Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to start my speech today regarding Bill C-576. The bill amends the Criminal Code to establish that personating a police officer for the purpose of committing another offence shall be considered by a court to be an aggravating circumstance for sentencing purposes.
When I first read the bill, I thought initially that if it was that important it should be a government-sponsored bill, but the more I think about it, the more I think that the member's taking this on is actually the proper approach to take. We heard the member from the Bloc indicate that he too was suspicious of it in the beginning, but the more he thought about it, the more he recognized that the member has had an excellent idea, something that he can support, so perhaps the member will have success where his entire government is having no success at all on its crime bills that it rains down upon the House on a daily basis. This member's bill may be the one bill that actually gets through the House.
I had indicated in my question that initially I really thought this kind of thing only happened in the cases of John Dillinger and the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, but we have all heard stories about Mexican police. We have heard stories about police in Peru. In other parts of the world on a constant basis people personate police in an effort to take advantage of others, steal money from them and do much harm.
It should not really be a big surprise that it is an increasing activity. As the previous member pointed out, not all of the cases we have uncovered actually involve physical harm to individuals. We have had several cases where people have been pulled over by the fake police, who have attempted to collect speeding fines from the people. Obviously they have been doing this on a continuous basis and using it to raise money.
There was a case in the United States where a young person was pretending to be a probation officer and broke into a police headquarters, stole a bunch of equipment and ended up taking a bunch of youth who were on probation out for a drive in some stolen cars.
Not all of these examples show serious criminal intent, but there is a rising tide of these things. I do not know whether it is encouraged by some of the television programs and movies we see, but nevertheless it is increasing. I have a—