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e-4192 (Justice)

Initiated by Kelly Favro from Victoria, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Prosecutors may request a publication ban to protect a victim-complainant of a sexual offence under Criminal Code section 486.4;
  • Prosecutors typically do not advise nor request consent of victim-complainants before a ban is placed on their identity;
  • The Court has no discretion, meaning the ban is immediately implemented;
  • The law does not oblige the Court or prosecutor to inform a victim-complainant that a ban has been placed on their identity, resulting in many being unaware a ban is in force or of the legal repercussions and penalties for breaching it (maximum $5,000 fine and two years in custody);
  • This concerns the informed choice and consent of victim-complainants;
  • These restrictions, when unwanted, are paternalistic and prevent a victim-complainant from exercising freedom of expression, and reinforce shame and the notion that anonymity always equals protection; and
  • Unwanted publication bans can give the impression that abusers are protected and benefit from the restrictions on the victim-complainants as they prevent open communication about the offense and harm experienced.
We, the undersigned, residents and citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to :
1. Allow victim-complainants to attribute their own experience of sexual offences without being charged;
2. Grant adult victim-complainants of sexual offences a choice in the application of a 486.4 publication ban;
3. Produce comprehensive, accessible, multi-lingual, and public information about 486.4 publication bans on government websites;
4. Simplify the process to lift a ban at any time before, during, or after court proceedings without the services of a lawyer; and
5. Allow victim-complainants to opt out of a 486.4 ban on the Victim Impact Statement form.
Open for signature
November 10, 2022, at 9:29 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
March 10, 2023, at 9:29 a.m. (EDT)
Photo - Laurel Collins
New Democratic Party Caucus
British Columbia
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