Mr. Yves Côté
Commissioner of Canada Elections
30 Victoria Street
Dear Mr. Côté:
I write to draw your attention to a number of examples of partisan activities carried out by the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) that appear to be in breach of the Elections Canada rules for third parties. I trust you will examine these possible violations of the new third party provisions contained in the Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c.9).
On September 20, 2019, our Party’s leader, Mr. Justin Trudeau, announced that a re-elected Liberal government will take serious, common-sense action to strengthen gun control and crack down on gun crime. Specifically, if re-elected, we will ban all military-style assault rifles and also work with municipalities to give them the ability to further restrict or ban handguns. We will work with law enforcement to strengthen safe-storage laws and limit the glorification of violence by creating new rules on where and how guns are advertised, marketed, and sold in Canada.
We will continue to respect Canadian hunters, farmers, and sport shooters. We will not bring back the long-gun registry. Hunters neither use nor need assault weapons.
In response to this announcement, the CSSA disseminated a newsletter on September 23, 2019 that states: “With the 2019 federal election looming, the CSSA is putting its members’ money where its mouth is. We commissioned a series of videos in English and Mandarin with a simple message: if you use or own guns, you must vote in Election 2019.” The CSSA also encourages members to oppose their local Liberal candidate in the election.
Further to that, the CSSA states that its video commercials are “already running on Citytv and the Wild TV networks.”
As of September 25, 2019, the CSSA is not listed on the Elections Canada website as a registered third party for the purposes of the 43rd General Election, despite having apparently incurred more than $500 in regulated expenses. Additionally, the videos posted online, which the organization states are airing on television, do not bear the requisite authorization tag for election advertisements. This raises concerns with respect to the transparency of the third party advertiser.
I trust you will review the attached materials and consider our serious concerns from a compliance standpoint.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Liberal candidate for Spadina-Fort York
Background: Commissioner of Canada elections Complaint