The local MP remains optimistic his push to protect fire fighting equipment will get support in Ottawa.
Mel Arnold introduced a private member’s bill earlier this year to change the Criminal Code to impose stiff penalties — such as a life sentence — for anyone caught stealing firefighting equipment that “causes danger to life.”
He says the bill is at second reading, with more debate in January.
“Hopefully it will pass at that stage and move on to committee for study and looking for the support of people to support our firefighters out there. When they’re putting their lives at risk they need their equipment to be in place and secure.”
Some legal analysts say the change isn’t needed as theft of firefighting equipment is already adequately covered by the law under the theft category.
Meanwhile, Arnold expects the legalization of marijuana to continue to dominate the headlines in 2018.
He says the Trudeau government is already hinting the start date may be delayed from July.
He’s pleased there’s been a lot of discussion about the change.
“I did a survey this summer. Saw a lot of response back from that. A number of people were, probably 50 per cent, were supportive of legalization but they said it needed to be done right if it was going to be done.”
Arnold says the timeline needs to be pushed back, to allow law enforcement and municipalities time to be ready.