Ottawa, ON —MP Mark Warawa, Minister Nicholson and Senator Dagenais today announced the Conservative Government’s support for MP Mark Warawa’s Private Member’s Bill C-489, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (restrictions on offenders) which will impose restrictions on offenders who are conditionally released. Earlier today, Warawa also received support from all parties in the Bill’s first hour of debate.
“This bill was brought forward in response to residents in my riding of Langley, BC, and to other cases where young victims have lived in fear of their offenders. I am in awe of their continual bravery and courage to fight for the rights of future victims,” said Warawa. “Everyone should have the right to feel safe in their own home, and young victims of sexual assault are no exception.”
Bill C-489, called the “The Safe at Home Bill,” will amend the Criminal Code so that child sexual offenders will be prohibited from coming within two kilometres of a victim’s dwelling. The bill also proposes that all criminal offenders subject to parole or conditional sentences be under strict conditions not to contact their victims, unless the victim consents or there are exceptional circumstances present. “The Government’s support for this Bill demonstrates our commitment to standing up for victims and keeping our streets and communities safe,” said Minister Nicholson. “I am pleased to support my colleague Mark Warawa in his efforts to protect victims from being further traumatized by contact with their offenders after they are released.” Earlier today, parties from all sides of the House of Commons announced support for “The Safe at Home Bill,” provided that it will be reviewed at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. In the first hour of debate for C-489, NDP Member of Parliament from Surrey North, Jasbir Sandhu, stated: “This is an important bill for violent crime survivors' rights and it must be examined with the needs of survivors in mind. I, along with my NDP colleagues, am in favour of Bill C-489, as we are in favour of any proposal that would protect vulnerable members of our society.”
Liberal Member of Parliament from Lac-Saint-Louis, Francis Scarpaleggia, also voiced the support of his party. “I agree with the honourable member that the interests of victims of sexual crimes have often been overlooked in our criminal justice system,” said Scarpaleggia. “Therefore, the Liberals support the intent of Bill C-489.”
“It is truly an honour to receive support from all sides of the House of Commons,” said Warawa. “I look forward to working with all Members of Parliament towards ensuring greater safety and security for young victims of crime and witnesses of convicted sex offenders.
This legislation is in keeping with the Conservative Government’s Plan for Safe Streets and Communities, which is one of the four priorities identified by the Prime Minister. This Plan focuses on tackling crime, victims’ rights, and fair and efficient justice.