Trudeau not welcome 'by our side' unless gun bill overhauled: Polytechnique families

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OTTAWA — Several family members of women killed in the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will no longer be welcome at annual commemorations unless his government strengthens recently tabled gun-control legislation.

In a letter to Trudeau made public today, relatives of victims, survivors of the shooting and witnesses say the dismal Bill C-21 will not make society safer.

The bill proposes a buyback of many recently banned firearms the government considers assault-style weapons, but owners would be allowed to keep them under strict conditions.

The letter says the ban must be made mandatory to ensure it cannot be easily overturned by a future government.

The legislation would also allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation — a move the letter says would create an ineffective patchwork of laws across the country.

In a statement, the Prime Minister's Office says Trudeau thanks the signatories of the letter and will respond to them directly, sharing their desire to enact stronger laws.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press