An Act to amend the Criminal Code (vehicular homicide)

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

Sponsor

Mark Warawa  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Introduced, as of Feb. 2, 2015
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends subsection 255(3) of the Criminal Code to characterize the indictable offence set out in that subsection as vehicular homicide as a result of impairment.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

February 6th, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I assure you, I will be very conservative with the use of my time.

Good afternoon, everyone.

My name is Steven Blaney. I'm here today as an MP.

I would also like to greet you, Mr. Chair, as well as the hon. members of the committee.

I am very proud to be with you today. I would first like to congratulate you on the work you're doing on Bill C-226, which deals with impaired driving. Right off the bat, I would say that the approach is non-partisan.

Today, we have the opportunity to advance legislation that will save lives. I think it's really politics at its best, and I'm very proud to be part of it.

I would also like to mention that Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu is here. He will sponsor the bill in the Senate.

If it is the pleasure of the committee, the bill will be referred to the Senate for further study until it is passed and becomes law.

The sooner we pass this bill, the sooner we can say, as parliamentarians of this legislature, that we have helped to save people's lives.

This bill is all about saving Canadian lives in a non-partisan way. You may find part of it was inspired by a former Conservative bill, with additions from the people of MADD, who are with us today. I salute their president.

The thing is that, when working on these files, you always meet with people who've unfortunately experienced the loss of a loved one because of impaired driving. It's the same thing for Families For Justice. I thank Markita and Sheri for being here today. We will have the chance to hear the witnesses in the second part.

You are all familiar with the bill. It's fairly simple. It has three legs. The first one deals with streamlining the judicial process, mainly in two areas: the bogus defence and the last drink. Over time, some loopholes have been used to prevent the law and the sentences from being imposed. It's time to fix those loopholes. That's the first part of the bill.

The second part of the bill is with regard to impaired driving. It suggests implementing mandatory minimum sentences. I know there are discussions on this, but I'll come back to it later on.

The third part is with regard to mandatory screening. This is an addition from the former Conservative bill, which came from a long discussion I had with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and after reviewing legal advice, namely from Dr. Hogg, with whom you are probably very familiar. He stated, clearly, that a public road is a place where the law should fully apply and that it is a privilege to drive a car. When I drive a car, I must have a driver's licence and respect the rules of the road, but I also need to be sober. Not meeting one of those requirements is not complying with the law, and at any time I am in a public place, especially on the road, a police officer should have the power to make sure I comply with the law. I'm not in my living room. I am on the road.

Dr. Hogg clearly demonstrated that this is fully compliant with the Charter of Rights, and that it is also very reasonable in a society like ours. Actually, it is done in many countries around the world. As you know, it has proven to be effective in saving lives.

We are losing three to four lives every day. I come from Quebec City. Last week we lost six members of our community as a result of a heinous crime. There are no words to say how horrible that was. However, this is almost happening on a daily basis in our country, and we can stop this. We can stop this by implementing rules that have been proven to save lives. That's what is in front of you.

Mr. Chair, I will continue in French and come back to one particular issue, minimum sentences.

During the last legislature, Bill C-590 and Bill C-652 were introduced by Randy Hoback and Mark Warawa, respectively, two Conservative colleagues I hold in great esteem.

First, I have a recommendation for an amendment to the bill. I would like to include in Bill C-226 the provision for vehicular homicide, which was set out in Bill C-652. We want to prevent reoffenders from hitting people on the road. I am making this suggestion because we have to do everything in our power through the legislation and the Criminal Code to really reduce the leading cause of death on the roads.

My colleague Randy Hoback, who introduced Bill C-590, told me that if a person is caught with double the allowable limit of blood alcohol, a more severe penalty should be imposed.

My remarks are for my Liberal colleagues, and I know they aren't always comfortable with minimum sentences. In April 2015, the hon. member for Papineau supported the private member's bill of my colleague Randy Hoback. I am truly taking a non-partisan approach. You will have realized, of course, that I am talking about Prime Minister Trudeau. At the time, he said:

As a result of this change [vehicular homicide], a conviction would carry additional weight, and hopefully provide a greater deterrent to would-be impaired drivers.

Dear colleagues, my question to you is, can we afford all these rhetorical discussions if we can save one life by making sure that someone spends at least one more year in jail instead of being on the road and risking the lives of others? That's what I pose to you.

I believe as parliamentarians we should send a strong signal to people causing death while impaired, while being under the influence of alcohol. We've seen in the past that the sentence for causing death has increased, but we have to encourage judges and tribunals to impose a fairly reasonable minimum sentence. I feel that four years is really low, but this is sending the signal that this is the bar. We need to push even further for maximum sentences.

Mr. Trudeau further wrote to Families For Justice regarding Bill C-590, a second private member's bill that was tabled by Randy Hoback. He said:

The bill will increase penalties against anyone who drives while severely intoxicated, and will also increase the penalties for impaired driving causing death.

Yes, we can support the bill in a non-partisan way. This is a bill that is crafted to meet one target, saving Canadian lives.

I'd like to give you an example.

A man wiped out an entire family in Saguenay in August 2015. Some people here have had similar experiences and have transformed their grief into motivation.

Mr. Di Iorio, I admire you. I also admire your daughter's courage and her taxi project. These are very good initiatives. So it is possible to transform this grief into action to prevent other lives from being wiped out. That's precisely the purpose of the bill before us today.

As you can see, I sent a lot of documentation.

How much time do I have left, Mr. Chair?

Criminal CodePrivate Members' Business

May 3rd, 2016 / 5:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

moved that Bill C-247, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (passive detection device), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to speak to my private member's bill, Bill C-247. If passed, Bill C-247 will prevent injuries and deaths from impaired driving, which continues to cause needless and heartbreaking tragedies in communities across Canada. Specifically, Bill C-247 will increase deterrence and rates of apprehension by allowing the use of passive alcohol sensors at roadside screenings for impaired drivers. I will explain the details of that proposal shortly.

In addition, Bill C-247 would rename the crime of “impaired driving causing death” to “vehicular homicide” as a result of impairment. That change would denote greater moral responsibility for the crime of impaired driving, while preserving judicial discretion to tailor sentences to particular circumstances.

The change is based on a proposal called Kassandra's law that was brought forward in 2015 by the Conservative member for Langley—Aldergrove. I am grateful that he has seconded Bill C-247 and I am pleased that we can work together across party lines to prevent drunk driving for the benefit of all Canadians.

Impaired driving has touched constituents in every riding across the country. My riding of Mississauga—Streetsville is no exception. Last year during the summer, my constituents lost a local leader, educator, mentor, and most importantly a father and a husband. Out of respect for the family, I will refrain from using his name.

Sadly, one night during July of 2015, while riding his bicycle, he was struck from behind by an impaired driver and pronounced dead at the scene. As a secondary school teacher, he spent years dedicating his time to educating and inspiring youth within my riding. His former students and those who knew him conveyed to me what a positive impact he made on those around him. I understand that he inspired many of his students to pursue post-secondary education.

Tragically his life was cut short by an intoxicated driver, someone who chose to put lives at risk rather than call a cab. His death denied five children their father, denied a wife her husband, denied students their teacher, and denied future young people a mentor who could have helped them make positive choices in life.

Soon after being elected, I received an email from a constituent who was greatly saddened by what had happened and also concerned that such senseless tragedies continued to occur at alarming rates in our country. She implored me to take action, and I am now doing so with Bill C-247.

As I said, if passed, the bill will prevent injuries and deaths from impaired driving. It will do this with two measures to increase deterrence and rates of apprehension. The first measure authorizes the use of passive alcohol sensors at roadside screenings for impaired drivers. What would this change mean?

Currently law enforcement in Canada conducts organized stops at check points to screen drivers for impairment. For example, Ontario conducts a program called reduce impaired driving everywhere, RIDE. When stopping drivers, officers apply breath tests if they, through odour or appearance, reasonably suspect a driver has consumed alcohol. However, according to a 2009 report of the House Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, only a small fraction of impaired drivers are currently apprehended.

Bill C-247 would increase apprehension and deterrence by authorizing the use of passive alcohol sensors by police at organized stops, or when they had reasonable grounds to make a stop for suspected impairment. Passive alcohol sensors detect alcohol when placed near a driver's face. A positive reading would provide reasonable grounds to conduct a breath test on an approved screening device.

I am confident that the use of passive alcohol sensors at organized roadside screenings will be charter compliant. I say this because, in its decision in Dedman v. The Queen, the Supreme Court held that the somewhat random searches in Ontario's RIDE program were constitutional because driving was a “licensed activity that is subject to regulation and control for the protection of life and property.” The legal takeaway is that driving is a licensed activity that is subject to reasonable limits because of the risk to others who share the roads. Using passive alcohol sensors would be a reasonable limit that is far more effective at catching impaired drivers than the current method employed at roadside screenings.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada has endorsed Bill C-247, citing passive alcohol sensors' benefits. Andrew Murie, CEO of MADD Canada, said, “The ability for police to use Passive Alcohol Sensors will have a great impact on reducing the number of alcohol impaired drivers on our roadways. This private member bill...will allow police to maximize the technology that is available to detect drinking drivers at roadside. MADD Canada appreciates [these efforts] to lower the number of alcohol related crashes, deaths and injuries”.

Now I want to spend some time on the second measure in Bill C-247. As I said, the bill would also rename the crime of “impaired driving causing death” to “vehicular homicide”. This change would denote greater moral culpability, and that is appropriate. The decision to get behind the wheel while impaired is completely reckless, and the devastating consequences are predictable. A conviction should reflect that culpability.

To raise a recent example, this is the crime for which Marco Muzzo recently received a 10-year sentence for killing three children and their grandfather. That tragedy was directly caused by his decision to get behind the wheel, with a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit.

The Criminal Code of Canada states that a person commits homicide when directly or indirectly by any means causes the death of a human being. Drunk driving causing death would be a form of culpable homicide because it is morally and legally blameworthy. The moment an impaired driver gets behind the wheel, he or she puts others at risk. Words carry weight, they are not empty, and this culpability needs to be accurately reflected in Canadian law. At the same time, this change would preserve judicial discretion to tailor sentences to individual circumstances.

The proposal to call the crime of impaired driving causing death what it really is, vehicular homicide, was originally brought forward as Kassandra's law after Kassandra Kaulius of Surrey, B.C., a 22-year-old victim of impaired driving. The Conservative member for Langley—Aldergrove tabled Kassandra's law as Bill C-652 in the previous Parliament, and again I am pleased that he has seconded Bill C-247.

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Kassandra's parents, Markita and Victor. When I was discussing this upcoming speech, Victor pointed out that today, May 3, will mark five years to the day that their beautiful 22-year-old daughter lost her life.

Throughout her life, Kassandra was a lively and enthusiastic person who loved sports. As her parents recall, from the time she was three years old she was already running around her family's backyard playing sports with her older siblings. As she got older, her passion for sports grew. She competed on her high school volleyball, basketball, and softball teams, eventually receiving athletic scholarships, and had dreams of one day becoming a teacher.

On the one hand, the inspiration behind this bill was a teacher who inspired students and whose life was unjustly taken from him. On the other hand, part of the bill has been named after a young woman who dreamed of becoming a teacher and whose life was unjustly taken from her.

I also want to mention Families For Justice, the organization Markita and Victor have worked so hard to establish and have used to promote awareness of impaired driving. They have collected over 100,000 signatures in support of their cause. I commend their efforts to provide support and counselling services for families that have lost loved ones.

I do not need to remind the House of the harms of impaired driving. According to MADD, impaired driving continues to be the leading criminal cause of death in Canada, claiming almost twice as many lives per year as all categories of homicide combined.

In 2010, impaired driving accounted for approximately 1,082 deaths, 63,281 injuries, and $20.62 billion in financial and social costs. What is important to note is the fact that Statistics Canada indicates that 53% of all adult victims were between the ages of 18 and 35. This means that Canada is being denied young minds that would shape the future of the country.

Furthermore, our country's impaired driving record has been, and remains, poor in comparison to other developed countries. Millions of Canadians continue to drive after drinking, one reason being they believe they can do so with relatively little fear of being apprehended.

An international review of 15 countries reported that Canada has the second-highest rate of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes. Similarly, a Transport Canada study found that Canada had the highest rate of impairment among fatally injured drivers of eight countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Furthermore, Canada had the highest rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities as a percentage of total fatalities among 13 countries.

Although the selective breath testing programs that are currently in place are a productive step toward preventing impaired driving, the majority of impaired drivers go undetected at sobriety checkpoints. MADD reports that of the four million to five million drivers who are stopped each year at sobriety checkpoints, less than 1% are subject to roadside breath testing on an approved screening device.

It is for this reason that the main measure in my bill, the authorization of passive alcohol sensors, is evidence-based and necessary. These devices detect the presence and approximate amount of alcohol in a driver's exhaled breath by sampling the ambient air near his or her mouth.

The device also contains a pump that draws in air over a sensor that reacts to alcohol and registers a reading within a matter of seconds.

Passive alcohol sensors provide an easy, reliable and non-intrusive method of efficiently screening a large number of drivers with minimal delay, which will ultimately save more lives each year.

Passive alcohol sensors have been around for some time. The technology is not new, however, initially they were units on their own. It is important to note that when discussing passive alcohol sensors, for the most part, we are simply discussing a feature built into many of the approved screening devices already carried by peace officers. This means that the express authorization of a passive alcohol sensor would most likely allow officers to use their current devices, optimizing the tools already available to them.

As Robert Solomon, a law professor at Western University, has said, “...currently nothing preventing Canadian police from using PASs”.

Regardless, amendments to the Criminal Code explicitly authorizing police to use passive alcohol sensors would be effective. It would create a national standard which would ultimately reduce the confusion that otherwise arises from having 13 different provincial and territorial enforcement powers and practices. Police officers would also be more likely to use PASs if they are given express statutory authority to do so. Furthermore, the publicity surrounding the introduction of a national passive alcohol sensor program together with the knowledge that police officers are using more sophisticated detection methods would increase the perceived risk of apprehension and ultimately have a deterrent impact.

Over the past months, I have consulted with numerous police officers and police chiefs all over the country. It is apparent that the overarching consensus is that the more tools available to the police, the better.

To conclude, the problem of impaired driving needs to be better addressed by Parliament. The goal of my bill is not only to change how we view impaired driving offences, but to reduce instances of deaths and injuries by employing modern technology. Hopefully, with the passage of Bill C-247, we will further deter drinking and driving to safeguard Canadians, their families, and our communities.

I look forward to this bill going to committee, and I welcome amendments as well.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 10th, 2016 / 10:05 a.m.
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Liberal

Gagan Sikand Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Families for Justice is a group of Canadians who have had a loved one killed by an impaired driver. They believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is, vehicular homicide. It is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada. Over 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by a drunk driver. Canadians are calling for tougher laws such as BillC-652, Kassandra's law.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 15th, 2015 / 3:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to present five identical petitions today. They have to do with drinking and driving, impaired driving, and many senseless deaths of young people. I am thinking specifically of Krystal Owchar, and the Owchar and Riley families and how they have been devastated, as well as Tyler Isbister, Jeremie LeBlanc, William Harris, Gwen Martin. These are young lives who were taken from us because of this senseless act.

Families For Justice is a group of Canadians who have had loved ones killed by impaired drivers. They believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient and want the crime to be called what it is, which is vehicular homicide. It is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada; over 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers. Families For Justice is calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 27th, 2015 / 3:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stand to present a petition and sadly inform this House that 19-year-old Kendra Cole was tragically killed by a drunk driver who chose to drive while impaired. Obviously, it is devastating for Kendra's family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

This petition is tabled through an organization called Families for Justice. It is a group of Canadians who have had loved ones killed by impaired drivers. The petitioners believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient, and they would like the crime to be called what it is: vehicular homicide. It is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada.

Over 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers. Families for Justice is calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 25th, 2015 / 3:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, my petition informs the House that a young person who was 18 years of age was tragically killed by a drunk driver who chose to drive while impaired. Obviously the family has been devastated by the loss of their son.

Families For Justice, a group of Canadians who have had a loved one killed by an impaired driver, believes that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They would like the crime to be called vehicular homicide.

It is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada. Over 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers. Families For Justice is calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide, and for Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 15th, 2015 / 12:05 p.m.
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Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to present a petition on behalf of many Canadians. It is a petition organized by Families For Justice, which is a group of Canadians who have unfortunately had a loved one killed by an impaired driver. They are people like Sheri Arsenault from my riding, the mother of 18-year-old Bradley Arsenault, who was killed along with his two friends, Kole Novak, also 18, and Thaddeus Lake who was 22. This was a very tragic incident.

These families believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is, vehicular homicide. It is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada. Over 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by a drunk driver. This group is calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 14th, 2015 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is great to see our hon. colleague from Fredericton back in the House.

I rise to table a petition with respect to the sad case of 19-year-old Kendra Cole, who was tragically killed by a drunk driver who chose to drive while impaired. Kendra's family is devastated. As we heard from the petition of one of the previous members, there is an organization called Families for Justice, which is a group of Canadians who have had a loved one killed by an impaired driver.

A lot of people may not be aware that research shows that more than 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers. Families for Justice is calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for this Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 14th, 2015 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition today that sadly informs the House that Rayel MacDonald was tragically killed by a drunk driver who chose to drive while impaired. Rayel's family is devastated.

Families for Justice is a group of Canadians who have had a loved one killed by an impaired driver. They believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is: vehicular homicide. It is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada, where 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers. Families for Justice are calling for mandatory sentences for vehicular homicide and for this Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 7th, 2015 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition today that sadly informs this House that Karmen Meyers and Lee Meyers, a brother and sister, were tragically killed 10 years apart by two separate drunk drivers who chose to drive while impaired. The Meyers family was devastated.

Families for Justice is a group of Canadians who have had a loved one killed by an impaired driver. They believe that Canada's impaired-driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is: vehicular homicide. It is the number-one cause of criminal death in Canada. More than 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers. Families for Justice is calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for this Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 6th, 2015 / 3:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition that sadly informs the House that Bradley Arsenault, age 18, Kole Novak, age 18, and Thaddeus Lake, age 22 were tragically killed by a drunk driver that chose to drive while impaired. The Arsenault, Novak and Lake families have been left devastated.

Families For Justice is a group of Canadians who have had a loved one killed by an impaired driver. These Canadians believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is, vehicular homicide. It is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada. Over 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by a drunk driver.

Families For Justice is calling for mandatory sentences for vehicular homicide and for Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

April 20th, 2015 / 3:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition in honour of Colton TB Keeler and Tyson Vanderzwaag, teenagers from my riding of Red Deer who were tragically killed by a drunk driver in 2012.

Colton and Tyson's death are a tragedy, and sadly the Keeler and Vanderzwaag families are not alone. Thousands of families every year have to experience the same anguish and suffering because of the stupid decision by some to drive impaired.

That is why I am presenting a petition on behalf of Families For Justice, a group composed of Canadians who have had a loved one killed by an impaired driver. They believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are far too lenient. Families For Justice is calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for this Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

March 12th, 2015 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am saddened to inform the House that 25-year-old Danille Kerpan was tragically killed by a drunk driver, a driver who chose to drive while impaired. Danille's family was devastated by this.

Families for Justice is a group of Canadians who have also lost loved ones killed by an impaired driver. They believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is, vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada. Over 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers.

Families for Justice is also calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for Parliament to support Bill C-652.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 26th, 2015 / 10:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I present a petition that, sadly, informs the House that 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius was tragically killed by a drunk driver who chose to drive while impaired. Kassandra's family was devastated.

Families for Justice is a group of Canadians who have also lost loved ones who were killed by an impaired driver. They believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is: vehicular homicide. It is the number one cause of criminal deaths in Canada. More than 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers.

Families for Justice is calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for this Parliament to support Bill C-652.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 16th, 2015 / 3:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition that sadly informs the House that 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius was tragically killed by a drunk driver who chose to drive while impaired. Kassandra's family was devastated.

Families for Justice is a group of Canadians who have also lost loved ones to impaired drivers. They believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient. They want the crime to be called what it is: vehicular homicide. It is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada. Over 1,200 Canadians are killed every year by drunk drivers.

Families for Justice is also calling for mandatory sentencing for vehicular homicide and for this Parliament to support Bill C-652, Kassandra's law.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

February 2nd, 2015 / 3:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-652, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (vehicular homicide).

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to introduce Kassandra's law on behalf of Canadians who have had a loved one killed by an impaired or drunk driver. I want to thank the member for Winnipeg South Centre for her important support on this issue and for her hard work.

One thousand Canadians are killed every year by people who chose to drive while they were drunk or impaired, instead of taking a bus or a taxi. Impaired driving is the number one cause of criminal death in Canada every year. Families and friends are devastated, and their lives are torn apart when this happens.

In 2011, 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius was tragically killed by a drunk driver. Her family joined others who have also lost loved ones to impaired drivers in creating an organization called Families for Justice. Nearly 90,000 Canadians have signed petitions calling for changes to the Criminal Code.

Kassandra's law would do one thing that Families for Justice and tens of thousands of Canadians are calling for, which is to call this terrible crime what it really is: vehicular homicide.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)