Brooks-Medicine Hat MLA Michaela Glasgo has had a busy summer of touring constituencies, hosting Premier Jason Kenney on a summer excursion though Southern Alberta and her busy regular MLA duties as the provincial government worked through an extremely emotional and full schedule in part due to the pandemic.
But as head of the Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee which was organized this spring, the first term MLA has been extra busy.
“The reason for the delay was we wanted to make sure we got input from everyone,” explained Glasgo in regards to the 12-person committee. “The purpose of that was we wanted to solidify what was in our survey that we will be asking Albertans.”
Each of them brought something different to the table in regards to their age and experience/association with firearms. It included people such as Nicholas Lui, a competitive shooter and Canadian Armed Forces veteran, Bob Gruszecki, president, Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association, Rick Hanson, former chief, Calgary Police Service; and Teri Bryant, associate professor, University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business amongst others. Glasgo herself knows the importance of firearms in the lives of many Southern Albertans.
The committee which was set up earlier this spring has a new minister. It was set up by Premier Jason Kenney and then Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer. However during a mini-cabinet shuffle, Schweitzer took over as Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.
Kaycee Madu was sworn in as minister of Justice and Solicitor General on August 25. Glasgo has yet to sit with Madu but from previous collaborations and discussions Glasgo say Madu has “common sense for gun legislation. I am optimistic moving forward with him.”
One suggestion was the delay in moving forward with the gun committee’s survey and the website was to see who would be elected Conservative leader/leader of the Opposition. Glasgo says this was the case but was pleased to see Erin O’Toole be elected the Conservatives leader on Aug. 24. The website address: https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-firearms-advisory-committee.aspx
“(The federal Conservative leader election) had nothing to do with our timing, but it is good to have a leader sympathetic to gun owners. I supported him early on in the campaign,” explains Glasgo. “He has earned the trust of many and he’s been solid every year in southern Ontario.”
She sat down with him for lunch earlier this year and was impressed with his understanding of Western alienation and fully appreciates Alberta’s contribution to the country including the importance of its natural resources to the overall national economy.
On May 1, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms. These models represent nine categories of firearms and “two types identified by characteristics.” Under the federal rules implemented by the federal government, there will be a transition period of two years to protect owners of newly prohibited firearms from criminal liability while they take steps to comply with these new rules.
This two-year amnesty order under the Criminal Code is in effect until April 30, 2022. The federal government estimated there were 10,000 newly prohibited firearms.
Tour dates for the Alberta Firearms Committee were to be finalized relatively soon with the probability of eight provincial town halls being held with pandemic safety measures in place as well as video conferencing option to be offered.