Canada's members unanimously passed the Third Reading of Bill S-221 in the House of Commons, which will amend the Criminal Code to make it an aggravating circumstance that the judge must consider if the victim of an assault is a public transit operator, defined to include drivers of not just city and intercity buses and surface rail, but also school buses, taxis, ferries and subways.
"We were very pleased to see that this bill will become law," said the Canadian Urban Transit Association’s President/CEO Michael Roschlau. "Protecting our transit service providers and operators is a priority for the industry - one we see being advanced today by the government, with support from all parties in the House of Commons. On average, five operators are assaulted every day in Canada, men and women who are just trying to do their jobs. The new amendment to the Criminal Code will provide greater consistency in sentencing and discourage would-be assailants."
The bill was introduced in the Senate by Ontario Senator Robert Runciman and sponsored in the House by Pickering-Scarborough East MP Corneliu Chisu. All parties in the House of Commons endorsed the bill in a rare show of political unity.
"Canadians and their legislators know this is the right thing to do. We applaud the Members of the House of Commons and the Honorable Senators for the leadership they have all shown on this issue," Roschlau added.