The widow of Constable David Wynn says watching from the gallery of the House of Commons Wednesday as Edmonton’s two Liberal MPs voted against a private members bill that bears her husband’s name was like a ‘kick in the stomach’.
Yet Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, who along with Randy Boissonnault, who is in cabinet as a parliamentary secretary and is serving as a special advisor to the Prime Minister, said Thursday the government is looking at the bigger picture.
The vote was 154-128 with several Liberal back benchers joining the Conservatives and NDP to support Wynn’s law.
“They actually attended my husband’s service,” Shelly McInnis Wynn told 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen. “That’s a big kick in the stomach.”
Wynn was shot and killed at the Apex Casino in St. Albert in January 2015. He had been attempting to arrest a man wanted on warrants.
That individual, Shawn Rehn, had been out on bail despite having 30 outstanding charges and a lengthy criminal record. It was later discovered those previous offences had not been mentioned during his bail hearing.
Currently, it is not mandatory to disclose an assailant’s criminal history during a bail application. Wynn’s Law would alter the wording of the Criminal Code so a prosecutor would be required to provide that information to a judge.
Sohi said the government agrees with the goal of Wynn’s Law, however he said they are looking to include the rules of parole and bail hearings in a more comprehensive review of the justice system, not a one-off that is proposed in the private members bill.
“We share the objective, we share the same goal,” Sohi said Thursday. “I think where we differ is the pathway forward.”
“What I would say to her is, our government completely understands the loss that she has experienced. We pay tribute to Cst. Wynn and his sacrifice.”
“He died, serving our community,” Sohi said. “He died serving, keeping our country safe. And we want to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future. Our goal is the same, strengthening our parole system, and we will get to the same objective, it’s just a different path.”
The private members bill will now go to the Commons’ Justice Committee for further study.
(sj-with files from Global News)