffering, many owners are now convinced they will be required to surrender their firearms without reimbursement. The lack of concern for the potential financial impact to gun owners in addition to the loss of freedom and enjoyment is shocking.
There are many legal challenges currently against the OIC of May 1ST 2020. After losing the election, these challenges are our remaining hope to stop further gun control and save firearms owners from having to hand over their safely stored property. It is not going to be an easy battle as the Canadian courts have agreed to hear the case but at a date that comes after the end of the amnesty period firearms owners were given.
Will They Make You Choose?
There is currently an injunction filed requesting that the amnesty period be extended. Firearms owners have until May 1ST 2022 to turn in their newly prohibited firearms to police or face possible criminal charges. The Trudeau government has flip flopped as well which leaves firearms owners guessing what will be next?
The Trudeau government first announced it would create a buyback program promising firearms owners ‘fair compensation’. They then flipped and indicated there would be an option for owners to choose if they want to sell back their firearms or keep them in the gun safe with no ability to use them. During the election platform they pivoted again decrying the buyback will be mandatory! Trudeau has failed to share any details on this “buyback program” they keep tossing around and there are only a few months left till the end of the amnesty period. It is highly unlikely the gun community will get answers or clarity behind Trudeau’s plans anytime soon.
LONG HARD ROAD AHEAD FOR FIREARMS OWNERS IN CANADA.