MP Blaine Calkins - column

Conservatives are the only party standing against rural crime

OPINION: Red Deer–Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins

Today (June 9) in the House of Commons, Members of Parliament voted on Bill C-234, a private member’s bill tabled by Conservative MP Randy Hoback (Prince Albert) that would seek to create a non-refundable tax credit for Canadians who took measures to make their homes and properties safer from crime.

It is disheartening to see the Liberals, NDP, Bloc and Green parties vote against this very important bill. It just proves that these parties are completely out of touch with what is currently happening in rural communities across this province and our country. Crime rates have increased across Canada in recent years and that crime is getting more severe.

In 2017, the Alberta Conservative Rural Crime Task Force met with thousands of Albertans to discuss rural crime. In their report, “Toward a Safer Alberta,” one of the recommendations brought forward was to “Consider a tax credit for private individuals (non-business entities) for the purchase and installation of crime-prevention measures.”

I am disappointed that the Liberals, NDP, Bloc and Greens did not consider the needs of those Canadians who are repeatedly victims of rural crime. One member of the Liberal government regularly referred to this bill as a “boutique tax credit.” Who has home security systems in their house? It is people who can afford them. Home security is not something that is a need or a requirement, especially not in a country like ours. This is a woefully inadequate response and an offense to every rural Canadian who has been a victim of rural crime. It is because of the Trudeau Liberal’s soft-on-crime approach that these measures are increasingly necessary.

Bill C-234 would have made home security options like fencing, lights, cameras and security systems more affordable and more accessible to many Canadians who do not already have these items.

Today’s vote clearly shows that Canada’s Conservatives are the only party concerned with preventing crime. We will continue to table meaningful legislation designed to reduce crime and slow the revolving door of Canada’s justice system. Recently I tabled my Private Member’s Bill C-289 which seeks to create an aggravating factor at sentencing for criminals who target rural residents and properties because of their increased vulnerability due to their remoteness from emergency medical or police services.

It’s time to target criminals who target rural Canadians.

– Submitted by Blaine Calkins, MP for Red Deer–Lacombe and chair of the Conservative Rural Crime Caucus

MP Blaine CalkinsOpinion