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Bill Blair: Completely Out of Touch or Just Plain Disingenuous?

Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, lashed out at Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder on Tuesday for hosting a family-oriented fundraising event at the Lethbridge Fish and Game Association’s Sport Shooting Facility.

He was “deeply disappointed” that someone (read a Conservative MP) would dare host a fundraising event at a gun club when Toronto is “seeing record levels of tragic homicides involving firearms.” [i]

Blair’s parliamentary secretary, Montreal MP Peter Schiefke, said, “That’s incredibly irresponsible, and it just reinforces the fact that (the Conservatives are) not taking this seriously,” confirms how out of touch the Minister and his aides are with ordinary Canadians.

“Of course it was done in a responsible manner. It was a great opportunity for people to gain an education for proper firearms use,” said Rachael Harder.

While conflating the violent and criminal actions of drug dealing gang members with the culture of safety embraced by licensed gun owners is a well-worn Liberal tradition, Bill Blair’s attempt to slander the law-abiding families attending Harder’s “Guns and Guinness” fundraising event reveals an ugly side, that of a political opportunist.

“Minister Blair’s behaviour was a kick in the head to our community, particularly after investing so much ‘consultation’ time. Did he learn nothing about lawful firearm owners? Is this more of the same cheap political grandstanding we have come to expect of Canada’s Liberal party? As a man who claims he has friends that are lawful firearm owners, Mr. Blair should be ashamed of his insulting behaviour. Ms. Harder, and our community, deserve an apology,” stated CSSA executive director Tony Bernardo.

Here are the facts.

  1. Rachael Harder and Robert Sopuck held a two-location, family-focused fundraising event titled “Guns and Guinness.”
  2. Shotgun shooting at clay targets was held at the Lethbridge Fish and Game Association’s shooting range, a federally-licensed shooting facility where consuming alcohol is prohibited.
  3. The barbecue dinner with Guinness was held at the Coalhurst Legion, a second physical location where shooting firearms is prohibited.
  4. Their promotion poster featured Ryan Slingerland to honour the teenager who wrote e-Petition 1608, the second highest grossing e-Petition in Parliament’s history.

While Bill Blair and his politically opportunistic sidekicks want you to believe otherwise, all event attendees obeyed the law at all times, at all locations, and while travelling from one location to the other.

Contrary to Blair’s insulting attempt to denigrate law-abiding Canadian families, lawful possession of firearms certainly does not equal criminal behaviour. In fact, it is the opposite.

We anxiously await the moment Minister Bill Blair climbs upon his political high horse to attack the Calgary Highlander Regiment for their annual “Scotch and Shoot” fundraiser.

Surely, that’s next, right Minister?





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