An Act to amend the Criminal Code (assaults against health care professionals and first responders)

This bill was last introduced in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2020.


Todd Doherty  Conservative

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


Introduced, as of Feb. 20, 2020
(This bill did not become law.)


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

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to require a court to consider the fact that the victim of an assault is a health care professional or a first responder to be an aggravating circumstance for the purposes of sentencing.


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.

May 5th, 2020 / 11:50 a.m.
See context


Terry Dowdall Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

I apologize to our guests for the challenges they're experiencing in delivering their messages.

I want to start off with our guests from CUPE. I want to thank both of you for sharing your stories.

My mother was a long-term care aide and my brother still is a nurse's assistant working in a long-term care facility. On your comment regarding physical damage and violence, that is the reason why my mother had to retire early. She still has steel rods in her back and is mobility challenged because of violence. That also led me to take the steps that my colleague Mr. Davies has taken in previous Parliaments, in putting forth a piece of legislation on violence against our health care workers. Earlier this year, I tabled Bill C-211, which includes the issue of violence against health care workers and first responders, so I thank you for your comments.

Ms. Vyce, in a recent article, your president, Michael Hurley, of CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, was quoted as saying that “more than 20% of [their] confirmed cases are health care workers, with 68 testing positive so far” and that “[s]uch high numbers suggest workers don't have adequate PPE”.

He said:

When you look at the numbers of health-care workers who are currently reported as having COVID against the number of cases in the general population, [one] can only conclude that there has been a colossal failure to protect health-care workers and that is all about failures of ordering enough equipment.

Do you stand by your president's comments?

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

February 20th, 2020 / 10:05 a.m.
See context


Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-211, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (assaults against health care professionals and first responders).

Mr. Speaker, I am truly honoured and humbled to be here today to introduce this bill.

In my mind, heroes do not wear capes. They wear shoulder flashes and badges that say nurse, RN, LPN, RPN, firefighter, paramedic, EMT or ambulance. They put their uniforms on every day knowing full well that they are going to experience human tragedy, and they are going to see sights and experience smells that may live with them for a lifetime.

When we call 911, we know that they will answer our call for help. They put their uniforms on every day to help us all. They fix our broken bones, they bandage our cuts, they restart our hearts and they hold our hands as we catch our last breath.

We should be doing everything we can to ensure that these altruistic individuals have the tools they require to do their jobs and to remain mentally healthy as well as physically healthy. We should be doing everything in our power to ensure that they never have to fear violence in their workplace.

Sadly, the rates of violence against our health care professionals and first responders are growing at a staggering rate. Today is about the nurse who is punched, kicked, spat at or thrown to the floor. Today is about the paramedic who is thrown down a flight of stairs, kicked and attacked while trying to save the life of a patient.

Today is about ensuring that we stand up for them because violence is not part of their job description.

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