moved for leave to introduce Bill C-400, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (firefighters).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased and honoured to rise today in the House to present a bill entitled an act to amend the Criminal Code, firefighters. The bill would make it an offence punishable by prison terms for those who assaulted or endangered the life of a firefighter while in the conduct of duty.
Everyday across the country firefighters put their lives on the line to protect their fellow citizens, often putting their own lives at great peril. The tragic events that took place recently in Winnipeg clearly demonstrate the sad reality. As citizens, we owe them a great deal of respect, dignity and honour for the work that they do on our behalf.
It is absolutely essential that firefighters know that we know the risks they take everyday on our behalf. It is also important they know that anyone who deliberately adds to the dangers firefighters face each day by virtue of criminal behaviour will be fully held to account.
The bill would amend the Criminal Code to this effect. If anyone chooses to commit a crime against a firefighter while they are in the course of their duty, they will face harsh penalties under the bill.
I invite my colleagues in the House to support the bill and, in so doing, to honour the hard work and dedication demonstrated each day by firefighters across this country.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)