Military assault rifles mailed to Bombardier

Bombardier discover a potential threat after the company opened up a delivery of heavy weaponry.


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Some heavy firepower mysteriously arrived in the mail last week at the Bombardier shipping department in Toronto, raising some serious questions.

“An unlocked case containing two military-grade assault rifles and two handguns mysteriously arrived in the mail at Bombardier’s shipping department in Toronto last week, CTV News has learned,” read a startling report on the network’s website Wednesday.

U.S. involvement?

Photos obtained by CTV News show that the weapons were marked as property of the U.S. government.

The alarming shipment, delivered by FedEx, contained two Beretta handguns and two M4 assault rifles, which are used by the American military,” the report continues.

The network’s military analyst, Chris Lewis, said this about the shipment.

“That firepower is very similar to what we saw used in Vegas, where someone killed a pile of people. Nobody can own them in Canada unless they were owned prior to them becoming prohibited weapons.”

So how did they get shipped to Bombardier? And was anything sinister planned with those guns?

“The delivery raises serious questions about how four guns were mailed across the border, who sent them and why they arrived at Bombardier,” the CTV report reads.

You bet this raises serious concerns. It also shows just how easy it is to send prohibited weapons across the border.

Lewis said it’s unclear how the weapons could have passed through a security check at the border.

“So there’s a total failure of some sort – (it’s) totally illegal to ship them that way,” he said.

“There’s no way on God’s great earth that anybody should be shipping firearms – handguns or assault rifles – unless they’re coming through some due process within Canada Border Service Agency’s framework,” Lewis said in the CTV News report.

Canada’s end

The Canada Border Services Agency said it is looking into the incident and hopes to provide more information by the end of the week.

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale did not respond to a CTV News request for comment.

FedEx said it is conducting its own “thorough investigation” into the matter and co-operating with authorities.

Somebody better start asking some serious questions. This blatant breach of security shows just how easy it is to import guns into Canada without having to pass through the security of a border or customs checkpoint.

The potential for a threat

The big question here is why were these guns sent to Bombardier and were they a part of a terrorism plot? But there are more questions. It was late last July that the Globe and Mail’s Patrick White and Jill Mahoney filed a report about the seizure of a large quantity of illegal guns in Cornwall, Ont., near the U.S. border.

“It was in the trunk of a vehicle in Cornwall, Ont., near the U.S. border, that a team of Toronto police officers made a remarkable discovery in May: 60 handguns that an alleged gun runner was delivering to gang members in the country’s largest city,” the report said.

“The guns were destined to become crime guns in Toronto and the GTA,” Deputy Chief James Ramer told a news conference.

“In the wake of a mass shooting in Toronto that left two dead and 13 injured, there is a renewed debate over gun control in Canada and questions about how guns make their way into the hands of criminals. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is considering a handgun ban,” The Globe and Mail reported in July.

But in a story earlier this week, The Toronto Sun quotes the head of the Toronto Police Association as saying a handgun ban wouldn’t work to solve Toronto’s current problems with guns.

Mike McCormack said a ban would divert resources at a time when Toronto requires an investment in police and social services.

“I would support anything that would have an impact, but a ban wouldn’t get to the core of the issue. A municipal government banning handguns will have zero impact,” McCormack said.

Well, he may be right. This latest shipment of guns didn’t only include handguns but two military-assault weapons. And with the guns not crossing through a recognized border station, but rather through the mail to a leading manufacturer of planes and trains in Canada, it’s clear criminals can find a way to get illegal guns into Canada.

Should Canadians be alarmed?

This is scary stuff. It should be enough to set off alarm bells throughout the country. If these were standard guns, maybe a reasonable explanation could be found. But these were prohibited weapons shipped to a major Canadian company.

Canada’s border officials, the RCMP and CSIS should all be looking getting to the bottom of this. And if nothing more, this should be a clear message that Canada has to tighten its border and tighten its control over what is shipped over the border and how it was shipped.

This incident should never have been allowed get as far as it did. If there’s a reasonable explanation, somebody better deliver one. If not, CTV News may have uncovered a serious breach in this nation’s security system.


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Jeff Wilkinson

Jeff Wilkinson is a retired writer, who worked 35 years in print and broadcast journalism before retiring. He also served in the press operations crews at the 2015 Pan Am Games and the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto.

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