Mel Arnold, Tory MP, Wants Thieves To Face Life Sentences For Stolen Firefighting Equipment

Mel Arnold, Tory MP, Wants Thieves To Face Life Sentences For Stolen Firefighting Equipment

A Conservative MP wants to amend the Criminal Code by proposing a severe penalty — life in prison — for those who steal firefighting equipment that “causes actual danger to life.”

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But despite the unfortunate circumstance of this year’s record blazes, one Ottawa-based criminal defence lawyer thinks Arnold’s bill is an unwise use of parliamentary resources.

Michael Spratt says the theft of firefighting equipment is already adequately dealt with by the law, as theft in general is illegal. And theft over $5,000 is already punishable with possible jail time.

He warned against making amendments to the Criminal Code, which already includes offences as specific as stealing cattle, theft from clam beds and mischief endangering life. Adding an additional offence such as stealing firefighting equipment is unnecessary, he said.

“The more complex and the larger the Criminal Code becomes, the more unwieldy it becomes,” he told HuffPost Canada in an interview on Friday.

Read the full article: Huffington Post