moved for leave to introduce Bill C-438, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (murder of parole officer or firefighter).
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Fort McMurray for seconding the motion. My colleague from Calgary Centre also vehemently supports this bill.
The bill, if adopted, would amend the Criminal Code. The bill is aimed at basically bringing parity to Criminal Code section 231(4) which I believe is just an oversight. Reference to a parole officer or firefighter has been left out of the listed individuals where a murder occurs and it would be considered first degree murder.
The bill itself is introduced in memory of the horrible murder of Louise Pargeter and out of respect to her parents, Mike and Judy and her partner, Anne Lynagh. The murder occurred in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories when Louise Pargeter was working as a parole officer. In a letter to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the family asked that this type of legislation be tabled.
Currently, parole officers and firefighters are not specifically mentioned. The distinction is very important. Police officers, wardens and jail guards are currently listed in the section. It would make perfect sense to include parole officers as well.
An automatic first degree murder charge would create a significant deterrent and would minimize similar offences being committed against parole officers in the future.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)