Canada Post’s CEO is making it clear to the government that the crown agency wants no part in collecting guns as part of the Liberals’ gun buyback program.

CEO Doug Ettinger told the House of Commons operations committee that he had significant concerns for its employees regarding their potential involvement in the program.

Canada Post employees have been tasked with the responsibility of receiving guns from owners that became outlawed under the Trudeau government’s sweeping gun ban in 2020. 

“It’s my clear responsibility to keep our employees safe — and the public safe, because post offices are public locations,” said Ettinger at the committee meeting on Wednesday.

“We did an internal safety assessment, and we are not comfortable with the process that was being proposed in ongoing discussions over the past few months. Our position is that with the elevated risk, we’re just not comfortable with it.”

Canada Post made its position clear in a letter to Ottawa last month, stating its concern for the safety of its employees regarding potential conflicts between staff and gun owners who are frustrated with the confiscation of something they purchased and owned legally. 

“We’re just not comfortable with that,” Ettinger stressed to committee members.

“Our buildings are not set up with security, with proper storage. Our buildings aren’t that secure overall, the way I would like them to be. This is not in our expertise — this should be best left to those who know how to handle guns, know how to dismantle them, and know how to manage them so no one gets hurt.”

However, the Trudeau government appears insistent on pushing Canada Post to do the leg work on confiscation, proposing regulations last week that would allow for the shipment of prohibited rifles and shotguns via the mail so long as it was for the purpose of their destruction.

The proposed regulations would reverse a 1998 amendment to the Firearms Act that made it illegal to ship prohibited rifles and shotguns through Canada Post. 

The Liberals’ 2020 ban via an order-in-council reclassified approximately 1,500 popular firearms as illegal overnight, however, collecting them has remained a major issue ever since. 

Gun owners were initially granted amnesty until April 2022 however, the Liberals extended it until Oct. 23, 2023 and then again until October 2025, when Canada will hold its next federal election.  

The project has so far cost taxpayers around $42 million as of March, with dozens of full-time employees, and a $2.27 million contract for IBM to develop and design it. 

Yet despite the millions of dollars thrown into the contentious program, it still hasn’t collected a single firearm. 

The Trudeau government has even faced blowback from the association it contracted to help with retrieving firearms from Canadian retailers.

The government tasked the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association to help them procure the now-prohibited firearms back from retailers, who’ve been saddled with unsellable inventory for four years now.

However, the CSAAA found the Liberals’ knowledge of firearms limited in scope, adding further complexity to the already difficult task.

“We’re in a real catch 22,” CSAAA president Wes Winkel told True North’s Andrew Lawton in an interview last month. “These firearms are not saleable. They are very expensive to insure.”

Winkel said he’s opposed to the gun buyback but felt an obligation to help gun retailers make the best of a bad policy.