NANAIMO — Tory leader Andrew Scheer today announced his government, if elected, would arm “specially trained” school children aged five to 11 with assault rifles to protect themselves and classmates.

Calling it the “Good Kids, Good Guns” program, Scheer said arming school-children will be among his government’s top priorities, right after changing all licence plate slogans to read Make Canada Great Again, and completely and mercilessly destroying the public healthcare system.

Scheer made the announcement at Hammond Bay Elementary in front of a confused group of parents and teachers, who were told they would be attending an announcement about increasing pay for teachers and mental health services for students.

When asked why this program was needed, given the nearly absent number of mass shootings in Canada, Scheer laughed “Because the gun lobby paid me, of course!”

He was then shuffled quickly away by a handler who assured media Scheer was “totally kidding.”

“I can confirm Mr Scheer has received far less than $20M in funds from the gun lobby. Far less. This is a non-issue,” said the handler.

Scheer was in town today to campaign with Conservative Party candidate John Hirst. Hirst, who seemed surprised by the gun announcement, said he would “blindly support whatever Dark Overlord Scheer says is good.”

When asked if that “blind support” extended to proposed policies requiring senior citizens to be placed on ice floes to perish when they reach the age of 85, Hirst said “Sure, whatever. Did our Dark Overlord say that? Yes? Okay, then it’s cool with me. Like I say, whatever it takes to get elected. Wait, that thing — it’s not recording is it?”

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection is May 6. Other candidates include Bob Chamberlin, NDP; Michelle Corfield, Liberal Party of Canada; Paul Manly, Greens; Jennifer Clarke, People’s Party of Canada; Brian Marlatt, Progressive Canadian Party; Jakob Letkemann, National Citizens Alliance.