“There is still a way to go” for victims of sexual assault, admits Sonia LeBel

«Il y a encore du chemin à faire» pour les victimes d'agression sexuelle, admet Sonia LeBel

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The canadian Press
Sonia LeBel was not the intention in the short term to embark on a “revolution parliament” and ask for a reform of the criminal Code.

The minister of Justice, Sonia LeBel, met Thursday, The Courageous, the alleged victims of Gilbert Rozon, who have shared their experiences within the justice system. An encounter that she describes as “consciousness-raising” about the lack of assistance to victims of sexual assault.

“Not to mention astonishment, what I realized is that there is still a way to go […]. I do not want to throw the blame on anyone, but there are moments in the process where it works well, because the actors are better equipped, and the other where the victims are disappointed, ” said minister LeBel during an interview with The Duty.

This meeting occurs a week after the director of criminal and penal prosecutions (DPCP) has confirmed to have reviewed the records of 14 alleged victims of the founder of the Just for laughs festival in the wake of the wave of denunciations #MoiAussi. After three days at the meet in turn, the DPCP has announced that the complaint of a single one of them had been chosen. Gilbert Rozon has been accused of rape and of indecent assault for acts alleged to have been committed in 1979. It is also referred to in the civil by a collective action of the Courageous, which bring together twenty of the alleged victims.

“My intervention is not intervention in the sense of giving more credibility to [the Courageous] versus Mr. Rozon […]. This is to see, in the administration of justice, how I can improve the process for that at least, regardless of the decision, there is an understanding and social acceptance, the largest “, she said.

Restore confidence

Minister LeBel reiterated that the justice system works, but admits that the public’s confidence is shaken.

“When I say that the system works, I speak of the rules of criminal law today. The presumption of innocence, I think that we have chosen in Canada, in a free and democratic society, to put forward this type of system there, ” she says.

Moreover, Ms. LeBel has no intention in the short term to embark on a “revolution parliament” and ask for a reform of the criminal Code. “I am very concerned by the fact confidence, and what I want is to see how we can improve the judicial process by looking at the solutions that are within my reach to me “, she emphasized.

Just as the prime minister, François Legault, says it is open to the idea of having a specialised court in the field of sexual assault and domestic violence. “This element is part of the reflection, but I want to go wider. It is necessary to look at the problem from a global perspective “, said the minister, stressing that there is a component of awareness of sexual behavior that must be done at a young age.

Ms LeBel also raises the possibility of having a guide that can explain the steps of the process and the role of each of the stakeholders interviewed.

The minister of Justice has scheduled working sessions with representatives of the other three parties in the national Assembly, the liberal mp Hélène David, member of parliament pq’s Véronique Hivon and mp solidarity Christine Labrie. “It is a subject that is transpartisan, and I really want to explore their ideas, hear the solutions they have to offer and look at them together,” she said.

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