October 27, 2020
OTTAWA – Today Jenica Atwin, MP for Fredericton, defended her first amendments as MP to Bill C-3. The bill would require judges to receive ongoing education relating to sexual assault law and social context. As critic on several files including diversity, Indigenous affairs, and status of women, Atwin’s four amendments dealt substantively with the sort of training judges will receive on sexual violence, ensuring that the training be done through an intersectional, anti-racist lens.
“We cannot ignore that as conversations about consent and violence against women have evolved generationally, so too have conversations around systemic racism. The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) has brought the reality of intersectionality between racism and gender-based violence into sharp focus,” said Atwin. “As we empower today’s bench with the education they need to assess questions of consent and rape, so too must we empower them with an understanding of systemic racism and the way those issues intersect.”
Members of parliament submitted nine draft amendments ahead of time, four tabled by Atwin herself. The committee passed several amendments, including one tabled by Atwin to ensure that seminars for judges be developed in consultation with Indigenous leaders and representatives of Indigenous communities.
“National narratives about politics in Canada can be very divisive, but Bill C-3 is a great example of when MPs work together for the good of all Canadians,” said Atwin. “This bill was originally tabled by Conservative MP Rona Ambrose, it was re-tabled this session by the Liberal government, and amendments raised by Green, NDP, Bloc Québecois, and Liberal members have strengthened this bill further. I am glad to have done my bit to ensure that this bill has the best possible impact for Canadians.”