Prime Minister Stephen Harper chats about wine with Tina Slamka, manager of Little Straw Vineyards in West Kelowna, on Friday prior to his appearance at a Conservative fundraising barbecue at nearby Quails' Gate Estate Winery. Looking on are Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan, second from left, and Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas. The prime minister bought three bottles of wine: Old Vines Auxerrois 2012, Marechal Foch 2010 and Pinot Rose 2012.
Speaking at the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding association's September barbecue in West Kelowna, Harper said Canadians have trusted his government to protect children, the most vulnerable members of society.
"(The legislation) will close gaps in the system that past governments kept open. Among other things, it will require those convicted of child pornography and related crimes to serve their sentences consecutively, one year in prison after another," he said to applause from 600 invited guests at Quails' Gate Estate Winery. "The era of child predators serving lenient current sentences will be over."
Harper said he is also well on the way to making legislative changes affecting those who use the defence of "not criminally responsible" for crimes due to a mental condition.
"You probably remember incidents, awful incidents, including one high-profile one here in British Columbia, where people who had done terrible things but were held to be not criminally responsible through mental illness nevertheless showed up in the community where their victims lived and no one was warned," he said.
"That is not acceptable, and we are fixing that once and for all," he said to more applause.
Harper's 20-minute speech was peppered with a list of what he considered the numerous accomplishments of his Conservative government, including: tax cuts; tax breaks for those caring for a loved one; reform of the pension plan for MPs; tough laws on gang violence, the drug trade and firearms offences; incentives for research and technology; enhanced tax credits for charitable donations; and progress toward a balanced budget by 2015.
Harper noted federal contributions toward the new section of Highway 97through Lake Country, expansion of the RapidBus system in the Central Okanagan, refurbishing Jim Lind Arena in West Kelowna, and investments at UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College.