By Rick Pusiak
The Justice Over Everything: Making Appropriate Choices committee?s resolution calling for the return of convicted cop killers Clinton Suzack and Peter Pennett to maximum security prisons continues to gain support across the country.
Committee members made a presentation Monday in Halifax at the annual meeting of the National Association of Professional Police. The resolution was unanimously endorsed.
The motion also calls for an external review of Correctional Services Canada as well as changes to a policy of cascading prisoners to lower security settings.
?Spontaneously all the participants at the conference got up and gave a standing ovation,? said JoeMac spokesperson Rick Bartolucci.
Represented at the convention were members of the RCMP, the Toronto Police Service, OPP and delegates from other police services across Canada.
The Sudbury MPP made his comments via cellphone Tuesday as committee members were receiving a police escort to Charlottetown, PEI, their next destination on an East Coast tour to garner support for their campaign.
They were scheduled to make an address to a large community gathering at the Charlottetown Regional Police station. Following the meeting JoeMac members were expected to visit the constituency office of federal Solicitor General Lawrence MacAulay.
JoeMac met with MacAulay in Ottawa for 45 minutes last February. The minister was presented with petitions and letters of support.
A few months later MacAulay committed to issuing a written directive to federal corrections and parole officials stating there is to be no quota system on releasing offenders under community supervision.
Meanwhile, there is one more stop for JoeMac on its East Coast campaign .
The Canadian Police Association has invited committee members to speak at its meeting tomorrow (Thursday) in St. John?s, Newfoundland.
The bill for the JoeMac trip is being paid for by members themselves and is partially offset by the Ontario Office of Victims of Crime as well as donations.
JoeMac launched a ?National Drive for Justice? campaign last June to secure unanimous all party support for its resolution in each provincial and territorial legislature.
The resolution has already been backed by the Eves government which also renamed the Public Safety Officer Survivor?s Tuition Fund the Constable Joe MacDonald Scholarship Fund.
Money in the fund pays for post-secondary education for survivors of public safety officers killed in the line of duty.
Suzack and Pennett were sentenced in 1995 to life for killing Sudbury Regional Police Const. Joe MacDonald, Oct. 7, 1993.
The sentencing judge recommended the prisoners serve their entire sentence in maximum security.
The convicted murderers are both residing in so-called ?Club Fed? medium security facilities.