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JUDICIAL REVIEW AND STATUTORY APPEAL - Injunctions

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 @ 6:29 AM  


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Motions by the applicants for an interlocutory injunction staying the operation of certain Regulations and the effect of a related Amnesty Order. On May 1, 2020, the Governor in Council, via Order in Council, promulgated the Regulations Amending the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted (Regulations). The effect of the Regulations was to add a list of previously non-restricted or restricted firearms to the definitions of “prohibited device,” “prohibited firearm,” or “restricted firearm” as found in ss. 84(1) and 117.15(1) of the Criminal Code. The court was seized with six applications for judicial review challenging the Order in Council on several grounds. It was in the context of three of those applications for judicial review that the applicants brought the motions for an interlocutory injunction.

HELD: Motions dismissed. While the corporate applicants might see a short-term decrease in profits because of the Regulations, such loss could be mitigated by the buyback program, the ability to return prohibited firearms to their manufacturer and potentially by purchases of new firearms to replace those being prohibited. That rendered the claimed losses of the corporate applicants rather speculative. Indigenous people could use any of the firearms prohibited under the Regulations in the exercise of a right recognized by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, provided that the firearms were classified as non-restricted on April 30, 2020. Furthermore, non-prohibited firearms continued to be available and were suitable for hunting. The applicants therefore failed to provide evidence that any Aboriginal rights guaranteed by the Constitution Act, 1982, would be infringed without an injunction. The loss of a specific firearm for hunting or shooting was not irreparable harm. There was no compelling evidence that the shooting skills of Canadian Armed Forces members or law enforcement officers would decline because of the Regulations. The applicants failed to adduce clear and non-speculative evidence that they would suffer irreparable harm if the Regulations remained in effect pending a determination by this court of their applications on the merits.

Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights v. Canada (Attorney General), [2021] F.C.J. No. 103, Federal Court, J. Gagné A.C.J., February 9, 2021. Digest No. TLD-March292021005