Politics

Lawyer and gun lobby clash over witness evidence in firearm case

An innocuous-looking reference in the Federal Court battle over the Liberal ban on assault-style rifles has revealed a pre-Christmas confrontation between the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR) and the senior Justice Department lawyer in the case.

iPolitics discovered the exchange in the Federal Court record of the confrontation that occurred in December.

“It has come to our attention today … that two of the Applicants (challengers) … have been sending public messages on Twitter since Friday, (attachment) received on 13-DEC-2021,” a Justice Department lawyer said to senior counsel, as planning began for filing expert affidavits in February or March.

On request, the Federal Court media office forwarded to iPolitics copies of the messages, which Robert MacKinnon, the Justice Department’s general counsel in the case, had sent to the Federal Court registrar to forward to the presiding judge, Associate Chief Justice Jocelyne Gagné.

The conflict in December involved friction between the CCFR and Blake Brown, a well-known professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax who’s had an interest in firearm law and gun control since at least 2014.

“These messages are designed to intimidate, harass, and malign Dr. Brown, or incite CCFR followers to do so,” a note from MacKinnon to the court registrar says.

“Rodney Giltaca, CEO of CCFR and himself an affiant in these matters, and Tracey Wilson, VP of Public Relations, have sent the attached messages to thousands of CCFR followers on Twitter,” the note continues.

Brown is one of at least five people who will be filing affidavits to support the government in the case.

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