Yesterday Tony Clement rose in the House of Commons to ask Bill Blair the following: “I am told on good authority that the prime minister has a secret plan to ban legal firearms. Apparently, this secret plan is to be executed by cabinet directive with no debate in parliament. The prime minister plans to announce this ban at the Women Deliver Conference, where New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern will also attend – can the prime minister confirm or deny this zero accountability, secret plan?”
“Our government remains absolutely committed to taking all the measures that are effective in keeping Canadians safe…there is no greater responsibility for any order of government than the safety of their citizens. We are prepared to consider whatever measures will be effective in doing so,” Blair replied.
However, while that carefully scripted non-committal response has sparked a furious response among Canada’s gun community (and rightfully so), it also highlights how little is known about the Liberal party’s intentions with regards to firearms. Having long since completed his stakeholder survey, Minister Blair’s office has been tight-lipped about how it will respond to the extensive study that found 81% of Canadians in favour of no new restrictions; a recommendation that flies in the face of a Liberal party policy plank that promised to “take handguns and assault weapons off Canadian streets” in 2015. The Liberal party seems at a crossroads, forced to confront the dissonance between their election mandate and Canadian attitudes, at a time when the Liberal Party of Canada and Justin Trudeau can ill afford to lose potential votes.
But, after some careful digging, we may have some direction. According to what Calibre staff have learned, a senior official in the government of Quebec has confirmed that they were told to expect a large news item pertaining to the AR-15.
After some consultation with experts, it is our expectation that such a news item would more likely take the form of an Order in Council-imposed ban on the transfer of any AR-15, similar to the action taken in New Zealand. Such an OIC may also migrate the AR-15 to prohibited status as well, with sources indicating that no confiscation is yet planned. Thus, it seems most likely that any action taken by the planned Order in Council will likely be followed by a Liberal Party campaign promise of legislative action to remove AR-15s and possibly other forms of firearms from civilian possession.