Alberta Justice Minister Tyler Shandro says the federal government must show firearms owners a “measure of decency” and extend the amnesty period for guns Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deemed illegal and pledged to buy back.
In September, Alberta was the first province to oppose federal Public Safety Marco Mendicino’s request to aid the federal government’s confiscation program. The move was promptly copied by Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick.
Shandro now says Ottawa appears to be struggling to implement the buyback scheme “despite a mountain of money and years worth of lead time.”
“At minimum, they should proactively extend the amnesty that is currently scheduled to end in October 2023,” he said in a statement.
“Such a decision, however, would involve showing Canadian firearms owners a measure of decency, something that Minister Mendicino and this federal government is seemingly incapable of.”
Through a May 2020 order in council, Trudeau announced he was banning more than 1,500 models of firearms, including guns explicitly used for sport shooting and hunting. The Parliamentary Budget Officer said the program will cost $750 million. Those costs could balloon to $1 billion once administrative fees are taken into account.
The buyback program requires firearms owners to sell their guns to the government or have them rendered inoperable at federal expense.
Last week, Mendicino said Ottawa is working with “potential” third parties to implement the buyback scheme.
A Dec. 29 memo from Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) describes the “transition” of confiscating firearms in the country’s smallest province, which already commenced in December, according to the memo.
“Prince Edward Island (PE) will be used as a pilot and will be the first point of collection based on the smaller number of firearms,” said the memo, as first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.