OTTAWA, November 6, 2012 – Today, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the Honourable Alice Wong, M.P. for Richmond and Minister of State (Seniors), welcomed the passing in the House of Commons of Bill C-36, the Protecting Canada's Seniors Act. The legislation aims to better protect seniors by helping ensure tough sentences for those who take advantage of elderly Canadians. Bill C-36 will now move to the Senate.
I am pleased that the Protecting Canada's Seniors Act passed in the House of Commons today, and encourage my colleagues in the Senate to support this important piece of legislation aimed at protecting our seniors," said Minister Nicholson. "Crimes against our most vulnerable citizens should not be tolerated, and this Bill ensures that perpetrators would be punished appropriately."
Our government is committed to ensuring the well-being of Canadian seniors and we remain dedicated to ending elder abuse in all its forms," said Minister Wong. "The passing of this important legislation further supports on-going action by our Government to combat elder abuse."
Under the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code, evidence that an offence had a significant impact on the victims due to their age - and other personal circumstances such as their health or financial situation - would be considered an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.
The amendments would ensure a consistent application of sentencing practices that treat the abuse against individuals who are vulnerable due to their age and other personal circumstances.
The Protecting Canada's Seniors Act was introduced on March 15, 2012.
The Government addresses elder abuse in a number of ways, including its elder abuse awareness campaigns and the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which includes projects to increase awareness. In 2011, the Government increased its investment in the New Horizons for Seniors Program by $5 million per year, bringing the program's annual budget to $45 million.
More information about elder abuse can be found at www.seniors.gc.ca.
Backgrounder: Elder Abuse Legislation
Julie Di Mambro
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice