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Rural MPs Vote for Bill C-71 or Hide – Mad Max a No Show

Monday’s vote on Bill C-71’s 3rd Reading went pretty much as expected. The bill passed easily and now moves to the Senate, where it must pass three readings and committee hearings before it can become law. 

There were a few notable surprises, including MPs many believe are on our side.

Maxime Bernier, who courted gun owners relentlessly during his failed Conservative Party leadership bid a year ago, offered gun owners a glimpse of what they can expect from his fledgling political party of one. 

He didn’t even show up to vote. 

Neither did Saskatchewan MP Erin Weir (Regina—Lewvan) who, after being ousted from the NDP caucus, claims affiliation with a political party that died in 1961. Independent MPs Darshan Singh Kang (Calgary Skyview) and Hunter Tootoo (Nunavut) also failed to make an appearance on behalf of their constituents.

The Prime Minister and eight cabinet ministers also missed the vote. Trudeau spoke to an auditorium of mostly empty seats at the United Nations according to published photos of the non-event. Chrystia Freeland’s UN speech likely received a similar welcome. Why the remaining seven cabinet ministers failed to show up remains a mystery.

The rumours of fear amongst rural MPs were either untrue or completely missed the mark on what (or who) they feared. Those who attended from the Liberal, NDP and Bloc Québécois parties all voted in favour of the bill.

Members of those three parties who feared a backlash from voters hid from sight until the bill passed.

A vote against Bill C-71 practically guaranteed they could not run under their respective party’s banner in 2019. A vote in favour of this legislation all but guarantees they will incur the wrath of voters in the next federal election. Either way, they lose.

That’s an issue for next year, but right now our battle moves to the Senate.

Now more than ever, it is critical to write every member of the Senate to express your views on Bill C-71. Always be polite, but express your opinion clearly. 

We sent every Senator a paperback copy of The Bill C-71 Book earlier this year. In your letter, ask each Senator to read that book from cover to cover. If they do so, they will know more about this legislation that most MPs voted for.

You can find complete contact information for all our Senators on the Senate of Canada website,

If you prefer a Microsoft Excel or Open Document format spreadsheet to build a mail-merge document, download your preferred file format here:

Send your letter to Senators at this address, postage-free:

[Name of Senator], Senator
The Senate of Canada
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4

For copies of sample letters to MPs and Senators, please download a free copy of The Bill C-71 Book from .


Notable Liberal absences include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Cabinet Ministers Catherine McKenna, Chrystia Freeland, Dominic LeBlanc, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Jim Carr, Mélanie Joly, Ahmed Hussen and Jonathan Wilkinson. 

Also absent were Liberal 5% MPs Vance Badawey, Xavier Barsalou-Duval, Serge Cormier, T.J. Harvey, Ron McKinnon, Jean Rioux, Marc Serré, and another 19 MPs who are not part of the “Winners by 5% Club.”

Conservative Party MP absences : Kelly Block, Sylvie Boucher, Colin Carrie, Alupa Clarke, Ed Fast, Matt Jeneroux, Tom Kmiec, Mike Lake, Guy Lauzon, Ron Liepert, Alex Nutta, Pierre Paul-Hus, Lisa Raitt, Kevin Sorenson, Peter Van Loan, Karen Vecchio and Cathay Wagantall.

NDP MP absences : Charlie Angus, René Arseneault, Alexandre Boulerice, François Choquette, Sheila Malcolmson, David Christopherson, Niki Ashton, Robert Aubin, François Choquette and Romeo Saganash.

Bloc Québécois MP absences : Xavier Barsalou-Duval, Michel Boudrias, Marilène Gill, Monique Pauzé and Gabriel Ste-Marie. 


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