Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Bill Blair has indicated that the Trudeau Liberals might resort to a federal order to implement a controversial handgun ban, meaning a sweeping change could come without a vote in the House of Commons.
Blair, who was put in charge of studying the potential implications of a handgun and “assault rifle” ban suggested an order-in-council is one of the potential avenues the federal government could use to get the law through in time before the next election.
An order-in-council is a controversial measure that allows the federal government to pass a law through the authority of the governor general, bypassing the ordinary legislative and political channels.
As a result of his study, Blair found that Canadians are split on the issue of gun control.
“Overall, participants were strongly polarized on the issue of banning handguns and assault-style firearms,” claimed the report.
The federal government has cited the Christchurch mosque shooting as one of the reasons behind its recent push to further regulate legal gun ownership. The New Zealand parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of an “assault weapon” ban shortly after the attack.
Independent MP Tony Clement was the first to raise alarms about a potential ban in the House of Commons.
“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?” asked Clement.
The Women Deliver Conference is slated to take place from June 3rd to June 6th. The Prime Minister’s Office denied Clement’s accusation, but it was only a couple of weeks later that Blair refused to take an order-in-council off the table.
Recently, Trudeau-appointed Senator Marilou McPhedran attempted to put forward an amendment to Bill C-71 “to add handguns to the “prohibited firearm” list” in the Canadian Criminal Code. However, the amendment was shut down by a Senate committee in a six to two vote.