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Conservative MP Bob Zimmer on the Victims Bill of Rights

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The Victims Bill of Rights is up for debate in Canada's Parliament. The proposed bill provides additional protection for the victims of crime, but it could also require spouses to testify against their significant others.

This aspect of the bill has some who work with women and girls concerned.  "I would worry for example that forcing women to testify against abusive spouses could not only dissuade them from reporting crime in the first place, but might put them at greater risk throughout that process," said ‚ÄčKasari Govender, the executive director of the West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund, in an interview with CBC News.

Prince George-Peace River MP Bob Zimmer believes the criticism is misguided and the new legislation is needed to put the focus back on the victims.

"Often the criminals get recognized, it's their rights that get recognized, and it's all about them."

The bill also gives every victim the right to financial compensation from the offender.

"The key is the criminal understands that we're gonna come after you if you're going to do this to a victim, and the victim also has recognized that we're going to bat for you for restitution."

When asked about the number of changes to the criminal code contained in the bill, Zimmer said, "When you're doing a Victims Bill of Rights, it's a pretty comprehensive bill and we need to get it right the first time."

Listen to Bob Zimmer's interview with CBC's George Baker below:

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