OTTAWA - Masked thugs and anarchists who disrupt public events will now face tough new penalties thanks to local Member of Parliament Blake Richards.
On Wednesday, June 19th, Member of Parliament Blake Richards' Private Member's Bill, C-309, received Royal Assent from the Governor General of Canada in a ceremony on the Senate floor. Clauses in the bill create additional offences in the Criminal Code for wearing a mask or disguise while participating in a riot or unlawful assembly.
Speaking outside the Senate on Wednesday, MP Blake Richards was pleased to see C-309 passed in to law: "The provisions of my bill are effective immediately, which means police officers across Canada now have access to these tools to protect the public from masked rioters."
The bill has received support from police chiefs and organizations across Canada, including Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. In the past, it has been very rare for Private Member's Bills to become law; fewer than 250 have received Royal Assent since the House of Commons began keeping such records in 1910.
"It's truly an honour to serve Canadians this way," Richards said when asked about his remarkable achievement. "This moment is the culmination of over two years of study and consultation, not only with police officers, but with victims of riots and business stakeholders in our largest cities. So many contributed their thoughts and support to my Bill at its different stages of work; we can all rest easier tonight knowing our communities have been made safer with its passage."