COMMENTARY — Canadians finally know who is in newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet. While many of his ministers are new to the job, some long-serving veterans have returned to Cabinet portfolios.
The Hon. Ralph Goodale, M.P. for Regina-Wascana, Saskatchewan, the newly appointed Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, is one of those. First elected to the House of Commons in 1974, he returned to the House of Commons in 1993 and has served there ever since.
Importantly for us gun owners, Minister Goodale will play a pivotal role in the coming months and years as the Trudeau government deliberates on numerous firearms issues.
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association extends congratulations to Minister Goodale and looks forward to working with him in his new role. We trust our expertise, knowledge and corporate memory on a wide variety of firearms issues will result in a fruitful working relationship and benefit Canada’s most law-abiding citizens, our licensed firearm owners, and all Canadians.
"Priority number one is to learn this portfolio. It's a big one. It's a very foundational responsibility of government to keep Canadians safe and do so in a manner that respects Canadians' values and their civil rights and liberties,” said Goodale after his appointment.
Canadians need a Public Safety Minister who values civil rights and liberty. It is gratifying to have a Public Safety Minister who understands the steep learning curve ahead of him and is committed to understanding all he can about his new post.
Raised on his family’s farm in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, we may assume that Minister Goodale knows what responsible firearm owners really look like. Hopefully, he understands that responsible firearm owners are not a threat to public safety, but are – in fact – the good guys.
Ralph Goodale’s political history shows, if nothing else, that he takes his job seriously and this too is good for Canadians.
Once again, the Canadian Shooting Sports Association congratulates Minister Ralph Goodale on his appointment as Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, and we look forward to meeting with him in the very near future.
THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD – WE NEED YOU!
The CSSA is reactivating our letter-writing teams. This group of articulate scribes are needed to counter inaccurate or biased media with fact-based points of view. Our previous letter-writing team was very effective in helping Canadians understand the many problems with the now deceased long-gun registry. Some basic training is provided. As well, this group will also be schooled in Access to Information requests and how to properly prepare and submit them on the CSSA's behalf.
If you are interested, please send an email to Christine Scott at email@example.com.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN AND WOMEN!
Do you want to tell your children and your grandchildren that you were "on the front line” protecting their rights?
Team CSSA is working to re-energize and re-focus our corps of volunteer regional directors. Would you like to be part of our exciting new RD Program and help represent Canada's greatest firearm organization across the nation?
It will require some definite, but modest, time commitments. Time well spent with friendly firearm owners representing the Canadian Shooting Sports Association. If you're interested, please send an email to Christine Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org
CONGRATULATIONS TO KENT H. OF WINNIPEG, MANITOBA!!
Kent is the lucky recipient of the TIKKA T3 CAMO RIFLE and the amazing SCOPE donated by the good folks at SCORPION OPTICS!
HELP SUPPORT THE GREAT WORK THE CSSA DOES TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. DONATE HERE
JOINING UN ARMS TREATY WILL TAKE MORE THAN JUSTIN TRUDEAU'S SIGNATURE (By Alison Crawford | CBC News | October 29, 2015)
It's too late for Canada to simply sign on to new regime for the arms trade
Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau's campaign promise to sign the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty will take a lot more work now that Canada has missed the official deadline to join.
The Arms Trade Treaty is an international deal to regulate the global trade of conventional weapons, everything from guns and ammunition to tanks and fighter jets.
So far, 130 nations have signed and 77 have formally ratified the deal. But Canada remains an outlier, the only member of NATO that hasn't joined.
Despite repeated assurances by experts that the treaty would not affect gun owners in Canada, the Conservative government refused to sign.
"If properly done, an Arms Trade Treaty can help limit the worldwide trade in illicit arms," said a spokesperson for then foreign affairs minister John Baird in September, 2013. "At the same time, it is important that such a treaty not affect lawful and responsible firearms owners nor discourage the transfer of firearms for recreational uses."
But now that the treaty is in effect, the process to join has changed.
"States who have not signed the treaty by Dec. 24, 2014, do not sign and ratify the treaty but rather accede to the treaty. In order to accede to the treaty, Canada must ensure that it has put in place domestically all legislation or regulations that would be required to ensure that we can fully meet the obligations of the treaty," the Department of Foreign Affairs said to CBC News in an email.
Annual reports required
Ken Epps is an expert on the arms treaty and works with Project Ploughshares, a peace group in Waterloo, Ont., that monitors arms exports.
He says there are a number of things Canada must do to comply with the treaty. "Currently there is a free-trade situation between Canada and the United States, which means that military goods that are exported from Canada to the U.S. are completely unregulated. There is no export permit process required."
The government would also have to regulate arms brokers, which Epps says would be in keeping with several other treaties and commitments Canada has made.
Then there is the requirement for detailed annual reports on military exports. Canada has produced these reports sporadically since 1990 and Epps says they lack critical details.
"Armoured vehicles that are being sent to Saudi Arabia are listed as ground vehicles, and that is the full extent of the description, and there's no detail on what kinds of weapons systems have been added to those."
Epps says that kind of information will be important in the future for determining whether Canada is meeting its commitments under the treaty to conduct risk assessments before transfers are made and authorized.
In his opinion, Epps doesn't think the controversial $15-billion deal to supply Saudi Arabia with armoured vehicles would have gone through had Canada signed the treaty.
'Unusual optic for Canada'
Canada's refusal to join the treaty earlier has had other effects, according to Sarah Parker, a senior researcher with the Small Arms Survey in Geneva.
She says those who signed, even if they have not yet ratified the deal, have been included in important decisions about standards, implementation and the role, location and mandate of the treaty secretariat. "Canada was very much missed from the negotiation process," says Parker.
"We started to see the sort of language that usually we expect to see from the United States in terms of the focus on civilian possession and an anxiety about efforts to control guns at the domestic level through international regulations and treaties such as the ATT.… The U.S. has signed, of course, and Canada hasn't, and that's, I think, an unusual optic for Canada."
That said, Parker enthusiastically welcomes Canada's eventual accession to the treaty. She says there are still many big decisions to be taken and many more steps toward implementation where Canada can play a very important role.
TORONTO POLICE WANT YOUR GUNS (By Kevin Connor | Toronto Sun | November 2, 2015)
TORONTO - Even if someone turns in a single gun to Toronto Police during the force’s 2015 gun amnesty initiative, the program will be a success, Chief Mark Saunders insists.
“One less gun in the city is an opportunity to keep communities safe. The intent is to reduce the number of firearms that are not actively being used for sport or hunting,” Saunders told a press conference on Monday.
See the rest of the story: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/11/02/toronto-police-kick-off-gun-amnesty
SYMPOSIUM “THE SUSTAINABLE USE OF LEAD AMMUNITION IN HUNTING AND SPORTS SHOOTING: FACTS AND EMOTIONS” (World Forum on Shooting Activities | Press Release | October 20, 2015)
A significant International Symposium was organized in Brussels on 20 October 2015 by the Association of European Manufacturers of Sporting Ammunition (AFEMS) and the World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA).
The Symposium focused on the sustainable use of lead in ammunition and its impact on both the environment and human health. The Symposium also provided an overview of the ballistic features of both lead and non-lead ammunition and assessed the current legislation at the European and International level.
Lead is present naturally in a variety of forms, but only metallic lead is used in sport shooting and hunting ammunition.
The use of lead metal is highly sustainable because it can be recycled an infinite number of times and the available technologies make the process economically advantageous. It has been used in the ammunition industry for centuries because it possesses excellent ballistic features and is highly cost effective. No other material can guarantee the same results in terms of performance and sustainability.
The use of lead in ammunition is already highly regulated and its proper management minimizes the possible negative impacts on environment and health. Several scientific studies and research papers show that metallic lead in ammunition has no significant impact on human health and the environment as compared to other forms of lead. For example, lead fragments in game meat, if ingested, cannot be directly absorbed by the human body because they are in metallic form. By comparison, food consumed in larger quantities and by the general population, such as cereals, dairy products, vegetables and tap water, have the greatest impact on human dietary exposure to lead. Moreover lead shot and projectiles used in both indoor and outdoor shooting ranges are regularly collected and recycled.
Restrictions in the use of lead in ammunition would inevitably damage both hunting, a necessary prerequisite in game management as well as a traditional cultural practice, and sport shooting, a highly disciplined activity which increasingly involves young people and women.
The symposium was attended by 110 delegates, including journalists, politicians, scientists, members of environmental institutions, hunting and sport shooting organizations and food agencies.
Three influential keynotes speakers from the European Parliament and the European Commission described the current position and future strategies of the European regulatory bodies, thus giving further significance to the event.
Sixteen speakers covered every conceivable aspect of lead in civilian ammunition, with presentations organized into five different panels: environment, legal issues, ballistics, human health and other issues. Three expert journalists managed the lively and animated debates which followed the presentations as well as sharing their own assessment of the issues.
CANADA IN THE ROUGH – BIG BEARS WITH THE BOW
In this episode, Keith and Kevin Beasley will be hunting with Muskeg Country Outfitters in Manitoba, Canada! Manitoba has a very healthy bear population and a great number of beautiful colour phase bears too! Keith and Kevin will be hunting with their Elite bows and hoping to have some up-close encounters with some giant bears!
See the teaser: http://www.canadaintherough.com/big-bears-with-the-bow/
Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit: http://www.canadaintherough.com/schedules/
MURDERED FOR THEIR GUNS, VENEZUELA'S POLICE ARE NOW VICTIMS OF CRIME (By Global development professionals network | The Guardian | November 4, 2015)
A gang culture of impunity and stricter gun control has led to off-duty police officers being killed for their weapons, motorbikes and even mobile phones
Not even the police are safe in Venezuela. In a country which saw 24,000 murders recorded in 2013 and whose capital city Caracas was runner-up for murder capital of the world, 252 security officers have been killed in the country from January until October this year, in most cases simply because they were carrying something valuable – a gun.
Pulvio Lisandro Toledo, 43, was one of them. On 1 September, after 18 years in the force, Toledo was on his police issue motorbike heading home when two individuals riding another motorcycle shot him. As he fell to the ground wounded, they searched his pockets; not finding his mandatory police weapon, they proceeded to shoot him fatally several more times. He left two young children behind.
In any other country Toledo’s case would have stood out, as he was not killed in the line of duty, but on his way home. Not in Venezuela, where he was just one of 252. “Before 2005, most police officers died in the line of duty. But nowadays, 65% of crimes against officers are motorcycle and weapon theft,” explains Jackeline Sandoval, head of Fundación Debido Proceso, an NGO that promotes the rule of law and human rights across Latin America.
When President Maduro launched a disarmament plan in 2014, and security forces were also ordered to destroy weapons seized during the police operations, the government’s intention was to reduce violence by making it harder for people to obtain guns. His predecessor had already made private gun ownership illegal in 2012.
But these actions have only increased interest in the people allowed to carry weapons. “There are now fewer deals in black market arms but that has made anyone in uniform a more popular target for criminals than before,” says Eliseo Guzmán, the general commissioner of the Miranda state police force. “They will identify a police officer and take away his life just to take his gun.”
Chief commissioner Francisco Escalona, Guzman’s deputy, oversees the Venezuelan state with the highest murder rate per capita. 1,359 violent deaths have been recorded in Miranda already this year. He agrees the disarmament plan has increased interest in the weapons police carry, explaining how the only authority allowed to sell firearms is Compañía Anónima Venezolana de Industrias Militares, an agency run by the state.
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THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada's firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competitions, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor youth programs and competitions that promote these Canadian heritage activities.
To join or donate to the CSSA, visit: http://www.cssa-cila.org
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