Premier Ranj Pillai has vowed to “defend the interests of the Yukon” with regard to Bill C-21.
“Many Yukoners are very concerned about the proposed amendments to Bill C-21 and the impacts they would have on law-abiding firearms owners in the territory,” he said in a statement Friday.
“As a lawful gun owner, avid hunter and member of a family who has worked a trapline on the land for generations, I have a deep appreciation for the concerns.
“The Yukon government has long made it clear to the federal government that Yukoners need to be engaged about legislative changes that would impact them, including those proposed in amendments to Bill C-21.”
Pillai said he was pleased to see Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino visit last week.
“Serious concerns remain around the impacts Bill C-21 would have on the way of life of many Yukoners,’ the premier said.
“From licensed and subsistence hunters to Indigenous families working traplines, the proposed amendments would negatively impact law-abiding Yukoners and threaten Indigenous traditional ways of life.”
Mendicino has committed to engaging and making appropriate changes to Bill C-21 after hearing from Yukoners and others living in more rural and remote parts of Canada, Pillai added.
Justice Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee has also shared the government’s concerns directly with Mendicino during bilateral meetings, the premier said.
“First Nations leaders also made their concerns with Bill C-21 clear to me during my first meeting as premier with the Council of Yukon First Nations (last) week, and we support the concerns of Yukon First Nations chiefs.
“As the Yukon’s Member of Parliament Brendan Hanley has made clear, the Yukon does not support Bill C-21 in its present form.
“We support and commend MP Hanley’s efforts to advocate for and defend the interests of Yukoners,” Pillai said.
“I strongly urge the federal government to listen to Yukoners and make changes to the amendments to Bill C-21.”