NDP member of the provincial Parliament for London west Peggy Sattler introduced a bill called "The Safe Night Out Act" on June 1 to require sexual violence prevention training to be included in Smart Serve, a mandatory training for alcohol servers in Ontario.
Sattler said the bill was born out of the select committee on sexual violence and harassment report published in December 2015.
"This was an idea that has been brought to members of the select committee on sexual violence and harassment. It was something that people spoke about when they appeared before the committee," Sattler told CBC News.
She said the government's initiative to implement voluntary training is not enough.
- New initiative aims to fight sexual harassment at Toronto bars — through drink coasters
- Alcohol servers should be trained to spot sexual assault, Toronto councillor says
Her bill's proposal to include mandatory sexual violence prevention training in Smart Serve echoes a recommendation from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance in their November 2016 policy on sexual violence prevention and response.
The recommendation states "Mandating that Smart Serve certification be expanded to include bar-specific, sexual violence prevention training and that on-campus bars include mandatory in-person bystander intervention training."
Andrew Clubine, the president of OUSA told CBC News, "It would coach them in identifying situations that look like they could lead to sexual violence, that look like they could be unsafe, and it teaches strategies on how to try and intervene early."
- New post-secondary sexual assault policies a start but fall short, experts say
- University students seek sexual violence legislation
Clubine, also the vice president of education at the Federation of Students in Waterloo said the federation and the Wilfrid Laurier University Students' Union have been advocating for sexual violence prevention at the provincial level.
"Sexual violence prevention isn't something new to student associations," said Clubine "It's something we've been doing for a while."
The federation is exploring implementation of bystander training at the Waterloo campus bar "The Bombshelter Pub" independent of the bill.
"We decided that it's what's best, it's what's right for us to do for our students who frequent our club nights," he said.