Coalition of women’s and feminist organizations call on NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to deliver on his call for stricter gun laws

24 April 2023
April 24, 2023

Open letter welcomes the NDP leader’s support for urgent implementation of Nova Scotia mass shooting inquiry recommendations, given the party’s lack of concrete support to date for government’s efforts to ban assault-style firearms and handguns in Bill C-21


Algonquin Territory/Ottawa, Ontario, April 24th, 2023 – Today, a coalition of 33 women’s and feminist organizations fighting for stronger gun control laws sent an open letter to Jagmeet Singh imploring the NDP leader to give weight to his statement urging the federal government to implement the Nova Scotia mass shooting inquiry recommendations which called for stricter gun control laws.

Specifically, the groups are calling for the NDP to strongly support the reintroduction of amendments to ban assault-style firearms in Bill C-21, as well as support a freeze on new handgun sales, and work with a sense of urgency to ensure the legislation passes third reading in the House of Commons before Parliament adjourns for the summer months.

The letter states: “There is no more important responsibility of a national party leader than protecting the safety of Canadians, including from gun violence. . . For this reason, we were pleased to see your public statement urging the federal government to swiftly act on the Mass Casualty Commission’s findings which concluded that a priority “should be placed on reducing access to the most dangerous, high-capacity firearms and ammunition”.

The letter also refers a recent poll which found that NDP supporters were most likely to oppose or strongly oppose civilians owning assault-style firearms.

“We also wish to express our grave dismay that throughout the parliamentary hearings on Bill C-21, the NDP has consistently sided with the gun lobby on the issue of handguns,” reads the letter.

The open letter further states: “true leaders have the courage to do what is morally right, rather than what is politically expedient. While we recognize that some NDP Members of Parliament represent rural and northern ridings, where constituents who hunt have expressed vocal opposition to a ban on assault-style firearms, these protests are largely based on disinformation from gun advocates.”

“The amendments which were withdrawn would not have prohibited the hunting models showcased by opponents to the amendments. As well, women in rural and remote communities, where access to communications technology, transportation and emergency help can be limited, are particularly vulnerable to firearm-related intimate partner violence.”

The Coalition hopes the NDP leader will step up “to provide leadership on gun control at this critical juncture”, thereby “taking concrete action to reduce intimate partner gun violence and femicides.”


National Association of Women and the Law | L’Association nationale Femmes et Droit
YWCA Canada
Fédération des femmes du Québec
Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund | Fonds d’action et d’éducation juridique pour les femmes
Ending Violence Association of Canada | L’Association canadienne pour mettre fin à la violence
Canadian Federation of University Women | Fédération Canadienne des Femmes Diplômées des Universités
Women’s Shelters Canada | Hébergement femmes Canada
Canadian Council of Muslim Women
Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes
National Council of Women of Canada
Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre for Women and Children
Canadian Women’s Foundation | Fondation canadienne des femmes
Persons Against Non-State Torture
West Coast LEAF Association
Association féministe d’éducation et d’action sociale
Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
South Asian Women’s Community Centre | Centre communautaire des femmes sud-asiatiques
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
SOS violence conjugale
Québec contre les violences sexuelles
Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale
Regroupement québécois des centres d’aide et de lutte aux agressions à caractère sexuel
Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses
Service d’Entraide Passerelle
Centre Victoria pour femmes
Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters
Newfoundland & Labrador Sexual Assault & Crisis Prevention Centre
The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies | L’Association canadienne des sociétés Elizabeth Fry
Network of Women with Disabilities NOW
Halton Women’s Place
Informed Opinions | Femmes Expertes

about NAWL
The National Association of Women and the Law is a not-for-profit feminist organization that promotes the equality rights of women through legal education, research and law reform advocacy.
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