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Federal gun ban and buyback spending now up to $8.8 million

Author: James Wood 2021/11/24

The federal government is increasing spending on its gun ban and buyback policy to $8.8 million, according to the Department of Public Safety’s latest quarterly financial report.

“This is more evidence that the gun buyback is going to be a boondoggle,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director with the CTF. “The feds haven’t bought a single gun yet and costs still continue to go up.”

Public Safety is planning to spend $1.6 million out of the $8.8 on an advertising campaign to “increase awareness” about the gun ban and buyback.

The quarterly report is the first time Public Safety has put a hard number on the buyback spending.

Until now, the CTF tracked previous spending via access to information requests.

Those requests uncovered a contract with IBM Canada worth over $1 million for advice on how to run the buyback program.

The CTF has obtained a copy of that advice.

The heavily redacted documents include IBM’s recommendations for a payment structure. They also show the company developed a list of prices based on the pre-ban prices for the affected firearms, without including the price of accessories and parts for the firearms. According to the draft plan, owners disputing the price could ask an expert panel for an evaluation.

Public Safety said it’s still considering IBM’s advice.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated reimbursing gun owners could cost up to $756 million. That number doesn’t include administration costs which could add billions of dollars to the final tab.

When the Liberal Party first announced the policy, it told voters the gun buyback would cost about $200 million. In 2021, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair then said the costs would land “somewhere between $300 and $400 million dollars.”

“We continue to find more and more evidence of rising costs, and that should be a huge red flag for a government that is already more than $1 trillion in debt and hasn’t bought a single gun,” said Terrazzano. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to cut our losses, and scrap his gun buyback.”