Firearms Owners Association
October 31, 2000
The Saskatoon Star Phoenix
Re: REPLACING C-68: ALLIANCE PROMISES TO RESPECT PROVINCIAL JURISDICTION
Randy Burton’s "Straight Talk" column in Saturday’s Star Phoenix ("Platform planks warping in the wishy-wash" – Page A2, October 28, 2000) requires some clarification. Mr. Burton was correct when he repeated our party’s 5-year pledge to repeal Bill C-68; however, he was premature in labeling our replacement legislation as "ill-defined." In fact, we have already drafted the Orders in Council that will put Bill C-68 on ice the day after we are elected.
Your readers will no doubt recall (even if Mr. Burton doesn’t), that in February, eight provinces and territories challenged the licencing and registration provisions of Bill C-68 all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. Your readers will also recall that the Canadian Alliance supported the provinces’ position that civil rights, licencing of firearm owners and regulation of private property is an exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces in our constitution. How could we possibly be precise about replacement firearms legislation unless we were prepared to abuse the federal government’s criminal law powers in the constitution just like the Liberals did with C-68? Just because the Supreme Court said the Liberal government had the power to impose C-68 on the provinces didn’t make it right!
Prime Minister Chretien’s government imposed his useless billion-dollar gun registration scheme on the provinces and look where it got them. In addition to the Supreme Court challenge, the three prairie provinces have completely opted out of all federal gun control laws, Ontario has opted out of registration component, and Nunavut has launched their own court challenge.
A Canadian Alliance government will respect the exclusive jurisdiction
of the provinces. Consequently, we will get tough – real tough –
on the criminal use of firearms, we will repeal Bill C-68, and then we
will work cooperatively with the provinces and territories to draft and
implement practical, cost-effective replacement legislation. The Star
Phoenix shouldn’t be labeling the Alliance plan as "ill-defined"
simply because we don’t imitate the Liberals and just because we
don’t agree with ramming regulatory firearms laws down the province’s