FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON – Yesterday, Bill S-281, An Act to Amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (parole review) was introduced by Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu in the Senate. This Bill protects families of murder victims from being frequently traumatized by parole hearings. It amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act such that convicted murderers will have to wait until their mandatory parole review, which occurs every 5 years. Today, convicted murders may apply for parole every year.
Conservative MP Michael Cooper (St. Albert-Edmonton), worked with Senator Boisvenu to draft the Bill. His constituents, Mike and Dianne Ilesic, are the parents of Brian Ilesic who was murdered by Travis Baumgartner in a 2012-armed robbery at the University of Alberta. Baumgartner was the first murderer to be sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 40 years under a law passed by the Harper government that allowed for consecutive parole ineligibility periods for those convicted of multiple murders. The Supreme Court in Bissonnette struck down this law, slashing parole ineligibility periods for some of Canada’s worst murderers. Baumgartner will now likely be eligible for parole in only 12 years, and every year thereafter.
“The families of murder victims should not be traumatized by frequent parole hearings initiated by offenders who cannot be rehabilitated and have little chance of ever being released,” said MP Cooper. “This Bill is a modest legislative response to the unjust Bissonnette decision. It is the least Parliament can do on behalf of victims of homicide and their families.”
“The Liberal government has failed to respond to the Bissonnette decision. It follows a pattern of 8 years of failed Liberal policies that put the rights of criminals ahead of the rights of victims.”
Senator Boisvenu said, “Multiple murderers should not be permitted to continually retraumatize the victims’ families. Bill S-281 aims to ensure that bereaved families have the right to mourn in peace.”