Will it give them a bye?

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For several days now I’ve been wanting to seek out  and post information  regarding Bill C-75, the bill currently proceeding through the Parliament which proposes significant changes to the Criminal Code of Canada.  So, first, a series of articles and opinion pieces:

06 April 2018:  “Bill C-75 is justice reform that makes sense” & related articles and opinion pieces

As you see, the focus is on preliminary hearings, with defence lawyers largely, it seems, opposed to their elimination.  I have my thoughts on this but am not yet prepared to comment becasue I haven’t read the bill.  I really do want to read and digest the contents of the bill to find out what is going on here.

So, this morning I found the bill.  Here it is:

March 2018:  Bill C 75 (An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Note that para “i” under  “Summary” of how the Criminal Code would be amended if the bill is enacted reads as follows:

remove passages and repeal provisions that have been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada, repeal section 159 of the Act and provide that no person shall be convicted of any historical offence of a sexual nature unless the act that constitutes the offence would constitute an offence under the Criminal Code if it were committed on the day on which the charge was laid.

Note:  “no person shall be convicted of any historical offence of a sexual nature unless the act that constitutes the offence would constitute an offence under the Criminal Code if it were committed on the day on which the charge was laid.”


I have deep deep concerns about what may be happening here.  I will be heading out for several hours this morning – will try to read the bill in its eternity when I return to see if this will or might effectively negate the possibility of male victims who were sexually abused as children or youth by a male seeing justice done in a court of law.  Am I misreading?  I hope so, but fear not.

Strangely I have not as yet seen no public comments made pro or con regarding this particular section of the bill.  Many years ago I put together a bit of history on the evolution of the Criminal Code of Canada. It warrants an update now, but, for the time being, here it is:

The Ever-Evolving Criminal Code of Canada

I strongly urge you to read Bill C-75 so we can sort out if what is proposed will give priests and other men who sexually abused young boys in years past a bye.

[When criminal charges are laid they have to be laid in accord with provisions of the Criminal Code of Code of Canada which existed at the time the offence transpired]

Enough for now,


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4 Responses to Will it give them a bye?

  1. BC says:

    If it’s any consolation Sylvia, C-75 is controversial for almost all defence attorneys and for most prosecutors. The House of Commons and the Senate will be debating C-75 before it’s proclaimed and those debates will help to understand the intention of the legislator in C-75. As it reads right now; if it was passed today; it would be challenged Monday morning for it’s unconstitutionality. Sometimes the legislator sets up the courts to do it’s work; for political purposes; then it blames the courts for their activism to appeal to the constituency which lobbied it to legislate it’s interests.

  2. Sylvia says:

    No BC, that’s no consolation.

    I have been reading through the bill – and have discovered quickly that in the future I really do need to do so with a copy of the current Criminal Code alongside the bill to know what the plans are. However, this time around, in the interests of saving time and getting right to the areas which are of particular interest to me personally, I took the time to look up the relevant section of the present Code in only a few instances.

    In several instances in the past 20 years I have heard judges bemoan from the bench the fact that charges can be laid in cases of “historical” sexual abuse and rather sorrowfully express the opinion that that should come to and end.

    As I have said before, I personally have never quite understood why there is no such thing as “historical” murder, or “historical” theft, or “historical” embezzlement. If we can have “historical” sex abuse, why not “historical” everything else? Why, for example, is child sexual abuse somehow considered to be of lesser import if, as is so often the case, the molester has successfully avoided detection by both his continued blatant lies and his remarkable ability to manipulate and charm the populace?

    I shall read again . At this point I do believe that this bill bodes poorly for male victims of “historical” sexual abuse, and I likewise believe it will be greeted with great joy by those molesters who have lived a lie for years, all the while trusting that not one of their unfortunate victims will finally find the courage to speak out about what “Father” or whomever did to him years ago.

  3. bc says:

    I think you won’t be able to understand it just by reading section 159 which refers to anal intercourse. You’ll need to have a functional understanding of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it’s case law, and it’s effects on crim.pro. Before you do that you need to understand Section 1 of the Charter (Oakes); and it’s crim.pro. case law. I don’t believe that repealing 159 will create retroactive rights to sexually offend in the past because it won’t decriminalize non-consensual anal intercourse in the past.

    I urge you to appear before the Parliament Committees which will be examining C-75 to voice your concerns. They’d be paying attention to you Sylvia because you are a highly credible advocate for the rights of victims of clerical abuse in Canada.

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