moved for leave to introduce Bill C-609, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (critical infrastructure).
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce this bill, which would address the curious problem that has developed in Canada where the high price of copper has led to widespread incidents of theft of copper wire and copper piping. The bill would move the theft of copper wire and pipe from the section of the Criminal Code dealing with minor theft and place it in the mischief category. Those guilty of the theft of copper wire would then become liable for all the damage done and not just the value of the wire or the pipe.
These thefts often put at risk not only the safety of those involved in the theft but also the safety of first responders, utility workers, and local residents.
I very much appreciate the Canadian Electricity Association, which brought this urgent problem to my attention.
I would like to conclude by offering my private member's bill to the government. I would be happy to see the Conservatives take this bill and pass it into law using their majority. I believe the increased prosecutions that would result from this simple change to the Criminal Code could help us reduce what is too often seen as an easy-money crime of opportunity, yet one that is clearly a threat to public safety and to our critical infrastructure.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)