Ottawa, ON- Dave MacKenzie, Member of Parliament for Oxford, recently appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs to discuss his Private Member’s Bill, C-483, An Act To Amend The Corrections and Conditional Release Act (Escorted Temporary Absence). Bill C-483 seeks to amend the Corrections and Conditional 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. The bill will now proceed through the Senate for further debate.
Mr. MacKenzie introduced Bill C-483 in March 2013, when Kim Hancox brought to Mr. MacKenzie’s attention her struggles and frustration in accessing and having her voice heard in the decision-making process for the escorted temporary absences for her husband’s killers. Ms. Hancox’s husband Detective-Constable William Hancox was stabbed to death while on a routine stakeout in Scarborough in 1998.
The flaws in the current system 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.
“I am pleased that Bill C-483 is moving forward, as it will help victims of crime, like Ms. Hancox, access and participate in the decision-making process for escorted temporary absences for offenders. I hope this bill continues to move forward and that it receives Royal Assent in the not so distant future.”
Dave MacKenzie, Member of Parliament For Oxford
“I wish to thank MP Dave MacKenzie for bringing Bill C-483 forward on my behalf and seeing it through to the Senate phase. I was very appreciative for the opportunity to speak to the Senate Standing Committee regarding C-483. I believe the bill, if passed, will ensure more transparency into the process of releasing life-serving offenders back into the community. I would like to see the Parole Board of Canada retain its authority over these releases.”