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Author Topic: Court Developments re Firearms  (Read 569 times)


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Court Developments re Firearms
« on: September 25, 2022, 12:38:35 PM »

Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Update from court: Fighting the gun ban and buyback scheme

Dear #####,

We’ve got good news and bad news on our court battle against the so-called gun ban and buyback.

First, the bad news: the court denied our application to intervene in the case.

Here’s the good news: another appeal court has determined the arguments your lawyers were making are legally correct.

Here’s what happened.

There are a lot of arguments against the gun ban and buyback and other groups are focusing on many of them, but your lawyers focused on a critical pillar of accountability.

They argued that under administrative law, the government must make decisions that are transparent, justified and intelligible, and fall within the factual and legal constraints that give it discretion to decide. So regulations made by cabinet, like the gun ban, are subject to this standard.

In this case, cabinet’s discretion is subject to the criminal code, which says that it can ban guns unless, in its opinion, they are “reasonable for use in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes.” Whether a gun is reasonable for use in hunting or sporting purposes doesn’t depend on whether the gun looks scary.

This is vital for accountability. You can’t hold the government accountable if it’s making up rules on the fly. So your lawyers made that point in their detailed court submissions.

And here’s the good news: after your lawyers developed and submitted this argument, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in another case that it is legally correct. (If you want to check out this ruling, here it is: Portnov v. Canada).

The government has to follow objective criteria as a limit on the executive branch’s authority. If the Trudeau cabinet doesn’t like it, it should change the law through the democratic process instead of imposing regulations without a vote in the House of Commons.

The court looking at the gun ban and buyback is now taking that decision into account and that means it doesn’t need our lawyers to make the arguments in person. But it’s a good thing we applied to make sure this legal framework is now front and center.

You knew this fight would be a long one with lots of ups and downs. But we’re going to keep fighting.

We’re filing numerous Access to Information requests to expose the fact this policy is going to cost a lot of money, but it won’t make Canada safer.

We’re going to keep digging up waste stories so your neighbors know the Trudeau government’s gun ban and buyback is a taxpayer boondoggle in the making. For example, your investigative journalist at the CTF found out the feds have already spent millions of dollars without buying a single gun. You can share the story with your friends by clicking this link:

The federal government is increasing spending on its gun ban and buyback policy to $8.8 million, according to the Department of Public Safety’s latest quarterly financial report.

“This is more evidence that the gun buyback is going to be a boondoggle,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director with the CTF. “The feds haven’t bought a single gun yet and costs still continue to go up.”

Public Safety is planning to spend $1.6 million out of the $8.8 on an advertising campaign to “increase awareness” about the gun ban and buyback.

The quarterly report is the first time Public Safety has put a hard number on the buyback spending.

Until now, the CTF tracked previous spending via access to information requests.

Those requests uncovered a contract with IBM Canada worth over $1 million for advice on how to run the buyback program.

The CTF has obtained a copy of that advice.

The heavily redacted documents include IBM’s recommendations for a payment structure. They also show the company developed a list of prices based on the pre-ban prices for the affected firearms, without including the price of accessories and parts for the firearms. According to the draft plan, owners disputing the price could ask an expert panel for an evaluation.

Public Safety said it’s still considering IBM’s advice.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated reimbursing gun owners could cost up to $756 million. That number doesn’t include administration costs which could add billions of dollars to the final tab.

When the Liberal Party first announced the policy, it told voters the gun buyback would cost about $200 million. In 2021, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair then said the costs would land “somewhere between $300 and $400 million dollars.”

“We continue to find more and more evidence of rising costs, and that should be a huge red flag for a government that is already more than $1 trillion in debt and hasn’t bought a single gun,” said Terrazzano. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to cut our losses, and scrap his gun buyback.”

Thanks again for your support in this fight.

- Robin, Todd, Shannon and all of the CTF team