moved for leave to introduce Bill C-289, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing).
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to table this important piece of legislation. For many rural communities across Canada, crime has reached a crisis point. Rural Canadians too often do not feel safe in their own homes, many are victimized, often they have given up reporting property crime altogether and they cannot get affordable insurance, if they can get any insurance at all. My constituents are tired of being victims. They are tired of the revolving door of the justice system and of crime not being taken seriously. They are losing faith in the justice system because too often it works in favour of the criminals, to the detriment of the community and the victim.
My bill is taking a step toward protecting these vulnerable Canadians and putting the needs of lawful citizens ahead of criminals. It would create a new aggravating factor at sentencing for crimes committed where there is evidence that the offence was directed at a person or a person's property that is experiencing increased vulnerability due to remoteness from emergency, medical or police services. It would make the aggravating factor associated with home invasion more inclusive of rural properties by ensuring outlying structures are included. It would ensure that the use or possession of a weapon in home invasions can trigger the aggravating factor and ensure that if offenders do something so egregious that they do not receive bail, the judge considers that rationale for why they remain in custody when giving credit for time served.
I want to thank all of my colleagues for helping me with this bill, my colleague from Lakeland and all of the citizens in Alberta, who helped me come up with this idea.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)