The Sporting Clubs of
Volume 15, Number 1 February 2009
Ding Dong, the Coalition’s Dead!
For Conservatives supporters in general and gun owners in particular the news that the Liberals would back the Jan. 27 Conservative budget, effectively killing the ill-conceived Liberal/NDP/Bloc coalition was good news, indeed. It is a virtual guarantee that had the Three Stooges of Canadian politics taken power, legally owned handguns and assault-looking long guns would have quickly become a thing of the past.
Fortunately many Liberals including newly anointed leader Michael Ignatieff saw the folly of this deal with the devil and despite having personally signed on to the agreement (don’t you just love the moral conviction of politicians) he had the good sense to back away from it. The reasons are multi-fold but some of the most likely are as follows:
1. Polls showed that 70% of Canadians opposed such a coalition so the parties involved would have taken a hit in the next election.
2. Initially it appeared that Stephane Dion, with the poorest election showing of any Liberal leader in history, might become Prime Minister. For voters who had just rejected him and his policies (for Conservatives he was the gift that kept on giving) this was simply unacceptable.
3. Since no opposition party is even close to the Conservatives in seat count or popular vote there was no guarantee that the Governor-General would allow the coalition to take power and might have instead opted to allow another general election. This possibility, combined with the fact that the Liberals are currently millions of dollars in debt meant they ran the risk of having to fight another election with no money.
4. Many Liberal MPs were very upset that this deal had been cooked up without any input from them (the story is that this was arranged by just a half dozen or so high ranking Liberal members) and there was no guarantee they would support the coalition.
5. The idea that the Bloc, while advocating separation from Canada would, at the same time, wield the balance of power in the government was too much for most Canadians to stomach.
While we are fortunate the Conservatives ducked this bullet they were by no means blameless. Introducing election funding reform that would have effectively gutted the finances of at least the Liberals and Bloc isn’t really a bad idea. We think most Canadians are appalled by the idea that their tax money flows into the coffers of parties they don’t support and it would probably make a great election promise. However, to give the opposition parties a rare cause around which they could all unite when the Conservatives don’t hold a majority is just plain stupid.
We have always believed that Stephen Harper is a pretty bright guy but missteps like this and the Quebec art funding fiasco in the last election (which probably cost him a majority) show that either he isn’t as smart as we thought or he is getting some very bad advice. Hopefully it is the latter. You can replace incompetent advisors but you can’t fire your brain.
With luck, Harper has learned has learned a lesson from this near-miss and will not give the opposition enough common ground to go the coalition route again.
On the positive side, if the Conservatives can hold on to power for at least another 6-9 months it is a pretty good bet that the Governor-General would allow another election should the government fall on a non-confidence motion.
Let us hope that with the breathing room they have bought the Conservatives will grow a pair and bring forward some meaningful pro-gun legislation before they have to face the electorate again. Now would be a good time to contact you local MP and remind them of this.
New Registry Repeal Bill in the Works
We have very recently received word that a new bill to repeal the long gun registry is in the works. At the moment it is in the draft stages so the final version is not yet available. However, it does appear to be a vast improvement over previous attempts by the Conservatives to get rid of the long gun registry and some of the sections of previous bills that were most objectionable to firearm owners are being removed or replaced with improved provisions.
While this is obviously good news, we should caution everyone that the Conservatives do not have a majority in Parliament (they are 12 seats short). That means there is a distinct possibility that the bill could fail. On the positive side, we are also aware of several Liberal and NDP MPs who are in favour of repealing the long gun registry and could support the bill. As the Conservatives only need to attract at most 12 additional votes to pass the bill its chances of succeeding are certainly better than they were the last times.
More information on the contents of the bill should be available in the April newsletter.
Bruce Montague Update
Bruce’s case continues to edge towards a trial date although one has not been set yet. Bruce is still pushing his constitutional challenge forward and he and his legal team are currently in the process of “perfecting the appeal” which basically means ironing out all the minor details that need to be taken care of.
We do correspond with Bruce on a regular basis (just this week, in fact) and will keep you informed of any new developments as they arise.
We strongly encourage you to support Bruce in this fight. He is an honest, decent man who challenged the government and they have persecuted him for it and he needs our help. Please send a donation in whatever amount you can spare. Make cheques payable as follows (please note the new address):
"Bruce Montague Scrap C-68 Fund"
c/o Roger Nordlund Trustee
RR#2 Site 211 Box 7 Dryden, ON P8N 2Y5
More information on Bruce’s court case and constitutional challenge is available at: http://www.brucemontague.ca
Bruce also indicated that he was extremely grateful for the letters of support he received while he was in jail. If you want to drop Bruce a note to let him know you appreciate the stand he is taking for gun owners he can re reached at:
RR2 Site 216 Box 46 Dryden, ON P8N 2Y5
The recent election of Barack Obama as the American President is causing an unprecedented phenomenon in the U.S. While Obama has repeatedly said he will not infringe on the rights of gun owners, his past anti-gun voting record combined with his appointment of several rabid anti-gunners to positions of authority in his government has rung the alarm bell in the U.S. gun community. Fearing upcoming bans on certain types of guns, high capacity magazines, etc. gun owners are buying up shooting equipment and ammo at a record pace. In some cases gun sales are up 40% over the same period last year.
Whether Obama proves to be the bad news for gun owners that some think he will remains to be seen but our American friends are taking no chances. Only time will tell if their fears are justified.
Statement from the OLA
As many of you know, TSCON joined the Ontario Landowners Association because many of their positions regarding personal property rights and government interference in our lives are the same. The following is a news release from the OLA regarding the powers of the OSPCA. As many gun owners are also animal owners we felt it should be passed on to you.
"I can be so mean when I wanna be, I am capable of almost anything!"
What kind of person would say such malicious words? Would you believe an Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) enforcement officer? How would you like to have that enforcement officer come onto your property knowing that this was his or her attitude and knowing that the enforcement officer, with as little as one week of training and possibly as a volunteer, had the authority to lay federal criminal charges, to seize your animals and write up exorbitant bills ($184,000) for supposedly caring for your animals. All this, and without oversight. The OSPCA is a broken, out of control organization that has lost sight of its mandate to ensure the humane treatment of animals and has become a marauding gang of bullying intimidating enforcers who are encouraged to abuse their power and authority in the interest of fund raising and have a penchant for abusing animal owners with wrongful criminal charges, unwarranted animal seizures and absurdly high life ruining bills.
The OSPCA is a stand alone "charity" independent of government that receives very little funding from government. Hence the need to do fund raising to cover the $13,000,000 cost to run the organization. This creates a conflict of interest because fund raising is greatly enhanced by sensationalizing and glamorizing "so called incidents of abuse". For example: in Toronto, enforcer Tre Smith handcuffed dog owner Paul Soderholm to the steering wheel of his car and then encouraged a street gang to "teach him a lesson". Paul Soderholm was taken to a hospital with severe injuries resulting from the beating. Two people were charged with assault and assault with a weapon. The need for fund raising is also an incentive to seize animals which are then sold to pay the absurdly high bills. For example, in Sudbury, Paul St. Amand had three of his purebred Standardbred racing horses, worth $40,000 each, seized only to be returned when the Animal Care Review Board found that there was no animal abuse. Why were they seized? Was the judgment of the enforcer clouded by the need to raise funds? Perhaps so.
OSPCA enforcement officers lack training yet have more power and authority than the police for warrantless entry onto private property, to lay criminal charges and to seize animals. This is wrong! Enforcement officers are hired without the psychological screening process of police departments, have as little as one week of training and there is little or no oversight. The moral corruption starts right at the top. Former chief enforcement officer Mike Draper, who trained enforcement officers, told new recruits that "they are guilty until proven innocent". New recruits came out of training with the understanding that "they should consider all small farms to be an opportunity". They were being taught to abuse power, authority and people.
Here are a few examples of people suffering from OSPCA abuse:
‑Steve Straub of Elgin County had 87 animals seized without any written orders of complaint. He pleaded guilty to not cleaning out his budgie bird cage and now has a criminal record. He was billed $172,000 and is being taken to court by the OSPCA to collect this money. The OSPCA may take his father's farm and home.
‑Bev and Sandy Tomlin of Grey‑Bruce County are two sisters in their 70s. Bev had a stroke and had 100 dogs seized in December 2008. They are facing potential criminal charges. The bill is $184,000 and growing. OSPCA removed a blind dog’s eyes at a cost of $4454. They are pensioners and will lose their farm and their home if they are forced to pay.
‑David Pryor of Manitoulin Island had most of his 30 purebred Canadian horses seized in 2006. Written orders detailing offences said there were burrs in the manes and tails, hooves needed to be trimmed, and there was no water bowl even though a fresh water creek flowed through the farm. He now has a criminal record. He had a heart attack and surgery last year because of the stress. The bill is $94,000, and he will lose his farm and home if he is forced to pay.
‑Essie Barrie of Smiths Falls is a 70 year old single lady living on the old age pension. She had 33 cats seized and is facing criminal charges. Her bill is $30,000. She will lose her home if she is forced to pay.
These abuses of people are excessive and horrific. Blaine Armstrong from Manitoulin Island is David Pryor's lawyer. He said he has been practicing law for 30 years and never would have believed that this kind of thing could have happened in Canada until he began representing David Pryor.
The OSPCA is a well intentioned organization that has lost its way and is unaccountable. Changes must be made and the abuse of people must stop. The ability of the OSPCA to raise funds or accept funds must be removed. The OSPCA must be fully funded by government. The OSPCA "charity" status must be removed and the OSPCA must become part of government under the Ministry of Correctional Services. All OSPCA staff must become government employees. Police powers must be removed from enforcement officers. Only police officers should be able to lay criminal charges. Animals must not be seized without the informed consent of the animal owner's veterinarian and the veterinarian must be on site with the OSPCA's veterinarian to make this decision. All costs associated with animals after seizure must be the responsibility of the OSPCA.
The people who own animals must be respected by OSPCA staff. Until this respect is restored, the OSPCA can expect to enjoy a continued complete lack of respect from people who own animals.
The following is the policy of the OLA regarding the OSPCA:
The responsibility for the care of animals rests with the owners. When owners demonstrably fail in their responsibility, it is in the public interest to ensure animal welfare. Public authorities must accept all resulting responsibilities for both their enforcement activities and animals in their care.
November 10, 2008.
Jack MacLaren - President Ontario Landowners Association - 613 832 3201
Membership Card Boo Boo
Some sharp-eyed members have noticed a printing error on the new 2009 membership cards and we have had a stern word with our printer about it. On the detachable section under the name line it says “is a member for the year 2008". Obviously this is incorrect and should read “2009". However, if the card is white in colour it is still an application for the year 2009 (2008 cards were yellow).
Thanks to those of you who pointed this out.
The following people are the Executive of "The Sporting Clubs of Niagara" for 2008-09 (Save for future reference)
Gun Show Chairman
Barry Devereux Honourary
We have noted in the past few issues that the CSSA is appealing the 12/6 handgun decision. However, there have been no new developments since December so a final resolution could still be a long ways off.
We will let you know as soon as we have any new information.
All 2008 memberships expired on Dec. 31/08. If you received a 2009 membership card in this mailing or if your mailing label has no date or reads “08” or earlier you are NOT A PAID UP MEMBER TSCON.
Non-members receive only one newsletter a year. Can you afford to be uninformed about the firearm issue? Not if you care about your guns, you can’t!
Please take the time to renew right now. Maybe even throw in a few extra dollars as a donation if you can spare them.
Your Rights are in the Cards
We continue to hear horror stories of police abusing their powers when dealing with firearm owners including one incident where a police officer parked outside a gun club and pulled over a member leaving the club for no reason except that there might be firearms in the car (after all it was a GUN club). Our laminated wallet-sized printed cards declaring your right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer when it appears that the police are overstepping their authority when questioning you in dubious circumstances are proving extremely popular (which is a little scary when you think of it).
We are only asking for $1 per card to defray the cost of production. If you want cards mailed to you please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your request.
More info on this is on our website in archived copies of newsletter Vol. 11 #4 and Vol. 12 #1.
We have received a new supply of “The Sporting Clubs of Niagara” t-shirts, sweat shirts and hats (hats available in 4 colours).
They are good quality and available in a variety of sizes and designs. Get them while the supply lasts. Prices as follows:
Sweats - M-XL$25
Hats w/TSCON crest $15
TSCON crest alone $6
Buy them at the gun show or from any member of the Executive.
TSCON Web Site
All our newsletters as well as other interesting and informative information are available on our web site: http://www.vaxxine.com/scon
Comments or suggestions?? Call John at 905-562-7686
Remember to wear red on Fridays to show your support for our troops.
Gun Show Dates
Confirmed dates for our 2009 gun shows are as follows:
Gun Show Location
Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave., St. Catharines
If you want tables for the Feb. 27/09 show, contact Rick McConnery right away (905-227-0724). Shows usually sell out and often we do not have tables for all our vendors. If you want tables, call early!
Notice to Gun Show Vendors
Late arrivals - If you think you are going to be late to the gun show you should call Rick McConnery ASAP at the Merritton Community Centre (905-682-0098) so he can hold your tables. Otherwise, he may rent them to walk-in vendors after the 6:00 p.m. cutoff.
Free Classified Ads
Classified ads for shooting related items are free for members. Please call 905-685-4480 and submit ads by the dates listed for inclusion in the next newsletter:
>Vol. 15 #2 Mar. 28, 2009
>Vol. 15 #3 Aug. 10, 2009
Remember that you have to call each time you want the ad run. It WILL NOT be repeated without your confirmation.
Savage Fox SXS shotgun, “B” grade, 20 ga., 28" barrels, full & modified chokes, vent rib, double bead, double trigger, wide beavertail forend, 95% condition, $575 firm.
Call Nelson 519-467-5472
Dillon 550 reloading press dies and parts, 38 Spec/357 magnum dies with tool head, 45 ACP dies with tool head and shellplate assembly, approx. 800-1000 45 ACP brass and lead bullets, asking $200 for all or will sell separately.
Call Stan 905-932-5417
Trigger Locks for Sale
The Sporting Clubs of Niagara has trigger locks for sale. They aren’t fancy and they take a few seconds to put on and take off but they are legal. Locks are only $1.00 each! Pick them up at the club table at the gun show or call any member of the Executive.
Large quantities available!
General 905-685-4480 905-937-2301
Gun Show 905-227-0724
St. Catharines, ON
When? Wednesdays, 7:00 pm.
Who? Members and non- members alike are welcome to attend.
Where? St. Catharines Game and Fish Building, next to the boat ramp on Lighthouse Road in Port Dalhousie
Moved, Address Changes, Etc.
To notify us of address changes, duplicate mailings, to be removed from the mailing list or to request a copy of the newsletter call 905‑685‑4480.
The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their fall by doing so." ‑ Adolf Hitler
Draw Prize Winners
The following members are winners in our latest draw. Call Gerry at 905-685-4480 to arrange to claim your prize.
Winner Prize Donated By
John Whittaker TSCON T-shirt The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Tony Mous Gun Cleaning Kit The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Dave Rempel Pocket Knife The Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Jack Templain Free PAL Test (transferrable) Firearms Education School (John Kellaway)
>>>G UN S HOW<<<
Friday, Feb. 27, 2009, 6:00-10:00 pm
Merritton Community Centre
7 Park Ave., St. Catharines
Buy, Sell or Trade, 100+ tables of Antique and Modern Firearms, Knives, Hunting Accessories and Gun Parts
For tables or information call Rick @ 905‑227‑0724
“Remember Bill C-68 When You Vote”