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(Keith Myrol Statement re: Press Conference September 25, 2005, Edmonton, Alberta)

Maintain the Right, turn on your light

Keith Myrol

As we mourn the loss of our four Mounties I ask myself, why was James Roszko not in prison? As we heard from people from coast to coast, we also heard about injustices that occur on a daily basis. We discovered that the people of Canada stand together in sorrow, disbelief and tiring frustration. Then it came to me, the leaders of a nation as modern and caring as ours, appear to be deaf and unwilling to address problems with it's most basic principle. Law and order.  Upon examination of this, one must ask, where's the problem? The recurring theme in letters, phone calls, and emails stands boldly out in front, major problems with sentencing and parole. 

Therefore, we challenge every judge and parole board in Canada to do what they've been appointed to do.  Simply, remove dangerous violent people from society. We've all heard it over and over again, how police catch the criminals and the courts let them go.  Why?  How does this serve Canada? How does this serve justice? How does it keep us safe?  Remember some of these people were found guilty, not just sort of guilty. 

Judges, we need your help. With all due respect I challenge you to be stricter and stronger with sentencing. Create stronger precedent for future judges to follow. Tough circumstances require tough actions. Make the punishment fit the crime. When was the last time any of you handed out the maximum penalty?

Example: A child is kidnapped and raped. What else does this vicious animal have to do to a child to get the maximum?  Does he have to kidnap and rape her twice? I believe justice involves recognizing the loss, assessing future risk, and administering a penalty that is equal to the severity of the crime. 

On the website of the National Parole Board it says, and I quote, "the Board's primary objective is the long term protection of society."

I'll give you just one example of how the parole Board is doing. This example comes to us from Quebec. 

Conrad Brossard: 

- 1966 Armed Robbery/Attempted rape, guilty  = 7 years 

only 4 years later

- 1970 Murder, guilty  = Life sentence

only 10 years later

- 1980 Attempted murder, guilty = 23 years sentence

only 7 years later

- 1987 Attempted murder, guilty = life sentence

only 15 years later

- 2002 Murdered Cecile Clement

This after only 15 years was served on his second life sentence. After being sentenced in total for 2 life sentences plus 30 years above that, he was released and allowed to kill again. Will he be released again?   As a member of that parole board are you not ashamed?

Recently Yvonne Johnston, from Alberta who violently tortured and killed a man and had received a sentence for life without parole for 25 years, was granted a hearing to determine if she could be let out after only 12 years. Is this hearing necessary? No. Is this hearing set up to keep all Canadians safe from this vicious killer? No. Why wasn't this original sentence adhered to?  Is the parole board going to create another Conrad Brossard or James Roszko? 

In 1899 Prime Minister Laurier introduced an act to Provide for the Conditional Liberation of Convicts. He described that the act was designed for a young man of good character who may have committed a crime in a moment of passion, or perhaps have fallen victim to bad example, or the influence of unworthy friends. There is a good report on him while in confinement and it is supposed that if he were given another chance, he would be a good citizen. The first man who granted this early parole was Henry A. Clermont, he had stolen a letter. Do you think this was designed to let murderers and rapists out to run freely in our midst? I don't. 

Actually, I recommend a 10-year leave of absence for our parole board officers. Please don't meet again. It seems every time you do, you let someone out who should stay behind bars.  If you don't want that violent criminal to be your neighbor, please don't force him upon mine or any other Canadian neighborhood. And on behalf of all of Canada, let me teach you a new word you obviously have never heard before.  " No".  

If we're only letting them out because we don't have room, shame on us for not building more prisons.

The other day I spoke with an officer. He said the remand center was built to house about 300 people. On a recent Friday there were almost 700 locked up there. How many do you think they let go? My guess is quite a few. Canadians, do you still feel safe? We need to build more jails.

This is a National problem. No one area is exempt. We have this horrible situation because until today, we've tolerated it. The message I get from across this country, is, we are all done with tolerating it.

We challenge all political parties, work together on this and get it done. Be Canadians not politicians. Build prisons, use maximum sentences, say no to parole, pat your local police on the back and instead of getting in his or her way with trivial "i" dotting and "t" crossing garbage, help them keep us safe, and in the meantime judges administer true justice. Stop slapping wrists and start penalizing these violent animals for what they have done.

In summary, we need to assess and restructure our failing parole system. Perhaps eliminate it altogether. We need to get rid of the faint hope clause. We need to rethink and develop minimum sentences that reflect the nature of the crime and make sure they protect Canadians from repeat offenders.  We need to deter criminal activity by using maximum sentences. 

Finally, I'm asking for the help of all Canadians. We need every one of you to show the members of parliament, provincial and territorial governments, the judges, and especially the parole board that we've had enough. We need the system fixed. Let's make this an election issue.  What's more important than your family's safety? 

We're having a grassroots referendum of light. We need every one of you participate. On Oct 3, at 8:00PM wherever you are in Canada, turn on your front porch light. Leave it on until 10:00PM. Make them see the light. "Maintain the right, turn on your light." We will send the brightest message this country has ever seen. Make sure your neighbor's lights are on. If you live in an apartment, light your balcony. If you're not at home, honk your car horn at 8:00PM. Even if you are home honk your horn. Let's let this country know that we're done with criminals getting off soft and we're done with repeat offenders.  Let's fix this mess before another life is lost. 

Finally, a huge request of the media. Let every Canadian know that on October 3 at 8:00PM they need to turn on their lights and honk their horns.  All media, both official languages, cover this with all of your heart. The safety of our families and their futures are at stake here.  Make this the biggest statement the nation has ever seen. We are tired of violent horrible crimes being treated like they don't matter. They do matter. Let's fix it now. "Maintain the right, turn on your light." Also cover the results on October 3, let everyone know how bright this nation can be. "Maintain the right, turn on your light."  

Thank you

Yours truly

Keith Myrol

Father of Constable Brock Warren Myrol


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