SURREY, BC, Dec. 13, 2016 /CNW/ - The Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC) is urging the Government of Canada to support Bill S-217 and amend the Criminal Code that currently could allow violent repeat offenders to receive bail and be released back into the community. The current court processes may result in failure of disclosure regarding the past convictions of the accused, as well as criminal history and any previous or current bail or court conditions.
This Bill, known as Wynn's law, was introduced by Senator Bob Runciman as a result of the shooting death of Constable David Wynn of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on January 17, 2015. He was fatally shot in the line of duty in St. Albert, Alberta by an individual with serious past convictions, and who was out on bail and at the Apex Casino. The killer had at least 29 outstanding charges. It appears this information was not provided to the judge when his bail terms were set. Auxiliary Constable Bond, who was with Constable Wynn, was also shot and injured during the incident.
"The public's safety is at risk when dangerous criminals with serious past offences are given bail and released into our communities. Why is the Government of Canada reluctant to expedite changes in this legislation to reduce these risks?" asked Rob Creasser, MPPAC's Media Liaison. "The tragedy in St. Albert demonstrates that decisions made at any bail or court hearing can have far-reaching, devastating, life changing consequences."
One of the reasons why the criminal history of Constable Wynn's killer was not disclosed is that currently, Section 518 of the Criminal Code allows a prosecutor to disclose or not disclose the criminal history of someone seeking bail. Bill S-217 seeks to amend this so that the prosecutor is compelled to provide the justice or judge with the accused criminal record at a bail hearing.
"This omission in the judicial process resulted in Shelly MacInnis-Wynn becoming a widow. It will cause Constable Wynn's three boys to grow up without their father and has taken away an RCMP officer and a dedicated volunteer in the St. Albert community," stated Rae Banwarie, MPPAC President, echoing statements made in the House of Commons by Michael Cooper, Member of Parliament for St. Albert—Edmonton and Matthew Dubé, NDP Public Safety Critic. "We must do more to safeguard our officers so that they can protect the citizens and communities we are sworn to serve and protect."
MPPAC is the only independent national RCMP police association which has been representing members since 1994 and has spoken out publicly on behalf of RCMP members in significant tragedies such as Mayerthorpe, Moncton, Fort McMurray and has been granted Intervenor status in the Canada Labour Code investigation into the death of Constable Wynn in St. Albert.
MPPAC is seeking to become the certified bargaining agent for all non-commissioned members of the RCMP.
SOURCE Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC)
For further information: Rob Creasser, Media Relations, Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, Association Canadienne de la Police Montee Professionelle, T: (250) 371-1071, E: [email protected]; Terry McKee, Media Relations, Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada, Association Canadienne de la Police Montee Professionelle, T: (506) 850-3907, E: [email protected]