CANADA’S FIREARMS ADVISORY COMMITTEE: THE SCORECARD.

The purpose of the committee is to advise the Minister of Public Safety on pragmatic measures to reform Canada’s firearms policies, laws and regulations to ensure a modernized firearms regime that will keep Canadians safe and safeguard their rights and freedoms in an open and democratic society.

The Committee will consist of up to 15 members. It will include individuals who are civilian firearms users, knowledgeable law enforcement officers, public health advocates, representatives from women’s groups, and members of the legal community.

The National Firearms Association and the Canadian Shooting Sports Association feels that, once again, there is no one from the shooting community who truly represents civilian firearms users with the latest round of appointments.

Seven additional members of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee have been named. Here’s how it breaks down:

Annie Buchan – Member of the Pauktuutit Board of Directors

  • First Nations’ women’s advocate with no public stance on firearms regulation, but is likely to support further regulation.

Ron Bonnett – President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture

  • Farming and agriculture advocate with no public stance on firearms regulation.

James (Jim) Couch – President of Ducks Unlimited, and sports shooter and hunter

  • Wetland and waterfowl conservation advocate. Ducks Unlimited supported the elimination of the long gun registry but remains silent on the greater issues of gun regulation in Canada.

Suzanne Jackson – Chair of the Board at the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA)

  • Representative of an organization that is identified as a member of the Coalition for Gun Control and vocally opposed to Bill C-391; an early attempt to terminate the long gun registry.

Paul Pageau – President of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP)

  • Representative of an organization that is identified as a member of the Coalition for Gun Control and vocally opposed to Bill C-391; an early attempt to terminate the long gun registry.

Paulette Senior – Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Women’s Foundation

  • Former head of the YWCA in Canada. Presided over the YWCA during the YWCA’s membership in the Coalition for Gun Control. Opposed to efforts aimed at eliminating long gun registry.

Clive Weighill – Past President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP)

  • Representative of an organization that is identified as a member of the Coalition for Gun Control and vocally opposed the elimination of the long gun registry by supporting then CACP President (and now sitting MP) Bill Blair.

These additions join former Supreme Court Justice Chair John Major and co-chairs Nathalie Provost (spokesperson for anti-gun group PolySeSouvient) and Olympic athlete Lynda Kiejko, bringing the total number of Firearms Advisory Committee members to 10.

Of the ten members, five represent organizations that are themselves members of the Coalition for Gun Control; an entity aimed at lobbying government for greater regulation of firearms. Additionally, it is likely that at least six are vocally in favour of additional regulation.

Just two are professed firearms owners. Only one is on the record as possessing a restricted firearm of any variety. It is entirely possible that as many as eight members of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee do not possess firearms for personal use. No members of the committee have any record of active advocacy on behalf of firearms owners.

According to the Committee Terms of Reference, up to five more members may be named at the Minister’s discretion. However, with their first meeting having already been held, it seems unlikely than any new appointees will be named in the near future. Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale had this to say;

“I would like to thank the CFAC members for their participation in our first meeting this week. I look forward to continuing to receive thoughtful advice from this Committee. I have great faith that the diverse nature of their backgrounds, their deliberations, and discussions with interested members of the community will help inform the government’s work on firearms issues and serve all Canadians well.”