Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Nathalie Provost, a survivor of the Ecole polytechnique shooting in 1989, reads a poem during an event in Montreal on Dec. 6, 2020.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

A leading gun-control group is urging MPs to vote against the Liberal government’s new firearms bill, saying it is too weak to salvage.

The bill would implement a program to buy back recently banned guns from owners and allow municipalities to restrict handguns – measures that PolySeSouvient considers ill-conceived and ineffective.

In a letter sent out this week to MPs, the group says the legislation is a Liberal capitulation to the firearms lobby.

Story continues below advertisement

The letter is signed by Nathalie Provost, who was shot four times during the 1989 attack by a gunman at Montreal’s Ecole polytechnique.

It was sent to all MPs but Conservative members, given the party’s opposition to the bill over concerns it targets responsible gun owners but not criminals.

“Taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens does nothing to stop dangerous criminals and gangs who obtain their guns illegally,” Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner said recently.

The bill proposes a buyback of many banned firearms the government considers assault-style weapons, but owners would be allowed to keep them under strict conditions, including that they be registered and securely stored.

It would also allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation.

PolySeSouvient has pushed for a mandatory buyback of the recently outlawed firearms to ensure they cannot be misused, as well as a national handgun ban to avoid a patchwork of laws across the country.

The group also wants the government to stem easy access to modifiable magazines that are capped at five or 10 bullets but can be easily modified to hold their full, illegal capacity of many times more.

Story continues below advertisement

The bill would Introduce “red flag” and “yellow flag” laws allowing people, such as concerned friends or relatives, to apply to the courts for the immediate removal of a person’s firearms, or to ask a chief firearms officer to suspend and review an individual’s licence to own guns.

PolySeSouvient calls the measure “a smokescreen” that would place a new burden on private citizens.

“The legislation doesn’t include a single core measure among those we recommended despite the fact that they are supported by a majority of the public,” the letter says.

Several family members of women killed in the 1989 massacre recently said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would no longer be welcome at annual commemorations unless his government strengthens the legislation.

Mary-Liz Power, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, said Friday that “we will work with all interested parties to keep our communities safe,” but it is unclear whether that could mean significant changes to the legislation.

PolySeSouvient wants the Liberals to withdraw the bill, calling it unsalvageable. Should the legislation proceed, the group calls on MPs to vote it down at second reading in the House of Commons.

Story continues below advertisement

PolySeSouvient co-ordinator Heidi Rathjen said most responses to the letter from Liberal MPs so far repeat official talking points that accompanied the bill’s tabling, “which tells us that as of yet not much if anything has changed with respect to the government’s stance.”

The Bloc Québécois says the bill will not protect the public.

PolySeSouvient had not yet received any responses from the NDP.

Rathjen called the party’s general reticence on the bill “worrisome,” noting New Democrats could have the power to decide its fate.

NDP public safety critic Jack Harris noted the party has long supported tougher action on assault-style firearms and efforts to get guns off the streets.

In an interview, he also expressed dismay about the long-standing problem of illicit-firearm smuggling.

Story continues below advertisement

Harris suggested there is general NDP support for the bill, but added he wants to hear from witnesses on the legislation at the House of Commons public safety committee.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies