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Commons gives approval in principle to judges' sexual assault training bill

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti responds to a question during a news conference about training for judges Monday October 19, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — The House of Commons has unanimously approved in principle — for the third time — a bill that would require judges to commit to take training in sexual assault law.

Bill C-3 will now be scrutinized by the Commons justice committee, which could yet propose amendments.

The proposed legislation originated as a private member’s bill from former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, which the Liberal government supported.

It was unanimously approved by the Commons but stalled in the Senate and died when Parliament was dissolved for last fall’s election.

The Liberals revived it as a government bill earlier this year; it won unanimous support in principle and was under study by the justice committee when the Commons was adjourned in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That bill ultimately died when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prorogued Parliament in August but has now been resurrected once again.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press