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FILDEBRANDT: Trudeau’s gun confiscation isn’t just terrible policy. It’s explicitly racist.

Trudeau’s gun confiscation is theft, and tyranny. But we have the ability to refuse to comply.

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There was little surprise Friday morning when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government would be banning and confiscating hundreds of thousands of firearms that he and his ministers think are scary. But the incredibly wide net cast in the mass confiscation, that this was done by cabinet decree, and the racial exemption for First Nations took many by surprise.

It has been expected for some time that the Trudeau government would attempt to ban several long-guns that they have repeatedly misclassified as “assault-rifles”, “assault-style”, and “military-style”. Trudeau Jr. is seemingly unaware that the civilian possession of assault rifles has been illegal since Trudeau Sr. banned them in the early 1970s.

Knowledge of the law his own father passed aside, Trudeau has also been unable to define – even after announcing the ban – what exactly a “military-style” or “assault-style” rifle is. In short, they are rifles that look scarier than your granddaddy’s wood-stock deer rifle. In the overwhelming majority of these cases, the firearms being banned have the same functionality as most of the non-banned firearms, but have cosmetic differences that simply make them appear more militaristic.

There is little difference in the functionality of my own 270 Remington hunting rifle (which is not banned, I think), and a Ruger Mini-14, which is now banned. The only difference is that my 270 Remington doesn’t come with as many modification-kits to make it look scarier to Liberal eyes.

Equivalently, if “racing-style cars” were illegal, the Liberals would now ban vehicles with Honda Civic engines inside of Formula-1 bodies.

In all, Ottawa has now banned 1,500 different firearms and made criminals out of approximately 500,000 Canadians who until they woke up this morning, were law-abiding citizens. With the stroke of a pen, every one of these citizens who has passed an extensive training course and background check, will be a criminal if they do not hand over their recently-lawful property.

This all happened behind closed doors. No legislation to be debated in Parliament. No bill for the public to see before coming into law. Just a decree ordered by the cabinet at the direction of the prime minister.

As of this morning, it is illegal for these gun owners to use or even transport their property except to send them back to the manufacturer, or to surrender them to the police.

Details are to come at some point as to how the “buy-back” program will work. Gun owners might rightfully ask how a government can “buy-back” something that was never its property to begin with. They may reasonably ask to see the bill of sale with their own signature on the paper before “selling back” to the government.

Gun owners who refuse to actively surrender their property will have armed police showing up at their doors. Gun owners may reasonably ask the armed squad at their home if the Charter of Rights and Freedoms authorized warrants for police to raid homes to steal lawfully acquired property.

Many gun owners may reasonably conclude that a government that arbitrarily decrees laws to steal their lawfully acquired property is the embodiment of tyranny, and decide to bury or hide their guns from the armed squads coming to take them.

When all is said and done, the Liberals may have succeeded only in driving a large portion of Canada’s lawful firearms community underground.

And underground firearms – including those intended for ill purpose – will thrive.

Trudeau’s announcement emphasized that only bad people would want to own these firearms.

“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.”

There you have it. These rifles aren’t for hunting. They are for mass shootings. Unless you belong to a First Nation.

In that case, the right to hunt with these rifles – that Trudeau says nobody uses for hunting – will be protected.

It’s no secret that the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve in Ontario is the smuggling capital of Canada. I bear them no ill-will for taking advantage of Canada’s overweening tobacco taxes to smuggle huge quantities of contraband cigarettes through their territory from the United States.

But through this reserve is also smuggled large quantities of drugs and illegal firearms. Smuggled, illegal firearms like those used by the mass-murderer in Nova Scotia a week ago.

By banning everyone in Canada except for First Nations to possess these guns, Ottawa will be handing over an effective monopoly to those smugglers hiding in these communities to run guns, creating more crime and danger in an already economically disadvantaged community.

This raises another serious issue. By banning 1,500 different makes and classes of firearms from all Canadians except for First Nations, Canada will become the only country on Earth to issue different firearms licenses on an explicitly racial basis. It is a stain on Canada’s national honour.

Luckily, there are ways beyond civil disobedience to resist Ottawa’s gun grab.

While Ottawa may criminalize a large number of gun owners, the enforcement of criminal law falls to the provinces. British Columbia refused to arrest and prosecute people for small possessions of cannabis for nearly a decade before it was legalized at the federal level.

Similarly, the provinces have the right to appoint their own Chief Firearms Officers, and instruct prosecutors not to lay charges against anyone refusing to comply with the confiscation.

In short, if this law is enforced in any province, the premier of that province is just as guilty as the prime minister himself.

A positive sign on this front was Alberta Premier Jason Kenney who said, “In response to today’s announcement from Ottawa, our government is actively consider appointing Alberta’s own chief firearms officer (CFO) to replace the CFO appointed by Ottawa.”

It’s something that Alberta has been actively considering since it was added to the mandate of the Fair Deal Panel for study last fall.

This will be even more important going forward, as Trudeau promised that more moves to confiscate and ban guns would be coming from Ottawa soon.

The Liberals know well that this ban and confiscation won’t save a single life. The Nova Scotia shooter had no firearms license, and therefore no legally acquired firearms. The ban decreed from Ottawa would not have stopped a single one of the firearms that he obtained from falling into his hands.

But this isn’t about safety. Liberals just seem to have an instinctive discomfort with firearms. Most Liberals do no own, operate, or know very much about firearms. They more often than not, view firearms owners as gun-totting hicks planning to shoot an innocent kid for wandering onto their lawn.

Because most Liberals do not own firearms, most Liberals know very little about them. They can be easily mislead about what the various terms even mean.

In short, this move is designed to please Liberal voters and win over other leftists who voted NDP, Bloc or Green last time around, while forcing the Conservatives to defend the unpopular position of supporting “assault weapons”, and “military-style rifles”.

It’s just good politics. But also pure theft.

Derek Fildebrandt is Publisher & CEO of the Western Standard
dfildebrandt@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter: @dfildebrandt

Derek Fildebrandt is the Publisher, President & CEO of Western Standard New Media Corp. He served from 2015-2019 as a Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly in the Wildrose and Freedom Conservative parties. From 2009-2014 he was the National Research Director and Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. dfildebrandt@westernstandardonline.com

Energy

VENKATACHALAM & KAPLAN: Oil and gas production is essential to BC’s economy

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors.

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Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan of the Canadian Energy Centre

British Columbia has been producing oil and natural gas since 1952. In fact, as of 2018, BC produced 32% of Canada’s natural gas production and 2% of Canada’s conventional daily oil production. British Columbia collects royalties from oil and gas development, supporting the economic prosperity in the province.

Want to know how important the oil and natural gas industry is to the BC economy? Using customized Statistic Canada data from 2017 (the latest year available for this comparison), it turns out oil and gas in BC  generated about $18 billion in outputs, consisting primarily of the value of goods and services produced, as well as a GDP of $9.5 billion.

As for what most of us can relate to — jobs — the BC oil and gas industry was responsible for nearly 26,500 direct jobs and more than 36,100 indirect jobs (62,602 jobs in total) in 2017. Also relevant: The oil and gas sector paid out over $3.1 billion in wages and salaries to BC workers that year.

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors. That included $600 million from the finance and insurance sector, $770 million in professional services, and $2.8 billion from the manufacturing sector, to name just three examples.

Spending by the oil and gas sector in BC is not the only way to consider the impact of the industry. Given that a large chunk of the oil and gas sector is next door in Alberta, let’s look at what Alberta’s trade relationship with its westerly neighbour does for BC.

BC’s interprovincial trade in total with all provinces in 2017 amounted to $39.4 billion. Alberta was responsible for the largest amount at $15.4 billion, or about 38%, of that trade.

That share of BC’s trade exports is remarkable, given that Alberta’s share of Canada’s population was just 11.5 percent in 2017. Alberta consumers, businesses and governments buy far more from BC in goods and services than its population as a share of Canada would suggest would be the case. Alberta’s capital-intensive, high-wage-paying oil and gas sector is a major reason why.

If Alberta were a country, the province’s $15.4 billion in trade with BC would come in behind only the United States (about $22.3 billion in purchases of goods and services from BC) in 2017. In fact, Alberta’s importance to B.C. exports was ranked far ahead of China ($6.9 billion), Japan ($4.5 billion), and South Korea ($2.9 billion)—the next biggest destinations for BC’s trade exports.

BC has a natural advantage for market access in some respects when compared to the United States. For instance, BC’s coast is near to many Asian-Pacific markets than are U.S. Gulf Coast facilities. The distance between the U.S. Gulf Coast and to the Japanese ports of Himeji and Sodegaura is more than 9,000 nautical miles, compared to less than 4,200 nautical miles between those two Japanese ports and the coast of BC.

The recent demand for natural gas in Asia, especially Japan (the largest importer of LNG) and price increase for natural gas, presents an exciting opportunity for BC oil and gas industry. The IEA predicts that by 2024 , natural gas demand forecast in Asia will be up 7% from 2019’s pre-COVID-19  levels. 

Be it in employment, salaries and wages paid, GDP, or the purchase of goods and services, the impact of oil and natural gas (and Alberta) on BC’s economy and trade flows is significant.

Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan are with the Canadian Energy Centre

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Schuler the black sheep of the Manitoba Tory family

While piously bleating about responsibility in a pandemic, these sheep are cleverly deflecting from their sinister stand on something they don’t support — one’s right to medical privacy.

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One Manitoba MLA — the only one of 57 — has the courage to fight for the right to protect private health information. 

The rest are either timidly silent or scampering to microphones to vilify this flock member for daring to not run with their sheep in-crowd. 

Progressive Conservative Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler is on the verge of getting ousted from Premier Heather Stefanson’s cabinet and banned from the legislature for refusing to reveal his COVID-19 vaccination status.

Stefanson decreed a COVID-19 vaccination mandate effective December 15 for everyone entering the building.

Years of hard work — Schuler was first elected in 1999, won five subsequent elections, and has held impressive posts — suddenly matter not. 

What about the constituents who democratically elected him to represent them? Pfft. Nobody cares.

Like health workers, teachers, oil workers, police officers, firefighters, restaurant employees, Manitobans from all walks of life who won’t comply with questionable, harsh forced mandates, Schuler may be deprived of a right to earn a living

And the lone elected voice of reason in perennial COVID-19 hysteria will be muzzled. 

The right to work is now taken away just because something irks elected officials. Not providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination irks them so much they casually destroy careers and lives.

Maybe Schuler’s vaccinated. Maybe he isn’t. He says it’s nobody’s business but his.

“As stated in the house, no one in Caucus is opposed to vaccinations, however, my personal health information is a private matter and I do not discuss my personal health information publicly,” said the Springfield-Ritchot MLA in a written statement to Western Standard.

He refuses media interview requests. Can’t blame him.

The Winnipeg Free Press polled all MLAs about their vaccination status. Aha! Schuler and Seine River PC MLA Janice Morley-Lecomte were outed for refusing to cough up personal information. Morley-Lecomte buckled to pressure and confirmed she’s vaccinated.

No one appears to have a problem with media infringing on liberty and freedom by giving itself licence to poke into something that — until COVID-19 was sacred — an individual’s right to keep health information private. 

In this COVID-19 madness, the obliging media increasingly oversteps boundaries it’s supposed to protect.

Angus Reid recently found 70% of 1,000 Canadians surveyed believe employees should be fired if they refuse to be vaccinated. That means they must reveal vaccination status which is private health information.

Would those surveyed feel the same way if a reporter chasing a story asked them about that embarrassing rash in private places, an abortion, reliance on anti-depressants, or any other medical conditions?

If so, it would be useless to run to one’s MLA for help. Readers revealed to me that one Manitoba MLA flippantly told an oil worker who refused the vaccine for religious convictions to just go get vaccinated. He lost his job. Another MLA coolly told a constituent to go hire a lawyer if she didn’t like the rules.

Schuler’s vaccination status commanded new attention when it was revealed that a 70-year-old assistant in his constituency office died of COVID-19. 

No details were provided on whether the assistant was vaccinated or where she contracted COVID-19. 

But NDP house leader and justice critic Nahanni Fontaine pounced, calling for Schuler to be booted from cabinet, saying it would be “unconscionable” if he remained.

To his credit, Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said it would be wrong to jump to conclusions about the tragic death, but yes, Schuler should be tossed.

Health Minister Audrey Gordon told media she’s a “vaccine ambassador.”

“I’ve always tried to lead by example in my life. I’m a vaccine ambassador, and if others want to follow my lead, I strongly encourage them to do so,” said Gordon, who with two other cabinet ministers was outed for violating mandates whilst frolicking at a gala sans masks and social distancing.

Schuler has been participating in question period virtually for a few months. The chamber already only allows MLAs in who have received two doses.

Nonetheless, Stefanson imposed a tougher rule — get vaccinated or get banished. 

Back to the NDP’s Fontaine who told the Winnipeg Sun MLAs must “step up.” 

“And if MLAs don’t stand up, who the heck is supposed to step up?”

Oh, the irony of chastising an MLA who is doing exactly that. Schuler is stepping up heroically, not only for himself but for all being bullied into sharing personal information.

Former Ontario privacy commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian recently told Blacklock’s Reporter she rejects vaccine passports in any form.

“You’re talking about people’s personal health information. That is between your doctor and yourself. Now all of that has changed … I find it abhorrent,” said Cavoukian.

“People’s health status is considered to be the most private, sensitive information they have … The problem is privacy protection measures, once they are lifted in an emergency, are seldom restored.” 

Schuler appears to understand the sinister ramifications of that. This is about more than him.

The premier and MLAs who choose to represent only Manitobans who dutifully obey them may silence him.

While piously bleating about responsibility in a pandemic, these sheep are cleverly deflecting from their sinister stand on something they don’t support — one’s right to medical privacy.

Baaaa….

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

LOGAN: It’s time to divest from Suzuki

“It’s time to send a message to Suzuki where it will hurt the most – his donors.”

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Eco-alarmist David Suzuki has become more than just your everyday environmental activist — he’s become a well-known Canadian brand.

And it’s a brand that helped create the David Suzuki Foundation, which in 2020 raised more than $13 million for various environmental causes.

But what happens when the namesake of your charitable foundation not only feeds into, but repeats the dangerous rhetoric being employed by extreme environmental groups like Extinction Rebellion?

It was at an Extinction Rebellion event in Victoria in November that Suzuki crossed the line between peaceful activism and extremism.

“There are going to be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on,” vowed the 85-year-old activist, best known for hosting CBC’s The Nature of Things.

And he wasn’t ready to back down following the outrage sparked by his comments, telling Victoria’s CHEK News it was “absurd” for people to think he was inciting violence and didn’t regret his comment.

“I meant it. I said it. I regret that the media … would take the context of that article, which was a fine report, and put the headline that totally slants it as if I’m inciting violence,” Suzuki said.

The Foundation that bears his name was quick to distance itself from the co-founder’s comments, saying Suzuki wasn’t speaking on their behalf.

Suzuki eventually apologized for his remarks, saying they were said out of “extreme frustration,” and not meant to support violence.

But despite the apology, Suzuki refused to condemn Extinction Rebellion’s defense of his own comments, which only further raised the temperature.

“Not only will pipelines be blown up, but we can be certain that world leaders will be put on trial for treason or worse — be killed,” said Extinction Rebellion’s National Action & Strategy Coordinator Zain Haq, doubling down on Suzuki’s comment.

It’s time to send a message to Suzuki where it will hurt the most — his donors.

You can send a letter today to the David Suzuki Foundation’s largest donors telling them that his violent rhetoric is unacceptable. Just click on this link.

If activists like Suzuki won’t hold themselves accountable, you can do your part to make them accountable to the people who write their paycheque.

Let these companies and foundations know that it’s time to divest from Suzuki!

Guest column by Shawn Logan with the Canadian Energy Centre

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