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Local MP appointed to safety and security committee

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 11:28 am

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MP Blake Richards was appointed to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU) on Feb. 3.

The appointment comes after Richards attended Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s inaugural trip to the Middle East to help promote tourism relations in the region.

“For many years, citizens across Canada including our constituency have encouraged our government’s efforts to put the rights of victims ahead of criminals,” said Richards.

“I have been fortunate to be able to do my part, and I look forward to the opportunity to do more as a part of this vital committee.”

The committee reviews the policies, programs and legislation of the public safety and emergency preparedness of Canada, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Security Intelligence Review Committee and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Richard has also served as chair of the special committee on co-operatives, as well as a member of the Public Safety; Agriculture; and Transport, Infrastructure and Communities committees.

In October 2011, Richards introduced the Private Member’s Bill C-309 in the House of Commons, which received Royal Assent in June of 2013. As a result of the bill, it is now an offence to wear a mask or to otherwise conceal one’s identity during a riot or an unlawful assembly.

“For many years, citizens across Canada including our constituency have encouraged our government’s efforts to put the rights of victims ahead of criminals. I have been fortunate to be able to do my part, and I look forward to the opportunity to do more as a part of this vital committee,” he said.

Members of the committee will review several pieces of legislation, including the Respect For Communities Act and the Drug Free Prisons Act.

In addition, the SECU committee will review the cost of policing in Canada.

“This is a topic of importance for every province and municipality in our country. From 1985 to 2011, policing costs have risen from $137 to $375 per capita. This study is taking a closer look at the underlying reasons for this,” said Richards.

Richards will continue to serve on the Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) committee, and as Chair of the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus.


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