Colt Canada, the company that arms the RCMP C-IRG unit, will be at CANSEC in Ottawa

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: Gidimt’en Checkpoint.

It appears that Colt Canada is a major supplier of weapons to the RCMP, including its controversial “community-industry response group” (C-IRG) currently under investigation by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC).

As CBC has explained: “[The CRCC] will assess whether the unit’s operations are consistent with the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms], legislation on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [UNDRIP], and the findings of the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls [MMIWG].”

In August 2017, TheGunBlog.ca reported: “Colt Canada Corp. was the RCMP’s biggest supplier of guns last year, as Canada’s national police equipped officers with AR-15 rifles.”

Their article further notes: “The federal police purchased $2.7 million in firearms from Kitchener, Ontario-based Colt Canada and $1.8 million in guns from Victoria, British Columbia-based M.D. Charlton, out of 21 weapons suppliers listed in the reports.”

It adds: “RCMP bought $7.9 million of munitions and ammunition, almost all of which was supplied by the Canadian subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp. of the U.S.”

Photo: RCMP guns.

Weapons deployed on C-IRG raids on Wet’suwet’en territory

We are in the process of trying to identify the weapons that the RCMP C-IRG has deployed against land defenders in the militarized raids on Wet’suwet’en territory in January 2019, February 2020 and November 2021 to enable the continued construction of the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline.

While we are not certain, the rifles appear to be Colt Canada C8 carbines. Various news articles – including from CBC Daybreak NorthCBC NewsVancouver Is Awesome, and Burnaby Now suggest a match. 

According to a Government of Canada website, the specifications for the C8A3 Carbine Automatic Rifle include: “Sustained rate of fire: 15 rounds per minute; Maximum rate of fire (semi-automatic): 65 rounds per minute.”

Furthermore, from the following photo compared with the illustrative photo immediately below it, it’s also possible – given the appearance of the large circular barrel – that the RCMP officer pointing his rifle into a small cabin with land defenders and journalists may have been equipped with an AG-C grenade launcher.

Photo by Amber Bracken.

The AG-C/EGLM (enhanced grenade launching module), manufactured by the German gun company Heckler and Koch, is “a single shot 40 mm grenade launcher that attaches to any AR-15 type rifle” (which includes the C8 carbine) and “can fire high-explosive, smoke, illuminating, buckshot direct fire, CS gas, and training grenades.”

According to the German company Rheinmetall, their 40 mm ammunition includes: “practice cartridges, impulse/less-than-lethal, sound & flash, and irritant cartridges for peacekeeping and peace enforcement, as well as high explosive, illumination and smoke/obscurant ammunition for high intensity warfare.”

Wet’suwet’en land defender Sleydo’ says: “I did not take my eyes off of that gun and that man who was holding that gun and pointing it at me. I was thinking, what’s going to happen if the dog comes in, or if somebody makes the wrong move.”

Sleydo’: “Get your gun off me!” Video still from Yintah Film.

“Lethal overwatch”

After the first RCMP C-IRG raid on Wet’suwet’en territory in January 2019, The Guardian reported: “Canadian police were prepared to shoot Indigenous land defenders blockading construction of a natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia, according to documents seen by the Guardian.”

That article adds: “Notes from a strategy session for a militarized raid on ancestral lands of the Wet’suwet’en nation show that commanders of Canada’s national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), argued that ‘lethal overwatch is req’d’ – a term for deploying an officer who is prepared to use lethal force.”

“One document noted that the Wet’suwet’en possessed ‘firearms for hunting/sustenance’ but police intelligence indicated that there was ‘no single threat indicating that [land defenders] will use firearms.'”

It further notes: “Police established a ‘media exclusion zone’, blocking reporters from accessing the area. They took care to hide their carbine rifles on the approach to the roadblock because the ‘optics’ of the weapons were ‘not good’, according to one of the documents.”

CANSEC

We are attentive to the CANSEC weapons show that will take place May 31-June 1 at the EY Centre in Ottawa. Colt Canada (Booth 1429), M.D. Charlton (Booth 1933), General Dynamics (Booths 1203, 1301, 1601/3042) and Rheinmetall (Booth 1121/3021) are all listed as exhibitors at this annual convention.

 

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