Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today made his ministerial mandate letters public and, unsurprisingly, one such mandate stands out to firearms owners in Canada. In his letter to his Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, Trudeau states he expects “[action] to get handguns and assault weapons off our streets by working with the Minister of Justice to strengthen controls on hand-guns and assault weapons, including by repealing some elements of Bill C-42.”
This should come as no surprise as Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada ran and were elected on the platform of greater handgun and “assault weapon” restrictions as well as repealing aspects of Bill C-42 that they did not agree with – namely the changes regarding Authorizations to Transport being a condition of a licence with the understanding that such a change allowed Canadians to transport restricted and prohibited firearms at will “without a permit”.
The Liberal party does appear to intend to make good on their promise to introduce greater restrictions but at this time no indication has been made how they plan on going about it. It is every bit as important now to get involved and contact your Member of Parliament so that your voice is heard.
The mandate letter isn’t all gloom and doom, mind you. In fact I would say that much of it is reasonable and reflects the wishes of most Canadians and beneficial to Canada as a whole. Specifically, the letter mandates that Minister Goodale:
- Enhance compensation benefits for public safety officers who are permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty, including the creation of a compensation benefit for firefighters, police officers, and paramedics.
- Work with provinces and territories and the Minister of Health to develop a coordinated national action plan on post-traumatic stress disorder, which disproportionately affects public safety officers
- Work with the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to address gaps in services to Indigenous Peoples and those with mental illness throughout the criminal justice system