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Bill C-28 on extreme intoxication is approved by the Senate

OTTAWA — The Senate voted Thursday to approve the government’s extreme intoxication bill after the House of Commons rushed its passage the day before.

The senators had adopted a motion Thursday afternoon for Bill C-28 to go through all the stages by the evening.

As with the House’s expedited process, the Senate’s motion calls for its Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee to study and report on the matter by the March 2023 deadline.

The passage of the Bill and its Royal Assent means that the Criminal Code will be amended to create criminal liability in cases of violent crime where the defendant can prove they were “in a state of extreme intoxication through negligence”.

Bill C-28 clarifies the Criminal Code to make it clear that anyone who willfully consumes intoxicants with criminal negligence, who becomes extremely intoxicated and who causes harm to others, will be held criminally responsible for those acts.

“The coming into force of this bill is an important step in ensuring our criminal justice system supports victims and survivors of crime – Indigenous women, children, women and girls. as well as 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. It keeps communities safe and sends a strong message that offenders are held to account,” said Justice Minister David Lametti and Women and Gender Equality and Youth Minister Marci Ien, in a joint statement.

This bill follows a recent judgment by the Supreme Court which struck down section 33.1 of the Criminal Code preventing the plea of ​​extreme intoxication when defending a person accused of certain offenses of a violent nature.

Justice Minister David Lametti had called for the bill to be passed quickly so that the legal loophole could be closed before Parliament took its summer recess.