A new Ontario law that makes it easier for people to help the needy is sparking debate.
The bill, which was introduced by the province’s justice minister, Mike De Jong, has already garnered support from a number of communities.
It allows victims of crime to sue businesses or businesses owners who are negligent, including if the owner is an employee of the business.
“This is a really good law for the vulnerable in Ontario, the homeless in Toronto, and people with disabilities,” said De Jong.
But many people say it does not go far enough.
And there’s a problem with it.
If the victim has no insurance or the business is not liable for the injuries, does that mean that the victim can’t sue?
“No,” said Michael Zilberman, a law professor at Queen’s University.
“That’s not the law.”
The act only applies to situations where there is an act of negligence on the part of the owner.
Some victims of violent crimes or sexual assault may also be able to sue a business owner.
In addition, it does give some protection to people who have a disability who have been assaulted.
“What the legislation does is give an opportunity for people who are injured, if they are not insured, to sue the person who has assaulted them, the person that assaulted them,” said Zilberman.
For those who are physically disabled, the law allows for an unlimited amount of money to be paid out to a person who is injured by a person with a disability, but only if that person is a relative.
If a business fails to protect its customers or its employees, then it can be sued, but the company may have to pay the victim out of its own pocket.
Zilbermans bill would extend the same protection to other people who were assaulted by people with mental health issues.
The Ontario government says the law is not meant to apply to business owners who hire workers to take care of customers or who have the responsibility of the injured person.
But the Ontario Civil Liberties Association says it has concerns.
“If the people who actually assaulted someone had no insurance, the only way to sue would be to sue them,” Zilberman said.
“And I don’t think that is the way to solve a problem.”
But De Jong said that is not the case.
He said the law would allow a court to award damages against a business, but not against a person.
“That’s the way the legislation should work,” he said.
“There is no one to sue.
That’s what I’ve been saying from the very beginning.”
The bill will now go to the Ontario legislature, where it will be considered.