Public safety


When 21 handguns were stolen from The Shootist in an early morning break-in, owner Robert Gelinas said he was pretty shaken.

But the theft should shake up more than the store owner because there are now 21 guns on the street that could be used for other criminal offences. Thieves were able to break in through the front door, cut off a lock, pry open a gun cabinet, and escape with its contents before local RCMP could apprehend them. Police responded to the business alarm system, but there were no security cameras to help identify the culprits. The shop’s security measures were not enough to stop or slow down the thieves in time for police to get there.

The gun shop owner said he is considering upgrading his security measures to keep his guns safe and to act as a deterrent to further thefts. However, he expressed concern about the costs of increased security.

It is sad that a business owner has to spend extra money to protect his property and to prevent thefts. But when that business is a gun shop, the cost of not doing so is of greater concern since police safety and public safety are jeopardized any time there are guns involved.

Public safety must be our top priority. Gun shops require a higher level of security to protect citizens.


This week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott waded neck-deep into forbidden territory. They each made comments  following the jury acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer who was accused of second-degree murder of an Aboriginal man.

Trudeau and his cabinet ministers made comments in sympathy of the dead man’s family saying the justice system must do better. Perhaps they were attempting to quell the storms of protest about the controversial decision rendered by an all-white jury. The fact that the prime minister, justice minister and indigenous affairs minister are commenting on any court judgment is clearly political interference.

When cornered in Question Period this week, Trudeau apparently got the memo. He said he could not make comments on individual cases. Well in fact, he had already done so and this is an egregious mistake.

This is political interference of the highest order. When a judge and/or jury make a decision on a case that decision must stand on its own merits. There are judicial procedures that are followed to challenge a verdict, and those procedures don’t consider opinion from politicians.

St. Albert MP Michael Cooper said: “This was a tragic incident. While the verdict couldn’t have been easy for anyone involved it is important to respect the independence of the judicial process.” 

Cooper is right. If Trudeau and his ministers want to propose legislative change to the justice system they are free to do so. What they are not free to do is to wade into courtroom decisions. These comments will cast a shadow over any future appeal. This undermines our justice system, which is supposed to do its job, unfettered by political interference.


About Author

St. Albert Gazette

The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.