Thank you very much for the question.
You're right that it's already possible to impose the wearing of an electronic bracelet as a condition. What the bill would do is require the judge to impose that condition in certain cases, such as when someone is accused of having committed a crime against their intimate partner.
When I answered the previous question, I hadn't specifically spoken to NDP-1 and what its effect would be.
It is true that it is not typical that a provincial Attorney General would be directed to do something in the Criminal Code. Looking at it from a legal perspective, it's possible that, as has been raised, this is not necessarily enforceable. It says that the Attorney General “must take all reasonable measures to ensure” something after the fact. That's after it would be imposed, basically.
As has been described, it's not necessarily a criterion that a justice must take into consideration, but already in the way that bail courts operate now, there are a number of provisions that require judges to consider the safety of witnesses. If a judge is imposing a condition for an electronic bracelet, it would be the normal course for them to look into the availability, the logistics, of it. Is it a jurisdiction where there's a funded program and where that province itself has a program to make it available?
Right now, in some of the provinces where they don't have programs, an electronic monitoring condition would probably be something that would be proposed by the accused person who has means to pay and doesn't want to be detained. They would say, “Look, you don't think I'm a good risk? I'll tell you what; I'll pay for this. Here are the details.” These are the types of details that judges would be considering and then, as has been mentioned, some of the other details in paragraph (b) are things that would fall under provincial jurisdiction in terms of ensuring safety and emergency services.
Another matter that the committee might want to consider, Madam Chair, is the way that paragraph (b) is written, “if the accused were to approach any place where any victim, witness or other person identified in an order made under subsection (2) might reasonably be found, emergency services would be available”.
Some possible concerns that arise sometimes in bail court are how you know where that victim might reasonably be found. Right now, the usual course with a condition like an electronic monitoring condition would be to prohibit an accused person from leaving a certain boundary, so they would make sure that there were sufficient services to cover the boundary that the accused person was supposed to be within, and the bracelet would provide an alert as to whether the accused person left that boundary, or they could probably program it to indicate if the accused attended at certain addresses.
One thing they need to consider when they're in a bail court is whether they want to identify the places where a victim might reasonably be found, because they might want to have places where they go that the accused person is not going to know about. Whether a condition like that would require a victim to share information that might better not be known to the accused is something they have to think about when they craft the conditions in a certain circumstance. Those are a couple of considerations for the committee with regard to that portion.