moved for leave to introduce Bill C-656, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (fetal alcohol disorder).
Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure to introduce this private member's bill, which will amend the Criminal Code to establish a procedure for the assessment of individuals who are involved in the criminal justice system and who may suffer from fetal alcohol disorder. It requires the court to consider a determination that the offender suffers from fetal alcohol disorder as a mitigating factor in sentencing.
A similar bill was earlier introduced and then withdrawn in this Parliament. This bill builds on the previously introduced bill by adopting some recommendations from the Canadian Bar Association that require Correctional Service of Canada to also recognize the existence of fetal alcohol disorder as a disability within that system.
At the justice committee we are currently engaged in a study of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It is clear that there is a need for legislation. It is also clear that the original version of this bill that was introduced had the support of all parties. My hope is that will result in the fast-tracking of this bill, which is an improvement on the earlier one.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)