Residents in Vancouver this morning will be saddened to read the front page Vancouver Sun story on the tragic murder of a 17 year old girl. Charged with this murder is a man who was released from prison after serving a 22 year sentence for a violent sexual assault that also included robbery and forcible confinement. These are the types of disturbing actions that create fear and anxiety not just for the victims, friends and families of these crimes but often for entire communities.
In my riding of Okanaghan-Coquihalla, the community of West Kelowna has many citizens who share a similar concern of mass murderer David Ennis (formerly David Shearing) being released from prison and returning to the area. For those unfamiliar with Mr. Ennis he is the individual who brutally took the lives of the Johnson and Bentley family of 6 while on a camping trip in August of 1982. While this horrific act may have taken place over 30 years ago the sense of loss and concern from the community remains real to this very day.
This week I had an opportunity to hand deliver a petition from over 15,000 concerned citizens (15,258 to be exact) to Minister Blaney opposing the release of Mr. David Ennis. On a personal note I would like to thank West Kelowna resident Tammy Arishenkoff, classmate and friend to one of the Johnson girls who faithfully leads this petiton parole hearing after parole hearing. Tammy has given me a lot of input on a variety of government and private member`s bills that has been invaluable. I would like to recognize the many people who took the time to participate in this petition and to remind all citizens of the need to always remember the victims in acts of deplorable and senseless violence.
In addition to his weekly MP Report. the Dan in Ottawa blog is another resource for residents of Okanagan-Coquihalla. Chronicling Dan’s personal experiences as he travels to Ottawa and throughout the riding as your MP.
For more information about Dan Albas, click here.