Before the Oct. 19, 2015 Election BCWF compiled a list of 13 questions that they think candidates in all ridings across BC should answer. The questions touch on issues related to hunting, fishing, trapping, firearms and habitat sustainability, among other things. Only the Liberals and Green Party Responded to this letter.
The Canadian political landscape has changed to a solid Liberal majority for new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Liberals were elected in 184 constituencies; the Conservatives won 99 seats, the NDP 44, the Bloc Quebecois 10, and the Green Party leader held her lone seat on Vancouver Island.
Now that the election is over, we can expect the Liberal government to implement its platform promises. All of the items covered in the 13 questions were things we all want done, but for firearms owners it is important to examine their policies more closely in that area.
Liberal Party of Canada responses to 7 of the 13 questions asked in the BCWF letter:
- to restrict development in our national parks
- to increase science spending in our national parks
- to restore funding to ocean science and monitoring programs
- to fund freshwater research programs
- to invest in migratory bird sanctuaries
- to act on the Cohen Commission recommendations on restoring sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser River
- to not bring the long gun registry back in.
The only question posed about firearms policies was ‘Do you support re-establishing the long gun registry or increasing the regulation of firearms or shooting sports?’
The Liberal Party answer was ‘The Liberal Party of Canada will not bring back the long-gun registry. There are nearly 6,000 victims of gun violence in Canada every year, including one third of all homicides. We believe in balanced, effective gun control that prioritizes public safety while ensuring law-abiding firearms owners do not face unfair treatment under the law. The Liberal Party of Canada will work with Canadians to achieve the shared goal of reducing gun violence in Canada.’
The Liberal party didn’t really address the part about increasing the regulation of firearms or shooting sports so it is worth looking at what their policy was:
We will take action to get handguns and assault weapons off our streets.
Over the last decade, Stephen Harper has steadily weakened our gun laws in ways that make Canadians more vulnerable and communities more dangerous.
We will take pragmatic action to make it harder for criminals to get, and use, handguns and assault weapons. We will:
- repeal changes made by Bill C-42 that allow restricted and prohibited weapons to be freely transported without a permit, and we will put decision-making about weapons restrictions back in the hands of police, not politicians;
- provide $100 million each year to the provinces and territories to support guns and gangs police task forces to take illegal guns off our streets and reduce gang violence;
- modify the membership of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee to include knowledgeable law enforcement officers, public health advocates, representatives from women’s groups, and members of the legal community;
- require enhanced background checks for anyone seeking to purchase a handgun or other restricted firearm;
- require purchasers of firearms to show a license when they buy a gun, and require all sellers of firearms to confirm that the license is valid before completing the sale;
- require firearms vendors to keep records of all firearms inventory and sales to assist police in investigating firearms trafficking and other gun crimes;
- immediately implement the imported gun marking regulations that have been repeatedly delayed by Stephen Harper; and
- as part of our investment in border infrastructure, invest in technologies to enhance our border guards’ ability to detect and halt illegal guns from the United States entering into Canada.
We will not create a new national long-gun registry to replace the one that has been dismantled.
We will ensure that Canada becomes a party to the international Arms Trade Treaty.
There are a lot of things in this policy that firearms owners will not like. Study the implications and contact your local MP, the appropriate minsters once they are named, and the Prime Minister with your concerns. If no one hears from you they can take the position that if no one cares then everything is good to go.