Tilson's Bill Receives Royal Assent
OTTAWA, ON – David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, is pleased to announce the Royal Assent today to his Private Members Bill protecting war memorials and cenotaphs, Bill C-217.
“I am truly honoured to have my Bill fully completed and receive Royal Assent,” said Mr. Tilson. “This change to the Criminal Code will protect our war memorials and cenotaphs from vandalism and desecration which is vitally important, especially to our veterans and members of the Canadian Forces.”
The process for Bill C-217 began just after the last election in June of 2011, when the Bill was first introduced in the House of Commons. In the intervening 36 months, C-217 has received many hours of discussion and debate in both the House of Commons and the Senate, and this is the final step in the process of it becoming law. Several veterans appeared with Mr. Tilson at Committee in both the House of Commons and the Senate to support the legislation, including Chris Skalozub, President of the Orangeville Legion.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported this legislation as it made its way through Parliament. I want to especially thank the veterans who appeared with me before the House and Senate Committees studying my Bill.” said Mr. Tilson. “It is a testament to how Members, Senators and all Canadians look upon such acts of desecration as a grave crime. It is fitting that this Bill receives Royal Assent just after the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of D-Day on June 6th.”
C-217 adds significant penalties to anyone convicted of mischief against a war memorial, cenotaph or similar structure designed to honour those who have died as a result of war. A minimum fine of $1,000 would be imposed for a first offense, with a two week jail term for a second offense and a thirty day jail term for third and subsequent offenses.