James P - yeah, seeing those prices, and being in the USA, no question one would have doubts about the truth of it.
First - 'quality' firearms, including Colt 1911's (and Series 70 G.C.N.M.'s) aren't all that scarce here in Canada. True, you don't see them in the numbers that I'm sure you're used to. But our nation is huge in area, but only has about 30 million people. I had a 1911 collection of 21 pieces, that included a US Army National Match; 2 Series '70 Gold Cups and 1 Series '80 Gold Cup, among others.
Second, licencing is not that difficult here either. But again probably a lot more of a hassle than you are used to in the USA. All of our firearms law in Canada is Federal Law. Right now to acquire firearms you need a Federal "Possession & Acquisition Licence" (PAL) PAL's have different categories, if you want one that includes the ability to own handguns then you get a "restricted" endorsement on it. All handguns are at least considered "restricted" firearms in Canada (some others are "prohibited/grandfathered" and if you qualify for it, you can also get that endorsement on your PAL. Follow me here? Longarms (rifles & shotguns) are considered "non-restricted" firearms, for example. If you have a PAL and acquire a handgun, legally, in the category that your PAL allows, then you make application to "register" it. That takes about a day. Once you apply the officals give you a "reference" number and "temporary authorization number" (TAN). Once you have your TAN you apply for a short term ATT (authorization to transport) which allows you to pick-up the handgun and take it home. You have to be a member in good standing at an "approved" gun club to be able to go to and from a range with your handgun. You apply for another licence - a long term ATT (usually good for 1 year or more) and that allows you to transport to and from the range. Yes, the system is very complicated!! (The restrictions on long arms are not as onerous as with handguns).
The reason that firearms are very reasonable in Canada right now is that in the latest incarnation of our Federal Firearms law (Bill C-68) really tightened up things even more. For example, I was at a local gun show recently, happened on a table where a guy was plunking down $550 Canadian for a pre-Series '70 Colt National Match, in about 95% condition (with original box)and it included a same period Colt .22 Conversion Unit (also with the original box). Made me sorry I had stopped off to pick-up a cup of coffee at a gas station enroute to the show! The owner, an older gentleman, was just fed up with the new laws, and was parring down his handgun collection. He felt that $550 Canadian was reasonable for the package deal. At another show, I saw a Colt National Match in .38 Special wadcutter caliber - somewhat rare I believe - and the seller wanted $850.
Yeah, there are lots of bargains up here right now. I just took possession of a Colt Government Model commercial (Serial #C 17,XXX) mfg in 1915 showing about 95% condition. I paid $450 Canadian for it.
Colt 1911: Best damn "Government" in the World!