Steve Blaney considers Conservative Party leadership

The former Minister of Public Safety has cited “concerns” with the Liberal party’s decision on public safety as his motivation, but will not rush his decision

During a Conservative Party caucus event in Halifax the former Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Prepardness, Steven Blaney, said he was “concerned” with the recent decisions by the Liberal government on public safety.

While he offered no particular concerns, just days prior he lambasted the current Minister of Public Safety, Ralph Goodale, after the CBC ran a story about Goodale rescinding a directive, established by Blaney himself, that gave the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 180 days to evaluate a firearm, determine its classification, and issue its Firearms Reference Table (FRT). It was this directive that saw the issuance of FRTs for firearms that were stuck in limbo in the RCMP’s firearms labs awaiting classification for years, such as the Norinco Type 81.

Despite nothing being concrete as of yet, Steve Blaney has stated he is “in consultation” with an unnamed “former premier eminent” about his decision to run for Conservative Party leadership and will “take to the caucus and discuss with [his] colleagues” during an interview with The Canadian Press. However, should he run for leadership and, subsequently, for the position of Prime Minister of Canada, he will “complete the process”.

His intention was not immediately clear, but one could reasonably assume it is to complete the process of restoring his directive and bringing into law the remaining provisions of the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act, also known as Bill C-42, that have yet to come into force. One such provision is the 6-month grace period wherein expired firearms licenses are still considered valid for the purpose of possession.

The purpose of this provision is to prevent law-abiding firearms owners from becoming paper criminals after their Possession and Acquisition Licenses expire before their new ones are issued by the RCMP – something that is far too common with the unpredictable and unreasonable wait times, sometimes six months or greater, that the Canadian Firearms Program is notorious for.