An Act to amend the National Defence Act (maiming or injuring self or another)

Sponsor

Randall Garrison  NDP

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

Status

Introduced, as of Jan. 30, 2019

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Summary

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

This enactment amends the National Defence Act to repeal the offence of maiming or injuring oneself or another person to render oneself or that other person unfit for service.

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.

National Defence ActRoutine Proceedings

January 30th, 2019 / 3:15 p.m.
See context

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-426, An Act to amend the National Defence Act (maiming or injuring self or another).

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a bill that aims to remove a significant barrier to members of the Canadian Forces receiving the mental health assistance they need. It would do so by repealing subsection (c) of section 98 of the National Defence Act. This archaic section of the National Defence Act makes self-harm a disciplinary offence in the military code of conduct.

The Canadian Forces are still losing more than one member per month to death by suicide. We have lost over 195 serving members in the last 15 years. Removing this section would send a strong message that self-harm is a mental health issue and not something to be addressed by discipline.

This is a matter that I had hoped could have been fixed by a simple amendment to Bill C-77, the military justice reform bill, recently dealt with by the House. At that time, New Democrats and Conservatives supported my amendment, but the Liberals indicated they felt amending Bill C-77 was not the way to proceed. This private member's bill offers an alternative way of taking the actions necessary to send a positive message to Canadian Forces members struggling with mental health issues. I trust it will receive broad support in the House.

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