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This article was published 8/11/2011 (3727 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA -- Mischief on the site of war memorials could soon land the offending vandals in jail, Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney said Tuesday.
Blaney made the comments in response to legislation, proposed by a Conservative backbencher, that would amend the Criminal Code to make "mischief relating to war memorials" an offence punishable by a mandatory $1,000 fine for a first offence and jail time for subsequent convictions.
"Our cenotaphs and monuments are powerful reminders of the sacrifices that generations of Canadians have made for the peace and freedom we enjoy today," Blaney said. "As Canadians, we have a duty as a nation to preserve our memorials in honour of our fallen men and women, our veterans and those who continue to serve Canada today."
The legislation, Bill C-217, was introduced last spring by David Tilson, a Conservative MP from the Ontario riding of Dufferin-Caledon. It has started going through the House of Commons and could be adopted within the next year. Tilson has obtained a high position in a lottery that determines the order of debate for motions and legislation not directly introduced by the government.
If adopted, the bill would make it an offence under the Criminal Code to commit mischief in relation to any "property, buildings or structures, including a war memorial or cenotaph, that primarily serve as a monument in honour of persons who were killed or died as a consequence of war."
It also proposes the mandatory punishments for convictions ranging from a $1,000 fine for a first offence to 14 days imprisonment for a second offence and 30 days imprisonment for a third offence.
-- Postmedia News