QUEEN’S PARK – Yesterday Laurie Scott, the MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, introduced Bill 120, the Mandatory Sexual Assault Law Training for Judicial Officers Act. If passed, the legislation would require judges to complete education in respect of matters related to sexual assault law.
Last month, Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound – Muskoka, raised the disturbingly high rates of sexual assault dismissals in his riding and he strongly supports Scott’s Bill. Miller revealed that the communities of Bracebridge and Huntsville were ranked the 3rd and 5th highest in Canada for dismissing sexual-assault claims, with over half of sexual-assault victims’ claims turned away by police.
Scott’s Bill is in response to the public outrage across Canada after a number of cases— including the infamous “knees together” judge in Calgary, and Halifax judge Lenehan’s acquittal of a taxi driver, citing that “clearly, a drunk can consent”.
“Laurie has been a fierce advocate of sexual assault victims for years” said Miller, “sexual assault training for judges is a non-partisan issue and I urge the government to support Bill 120”.
A similar Bill was introduced federally by interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, which has the support of all three parties.