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OToole flip flops on gun control, and now has major problems with his platform promises

OToole flip flops on gun control, and now has major problems with his platform promises

In a campaign that has not had a lot mistakes, unlike Trudeau, OToole has come under heavy criticsim over gun control. He initially supported the Con platforms promise to end the 2020 ban on assault rifles, but when questioned during the TVA debate he says he supports the ban, but was misleadingly referring to a 1977 law that banned fully automatic guns. Now hes saying he will keep the 2020 ban in place until a review is done of the law, which of course wont be until after the election. This simply sounds like a way of trying to avoid discussing the issue, only raising further doubts that he will do away with the ban soon after the election. This raises even more questions not only about Con gun control or lack thereof policies, but perhaps even more important in terms of an election of whether you can trust him on other issues in addition to gun control. OTooles campaign manager, Fred DeLorey, is a former lobbyist for the National Firearms Association (NFA). The current lobbyist for the NFA, Sheldon Clare, said in Sundays CBC National broadcast I am confident that Mr. OToole is a consistent, stalwart person that is going to standby what he has said ( which sounds like he is confident that the gun manufacturers will get every thing they want under an OToole government.

After days of question about his partys gun policy, Conservative Leader Erin OToole said Sunday he would maintain a Liberal ban on assault-style firearms if heforms government.

I want to make my position on firearms perfectly clear. First, the ban on assault weapons will remain in place. Second, the present ban on a number of other firearms that were reclassified in 2020 will remain in place, he told reporters in Vancouver.

At a French-language debate on Thursday, OToole said he would maintain a ban on assault weapons. On Friday, a party spokeswoman pointed to the Conservative platform that confirmed OTooles promise to axe a 2020 ban on what the Liberal government called assault-style weapons while maintaining a prohibition of fully automatic weapons which has been in place since 1977.

OToole, however, remained evasive about the partys position, repeating he would maintain the ban on assault weapons and telling reporters on Saturday that people who were confused on his position could look to the partys platform to fill in the blanks. That document promises to repeal the Liberal measures, which were introduced through a May 2020 Order in Council and banned some 1,500 firearm models, including the popular AR-15 rifle and the Ruger Mini-14 used to kill 14 women at Montreals Ecole polytechnique in 1989.

OTooles Sunday statements appeared to reverse course on that plan for the time being. A senior conservative source tells Global News it became clear that the Liberals wanted to make this an issue for the entire week. OTooles team thought they hadnt said enough to put the issue to bed, so it was added to his remarks at the last minute this morning, the source said. Were maintaining the status quo thats in place right now, OToole said Sunday, while also leaving the door open for future changes.

The Conservative Leaders comments also included a promise of a public, transparent review of Canadas gun classification system, a step he said will depoliticize gun regulation. Our intention is to take the politics out of this, because Mr. Trudeau has divided rural versus urban, he has demonized, in some cases, farmers, hunters, sport shooters and actually ignored the real problem of rising smuggling and organized gang activity, he said. Assault or assault-style firearms are colloquial descriptions, and what falls into either category is debated among gun users.

Ill admit to finding myself bewildered by just how much Trudeau and the media have been focusing on OTooles position on guns. Perhaps its because Im a city-dweller who last held a gun some 30+ years ago while shooting cans with my grandfathers .22 on his farm, but if I were to make a list of issues that would factor into my vote, gun control wouldt even be in my top 15. And my guess is thats about the same for most people I know.

I think you are correct; gun control isnt a huge issue for most Canadians including gun owners. I think OToole is playing it smart, he is trying to deflect this as a wedge issue. He is already stated that he will looking into the reclassification of the firearms. I think he will make all sides happy in the end. He will over turn some of the OIC and keep other parts.

The media and the Liberals are grasping at straws.

I think you are correct; gun control isnt a huge issue for most Canadians including gun owners.

The media and the Liberals are grasping at straws.

Some straw. OToole has another problem because of this issue. If he was so sure that it would work well for him why would he try to hide his support for ending the assault weapon ban. Instead, he has now created a trust problem, because he tried to say he supported the ban when he was actually referring to the 1977 automatic weapons ban, not the 2020 semi-automatic weapons ban. This creates the additional and much more serious problem of trusting him on other issues. Few people believe his review of the ban is any thing more than an attempt to get through the election without having to talk about the  issue, especially when his campaign manager, Fred DeLorey, is a former gun manufacturer lobbyist and the current National Firearms Association (NFA) lobbyist expresses full confidence in him. Polling evidence show it is an issue for many people, as shown below.

Although many people dont believe banning assault weapons greatly reduce gun-related violence in itself, 68% believed in 2020 it would be effective when the ban was introduced, with 80% of Quebecois agreeing with this. Thus, there is widespread support for banning assault weapons in Canada, especially in Quebec where support for the ban was 89%, where the Ecole Polytechnique, Dawson College, and a mosque massacre occurred. The Atlantic region, where in Nova Scotia the deadliest mass killing involving 22 people being slaughtered occurred two weeks before the ban was introduced, with 82% support for the ban and BC with 85% support for the ban also showed strong support for the ban. Support is weakest on the prairies.  Women are also much more likely to support an assault weapon ban,  reflecting their increased likelihood of having to deal with violence of any kind, a target group for the Liberals.

It is not an accident that Trudeau started this attack on OToole during the Quebec TVA debate where support on banning assault weapons is strongest and where he needs to win many of the seats he already holds and prevent OToole from growing in popularity in that province.

After the federal government unveiled a new assault-style gun ban earlier this month, almost nine in 10 Canadians believe Ottawa should be spending more to crack down on firearms smuggled across theCanada-U.S. border, according to a new poll conducted byIpsosexclusively for Global News.

And while a third of Canadians believe the recent ban on 1,500 of those weapons goes too far, eight in 10 say they agree with the move and about 70 per cent believe all handguns should be prohibited as well, the poll suggests.

The Ipsos poll suggests 82 per cent of those surveyed either strongly (54 per cent) or somewhat (27 per cent) agree with banning assault-style weapons.

Thats the language used by the government but isnt actually a legal classification in Canada.

Regionally, support for the assault-style gun ban is highest ⁠ 89 per cent ⁠ in the province of Quebec, shaken by mass shootings over the last three decades at cole Polytechnique, Dawson College and at a mosque in Quebec City.

Global News / Ipsos. Global News / Ipsos

Support is lowest in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, at 57 per cent.

But support for the new restrictions didnt fully translate into a belief that they will help reduce gun violence in the country, according to the Ipsos poll.

Will the assault-style gun ban be effective? Not all Canadians convinced

About 68 per cent of Canadians agree the ban will be effective, the poll suggests. Regionally, that belief was again highest in Quebec at 80 per cent and lowest in Saskatchewan and Manitoba at 42 per cent.

Warren Kinsella apparently hates Justin Trudeau, and was happy to see him heading for defeat, buthis latest Sun Column(posted by NR in another thread) says that this issue is important enough to cost OToole the election. Whatever else he is, Kinsella is a skilled and seasoned political street fighter. Hes the one who came up with the statement that Stockwell Day (a young earth creationist) believed The Flintstones was a documentary.

No doubt Kinsella is a skilled operator and very good at attack politics. I used to read him fairly regularly but his actual politics are pretty despicable. I could see Kinsella and Zatzman being buddies for instance although the latter definitely isnt as slick. But Kinsellas reputation which he does more to promote than anyone else doesnt mean he is always a great analyst. Ive read as many wrong takes as right ones.

Not saying it wouldnt be nice if gun control became a major issue and cost OToole the election but Im skeptical. If it helped stop any pickups by the Cons in Quebec though that would be a win.

OToole, as of today, now has a new position on this issue, the third in five days. Obviously, if he thought this issue was irrelevant he wouldnt keep floating new positions on the issue. As I noted above, his problem now goes way beyond gun control to his credibility in general.

Here is the latest on this issue. If it doesnt make sense to you, dont worry. Neither the host or any of four panelists, including the Conservative one, on CBCs Power and Politics could explain the Con position either. The Conservative platform clearly says it would end the ban on 1500 types of semi-automatic assault rifles. OToole said on the French TVA debate that he supports the ban, but later had to admit that he was referring the 1977 ban on automatic weapons, not the 2020 ban on semi-automatic weapons. Under pressure on Saturday, he said he would support the 2020 ban. However, today he said he would repeal Bill C-71 and the related Order-in-Council banning semi-automatic rifles, but conduct a review of the Firearms Act to decide what to do. In a footnote to the press release he said but all firearms that are currently banned will remain banned. This raises the question how can you get rid of the governing legislation without allowing these guns to be sold. This all sounds like a corporate lawyers,  which is exactly what OToole is, trial defence of creating doubt about the situation trying to sow enough doubt to win on the basis the prosecution did not present a case that is beyond a reasonable doubt. The problem is an election campaign is not about that, its in large part about trust in the candidate, and OToole is creating doubt not only on this issue but on his promises in general because it looks like he is hiding something on this. The next question that this creates is what other issues is not telling us where he is going. OTooles saying We will remove the politics on this (issue) only makes the situation worse because politicians are all about politics because that is what they are, especially in an election. No one believes that.

Former Liberal New Brunswick Brian Gallant, a panelist on Panelist and Politics, said the Liberals are not using gun control as a classical wedge issue, meaning asking you to vote on the basis of whether you are for or against gun control, but to present OToole as an extreme right-wing ideologue, as they have tried to do on mandatory vaccines, abortion, two-tier health care, and now gun control. OToole knows this and is trying to avoid as being identified as such. While the other issues didnt work on framing him, OToole has now made this an issue over five days that will continue into this weeks two debates. If OToole doesnt get a clear mesage on this issue, he could end up being framed on it just as Scheer was in 2019 on abortion.

By the way, the Liberals are far from having a shining record on the gun control issue, having failed to deal with handguns as gun-releated crime mounted in the big cities, especially in Toronto and only putting forward Bill C-71 on assault weapons in the fifth year of governing, following the largest mass shooting in Canadian history in Nova Scotia. But, for the first time in the election they have OToole pedalling backwards furiously while trying to explain what he means. And in politics, if you are explaining, you are losing.

OToole is an idiot to let himself get suckered like this. CPAC has some good political coverage, and one comment from a voter, not affiliated with any party stood out, who stated that the calibre of candidates in this election leaves a lot to be desired. One could probably say that about at least a couple of leaders as well.

Trudeau, OToole engaged in phony war over gun control

OToole is promising to maintain the restrictions and carry out an objective review. Problem is, hes already tipped his hand as to what that review should conclude.

Trudeau has been handed a ballot issue that will also help him to define his adversary with voters. Canadas largest cities have seen an alarming increase in gun violence and people are worried. Of course, the Greater Toronto area, with its 50 seats, remains the prize that the Liberals must win if they hope to hold onto power. This is a tailor-made issue for them.

OToole gamely and correctly points out that the increase in guns and violence can be laid at the Liberal doorstep. Failure to enforce at the border and a large influx of guns did in fact occur during the Liberal watch. But those are facts and the debate is no longer about facts, its about feelings and emotions, areas where Trudeau excels.

This is the type of issue that helps decide elections. Liberal failures are easily forgotten when Trudeau is standing behind a podium with a picture of an assault-style rifle with a big red circle around it.

Karl Nerenberg comments on the growing assault weapon controversy generated by the TVA debate.

OToole did not succeed in obfuscating his way out of multiple attacks: on his partys plan to scrap $6 billion of federal aid to Quebec for its child care program; on two-tier health care; and, on Conservative plans to weaken firearms legislation and regulation

On the last point, OToole blatantly lied. When Trudeau said the Conservative platform says it will scrap law C-71 — which adds restrictions on the sale, transfer and transport of weapons and enhances background checks — and the May 2020 Order in Council — which bans assault weapons — OToole falsely said Thats not true.

In fact, it is right there, as Trudeau accurately pointed out, in black and white, onpage 90of the Conservative platform.

The gun community fiercely opposes the assault weapon ban, and the Conservatives support them. OToole tried to hide that fact from the largely Quebec-based audience. Since the Polytechnique Montral massacre of 1989, there has been consensus in favour of effective gun control in Quebec.

The Conservatives have now had their credibility on gun control greatly damaged by flip flopping from it invovling the end of the ban on 1500 types of semi-automatic weapons found in their written party platform on page 90, to OToole saying he supports the ban during the TVA French debate only to admit he was talking about the 1977 ban on automatic weapons when the question was clealy about the Bill 77 2020 ban on semi-automatic rifles, to saying on Saturday he supported the ban, to saying on Monday he will end Bill 77 and set up a review panel to determine what weapons are acceptable. This rasises questions about how credible not only on this issue but on other issues.

The Conservative platform costing release today just before the debate greatly compounds their credibility problems. It turns out they intend to spend as much money as the Liberals by giving more money to the fossil fuel provinces in stabilization spending as well as other spending measures in other areas, while accomplishing this by saving $27 billion by ending the Liberal childcare program and only spending $2.7 billion on childcare tax credits. Like gun control, childcare is not an enormous vote getter because it has a limited number of people who directly benefit. But it does greatly increase the Conservative credibility problem, by revealing their childcare plan even in dollar terms is paltry, let alone in dealing with those who most need help in this regard -lower income parents.

However, another credibility problem, and it is a major one, now arises from their platform promise to increase healthcare spending by 6% compared to 3% by the Liberals. It turns out that this is nearly all backend loaded over ten years and their spending during the first five years, according to CTV, is actually less than the Liberals, which is currently creating problems in the provincial delivery of healthcare. Of course to get to 6% per annum increases you would have to re-elect the Cons twice or thrice, making the promise fairly illusory.

The compounding of the credibility problem created over the gun control issue is now snowballing into a major credibility problem for OToole, especially when it now also involves healtcare, always a major issue in every election in the last forty years. With major questions on gun control, childcare, and healthcare, the question now becomes what else cant you believe the Conservatives on their platform?

This ironically puts them in a similar boat the Liberals who have lost crediblity over promising proportional representation and keeping FPTP, promising indigenous justise but spending more than $100,000,000 on lawyers fees to block settlement of indigenous claims over residential school student settlements and other indigenous issues, 30 years of promising pharmacare and not delivering, only delivering on a childcare program after 40 years of promises and with the NDP about to make it central to their platform, failing to deal with the increasing costs of dental care in any way, abandoning social housing in 1993 only to see housing disappear from the even the middle classs dream of owning their own home, declaring a climate emergency and the next day buying the Trans Mountain pipeline in addition to failing to meet a single greenhouse reduction target since 1993.

The Conservatives credibility problems provide Trudeau with the opportunity to do great damage to their electoral prospects. However, the credibility problems of both Trudeau and OToole, now provide Singh with a great opportunity to further increase NDP support. How well each leader debates and carries out the  subsequent electoral campaigns on these issues will go a long way to deciding the final election numbers.

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