GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS PRIVATE MEMBER'S BILL, THE CONCEALMENT OF IDENTITY ACT
OTTAWA, May 6, 2012 – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the Government's support for Private Member's Bill C-309, the Concealment of Identity Act. Sponsored by Blake Richards, Alberta M.P. for Wild Rose, this Act targets those who conceal their identity with a mask while rioting.
"Our Government is committed to the safety and security of all Canadians. Destructive and reckless behaviour damages communities and should not be tolerated," said Minister Nicholson.
"I applaud Blake Richards for his dedication to keeping our streets and communities safe. Our Government is committed to standing up for law-abiding Canadians, which is why we will vote in support of this Private Member's Bill."
The provisions of the Concealment of Identity Act would create two new Criminal Code offences:
- an indictable offence targeting those who take part in a riot while wearing a mask or disguise to conceal identity, without lawful excuse; and
- a hybrid offence, targeting those who participate in an unlawful assembly while wearing a mask or disguise to conceal identity, without lawful excuse. The maximum penalty on indictment for this offence would be five years, and on summary conviction the maximum penalty would be six months imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
"Canada's justice system must not put the rights of criminals ahead of the rights of law-abiding citizens," said Mr. Richards.
"The Concealment of Identity Act would give police the tools they need to identify offenders who cause damage to this country's neighbourhoods."
The proposed bill is not directed at lawful freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
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