Tilson kicks off debate on war memorial vandalism

November 04, 2021

Ottawa, ON – David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, yesterday opened debate in the House of Commons on Private Members Bill C-217, his legislation in increase penalties against those convicted of vandalizing a war memorial or cenotaph.

C-217 seeks to amend the Criminal Code by adding a section to the mischief provisions specifically dealing with damage to or desecration of a war memorial or cenotaph. It would provide for a minimum $1,000 fine on a first offense under summary conviction, a minimum 14 days in jail on a second offense and a minimum 30 days in jail on a third offense.

During his speech, Mr. Tilson made reference to the Orangeville Cenotaph which was damaged by vandals in 2008. “In November 2008, in my own constituency of Dufferin-Caledon, a cenotaph was desecrated within a week of its rededication,” said Mr. Tilson. “The Town of Orangeville spent nearly $2,000 repairing the newly-restored monument, just days before the annual Remembrance Day services.”

Mr. Tilson was pleased by the timing of the debate, coming just days before Remembrance Day. “Mr. Speaker, as I said at the outset, all colleagues in this House will join millions of Canadians next week on Remembrance Day as we honour those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” stated Mr. Tilson. “The debt we owe our veterans and fallen soldiers requires that we look upon any disrespect to our cenotaphs and war memorials as a deeply grave matter with very serious consequences.”