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The submission to the Ministry of Public Safety reads as follows:

“Can you advise if in the preparation of Bill C-21 and Amendments to the Criminal Code, whether a legal Presumption under the Code was considered, or could be added.  The Presumption could state that “Anyone found in possession or using an unlicensed restricted weapon, shall be PRESUMED to have the intention to commit murder or serious bodily harm, whether in self defence or otherwise, and unless he can prove to the Court that this is not the case, he shall be found guilty and is liable to a sentence of not less than fourteen (14) years.”
While Bill C-21 tackles some issues, it does nothing to DETER active criminals and gang members across Canada, from possessing (or using) handguns. The ISSUE with with these offenders, is that our Court system, with all its decisions under the Charter of Rights, is too complex to ensure CONSEQUENCES for criminal behaviour.  An article added to Bill C-21 such as the PRESUMPTION described above, ENSURES A CONSEQUENCE FOR CARRYING OR USING AN UNLICENSED RESTRICTED WEAPON, unless Crown Counsel is too weak-kneed to carry through without plea-bargaining away such a charge.  See:  Today’s Castanet, our local e-news, for today’s gun incident here in Vernon, BC,, which illustrates this point:–2-.htm, text reproduced below.  This is a typical day in police work in Canada, and is not longer an exceptional incident.  THANK YOU.
Stolen truck, loaded gunDarren Handschuh – Feb 17, 2021 / 2:53 pm | Story: 325383
Const. Chris Terleski says police received a report of a stolen vehicle from a home on 25th Street about 7:15 a.m.
The owner was warming up the vehicle and briefly left it unattended. The truck was stolen when the owner returned to their residence.
Police spotted the stolen pickup travelling south on Commonage Road, leaving Vernon.
The driver accelerated away when an officer attempted to stop the vehicle, moving into the oncoming lane as it overtook several vehicles as it fled.
The officer backed off while others patrolled in the area. Shortly thereafter, a suspicious man standing in the roundabout near Predator Ridge caught the eye of police. The stolen truck was found in the same area.
The man got into a vehicle, which attempted to drive away as additional officers arrived.
Police stopped the vehicle and, during their interaction with the occupants, noticed the passenger to be in possession of a weapon. The man was arrested and a loaded 9 mm handgun was found under the passenger seat.
A number of items from the stolen vehicle were also found in the man’s possession.
“The discovery of a loaded firearm during this arrest highlights the potential dangers our officers face while carrying out their duties, and reaffirms that nothing about police work is routine,” said Terleski, “Thankfully, this weapon did not come into play, or this situation may have had an entirely different outcome.”
A 41-year old Penticton man and 33 year-old Vernon woman are in police custody and face a number of potential charges.   

Allan Speevak
Okanagan Division