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Thousands of gun owners could soon be criminals as Liberals ban 1,500 firearms in sweeping decree

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only … to kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time.”

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government on Friday banned 1,500 different makes and models of what called “military-style” and “assault-style” guns in Canada.

The ban comes into effect immediately and was ordered by the cabinet without any bill or debate in parliament.

Guns like the M16, M4, AR-10 and AR-15 rifles will be banned. It is estimated there are now 125,000 of these guns – purchased legally – which are now illegal. Licensed gun owners will no longer be allowed to sell, transport, import or use the guns.

Missiles and rocket launchers also made the banned list. First Nations members that hunt with these rifles are exempt.

“As of today, the market for assault weapons in Canada is closed,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said.

“Enough is enough. Banning these firearms will save Canadian lives.”

Trudeau said: “These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only … to kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time.”

He said hunters do not need “military-style” weapons.

“You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer,” he said.

It was already illegal to hunt deer or other game with AR-15s prior to the new ban.

There will now be a two-year “amnesty” program for gun owners while the government comes up with a compensation package for a “buy-back” program.

 Previously legal gun owners will be allowed to export the weapon or send them back to the manufacturer.

The move comes after the worst mass killing in Canadian history April 18-19 where Gabriel Wortman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia. Thirteen had been shot to death while nine died in fires Wortman set. Critics say the Liberals are using the tragedy to push through their new gun ban.

Wortman used illegal weapons from both Canada and the U.S. including one the RCMP said “could be described as a military-style assault rifle.”

Trudeau said the victims’ families “deserve more than thoughts and prayers.”

“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,” Trudeau said.

The move has outraged gun enthusiasts and Tory leadership candidate Peter MacKay.

“As a Nova Scotian, I am outraged that Justin Trudeau is using our tragedy to punish law-abiding firearms owners across Canada. As Prime Minister, I can guarantee to all Canadians that I will never take advantage of a tragedy like this to push a political agenda,” MacKay tweeted.

Mackay tweet

Fellow leadership candidate Erin O’Toole said: “Let’s be clear – this isn’t about preventing crime. It’s about dividing Canadians. They want to divide rural versus urban Canadians. They want to divide Canadians who hunt or enjoy sports shooting versus those who don’t.”

Calgary MP Michelle Rempel Garner tweeted: “This ban does nothing to prevent firearms violence. Call every Liberal MP and protest. Call every CPC Leadership candidate and ask them to commit to repealing this.”

Tony Bernardo, of the Canadian Sport Shooting Association told the Western Standard will be taking legal action.

“It is simply not legal to use a order-in-council to overturn something that is legal,” he said.

As for the timing coming so close to the Nova Scotia slayings, Bernardo said the government “was perhaps deflecting from their handling of the Covid-19 mess and the fact we are getting trillions of dollars in debt.”

Trudeau said his government was “on the verge” of introducing the legislation when Parliament was suspended in March.

“We have every intention of moving forward on that measure and potentially other measures when the Parliament returns,” he said at a press conference.

The federal government has campaigned on a pledge to ban “assault rifles” and “military-style” guns across the country quickly – despite the fact they haven’t defined what constitutes one yet, or have been already banned since the 1970s.

Blair has said gun ownership is a privilege, not a right.

— more to come

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westewrnstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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UCP moves to cut vehicle insurance costs

But NDP leader Rachel Notley said the entire provincial system should be nationalized like in BC.

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The UCP is introducing new vehicle insurance regulations it says will give Alberta drivers faced with skyrocketing rates a break.

But NDP leader Rachel Notley said the entire provincial system should be nationalized like in BC.

“Alberta’s government is proposing changes that will contain costs and stabilize premiums in the auto insurance system, while increasing medical benefits to support Albertans injured in collisions. Other changes include cutting red tape and bringing efficiencies to the system to give Alberta drivers more options and flexibility,” the government said in a Thursday release.

Finance Minsiter Travis Toews said: ““Both drivers and insurers have been paying the consequences of the previous government’s ill-thought-out rate cap that left many Alberta drivers without reasonable insurance options. These actions will start to ease cost pressures and stabilize premiums for Alberta drivers.”

The UCP said the new measures will increase insurance affordability by controlling cost pressures, including putting more minor injuries under the compensation cap for pain and suffering damages, and using a floating rate for interest accumulated on pain and suffering damages.

They said there will be an increase in medical benefits to support Albertans injured in traffic accidents with access to more health professionals and inflation-adjusted benefits to deal with the after-effects of collisions.

They claim Bill 41 will create more consumer choice by enabling insurance companies to offer more insurance options such as pay-per-kilometre.

Bill 41 will also modernize and improve Alberta’s insurance system by cutting red tape in the auto insurance system and allowing direct compensation for property damage to allow not-at-fault drivers to work directly with their own insurers for vehicle repairs after collisions, the UCP said.

Alberta currently pays the third-highest insurance rates behind only BC and Quebec.

“Albertans should expect to see a break from steep increases to their premiums, or any potential savings in the coming months,” the government release said.

Meanwhile, Notley said the best thing the government can do is nationalize the auto insurance industry – much like the ICBC system in B.C. where residents pay the highest rates in the country.

ICBC also loses about $1 billion a year despite having a monopoly.

“When the insurance companies say (they) can’t possibly afford to provide insurance, ‘We’re going to leave the province,’ well, that sounds like it’s opening up a market for somebody else to provide something that would be less expensive and ensure that profits remain inside the province,” said Notley to the Globe and Mail.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Morneau cleared by ethics commissioner in WE expenses scandal

But Dion said he will continue to investigate Morneau for not recusing himself from a federal cabinet decision handing the WE charity almost a billion dollars

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Former federal finance minister Bill Morneau is off the hook in an ethics investigation into his expenses on a trip with the scandal-plauged WE charity.

But he’s not completely off the hook yet.

Ethics commissioner Mario Dion said he accepted the fact Morneau simply forgot about $41,000 expenses he racked up on a trip with the charity to Kenya and Ecuador.

“I accept that you genuinely believed you had paid for the entire cost of both trips, including the portion of the trip that involved the use of non-commercial chartered aircraft,” Dion wrote in an Oct. 28 letter obtained by CBC.

“I have also reviewed the documentary evidence submitted as part of my examination under the act … this evidence corroborates your position with respect to your belief that you paid for the total cost of your and your family’s personal travel in 2017.

“Moreover, the evidence suggests that the WE organization invited your spouse and daughter to participate in these trips, and that you had no involvement in the planning and preparation of either event.

 “I am of the view that you did not accept a gift from WE Charity.”

But Dion said he will continue to investigate Morneau for not recusing himself from a federal cabinet decision handing the WE charity almost a billion dollars to run a youth jobs program at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morneau’s daughter worked at the charity at the time of the decision.

“I remain seized of allegations relating to possible violations of subsection 6(1) and section 21 of the Act,” Dion wrote

After resigning in August at the height of the scandal, Morneau said he was in the running to be the next secretary general for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

As a parliamentary finance committee was looking into the scandal, Morneau announced he was writing the charity a cheque to cover $41,000 in expenses. He claimed he thought the expenses had already been paid.

Morneau made the announcement the day he appeared to testify at the committee.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also under investigation after it was revealed his mother, brother and wife had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from the charity, which has since disbanded its Canadian operations.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Millions of shoppers had image taken by Cadillac Fairview cameras

Most of the customers didn’t know their images were being collected by cameras embedded in information kiosks.

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More than five million shoppers across Canada had their images collected in 12 malls owned by Cadillac Fairview, an investigation by privacy commissioners has found.

Most of the customers didn’t know their images were being collected by cameras embedded in information kiosks in July 2018.

“The goal, the company said, was to analyze the age and gender of shoppers and not to identify individuals. Cadillac Fairview also asserted that shoppers were made aware of the activity via decals it had placed on shopping mall entry doors that referred to their privacy policy – a measure the Commissioners determined was insufficient,” the commissioners said in a Thursday release.

“Cadillac Fairview also asserted that it was not collecting personal information, since the images taken by camera were briefly analyzed then deleted. However, the Commissioners found that Cadillac Fairview did collect personal information, and contravened privacy laws by failing to obtain meaningful consent as they collected the 5 million images with small, inconspicuous cameras.  Cadillac Fairview also used video analytics to collect and analyze sensitive biometric information of customers.”

The investigation also found facial recognition software was used to generate additional personal information about individual shoppers, including estimated age and gender.

While the images were deleted, investigators found that the sensitive biometric information generated from the images was being stored in a centralized database by a third party.

Cadillac Fairview stated that it was unaware that the database of biometric information existed, which compounded the risk of potential use by unauthorized parties or, in the case of a data breach, by malicious actors, said the release.

“Shoppers had no reason to expect their image was being collected by an inconspicuous camera, or that it would be used, with facial recognition technology, for analysis,” says Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien.

“The lack of meaningful consent was particularly concerning given the sensitivity of biometric data, which is a unique and permanent characteristic of our body and a key to our identity.” 

Jill Clayton, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, said: “This investigation exposes how opaque certain personal information business practices have become.

“Not only must organizations be clear and up front when customers’ personal information is being collected, they must also have proper controls in place to know what their service providers are doing behind the scenes with that information.”

Michael McEvoy, Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, said: “Questions about when an organization is collecting personal information can be complex, but the conclusion we came to about cameras in mall directories was straight-forward, – pictures of individuals were taken and analyzed in a manner that required notice and consent.”

The company has now removed the cameras and has no plans to reinstall them.

In a statement, the company said: “While the focus of this report is of a technology that was disabled and removed more than two years ago, we want to reiterate that we take the concerns of our visitors seriously and are committed to protecting our visitors’ privacy. 

“As we continue to enhance the in-mall experience and better connect with our digitally engaged customers, we are, and will always be, deeply committed to privacy and responsible data usage.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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