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MP Michael Cooper claims not passing Wynn’s Law would be about politics not public safety

Click to play video: 'MP Michael Cooper demanded support from Liberals to pass Wynn’s Law' MP Michael Cooper demanded support from Liberals to pass Wynn’s Law
WATCH ABOVE: Conservative MP Michael Cooper pushed the federal government to approve Wynn’s Law during Question Period on Tuesday. Bill S-217 was put forward after Alberta RCMP Const. David Wynn was fatally shot in the line of duty – Feb 7, 2017

St. Albert-Edmonton MP Michael Cooper is continuing to push the federal government to approve Bill S-217, better known as Wynn’s Law.

Cooper was joined at Parliament Hill Tuesday morning by a group that laid out the reasons the bill should be passed. Sen. Rob Runciman, former Alberta justice minister and solicitor general Jonathan Denis and director of Public Safety for Abuse Hurts, John Muise, were among those who joined Cooper during the media availability.

READ MORE: Widow of slain Alberta RCMP officer urges Liberals to help pass Wynn’s Law 

Cooper accused the Liberal government of putting politics ahead of public safety.

“They have come out against a common sense piece of legislation to close a loophole that would require the criminal history of an accused to be presented in court at a bail hearing. Such information is always relevant and material,” Cooper said.

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Wynn’s Law is named after RCMP Const. David Wynn, who was shot and killed outside an Alberta casino in January 2015.

He had been attempting to arrest Shawn Rehn, who was out on bail at the time, despite having 30 outstanding charges and a lengthy criminal record.

Those previous offences had not been mentioned during his bail hearing.

The bill was passed in the Senate last fall. It is now in its second reading in the House of Commons.

“This is not a partisan issue, that was very clearly illustrated in the senate when it received the unanimous support of the legal and constitutional affairs committee, and received the support of every single Conservative and Liberal senator,” Cooper said.

“It’s pretty clear to me that you don’t make decisions, somebody that’s spent 30 years as a police officer and five years at the Parole Board of Canada making risk assessment decisions, that you don’t make those decisions in the absence of a criminal record,” Muise said.

READ MORE: Widow of slain Alberta RCMP officer urges Liberals to help pass Wynn’s Law 

Last week, Julie Sowers, whose husband is an RCMP officer, said she believes friction between federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Cooper is causing a delay to having the bill passed.

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Denis said disclosing the criminal history of bail applicants is common sense and a matter of public safety.

 

“People look at lady justice as blind. Let’s make sure that lady justice hears exactly the full statistics and the full background of the accused before he or she is granted bail,” Denis said.

In January, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to take another look at the bill.

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