OTTAWA, ON – Conservative Member of Parliament for Red Deer-Lacombe, Blaine Calkins, introduced his Private Member’s Bill C-364, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing), which seeks to improve the safety and security of rural and remote communities across Canada.
Rural crime is at a breaking point across the nation. Rural Canada’s crime rate and severity index surpass urban areas, and this trend has been escalating since 2015. Bill C-364 adds aggravating factors at sentencing for rural crime and ensures those with a history of criminal activity are treated seriously.
“Rural crime is a crisis, and the stats don’t lie – it’s worse in the countryside than the city,” said MP Calkins.
New Aggravating Factors at sentencing include consideration for crimes committed in areas where emergency medical or police services are expected to have long response times and the use of/threat of violence to persons or property to include possession of a weapon, ensuring that individuals who possess weapons during the commission of crimes face harsher penalties.
Bill C-364 changes the definition of “dwelling-house” to “place” in section 348.1 of the Criminal Code. This expansion ensures that outlying structures such as barns, shops, and garages are included in legal protections against breaking and entering.
Finally, C-364 recommends that judges consider an offender’s criminal record and the reasons for not receiving bail when determining extra-credit for pre-trial custody. This ensures that those with a history of criminal activity and potential flight risk are treated more rigorously.
“Conservatives are focused on providing real solutions to rural crime. Despite the creation of a pan-Canadian working group on rural crime in January 2020, the progress at the federal level has been disappointingly slow,” said MP Calkins.
“After 8 years of Trudeau’s government, the Liberals have shown time and again they do not understand rural issues. Canada’s Conservatives are committed to bringing home safety to our streets and ensuring Canadians feel secure in their own communities.”