Silencing Dissent

By Christopher di Armani

On January 1, 2003, Bruce Montague was one of 10 CUFOA (Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association) members standing on Ottawa's Parliament Hill demanding he be arrested for violating the Firearms Act, while a crowd of over 200 people looked on.

He has consistently demonstrated in public against the Act, yet until September 11, 2004, he was unable to get the government to grant his wish.

As the ancient proverb says, one must be careful for what one wishes.

Bruce Montague was arrested and charged with violating Section 91(1) of the Firearms Act. Exactly the charge he has wanted for 20 long months. But it came at a price.

The government also arrested and charged his wife Donna with the same violation.

The government's position is quite clear. Even if they don't have the courage to state it. They've made the ultimate power play. Bruce can choose to fight the state, or he can plead guilty. By arresting and charging Donna, the government now leaves Bruce a choice: plead guilty and we drop all charges against your wife. Or… we send your wife to jail and take your child.

It's disgusting. Even the Mafia has a simple rule: Families are off limits.

Apparently the Ontario Provincial Police and the Federal Government of Canada have no such compunctions.

You see, the Montagues have a 12-year-old daughter.

When Bruce was arrested on Saturday, September 11, 2004, his young daughter was with him. The two were attending a local gun show. Bruce was there to buy her a saddle for her horse.

Someone at the gun show phoned Donna to have her come pick up her daughter and inform her of Bruce's arrest. Understandably distraught, Donna rushed down to the gun show to retrieve her child. Outside, she was stopped by two Ontario Police Officers. They told her Katie was inside, and very upset. They also told her she had to come down to the station to "deal with some paperwork". On her arrival at the station, she found herself under arrest instead.

The Ontario Provincial Police (whose website still does not contain any information on this "high-profile" arrest) arrested Donna at the police station and charged her with violating section 91(1) of the Firearms Act.. Unlike her husband Bruce, who sits in the remand center still, Donna was released from custody so she could care for her daughter.

One small problem though… She was ordered NOT to return to her home for 36 hours while the police executed a search warrant on their home. Naturally, she balked, feeling she had every right to be present while her home was ransacked by government agents. Should she show up at the family home, OPP officers threatened, she would be charged with obstruction of justice and tossed in jail. Even after requesting permission to get clothes for her children she was denied.

What country is this again?

So, like I say, the government's position is clear. Quite clear. And it leaves Bruce Montague in an impossible situation. He can save his family, or lose them.

Should he choose to save his family, he does so at incredible cost.

Contest the charges as he and fellow CUFOA members have said they would since their inception; or plead guilty so his wife doesn't get prosecuted, and their child does not get taken by the state to be placed in a foster home.

Plead guilty and the state silences it's most vocal opponents to the Firearms Act.

Not a pleasant choice to make. For anyone.

Except maybe the government.

Bruce's wife and other supporters have established a legal defense fund for him. Please send donations to:

Bruce Montague Scrap C-68 Fund
c/o RR#2, Site 211, Box 7
Dryden, Ontario, P8N 2Y5


Christopher di Armani is a freelance writer based in Lytton, BC. He can be reached at


Copyright 2004