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Canada Votes 2019

Johnson-Figueredo: No, a gun ban will not curb violence

Columnist Michel Johnson-Figueredo gives his take on federal gun policy.

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Justin Trudeau speaking on gun violence in Toronto, Sept. 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Opinion

Michel Johnson
Columnist
The Avro Post
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual, including The Avro Post. Our Opinion Policy.

Justin Trudeau and three other party leaders are pushing gun legislation to either cripple gun ownership in Canada or eliminate it completely.

The gun debate in Canada has jumped to the forefront of the national discussion over the past four years. Reporting on mass shootings has expanded from the United States and spread globally.

Push back from lawmakers and presidential candidates in the U.S. has also prompted or influenced political leaders in Canada to campaign on reducing gang violence.

Being anti-gun polls well with Liberal Party supporters and inspires change when violent crime is seemingly on an upwards trend. While some may believe placing bans on legal guns will reduce homicides, it is often those who have no regard for the law that cause violence.

Shootings that have created public outcry for enhanced gun restrictions in Canada, have been carried out with illegal guns that could not be controlled by sweeping government regulation.

This includes the Toronto Danforth Shooting in 2018 that was carried out by 29 year-old Faisal Hussain.

The semi-automatic hand-gun used by Hussain was in his possession illegally and was reported stolen in 2016. Hussain was responsible for the deaths of 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis, and injuring 13 others.

Gang-related homicides were connected with 141 murders in 2016 across Canada, with particular upticks in Ontario and British Columbia. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, accounted for 21 of confirmed gang-related homicides in 2016. Firearm-related homicides that were also gang related account for 54 per cent of homicides. 22 confirmed incidents were in Toronto.

When accounting for the total number of firearm related homicides in Canada between 2000 and 2016, 75 per cent of firearm deaths were from suicides alone, followed by homicides and accidental deaths. These make up the majority of total firearm related deaths and cannot be regulated by gun legislation.

Often when politicians and activists give their speeches on gun control they fail to mention that responsible citizens aren’t committing the crimes. Possession and Acquisition License, or PAL, holders are subject to multiple exams, applications and daily background checks conducted by the RCMP, according to the TheGunBlog.ca

“All guns are banned already for everyone unless you have a firearm licence authorized by the federal police. Anyone caught with any gun and no licence can go to jail.” said Nicolas Johnson, the editor of TheGunBlog.ca.

Canadian gun owners have been considered irrelevant by left-leaning political parties in the current political climate but more than 2.2 million Canadians own gun licenses, according to RCMP data published by TheGunBlog.ca

“Trudeau’s plan has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with politics.”

Potential policies like those of Trudeau’s Liberals, Singh’s NDPs and other leftist parties will lead to Canadian gun owners and businesses having no place in Canada. Politicians fail to see that the impact of these policies will disenfranchise law abiding citizens and small business owners.

If the proposed legislation is fully passed and Conservatives fail to win a majority government, millions of Canadians sports shooters and hobbyists are at risk of losing more than just their property.

Michel Johnson-Figueredo is a second year Bachelor of Public Relations student at Humber College and Public Relations Officer for The Avro Post.

Nicolas Johnson is a leading advocate for firearm owners and editor of TheGunBlog.ca, Canada’s leading media on gun politics and policy.

Note: Nicolas Johnson and Michel Johnson-Figueredo are relatives.  ■

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Wombat

    October 6, 2019 at 3:25 am

    I agree with the author that gun regulations should be reasonable. I think people should be able to buy a gun with the right licences.

    However, i agree with Trudeau that people don’t deserve semi-automatic guns. I have four main points of contention with this unfortunately scripted opinion. I believe the author should be given a second chance to voice their opinion because this is appalling.

    1. If 75% of automatic-gun deaths are suicides as the author implies, won’t reducing access to these guns save lives?
    2. The single instance of a gun/gang related death, depicted by the author, is not emblematic of an illegal gun based trend. (If it is a trend, show the stats, don’t assume reader awareness).
    3. the author fails to address a reason people deserve to own semi-automatic weapons.
    4. The byline is misleading. The byline says Justin Trudeau and three other party leaders are pushing gun legislation to either cripple gun ownership.” Yet only mentions the Liberals and NDP. Who are the other parties? Who is the author upset with? It’s hard to know.

    Aero Post – you have editors. Opinion pieces are fine to publish, but that doesn’t mean they need to go unvetted.
    You can do better. You can support your student “opinion” writers.
    Please edit this stuff.

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Canada

Trudeau conciliatory after election, will not form coalition

The PM talks to the press.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who will keep the position after his Liberal Party won a strong minority, acknowledged on Wednesday his loss of support from the previous election with a conciliatory tone but ruled out a formal or informal coalition with another party.

It was during a half hour press conference at the National Press Theatre that Trudeau said his new cabinet will be sworn in on Nov. 20 and feature once again gender-equality as he aims to rebuild a broken image after a rocky year that saw Liberal polling drop.

Many analysts and political pundits have pointed out that a minority government — when a party receives less than 170 seats in the House of Commons — is not all bad.

Universal healthcare, the Canada Pension Plan, student loans, the official flag and more came about under Liberal minority governance, specifically Mike Pearson. Stephen Harper brought about tax reform, the Accountability Act and more with his first, minority term.

Trudeau confirmed during the early afternoon press conference that his government would charge ahead with the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. The New Democrats, who are viewed as natural progressive allies to the Liberal minority, are opposed.

For his first moves, the prime minister said “our first priority will be to continue to lower taxes for the middle class”, legislation that could gain support from the Conservatives.

“We will also act on medically assisted dying as requested by the courts,” he added, a move that likely would be backed by the New Democrats. ■

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Campus

Election results show that Liberals stay in power

The Tories won the popular vote.

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The prime minister of Canada will remain Justin Trudeau, at least for the time being.

The intensity of the election results kept many individuals within Canada watching until the end of the campaign despite where they are from. 

The numbers of the seats were going up and down between the different parties that were involved in the Federal election. 

Within the first hour and a half, there were only five parties that filled the seats in the House of Commons, which were the Liberal Party, the Conservatives Party, the Bloc Québécois, the New Democratic Party, and the Green Party. 

After the first hour and a half, there was a seat for a third-party organization, which managed to keep the vote until the end of the election campaign. 

The People’s Party did not manage to snag any seats in Ottawa.

The turnout in total came out to be 64.9 per cent and it was a loss of 3.3 per cent. 

The results came out with Liberals having 156 seats, Conservatives having 122 seats, 32 seats for Bloc Québécois, 24 seats for the New Democrats, three seats for Green party and one Independent, Judy Wilson-Raybould. 

The Conservative Party actually beat the Liberals in the popular vote because they had a total of 5,866,327 votes while the Liberals had a total of 5,609,477. 

After a four-hour election results period and the close amount of votes between the Conservatives and the Liberals, CBC declared a Liberal minority government at 2:09 a.m. ■

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Canada

What happens if there is a minority government?

If the Liberals or Tories win a minority.

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On Monday evening, Canada will make its choice for which party will form the next government, however, it may not be the party that receives the most seats that ends up running the country if they only win a minority.

If one party wins 170 ridings, which translate to seats in the House of Commons, than they win a majority and it’s game over: they form the next government and win have no issue passing legislation as long as their number remains 170 or above.

However, should one party win the most seats, but fall short of that magic 170, then they will hold a minority government and will need the support of at least other members of parliament or parties to pass laws.

A minority government is also vulnerable to losing power. If party A wins a minority but party B and C have 170 or more when combined, they could create a coalition and form a governing alliance.

This happened in British Columbia where a coalition of New Democrats and Greens overthrew the ruling Liberal Party which was reduced to a minority in the last provincial election there.

Growing talk in the media over the past week regarding a coalition between the Liberals and New Democrats has taken up a lot of air time, but Trudeau has dismissed the rumours, saying he is focused on electing a “progressive government”.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said on the weekend that he would “absolutely” be open to forming a coalition with other parties, such as the Liberals, to stop Andrew Scheer and his Conservative Party. He aimed to walk it back on Monday by stating his focus was on getting NDP votes.

The Liberals and Conservatives have been relatively tied in amalgamated polling as the New Democrats move up in polling. As of Wednesday morning, the Liberals and Tories are hovering around 32 per cent and the New Democrats have risen to 17.4 per cent.

At one point, it appeared that the Green Party would surpass the New Democrats when they were hovering around 11 per cent.

But percentages of the popular vote do not equal seats. Right now, the CBC Poll Tracker has the Liberals at 40 per cent and the Tories sit at 43 per cent for probability of winning the most seats but not a majority. The Liberals are at 11 per cent and Tories at 5 per cent for winning a majority.

This is what is most likely if there is a minority government, according to what the pundits and analysts are saying: if the Tories win a minority, the Liberals and NDP could team up in a coalition to form a “progressive” government.

However, if the Liberals form a minority, it is unlikely that there would be a coalition, but the New Democrats could be an ally to pass legislation. ■

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