On November 25, 2020, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair tabled his 2020/2021 Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates for the Public Safety Portfolio in his opening remarks to the Standing Committee on Public Safety (SECU).[i]
Despite a meeting specifically on budget estimates for his department, Minister Blair refused to offer any clues as to how much his gun ban by Order in Council would ultimately cost taxpayers.
Bill Blair did say police would not design or manage the Firearm Confiscation Compensation scheme required by his May 1st gun ban by Order in Council.
“It isn’t my intention to have law enforcement administer that program. That would be a very expensive and — in my opinion — a very inefficient way to do it,” he said.
Excerpt from MP Glen Motz’ questions to Bill Blair:
GLEN MOTZ: Upon examining the estimates, Minister, I’m having trouble finding the costs associated with this particular buyback program. Can you tell us the total cost of the buyback program?
BILL BLAIR: Thank you for the important question. As we indicated, we will be introducing legislation that does a number of things, including provides us with the legislative framework for…
GLEN MOTZ: Minister, I’m asking specifically for numbers. Do you have the numbers of the total cost of what this buyback program will cost Canadians?
BILL BLAIR: Thank you Glen. That actually will be provided when we bring forward the legislation that is required to facilitate the… the… how we deal with those firearms which have been prohibited.
As CSSA noted two weeks ago in Why Can’t Bill Blair Buy a Scapegoat?[ii] those “other measures” are two failed tenders put out by Public Safety in search of a scapegoat for this colossal failure.
Given the Minister has offered two tenders with no takers, it’s anyone’s guess who Bill Blair thinks will manage the Liberal Government’s next two-billion-dollar boondoggle.
Minister Blair did reiterate his desire, however, to treat gun owners fairly for confiscating their legally-owned property.
“I want to make sure that those Canadians are treated fairly and so we are looking at bringing forward legislation and a budget to deal fairly with these Canadians,” Blair said.
What being dealt with fairly by this Liberal government looks like remains to be seen.
The money to fund his Firearm Confiscation Compensation scheme is clearly not found in Minister Blair’s 2020/2021 Main and Supplemental Estimates. Blair insists it will come under some future budget after he tables legislation to fund the scheme.
When will that legislation be put before Parliament?
Nobody knows, but we’re betting compensation is simply another Liberal lie.
[i] https://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20201125/-1/34331?Language=English&Stream=Video [Motz-Blair segment begins at 16:06]