Ottawa, ON- Dave MacKenzie, Member of Parliament for Oxford, today announced an update on his Private Member’s Bill C-483, An Act To Amend The Corrections and Conditional Release Act (Escorted Temporary Absence). This bill has now completed the second reading stage and will continue to proceed through the legislative process to the committee stage, where it will be debated in the new year.
Bill C-483 seeks to amend the Corrections and Constitutional Release Act by transferring the authority to authorize the escorted temporary absence of an offender convicted of first or second degree murder, within three years of full parole eligibility, from the prison warden to the Parole Board of Canada.
Mr. MacKenzie introduced Bill C-483 this past March when Kim Hancox-Spencer, whose husband Detective-Constable William Hancox was stabbed to death while on a routine stakeout in Scarborough, brought to his attention her struggles and frustration in being heard during the decision-making process for the escorted temporary absences for her husband’s killers. These flaws in the current system that Mrs. Hancox-Spencer and other victims have experienced have resulted in an unaccountable and inaccessible system that negatively affects the rights of victims. Bill C-483 is an important step in ensuring that the voices of victims are heard when decisions regarding escorted temporary absences are being made. The bill also ensures that decision-makers are accountable to the public for the approval or refusal of an escorted temporary absence.
Bill C-483 builds on our Conservative Government’s history of strong action to make our streets safer and stand up for victims of crime. Since 2006, we have provided more than $120 million to respond to the needs of the victims of crime and introduced the Safe Streets and Communities Act to ensure that the concerns of victims are taken into account at parole hearings. This bill further enhances the rights of victims during the decision-making process for escorted temporary absences and also strengthens accountability and transparency in the system.