In Canada, there have been regular attempts to link Canadian gun organizations with the NRA, accusing legal gun owners of infiltrating government to form corrupt and unsafe firearms legislation. Yet, despite the allegations, tangible proof has been conspicuously absent from these claims. Until now. But it’s not from the group you’d expect:
Canada’s anti-gun lobby was recently caught engaging in this behavior.
In light of recent gun ban measures announced by Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair and firearms sales reaching an all-time high over societal fears of the COVID-19 virus, it’s a good time to revisit Canada’s most infamous gun scandal in order reveal how backdoor dealings with an MP from the Liberal Party of Canada and the unethical actions of Canada’s largest anti-gun lobby group continue to shape federal firearms legislation.
The Anti-Gun Lobby Infiltrates CFAC
The Canadian Firearms Advisory Council (CFAC) advises the federal government on firearms policy. CFAC is supposed to represent gun owners and unlicensed civilians alike. It’s a complex task, as there is a great deal of misinformation in the public sphere about firearms. For example, StatsCan shows gun ownership is way up, yet homicide is down. Government research proves Canadian gun owners are less likely to commit homicide, yet continue to be portrayed as a threat. The low homicide rate makes practical sense once you learn Canadian gun owners are screened daily by law enforcement.
The data has become a major problem for extreme activist group PolySeSouvient. The organization is starved for Canadian statistics to support their anti-gun position. Year after year, poly has been forced to rely on decades old high-profile shooting incidents and victim testimony in an attempt to manipulate public emotion due to Statscan releasing numbers which continually assert Canadian firearms ownership is extremely safe.
Senate committee hearings last year revealed Canada has 2.2 million licensed gun owners, yet over the previous decade, only 169 homicides involved a legal gun owner, leaving no substantial or plausible link between gun ownership and homicide. While any shooting event is certainly tragic, data from RCMP and StatsCan reveals that most of Canada’s firearms problems stem from criminal gang violence, not gun ownership.
So, after years working with PolySeSouvient (Poly Remembers, made in memory of the Ecole Polytechnique massacre of 1989) and receiving sympathetic exposure from biased media outlets, it seemed as if Nathalie Provost’s efforts finally hit pay dirt in 2017 when she was appointed as vice chair of CFAC by the Trudeau Liberals.
Troubling Evidence Leads to an Investigation
Provost’s appointment was met with suspicion by many Canadians due to work she’s done the anti-gun lobby since 2010. She’s also a shooting victim, of the aforementioned Polytechnique massacre in Montreal. CFAC appointees are required to remain impartial, recusing themselves from lobbyist activity while appointed.
Special treatment of vice-chair Provost was seen almost immediately after she strangely refused to learn existing Canadian firearms law by refusing to take the Canadians Firearms Safety course. She was personally excused from this practical measure by Canada’s former Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who claimed it was “insensitive and inappropriate” for her.
Unfortunately, the concerns surrounding Provost’s appointment became justified after an ATIP request initiated by Tracey Wilson of the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights uncovered the infamous mandate letter in which Provost was identified as a “Member and Spokesperson” for her “former” anti-gun colleagues:
It seems Provost was eager to flex her new powers as vice-chair. The communication was sent to Ralph Goodale mere months after her appointment to CFAC, a direct violation of her mandate to refrain from lobbyist activity. Credit to Wilson here for predicting Provost’s behavior and catching her almost immediately.
In the subsequent fallout, Provost was investigated by the federal lobbying commissioner. Despite public outrage, she managed to avoid disciplinary action due to a legal technicality: no evidence could be found that she was paid or compensated directly by Poly. Sound familiar?
Yet, it’s hard not to see a glaring conflict of interest here. Whether she was paid for her actions or not, the evidence is damning. “Free” lobbyist activity is still lobbyist activity, and the document clearly favours Poly’s organizational goals, not CFAC’s. No other group aside from Poly was consulted in the recommendation letter. It was neither submitted nor co-developed by CFAC. The letter came directly from PolySeSouvient with Provost’s signature. Why was she still working with Poly nearly a year after being appointed to vice-chair?
Before we get to the meat of the letter, it’s important to note Provost later resigned from her position on CFAC in public outrage, claiming the liberals were too “timid” on assault-style guns, that her consultations were “obviously useless”. A revealing insight into Provost’s mindset, corroborating the accusations of bias she faced during her investigation.
As for Ralph Goodale, due to his riding in Saskatchewan having many gun owners, he failed to win re-election—only to be resurrected via an outrageous “boutique hire” by the Trudeau government.
The Dirty Details
Let’s examine the key portion of Provost’s mandate: I’ve highlighted items in yellow which have already come into partial or full effect. Items in orange are currently being proposed through a rumored OIC.
Provost’s public tantrum and subsequent resignation is baffling. A full six out of the eight items she requested were either partially imposed through RCMP bulletin or legislated via Bill C-71. Fast forward to 2020 with Justin Trudeau’s proposed OIC gun confiscation, something he promised never to do, and it makes the final tally eight-out-of-eight, a perfect score for Provost’s “impartial” recommendations.
Some gun owners may argue #7 came into effect in 1978 when full auto rifles were banned with bill C-51, however the slang term “assault weapon” is rhetoric used by anti-gun lobbyists which has no true meaning I am aware of. As such, my feelings are that imaginary objects can’t be banned.
Regardless, this was a highly successful attempt (despite the unethicality) at lobbying our government. Canada’s 2.2 million gun owners were completely ignored regarding this legislation, even after public consultation and senate committee hearings came back heavily against Bill C-71. The whole affair stinks to high heaven. It makes one wonder how often this corrupt dynamic occurs on other issues in the Canadian political landscape, yet slip through unnoticed.
PolySeSouvient Is Against Canadian Firearms Safety Training
Item number two of the mandate is a direct request to forbid marketing of the Canadian Firearms Safety Training. It’s absurd. Why would an organization which claims to be devoted to public safety, want to discourage Canadians from taking safety training?
One hypothesis is that Canada’s anti-gun lobby is trying to limit and impede the firearms licensing process. Canada’s federally mandated safety courses are a prerequisite for licensing. By making it difficult to discover and enroll in safety courses, it could slow gun adoption rates. Also, citizens who take the CFSC and CRFSC are immediately made aware that Canada already has significant and severe gun control measures in place.
Gun owners are tested extensively on firearms legislation, becoming intimate with storage, transport, and usage laws through four separate examinations—two written and two practical. After completion, graduates often realize terminology and discussions surrounding firearms in the media are frequently based on hyperbole.
It’s hard to convince informed individuals more gun control is necessary once they learn their pistol is not only magazine limited, but federally registered and must be locked inside a secure case, with an additional trigger lock inside, and even then can only be used at a gun range which requires additional training and annual cost.
Unfortunately, It would seem the Liberal government may be trying to pre-emptively enforce this measure by closing the Canadian Firearms Program during the COVID Crisis, halting new firearms applications in Canada until further notice which means until Miramichi is re-opened, Canadians can’t get a new gun license.
A Manufactured, Hyperbolic Threat
Mandate number seven from Provost’s infamous letter references “assault weapons designed for killing humans”.
However, Canada’s licensing process tests knowledge for every class of firearm available on the Canadian Market. Technical specifications, function and safe handling of “assault weapons” or “military style semi-automatics” is nowhere to be found in the course or testing because neither is a real classification of firearm.
Which brings us to today.
The language in Provost’s letter is deliberately dishonest. It’s an attempt to fool the general public, by using hyperbolic definitions. It seems Canada’s anti-gun lobbyists are interested in creating a new firearms classification which is not based on technical specification, ballistic performance or function. By seeking a vague umbrella term worded to frighten the public, they are creating a generic label to ban any firearm they dislike in the future.
This approach was tried in New Zealand last year with disastrous results. Noncompliance is rampant. The new legislation criminalizes hundreds of thousands of gun owners with no violent history. Worse, the small percentage of gun owners who actually did choose to comply were rewarded with a massive data breach that gifted criminals with all their personal info and addresses exposing thousands to potential firearms theft. It’s an absolute nightmare. New Zealand is in a far more dangerous position with respect to criminal firearms risk than a year ago. Let’s not forget the shooter came from Australia, a country with similar gun laws in place.
Ultimately, what we have brewing here by Poly and the Liberals is a billion dollar “solution” to a manufactured “problem”, using sleazy back door channels to implement corrupt legislation with no debate, consultation or vote in the house of commons.