Quebec, Ink — Trudeau misfires on gun debate

Liberal leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau has been catching heat for his views on packing heat — or at least registering it.

Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau taught his children to hunt, but he should have spent more time teaching son Justin to skate.

The younger Trudeau, candidate for the federal Liberal Party leadership, was sliding all over the ice this week as he tried to explain his apparent about-face on the issue of the Canadian firearms registry, which was abolished by the Conservative government in April.

Despite having voted numerous times as a Liberal MP to preserve the registry, on Friday he declared the program a “failure” and said if he was elected as Liberal leader, he wouldn’t revive it.

“The long-gun registry, as it was, was a failure and I’m not going to resuscitate that,”  he said during a campaign stop in Hawkesbury, Ont.

The declaration surprised a lot of people and by Monday, Trudeau was trying to twist the bullet back down the barrel.

The definition of a failed public policy is the fact that the long-gun registry is no more… The fact is, because it was so deeply divisive for far too many people, it no longer exists,” he said.

Divisive? If that was sufficient justification to repeal laws, we’d have very few laws.

And by Trudeau’s definition, hundreds of Liberal government laws and policies changed or scrapped by the Tories since coming to power are failures as well, since they, too, no longer exist.

They disappeared along with compulsory long-form census forms, global warming and science in general.

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BLUE-AND-WHITE PARACHUTE Former Parti Québécois leader André Boisclair has a new job, or is it two? In addition to being named Quebec’s delegate-general to New York, he has been given a job in the public service as assistant deputy minister of international affairs. He won’t be collecting two salaries, but the move ensures that he keeps his job in the civil service even if he loses favour or the PQ loses power. I guess the Harvard degree in public administration has paid off for Boisclair: he sure can negotiate. ■

Peter Wheeland is a Montreal journalist and stand-up comic. His sardonic observations about the city and province appear at least once a week in this space. You can follow him on Twitter or find out about his upcoming stand-up performances here.

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