On October 17th, I had the pleasure of sitting down for a one to one with Newmarket-Aurora Conservative Candidate, Lois Brown. I had only a few questions for her and was very grateful that she took the time out of her incredibly busy schedule to chat for a few minutes. We wanted to discuss a couple of general issues with her and then get right to the heart of the firearms rights issues that legal firearms owners are facing this election. Thank you, Lois, for allowing us this opportunity to set things straight. You can find out more about Lois and her incredible work here.
Interview with Lois Brown: Conservative MP Candidate for Newmarket-Aurora
Interviewer: Lets get started with a very general question. What motivated you to a career in public service?
Lois Brown: Public Service. I think that is the key content of that question. I just feel that there’s a great deal of work to be done to help people in our community and a great deal of work to ensure that Canada is the very best country it can be.
Interviewer: Yes, I would agree with that. So, what in your opinion are the most pressing issues facing your constituents today?
Lois Brown: Over and over when I am door knocking, I hear from people about the issue of affordability and the cost of living. People tell me that they are working hard but they just can’t seem to make ends meet and that there is too much month left over at the end the money. I spoke to a woman down on Pinnacle Trail over the summer who told me that she is now paying more for groceries for her family of four that she is for her mortgage and she’s concerned about what that looks like as she’s trying to raise her family. So, what Conservatives have been talking about throughout this whole election is exactly what I have been hearing at the doors when I started door knocking early in the year and it is very concerning for the people of Newmarket-Aurora.
Interviewer: I would wholeheartedly agree with that and where we are we are having a hard time after taxes and only walking home with maybe about 55% of our income so we understand the unaffordable cost of living like the groceries but with the amount of taxes and high costs of rent and other expenses we can’t even put money away to have a down payment on a mortgage. We can’t even get there and for the amount of money we’re bringing in, we should be so far ahead of that position, but we’re not.
Lois Brown: And so, all your doing when you’re paying rent is paying somebody else’s mortgage and that’s what’s so sad about what’s happened in our economy for young people to get ahead. I spoke to a young couple yesterday I was door knocking in an apartment building in Newmarket. It was exactly the same thing. They both have reasonably good incomes. They told me where they work and they said, “We just can’t get out of here” and so that’s what needs to change.
Interviewer: Exactly. Exactly along the lines of the food issue between my husband and I, we’ve actually gone and gotten our non restricted permit so that we can actually go out and hunt and fill our freezer because the cost of food is just absolutely astronomical.
Lois Brown: Absolutely! And so, when you here a mom tells me that she now spends more on groceries than she does on her mortgage, its very concerning.
Interviewer: Extremely concerning! The pattern, and the situation may be a little different, but the pattern is going along the lines of what Venezuela went through with the increase of costs. It’s just absolutely ridiculous. It has to stop somewhere.
Lois Brown: Hyper inflation. Yes. Yes, well a conservative government will do that. First of all by taking the carbon tax off cost of everything you purchase so I mean people have not stopped buying bananas or avocados and those things are all flown in from somewhere and so the cost of the carbon tax is just increasing that cost to the family who is just trying to feed their kids.
Interviewer: Exactly. We shouldn’t have to pay $2 and $3 for a single avocado. I mean that’s absolutely ridiculous! But I have to say, it’s very reassuring to hear you say that Lois.
So, question #3 is with the current environment about gun ownership and the threats given by the liberals to remove firearms from Canadians. How do you feel about what they are doing and what they’re threatening to do?
Lois Brown: Well, bill C71 didn’t really do anything to really crackdown on the violence. It just completely misses the mark because it’s going after law abiding firearms owners. That piece of legislation does nothing to keep Canadians safe because it fails to address the gang violence or to target the criminal, the gang criminals. In fact, the word gang does not even appear in that piece of legislation. So, the only response that the liberals have done, to the growing problem of gang violence in our major cities, has been to reduce the penalty for gang crimes to as little as a fine and to go after the legal gun owners. So, we would repeal and replace that piece of legislation and what we would do is we’re going to target criminals and the criminals are the ones in the gangs. We need to address that issue. We need to respect our sport shooters. We need to respect our law-abiding firearms owners.
Interviewer: Along those same lines, I’m not sure if you were aware or not but an AR-15 was actually considered a non restricted firearm from its inception back in the 70s up to 1995 when the liberals had everything changed and they put in place the gun registration. So, now I’m personally aware of some people that use an AR-15 for hunting large game here in Canada as well as use them at the range. So, knowing that, does that specific knowledge change your view on these bans that the liberals have threatened us with and how do you feel about the whole AR-15 situation?
Lois Brown: Well, first of all, most people think that AR stands for automatic rifle. It is not. It is the name of the manufacturer of the rifle. It’s not an easy one to get, I know that, and so I guess the question you have to ask: is this the slippery slope that the liberals are headed down. I mean there’s already a ban on automatic rifles in Canada so is this the slippery slope were headed down?
Interviewer: Yeah and I think I think you raise a very good point in saying that because you know it always start somewhere and you know they’re picking apart the AR-15. If they actually looked at Canadian history of any of the violent acts that have taken place, there’s actually only been I believe it was either one or 4 situations where an AR15 was actually used in a violent scenario here in Canada. So, we don’t have the same climate here in Canada that they do in the States and I found honestly the liberals have been piggybacking off of that as a scare tactic. People like myself I see things, you know, maybe in a different light than some of the liberal supporters do and you know, I see it for what it is. It’s no different than a lot of the statistics here in Canada. They include suicides in their account for the large majority of the violent acts committed. That’s the one thing I believe the liberals are failing on. They don’t see that.
Lois Brown: What most people don’t realize is that semi automatic rifles their limited to five rounds and so we already have firearms legislation. The framework is one of the strongest in the world and there is a continuous eligibility screening. Everybody goes through that screening on a twenty-four-hour basis so the AR-15’s are very difficult to get.
Interviewer: So, this kind of leads into what’s happening on our city streets and especially in Toronto and area. How do you feel about the increase of gun related violence and what is your plan on addressing the issue in Newmarket Aurora?
Lois Brown: Well there are way too many families who lost loved ones and are grieving that has to stop. There are too many families who have been impacted by this but the legislation, as I said before, the bills that the Liberals put in place is not the answer because it doesn’t address the gang related issues that we have. You know, we have to stop the guns coming across our border, the illegal firearms that are coming across, we have a very porous border and that has to stop. We need to give the police the tools that they need, and the resources, in order to allow them to do what they need to do in our urban areas. Particularly our urban areas. Most importantly, we need the tools for our justice system to stop the revolving door of gang related members just going through the door again and again. It was Chief Sanders in August who said that there were 326 identifiable people who are out on bail in the city of Toronto that have been charged with crime involving a firearm. But our justice system has no ability to hold them and so we would like to put that in place in legislation in order to give our justice system the tools they need as well
Interviewer: I think that’s I think that’s a very solid plan I like the fact that you see things for what they are opposed to putting up smokescreens and trying to cover up the problem. I was actually doing research and there were I think it was $400 million, about a year ago, that was supposed to go to border security and there were a couple of different places that were supposed to be getting funds. Whether or not the liberal government actually passed those funds along to where they were supposed to be, there is no way of finding that out. We have no way to track that and as far as what they were saying it was supposed to be over a 3 or 4-year period they were supposed to be getting this $400 million. Only $300 million had been actually locked in for that purpose and it worked out that if it was going to border security, it was going to be roughly about $80,000 over a 4-year period per border crossing. So really, what is that $80,000 going to do in the grand scheme of things? It’s not enough and it doesn’t work and even if they were to concentrate the funds towards those large border crossing areas, you’re still leaving the smaller areas vulnerable and criminals are going to see that pattern. It’s just it’s a tough situation and you know I really feel for all of you fighting to get all these things covered off because when you’re going up against a government that really doesn’t see the big picture, that’s got to be a tough fight for you guys.
Lois Brown: Well, you know so many people want to compare Canada to Australia. They ask why we can’t do the same thing that they do in Australia. Australia does not have a border with a country where carrying firearms is legal. They don’t have a border that is porous like ours is and so we can’t compare ourselves to Australia because things here are so different.
Interviewer: So, in Newmarket Aurora given the geographic location there are a lot of firearm owners and they’re really starting to feel the pressure due to the recent announcements of the firearm rights being taken away to make streets safer. How do you feel about that and what are you going to do specifically in your region to help to calm those fears and it is there anything that you’re planning on doing to reassure your constituents?
Lois Brown: First of all, I’d like to say that there are a lot of people in this area who are legal firearm owners, shooters at Sharon Gun Club and they are respected members of our community. They are upstanding people in our community. So, I think this question and your next question sort of melds one into the other because we have said, a Conservative government will repeal and replace the liberals ineffective gun legislation, that’s bill C-71. We will replace it with legislation that targets criminals, that protects Canadians and that respects sport shooters and law-abiding firearms owners. That is as concisely as I can say it.
Interviewer: Of course. I think you’ve said that very well. A lot of people are very afraid, and they don’t want to start loosing their rights. The rights that are part of our heritage. I think a big part of that is education. Supporters of the other parties don’t seem to understand what it means to have such an important right taken away and not seeing the real problems. I think educating the public is key to understanding.
Lois Brown: Absolutely, and we need to do more of that. There’s no doubt.
Interviewer: When you have it, so the liberals are using fear-mongering tactics to spread incorrect information and not dealing with the issues, that’s where the problem lies and it’s creating a very unstable climate.
Lois Brown: Well and I think when you look at how Mister Trudeau, who is making this announcement about a national ban, and then saying well we’ll leave it up to the municipalities. That hodge podge of municipal decision making is not going to do anything for safety for our communities and a ban in Newmarket is not going to protect somebody in Aurora if somebody in Aurora decides differently. So, it’s a patchwork quilt is really what they’re looking at and that is not the answer. It is not the solution.
Interviewer: Exactly. I really glad that I got the chance to speak to you about this topic because I think a lot of people are very unsure because they don’t know the political climate right now. It’s very volatile and with Justin Trudeau over the past four years, the damage that he has done not just on the international stage but within the climate of Canadian voters, he’s created a very serious division and that’s not right. We used to be able to talk to somebody face to face across the table with those people on completely opposing sides of the political spectrum but now with his divisive tactics, that’s not a possibility because its created animosity and volatility. It’s time that we quell that and get people back to being open and talking again without the anger.
Lois Brown: Yes exactly. We plan to change that. I would love to continue but I must be going with a busy day ahead. But thank you so much for chatting today. Have a great day and we look forward to reading the blog.
Interviewer: Thank you so much for your time today Lois. We appreciate it.
So there you have it. Straight from the source! For the record, I also tried to contact the Liberal candidate for Newmarket-Aurora for the same interview but as of publishing, I have not heard back from their office. Nothing but crickets.
We have a lot to be grateful for in this country. We have an opportunity to change the path we’ve been on over the past four years and do something that will protect our rights and our Heritage. On October 21st, exercise your rights as a Canadian. Get out there and vote!!!