Defending the Memory of our Fallen
It is a sad day when it becomes necessary to enact legislation against those who desecrate our country’s war memorials and cenotaphs. Acts of vandalism on monuments which honour those men and women who bravely fought to defend our country are inexcusable, yet are becoming more common.
The time has come to send a message to these criminals by increasing the penalties for such heinous actions. Recently, Conservative MP David Tilson introduced a private member’s bill to address this issue. My colleagues and I in the Conservative caucus are rallying around to support this initiative.
Bill C-217, Mischief Relating to War Memorials, seeks to impose minimum penalties including a fine of not less than $1,000 for a first offence, a prison term of not less than 14 days for a second offence, and a prison term of not less than 30 days for all subsequent offences.
While I support rehabilitative measures such as community service for first time offenders, I also believe that these should be in addition to a fine. This impresses on vandals the gravity of their actions, and the consequences for doing something so disrespectful. As for those who choose to commit this offense more than once, it is clear that a jail sentence is more than appropriate.
These penalties represent a reasonable response and send a strong message that this type of behavoiur is going to be treated seriously. To stand by with indifference regarding such repulsive actions is not an option.
As a government, we will continue to stand up for our men and women in uniform. The memory of our fallen and the bravery of our soldiers are stronger than the acts of criminals and that is why this bill is so important.
As Conservatives, we will always support our soldiers and veterans and we will always stand against vandals who seek to tarnish the memories and contributions of our men and women in service.
MP for Nepean-Carleton