Blake Richards was first elected to the House of Commons in 2008 and again in 2011 in the electoral district of Wild Rose. He was re-elected in 2015 as the Member of Parliament for Banff-Airdrie, one of the largest and most diverse ridings in Canada.
On November 20, 2015, Mr. Richards was named Official Opposition Critic for Tourism and Deputy Critic for Democratic Institutions, as part of the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet.
Mr. Richards has served as Chair of the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus since October 2011, an all-party caucus assembled to hear the concerns of stakeholders in the tourism sector and to raise issues of importance to the industry. Previously, he was Chair of the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, as well as of the special committee on Co-operatives. He has also served as a member of the influential committee on Procedure and House Affairs, as well as on the Standing Committees on Finance, International Trade, Canadian Heritage, Agriculture, and Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
Mr. Richards’ Private Member’s Bill C-309, the Concealment of Identity Act, received Royal Assent in June of 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.
Spearheading a national petition that called for changes to the national pardons system, Mr. Richards supported Bill C-23A. The bill received Royal Assent in June 2010 creating a new law to limit pardons for serious crimes.
In 2010, Mr. Richards also brought the Historica-Dominion Institute’s Memory Project to communities across his constituency to record and preserve Second World War veterans’ stories for a national digitized archive.
In 2014 and again in 2015, Mr. Richards was recognized in a national survey as Best Constituency MP and Hardest Working MP.
Mr. Richards grew up on his family’s farm near Olds, currently lives in Airdrie, and is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Exshaw branch. Prior to his election as a Member of Parliament, he was a real estate agent and volunteer firefighter.