3.27.2010

Activism in Action


A nice win for Kurt Kuenne concerning his "Dear Zachary" project. Here's an update from Kurt on how the parents of his slain friend saw victory through to the end, in the form of changed legislation in Canada. Kudos to Canada, kudos to Mr. and Mrs. Bagby, and kudos to Kurt.

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kurt Kuenne
Date: Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 2:04 AM
Subject: Bill C-464 is passed unanimously by the House of Commons

Hi Everyone,

Kurt here with some good news; on Monday, Canada's House of Commons (in Ottawa) unanimously passed our bail bill, Bill C-464 - An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Justification for Detention in Custody). The private member's bill was introduced by MP Scott Andrews of Newfoundland last fall after he saw "Dear Zachary" at a March 2009 screening that I hosted in Ottawa and decided to do something about our situation. The bill now moves to the Senate where it is expected to be embraced in a similar fashion. Senator Tommy Banks of Alberta will be the bill's sponsor in the Senate, and will shortly be distributing DVDs of "Dear Zachary" to all members of the Senate, just as he and MP Andrews distributed the film to all members of the House of Commons last fall when he introduced the bill. The bill if passed into law later this year, would justify detention in custody for those accused of a serious crime who are a potential danger to their own children under the age of 18.

http://www.cinematical.com/2010/03/23/dear-zachary-bill-gets-passed-unanimously-by-house-of-commons/
http://www.polemicandparadox.com/2010/03/andrews-private-members-bill-moves-to.html

Kate and David Bagby traveled to Ottawa last week to speak as witnesses for the bill before the House's Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights. The committee passed the bill unanimously. I was pleased to learn that all members of the committee had seen "Dear Zachary" prior to the hearing. Scott Andrews then managed to immediately get the bill on the House of Commons' schedule for its 3rd and final reading this past Monday; MP Peter Stoffer of Nova Scotia generously gave up a spot he had on the books Monday morning to discuss his own bill so that MP Andrews might get C-464 passed through the House and into the Senate quickly, for which he deserves an enormous thanks.

http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=332836&sc=79
http://cbncompass.ca/index.cfm?sid=333719&sc=326

I'll keep you posted as the bill makes its way through the Senate over the next couple of months; with any luck, I hope to have very good news for you shortly thereafter.

Thanks again for your support of me & this project when it was just me in my apartment with a box of videotapes and a computer. And a huge thanks to Scott Andrews, his assistant Ken Carter, MP Peter Stoffer, Senator Tommy Banks, his assistant Thérèse Gauthier, Gord McIntosh and all those in Parliament who have seen across party lines and supported this bill to honor Andrew & Zachary and help prevent a recurrence of our story.

Happy Spring to you all,
Kurt

www.dearzachary.com

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