Sometimes you have to wonder if MP's read the Criminal Code. My sense is they don't.
And no one else does either.
It is already against the law to wear a mask or disguise so as to commit an indictable offence. And rioting is indictable.
Here's what the Code already says:
Disguise with intent
351 (2) Every one who, with intent to commit an indictable offence, has his face masked or coloured or is otherwise disguised is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.
As mentioned above rioting is already an indictable matter. Section 65 of the Code says "everyone who takes part in a riot is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years."
So this new legislation creates an offence with a lower maximum sentence that criminalizes conduct already unlawful and criminal.
Why? Perhaps because nobody read the Code or asked a Crown or defence lawyer:
OTTAWA - The government will support a private member's bill that would make it a crime to wear a mask or disguise during a riot, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Sunday.
The Concealment of Identity Act would create two Criminal Code offences with maximum penalties of five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
"Destructive and reckless behavior damages communities and should not be tolerated," Nicholson said.
Wild Rose Tory MP Blake Richards introduced Bill C-309 in the Commons in April. Debate began last week. Government support usually means the bill will pass.
Richards says there is a lawful excuse provision in the bill that would allow people for religious reasons to cover their faces and those with medical conditions to wear bandages or devices that could obscure their faces.