After some NDP MPs joined the Official Opposition to condemn a Liberal amendment to ban semi-automatic shotguns and rifles used by hunters and farmers, Conservative MP Dane Lloyd said “it’s about time.”
“Conservatives have been fighting to stop this from day 1 and it’s about time the NDP recognize that the Liberals attempts to divide Canadians for political gain on firearms needs to stop,” Lloyd told The Counter Signal.
Late last month, the Liberals introduced an amendment to Bill C-21 — proposed legislation to further restrict access to handguns in Canada — which would ban hundreds of additional models of rifles and shotguns. The amendment came during clause-by-clause consideration of C-21, one of the final stages of the legislative process, and after an extensive study of the bill had concluded.
NDP MP Taylor Bachrach said people feel “hoodwinked” by the last minute amendment as the government goes after the tools his neighbours use for hunting, predator control, and back country safety.
“When is the prime minister going to realize the mistake he’s made, fix this mess and back up the bus?”
NDP MP Alistair MacGregor said the proposed amendment is a “text book case on what not to do,” saying the change was brought in at the eleventh hour with no consultation or testimony.
“Hunters, farmers, and Indigenous communities are outraged,” MacGregor said.
“The minister of public safety blindsided Canadians when he made this mess.”
NDP MPs began speaking out after rural and Indigenous constituents reached out to their MPs and expressed displeasure at the proposed amendment. It marks a rare occasion of the NDP breaking from Liberal policies; NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has agreed to prop up the Liberal government until 2025 in exchange for progress on NDP policies like a national dental care program.
Conservative MP Dan Albas said that NDP MPs are joining with the Official Opposition in pointing out that the Trudeau Liberal government is not being truthful to Canadians “when they falsely claim not to be targeting hunters & hunting rifles.”
NDP MP Charlie Angus already spoke against the amendment earlier this week, saying the Liberal government’s promise to ban hand guns morphed into a “massive overreach’ including hunting rifles and shotguns.
“The 11th hour amendment thrown into Bill C-21 is hugely problematic and must be fixed,” he wrote on Twitter on Monday.
The Liberal MP for Yukon, Brendan Hanley, has already spoken out against Bill C-21. He told CBC News that “many, many Yukoners … regularly hunt, either as a food source or for the recreational aspects of hunting.”
The amendment in question is still being debated at the Public Safety committee.
Bloc Quebecois MP and committee member Kristina Michaud enlisted the support of the Liberal and NDP MPs to force a committee hearing to discuss the possibility of inviting witnesses to testify about the amendment.
The MPs say independent experts would help to “clarify” new questions arising from the amendment that has caused a “great deal of turmoil.”
Meanwhile, Conservative MP Raquel Dancho was ejected from Question Period on Thursday after refusing to apologize for accusing Liberal MP Vance Badawey of lying about Bill C-21.
“The Liberals are implementing the largest assault on hunters in Canadian history,” she later wrote on Twitter.
“They are lying to Canadians. I stand by my words.”