Lib­er­als prom­ise new Cel­e­brat­ing in­clu­sive gun con­trol laws em­ploy­ment

Oc­to­ber de­clared Dis­abil­ity Em­ploy­ment Aware­ness Month


The fed­eral gov­ern­ment says it will in­tro­duce new gun con­trol leg­is­la­tion be­fore the end of the year as it works to ful­fil a suite of prom­ises made on the cam­paign trail more than two years ago.

De­spite promis­ing more than two years ago to make it harder for “crim­i­nals to get, and use, hand­guns and as­sault weapons,” the Lib­eral Party has been slow to en­act its promised re­forms.

This spring the Saska­toon StarPhoenix learned that the gov­ern­ment had de­ferred the in­tro­duc­tion of a con­tro­ver­sial firearm mark­ing scheme by 18 months de­spite promis­ing to in­tro­duce the long-de­layed rules “im­me­di­ately.”

It is not yet clear what the new leg­is­la­tion will con­tain, but Scott Bard­s­ley, a spokesman for Pub­lic Safety Min­is­ter Ralph Goodale, said in an email that it will be “con­sis­tent with the mea­sures laid out in our elec­tion plat­form.”

“The gov­ern­ment be­lieves in ef­fec­tive firearms mea­sures that pri­or­i­tize pub­lic safety while en­sur­ing fair treat­ment for law-abid­ing firearms own­ers … To be clear, we have said all along that we will not recre­ate a fed­eral long-gun registry, and we won’t.”

The gov­ern­ment said in its 2015 plat­form that changes made by former Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper’s Con­ser­va­tive

● gov­ern­ment have “steadily weak­ened our gun laws in ways that make Cana­di­ans more vul­ner­a­ble and com­mu­ni­ties more dan­ger­ous.”

Since tak­ing power, the Lib­er­als have changed rules re­gard­ing de­ci­sions about weapon clas­si­fi­ca­tion and over­hauled the Cana­dian Firearms Ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee to in­clude “a broad range of in­ter­ests be­cause de­ci­sions about firearms af­fect all Cana­di­ans.”

The gov­ern­ment has not, how­ever, ful­filled most of the gun con­trol prom­ises in its plat­form.

Those in­clude en­hanced back­ground checks for any­one seek­ing to buy a hand­gun or a re­stricted firearm — a clas­si­fi­ca­tion that in­cludes not just pis­tols and re­volvers, but some semi-au­to­matic ri­fles — and re­quir­ing ven­dors to keep in­ven­tory and sales records.

In May, the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment qui­etly de­ferred plans to in­tro­duce the firearms mark­ing reg­u­la­tions, which would re­quire ev­ery new gun made or im­ported into the coun­try be en­graved with the year and ei­ther “Canada” or “CA.”

The mark­ing rules have been de­layed eight times by four suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments.

Gun ad­vo­cates have said the rules will sub­stan­tially in­crease the price of ev­ery gun in the coun­try, in­clud­ing air­guns and paint­ball mark­ers. Goodale said this spring that the decade-old rules need “sub­stan­tial re-writ­ing.”

The Gov­ern­ment of Saskatchewan has of­fi­cially pro­claimed Oc­to­ber to be Dis­abil­ity Em­ploy­ment Aware­ness Month (DEAM).

The procla­ma­tion pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity to share the ben­e­fits of an in­clu­sive labour mar­ket, a press re­lease from the gov­ern­ment said.

DEAM also pro­vides aware­ness for the strate­gies, ser­vices and re­sources avail­able to em­ploy­ers, ed­u­ca­tors and job seek­ers.

“All of us want to make sure peo­ple can reach their po­ten­tial to suc­ceed, whether it is in train­ing or em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Econ­omy Min­is­ter Steven Bonk was quoted as say­ing.

“We all ben­e­fit when the labour mar­ket is more in­clu­sive as it helps re­duce bar­ri­ers to em­ploy­ment while at the same time, helps grow Saskatchewan’s econ­omy.”

SARC ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Amy McNeil spoke about why the month is im­por­tant.

“Peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dis­abil­i­ties can of­fer valu­able skills to the work­place,” she said.

“Many Saskatchewan busi­nesses are real­iz­ing the eco­nomic ad­van­tage that em­ploy­ees ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dis­abil­i­ties pro­vide, such as in­creas­ing re­ten­tion rates and en­hanc­ing cor­po­rate cul­tures. This ... month we are cre­at­ing aware­ness by cel­e­brat­ing in­clu­sive em­ploy­ers across Saskatchewan who im­pact their com­mu­ni­ties through in­clu­sive hir­ing.”

In Prince Al­bert, the Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Cen­tre is do­ing its part to sup­port those with dis­abil­i­ties look­ing for work in the city.

“For the Prince Al­bert and District Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Cen­tre, it means do­ing what it can to raise the pro­file of the Prince Al­bert Sup­port Em­ploy­ment pro­gram,” the or­ga­ni­za­tion said in a press re­lease.

“Di­ver­sity in the work­place is be­com­ing more com­mon as em­ploy­ers deal with the out­mi­gra­tion of youth and re­tire­ment of ‘boomer’ aged work­ers,” said CEO Bill Powalin­sky.

He pro­vided some ex­am­ples of how it can ben­e­fit em­ploy­ers.

“It al­lows em­ploy­ers to ad­dress labour needs, there are mea­sur­able im­prove­ments in sales and cus­tomer loy­alty, there can be an in­crease in em­ployee morale and by mak­ing their busi­ness ac­ces­si­ble to em­ploy­ees with bar­ri­ers, em­ploy­ers make their busi­nesses ac­ces­si­ble to cus­tomers with bar­ri­ers.”

Michelle Kris­tiansen, also of the cen­tre, said peo­ple with em­ploy­ment bar­ri­ers are “gen­er­ally cred­ited with good safety rat­ings, good at­ten­dance and longer re­ten­tion rates.”

The cen­tre will be ac­knowl­edg­ing present and past in­clu­sive em­ploy­ers this month. They will also be con­tact­ing new em­ploy­ers to of­fer sup­port ser­vices such as work as­sess­ments, job coach­ing and as­sis­tance with job carv­ing and em­ployee re­cruit­ment.


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