While Canadian Prime Minstrel.. er Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making headlines for his apparent love of wearing blackface, there’s a much bigger story that could also have a huge impact in next month’s elections in Canada. After months of hemming and hawing, it looks like Trudeau’s Liberal party will soon announce its plan for a sweeping gun ban.
A re-elected Liberal government will ban some types of “assault-style” rifles, as well as introduce additional restrictions on where firearms can be possessed or stored, according to Bill Blair, who has been the party’s pointman on gun control.
The planned measures will be announced “very, very shortly” as part of the Liberals’ campaign platform, Blair said in an interview with The Fifth Estate.
“I have recommended that there are certain weapons that are currently not prohibited that should be prohibited, which means no one should be allowed to have those weapons in our society,” he said.
“I will tell you that I am confident that a Liberal government will enact effective regulation and legislation … to remove weapons that are, in my opinion, just too dangerous in a civil society.”
This has been in the works for quite some time. In fact, nearly a year ago Trudeau asked Bill Blair to investigate banning not only “assault weapons” but all handguns as well. While it sounds like an outright handgun ban didn’t make it into this particular campaign proposal, Blair says the Liberals will also introduce some restrictions on where ” where a firearm can be possessed or stored within a municipality,” according to TheGunBlog.ca.
A number of municipalities, particularly around Toronto, have come out in favor of a ban on handguns in recent months as the city reels from growing gang violence. In fact, at the urging of council member Ralph Cipolla, the city council in Orillia, Ontario (located about 50 miles north of Toronto) voted this week to call for a federal ban on handguns.
Councillors approved a multi-part motion calling on the provincial and federal governments to take steps to address gun crime.
Recommended measures include banning handguns and assault weapons, and encouraging collaboration between police services and governments to tackle issues associated with gun violence and gangs.
“We need to protect our kids and ensure our schools are safe and our playgrounds and parks and waterfronts are safe as well,” Cipolla added.
Council stopped short of supporting a call for mandatory minimum sentences for possessing an illegal firearm or using a firearm during an offence.
Trudeau, meanwhile, is accusing the Conservative party in Canada of being in the “pocket of the gun lobby.”
Conservative Party spokesman Simon Jefferies, in statement on Monday, said party leader Andrew Scheer and the party itself would always defend responsible, law-abiding firearm owners.
“We believe that we must take a thoughtful, serious approach to this issue and pursue measures that actually reduce crime,” he said.
Last year, Scheer promised to put more police officers on the streets, crack down on gangs, and develop tougher background checks for new gun owners and better information-sharing to track guns used in crimes.
I don’t know how next month’s elections will turn out, but between the blackface, his love of gun control, and accusing conservatives of being tools of the gun lobby, if Trudeau is voted out of office he can always move to Virginia and run for governor as a Democrat.