moved for leave to introduce Bill C-226, an act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of witnesses).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill, which I had also introduced in the last Parliament and which had received majority support at second reading.
Unfortunately, my bill died on the Order Paper due to the dissolution of Parliament and the election call. At the time, it had been referred to the Standing Committee on Justice.
The purpose of the bill is to amend the Criminal Code so that every person who testifies in proceedings relating to a sexual offence or assault, or in which the offender allegedly used, attempted to use or threatened to use violence, is afforded the same protection as witnesses under 14 years of age are currently afforded under the Criminal Code.
It would amend the Criminal Code so that an accused can no longer personally cross-examine a witness in such proceedings, unless the trial judge is of the opinion that it is necessary for the proper administration of justice. Therefore, this bill seeks to protect, under certain circumstances, the integrity and the safety of those who testify in criminal proceedings.
Mr. Speaker, I hope my bill will again get the support of the members of this House.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)