Those supporting the need for stiffer penalties for anyone defacing war memorials have until May 2 to sign an e-petition being presented to the House of Commons.

The Airdrie Legion has launched an e-petition on Saturday that will be presented to the House by local MP Blake Richards. It follows the Mar. 22 defacing of the LAV III Memorial in Airdrie that honours the 40,000 Canadians who served in Afghanistan and the 162 who died in the conflict.

Airdrie Legion past president Bill Drummond said he was near tears over the incident when it occurred. He believes feels the people who deface the LAV should pay for their insensitivity.

"I don't understand the mentality of these people but obviously I feel they should be brought to task for what they've done."

Richards says the penalties for acts of mischief and vandalism to war memorials need to be increased. First offenders are subject to a fine of not less than $1,000. A second offence results in imprisoned for no less than 14 days and any subsequent offence is a penalty of no less than 30 days imprisonment.

"When I read the Criminal Code penalties for this I said "wow, that's woefully inadequate.'  I approached the Legion and said 'we'd like to launch a petition and we'd like to see if this is something you'd be interested in.'  I knew the answer would be yes, of course, so immediately they were all over the idea of launching this petition."

Besides being available online, it will be circulated through social media and through Airdrie businesses. The petition is open to signatures until May 2nd, 2019 and can be found at https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2131

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