Dear Minister Mendicino:
Congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Public Safety.
As a family man with a lovely wife and two daughters, you understand the value of keeping your loved ones safe from criminal violence.
Your background as a federal prosecutor with ten years experience bringing drug dealers, gang members and terrorism suspects to justice will – we trust – inform your decisions on how best to handle dangerous offenders and the illegal weapons they smuggle into our country.
We also are confident you will address an area of law abandoned by your predecessor – our broken Firearm Prohibition Order system.
Statistics Canada data shows the number of offenders who are arrested and charged for violating existing Firearm Prohibition Orders continues to rise every year.
Since 2015, the number of offenders charged with violating these court orders has almost doubled – from 943 in 2015 to 1,759 in 2020, the latest year for which statistics are available.[i]
A former federal prosecutor with your experience understands that when violent offenders are released with few constraints, it’s no surprise that the next time they’re arrested these violent offenders are found in possession of illegal weapons.
When our government refuses to hold these offenders accountable – as your predecessor did for his entire tenure – the violation of their Firearm Prohibition Orders is an entirely foreseeable result.
Our association and our members expect you to continue your mission to keep Canadians safe – by holding those who least value public safety accountable for their actions.
We also encourage you to restore the $264.9 million in funding to Canada Border Services Agency that was slashed by your predecessor for 2021, as well as his planned cut of $125.1 million in funding for 2022.[ii]
CBSA is our front-line defence against smuggled firearms. Slashing their funding is not the actions of a Minister dedicated to protecting public safety.
In closing, Minister Mendicino, we look forward to working with you to make our country safe from criminals who do not share our Canadian values.
We also look forward to helping you in any way we can to ensure the rights and freedoms of our members are respected while keeping Canadians safe.
Canadian Shooting Sports Association