Mask ban bill nears final stage in House of Commons
A bill that would make it illegal to wear a mask during a violent demonstration is nearing its final hurdle in the House of Commons, with just two hours of debate left.
Bill C-309 would make it a crime for people rioting or at an unlawful protest to conceal their identities. It's already illegal to wear a disguise when committing an indictable, or more serious, offence, which includes rioting. Unlawful protests, however, don't fall under that law because they're classified as a summary conviction, or less serious, offence.
An unlawful assembly is a gathering that causes fear. It's up to city officials to decide what constitutes a riot.
Last May, MPs on the House justice committee increased the penalty in the bill to 10 years for rioters who conceal their faces and five years for those at an unlawful protest. The maximum sentence for rioting is two years.
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