Time for criminals to be afraid: People's Party candidates announce property protection measures

Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson speaks during the recent Peoples Party of Canada rally at the Radisson hotel in Red Deer. Thompson, who ran against NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in the Burnaby-South byelection, is now running in Red Deer-Lacombe. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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The local-area People’s Party of Canada (PPC) candidates aren’t waiting to be elected to draft their own would-be bills, and their latest involves property protection in rural areas.

In a release issued last week, Red Deer-Mountainview PPC candidate Paul Mitchell announced he’d drafted the Property Protection Act, with Red Deer-Lacombe PPC candidate Laura Lynn Thompson unofficially co-sponsoring the bill, which would Canadians, particularly those in rural areas, be allowed to use force to protect their properties.

“If a crime occurs, it is the criminal that should be blamed and held responsible, not the legal owner who may choose to protect their property. The Property Protection
Act changes the Criminal Code of Canada and authorizes Canadians to take measures, including using adequate force to protect their legally owned property from theft, criminal interference or destruction,” Mitchell said.

“Criminals are getting bolder and bolder and Canadians are sick of this. It’s time for criminals to be afraid, not our citizens.”

The drafted bill reads for: “First Reading: When PPC Candidates Paul Mitchell (Red Deer – Mountain View) and/or Laura-Lynn
Thompson (Red Deer – Lacombe) are Elected to the House of Commons,” and continues to outline amendments to Section 35 of the Criminal Code.

Among the proposed amendments is the deeming of a person as not guilty of an offence if they either believe on reasonable grounds they are possession of property and believe another person is “about to enter, is entering or has entered the property without being entitled by law to do so” and that an offence is committed for the purpose of preventing someone from taking or damaging property or to reclaim the property, as well as allow them to detain the person until police arrive.

The drafted bill also says the court shall consider the use of adequate force to defend property lawful, and factors in considering whether force is adequate include the nature of force or threat, the extent to which the use of force was imminent, and whether or not the act was committed in rural or rural small town area, which would be made an aggravating factor against the offender.

“It’s just common sense. Your property belongs to you, not the criminal. The law should be on your side,” said Thompson.

It’s the second drafted bill Mitchell and Thompson have put forward, with their first being one to make abortion illegal after 24 weeks.

It is unusual, however, for unelected candidates to draft bills as only elected members can put them forward, with counsel to ensure they conform to statutory law, including being written in both English and French and taking into account the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The PPC’s drafted bills have not been released in French.

As per OurCommons.ca, government bills are drafted by the Department of Justice with instructions from cabinet, which then must be approved by cabinet and recommended by the government house leader to introduce it to parliament.

Private members’ bills, are drafted by members of the House of Commons not in cabinet, and typically drafted by legislative counsel employed by the house on behalf of the member to ensure it conforms to statutory law.

Private bills, meanwhile, which are rare in the House of Commons and typically introduced in the Senate, are sponsored by a private member and founded on a petitions that “must first receive a favourable report by the Examiner of Petitions or by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.”

A bill can also be drafted by a committee, as directed by a minister.

Red Deer-Lacombe’s incumbent Conservative Party of Canada Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins, who is seeking re-election, put forward Private Member’s Bill C-406 to prohibit foreign contributions to third parties for election advertising purposes. It was defeated at second reading. In June, he also tabled Private Member’s Bill C-458 that, if passed, would make crime occuring in remote areas under served by police or emergency services an aggravating factor in sentencing.

The full drafted PPC Property Protection Act can be read at https://lauralynn.ppccanada.ca/property.