It passed a second reading last week, but Wynn’s Law still has a way to go before being made federal law.
The legislation compels the Crown to disclose a defendant’s criminal history at bail hearings. It’s now headed to the Justice and Human Rights Committee for review.
Conservative MP for Edmonton-St. Albert Brent Rathgeber sat on the committee for years. He told 630CHED’s Morning News with Bruce Bowie that the bill will face serious vetting.
“They’ll call witnesses, prosecutors, and some who may be opposed to the bill.” said Rathgeber.
“They might say that the system is already overtaxed and we know that the system is overburdened. In Alberta we have Crown prosecutors staying cases because they don’t have enough prosecutorial resources. But of course there will be other witnesses including, I suspect, Shelley McGinnis-Wynn.”
McGinnis-Wynn is the widow of St. Albert RCMP Cst. David Wynn. He was shot and killed trying to arrest a suspect who was out on bail.
She was in the gallery when the bill passed second reading with the help of several Liberals voting against the party line; but not Edmonton MPs Amarjeet Sohi and Randy Boissonnault, who did not support it.
McGinnis-Wynn told 630CHED’s Ryan Jespersen Show it felt like “a big kick in the stomach”considering the two had attended her husband’s funeral.
Rathgeber can understand the party’s position but he thinks in this case, it’s not the right one.
“I think it’s great that the justice minister wants to overhaul the Criminal Code,” said Rathgeber.
“And the one time [sic] she said would make this as part of a comprehensive package of changes, as opposed to little piecemeal changes. And that’s fine, well go ahead and do it, but in the interim, pass this senate bill, plug this hole, and plug the rest of them when you get to your comprehensive review.”
Rathgeber is hopeful the bill will proceed to a third reading, but said it’s possible it could be gutted or defeated by the Justice and Human Rights Committee. (ms)