Earlier, your NRA-ILA reported that Canada’s three prairie provinces have opposed the federal government’s “assault weapon” confiscation law and refused to allow provincial resources to be used in enforcing the gun ban and so-called “buyback” of legally acquired firearms.
By the end of September, officials representing the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba governments had notified Marco Mendicino, the federal minister responsible for implementing Prime Minister Trudeau’s gun ban and confiscation law, that they would not authorize the use of provincially-funded resources to implement the program within their jurisdictions.
Since then, officials in Yukon and New Brunswick have likewise expressed the view that the federal gun grab should not be piggybacked on provincial resources.
On October 12, members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) of Yukon adopted motion No. 436, urging “the Yukon government to ensure that territorial policing resources are not diverted to assist in the implementation of the Government of Canada’s gun ‘buy-back’ program.”
Brad Cathers, the Yukon Party MLA and Official Opposition Justice critic who introduced the motion, referred to the provinces that had already come out in opposition and reminded MLAs about the Liberal Party’s failed long-gun registry, “eventually scrapped after going massively over its original budget and wasting billions of dollars.”
In his lengthy remarks, Cathers emphasized the broader principle that, in a healthy society, it was “important for people to feel that, while they may not agree with the government of the day, generally speaking, the government is trying to protect their rights and is looking out for them. It’s important … to remember that we need to respect what our fellow Canadians value, even if it is not important to us.” The right to own firearms “is very important to a great many Canadians.”
The past practice in Canada, he said, had been that firearms that became illegal due to a change in the law could still be kept by the owners but not resold. “The change and the step across the line into what has been called a ‘buyback’ program is, in fact, confiscation and is a major change that is deeply disturbing to many Canadians who value property rights. It’s a gentle-sounding term for what it really is: the forced confiscation of private property. For many Canadians and many Yukoners, the principle of that is not acceptable.”
Responding, the Minister of Justice, Liberal MLA Tracy-Anne McPhee, advised that the Liberal MLAs would not be supporting the motion as “it is simply speculative at this point.” However, she confirmed that “we do not have the administrative resources, the personnel resources, or the financial resources at [RCMP] M Division to participate in what might be conceived of as a buyback program. I say ‘might be’ because the scope of that program and the details of that program have not yet been designed and not yet been released.”
Soon after, New Brunswick became the latest province to tell the feds that they’d have to find the means elsewhere for seizing firearms from responsible Canadians. An October 14 press release from New Brunswick’s Department of Justice and Public Safety quoted Public Safety Minister Kris Austin. “New Brunswick’s bottom line is this: RCMP resources are spread thin as it is. We have made it clear to the Government of Canada that we cannot condone any use of those limited resources, at all, in their planned buyback program.” In common with the prairie provinces, New Brunswick “called on the federal government to halt plans to use scarce RCMP and municipal police resources to confiscate over 100,000 legally acquired firearms from Canadians,” and asked the federal government not to divert funding from any other public safety initiatives to make the confiscation program possible.
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) is urging Canadians in the remaining provinces to contact elected officials and ask that they likewise refuse to allow provincial resources to be “redirected to confiscating guns from licensed gun owners because Justin Trudeau lost his progressive crown to gun-banning Jacinda Ardern in 2019.”
Besides the critical issues of who will pay and what it will cost, these officials should consider what’s behind the shocking failure of Justin Trudeau’s government to publicly disclose almost all of the details of how the proposed “buyback” is expected to work. The already-extended amnesty period is due to expire in less than a year, yet – as the Justice Minister in Yukon confirms – at this late date “the scope of that program and the details of that program have not yet been designed and not yet been released.”