Federal Court Orders Liberals to Hand Over Evidence for May 2020 Attacks

TheGunBlog.ca — Canada’s Federal Court ordered the government to hand over all documents leading to its May 2020 political attacks against licensed gun owners and businesses, in a major procedural win for the teams fighting the crackdown.

30 Day Deadline

Associate Chief Justice Jocelyne Gagné gave the Attorney General of Canada (AGC) 30 days to turn in the evidence, she said in a decision dated May 27 and received by lawyers today.

The governing Liberal Party previously refused to share materials behind its 01 May 2020 Order in Council (OIC) criminalizing honest citizens and ordering them to surrender their suddenly blacklisted rifles and shotguns by April 2022.

‘Landmark Decision’ — Burlew

“In this landmark decision Justice Gagné has required that AGC provide the court with all documents, being the evidentiary record before cabinet that were used in deciding to enact the OIC banning firearms that became SOR/2020-97,” Edward Burlew, one of the lawyers challenging the crackdown, told TheGunBlog.ca today by e-mail.

Burlew and the other legal teams are in Federal Court to stop the criminalization Order in Council for being unjustified, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The Department of Justice in Ottawa referred our invitation to comment to the Department of Public Safety.

Update June 3: “The Government of Canada is currently reviewing the Federal Court’s decision,” said Magali Deussing, a spokesperson for Public Safety. (Full response.)

Rule 317, Under Court Seal

The government notes, reports, emails and other documents to be produced under Rule 317 of the Federal Courts Rules will be viewable only by the court at first.

Gagné’s decision said the court will analyze the material to decide “whether the public interest in disclosure outweighs its secrecy.”

She rejected the government’s claim to cabinet confidentiality under Section 39 of the Canada Evidence Act.

What the Documents May Show

  • The political and ideological motivations for the Liberal attacks on honest Canadians.
  • Why the Liberals developed the crackdown in secret and hid their plans from parliament and the public.
  • How the Royal Canadian Mounted Police supported the attacks, in particular the role of Murray Smith.
  • The cost of the crackdown, estimated at hundreds of millions or billions of tax dollars.
  • How the Liberals and RCMP invented the tactic of “nullifying” firearm-registration certificates to criminalize lawful owners.

‘Democratic Principles Prevailed’ — Generoux

“I am deeply relieved that democratic principles prevailed in this situation, and very happy that the judge will get a fuller picture of what went on behind the scenes in the secret drafting of this OIC,” Christine Generoux, a gun owner who’s representing herself in Federal Court, told TheGunBlog.ca. “I feel confident that any existing empirical evidence will support our arguments and exonerate gun owners.”

Memos, Emails and More

Annex A of Gagné’s decision starting on Page 19 is eight pages of the types of documents to be handed over.

They include “Certified copies of all records, research, analysis, policy papers, briefing reports, studies, proposals, presentations, reports, memos, opinions, advice, letters, emails and any other communications that were prepared, commissioned, considered or received” by the government.

Seeing the Evidence — Ek

“We are confident that we will get to see much more than what the government wanted us to see, which was nothing!” said Nils Ek, a national pistol competitor and one of the court applicants.

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Federal Court Order to Produce Evidence

Federal Court Cases: Summary Table

Court NumberDate Filed (2020)Lead PartyLead Rep/Lawyer
T-569-20May 21Cassandra ParkerSolomon Friedman
T-577-20May 26CCFRMichael Loberg
T-581-20May 27John HipwellEdward Burlew
T-677-20Jun 29Michael DohertyArkadi Bouchelev
T-735-20Jul 10Christine GenerouxChristine Generoux
T-905-20Aug 11Jennifer EichenbergEugene Meehan