No guns bought back in federal multi-million dollar 'buyback' program

What was money spent on?

More and more, I hear from my constituents about the same issue. The cost of groceries, insurance renewals, utility bills, wireless plans, "bring it back" smartphone charges and mortgage or rent payments are all on the rise.

For an increasing number of (Canadians), their income has not kept pace with the rising costs. This issue is especially problematic for those on a fixed income.

Given their unchanging income, these individuals need to find ways to cut costs. This typically means eliminating certain expenses or reducing spending to manage monthly bills. This is an uncomfortable reality for many, resulting in the dramatic increase in food bank usage.

Many governments, whether local, provincial, or federal, have noticed a rise in costs. However, they frequently fail to review existing spending and opt to increase taxes instead, overlooking the fact that many citizens can't afford to pay more. Indeed, in Ottawa, whenever we, as the official Opposition, challenge the Liberal government's current spending, the prime minister labels us as promoters of "austerity".

A quick search of Hansard shows that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has mentioned "austerity" more than 70 times in the House of Commons. The issue is that all levels of government should have their spending examined meticulously, a task typically undertaken by opposition parties.

However, in Ottawa, we are facing an unusual scenario. The fourth party, the NDP, has formed a “partnership” with the Trudeau Liberals, leading to consistent spikes in spending without sufficient accountability.

This week, I'd like to illustrate a recent example. Conservative Sen. Don Plett, who serves as the leader of the Opposition in the Senate, recently received a response to an Order Paper question. An Order Paper question is a written inquiry. After a 48-hour notice period, it is posted on the Order Paper. The expectation is that the responsible minister will provide a comprehensive answer within 45 sitting days.

Plett queried the government about its expenditure on the "gun buyback program", announced by Trudeau on May 1, 2020. Additionally, he sought to know the current number of staff working on the program.

The response to these questions was startling. The government revealed it spent $41.9 million on the program. How many guns were "bought back" under this program? The answer is none.

In summary, nearly (nearly) $42 million has been spent on a so-called gun “buyback” program that hasn't bought back a single gun in the almost four years since Trudeau first announced it.

My questions to you this week:

Should the federal government examine how your tax dollars are spent more closely or do you agree with Prime Minister Trudeau that this would just be austerity? Why or why not?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll-free 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola and the co-chair of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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