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Hanley says he's not entirely comfortable with proposed new gun laws

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Hanley says he knows Yukoners are concerned about federal bill C-21.

Yukon MP Brendan Hanley says he's working behind the scenes to mitigate the effects of the federal government's gun control bill C-21 on Yukoners.

Hanley told the Rush this morning "I can tell you, it's not potentially a contentious item. It's a really contentious item. And I can tell you that since the amendments that came to committee, I've had more emails on this subject than on anything I've received over the last year and a bit."

Hanley says he's been working with a lot of stakeholders from the Yukon on  the C 21 bill. I've had some reservations and was looking to the Minister of Public Safety Minister about some more clarification about some of the aspects that is still not clear.

"And then the amendments came. And of course, that's when the amendments started to address rifles and and shotguns. And really the the intent of the amendments were to bring the assault weapon ban into legislation. However, of course, the way that this was done took a lot of people by surprise, and it really has quite fundamentally changed the premise of the bill, because it's going into that territory of what hunters use for for their firearms."

Hanley acknowledged the situation puts him in a bit of an awkward position as a government backbencher. He's caught between the party discipline system demanding he support the bill, and his constituents who have a different perspective.

"You know, that's a great question. But one thing this party does allow is for, for debate within the caucus. And so I've been talking about this with colleagues," Hanley said. "I have been expressing how how damaging this is potentially for, for the Yukon and for Yukon hunters."

"Mostly, I've been hearing really from everyday hunters. So you know, people who go out to to hunt moose and put it in their freezer or some indigenous First Nations hunters, and others who are not necessarily hunters, but who are just seeing this as going, you know, going too far in too much of a hurry into an area that's obviously very sensitive for for Yukoners."

"I've discussed this, I brought this to, to my regional caucus prairies in North caucus and then to general caucus, to talk about it. I've talked about it. I have liberal MPs who are in rural ridings who are also upset about this and upset about the effect that this could have on their constituents. And, and that they they're hearing loud and clear from their own constituents too."

Hanley suggested some of the controversy revolves around poor communication between the government and the public.

"There are some firearms here that have been identified, that many people are interpreting as now being on the banned list or, you know, added to the banned list that are actually in the exemption list. I think that it's very hard to kind of go through that list and figure out, actually, what is in and what is out."

"Of course, caucus conversations are confidential, but I think you get the gist of how I've been able to express some some dismay at the process, and the effect and the potential effect of these amendments."
While Hanley says he's not a hunter himself, he appreciates why Yukoners are concerned.

"I think I think there is often there is that sort of disconnect, where there's definitely a misunderstanding of how how integral hunting is to the way of life here in the Yukon and in rural Canada, and particularly in the north. One of the things we're doing is standing up in the house and talking about the, the value of hunting attic as a fundamental Canadian value. And, you know, to really try to close that gap and to help urban dwellers understand how important this is."

"I agree with the big picture of of doing more on on addressing gun violence. But we have to do it on the right level of a consultation, and we have to include the North in in that process."

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