Red Deer–Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins introduced a private members bill on Tuesday calling for tougher sentencing for criminals who victimize rural Canadians.
“Rural Canadians too often don’t feel safe in their own homes. Many have been victimized so often they’ve given up reporting property crime. It is often difficult for people to get affordable insurance if they can get it at all,” Calkins said.
“My constituents are tired of being victims, they’re tired of the revolving door of the justice system, and of crime not being taken seriously. They are losing faith in the justice system, because too often it puts criminals before victims and their families.”
He said Bill C-289 makes targeting people and property that are vulnerable, due to remoteness from emergency medical or police service, an aggravating factor at sentencing. It also makes the existing aggravating factor for home invasion more applicable for rural crime by including outbuildings, such as barns and shops, as well as allowing the aggravating factor to be triggered by the presence of a weapon.
The bill also ensures that a judge carefully considers why an offender didn’t get bail when assigning credit for time served.
“While provincial governments have taken action to combat rural crime, the Trudeau Liberals have been missing in action at a time when federal leadership is needed the most. Canada’s Conservatives are offering a pragmatic and meaningful step forward in fighting the rural crime crisis across our country.”