Bail reform bill gathers steam in N.L.
A Liberal MP from Newfoundland is getting some high-profile support for his private member's bill to toughen bail conditions in Canada.
Kate and David Bagby, who live in California, joined Avalon MP Scott Andrews in his riding just outside St. John's Friday to bring attention to proposed Criminal Code changes.
The Bagby's 13-month old grandson, Zachary Turner, was drowned by his mother in Conception Bay in 2003, shortly before she killed herself in a murder-suicide.
Shirley Turner was on bail at the time, and fighting extradition to the United States for the murder of the Bagbys' only child, Andrew Bagby, who had fathered Zachary with Turner.
Zachary Turner's grandparents have maintained all along the boy would be alive today had his mother been kept in jail.
The Bagbys are angry the extradition process took so long and that Canadian courts allowed Turner to go free on bail during her appeal.
Andrews introduced the bill in the House of Commons in late October.
Bill C-464, which proposes amending the Criminal Code so that someone charged with a serious crime can be kept in custody if their release could endanger their children, will go to a second reading during the first week of December.
After their grandson's death, the Bagbys vowed to fight for bail reform in Canada.
"We are pleased to be back in Newfoundland," David Bagby told reporters, "this is a gigantic step forward in our lobbying efforts ... this is a key step in our goal since Zachary's murder; change in bail law to reduce the chance of a recurrence of this horror.
"We have suffered a tremendous personal loss that has changed our lives forever and it is now our goal to prevent this from happening to another family."
Andrews, a rookie MP who was first elected last October, said he wanted to make his first ever private member's bill about bail reform after hearing Bagbys' story first-hand earlier this year.
"Bill C-464 is an accomplishment that reflects the strength and determination of the parents and grandparents of the late Andrew and Zachary," Andrews said. "It is in their memory that we move this bill forward and do everything in our power to prevent this from happening to another family."