The Village of Alix is speaking out about a move recently made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The decision to draft a letter of concern about Trudeau’s recent firearms ban was made at the Sept. 2 regular meeting of council.
The issue of Prime Minister’s recent Order in Council regarding firearms in Canada concerned Coun. Ed Cole enough that he pressed his peers to send a letter of concern to all levels of government.
Cole gave council a letter identifying his concerns.
“Firearms have been part of the Alberta culture since long before we joined confederation in 1905, and many of our fellow Alixians are legal and law-abiding firearms owners,” stated Cole in his letter.
“Firearms are often used legally in hunting and sporting. Hunting, for example, has been deemed by the Supreme Court of Canada to be a treaty right for First Nations people.
Recently, by Order of Council our Prime Minister banned a large number of firearms, many of which before were legal sporting and target rifles.
“Orders in Council on occasion may be necessary, however, should only be used for emergencies. By utilizing an Order in Council the state usurped any democratic debate by the opposition or any input by firearms owners.
“By amending the classification of certain firearms from restricted to prohibited, the federal government has made possession of said firearms a criminal offence,” stated Cole.
He noted the City of Cold Lake recently sent an eloquently worded rebuttal to not only the Prime Minister but to virtually every municipality in western Canada and wanted to see the village do something similar.
Mayor Rob Fehr stated the federal Liberal party seems to have been focussed on firearms since the 1990s, and since most firearms are located in western Canada, obviously aren’t concerned about western views.
Coun. Tim Besuijen stated he agreed with Cole that firearm ownership should be legal and the government shouldn’t be able to ban private property without open debate.
Village Chief Administrative Officer Michelle White stated sending a letter to every municipality in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba could entail a fair amount of legwork for village staff.
Cole suggested sending Alix’ letter to the Prime Minster, attorney general, opposition leader, MP, MLA, Rural Municipalities Association and Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.
Cole said he feels Canadians are too quick to accept decisions like Trudeau’s Order in council on firearms.
“We, as Canadians, are becoming so apathetic,” said Cole, who noted people need to speak up about government decisions they feel are wrong.
Coun. Vicki Soltermann had some wording suggestions to make, including pointing out that village council supports legal ownership of firearms.
Councillors unanimously approved Cole’s motion to have village staff draft a letter to voice concerns about Trudeau’s Order in Council and send it to the government representatives and associations listed above.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter