Many citizens who took the time to contact me to convey support for my colleague Michael Chong and his Private Member`s Bill C-586 “The Reform Act of 2014” will be encouraged to hear the bill, with a strong show of support with 260 votes in favour and 17 opposed, passed third reading this week. This is important as the bill must now proceed through the Senate in time for royal assent before the current Parliament dissolves in favor of the fall election. On the same subject I can also confirm that I voted in support of the Reform Act and will continue to follow the progress of this bill as it moves through the Senate.
Also occurring this week is continued debate over Bill C-51 ``The Anti-Terrorism Act (2015) ``. Earlier this week both Government and Liberal MPs voted to support sending Bill C-51 to committee stage review while the NDP remains opposed. For further information about Bill C-51 please see my February 6th MP report or contact me directly at your convenience.
Another Government Bill returning to the House of Commons for report stage debate from committee review is Bill C-26 “Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act”. As I summarized in a previous report, Bill C-26 proposes a number of legislative changes in regard to those convicted of serious child offences. Some of these changes include a requirement that those convicted of child sexual offences against multiple children to serve sentences consecutively– one after another rather than at the same time concurrently; along with an increase for maximum and minimum prison sentences for certain child sexual offences. Penalties will also be increased for violations of supervision orders and any crime committed while on house arrest or parole will be considered an aggravating factor at sentencing. In addition, registered sex offenders will also be required to disclose more information when travelling abroad and more availability for spousal testimony in child pornography cases will be made available. Thus far the comments I have heard from citizens on Bill C-26 have been supportive of these changes.
Other Private Member’s Bills coming before the House of Commons this week include Bill C-643 ``National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day Act``, Bill C-638 ``An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act`` and Bill C-637 ``An Act to amend the Criminal Code`` (firearms storage and transportation).
Next week I will be back in Okanagan-Coquihalla from Monday until Friday and am available for meetings and welcome your calls and emails. Please contact me via email at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or by telephone at 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.