Chris MacLean's picture
Bill C-437 would support families of homicide victims
Posted on Mar 03, 2019

A new Bill has been introduced that the public should be aware of and support.

Bill C-437, introduced on 1 March 2019 by MP Dane Lloyd, is intended to support the families of homicide victims. 

This Bill creates consequences for those convicted of an offence related to the death of a person(s), who refuse to provide information regarding the location of the body or remains of the victim. 

The consequences will be evident at sentencing, in parole eligibility determination, and for conditional release applications. 

The following is the official summary of the proposed Bill:

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to add as an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes and as a reason to delay parole the fact that a person who is convicted of certain offences refuses to provide persons in authority with information respecting the location of bodies or remains. It also amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Prisons and Reformatories Act to add that fact as a consideration in the making of certain decisions under those Acts.

Also named McCanns’ Law, Bill C-437 was named to represent one of the many cases in which a convicted killer does not reveal the location of the bodies of their victims, causing ongoing torment to the victims’ families.

In 2010, Lyle and Marie McCann of St. Albert, Alberta, were murdered by Travis Vader during what a appears to have been a roadside robbery. 

Vader was convicted of manslaughter in 2017 and received a life sentence. He will be eligible for parole in 2021 but his lawyers are still trying to appeal the case. To this day, the bodies of Lyle and Marie have not been located, and Vader continues to refuse to give the victims’ family peace by revealing the location of their remains, claiming innocence despite significant DNA evidence in the vehicle and evidence that Vader used the victims' phone. 

The McCanns’ son, Bret McCann, had this to say, “… by withholding where he left their bodies, Vader is able to continuously revictimize our family. And without a proper funeral and memorial, our family is unable to fully grieve and reach a measure of closure.”

Currently, there are no requirements for sentencing judges or parole boards to consider ongoing refusal by convicted offenders to share relevant information relating to the location of the remains of homicide victims.  This Bill changes that, and ensures that authorities have the tools necessary to get justice and closure for victims’ families.

“This isn’t about being vindictive and punishing criminals. This is about giving the tools to our justice system to help families find the remains of their loved ones,” said MP Dane Lloyd, who was elected to represent Sturgeon River - Parkland in 2017.

The Bill was seconded by Louis-Saint-Laurent MP, Gérard Deltell.