Mélanie Joly replies to Legault and Plante

François Legault and Valérie Plante continue to press Ottawa for better control of firearms at the border, data reveals that Canadian customs officials have seized more than 500 so far, almost as many as the last year, and the period 2021-2022 is not over.

• Read also: Shootings: Plante and Legault demand that the Trudeau government get involved

• Read also: Floridian intercepted at Canadian border with 56 pistols

The day before, the Premier of Quebec and the mayoress of Montreal once again urged the Liberals to do their part to fight gun trafficking, while the city is still grappling with the problem of shootings. On Tuesday morning, Federal Minister Mélanie Joly and Quebec Lieutenant Pablo Rodriguez were asked whether the Trudeau government is ready to do more. In response, Ms. Joly retorted that it is a joint effort that will have to be deployed.

“It’s a shared responsibility. It is obvious that there must be more resources for the police forces. It must be a priority for the City of Montreal too, said the member for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, while making Montreal responsible for its management of organized crime.

“We know that the issue of street gangs does not necessarily fall under the federal government.”

Rodriguez for his part recalled that the federal government supported the unanimous motion voted on in the National Assembly.

“After analysis, we said ‘yes, we are moving forward’. We agree with the request of the National Assembly. In addition, we have set aside at least $ 1 billion to fund what the province wants to do. ”

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The Border Services Agency revealed a few days ago that it had arrested a Floridian, Vivian Richards, 48, at the Blue Water Bridge in Point Edward, Ontario, who was carrying 56 guns in the trunk of her car. unreported prohibited fire, 13 overcapacity magazines, 43 pistol magazines with 10 rounds and 100 ammunition in boxes that were in the trunk of the car.

Annually, customs officers process 100 million travelers at 1,200 points of entry.

Data only for the first quarter (April-June 2021) indicate that customs officials seized 509 firearms in the country while they had seized 548 for the full year 2020-2021. In 2019-2020, that figure stood at 753.

Reached by TVA Nouvelles on Tuesday, the national president of the customs and immigration union, Mark Weber, stressed that the fight to arms is a priority for its members who would also like an enlargement of their power to hunt down the arms smugglers.

“We could do better if we could patrol between border crossings. Absolutely, ”he told TVA Nouvelles on Tuesday.

Unlike the RCMP, customs officers cannot leave their border crossing by vehicle to make these types of interceptions, explains Weber.

In response to the TVA Nouvelles report reporting more than 500 firearms seized by customs officials during the first quarter of the year in the country, the Border Services Agency provided further details on the type of weapons.

These are mainly handguns, revolvers, rifles, semi-automatic pistols and shotguns that are collected annually by the hundreds at the border.

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The agency says by email that $ 92.9 million has been earmarked for the Gun and Gang Violence Initiative for fiscal years 2018-19 to 2024-2025.

The CBSA uses portable x-ray machines, large-scale imaging systems and has received 14 mobile examination vehicles to more efficiently examine conveyances and shipments.

“Five additional detector dog teams, specializing in drug and firearm detection, have been formed and are now active at strategic entry points.

“The Agency has designed specialized training to strengthen the training of officers on vehicle searches,” explains Louis-Carl Brissette Lesage, spokesperson for the Agency.


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