The committee concludes its hearings on Conservative Senator Bob Runciman’s bill to combat violence against bus and taxi drivers. Bill S-221 would amend the Criminal Code to require a court to consider it an aggravating circumstance for the purposes of sentencing if the victim is a public transit operator. This includes city and school bus drivers.
The witnesses all express their support for the bill. The first panel is comprised of Robin West, international vice president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Suzanne Burgess, an Ottawa city bus driver who was assaulted in February, and Nathan Woods, president of Unifor Local 111 and a transit operator from British Columbia.
The following witnesses testify during the second panel: Diane Deans, an Ottawa city councillor and chair of the city’s Transit Commission Chair, Patrick Leclerc and Alex Maheu, respectively the vice president and manager of government relations and policy for the Canadian Urban Transit Association.
Senators conduct clause-by-clause consideration of the bill at the end of the meeting.
(June 18, 2104)