|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Wild Rose
|Preceded by||Myron Thompson|
November 8, 1974 |
|Profession||Real Estate Agent, Volunteer Firefighter|
Blake Richards (born November 8, 1974 in Olds, Alberta) is a Canadian politician, who was first elected to represent the electoral district of Wild Rose in the 2008 Canadian federal election. He was re-elected in the 2011 election, and is a member of the Conservative Party in the House of Commons.
Running as a candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada in the Alberta riding of Wild Rose, Richards was re-elected with 75 per cent of all ballots (43,669 votes)  on May 2, 2011. Richards first won his seat in the House of Commons in the 2008 general election with 73 per cent of the ballots (36,869 votes) cast in his favour.
Richards was appointed chair of the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus in October 2011. The all-party caucus has the responsibility to hear the concerns of stakeholders in the tourism sector and to raise issues of importance to the industry. Richards is a member of the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, as well as the Procedure and House Affairs committee. He has also served as chair of the Special Committee on Co-operatives, as well as a member of the Canadian Heritage; Aboriginal Affairs; Agriculture; and Transport, Infrastructure and Communities committees.
Prior to starting his real estate business, Richards worked in the oil field and agriculture-related industries, and attended Red Deer College and the University of Calgary, where he earned a degree in political science.
He served his community as a volunteer firefighter and minor hockey coach before being elected to the House of Commons in 2008.
Each year, Richards organized the Wild Rose Hockey Challenge to raise funds for the RCMP Victims Services Units in Banff, Canmore, Cochrane, Airdrie and Olds, Alberta. Since 2009, Richards' charity game had raised a combined total of $280,000 for regional victims of crime assistance groups.
In 2010, Richards spearheaded a national petition that called for changes to the national pardons system after it was revealed that convicted sex offender Graham James had received a pardon in 2007 for his offences. The petition attracted thousands of supporters from across Canada and in June 2010 Bill C-23A, a new law to limit pardons for serious crimes, received Royal Assent.
In October 2011, Richards introduced Private Member’s Bill C-309 in the House of Commons, and guided it through the House of Commons and Senate, allowing it to receive Royal Assent in June 2013. As a result, it is now a Criminal Code offence to wear a mask or to otherwise conceal one’s identity during a riot or an unlawful assembly.
Richards was recognized as the Best Constituency MP in The Hill Times' 22nd Annual Politically Savvy Survey published on May 20th, 2014. He placed second in the Hardest Working MP category in the same survey, behind Green Party leader Elizabeth May.