An influential voice on gun control says it is time for a new cabinet minister to introduce the promised firearms measures of the re-elected Liberal government.
In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the group PolySeSouvient called for the appointment of a minister who “genuinely supports gun control.”
PolySeSouvient has often expressed frustration with liberal efforts to strengthen gun laws in recent years, led by Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief who served as public safety minister.
The group includes students and graduates from Montreal’s cole Polytechnique, where a gunman killed 14 women in 1989.
As Trudeau assembles a new cabinet, Polisuviant says any lawmaker who publicly defended Bill C-21, sponsored by Blair earlier this year, to give up on gun control is “trustworthy”. Will not done”.
The bill recently proposed a repurchase of banned firearms, which the government considers assault-style weapons, but allowing owners to keep them in dire conditions, which the group sharply criticized.
During a recent election campaign, the Liberals promised to make it mandatory for owners of banned firearms, including the Ranger Mini-14s used at Polytechnic, to either sell them back to the government or to disable them at federal expense. Has been done.
Trudeau promised in a Conservative forum to end the Liberal ban on various types of guns and to review the Firearms Act with input from police, gun owners, manufacturers and the public. Tory Leader Erin O’Toole amended the pledge in the middle of the campaign to say that illegal guns would remain banned, but did not say whether this might change after a planned review.
Bill C-21 would also have given municipalities the power to ban handguns. Liberals had promised during the campaign to expand that right to entire provinces or territories, a plan that still falls short for those, such as the polysauvant, who want a truly national ban to avoid the patchwork of handgun laws. .
“We are convinced that the Canadian public, whose votes were clearly affected by this issue, expect, as we do, swift and bold action to strengthen our gun laws,” said a September 24 letter to the prime minister. stated in.
It is signed by PolySeSouvient spokeswoman Nathalie Provost, who was shot during a Polytechnic stampede, and Heidi Rathjen, a school graduate and group coordinator.
Trudeau said this week his plan is to appoint cabinet members with a new session of parliament next month.
PolySeSouvient says that with a clear mandate, public support, and the backing of the NDP and Bloc Québécois, the government should be able to meet Canadians’ expectations on gun control.
“All that is left is to appoint a minister who is up to the task.”
The group urges Trudeau to appoint a cabinet member who will act on the priorities of:
- Meaningful consultations with police chiefs, police representatives, organizations fighting domestic violence, public health and suicide prevention experts, legal experts, victim organizations, poachers and gun shops;
- Implementation of the buyback program “as soon as possible” given that the amnesty for current owners expires next 30 April;
- Prohibition of a number of models that were not covered by the regulations;
- a new legal definition of “prohibited” firearms to make the ban on various guns permanent;
- Elimination of loopholes and exceptions related to magazines to ensure universal compliance with legal limits on the number of rounds; and better police access to sales records to allow data collection without a search warrant so officers can better trace the origins of non-restricted firearms and trace patterns such as mass purchases.
Provost said there has been “no real progress” on gun control over the past six years because liberal measures have been too timid, in contrast to the Cretan government’s sweeping legislation from a quarter century ago.
“This is what needs to change fundamentally,” she said. “And for that to happen, we need a minister who isn’t afraid to act boldly, which we haven’t seen as Alan Rock’s Justice Minister in the 1990s.”