Steinbach, MB – Ted Falk, Member of Parliament for Provencher, has seconded a bill to help address the rural crime crisis plaguing communities across Canada.
Bill C-289, introduced by Conservative MP Blaine Calkins, will toughen measures for criminals who victimize rural Canadians by creating an aggravating factor at sentencing for targeting people and property because of their remoteness or distance from emergency medical or police services. It also expands the existing aggravating factor for home invasion to include outbuildings, such as barns and shops, and allows the aggravating factor to be triggered by the presence of a weapon.
“One of the recurring concerns I hear from rural residents is about the level of crime taking place in our communities,” said Falk. “Provincial governments, including here in Manitoba, have taken important steps to tackle this problem. But the federal Liberal government has failed to do its part. Bill C-289 is an important step forward to protect rural Canadians.”
In 2017, crime was 36% to 42% higher in rural areas than in urban areas across the prairies, including Manitoba. Home invasions, theft from farms, or stolen tools and equipment from sheds are just a few of the experiences southeast Manitobans have faced. While these figures have trended downward during COVID-19, the lived experience of rural residents remains unchanged.
“Rural Canadians are being targeted by criminals, including organized crime, because they know law enforcement response times are longer in rural regions,” Falk added. “This bill turns the tables by targeting those who target rural Canadians.”