“Three weeks ago, the annual federal-provincial-territorial meeting of Justice and Public Safety ministers concluded. Typically, meetings conclude with a communiqué summarizing the meeting discussions and decisions.

“The federal government has now informed the provinces and territories that, due to ‘lack of consensus on language,’ they decided against releasing the communiqué.

“The federal government’s unilateral decision to cease discussions on the release of the joint communiqué undermines the ability of Canadians to learn about key justice and public safety initiatives ministers discussed.

“The disagreement over language centred on Alberta’s request that provinces opposed to taking police officers off the street to confiscate firearms be listed by name in the communiqué.

“Noting a province opposed to a particular federal initiative in the body of a communiqué is a courtesy routinely extended to Quebec. Apparently, a lack of consensus for the same courtesy to be extended to other provinces and territories was enough for the federal government to decline to issue a communiqué.

 “Alberta has asked over and over again to be treated as an equal partner in Confederation, on par with Quebec. The federal government made it clear that it is unwilling and disinterested in even taking a small step in that direction.”