Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison has been appointed a deputy role within the Conservative Party shadow cabinet.
Morrison will serve as the Deputy Shadow Minister for Public Safety, Border Security and Emergency Preparedness, according to a party announcement.
Morrison said his appointment was a result of the party recognizing his background as an RCMP officer and diplomat and putting that experience to work within the shadow cabinet.
“For me, my background has been public safety, national security, emergency preparedness — that whole area — so it was a really good fit and I know the party reviewed my resume and that’s how I was selected,” Morrison said.
Morrison also reiterated a focus on gun legislation, calling it a ‘hot-button’ issue for many Kootenay-Columbia constituents.
“I find that the Liberal firearms legislation is actually more targeting on lawful gun owners rather than dealing with the issue, which is gang and organized crime violence,” said Morrison.
The firearms legislation — Bill C-71 — received royal assent earlier in June, which tightened measures around background checks and transfers of non-restricted firearms as well as repealing a provision that allowed government officials to override the classification of a firearm.
Banning military-style assault rifles was a Liberal Party election promise during the fall campaign.
Morrison said that gun violence from gang crime isn’t coming from law-abiding gun owners.
“Show us how many times somebody in a gang or organized crime who uses a firearm in the commission of an offence actually pulls out a a PAL (Possession and Acquisition License) or a restricted firearms license and has a permit for that weapon that they’re using,” Morrison said. ”I don’t think that ever happens.”
The deputy shadow minister role encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, said Morrison, who pointed to local issues such as inspection of regional dams, ensuring public safety during pending construction on the TransCanada highway near Golden and monitoring any border security issues.
“Public safety is non-partisan,” Morrison said. “What we need in Kootenay-Columbia for rural policing and safety is the same as what people need across Canada, and that’s working together with the government to ensure that Canadians feel safe.”
Prior to his election to office, Morrison’s career as a public servant included roles such as an executive superintendent with the RCMP responsible for policing service delivery models throughout the province and as a top official with the Treasury Board Secretariat, where he was responsible for an information sharing environment between law enforcement agencies and foreign governments.
Morrison’s career also took him overseas, where he served as a diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs responsible for 17 countries in Southeast Asia, representing Canada while engaging with senior foreign government officials.
Former Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski previously served as the NDP’s shadow critic for National Parks, appointed by former party leader Thomas Mulcair in 2015.