Liberal 2019 Memo Estimated Cost of Gun Confiscations Up To $1 Billion

At this time preliminary costs for the buyback program are estimated at ranging between $850 million to $1 billion

—Privy Council Office Memo, 05 December 2019 — Canada’s governing Liberal Party estimated the “preliminary costs” of its mass gun confiscations targeting government-licensed firearm owners at $850 million to $1 billion, according to a 2019 internal memo.

Why It Matters

  • This is the first time the Liberals’ own cost estimate is being published (to the best of our knowledge).
  • The expense is much higher than estimates by the Parliamentary Budget Officer in 2021, and much lower than estimates by Gary Mauser, an economist.
  • The 2019 memo may understate the taxpayer funding required for the crackdown against honest citizens.

Gun Confiscation Estimate: $850 Million – $1 Billion

Source: ATIP showing Privy Council Office memo citing Department of Public Safety

UPDATE – Firearms:

Public Safety (PS) informed PCO-SDP today to expect the timeline and costing estimate tomorrow. At this time preliminary costs for the buyback program are estimated at ranging between $850 million to $1 billion [Redacted] However, the RCMP has yet to confirm these numbers. Of note, the costing could also fluctuate, as the number of non-restricted firearms could be higher than the proxy used in the costing assessment.

—Privy Council Office, Memo From E-mail, 05 December 2019

Privy Council Office Memo, 05 December 2019 (PDF)

Source: ATIP to Privy Council Office

  • discovered the memo while analyzing 60 pages of internal government reports, e-mails, and other documents released by the Privy Council Office (PCO) in November 2022 under access-to-information laws.
  • ATIP Request Number: A-2019-00366
  • requested a copy of the ATIP. We didn’t file it.
  • The memo was in an e-mail from the Privy Council’s Steven Schwendt to Marian Campbell Jarvis, cc’ing multiple other recipients.

More Context

Unknown: All Costs, or Only Some?

  • If the “preliminary costs” included only the expense to plan, administer, and execute the forced expropriations, including: home raids to seize the goods, transportation, destruction, and court fees.
  • Or if the costs also included compensation to confiscation victims.

Privy Council Office

  • The Privy Council Office’s website says: “The Privy Council Office (PCO) supports the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Led by the Clerk of the Privy Council, the department helps the government in implementing its vision, goals and decisions in a timely manner.”
    • PCO-SDP is the PCO’s unit for Social Development Policy.
  • The Privy Council Office e-mail with the gun-confiscation memo is dated 05 December 2019, the day the Liberals took office following the October 2019 election.
  • Trudeau promised mass gun confiscations targeting government-licensed firearm owners if he won the election.

Trudeau Failure

Trudeau’s attacks will fail.

  • The men and women targeted by Trudeau’s crackdowns intend to keep our gear.
  • Trudeau has no idea how to overcome the massive resistance from the public, provinces, police, and his own party, as well as major political, financial and logistical obstacles.
  • The Liberals have no idea how to execute their forced seizures.

Response to

  • The Ottawa-based Privy Council Office didn’t respond to’s invitation to comment on the cost estimate.
  • Update February 23: The Department of Public Safety, which is leading the mass confiscations with the help of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, responded to our invitation to comment with the following:

The buyback program is currently under development and being designed to make compensation available to owners of firearms prohibited in May 2020. Different program options have been costed to varying degrees of certainty to inform decision-making. The referenced 2019 cost estimate is no longer relevant. Information on the program and related costs will be shared once a final delivery model is established and the program is launched.

—Department of Public Safety, Response to, 23 February 2023