In Touch with MP Earl Dreeshen – June 20, 2014
The spring sitting of Parliament has ended as of today, and I am looking forward to spending some more time in the community. It is extremely important for me to speak to as many of you as possible and make sure I am kept up to date on what is important to Central Alberta.
Among the highlights from our government was another budget that keeps our government on track to balance the budgets by next year. It was my late friend Jim Flaherty’s last budget and a fitting tribute to his legacy of public service to our country.
The session also saw important modernization to our existing laws regarding elections, rail transportation, giving police the tools they need to combat cyber-crime and something very important to me – the introduction of a Charter for Victims of Crime.
Over the past few weeks, my colleague Blaine Calkins, MP for Wetaskawin, and I have been encouraging our colleagues in Ottawa to support Red Deer in their bid for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. We were certainly proud to spread the word that ‘Red Deer is Ready’.
It has also been a busy time in the riding when I have been fortunate enough to spend some time here. I was honoured to take part in RDC’s 50th anniversary convocations ceremony earlier this month and just last week, I had the pleasure of announcing over $2 million dollars to the City of Red Deer to combat homelessness as part of our government’s Housing First Initiative.
Finally, Bill C-444, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Personation of a Peace Officer or Other Officer)
I have written about my Private Members Bill before, but this month I have some extremely exciting news. After going through the rigorous parliamentary processes over the past couple of years, it passed three readings in the House of Commons along with Parliamentary committee presentations before facing the same scrutiny in the Senate. After receiving Royal Assent earlier today, Bill C-444 has become one of a select few Private Member’s Bills in history to change the Criminal Code of Canada.
The purpose of the bill is to establish that personating a peace officer or a public officer to commit another offence shall be considered by a court to be an aggravating circumstance. Personating an officer is currently punishable up to a maximum of five years imprisonment under Section 130 of the Criminal Code. Aggravating circumstances cause judges to impose longer sentences up to respective maximums.
I am extremely honoured to have added this amendment to the Criminal Code. In fact, I have returned my copy of the Criminal Code and look forward to receiving next year’s version with this important change included.
Again, I look forward to seeing many of you out and about this summer. Central Alberta has an incredible amount of activities, festivals and celebrations throughout the summer and I hope there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Until next time
MP Red Deer