moved for leave to introduce Bill C-242, an act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal liability of corporations, directors and officers).
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to introduce this bill, seconded by my colleague from Acadie—Bathurst, to amend the criminal code, establishing criminal liability of corporations and of their executives and officers with respect to health and safety practices, of which they were aware or should have been aware, that put their workers at risk.
Workplace deaths and injuries in Canada are at epidemic proportions. Following the horrifying deaths in Nova Scotia in a mine disaster at Westray, which resulted in the preventable deaths of 26 workers, there was a public commission that recommended such changes to the criminal code.
In the spring the justice committee unanimously recommended that the government bring forward such changes to the criminal code. It is very much hoped that this continuing pressure on the government will result in long overdue action. The immediate demand on the government to come forward with such a bill dissolved with the dissolution of parliament but the problem has not gone away.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)