Ottawa, May 9th, 2017 – MP Michael Cooper (St. Albert-Edmonton) expressed disappointment that the Liberal-dominated Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights voted this afternoon to recommend that the House of Commons not proceed with Bill S-217, known as Wynn’s Law.
“All along the Liberal government has opposed Wynn’s Law. After Wynn’s Law passed second reading in the House of Commons, the Liberal government doubled-down in terms of working to defeat the Bill. Liberal MPs on the Committee claim that Wynn’s Law will cause delay. This is the same argument that was made by the Liberal government during second reading stage. Frankly, it didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now. After all, presenting the criminal history of bail applicants at bail hearings is something that is almost always done. Making sure that it is always done cannot reasonably result in a backlog in the courts.
It is the height of hypocrisy that the Liberals would use delay as a pretext to defeat Wynn’s Law when the Liberal Justice Minister bears direct responsibility for delay in the courts, as a result of her failure to appoint judges in a timely manner. Due to the Minister’s inaction, there are a record number of judicial vacancies, as serious criminal cases, involving murder, sexual assault and child abuse, are being thrownout of court with thousands more cases at risk. Meanwhile, the Minister continues to sit on her hands.
I am disturbed by the Liberals’ emphasis on so-called efficiency over getting it right in terms of ensuring that all evidence about the criminal history of a bail applicant is before the courts. It was precisely that attitude that led to Shawn Rehn being let out on bail without his extensive criminal history being presented. As a result, Constable David Wynn is no longer with us.
Now that the Liberal-dominated Committee has voted to not proceed with Wynn’s Law, it is unlikely that Wynn’s Law will pass in this Parliament. While I am disappointed, I am going to keep fighting for Wynn’s Law, because it is the right thing to do.”
Wynn’s Law was introduced last year in the Senate by Senator Bob Runciman of Ontario. It passed the Senate with wide support. MP Cooper has sponsored Wynn’s Law in the House of Commons. In March it passed second reading stage in the House of Commons. Wynn’s Law was then referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for study. It will be returned to the House of Commons for debate and a vote on the Committee’s report not to proceed.
For further information, media may contact:
Dane Lloyd, Parliamentary Assistant