Presenting Petitions: Protecting Bus Drivers

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my second petition has to do with those who drive the buses in our country.

Petitioners are extremely concerned with the increase in violent assaults against public transit, school bus, paratransit and inner-city bus workers across Canada. Almost 40% of Canadian bus operators have indicated that they have been physically assaulted in their career. In 2008 alone, 2,064 assaults were reported, which is an increase of 438 cases from 2007.

This not only jeopardizes the operator, but these assault also jeopardize passengers because the operator must be able to provide safe passage for those entrusted to his or her care.

The petitioners request the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada to amend the Criminal Code to recognize the growing incidents of violence against public transit, school bus, paratransit and inner-city transit operators affecting their safety and that of the traveling public in Canada in the same fashion that peace officers are recognized in the Criminal Code.