May 1, 2020
Transcript: Justin Trudeau, Canadian Officials Announce Assault Weapons Ban
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an assault weapons ban in Canada today. He was joined by Christia Freeland, Bill Blair, and David Lametti. Read the full transcript here.
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Justin Trudeau: (00:02)
Morning everyone. Before we get started, I want to take a moment to note the appointment of Tiff Macklem as the next governor of the Bank of Canada. Mr. Macklem, who is currently the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, has extensive experience in the global financial system and risk management. With his appointment, the Bank of Canada will be well positioned to help with the economic response and eventual recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. I also want to note that May 1st marks the beginning of Asian and Jewish heritage month. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a rise in anti-Asian sentiment lately and this week two more antisemitic incidents took place. It’s important to celebrate who we are at all times and not give in to hatred or fear. When times are tough, Canadians come together. That is who we are.
Justin Trudeau: (00:59)
[foreign language 00:01: 05]
Justin Trudeau: (01:48)
Every Canadian has their version of this story. Every one of us remembers the day when we realized that even in Canada, a man with a gun could irrevocably alter our lives for the worse. We remember how our sense of safety was shaken, how our worldview was changed. Ecole Polytechnique, Mayerthorpe, Dawson College, Moncton, La Loche, la grande mosquee de Quebec, the Danforth, Fredericton, and Cumberland-Colchester and Hants Counties, Nova Scotia. These tragedies reverberate still. They shape our identity. They stain our conscience. They make adults out of children. And the heartbreaking truth is they’re happening more often than they once did. With each passing year, more families ripped apart by tragedy, more parents are struggling to explain the inexplicable to their kids and more teenagers are growing up in a world where gun violence is normalized. It needs to stop.
Justin Trudeau: (03:17)
Last week, 22 Canadians were killed in the deadliest rampage in our country’s history. They were nurses and teachers, correctional officers and RCMP officers. They were someone’s child, someone’s best friend, someone’s partner. Their families deserve more than thoughts and prayers. Canadians deserve more than thoughts and prayers.
Justin Trudeau: (04:21)
[ foreign language 00:03:46].
Justin Trudeau: (04:26)
Today we are closing the market for military grade assault weapons in Canada. We are banning 1500 models and variants of these firearms by way of regulations. 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. For many families, including many indigenous people, firearms are part of traditions passed down through generations and the vast majority of gun owners use them safely, responsibly, and in accordance with the law, whether it be for work, sport shooting, for collecting or for hunting, but you don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer. Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military grade assault weapons in this country. To protect law abiding gun owners from criminal liability until they can take steps to comply with this new law, there will be a two year amnesty period and we will legislate fair compensation.
Justin Trudeau: (05:53)
I want to take a moment to recognize the leadership of Minister Blair on this file. Tackling gun violence has been a personal and professional priority of his for decades. He’s done incredible work to make this policy a reality and we’re here today thanks to his leadership and to the leadership of people like him. Merci, Bill.
Justin Trudeau: (07:40)
[foreign language 00:06:19]. 30 years from now, an entire generation of Canadians will remember exactly where they were on Sunday, April 18th, 2020. They will remember how their sense of safety was shaken, how their outlook on the world was forever changed. They will remember the day that they lost some of their innocence. This chapter in our history cannot be rewritten, but what happens next is up to us. We can stick to thoughts and prayers alone or we can unite as a country and put an end to this. We can decide together that enough is enough. Today’s announcement builds on the things we did during our first term. It’s the next step and there is more work ahead to implement this and pass legislation to further strengthen our laws. I’ve already spoken with the other parliamentary leaders and I know that we will be able to work together and do even more to keep Canadians safe. Every single Canadian wants to see less gun violence and safer communities. Today we take another big step forward. Merci beaucoup.
Bill Blair: (09:07)
Thank you very much prime minister and good morning everyone. Before I begin my remarks, I’d like to take the opportunity to extend my sincere condolences to the families of those that were lost in the helicopter crash off the coast of Greece on Wednesday. We will always remember their service and their sacrifice. I’d like to thank you all for joining us here today for what I believe to be a very significant and yet solemn occasion. A few weeks ago, in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Canada suffered its worst mass shooting in the country’s history. 22 innocent lives were lost over the course of a weekend rampage across beautiful communities throughout Nova Scotia. Canadians were shocked and they were heartbroken. And as we learned the identities of the victims of these terrible crimes, we were reminded of the tragic impact that gun violence can have on all of our communities, urban and rural, from coast to coast to coast, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors were taken from us terribly, violently and far too soon.
Bill Blair: (10:18)
And sadly, gun violence is not a new thing in our society, but it’s made all the more deadly with the proliferation of firearms that are more powerful than ever before. Assault style firearms, those that were not designed for hunting or sports shooting, but they have become more and more prevalent in our Canadian retail market. And for as long as these guns have existed, they’ve been capable of inflicting tremendous damage when they fall into the wrong hands. And for example, in 1989 14 women were murdered at Ecole Polytechnique in a horrific act of deadly misogyny. 17 years later, Montreal was shaking yet again with the shooting at Dawson College. In 2014, Moncton was terrorized by a criminal that took the lives of three RCMP officers. And three years ago in January in Satine-Foy, Quebec, a shooter killed six innocent Muslims while they were in prayer.
Bill Blair: (11:15)
Many of us have vivid and tragic memories of each of these events. They have become, sadly, a part of our history. These tragic moments when innocent women, worshipers, police officers, and innocent Canadians across the country have been killed by evil people wielding powerful guns. For decades, chiefs of police advocacy groups, grieving families, and everyday Canadians have been calling for a ban of these types of firearms. Guns that were designed for soldiers to kill other soldiers and not for recreational purposes. Guns that belong on a battlefield and not on our streets. Guns that were designed to people. They were intended in their purpose to kill people and they have been used in Canada to kill innocent people.
Bill Blair: (12:01)
And for decades, Canadians have been calling upon successive governments for reform, for stronger gun control. We have listened and today we are taking action. Today as the prime minister has said, we are announcing an immediate ban on over 1,500 models of assault style firearms and effective immediately, these newly banned firearms can not be legal used, sold or imported in our country. And as of today, the market for assault weapons in Canada is closed.
Bill Blair: (12:35)
Enough is enough and we are ending the proliferation of these weapons and the militarization of our society. From this moment forward, the number of these guns will only decrease in Canada. We’ve heard many people express concern about the militarization of their police and this is a direct consequence of the militarization of society. And Canadians deserve to live in a society where they can be safe and secure. And people from coast to coast have been clear, we cannot risk another shooting at a school or a place of worship or another to attack on police officers or on women or on innocent Canadians anywhere in this country. Banning assault style firearms will save Canadian lives.
Bill Blair: (13:20)
I’d like to take a moment if I may, to speak to the law abiding Canadian gun owners. I know from very many years of experience as a police officer that the overwhelming majority of gun owners in this country are law abiding. They are responsible, they are conscientious, they acquire their weapons legally, they store them securely and they use them safely. They respect our laws and we respect them. I want to assure hunters and farmers and target shooters in this country that nothing that we are doing today or will do in the future is intended to interfere with this lawful, responsible and legal activity. However, we are today ending the availability of weapons that were not designed for hunting or for target shooting. They were rather designed for soldiers to kill other soldiers. And while I appreciate that some may feel that these weapons have some recreational value, the tragic reality is that these weapons were designed to kill people and have been used to kill innocent Canadians.
Bill Blair: (14:21)
Public safety must always be our first priority and these powerful firearms become deadly weapons when they fall into the wrong hands. Protecting human life must come above all else. These guns have no legitimate civilian purpose. They don’t belong in our communities. And I will also say that the banning of these assault weapons is an important step, but let me also acknowledge that we know that there is much more to do.
Bill Blair: (14:48)
We will introduce legislation at the first opportunity to fulfill our commitments to Canadians to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by strengthening our storage laws, by preventing gun trafficking and smuggling. We will bring in greater control of ammunitions and magazine capacities. And perhaps most importantly, we will bring in red flag laws that allow law enforcement to remove firearms from dangerous situations to make sure that they don’t become deadly. We will empower victims, communities, doctors, families. We will empower Canadians to render their situation safe and where there is firearms in a situation that could be dangerous, we know that situation can become deadly and red flag laws will empower us to keep Canadian safe. We will do all of these things and we will keep working hard to make our streets safer for our kids and grandkids.
Bill Blair: (15:40)
I would remind us all that over the last four years, we have taken real measures to strengthen gun control. We’ve invested over $327 million to fight gun and gang violence. That meant, for example, more resources for local law enforcement to investigate gang related activity. It meant funding for projects, which were focused on things like keeping kids in school, giving support to victims of human trafficking and preventing gang recruitment.
Bill Blair: (16:03)
Giving support to victims of human trafficking and preventing gang recruitment. We brought in bill C71, which among other measures, strengthens background checks to help ensure guns don’t end up in the wrong hands. Last year in the fall, we campaigned on a promise to do more. Today we are moving forward on our promise and our plan to deliver safer streets and stronger communities for generations to come. Canada can know a future with less gun violence and less tragedy. By taking action today, we can give our kids and our grandkids a better chance at a brighter, safer tomorrow. Thank you all very much.
David Lametti: (17:10)
[foreign language 00:00:46]
David Lametti: (17:13)
To often we have seen cases where weapons that were designed for use on the battlefield have made their way into our community and have been used to kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Minister Blair mentioned tragic incidents that live in the mind of all Canadians, mothers and fathers, children, friends and neighbors whose lives were taken in senseless acts of violence. [foreign language 00: 01:40] And we all remember Anastasia De Sousa, who’s promising life was tragically cut short at Dawson College. [foreign language 00:02: 12]
David Lametti: (18:32)
But we have to do more. In 2019, Canadians gave us a clear mandate to act. As Minister Blair explained, today we’re moving forward with this commitment by announcing an immediate prohibition of over 1500 makes and models of military style firearms. [foreign language 00:02: 53] The new prohibitions on these weapons are effective immediately. We are, however, taking reasonable steps to provide Canadians with the time and guidance to properly and safely deactivate or remove these items from their possession. To do this, we are putting in place an amnesty order under the criminal code beginning today and effective until April 30th, 2022. This amnesty period will give a lawful owner in possession of these newly prohibited firearms, a reasonable timeframe to come into compliance without facing criminal liability for unlawful possession. By the end of this amnesty period, all Canadians must be in compliance with the law.
David Lametti: (19:58)
[foreign language 00:03:54] First and foremost, anyone in possession of these newly prohibited firearms can no longer use them, even during the amnesty period. Secondly, these firearms cannot be imported or sold to individuals in Canada. Third, these firearms can be legally exported during the two year timeframe with a valid export permit. In addition, a business owner may return the firearm to its manufacturer. Finally, these firearms must be safely stored in accordance with the law. They can only be transferred or transported for the purposes of deactivation, export with a permit, or surrender to police without compensation. Or if the person is not the owner of the firearm, to return the firearm to its rightful owner. There will be an exception for indigenous peoples exercising a section 35 hunting right, as well as those who use the weapon for hunting to feed themselves or their family. They may continue using firearms that were previously non restricted for these purposes until a suitable replacement can be acquired. We’re asking that no one attempt to surrender their firearm while social distancing because of COVID-19 is being practiced. As I have indicated at the end of the amnesty period, all firearm owners will have to be in compliance with the prohibition. [foreign language 00:05:35]
Speaker 3: (26:02)
[foreign language 00:06: 18]
Chrystia Freeland: (26:05)
Good morning. I grew up on a farm in Northern Alberta. We had guns on our farm and we still do, as on many farms across our country. If there were bears around, my dad would keep a gun in his truck and sometimes he’d hunt prairie chickens on his way home for supper. And you know what? Neither my dad nor any other farmer I knew then or have known since, owned an assault rifle or an assault style rifle. That’s because those weapons are not for hunting. They aren’t for shooting a prairie chicken or scaring off a bear. They’re designed for only one purpose: to kill people and to look like they can kill people. [ foreign language 00:10:56]
Chrystia Freeland: (27:19)
When we reflect on the massacre of 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1989, or the Dawson College shooting in 2006, or the horrible tragedy in Portapique, Nova Scotia just 12 days ago, those heinous acts strengthen our resolve. That resolve is to close the gaps in our gun control laws and to keep the most dangerous firearms out of civilian hands. We neither need nor want such weapons in our homes, in our pickups, in our communities, or on our streets. These guns make it easier to commit mass murder and the culture around their fetishization makes our country inherently more dangerous for the people most vulnerable. That is women and girls. [foreign language 00:12:26]. Every woman and girl listening today remembers a time when she was made to feel unsafe, vulnerable, or in harm’s way. We all know what that’s like. It’s unacceptable that in 2020, gender continues to be a determining factor in whether you feel safe in your home or on your street. During this pandemic, we are particularly concerned about the rise in gender-based and domestic violence. Frontline organizations have seen a surge in appeals from women and children fleeing violence. British Columbia’s Battered Women’s Support Services has received 300% more calls since the beginning of the pandemic. A Toronto based shelter has seen a 400% increase in demand for shelter. Unfortunately, this isn’t new. From 2010 to 2015, according to statistics compiled by the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative, there were 418 cases of domestic homicide in Canada with 476 victims. Of the 427 adult victims, 79% were women. Let that number sink in. In 2019, according to the Canadian Femicide Observatory For Justice and Accountability, 118 women and girls died violently in Canada. On average, one every three days. Again, let that number sink in. [ foreign language 00:14:56] We also know that the availability of assault style weapons puts vulnerable populations, women, queer and trans people, indigenous people, and people of color at particular risk. The missing and murdered indigenous women, girls, and two spirited people are for me, one of the starkest and most tragic examples of systemic violence in our society.
Speaker 5: (32:03)
Tragic examples of systemic violence in our society. Tackling systemic violence is our collective responsibility. One that requires us to challenge our attitudes, strengthen community support, ensure accountability for perpetrators and critically keep deadly weapons out of their hands. [foreign language 00:00:25]. Feminicide has long been a scourge in our society. It remains a scourge, we must stop it. In saying no to assault style weapons, we are putting feminist ideas into practice. We are acting to ensure that our sisters, our mothers, our grandmothers, our daughters, and we ourselves indeed that all women who have been victimized, frightened, threatened, harmed, brutalized and killed by gun violence have not suffered in vain. Enough is enough. [foreign language 00:33:25].
Speaker 6: (33:23)
[foreign language 00:33:30].
Speaker 7: (33:23)
Thank you. [foreign language 00:33:37].
Speaker 8: (33:23)
[foreign language 00:33:44].
Justin Trudeau: (34:31)
[foreign language 00:02:07]. Protecting the most vulnerable has always been an essential element and the core of our response to COVID-19 and obviously our seniors, our elders are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, that’s why we put forward a number of measures from the beginning, but why we will continue to work on supporting our vulnerable seniors.
Speaker 8: (34:59)
[foreign language 00:35:03].
Justin Trudeau: (34:59)
[foreign language 00:35:28].
Speaker 6: (34:59)
[foreign language 00:36:13].
Speaker 7: (36:16)
Thank you. [foreign language 00:04:17]. Next question, Charlie Pinkerton, iPolitics. Line open.
Charlie Pinkerton: (36:25)
Good morning, prime minister. Will you explain now what your government is announcing today, how it will implement it without passing new legislation to parliament?
Justin Trudeau: (36:35)
What is being done today is being done entirely through regulations. That is a tool we have, but to move forward on the next steps including an eventual buyback program, we will need to move forward through legislation in the house and we will be adding further measures to that as well. I have spoken with all other parliamentary leaders and I am confident that we will have the support necessary to move forward on strengthening gun legislation in this country when the time comes for us to move forward on legislation other than COVID-19.
Charlie Pinkerton: (37:13)
So if it can do what it’s doing today without legislation, why was your government not proactive instead of reactive and why did not put these in force earlier?
Justin Trudeau: (37:24)
I will turn to a Minister Blair to answer that, but we were ready to move forward about a month ago. We had been planning to do it in the late weeks of March. Obviously COVID became a priority for all of us, particularly the minister of public safety who is concerned with borders, concerned with public safety on multiple levels and we focused on that but obviously it remained and remains a priority for us to move forward and that is why we are moving forward today. Bill.
Bill Blair: (37:59)
Yes, prime minister. Just to explain there was a great deal of work that needed to be done even though this is accomplished through regulation. We were working very closely with the attorney general and the justice department in the drafting of those regulations. There were a number of very significant issues to be addressed. We are all highly motivated by our commitments to keep people safe and certainly the tragedy 12 days ago just deepened our resolve to move forward as quickly as possible. But we have been working quite diligently over the last several months in order to draft the regulations that bring forward these measures today. And as the prime minister has also indicated, there remains a great deal more work to do.
Bill Blair: (38:38)
And so at the very first opportunity we’ll be bringing forward legislation that will complete the work that we begin today through regulation by facilitating and parliament will determine a number of different important measures on how we can move forward as the prime minister has indicated with a safe, effective and responsible buyback program. But it also enabled us to take additional measures that will significantly improve public safety, strengthen gun control regulations. Today is a very important first step and it’s a step that we have been working on over several months.
Speaker 6: (39:12)
[foreign language 00:39:19].
Speaker 7: (39:12)
Thank you. [foreign language 00:39:24].
Speaker 9: (39:12)
[foreign language 00:39:31].
Justin Trudeau: (40:43)
[foreign language 00: 07:57]. This is a moment in which we are very much focused on keeping Canadians safe from COVID-19 but even amid this terrible pandemic, we have seen the impact that someone with a gun can have in devastating the lives of family members, of communities in our country. That’s why it is always a good moment to move forward on measures that keep Canadians safe, and that is why we are moving forward with this today.
Speaker 5: (41:50)
[foreign language 00:09:23].
Speaker 6: (41:57)
[foreign language 00:09:56].
Speaker 7: (41:58)
[foreign language 00:42:01]. Next question. Jim Bronskill, the Canadian Press. Line open.
Jim Bronskill: (42:11)
Yes, for Minister Blair, some say that one of the steps that must be taken to ensure that guns remain out of the hands of the people who should not have them are better screening and enforcement of prohibition orders when there are flags that someone should not have a gun due to mental illness or criminal history and there’s now quite a range of discretion among officials in the justice system whether to enact such a prohibition. Will the government move on that factor?
Bill Blair: (42:52)
Thank you very much Jim and it’s an important question and I made reference earlier to the legislation that we intend to bring forward at the first opportunity and I mentioned in particular that it includes a commitment to introduce red flag laws and those are situations where an individual either represents a significant danger to themselves. Perhaps an individual who might be suicidal or someone who is involved in a domestic violence an intimate partner relationship where there is a significant risk to that individual. And we have also seen unfortunately people in our society who are advocating hate and advocating violence against religious minorities or women or other vulnerable populations. And so we want to make sure that we have the tools to enable not just the police but society to victims, advocates, parents, teachers to take the steps that are necessary to render that situation safe.
Bill Blair: (43:47)
And that’s to remove firearms from that potentially dangerous situation and also to suspend that individual’s ability to get access to guns. There is work that we have done in Bill C- 71 to strengthen background checks to make sure that individuals who should not have access to firearms don’t get them. But we are going to take additional steps to keep them safe. Those prohibition orders to be effective have to be respected and they have to be enforced and there has to be consequences for those who don’t obey them. That’s why we are intending to strengthen our gun control and our gun laws to keep Canadians safe.
Jim Bronskill: (44:30)
Just a quick followup. There’s been some discussion about how the C-71 provisions, some key elements have not yet come into force. Can you give us a timeline for that? I realize COVID-19 may have disrupted that and I understood there were budgetary considerations and other factors why they may not be in place yet, but can you give us a timeline for the taking of effect of the provisions in C-71?
Justin Trudeau: (45:00)
Yeah, of course Jim and I will tell, C-71 was a very significant step forward in our last parliament by our government to introduce legislation that will have a very positive effect in keeping people safe. There remain a number of elements of C-71 which we are in the process of implementing and they are important not withstanding that we have been very occupied obviously in our response to COVID-19. That response has been entirely about keeping Canadians safe. And unfortunately during this particular pandemic, we have not … although we’ve seen a change in a lot of society and even a reduction in a number of different types of crimes, we have not seen a reduction in gun violence. We have not seen a reduction in domestic violence.
Justin Trudeau: (45:45)
And in fact, because of some of the social distancing and social isolation rules that are in place, that risk, that potential harm has actually been exacerbated. And so we’re highly motivated to move forward. Let me assure you, and all Canadians, the implementations of those important measures on Bill C-71 remain a high priority for us. There is much that we are working on now towards implementation. There are some additional budgetary measures that will need to be implemented and that will require the consent of parliament. But when we’re ready, we’ll move forward as quickly as possible.
Speaker 10: (46:18)
[foreign language 00:46:20].
Justin Trudeau: (47:30)
[foreign language 00:46:44]. The measures we took today ensure that the use, the purchase, the sale of military style assault weapons in this country end today. The numbers of those military style assault weapons in this country will only go down from here. Designing an appropriate and fair and effective buyback program is something that we will do as part of a legislative requirement, and we will therefore be working with other parties in the house with stake-
Justin Trudeau: (48:03)
And we will, therefore, be working with other parties in the house, with stakeholders across the country to ensure that it is done right, to be both effective and impactful in keeping Canadians safe.
Speaker 11: (48:12)
[foreign language 00:48:22].
Justin Trudeau: (49:23)
[foreign language 00:48:34]. One of the things that we are looking at right now is ensuring that our system of classification of firearms is ever evolving, that keeps up with modifications brought in by manufacturers, keeps up with new variants and new technologies. We need to make sure that we are constantly updating our classification system to ensure that Canadians are kept safe. Bill, you have, perhaps, a couple more-
Bill Blair: (49:54)
Actually, you’ve covered it very well, Prime Minister. Our intent is to keep it evergreen. When the classification system was implemented, in the late nineties, the system that was put in place was rigid, inflexible, and it kind of let us down. Because, quite frankly, the manufacturers brought in a number of different variants that got around those classifications. We will put a legislative framework in place, in the legislation that we’ll bring forward, that will create a new evergreen framework for classifications. So that as new weapons are introduced into the market, Canada will be able to respond quickly to ensure that only those weapons which are safe for use in this country will be available to Canadians.
Tom Perry: (50:34)
Hi, Tom Perry, with CBC. The shooter in Nova Scotia was using illegal weapons. And a lot of illegal weapons come in from the United States, so why not target those weapons, as opposed to going after lawful gun owners?
Justin Trudeau: (50:49)
Today, we are banning military style assault weapons in this country, weapons that are designed for one purpose and one purpose only, to kill as many people possible in the shortest amount of time as possible. Those guns have no place in Canada, and the measures we’re putting forward will reduce the amount of those guns in Canada and, eventually, keep more Canadians safe. But there is more to do, there are more measures to take, and we look forward to moving forward on those. And for those, I’ll turn it back to Minister Blair.
Bill Blair: (51:26)
If I may, first of all, the responsibility for identifying the weapons that were used in Nova Scotia is with the RCMP. And the release of any information pertaining to those, is theirs. But I can tell you that every firearm begins legally and then moves into an illegal market. And I can say with some confidence that the two long guns that were involved in that investigation, without identifying them, are included on today’s list.
Crystal Lowe: (51:56)
Hi, Crystal Lowe of Global News. Prime Minister, regarding the new gum measures, can you confirm if you plan to ban all military… Or sorry, all automatic rifles? And why not look at banning handguns? They are causing more deaths in Canada every year.
Justin Trudeau: (52:09)
Today, we’re moving forward with a ban on military style assault weapons. We have established criteria that cover about 1,500 models and variants of those guns that are in Canada, or available to Canadians. This will make sure that we have safer communities as of today and in the months and years to come. At the same time, there is more to do. On strengthening gun control, we made significant commitments to Canadians back in 2015, and moved forward on them in the last mandate. And we’re continuing to move forward on the commitments to strengthen gun control in this country, including allowing cities and municipalities the ability to restrict the use of handguns. These are things that we will move forward on in the coming months, as the parliamentary calendar returns to dealing with things other than COVID-19. [foreign language 00:05: 20].
Molly Thomas: (53:52)
Hi Prime Minister, Molly Thomas, CTV National News. You talked about this two-year amnesty period for law abiding gun owners to give back these guns on this list. Does that mean that Canadians that don’t comply would be fined or arrested? And how much will you compensate people that give back these firearms?
Justin Trudeau: (54:10)
Bill Blair: (54:12)
A couple questions, but I think the attorney general could probably give you the details of the amnesty. But, essentially, it’s a non-permissive amnesty which, as the attorney general has already explained, would allow a person who lawfully acquired these firearms to continue for a two-year period to retain possession of them. But during that two-year period, they can’t use them, they can’t go hunting with them, they can’t take them to the range and shoot them, they can’t sell them, nor transfer them. It is very restrictive on what they can actually do with the weapon. And it will have to be stored securely, in a properly approved vault, during that period of time. The two-year period of amnesty enables us to bring forward legislation, with a safe and effective buyback program, that it’ll allow those individuals who lawfully acquire these things…
Bill Blair: (55:03)
One of the things we’re trying to avoid, Canadians who purchased these guns, did so legally. And we did not want to create a situation by prohibiting them all, moving forward, of putting those people in criminal jeopardy. And so we have implemented a period of amnesty to allow us to bring forward legislation and a program that will enable those Canadians, who originally purchased these guns, to dispose of them and not to place themselves in a position of criminal jeopardy. As I said, we respect Canadians who obey the law, and the law, quite appropriately, has now changed. And so we will do the work necessary, and work with them, to bring them into a lawful situation and, for all Canadians, a safer situation, by the elimination of these weapons in our society.
David Lametti: (55:54)
Thank you. The standard criminal code provisions still apply. This is a regulation that derives from the criminal code, so the same structure, fines, and penalties that exist for other firearms violations, exist here, that hasn’t changed. The amnesty is also a regulation that does give that non-permissive period, where one can, in a very limited way, transport the weapons for certain reasons but, otherwise, can’t use them.
Speaker 12: (56:28)
David Lametti: (56:28)
That will be determined, as we’ve said, through a buyback program that we’ll have to do through Parliament. That requires a budget, that requires a law, and so we will require the usual parliamentary processes and safeguards, I might add, moving forward, again, with the cooperation, collaboration of our partners in the House of Commons.
Speaker 15: (56:51)
It’s May 1st, hard to believe, but it is May 1st, and rent is due for Canadians across the country. We know that the CERB has helped many people, but they have to choose, especially in big cities, Prime Minister, between, do I pay my rent, or do I get groceries this month? It’s just not enough. I know this is provincial jurisdiction, but your government has stepped in for commercial renters here. Is there anything more you can do to help regular Canadian renters out there who can’t pay their bills today?
Justin Trudeau: (57:18)
From the very first, our focus, through this COVID-19 crisis, has been ensuring that Canadians who are vulnerable, because of a loss of a paycheck, or loss of a job, who don’t have money coming in to be able to pay their rent or pay their groceries, get a reliable source of income. And that’s why we moved forward with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. That’s why we are moving forward with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. So that people actually can rely on money coming in to pay their everyday needs, which includes groceries and rent. We have moved forward with commercial rent support for businesses. Because businesses, we need them to be able to come back strongly after this pandemic is through, or after this phase of the lockdown is through. But we recognize that this is a difficult time for everyone. And we are looking to try and help, but the CERB and the Wage Subsidy will go a significant distance towards helping many, many Canadians get through this difficult time. Chrystia?
Chrystia Freeland: (58:29)
Yeah. The only thing that I would add, it’s a really good question, and I think it’s also important for landlords to understand that these are exceptional times in our country. And now is the time for all Canadians to stick together and support each other. So if you have a tenant who has lost income because of coronavirus, now is the time to be really compassionate. That is the way that you support your neighbors and your country in this difficult time. And it’s also a time for banks to be really thoughtful about the mortgages that those landlords have to pay. We’re going to get through this, and we will get through it by supporting each other and acting together.
Marieke Walsh: (59:23)
Marieke Walsh with The Globe and Mail. Prime Minister, we know that the federal stockpile did not have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment. I’m wondering what Canadians and medical workers should be able to expect from the stockpile for the next pandemic?
Justin Trudeau: (59:37)
The national stockpile is in place to supplement the stockpiles, that provinces need to have across the country, to deal with emergencies that could arise. As we’ve seen through this pandemic, both at the provincial level and the national level, we should have had more. We needed to have more. That’s why we’ve been working so incredibly hard, over these past weeks, to source personal protective equipment and necessary medical supplies from around the world. And we have largely been successful in meeting the needs of Canadians right across the country. But it took an awful lot of scrambling, an awful lot of effort that, ideally, wouldn’t have had to happen. So there are certainly lessons to be learned going forward, as we ensure that stockpiles are adequate, both at the provincial and the federal level. And that’ll be, certainly, one of the things that has been learned through this pandemic.
Justin Trudeau: (01:00:32)
On top of that, in terms of domestic procurement, we are seeing local manufacturers, domestic manufacturers, step up in significant ways to ensure that we have the equipment needed, not just for medical professionals on the front lines now, but as we look towards a reopening economy that will require more PPE across many sectors.
Marieke Walsh: (01:00:59)
So what does that actually mean, as for your federal commitment? Does that mean you will stockpile it for a certain number of weeks, going forward? Will you mandate this? Will you put it into legislation? What are you actually committing it will look like, going forward?
Justin Trudeau: (01:01:11)
Right now, our commitment is to help Canadians going through this pandemic right now, with the equipment they need, with the support they need, and our focus is entirely on filling those needs as quickly as possible. There will, of course, need to be very careful reflections about how we make sure that if this ever happens again, we are much better prepared. That is something that we are all going to be committed to, it is something that Canadians will expect, and something that this government will do.