May 6, 2020
The Hon. Bill Blair House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Phone: 1 613 995-0284
Subject: Order in Council, Firearms Ban
Dear Minister Blair, On May 01, 2020, your minority Liberal Government banned approximately 1,500 models and variants of rifles via an Order in Council. The Kelowna and District Fish and Game Club, representing approx. 1,000 members, writes to you to express several concerns with this action, and to request you immediately place any firearms laws before Parliament for democratic debate. It is patently obvious your Government is manipulating knowledge gaps amongst the population to score political points. Prime examples include your misleading messaging, such as making up words with no legal definition (military style assault rifles), describing already prohibited items (high capacity magazines, fully automatic firearms), and describing already prohibited actions (hunting with restricted firearms). This hyperbolic and recurring misrepresentation of the truth seeks to manipulate the Canadian population. Further, your Party's purposeful avoidance of the legislative process has stifled discussion, averted a reasoned and fact-based study of the issue, and obviated a representative vote by our elected officials. In short, the use of an Order in Council by the Liberal Party is a serious overreach and is undemocratic.
Your Party’s order serves to strip Canadians of their lawfully acquired property, or to prevent them from the use of their property. We remind you this property was legally obtained after multiple layers of qualification and approval from the Government’s own Canadian Firearms Program. Your actions appear to directly contravene Canadians' rights to the enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law, as guaranteed by Section 1 (a) of the Canadian Bill of Rights.
Your Government’s proposal to “buy back” lawfully owned property from licensed individuals will simply remove funding and capacity which would be much better spent on initiatives which would have a direct link to enhancing public safety. We ask you to instead consider funding programs such as gang prevention, mental health support and screening, and border security and interdiction of smuggled drugs and firearms, as opposed to a “buy back” from the most vetted group in Canada, who (as you are well aware) is not statistically linked to significant firearms crime.
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Kelowna & District Fish and Game Club
Our frustration as law abiding firearms owners is that while our members have always been willing to work with the authorities in reasoned and fact-based consultation, your actions have squandered this potential alliance. If you had followed your own promises of creating evidence-based policy to address the real causation of gun crimes in Canada (gangs, drugs, mental health issues and illegal guns), we could support you. Instead, you have misrepresented the truth, vilified law abiding citizens, and poisoned our ability to work with you. I will summarize your Government’s hypocrisy in this matter with a quote from Robyn Urback of the Globe and Mail: “If this government was to expend some political capital on guns, it should do it on measures that will actually make a difference – and not on marginal gestures it can speciously sell as a ban”.
In summary, we are registering our formal protest with this Order in Council. The Kelowna and District Fish and Game Club requests you immediately rescind this action, and place any proposed firearms laws before Parliament and our Canadian democratic process.
The KDFGC Board of Directors