May 21st, 2019

Harder fires back at federal minister

By Kalinowski, Tim on November 22, 2018.

Rachael Harder, seen in this image from the Lethbridge MPs Facebook page, takes aim during the ÒGuns and GuinnessÓ event last weekend at the Fish and Game Sport Shooting Facility. Facebook photo

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder is hitting back at federal Border Security and Crime Reduction minister Bill Blair for criticizing a local Conservative Party fundraiser held at the Lethbridge Fish and Game Association Sport Shooting Facility last weekend.

Blair, in comments to the Toronto Star on Tuesday, said Harder’s “Guns and Guinness” event was “deeply disappointing” at a time when Canada is “seeing record levels of tragic homicides involving guns.”

Harder dismissed Blair’s criticism as a desperate attempt to draw attention away from her leader Andrew Scheer’s well-received guns and crime policy announced earlier on Tuesday, and to distract away from the Liberal Party’s own deeply flawed Bill C-71.

Harder noted Blair had absolutely nothing to say about Scheer’s policy because he couldn’t argue with her party’s objectives to get guns and criminals off the streets and to protect Canadian borders.

“Instead,” she said, “Bill Blair had to look at Lethbridge and come and attack me as an individual, and those in my riding who rightfully and lawfully own and use their firearms. I’m sorry; we are talking about federal policy that’s going to take guns, gangs, criminals and violence off the streets, and we want to focus on the riding of Lethbridge and a group of responsible individuals that used their firearms lawfully? What he is telling me, as the minister, is that he has no criticism toward our policy we just put forward, and instead he has to come after me. I say, let’s focus on policy. Let’s focus on Canadians and their safety and well-being.”

Harder further stated Blair’s attack on her could just as easily be chalked up to ministerial incompetence, she supposed.

“I guess in this what’s revealed is Bill Blair’s ignorance because I have PAL, which is a licence of acquisition,” declared Harder. “I have that. I’ve been highly vetted. I have had my family vetted and I have been granted a licence by the Government of Canada to possess and use that firearm in a legal manner.

“On Saturday, I got together with others who have gone through a similar process, and who also use their firearms in a responsible manner. If Bill Blair thinks that is somehow unethical, then he probably needs to do some further research with regards to Canada’s (firearm) policy and his own portfolio. That’s really the problem here – that perhaps we have a minister that is inept to do his job well.”

Harder confirmed the funds raised at the “Guns and Guinness” event were for her re-election campaign, but stressed the group first went clay pigeon shooting at the LFGA range, an activity which was overseen by qualified instructors, and then held the barbecue later in the day. At no time, she said, was alcohol being consumed at the same time as the firearms were being used.

“It was very closely monitored,” Harder confirmed, “and safety and security was looked after. It was meant to be a fun event where individuals came out and did some clay shooting and learned how to use their firearm responsibly, and did so. And then after the event, we put our firearms away lawfully, you might note, and then we travelled 20 minutes away where we engaged in a barbecue where some people had a Guinness or two.”

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6 Responses to “Harder fires back at federal minister”

  1. petie150513 says:

    MP Harder. Looks like you had a whole lot of fun with your guns. Too bad, you followed it up with your usual deep partisan politicking in your riding and sycophantic adoration of Mr. Scheer. No one is trying to take away your fun. Sensible people don’t want folks walking around with a handgun tucked in their belt. Please do not forget that their a whole lot of folks in your riding that are responsible gun owners, but didn’t and won’t vote for the archaic views that the current CPC hold.

    • RandalJohn says:

      I gotta say…if you don’t think the liberals are trying to take away our fun you’ve got blinders on. That’s whate their legislation is geared toward…NOTHING to do with gangs or criminals (you know…those ones that walk around with a gun stuck in their waistbands who going around shooting people….illegally). The CPC platform targets THESE people….do a little research before you post….

    • frank says:

      Hmmmmmm. What is this really about? Could it be that Bill Blair and his Liberal colleagues are upset that their efforts to usher in a gun ban are falling on deaf ears? Is that why Blair is going after Rachel Harder?

      Consider the facts. Rachel Harder sponsored an ePetition against bill C71 in March of 2018 that 86,000 Canadians signed.

      Liberal Julie Dezorowicz currently has an epetition against gun ownership that the anti-gun activists have spent tens of thousands on to promote it since November 2. Less than 5000 Canadians have signed that Liberal-endorsed petition to date…

      That has to be really embarassing for Justin Trudeau, Ralph Goodale, Bill Blair et. al. Throw all your support behind the anti-gun lobby and then come up with those kinds of numbers on one of your “wedge” issues and election planks. Hmmmmmmmm.

      It’s easy to attack the person who outdid you and showed you up. It’s much harder to admit your own failures.

      That takes a certain kind of person not blinded by their ideology and predispositions…

  2. diplomacy works says:

    You link Guns & Beer and responsible people are going to question you.

    And then to respond with frantic hyperbole as Harder did, just makes it funny.

    Bill Blair “…served 39 years with the Toronto Police Force, the last decade as its Chief of Police.”

    And Ms. Harder has yet to have a job, any job, outside of politics.

    Rip roarin’ Cons at it again.

    • JonathanVS says:

      Minister Blair’s comments show exactly why law-abiding gun owners are upset with the Trudeau government. His comments demonstrate that he just doesn’t get it. Target shooting and hunting are perfectly legal activities which are responsibly enjoyed by thousands of law-abiding Canadians. Enjoying a pint of beer? Also responsibly enjoyed by thousands of law-abiding Canadians. Some people might not see the point of skeet shooting or enjoying a brew, but there’s nothing “deeply disappointing” about it as the Minister seems to think. Simply another lazy attempt to score some cheap political points.

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