Written on May 11, 2012 – 5:00 am | by Jasmine Sweatman
In March of this year the federal government introduced Bill C-36 An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Elder Abuse) also known as the Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act. The Act amends section 718.2(1) of the Criminal Code to add or broaden the circumstances to take into account in sentencing. The bill reads: evidence that the offence had a significant impact on the victim, considering their age and other personal circumstances, including their health and financial situation.
The Bill is in second reading which started April 27, 2012 and garnered much debate. Some feel it is not enough. However, it is a good first step in acknowledging that elder abuse is a serious problem and changes need to be made to the Criminal Code to reflect this.
While the Bill proposes stiffer sentencing, the government has not proposed how to help seniors report elder abuse or provide them with services when the abuser is the primary caregiver and they have no one else.
Lesson Learned: the Government is trying to crack down on abusing the elderly by providing judges with more power to give stiffer sentences when the elderly is the victim.
Until next time
Jasmine Sweatman/Jennifer Stebbing