|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Wild Rose
|Preceded by||Myron Thompson|
November 8, 1974 |
|Profession||Real Estate Agent, Constituency Assistant, 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 74.7 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 72.9 per cent of the ballots (36,869 votes) cast in his favour.
Richards earned the Conservative nomination for Wild Rose following the retirement of the incumbent Member of Parliament, Myron Thompson. Thompson had represented the constituency for the Reform Party, Canadian Alliance and Conservative parties over the previous 15 years.
Mr. 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. Mr. Richards is a member of the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, as well as Procedure and House Affairs. He has also served as chair of the special committee on Co-operatives, as well as a member of the Public Safety; Agriculture; and Transport, Infrastructure and Communities committees.
Having first spent some time working in the oil field and agriculture-related industries, Richards attended Red Deer College and the University of Calgary, where he earned a degree in political science.
He has served his community as a volunteer firefighter, and built a successful real estate business before being elected to the House of Commons in 2008.
In his free time, Richards enjoys playing hockey, golf, hiking and reading.
On July 5, 2009, Richards organized and co-hosted the inaugural 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 Wild Rose, including $86,000 in the latest edition of the game held on August 18, 2013 in Cochrane, Alberta.
In 2010, Mr. 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, Mr. 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.