Let's see now....
Interviews with Canadian Firearms Program, check.
Consultation with CBSA, check.
Lived, breathed and dreamed Criminal Code and Firearms Act for 2 years, check.
Graduate paper based on airsoft-relevant legal research, check.
Said paper submitted to government think tank, check.
Regular cooperation with both above agencies, check.
Legal paperwork for everything I do, check.
Now, let's examine your original statement in detail.
Let's break the above up a bit, dividing them where the trains of thought change lanes.
First of all, the law is two fold as far as airsofters are concerned. You must meet a minimum set of numbers and not exceed a maximum set of numbers. The people running Airsoft Canada seem to be exercising information control over the minimum number, so I'll leave it out. But only if you show the airsoft gun in question has met that legal number is it classified as uncontrolled firearm.
And that minimum number is very high and excludes all airsoft pistols. I can't make this clear enough, there is currently no legal opaque GBB possible
The second component of the law is a muzzle energy and velocity limit, above which all firearms become controlled (and therefore illegal AND unsafe for airsoft use). This is where you left out muzzle energy. It's a combination of exceeding 500 feet per second and 5.7 Joules. You must meet one and exceed the other, minimum. For example, paintball regularly exceeds 5.7 Joules, but fall far short of 500 FPS.
Finally, neither starter pistols nor Nerf guns are "firearms" under Canadian law. The term "firearm" refers to a very specific set of conditions in Canada that no Nerf gun or starter pistol meets in their default state. Only if they have been specifically modified beyond their original state, then they may be a "firearm".
Here is where you're getting confused. The real factor in determining legality was in the previous paragraph, and it's an issue of classification
. All else being equal, the problem with the legality of airsoft in Canada has always been an issue of what they are
, not the legitimacy of the activity (barring criminal use).
Government crackdown on airsoft businesses have always been because they were illegally importing and selling prohibited devices
. It did not matter what the intent of the seller and buyers were with regard to use (provided the activity itself wasn't illegal).
Now, airsoft the activity does apply as a defence against a number of use-related criminal offences, thanks to the precedence created by paintball.
However, airsoft guns are not recognized as "airsoft" guns in Canadian law. Operationally, they are merely part of the "Air, Spring or Gas" group. There is no statutory or regulatory differentiation between airsoft, pellet and paintball. Distinction is made at the implementation level based on the necessity of different ammunition types, but that's it.
And here is where you go really far off the track. I'm not even quite sure what you're getting at, unless you're somehow referring to s. 87 (Pointing a Firearm). But if that is the case, the fact that the setting is a theatrical production would provide a lawful excuse
that is far more concrete than any airsoft or paintball intent.
It is not a trick, and thinking and wording it as such is probably not good. When anything is worded as a "replica", it is flagged by the system as such, and goes back into the same classification issue as before.
It seems to me you are woefully under informed about the legal history of airsoft in Canada.
You may wish to consult the above court decision, which pretty clearly illustrates why there is no "intent to airsoft" defence. That, or the half dozen or so CBSA/CITT failed appeals of "intent to airsoft".