Cold Lake City Council will forward its resolution opposing the federal gun ban to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for consideration by its membership.
“We have an initial showing of strong support from municipalities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and we’ve been receiving informal messages of support from leaders in communities from across Canada,” Mayor Craig Copeland said.
In early June, council passed a motion to voice opposition to a May 1, 2020, order in council by which the federal government banned a number of firearms. Cold Lake City Council’s motion came as a result of a notice of motion put forward by Councillor Kirk Soroka. The motion also called upon the city’s administration to send a resolution to all municipalities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba for their consideration.
Council opposed the gun ban, and a proposed future buyback program, because it felt the program would incur needless expense to remove private property from law-abiding Canadian citizens. These are people who had successfully met the government’s education and licencing criteria to purchase the firearms in question.
“Motions of support continue to come in from municipalities, and we know that our voice is being heard,” Copeland said. “We would expect that a policy impacting people’s legally purchased property would have been the result of a thorough and open debate, but that was not the case here.”
Copeland noted that municipalities work closely with police and peace officers to provide safe and healthy communities. While the criminal code is a federal matter, public safety, policing, and property rights are issues that all municipal councils consider as a matter of routine business.
“These are complex issues and a simple, blanket approach that attempts to throw a lot of money at the problem will likely result in an expensive failure,” Copeland said. “Taking law abiding people’s property because of the actions of criminals not only will send the wrong message, but is likely to have little to no impact on the issue of gun crime.”
The City of Cold Lake’s administration will work with FCM staff so that its resolution can be considered by its membership. FCM works to provide a national voice for municipal governments across Canada. Its members include over 2,000 municipalities of all sizes – from Canada’s largest cities to rural communities, northern communities, as well as Canada’s provincial and territorial municipal associations.