First of all, I want to inform the committee that Bill S‑231 was drafted together with some 100 women who had all been victims of domestic violence; many had also been victims of attempted murder. We gave them a pen and simply asked them what amendments they wanted made to the Criminal Code.
Three important recommendations emerged.
The first was that assailants should be monitored more closely while on trial by means of an electronic bracelet, which is already being used for some purposes in Canada and many other countries.
The second was that an obligation for assailants to undergo therapy should be introduced into the Criminal Code. The idea here is thus to address the causes of the violence. The consequence is that women are murdered, but the cause is often that some men manage their emotions poorly. By requiring assailants to undergo therapy, we will be directly addressing the causes.
The third recommendation was that provisions should be added to the Criminal Code concerning orders not to disturb the peace as well as a new chapter specifically respecting domestic violence.
The purpose of this first step we are taking is to provide better protection for women and, especially, to reduce the number of murders in Canada. Every year, 12 to 15 women are murdered in Quebec, a figure equivalent to the number of victims of the École polytechnique massacre.
This is a very important bill. My colleague Jacques Gourde has introduced it in the House of Commons. I think the House should promptly study the bill because lives depend on it.