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Guest Editorial

Tony Bernardo
Executive Director – Canadian Shooting Sports Association

Election 2019 is in the books and, to my dismay, my fellow Canadians thought re-electing a lying, law-breaking, face-painting clown to the Prime Minister’s office was the best choice for our nation.

Somehow, Justin Trudeau walked away from every scandal that would end the political aspirations of any other politician.

Three-time blackface-painter? Check.

Two-time ethics violator? Check.

Kokanee Groper and fake feminist? Check.

Liar too-many-times-to-count about the SNC-Lavalin scandal? Check, check and check.

Yet Canadians, primarily Eastern Canadians, chose to re-elect him. It’s baffling.

Despite this setback, the election results were not all bad. Even though we didn’t remove Justin Trudeau from the Prime Minister’s office, two entire provinces wiped him and his Liberal party off the political map. With that electoral devastation in Saskatchewan came great news for gun owners.

Trudeau’s minister of gun bans, Ralph Goodale, was kicked to the curb decisively in a riding he has owned for almost 40 years. He lost by seven thousand votes. If Goodale’s defeat doesn’t tell Justin Trudeau his gun bans are not wanted in the West, nothing will.

Yet with the famed Trudeau brand in tatters, with his government torn apart by scandal after scandal, and his penchant for blackface making him a mockery around the world, Andrew Scheer and the Conservative Party still failed to defeat this clown. Let’s set aside any issues with Andrew Scheer’s leadership or the Conservative Party’s campaign strategy. Yes, there were serious missteps on all fronts, but we will have plenty of time to address those issues at the party’s national convention next year.

Between now and the convention I believe each one of us, every individual gun owner in the country, must stand in front of a mirror, look ourselves in the eyes and ask, “What more could I have done to defeat a government intent on destroying the Canadian shooting sports, my culture and my way of life?”

This is not about black rifle owners or handgun owners or hunters or trap and skeet shooters. It’s not about the .22 plinkers or competition shooters either.

It’s about every single one of us who owns and uses firearms responsibly, no matter our personal pursuit.

So we must ask ourselves, “Could I have done more in Election 2019?”

No matter who we are, no matter how many hours we dedicated to helping the pro-gun candidate in our electoral district, the answer is “Yes.”

We all could have done more.

This is my challenge to you between now and the next federal election, whenever it’s called.

Do more.

Voting is not enough

Voting is the absolute minimum required of us.

If we want our rights upheld by a political party, Conservative or otherwise, we must get involved in the political process. While Election Day is obviously important, and ensuring every gun owner votes is critical, the hard work of winning an election campaign begins long before the ballots are printed, let alone marked at the voting booth.

That hard work begins at your local riding association, specifically with its Board of Directors.

If we want to seriously impact the next federal election, this is where our commitment must begin. We must be willing to sacrifice our time, our money and our skills and talent to ensure our voices are heard at all levels of the party.

The Time to Join Your EDA is NOW

Locate and contact your local Conservative riding association using this link:

Find out when their next meeting is and attend it. While you’re at that meeting, let the riding president know you would like to join the Board of Directors. They will ask you why you want to join the board. Answer honestly.

Tell them you are a gun owner and want to ensure your interests are addressed locally and pushed up the chain to Party Headquarters. Tell them you want to help elect an MP committed to representing your interests in Ottawa.

This is a commitment so treat it like one. Depending on your personal talents and abilities, this commitment could cost you a lot of time or a little. The choice is yours. But, like your commitment to put in the hours at the range to become a better shot, your commitment to put in the hours for your local EDA means you can also have a massive impact on how firearms issues are addressed by your EDA.

Every riding association is desperate for volunteers who will actually show up and do the work. Like all volunteer-run organizations, they already have too many paperweights who say they’re willing but never follow through.

Think about another volunteer-run organization, your local gun club. The 90/10 rule applies to every gun club in the nation. At your club, 10% of the people do 90% of the work, year in and year out.

Here’s the catch. These are the people who make a difference, year in and year out, too.

Your local EDA is no different, so ask yourself this question.

“Do I want to be one of the 10%?”

I hope the answer is yes, because we need committed individuals like you in every single riding association across this country.

And we need to begin right now, today, if we want to achieve a different result in the next federal election.

Three Reasons to Join Your Electoral District Association TODAY

  1. You have direct input on how your EDA and your candidate views the firearms issue. This is your best opportunity to influence how other people involved in the political process view guns and gun owners. Just because most gun owners vote Conservative doesn’t mean that most Conservatives own guns. They don’t. The only thing most Conservative party members know about guns is what they read in the media. Educate them.
  2. You can help form policy declarations that will become the party’s official policy statement. By drafting and submitting your proposal, you have the ability to put forward policy amendments that will be voted on at the convention.
  3. You can go to the National Policy Convention as a Delegate. As a Conservative Party Delegate for your EDA, you will have a direct say in whether Andrew Scheer stays on as party leader or not. The convention is where this and many other critical issues facing the Conservative Party will be decided by ordinary Canadians like you and me.

The World is Run by Those Who Show Up

The next election could happen at any time. The longest a minority government has survived is two and a half years. The average is just 18 months. That means we will probably we face another election before the end of 2021.

Every one of us, no matter how committed we were in the last election, can do more to prepare to win the next one. And we must do more, starting right now, if we are going to remove the Liberal party from power.

Will you join me in defence of freedom and liberty?

As the other side is so fond of saying, “Do it for the children.”

Do it for your children and your grandchildren. Do it for your nieces and nephews. Do it for all those children yet to come, so they can experience the same wonderful way of life we enjoy today.

If not me, who?

If not here, where?

If not now, when?

The world is run by those who show up.

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