MP Dreeshen Presents Bill C-444 to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs

April 03, 2014

OTTAWA - Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red Deer, today appeared before the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs regarding his Private Members Bill C-444.

“I was honoured to address the Senate Committee to explain my legislation and to answer their questions,” said Dreeshen, who was joined at the committee hearing by a local family who knows firsthand the damage that personification of a police officer can lead to. “The committee members were very receptive of the bill and our witness’s story. Their response was encouraging and I feel confident the bill will receive support from the Senators who sit on the committee. 

Dreeshen introduced Bill C-444, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code, on September 27, 2012. 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.

Bill C-444 has previously passed through the House of Commons with unanimous, all-party support.

Dreeshen has passionately spoken many times in the House of Commons in support of victims of crime and of the importance of persevering the public’s respect and compliance for officers. “It is fitting and especially meaningful that this important step in my Private Members Bill takes place on the same day that our Government has introduced the Victims Bill of Rights,” added Dreeshen.

Dreeshen again expresses his gratitude to the Honourable Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais for sponsoring Bill C-444 in the Senate.

Bill C-444 still needs to be debated clause by clause by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee before being reported to Senate and debated for Third Reading. Once it passes Third Reading, it will be ready for Royal Assent. At that point, Bill C-444 will be one of a select few Private Member’s Bills in history to change the Criminal Code of Canada.

The complete text of the bill and its proceedings can be found at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=5580878&View=0