Rural residents safety important

Legislation tabled

Blackfalds, Alberta – Blaine Calkins, Member of Parliament for Red Deer – Lacombe issued the following statement at an announcement about his Private Member’s Bill C-458 which was tabled in the House of Commons on Friday, June 14, 2019 and seconded by Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red Deer – Mountain View.

“I am very proud to have tabled Bill C-458 on behalf of the thousands of Albertans who have been victimized, sometimes repeatedly, by criminals who purposely target law-abiding citizens living in rural or remote areas.” said Calkins.

In 2017 and early 2018 the Alberta Conservative Members of Parliament representing rural areas created the 30 page Rural Crime Task Force and met with Albertans who were concerned about rural crime. One of the key messages we heard throughout our consultation process was that we need to stop the revolving door of repeat offenders in our justice system. I want Albertans to know that Conservatives were listening and this Bill is an important step in addressing their concerns.”

Bill C-458 will amend the Criminal Code (Paragraph 718.2a) to add evidence that an offence was directed at a property or person that was vulnerable because of their remoteness from emergency services as an aggravating circumstance for sentencing purposes.

This means longer sentences for criminals who target people or property located in rural and remote areas, with their crimes.

“I’m tabling this bill now; because the Liberal dominated public safety committee didn’t offer any real solutions in their two page report on the study of rural crime. I find this to be an appalling lack of sensitivity, and victims in rural areas deserve better” said Calkins.

“Criminals are getting smarter,” said Dreeshen, “they prey on rural Canadians because they know that the home they are targeting is remote or a significant distance from emergency and policing services. Bill C-458 will require the courts to consider this intentional act during sentencing.”

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