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Stop Violence Against Paramedics

Date: 2024-03-03

The OPA supports an Act to amend the Criminal Code (assaults against health care professionals and first responders) in an effort to stop violence against paramedics.

There needs to be significant consequences when helpers, such as first responders, are hurt by violence.

  1. Paramedic Chiefs of Canada - Position Statement (Violence Against Paramedics)
  2. Violence in Paramedicine Research Group
  3. Violence Against Paramedics Protocol
  4. Qualitative Study of Paramedic Experiences with Workplace Violence

If you see any paramedic being attacked or subjected to any acts of harassment or violence, please dial 9-1-1. 

Also, please support these bills, research and evolving dialogue to stop violence against first responders (including paramedics) by contacting your federal Member of Parliament.



Federal Bill C-321

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (assaults against health care professionals and first responders)

Preamble

Whereas there is an increasing number of incidents involving violence against health care professionals and first responders;

Whereas assaults on health care professionals and first responders have both a physical and a psychological impact;

And whereas health care professionals and first responders, who care for and protect others, deserve to feel protected and valued by the justice system;

His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

R.‍S.‍, c. C-46

Criminal Code

1 The Criminal Code is amended by adding the following after section 269.‍01:

Aggravating circumstance — assault against health care professionals and first responders

Start of inserted block

269.‍02 When a court imposes a sentence for an offence referred to in paragraph 264.‍1(1)‍(a) or any of sections 266 to 269, it shall consider as an aggravating circumstance the fact that the victim of the offence was, at the time of the commission of the offence, a health care professional or a first responder engaged in the performance of their duty.

Status

This Bill was heard in front of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and passed Third Reading on Feb 28, 2024.

See status here


Federal Bill C-345

An Act to protect Firefighters, Paramedics and other first responders.

His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Criminal Code

1 Section 2 of the Criminal Code is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

Start of inserted block

first responder means a person who is employed, or formally engaged on a volunteer basis, to be among the first on the scene of an accident, fire or other emergency to provide medical assistance or firefighting services, and includes an emergency medical technician, a paramedic and a firefighter; (premier répondant)

End of inserted block

2 Subparagraphs (a)‍(xliii.‍1) and (xliii.‍2) of the definition offence in section 183 of the Act are replaced by the following:

  • (xliii.‍1) section 270.‍01 (assaulting peace officeror first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end with weapon or causing bodily harm),

  • (xliii.‍2) section 270.‍02 (aggravated assault of peace officer or first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end),

3 Subsection 231(4) of the Act is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (b), by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (c) and by adding the following after paragraph (c):

  • Start of inserted block

    (d) a first responder acting in the course of their duties.

    End of inserted block

4 Subsection 268(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Punishment

(2) Every one who commits an aggravated assault is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

  • Start of inserted block

    (a) if the complainant is a person described in subsection 231(4), to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years; and

    End of inserted block
  • (b) in any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years

5 Paragraph 270(1)‍(a) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • (a) assaults a public officer, peace officer or first responder>span class="sr-only" engaged in the execution of >span class="sr-only"their>span class="sr-only" duty or a person acting in aid of such an officer >span class="sr-only"or first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end;

6 (1) Subparagraphs (a)‍(xi.‍1) and (xi.‍2) of the definition primary designated offence in section 487.‍04 of the Act are replaced by the following:

  • (xi.‍1) section 270.‍01 (assaulting peace officer or first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end with weapon or causing bodily harm),

  • (xi.‍2) section 270.‍02 (aggravated assault of peace officer or first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end),

(2) Subparagraph (c)‍(viii) of the definition secondary designated offence in section 487.‍04 of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • (viii) section 270 (assaulting a peace officeror a first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end),

7 Subparagraph (b)‍(xvii) of the definition designated offence in section 752 of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • (xvii) paragraph 270(1)‍(a) (assaulting peace officeror first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end),

Consequential Amendments

R.‍S.‍, c. C-44; 1994, c. 24, s. 1(F)

Canada Business Corporations Act

8 Paragraphs 1(z.‍017) to (z.‍019) of the schedule to the Canada Business Corporations Act are replaced by the following:

  • (z.‍017) subsection 270(1) (assaulting a peace officeror first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end);

  • (z.‍018) subsection 270.‍01(1) (assaulting peace officer or first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion endwith weapon or causing bodily harm);

  • (z.‍019) section 270.‍02 (aggravated assault of peace officeror first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end);

1992, c. 20

Corrections and Conditional Release Act

9 Paragraphs 1(x) to (x.‍2) of Schedule I to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act are replaced with the following:

  • (x) section 270 (assaulting a peace officeror a first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end);

  • (x.‍1) section 270.‍01 (assaulting peace officer or first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion endwith weapon or causing bodily harm);

  • (x.‍2) section 270.‍02 (aggravated assault of peace officeror first responder>span class="sr-only">Insertion end);

Status

This Bill has passed First Reading and is now being heard in front of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights

See status here


Ontario Legislature

Updated: 2023-10-24

Hansard: https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/house-documents/parliament-43/session-1/2023-10-24/hansard#P731_144410

Question Period

Violence Against Paramedics

  • Mrs. Jennifer (Jennie) Stevens: My question is to the Premier. Paramedics in the Niagara region are facing a violence epidemic. Within seven months, there have been 56 incidents, which has added to staff attrition. No one should ever feel unsafe going into work. Premier, paramedics should not be made to feel like second-class first responders. Will you commit to a provincial staffing strategy to address compensation, training and resources to ensure the safety of our paramedics and combat burnout?
  • The Speaker (Hon. Ted Arnott): Minister of Health.
  • Hon. Sylvia Jones: Well, the one thing where I will agree with the member opposite is that there is no one in our health care system who should feel unsafe when they are doing a job and protecting the people of Ontario. We have worked very closely with our paramedic chiefs and associations to make sure that we have resourced them appropriately. Of course, the member opposite knows we are a 50-50 partner with our municipal partners to make sure that we fund 50% of any expansion of the paramedic services in the province of Ontario. We will continue to do that, but I want to make it very clear that we do not tolerate violence in our health care system, including, of course, with our paramedics.
  • The Speaker (Hon. Ted Arnott): Supplementary?
  • Mrs. Jennifer (Jennie) Stevens: Back to the Premier: Our paramedics, our local heroes, are facing rising violence on the job. They stand on the front lines daily, risking it all. Let me repeat that: They stand on the front lines daily, risking everything. Premier, you control the purse strings. Can we get your commitment today to scrutinize the critical situation of our paramedics in Ontario and ensure they receive the same level of resources as other first responders? They deserve nothing less.
  • Hon. Sylvia Jones: Again, I will repeat: We have zero tolerance for workplace violence. One incident is one too many. But I must say, I’m also incredibly proud of our government and our Premier when we announced a PTSI centre with Runnymede to ensure that our first responders—including our paramedics, who we know historically have had a higher rate of PTSI—have the supports they need with an expansion of that centre.

 

 

Ontario Paramedic Association

  • 1 Dundas Street West (Suite 2500)
    Toronto ON M5G 1Z3

  • 1-888-OPA-LINE

  • mail@OntarioParamedic.ca