moved for leave to introduce Bill C-558, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (social condition).
Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to rise in the House today to present this bill. I would like to thank the member for Vancouver Kingsway for seconding this bill.
This bill is very important because it amends provisions of the Criminal Code to establish principles related to sentencing and describe the aggravating circumstances that require increased sentences to be imposed.
The bill requires an increased sentence where there is evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate based on social condition of the victim.
This bill is the companion to another bill that I will be introducing on social condition. It is done in recognition that there are people in our society who are disadvantaged because of social condition, because of poverty, homelessness, education and background and that they do face prejudice and discrimination. It is very important that we have the tools to address the reality they face in their daily lives.
I hope that all members will support this bill. This issue has been before the House many times. In fact, there have been many studies on the issue of social condition and how people do not have protection. This bill is aimed at addressing that to ensure there is dignity and respect for people based on social condition.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)