Brian Lilley

August 19, 2021

-Toronto Sun


Gang violence is a real and growing concern for people across Canada and not just in the country’s biggest cities.

Sadly, the current Liberal government has no plan on how to deal with it other than trying to convince voters they are acting when they clearly aren’t.

On the campaign trail Wednesday, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was asked about increased gang violence in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey.

“What is your government planning to eradicate or control this situation?” Trudeau was asked by local ethnic media outlet RED FM.

“You can’t visit Surrey, you can’t be anywhere in the Lower Mainland or indeed across the country without hearing people concerned about community safety,” Trudeau said.

On that point, he is right, people are concerned about community safety, they are concerned about gangland shootings and criminal violence which far too often leads to innocent people getting injured or worse yet killed. It was the rest of his answer that was so dangerously wrong.

“That is why we are committed to continuing to strengthen gun control while the Conservatives are committed to weakening gun control. And it’s right there on page 90 of the Conservative platform that they will repeal the measures that made assault weapons illegal to own, to use, to buy in this country,” Trudeau said.

It would be a great answer if it were true or if the measures that Trudeau is talking about would actually solve the issue of gun crime. Instead, his government is focusing on making life more difficult for licensed and RCMP-vetted gun owners while reducing sentences for serious gun crimes.

What Trudeau is talking about is his ban on rifles like the AR-15. This is one of the most popular target shooting rifles in Canada — more than 250,000 of them have been legally purchased and the closest I can come to finding one used in a crime in Canada is a single Mafia hit several years ago using an illegally smuggled rifle.

The gun crime problem is Canada is one of criminals using guns — illegal handguns mostly smuggled in from the United States — to ply their trade. Trudeau is focused on legal guns held by people who have completed a safety course, undergone a significant RCMP background check and have had loved ones sign off on them being allowed by the government to own guns.

Criminals don’t undergo that kind of screening and the measures that Trudeau is touting in his answer won’t reduce shootings or gang activity in Surrey, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa or any other city dealing with increased gun crime. Meanwhile, his government is reducing sentences for serious gun crimes that would shock most people including those inclined to vote for him.

Under Bill C-22, put before Parliament by the Trudeau Liberals last February, mandatory minimum sentences will be removed for crimes such as:

— Possession of restricted or prohibited weapon knowing possession is unauthorized.

— Possession of weapon obtained through crime.

— Weapons trafficking.

— Unauthorized import/export of firearm.

— Robbery with firearm.

— Extortion with firearm.

Let me spell that out for you a little clearer. While claiming to be concerned about gang violence and shootings in Canadian cities, the Trudeau Liberals are reducing sentences for illegally possessing a gun, buying and selling illegal guns, gun smuggling, and for robbery or extortion while using a gun.

No one who is actually concerned about community safety on the issue of gang and gun violence can take the Liberals seriously or vote for them. You can’t say that you want to crack down on the kind of criminal activity that has so many Canadians concerned while also doing away with policies that would take the criminals off the streets.