Canada’s Conservative Occasion, which holds a slim lead in a decent election race, is going through mounting criticism for its stance on gun management, after the Conservatives pledged to overturn a 2020 ban on some “assault-style” weapons.
Conservative chief Erin O’Toole has been pressed repeatedly this week over his marketing campaign promise to overturn final yr’s prohibition on weapons such because the AR-15, which was utilized by a gunman to kill 26 adults and kids within the 2012 Sandy Hook bloodbath in america.
O’Toole declined to reply the questions instantly, noting he plans to maintain a separate 1977 ban on assault rifles.
“Erin O’Toole is keen to say something to Canadians to get elected. He lied to Canadians about his plans to scrap the Liberal ban on assault weapons,” the Liberal Occasion, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, mentioned in a press release on Saturday.
Each query from reporters to Erin O’Toole as we speak, up to now, is urgent him for readability on whether or not he’d repeal prohibition on sure firearms utilized in mass killings in Nova Scotia, Quebec Metropolis and Montreal. To this point, no clear response.
— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) September 4, 2021
Gun management is a delicate problem within the nation, particularly within the French-speaking province of Quebec, the place a number of lethal mass shootings have taken place over the previous a long time.
Within the aftermath of a lethal assault within the Atlantic province of Nova Scotia final yr, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Might introduced a ban of greater than 1,500 fashions and variants of “assault-style” firearms, together with the AR-15.
“You don’t want an AR-15 to take down a deer,” Trudeau mentioned at the moment. “So, efficient instantly, it’s not permitted to purchase, promote, transport, import or use military-grade, assault weapons on this nation.”
Liberal governments have over time tightened gun management legal guidelines in Canada, however some conservative voters complain the measures are too restrictive and needlessly penalise farmers and hunters.
On Saturday, O’Toole instructed reporters in Vancouver that it was “very upsetting to see Mr. Trudeau attempting to import American-style politics, notably on a problem of public security”.
An enormous drawback is weapons being smuggled in from the US, mentioned O’Toole, who can be promising a overview of how weapons are categorized as harmful in Canada.
However the Conservatives’ place has been met with criticism not solely from their Liberal rivals, however from gun-control advocates, as effectively.
“Erin O’Toole is mendacity to Canadians when he says he’ll keep ‘the ban’ on assault weapons,” mentioned PolyRemembers, an advocacy group based within the aftermath of a lethal 1989 mass taking pictures at an engineering faculty in Montreal that left 14 girls useless.
In a press release on Friday, the group accused O’Toole of “enjoying with semantics” and failing to reply reporters’ questions on his occasion’s stance on the 2020 weapons ban.
“He’s speaking in regards to the decades-old ban on absolutely automated weapons, realizing full effectively that reporters’ questions referred to the latest 2020 prohibitions. What he’s doing is mirroring the gun foyer’s tactic of enjoying with semantics so as to keep away from defending the indefensible,” it mentioned.
The Conservatives have been making beneficial properties in latest weeks, as Trudeau’s choice to set off a snap election two years sooner than scheduled angered some voters.
The Liberal chief, who had hoped his authorities’s dealing with of the COVID-19 pandemic would lead the occasion to a renewed majority in parliament, additionally has confronted massive crowds of anti-masking and anti-vaccine protesters on the marketing campaign path.
An Ekos ballot on Saturday discovered the Conservatives had 35 p.c help, in contrast with 28.8 p.c for the Liberals and 19.6 p.c for the left-leaning New Democratic Occasion (NDP), headed by Jagmeet Singh.
CBC’s Ballot Tracker, which aggregates public polling information in Canada, had the Conservatives with 34.1 p.c help as of Saturday morning, whereas the Liberals held 31.2 p.c and the NDP had 20.1 p.c.