Last week the Trudeau government introduced Bill C-21[i] “to take the most dangerous guns off our streets and out of our communities” and Bill C-22[ii] to address “the over-incarceration of Indigenous peoples as well as Black and marginalized Canadians”.
The so-called “dangerous guns” targeted by Bill C-21 aren’t on the street, they’re in the gun safes of licensed, RCMP-vetted firearm owners. Not one line of Bill C-21 will remove illegal guns from the hands of criminals because its focus is entirely on licensed Canadian firearm owners and their legally-owned firearms.
These reforms would target MMPs that are associated with the over-incarceration of Indigenous peoples as well as Black and marginalized Canadians.[iii]
“Facts are hard to argue with,” David Lametti opined during his press conference, “and when it comes to Conservative justice policy, the facts speak loud and clear. It simply did not work.
“The evidence is in our prison population. Indigenous adults represent 5% of the general population yet account for 30% of federally incarcerated inmates and that’s double what it was 20 years ago. Black inmates represent 7.2% of the federal inmate population but only 3% of the population.”
Serious Criminal Offences
The Liberal government wants to remove “All six Controlled Drugs and Substances Act” mandatory minimum penalties.
This sounds lovely until you look at the Act[iv] and realize these penalties are for illegal drug traffickers and operators of meth labs. These are serious criminal offences not typically committed by single mothers, as Lametti would have us believe.
The list of firearms offences is also serious.
- Using a firearm or imitation firearm in commission of offence (two separate offences)
- Possession of firearm or weapon knowing its possession is unauthorized (two separate offences)
- Possession of prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition
- Possession of weapon obtained by commission of offence
- Weapons trafficking (excluding firearms and ammunition)
- Possession for purpose of weapons trafficking (excluding firearms and ammunition)
- Importing or exporting knowing it is unauthorized
- Discharging firearm with intent
- Discharging firearm — recklessness
- Robbery with a firearm
- Extortion with a firearm
Justice Minister David Lametti assured us the changes he proposes will not aid dangerous and violent offenders.
Only by using warped Liberal double-speak and bafflegab can a person arrested for armed robbery, armed extortion and discharging a firearm with intent be categorized as a “non-violent offender” while the firearms of trustworthy sportspersons and hunters become, “the most dangerous guns.”