moved for leave to introduce Bill C-333, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (mass transit operators).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present this bill which aims to amend the Criminal Code so that those convicted of assaulting the operators of buses, street cars, rail and light rail vehicles and ferries would receive the same penalties as currently apply in the cases of assaults of pilots and peace officers.
We know that millions of Canadians depend upon the skill and protection of transit drivers each day and we value their service to our communities, yet as the law stands, these workers regularly endure threats and attacks.
Since 9/11 we have become increasingly aware of the targeting of mass transit vehicles and the vulnerability of their operators. This bill is in the spirit of trying to protect our public service workers who transport people in various ways and we want to ensure their safety.
Although this bill was written and introduced in the last session, prior to the tragic death of Tim McLean, who was beheaded on a bus coming from Edmonton to Winnipeg, and although we do not know whether this bill in fact would have any bearing on that case, we are reminded, each and every one of us, about the importance of safety on our public transit systems.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)