January 18, 2023
Ottawa, ON — Justin Bourque, convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder of Moncton RCMP officers in 2014 has applied for a modification to his parole eligibility, which will be heard by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal on February 15, 2023.
Bourque’s application is based on a recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision that struck down parole ineligibility beyond 25 years for those convicted of multiple murders.
At the time of sentencing, Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice David Smith called Bourque’s reign of terror ‘one of the most horrific crimes in the history of Canada’. The presiding Judge also said he wants ‘anyone else considering a similar action to realize they could spend the rest of their lives in prison’.
This is the first time this SCC decision has been considered for a killer convicted of murdering police officers. Canada’s Criminal Code provides protection provisions stipulating that ‘Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate … murder is first degree murder when the victim is a police officer [or other similar professions] acting in the course of his duties’.
“Over the past six months, five Canadian police officers have been killed on duty, and against the backdrop of evolving criminal activity, a deficit of police resources and funding, and the increased revolving jailhouse door, leniency for a convicted police killer would be another slap in the face to those who serve, and to all Canadians,” said Brian Sauvé, President, National Police Federation.
“In addition to supporting Canadian premiers’ unanimous call for the Government of Canada to take ‘immediate action to strengthen Canada’s bail system’, the National Police Federation strongly advocates for governments at all levels to invest in policing and address the root causes of crime. While Canadian policing is among the most highly regulated in the world, our legal framework has become a ‘court system’ rather than a ‘justice system’. This latest example is particularly egregious, and we’ll be watching the application closely on behalf of our Members.”
There is significant data showing Canadians are concerned about Canada’s legal system:
- A national December 2022 Pollara Strategic Insights survey found 75% of Canadians feel that the federal government should fix and expand the criminal court system to better address repeat offenders and the revolving jailhouse door rather than seeking to reduce police officers or budgets.
- In a separate December 2022 Pollara survey, B.C. residents cited ‘tougher sentencing’ as having the highest impact on reducing crime in their community.
- A July 2022 Pollara survey of Albertans found that 77% want the government to focus on fixing the justice system, rather than proceeding with a police service review.
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations
Coordinator, Media Relations