And Quebec Says ‘No’
This week the right wing world here in Alberta was in an embarrassing shambles as Alberta Premier Jim Prentice inadvertently garnered more anti-PC sentiment. Meanwhile, the Wild Rose party elected a new member who immediately made comments that were misconstrued as racist and had to step down almost the same day…
However, in other, more positive news, firearms owners in Canada, most especially Quebec, won a major victory against what many considered to be an unlawful and illegal act by the Government of Quebec.
When the expensive and ridiculous Long Gun Registry was finally dismantled in 2012 by the Conservative Government by way of Bill C-19, the Provincial Government of Quebec was quick to deny, laugh-off and (traitorously) tell the federally elected government of our great nation…
What?! Surely you jest?! Regardless of the fact that the nation and it’s people declared that they wanted the costly and laughably ineffective gun registry to be done away with, one provincial government just ‘sticks up its collective nose’ and says… ‘no’?
When even the majority of the Quebecois wanted to join the rest of Canada and do away with the ridiculous notion that millions of dollars were being squandered uselessly cataloging every old shotgun, .22 and hunting rifle in Canada, the Superior Court of Quebec could just say ‘no’?
Does this mean that if Trudeau Jr. is elected to power, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta could just look him square in the eye, pat him on the head, give him a lollipop and tell him ‘no’?
If Mulcair were to be elected tomorrow and passed a Bill to reinstate the Long Gun Registry (as he has promised to do), could Albertans just smile at him and say, ‘no’?
Yeah, I don’t think so –
Ladies and Gentlemen, our future Prime Minister…
For three years, the Superior Court of Quebec was lobbied by groups such as The National Firearms Association (NFA), as well as many other Firearm, Libertarian and Tory groups to conform to and abide by the ‘law of the land’.
Does no one else see the ridiculousness of the above sentence?
Lobby groups and the federally elected official government of Canada had to actually beg and plead the Superior Court of Quebec to follow the nation’s federal laws.
Before I go any further, I just want to explain to readers who may not be familiar with the firearms laws what the Long Gun Registry actually is.
Basically, the Long Gun Registry was implemented in the mid 1990’s by Chretien’s Liberal Government and the RCMP in efforts to catalogue every ‘long-rifle’ in Canada.
Instead of focusing on the dangerous firearms used by gangs and other criminal organizations or, say, handguns, concealable weapons and weapons of modern war brought into this nation with criminal intent, the government factions of the day decided it was worth millions of dollars to harass every little old man with a shotgun on every farm of this great, predominantly rural, country.
Obviously a terrorist…
This, of course, does not mean that one could just go out and buy a shotgun or rifle on a whim prior to these legal changes (as every gun owner was still legally obligated to have a Purchase and Acquisitions License).
The P.A.L. implies that one has taken and passed a written exam and/or attended a course in order to prove to the government that one is capable of using a firearm safely. In addition, it registers one as a firearm owner with the government of Canada. Arguably this ‘bar-codes’ a firearm owner in the eyes of the authorities and virtually exempts him from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada: the right to own a firearm.
And, in a lot of cases, for the 31% of Canadians who own firearms, these ‘tools’ are a necessity of life, such as in rural areas. Kind of sad that in this day and age, in order to own a ‘tool of life’, one has to submit a detailed, invasive and up to date account of one’s life to the government. But that’s an argument for another day.
Consider this: the owner of a ‘Restricted Firearms License’ (anything from old cowboy revolvers to pistols and certain semi-automatic black rifles, etc.) has to submit to arbitrary, sometimes daily, criminal records checks, signing away any and all privacy in exchange for the luxury of owning grandpa’s old memento wild west revolver that he carried around in the 1930’s …truly sickening.
I feel just fine…no wait…am I allowed to feel fine? Why don’t you just ‘tell me’ how I’m feeling…?
So, getting back to my topic of discussion, Quebecois finally won. The provincial powers were ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada to not only destroy, but to cease and desist all record keeping of firearms under the classification of ‘Long-Guns’. It was formally declared that Quebec has ‘no legal right’ to that personal data.
On the surface, it seems like quite a major victory, so long as we don’t delve too deeply into the history of the registry or, say, question how every RCMP officer in High River seemed to psychically know exactly where to find any and all long guns within the flooded out town.
Maybe we’re all just paranoid. Maybe we’re just misinformed and unaware that, in addition to ‘serving and protecting’, RCMP officers are also endowed with an innate ability to sniff out gun oil– even through walls, safes and amid the chaos of a disastrous flood.
But as the myriad of Quebec gun owners, many of whom have been fighting the long gun registry since the 90’s, celebrated and posted moderately humble internet pictures of their celebrations (in spite of their significant victory) the Quebec government in it’s bitter defeat spat one last threat.
Security Minister Lise Theriault rancorously muttered to the media that perhaps Quebec will go ahead to create ‘it’s own’ registry in the near future, vowing that this is only a ‘minor setback’ in their campaign against legal gun owners. This isn’t over…
Ladies and Gentlemen, Quebec’s very own Grumpy Cat…
And so, regardless of the fact that even popular opinion in Quebec is overwhelmingly opposed to the Long Gun Registry, ministers can still threaten, insinuate and harass to their hearts content. Even in defeat, they can still be heard whispering the word “no” in the direction of Ottawa.
But that still didn’t stop hundreds of jubilant gun owners from gleefully lighting up backyard fires and ceremonially burning their gun registration papers. Only time will tell if this victory endures.
But in the end, doesn’t this series of events suggest some very interesting hypothetical possibilities for the rest of us Canadians? Perhaps we prairie and mountain folk in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta need to take a hint from Quebec…