|Belinda Crowson <email@example.com>||Received Oct 8, 8:04 AM|
Please find attached my answers to the questions.
Thanks for the opportunity to consider these issues.
LFGA City of Lethbridge By-Election Candidate Questions.
1) Do you support the continued operation of the Lethbridge Fish & Game Shooting Sports Facility in the current location in Peenaquim Park?
The recent safety enhancements at the shooting range were done to keep both users of the range and the surrounding community safe. The concerns of the public were heard and incorporated into the construction, including baffles to reduce noise, and backstops and bullet traps to ensure no bullets leave the range.
Additionally, the investment has made the facility larger, so more events can be held at the facility.
As the changes address community concerns and involve a substantial investment, the facility should continue in its current location at this time.
2) The Federal government has said it will place the choice of banning handguns in the hands of municipalities. Lethbridge has an extremely active handgun sport-related community and culture. Would you support banning handguns in Lethbridge? Why or why not?
As I understand it, the Federal government wishes to bring forward legislation that would permit municipalities to have conversations with the federal government to ban handguns.
While I appreciate that cities such as Toronto might wish to have a conversation with Ottawa on this issue, related to Lethbridge this seems to be a solution in search of a problem. Neither as a member of Council or as a member of the Lethbridge Police Commission, have I heard any concerns expressed by the police, city officials or the public about handgun use or a concern that handguns should be banned in Lethbridge. While I believe firmly in continued community conversations about this and any other issue, at this point I would not support a ban.
3) Do you believe a ban on so-called ‘assault-style weapons’ that were legally owned by law-abiding people involved in the shooting sports makes our communities safer?
Respectfully, what I “believe” is not the rationale for how such decisions should be made. When looking at this issue (or any issue), it is vital to look at the research and evidence. What the research shows is that a comprehensive approach to gun laws is required both for increased gun safety and community safety. This comprehensive approach has to include gun education, background checks, better enforcement as well as any potential bans. Research further shows that targeting one specific type of gun, such as banning assault-style weapons, without a comprehensive plan, does not enhance public safety. Recognizing this, the ban on assault-style weapons will likely not achieve what the government is hoping to do and will further cause problems for those who use these guns in legal and appropriate sports facilities. While this is a decision made by other orders of governments, I would suggest they look at the issue in a more holistic manner and work with sport shooters to create a better system.
4) Do you understand the process of becoming a licensed firearm owner in Canada? Do you have a PAL or RPAL?
I have never applied to become a licensed firearm owner so have never undergone the procedure. However, I do appreciate that it is a lengthy process that requires several steps, including a firearms safety course, exam, application and background checks. No, I don’t have either license.
5) Have you experienced sport shooting or ethical hunting yourself? What do you think are the key points to ethical hunting?
I grew up on a farm and was taught as a youth to properly use guns. Additionally, I attended and participated in Outdoor Education classes. I have family and friends who enjoy sport shooting and ethical hunting, though, I do not participate in it myself.
Ethical hunting is more comprehensive than many people may know. It starts with developing a knowledge, familiarity and skill with your weapon (whether it is a gun, or a bow). This is done so that the hunter knows how to use the weapon properly for their own safety, the safety of others, and the correct use of the weapon in hunting.
The ethical hunter also then needs to know, understand and properly follows the laws, especially with regards to the timing and rules around hunting seasons, licenses and tags.
Ethical hunting includes a knowledge of, and respect for, private property, landowners, trespassing rules and those who do not hunt. This means that an ethical hunter will not trespass or enter property without permission. An ethical hunter will ensure that their actions do not result in the destruction of property. And an ethical hunter will ensure that they close gates when they leave or pass through an area.
An ethical hunter also respects the animals they hunt (indeed, all animals) and the animals’ habitat and do not damage the habitat while hunting.
Finally, ethical hunting includes respecting the animals that are killed, ensuring the animal does not unduly suffer and that the meat is appropriately used.
6) Have you used the Lethbridge Fish & Game Associations Shooting Sports Facility or been involved in any of our many conservation projects or activities?
No, while I have visited, I have not used the facility or participated in any projects or activities.
7) Do you support the City’s financial support of facility upgrades at the LFGA Shooting Sports Facility?
Yes, the city’s grants and capital budget program are designed to help ensure that community facilities, such as the LFGA Shooting Sports Facility, are constructed and maintained for the benefit of the community.
8) Do you support the statement that the Lethbridge Fish and Game Association Shooting Sports Facility and related organizations represent an important community sport and recreation resource in our community?
Yes, a community is built through the various organizations that exist, contribute to and volunteer in the community. Together they help to build a more vibrant, connected and interesting community. Additionally, our sports facilities in Lethbridge provide recreation and education to community members.
9) Do you believe that the LFGA Shooting Sports Facility should be treated differently than other sporting venues by the City of Lethbridge. If so, how?
In general, I believe in treating all organizations and facilities equally.
10) The LFGA on behalf of its members donates thousands of dollars, and thousands of hours into conservation and habitat yearly. Do you feel this is important at the municipal level and are you involved in any of these activities or do you support wildlife conservation and habitat protection in other ways?
Habitat conservation is vital, both at the local level and in a larger sense. It supports biodiversity, plays a role in preserving the environment and can positively affect the climate. Individuals and organizations who support conservation and habitat redevelopment (and maintenance) are to be commended. I have volunteered in clean-up work in the coulees organized by Helen Schuler Nature Centre, donated money to organizations involved in habitat protection and attended events in support of similar organizations.
- Belinda’s responces have been bolded for clarity. -Scott