moved for leave to introduce Bill C-295, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (neglect of vulnerable adults).
Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce my private member's bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code regarding neglect of vulnerable adults, and I want to thank the member for Alfred-Pellan for seconding the bill.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed clear evidence of abuse of seniors in care facilities across the country. With the lack of appropriate care and protection, as well as negligence and failure to follow accepted protocols, this situation resulted in appallingly high rates of COVID transmission in many long-term care facilities and led to increased mortality rates.
This bill aims to prevent a recurrence of those tragic outcomes by creating an offence for owners and managers of adult care facilities who fail to provide due care in accordance with accepted protocols and who are negligent in their duty to provide the necessities for a good quality of life. It would also allow courts to make an order prohibiting the owners and managers of such facilities from being in charge of or in a position of trust or authority toward vulnerable adults and to consider, as an aggravating factor for the purpose of sentencing, the fact that an organization failed to perform the legal duty that it owed to a vulnerable adult.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)