Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday November 30, 2017 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS

Gun control activists urge Trudeau not to compromise with firearm lobby


OTTAWA — Gun-control activists implored Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday to not let the pro-gun lobby slow down his government’s efforts to introduce firearm legislation.

Serge St-Arneault, who lost his sister during the Ecole polytechnique massacre in 1989, asked Trudeau to keep his party’s campaign promise.

“I know the gun lobby is strong and noisy,” he said, standing with eight other gun-control activists in Ottawa.

“But your party…was elected with a majority due to, among other things, your promise to reverse the damage caused by the Harper government.”

Trudeau promised firearm-tracing regulations that would help police better trace guns used in crimes.

The campaign pledge was not popular with the firearm community, which has long opposed the rules and “continues to advocate against their coming into force,” according to an internal note to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, obtained by The Canadian Press last spring.

Heidi Rathjen, co-ordinator of an organization comprised of survivors of the Polytechnique massacre and members of victims’ families, criticized the government’s working group on firearms.

“The new committee … has had only two meetings — one in March and one in May,” she said. “When the minister (Goodale) was asked when the gun control bill would be tabled, one of his responses was the committee was ‘hard at work.’”

Rathjen said the delays are due to the “objections of firearm owners.”

Her group, called PolySeSouvient, has recently found new allies: members of Quebec’s Muslim community who are still in shock over the shooting deaths of six men in a Quebec City mosque last January.

“I lived this event, I saw the destructive force of these firearms,” said Nizar Ghali, who survived the attack and who was among the activists in Ottawa.

“I saw my brothers fall and die in a pool of their own blood. What are you waiting for to act?”

A spokesperson for Goodale released a statement to say, ”in the near future, we will introduce a host of legislative measures in harmony with what was in our electoral program.”

The statement also said the Liberal party has no intention of creating another long-gun registry, which was destroyed by the Harper government.

Melanie Marquis, The Canadian Press

CanadaPrime Minister Justin Trudeau

Just Posted

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson announces new infrastructure spending on the Lower Mainland on Monday, flanked by Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows candidate Cheryl Ashlie and Maple Ridge-Mission candidate Chelsa Meadus. (Neil Corbett/Black Press)
Wilkinson says plan to rebuild B.C. will work for Vancouver Island

B.C. Liberal leader talks to the News Bulletin about homelessness, forestry, infrastructure

Plastic checkout bags could be banned in Nanaimo by next summer if a city bylaw receives provincial approval. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo moves closer to banning plastic and other single-use checkout bags

Nanaimo city council votes to forward checkout bag regulation bylaw to province for approval

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
WorkSafe BC investigating man’s death during Oak Bay tree removal

Man was working for contracted tree removal company when incident occurred

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich residents warned to watch livestock after bear kills llama

Officers with Conservation, Saanich police could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Michael Leighton, who is wanted on 11 warrants on Vancouver Island and is a suspect in a recent break, enter and theft in Nanaimo. (Photos submitted)
RCMP looking for break-and-enter suspect with 11 warrants on the Island

Nanaimo RCMP say Michael Leighton a suspect in theft of pistol and $40,000 worth of coins

North Cowichan's council is looking to change the name of Indian Road, located near Quamichan Lake. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
North Cowichan looks to rename Indian Road

Name considered inappropriate as Rowing Canada looks to relocate to area

Crew members with the Western Canadian Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) deploy a containment boom from one of their workboats during a fuel spill drill in Alberni Harbour on Oct. 15, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni marine clean team learns the spill drill

Spill response members simulates fuel spill for practice in Alberni Harbour

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

A woman was injured cycling, prompting road closures in Oak Bay on Oct. 16. (Twitter/Ray Bernoties)
‘Erratic’ cyclists potential cause of rider injured in Oak Bay

Female cyclist was reportedly injured at Hampshire Road and Bowker Creek Avenue

Fanny Bay residents conducted a neighbourhood meeting in the summer to discuss problem properties in the area. Photo supplied
Comox Valley Regional District initiates legal action against property owner

Officials decide to crack down in response to complaints related to FannyBay property

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Most Read