In practice, "equal" force seems to to mean if the threat one is defending themselves against is lethal or not, not closely equivalent.
However, Canadian laws pertaining to both guns and self defence seem to have been deliberately written so that they are vague and open to interpretation.
Also, a lot of times the legalist system in Canada will slap on "unsafe storage" and other charges so that the person who defended themselves will still have legal issues even if the primary charges are stayed or beaten.
There's also a moral issue. Law or not, if someone wielded a knife and looked like they were attempting to use it on me, I'd risk manslaughter or unsafe storage and blast them.. if I owned a gun. I'd rather be living as a criminal than dead as a victim of ambiguous law.
This is also why I bypassed being an officer in both Canada and the US -- I feel the law is as useful as it saves lives. When the law would prevent you from defending yourself, the law becomes secondary. Obviously someone with that mindset should not be in the position of enforcing the law.
Edited by zaibatsu, 21 December 2012 - 05:41 PM.