In 2015, MP Kusie’s constituents, the McGrath’s, suffered the tragic loss of their 18 month-old daughter Ciera at the hands of a negligent day home owner. When the perpetrator became eligible for day parole before serving even a year of her three-year sentence, the family only learned of her release when Mr. McGrath received an unexpected call from a member of the media on his way home from work. Because the McGrath’s were not notified by the parole board they were not afforded the opportunity to attend the hearing, or prepare themselves emotionally. The McGrath’s were re-traumatized by this experience and MP Kusie agrees with them that victims of crime should be informed immediately about the possible release of those who harmed them or their families.
Currently in Canada:
• when a victim of crime goes through a court process and sentencing of the perpetrator, they are expected to manually register in order to receive notice of parole hearings. Many victims are either unaware of this requirement or have not remembered to do so after a lengthy and emotional trial;
• while some victims do not want to be notified regarding parole hearings, they are in the minority;
• the manual registration notification system puts the onus on victims; and
• the system does not allow for sufficient input from victims as they do not have proper time to prepare.
This petition asks Parliament to change the parole system so that a victim will be automatically registered into a notification system and those who do not want to receive notifications can manually deregister.
With enough support, hopefully we can ensure other families will be notified should an offender appear before the Parole Board.
Link to the petition: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2239
Our sincerest thanks.