O.I.C. 2020-0298: Questioning Just How Committed Federal Politicians Are On Gun Grab

Order In Council 2020-0298 was signed on May 1, 2020, to ban some 1,500 types of guns and accessories. This was done without any public consultation, or legislative process.

1. Gun Rights Are Essential, Need Protecting

The freedoms of a society can be gauged by the laws and attitudes they have towards firearms. Governments, and other groups can push around an unarmed population much easier than those who can defend themselves. It’s not conspiratorial to wonder about those pushing for gun control. In fact, healthy skepticism is needed for a society to function.

2. May 1, 2020 Repeal The O.I.C. Gun Ban

May 1, 2020 was the day that Order In Council, 2020-0298 was issued, which instantly made some 1,500 models of guns illegal in Canada. While campaigning to head the CPC, O’Toole seemed to have no problem condemning the O.I.C., and promised to repeal it.

3. May 12, 2020 Talk With C.C.F.R.

This May 12 talk with the C.C.F.R., the Canadian Coalition of Firearm Rights, O’Toole had no problem spelling out that he would repeal the gun grab, calling it undemocratic. Again, no issue with addressing this directly.

4. June 9, 2020 Campaign Platform

AN O’TOOLE-LED OPPOSITION WILL:
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Oppose efforts to reverse the former Conservative government’s policy advances on firearms, including the Trudeau government’s new proposals to confiscate legal firearms.
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Oppose regulations that do not advance public safety and instead penalize law abiding firearms owners. This includes the arbitrary reclassification of firearms and magazines.

The campaign website has since been shut down, and was last archived on June 9, 2020. While there is a reference to “new proposals to confiscate legal firearms”, the O.I.C. is not specifically mentioned at all. While it may be ASSUMED to include it, it’s not directly stated.

5. June 10, 2020 Video/Tweet

In this June 10 video, there are references to the 1,500 firearm O.I.C., but does not specifically state that it would be repealed. In other words, it is brought up, but not addressed. It is implied, however, for anyone who were to watch the video.

Also strange, at the 50 second mark, O’Toole drops a reference to “second wave”. He knew about this script and talking points months in advance.

6. February 16, 2020 Party Press Release

Ottawa, ON – Shannon Stubbs, Conservative Shadow Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Richard Martel, Conservative Quebec Political Lieutenant, issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement on the firearms buy back program:

“It is disappointing that during a pandemic, Justin Trudeau is focused on his own re-election and advancing the Liberals’ ideological agenda instead of helping Canadians get vaccines.

“Just recently, the Liberals voted against and defeated Bill C-238, a Conservative bill that would have imposed tougher sentences for criminals smuggling or who are found in possession of illegal firearms. The Trudeau Liberals’ decision to vote against this bill shows they are not serious about stopping dangerous criminals from getting their hands on illegal guns.

“The reality is, the vast majority of gun crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms. Taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens does nothing to stop dangerous criminals and gangs who obtain their guns illegally.

“Instead of targeting law-abiding Canadians and firearm retailers, the government should be investing in police anti-gang and gun units and the CBSA to provide law enforcement with the resources they need to stop illegal smuggling operations and get dangerous criminals and gangs off the streets.

“Conservatives have, and will always, support common-sense firearms policies that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals.

“We are calling on the Trudeau Liberals to ensure that Canada’s firearms legislation is based on evidence, not on ideology, and respects the rights of Canadians.”

From a February 16, 2021 press statement, the CPC criticized the voting against of Bill C-238, to increase criminal penalties in some cases. While the topic “of taking guns” is brought up briefly, there is no specific reference to the O.I.C. In fairness, perhaps this was done so as to not overshadow the current announcement.

7. February 18, 2021 Press Conference

This is a clip from Andrew Lawton of True North, on February 18, 2020. He specifically asks about undoing the Order In Council, and O’Toole spits out a word salad to avoid giving a direct answer. And there is a valid point made, that having politicians explicitly promise something makes it easier (in theory) to hold them accountable later.

This should be a very easy question to answer — since it was answered in May 2020. However, O’Toole is backtracking from that promise. He isn’t even in power and he’s changing his tune.

8. Backtracking Is Some 5D Chess Move?

“It isn’t as simple as saying he would repeal the May 1, 2020 OIC because the OIC is laced with poison pills like it also banned some rocket launchers and other actual military hardware. Can you imagen the backlash if O’Toole suddenly legalised anti-tank weapons. And lawyers are still unpacking the implications of some of the provisions in Bill 21.”

“He can play the strategic game by not tipping his cards to the liberals. We know what they want. This is very cat and mouse at this point. A bait and hook strategy buy the liberals. Best be cautious”

According to at least a few commentators, this is some strategic move in order to make election more assured. Even if this were just such a move, appearing to throw supporters under the bus is a good way to ensure far fewer of them turn up on election day.

9. From “Scrapping” To “Reviewing” Act

This may be nitpicking, but is worth a mention. When O’Toole ran for the CPC leadership for the 1st time, in 2016-2017, he campaigned on “scrapping” the Firearms Act, and replacing it altogether. This time around, he only promises a “review“. Perhaps this is nothing, or it could be a watering down of his commitments.

Would O’Toole scrap the O.I.C. if he won? It’s possible that he would. However, it would be naive to fully trust politicians when they start backing away from their promises. Actually, it would be naive to fully trust them under any circumstances.

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