(OTTAWA) NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party will introduce amendments this week to ban assault-style weapons to replace those scrapped by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government amid public outcry.
“We are going to have laws that target manufacturers for the first time and that clearly say that manufacturers cannot continue to use the loopholes they are using,” he promised in a press briefing on Tuesday.
The day before, the groups PolySeSouvient and DanForth Families for Safe Communities urged the New Democratic Party (NDP) to act in this file and accused the political formation of inaction.
Singh was vague about what form the amendments to Bill C-21 will take that would make permanent an already-existing 2020 ban on assault-style firearms.
He wouldn’t specify if these would include a list of prohibited models, but he did mention that a definition would be there.
He argued that the approach that had been advocated by the Liberals with their amendments withdrawn in February was the wrong one and in no way targeted arms manufacturers.
“[These] change the name of a particular firearm to avoid regulation [or] a small part of a firearm. […] We are going to put an end to this with the amendments that we are going to propose, ”said the leader of the NDP.
The Trudeau government more than two months ago backtracked on two amendments aimed at enshrining in law a definition of prohibited assault weapons.
The provisions withdrawn were intended to reinforce a ban decreed in 2020 for around 1,500 models and variants of this type of weapon. Their addition to C-21 – made during clause-by-clause study – sparked outrage among hunters and members of Indigenous communities fearing that weapons used for hunting were being targeted.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino is scheduled to testify in committee about the bill later Tuesday.