On March 30th , Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu tabled his bill. The latter aims to amend the Criminal Code. Therefore, it will affect another law, that of the bail and recognizance in cases of domestic violence.
This bill will amend the Criminal Code with respect to the defendants bail while awaiting trial in family violence cases. It will allow a judge to force an accused to wear the electronic bracelet and to undergo domestic violence therapy. The objective is to obtain permanent surveillance of the defendant in order to ensure the safety of the victim while ordering the defendant to undertake a rehabilitation process.
The creation of a new restraining order specific to domestic violence is also planned, by adding to the Criminal Code, a new ordinance 810. Lasting two years, this ordinance to which the accused must be submitted to may be accompanied by an obligation to wear an electronic bracelet. In addition, the victim must be informed by the Court of the conditions for the release of the accused, also if the latter requests a review.
“Judges must, from now on, impose on the aggressor’s conditions of release which will above all protect the victims. Wearing an electronic bracelet and compulsory therapy should be favored instead of a prison sentence, which too often according to the victims, only increases the anger of the attackers”, said Senator Boisvenu.
Thus, this bill is the result of a consultation conducted with many survivors across Canada as well as with the groups and associations that support them. It is the aid long awaited and requested by victims of domestic violence, who want the laws to be changed to better protect them when they decide to take legal action to put an end to the violence they suffer, which is often fatal.
Finally, the bill was the subject of an in-depth consultation with the ministers of Justice of the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick and the ministers of Justice and Public Safety in Quebec and Ontario. All stakeholders consulted expressed concern about the increase in cases of domestic violence and recognized that changes should be made to the current law.