Wilks gets Royal Assent for Private Member’s Bill
Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks has succeeded in getting Royal Assent for his Private Member’s Bill (C-299, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (kidnapping of a young person).
The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., MP for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, June 27 welcomed the Royal Assent of Bill C-299, sponsored by former RCMP officer and Sparwood resident Wilks.
The legislation will amend the Criminal Code to impose a mandatory minimum penalty of five years imprisonment on those convicted under subsection 279(1) of the Criminal Code (kidnapping) for kidnapping a child under the age of 16.
Wilks admits the Bill came about after he followed what transpired in the courts after the kidnapping of three-year-old Sparwood resident Kienan Hebert by Randal Hopley in 2011.
“I am very proud that Bill C-299 has received Royal Assent. The protection of children across Canada is paramount. This addition to the Criminal Code will ensure that those convicted of kidnapping of a child under the age of 16 receive adequate sentencing,” Wilks stated.
“This Bill will ensure that cases involving the kidnapping of children by strangers are treated with the severity they deserve,” added Minister Nicholson.
The government’s support for the proposed legislation is in keeping with the Government’s Plan for Safe Streets and Communities, one of four priorities identified by the Prime Minister. This plan focuses on holding violent criminals accountable, enhancing the rights of victims, and increasing the efficiency of our justice system.
Above photo: MP David Wilks with the Hon. Rob Nicholson.