On February 7, 2024, Bill C-332, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (controlling or coercive conduct), is projected to continue its second reading in Canada’s House of Commons.
The Bill was introduced in November 2023 by its sponsor, MP Laurel Collins (NDP, Victoria), who shared a personal and moving speech in support of the legislation:
“The first time I recognized coercive control was when my sister showed up at my doorstep in tears. Her partner had taken her cellphone and bank cards. He had taken her car keys too, but she luckily had another set. It was the first time but definitely not the last time. Over the next few years, like so many other stories of intimate partner violence, coercive and controlling behaviour eventually escalated to physical violence. I remember being scared for her life.”
MP Collin’s story is all too common, as up to 95 percent of victims of domestic abuse reported experiencing coercive control (Myhill, 2017).
Also speaking on the Bill was MPs Lisa Hepfner (Liberal, Hamilton Mountain and parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth), Michelle Ferrerri (Conservative, Peterborough—Kawartha and member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women) and Adréanne Larouche (Bloc Québécois, Shefford).
On February 7, 2024, the House of Commons will vote in the second reading for Bill C-332. If the bill passes this stage, it will then undergo vigorous debate in committee where potential amendments will be discussed.
Should it pass the debate period, a report from the committee would be tabled, and the bill would move to its third reading in the House of Commons. From there, the bill would have the same three readings in Canada’s Senate.
This process will not be short, as similar legislation took a full year to move from second reading to royal assent.
Make sure your representative in Ottawa knows that protecting survivors is a priority and that you want them to support Bill C-322.
Sagesse encourages all Canadians to support this bill and join the effort to end domestic abuse. We urge the federal government to take swift action to pass this bill and ensure that coercive control is recognized as a serious form of abuse.