Ottawa, Ontario- December 8, 2020 – Conservative Senator Leo Housakos (Wellington) will introduce a Bill today to add significant penalties for anyone convicted of vandalizing a monument dedicated to first responders. The Bill will be championed in the House of Commons by Conservative MP Michael Cooper (St. Albert-Edmonton) The Bill seeks to amend section 430 of the Criminal Code so that anyone convicted of vandalizing a first responder memorial will receive the same penalty as individuals convicted of vandalizing war memorials.
In the past year there has been an increase in vandalism to first responder monuments, including a monument dedicated to fallen firefighters and police officers in Calgary. In September, the statute of the late Edmonton Police Constable Ezio Faraone was desecrated. Faraone was murdered in the line of duty in June 1990 as he courageously pursued two bank robbers.
Adding penalties as proposed in this Bill will increase deterrence and send a strong message that such acts of mischief will not be tolerated.
“First responders put their lives on the line to serve and protect our communities. Being a first responder takes courage and selflessness. To vandalize monuments dedicated to men and women who have served their communities on the front line is reprehensible and must not be tolerated. This legislation will ensure that perpetrators of such vile acts are held accountable under the law and appropriately punished.”- Michael Cooper, M.P. (St-Albert – Edmonton)
“The men and women of emergency services are very close to my heart after I sponsored a bill a few years ago calling for a national framework for PTSD amongst first responders. They sacrifice their own physical, mental and emotional well being in order to protect ours. And sometimes, they make the ultimate sacrifice and their loved ones are left to pick up the pieces. When these monuments are desecrated, it not only dishonours the heroes among us, it is a slap in the face to the families left behind.” – Senator Leo Housakos (Wellington)
- In the past year there has been an increase in vandalism to monuments dedicated to first responders.
- This legislation follows in the footsteps of Bill C-217, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (mischief relating to war memorials), passed by Parliament in 2014.
- Bill C-217 amended section 430 of the Criminal Code by adding significant penalties for individuals convicted of mischief against war memorials.
- This legislation will provide equivalent penalties for individuals convicted of mischief against first responder monuments.