Canada should consider reinstating the word "rape" in its criminal code, a senior Canadian cabinet minister says.Public Safety Minister Vic Toews called current use of the term term sexual assault a "very misleading and deceiving concept" that fails to capture important distinctions [...] It can basically be from a very minor sexual touching to a rape," Toews told a news conference Tuesday.
These changes framed the prosecution of sexual assault in a manner that limited the attacks the lawyer for the accused could direct towards the witness/complainant. It was intended to facilitate the gathering of evidence, and to subject those procedures to the same rigour used when building a case for other forms of criminal assault; police officers and lawyers were to shift their focus from the victim's credibility (and judgments based on she said/he said) to the merits of all evidence collected, including the complainant's testimony.
A national examination of the efficiency of the Criminal Code is certainly in order; the recent case involving Fernando Manuel Alves raises questions about the efficacy of the criminal justice system when serial sexual assault charges can be so easily brushed off.
So why did the deputy representing the riding known as Bible Belt/Provencher choose to hold a press conference, where little information of substance was presented? He is NOT the minister of Justice.
The Con government exploits a number of tactics, among them the trick of sending out decoys to test the waters - public reception to one of their schemes. Is this one of them?
Changing the Criminal Code sex assault provisions would fall under the auspices of the justice minister [...] Justice Minister Rob Nicholson's press secretary, Pamela Stephens, said Nicholson is "always open to hearing suggestions on ways to improve the justice system." But she noted that the government already has an ambitious justice agenda.
There could be another reason Toews seems hell-bent on changing the current provisions in the Criminal Code, with respect to sexual assault. This:
273.1 (1) Subject to subsection (2) and subsection 265(3), "consent" means, for the purposes of sections 271, 272 and 273, the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question. (2) No consent is obtained, for the purposes of sections 271, 272 and 273, where the accused induces the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority, ...What is Toews trying to bury? It would certainly be inconvenient, if not actually a problem if someone in his position had coerced a subordinate to have sex with him. A fundamentalist christian patriarch like Toews would do everything in his power to ensure such provisions were removed under the guise of "improving" the Criminal Code.
Toews suggested the word “sexual assault”—the legal term since 1983 for sexual activity without voluntary consent—is a “very misleading and deceiving concept” and fails to capture important distinctions.Is it any surprise that Stevie Spiteful and his ReformaTory theocratic bullies are trying to change the Code and a number of laws to reflect their values? Stupid on Crime is a good way of describing their willful and obdurate plans. Nonetheless, in light of Marci McDonald's excellent, well-researched book "The Armageddon Factor", Canadian citizens should also look beyond the official agenda to scrutinize private motives for everything the Cons do.
“It can basically be from a very minor sexual touching to a rape. Unfortunately the Criminal Code was changed in that respect,” said Toews.
The personal is still political.
Grand merci to Vanessa Long who brought this our attention.