OTTAWA, ONTARIO —Today Conservative Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville, Cathay Wagantall, introduced her Private Members Bill “Cassie and Molly’s Law” in the House of Commons. This legislation will create a new offence for violent criminals who knowingly injure or cause the death of a preborn child while committing a criminal offence against a pregnant woman. Wagantall is calling on Parliamentarians to support reforms that will better protect Canadian women and their families.
“The Criminal Code requires crucial reforms to ensure violent criminals are held accountable for their actions,” said Wagantall. “Cassie and Molly`s law will create a legal mechanism that enhances the safety of Canadian women and recognizes the safety of their family.”
Wagantall was motivated to introduce this legislation after learning about the tragic story of Jeff Durham who just one year ago suffered the loss of Cassie and their daughter Molly, the victims of a terrible crime - when Molly was just weeks from being born. The Criminal Code of Canada is missing a crucial component to protect pregnant women, a gap that these amendments would fill.
“Two weeks before Christmas in 2014, my daughter Molly was murdered. She was murdered with her mother Cassie. Molly was less than ten weeks from being born,” said Jeff Durham. “Without a shadow of a doubt, neither Cassie nor any pregnant victim of homicide would want their children ignored.”
Durham started a National Campaign called “Molly Matters” which advocates for reforms to the Criminal Code so that violent criminals are held responsible for victimizing women that are pregnant.
“We are grateful to our local NDP representatives in Windsor and Essex for taking the time to consider our plight and acknowledging that this is an issue that transcends party politics. We are also grateful that Mauril Bélanger and Minister Bennett have both agreed to present our petitions in the House of Commons and have shown great compassion and understanding on this issue” said Durham.
Cathay Wagantall looks forward to working with all of her colleagues in the House to make this law a reality for Canadian women and their families. The bill is expected to be debated in the House of Commons before Parliament suspends for the summer.
- 30 -