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Government Hypocrisy on Guns: Sidney Island Edition

Justin Trudeau was wrong when he berated Canadians on May 1, 2020, saying, “You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer.”[i]

The AR-15 appears to be the rifle selected by private contractors to slaughter European Fallow Deer on Sidney Island[ii], just off the coast of Vancouver Island beginning December 1st.

Since the 1960s, Canadian hunters have been prohibited from using these guns because they are deemed “unsuitable for hunting” despite the protests of knowledgeable Canadian gun owners, who state, “many of them are specifically designed for hunting.”

These deer, much like licensed firearm owners, are designated “undesirable” and, unlike licensed firearm owners, are slated to be killed by “semi-automatic assault style rifles” wielded by government-sanctioned “sharpshooters in helicopters.”[iii]

“Coastal Conservation and its contractor, White Buffalo, will use restricted semi-automatic assault style rifles to dispatch the deer. And they will be equipped with suppressors, or silencers, using .223-calibre ammunition with extended magazines holding up to 30 rounds,” said island resident Paul Lalonde, citing a Parks Canada Access to Information (ATIP) response.

Hired by Parks Canada at a cost to taxpayers of $5.9 million, these “sharpshooters” will “pepper a lot of shots in a hurry in (a deer’s) direction” in the hope that many bullets fired in rapid succession will kill a deer once it is spotted from the air.

If we’re going to spend $5.9 million to cull deer, you would think they would at least bring rifles that are “suitable for hunting” by Canadian government standards.

In this year’s shortened hunting season – October 15 to November 16 – private hunters harvested 50 fallow deer using just 70 bullets at zero cost to taxpayers.

Parks Canada asked for and received special permission to use prohibited semi-automatic weapons and helicopters to shoot deer from the air from both the RCMP and Transport Canada, according to the ATIP response.

“Heavy semi-automatic fire from helicopters, suppressed or not, is not appropriate in a year-round populated island,” said Lalonde.

If the air war against these deer is not enough, Parks Canada identified the boats (“watercraft”) they would make available to contractors so they could shoot fallow deer from the water as close as 25 metres from residents’ homes.

Their only caveat?

“We are not currently expecting to dispatch from boats during Phase 1 unless the need arises.”

Parks Canada did not state what “need” could arise that would trigger the use of waterborne sharpshooters in the fallow deer eradication plan.

Once the air war is over, ground crews will move in and dispose of the dead bodies.

Once again, we see that Orwell’s quote is true.

“Some pigs are more equal than others.”

Government-sanctioned “sharpshooters” can fire streams of bullets from an AR-15 rifle into deer from a helicopter, but responsible RCMP-vetted and federally licensed firearms owners cannot take their legally purchased AR-15 to the shooting range for target practice.

It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s government policy.







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