Whitehorse lawyer to talk to federal committee about FASD bill

Whitehorse lawyer Fia Jampolsky will speak via video link to a House of Commons committee looking at a private members bill will that would recognize FASD as a brain disease.

Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights reviewing Bill C-583

A Whitehorse member of the Canadian Bar Association will address the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights about amendments to Bill C-583 today via video link.

The private member's bill, first introduced by Yukon MP Ryan Leefwould help recognize Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder as a brain disease.

Fia Jampolsky says the Bar Association wants to keep people with FASD out of the criminal justice system, but, Bill C-583 will help those who are in the system.

"When an individual does come before the criminal justice system, what kinds of things should we be looking at to enable a fair system, and also to get them out, and make them a contributing part of our society without having them constantly enmeshed in the criminal justice system."

Many Yukoners were disappointed last year when the Conservative government dropped the bill and referred it to a committee. The bill had support from all three Yukon political parties. 

Jampolsky says Yukon is seen as a leader in acknowledging FASD as a disorder.

She'll recommend that the standing committee create a legal definition of FASD.

The Bar Association also wants judges to recognize the condition as a mitigating factor during sentencing.

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