Conservative MP Mark Strahl’s reaction to Prime Minister Trudeau’s recently enacted gun legislation elicits nothing but intense disgust in me. Mr. Strahl shows that he does not care about the people of his riding as they face the COVID-19 pandemic with its associated woes of unemployment and health dangers, but has more concern about being able to own a military-style assault weapon that serves no purpose for hunting and gets used in violent crime. By doing so, he shows an inability to lead and incompetence in his position as a member of parliament. When Mr. Strahl should be acting as a responsible critic of the plans and programmes to get our nation through the COVID-19 pandemic, he chooses to attack a policy that can only serve to make us safer as a people.
Mr. Strahl claims that Prime Minster Trudeau’s actions are cowardly. In reality, the prime minister has shown the same strength and courage that his father, Pierre Trudeau, showed when he stood up to the FLQ terrorists by involving the War Measures Act during the October Crisis in 1970.
It is Mr. Strahl who acts cowardly as he sits behind conservative talking points and refuses to stand up to a gun lobby that threatens to make our nation into a northern version of the USA. Mr. Strahl fails to see that the policies of conservative leader Andrew Scheer that threaten to pervert conservatism in Canada in the way Donald Trump has perverted the republican party in the USA, were rejected by the nation. He talks a good game with the litany of things that he calls the conservative party platform, but these things are nothing but words.
In our riding, particularly here in Hope, we have yet to see any action on these items about crime, youth crime prevention, or sentencing. All we see are periodic mailings from Mr. Strahl’s office that ask loaded questions promoting the conservative party flavour of the day.
If he had his ear to the ground not only here in Hope, but also in Chilliwack he would know that crime is rampant. In 2019 almost every business in our downtown core in Hope had some sort of break-in. If he went to the Five Corners area of Chilliwack, he would see drug addicts shooting up in public.
Mr. Strahl does nothing meaningful about this, but is quick to criticize a policy, such as personal ownership of military grade weapons, as being cowardly. He does not seem to understand that the sole purpose of these weapons is not for sports such as hunting, but violence and killing.
His tasteless response is an insult to those who were gunned down in Nova Scotia. I for one will urge everyone in our riding to vote Liberal, NDP, or Green in the next federal election, so that Mark Strahl and the Trump-like hate-filled policies of the conservative party never blacken the halls of parliament again.
Anthony G Pavick